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Cuisine and Fine Wine project announced

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister for Economic Development

8 November 2006 Media Statement
Embargoed until 1pm
Cuisine and Fine Wine project announced

The government will provide $1.9 million towards "Cuisine and Fine Wine" - a Major Regional Initiative in Wairarapa that aims to strengthen the region’s food and wine reputation internationally, Economic Development Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

Cuisine and Fine Wine consists of two separate, but complementary projects.

One will focus on building up the Wairarapa wine industry’s global competitiveness, while the other will result in the establishment of an International School of Cuisine.

"The Wairarapa has established a deserved reputation overseas for its premium wines. This project will allow it to build on that profile and extend it into the field of fine cuisine – which of course is a natural partner to fine wine," Trevor Mallard said.

Cuisine and Fine Wine brings together several partners from different industries in the region, such as food services and production, wine, tourism, and education, as well as government economic development agency New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

The International School of Cuisine will be established by Universal College of Learning (UCOL), which has formed a partnership with world-renowned culinary education provider Le Cordon Bleu to deliver a range of culinary programmes.

"This initiative plays to the region's key strengths and therefore fits perfectly with our agenda to transform New Zealand into an export-led, high-wage innovative economy. It will generate significant export earnings for the region and is a key component of the region's wider vision for building a distinctive identity from fine food and wine, high-value tourism and the unique Wairarapa lifestyle.

"Its impacts are likely to be felt nationally too, both in terms of increasing the profile of New Zealand wines to overseas markets and in attracting tourists to take courses at the International School of Cuisine.

"Those involved with this project have done well to secure Le Cordon Bleu as a partner. Its reputation precedes it and complements the Wairarapa’s fine wine reputation," Trevor Mallard said.

The government is providing $1.9 million to the project from NZTE's Major Regional Initiative fund. This is being supplemented by $4.75 million from the other partners, while substantial investment from the private sector will also contribute to the development of the school.

Background follows.


What is the Regional Partnerships Programme that is run by NZTE?
The regional partnership programme provides support for regions to undertake major projects that build on their competitive advantages. Funding of up to $100,000 per region per three years for strategic planning, up to $100,000 per 12 month period for capability building and up to $2 million for Major Regional Initiatives per three year cycle is available to help regions realise their potential.
For more information:

About the Cuisine and Fine Wine project:

Who are the partners in the project?
Go Wairarapa is the Wairarapa region’s Economic Development and Tourism agency. It aims to ensure the region is economically viable and productive, and promotes it as a visitor destination nationally and internationally.

Wairarapa Wine Promotions Group is a representative body of all wineries in the region and two incorporated societies, Wines From Martinborough and Wairarapa Wines.

Universal College of Learning is an institute of technology with four campuses in the lower half of the North Island. It aims to provide its communities with universal access to applied education and training services that are directly relevant to 21st Century work and social environments.

Le Cordon Bleu is a worldwide leader in culinary education, founded in Paris in 1895. Today Le Cordon Bleu has a presence at 26 international schools in 15 countries which are attended by more than 22,000 students every year.

What economic benefits will this Major Regional Initiative have?
It was estimated by BERL in 2004 that the initiative would contribute $67.4 million per annum from 2010. It is estimated the MRI will result in an additional 584 additional full time employees.

What benefits will this initiative provide to New Zealand?
The initiative has a strong emphasis on the international marketplace and the benefits it is expected to bring to the region can also be translated to national ones.

The wine marketing project aims to help small businesses start exporting and increase overall export sales of Wairarapa wines at the premium end of the market. It will be aligned with and support national wine marketing strategies.

The International School of Cuisine is expected to bring more international students to New Zealand, and attract more high-value visitors from overseas that may stay in the country for longer.


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