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Development of Manukau initiative wins support

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister of New Zealand
Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister for Economic Development

2 October 2008 Media Statement

Development of Manukau initiative wins government support

Development of an economic, cultural, and sporting initiative in Manukau is receiving a boost, with government support in the shape of a $400,000 investment, Prime Minister Helen Clark and Economic Development Minister Pete Hodgson announced today.

The government is investing $400,000 in developing the initiative, which includes a white-water kayak course and Maori cultural attraction in Manukau.

“The government funding will be used to complete the concept design of the facility and to develop a comprehensive business plan,” Helen Clark said.

“This is an important step to get the project underway.

The $60 million development has been proposed by the Counties Manukau Pacific Trust as stage two of the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre in Manukau.

The Trust has enlisted Olympic Gold medal kayaker Ian Ferguson and Tamaki Heritage Tours to help deliver and operate the facility which is expected to inject over $9 million per annum into the Manukau economy and create up to 68 jobs.

“The government support will enable the Trust to lodge resource consent and raise the funds the project requires from stakeholders,” Pete Hodgson said.

The white water kayak course will be created by pumping water around a concrete concourse to create an artificial river. It is designed to cater for both top level international kayakers and recreational users. An extensive schools program will allow over 30,000 students to use the course.

“A similar course was used for the kayak and canoe events at the recent Beijing Olympics. Anyone who saw either of those events will realise why the development in Manukau is so compelling,” Pete Hodgson said.

“The proposed facility will also house an interactive Maori cultural attraction which will use the artificial river and sets to tell the story of the Maori journey to New Zealand from Polynesia,” Helen Clark said.

In addition an outreach gallery will house touring exhibitions and host an artists in residence programme.

The government funding is from the New Zealand Major Events Development Fund, administered by the Ministry of Economic Development to support major events and event related projects that bring significant benefit to New Zealand.

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