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New seafood and marine centre welcomed

Hon Dr Nick Smith
Member of Parliament for Nelson

New seafood and marine centre welcomed

The decision by Plant & Food Research to invest with Port Nelson in a new purpose-built research facility in Akersten Street is great news for Nelson, says local MP Dr Nick Smith.

“This investment helps lock in Nelson’s status as the seafood capital of New Zealand. The industry already contributes $300 million per year in GDP and 3,000 jobs to the regional economy but the future depends on an ongoing investment in science and technology to generate more value, maintain high food standards and ensure sustainability of the resource,” Dr Smith says.

The total investment of $7.5 million, including shared facilities, specialist fit-out and tenant fit-out is to be built by Port Nelson but leased by Plant & Food for a term of 25 years to house the government research company’s 38 science and support staff.
“The significance of this announcement is not just the building but the 25-year commitment of Plant & Food to our Nelson region and the seafood industry. This is part of an exciting agenda to build around Nelson’s naturally significant seafood and marine industries a cluster of science, technology and education support centres,” Dr Smith says.

“This announcement also brings to the forefront the future of the historic old powerhouse building that Plant & Food will be vacating in early 2017. The building is being considered as a potential home for a new fisheries museum and marine education centre by a trust I helped initiate last year. The trust is considering this building and other potential sites and is the subject of discussions with its owner, the Nelson City Council. The building will require a substantial upgrade to be usable.

“I applaud the work Port Nelson and Plant & Food has put into commissioning the design, funding and lease for this new seafood research facility for Nelson. It is a vote of confidence in Nelson, the seafood and marine industry and the importance of research to New Zealand’s future prospects.”

ENDS

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