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Dunedin Mayor unhappy with Govt reneging on regional promise

Dunedin Mayor unhappy with Government reneging on regional promise

Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull calls on Government to put its actions where its rhetoric is and reverse the trend of stripping resources from the regions and relocating them largely in one or two main centres.

“The revelation by AgResearch that Invermay Research Centre will lose 85 jobs over three years came as a huge shock to Dunedin. We are already hurting from the closure of Hillside Railway engineering yard and the planned movement of people out of the Dunedin Hospital kitchen and NZ Post to Christchurch.”

Mr Cull says losing that number of jobs in the important scientific hub would be a huge loss to Dunedin’s economy, its tertiary sector and the wider community.

“The timing of this announcement is extraordinary given recent comments by the Prime Minister about regional economic resilience being critical and saying that using existing infrastructure within regional centres is more efficient than erecting greenfield developments. It is manifestly contrary to the national interest to continue this trend of stripping the regions of their capacity. Ultimately it is the regions that are the bedrock of export earning capacity in the country.

“Ignoring regional jobs and concentrating capacity in a few main centres is appalling and very short sighted, especially in the immediate aftermath of the Canterbury earthquakes and the recent quakes in Wellington. The lesson from those is the need to distribute capacity for resilience reasons. Add to that the demographic projections that will see youth flight from regional centres and the resulting perfect storm will see the regions wither irreparably."

ENDS

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