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Investment In Community And Jobs In Southland And Otago Welcomed By New Zealand First

A range of projects announced by the Hon Shane Jones in Southland and Otago will build communities and create jobs, according to New Zealand First List MP Mark Patterson.

The town of Gore received funding to build a new public library and perform upgrades to their Multisports Complex. Both are important community assets in dire need of renovation and the works funded will create local jobs also.

More jobs are projected to be created after a $3.5 million Provincial Growth Fund investment will be used to help close to 1,500 people become work-ready. The funding will go towards a Jobs and Skills Hub in Dunedin, and a NZ Shearing Training Model programme to upskill up to 150 new and 120 existing shearers in the region.

The town of Clutha also received funding for the Clutha Community Hub, which is slated to create 150 direct and indirect jobs locally. Meanwhile, the Lakes District Museum will be given seismic strengthening to be a safer attraction for the community.

Further safety projects funded include $30 million for new flood protection measures in both Southland and Otago. This project will help safeguard the local communities and save these regional economies millions of dollars each year.

A Government investment of $25 million was announced to improve the safety and resilience of the Homer Tunnel in Southland. Aside from enhancing road safety, this initiative will also create 180 jobs.

Finally, two Southland-based businesses have received loans from the PGF to boost production and employ more people locally. These loans given to Alliance Group Limited and Drysdale Hydroponics will help food production in the region and create more than 100 jobs in total.

“In Government, New Zealand First have actively advocated for our regions. This plethora of investments made in Otago and Southland are a continuation of our mission to rejuvenate our provinces,” Mr Patterson said.

“Both regions have been hit hard by the effects of COVID-19. Being the List MP based in Clutha-Southland for the past three years and the incoming NZ First candidate for the new electorate of Taieri, I welcome the news of our regions receiving a share of the post-COVID recovery pie.”

“The investments announced by my Party colleague Shane Jones will help build our communities, create jobs, and help Otago and Southland be more resilient to natural disasters, safeguarding our regional economies,” Mr Patterson added.

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