Minister for Economic Development Simon Bridges has announced that the Business Recovery Grants programme for quake-affected businesses will be launched on 1 May.
The new one-million dollar grant programme will be available to eligible business in Kaikōura, Hurunui and Marlborough.
“It’s been six-months since the devastating earthquake hit Marlborough and North Canterbury. Some areas have returned to relative normality, but for others it’s going to take time to repair roads to bring back traffic, and customers,” Mr Bridges says.
“Businesses throughout the area have made good use of the Government’s Earthquake Support Subsidy, with more than $17 million dollars distributed to businesses. However, with fewer businesses accessing the support, it’s time to move to the next stage.
“The new Business Recovery Grants Programme is intended to support local businesses until State Highway One reopens,” Mr Bridges says.
To be eligible for the grant the business:must be located along SH1 from Seddon to Cheviot, on SH70 between Lyford and Culverden, and in the Kaikōura District has suffered a significant income drop caused by the 14 November 2016 earthquakes was viable before the earthquakes and has the potential to successfully recover has no other efficient options available, including insurance must provide a significant source of income to the business owner must pay staff at least minimum wage is not a charity, property developer or investor.
Grants assessors have been appointed to review applications and make recommendations to the independent three-member panel.
The Panel will be made up of former member of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Advisory Board Peter Townsend, Chief Executive of the Rātā Foundation Louise Edwards and Chancellor of Canterbury University John Wood.
“The Government is committed to helping businesses get back on their feet and to rebuilding the local economy. The Earthquake Support Subsidy has helped many businesses in the six months following the earthquake, and I’m confident this programme will help more businesses to get through this tough time,” says Mr Bridges.
Businesses interested in applying for the Grant can go to their local Council website to find out more.
Economic Development and Transport Minister Simon Bridges today released a Government commissioned report that assesses the economic impact of the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.
The report details the impact on small businesses and tourism caused by disruptions to transport infrastructure and the economic impacts.
“The quake has had a significant effect on people’s lives and businesses which the Government is strongly focused on supporting. As well as the Kaikōura economy, the report shows the national economy has also felt the impact,” Mr Bridges says.
The impact on New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the first 18 months following the earthquake has been estimated at $450-$500 million.
The estimated reduction is made up of $110-$130 million (25 per cent of the total impact) in Canterbury and $340-$370 million (75 per cent of the impact) across the rest of New Zealand.
“Increased freight transport costs and impacts on businesses from infrastructure damage and transport disruptions are the two key contributing factors,” Mr Bridges says.
“The Government has committed significant resources to getting businesses in the most affected communities back on their feet and repairing or replacing infrastructure,” Mr Bridges says.
The response to date has included:Getting work underway to fully reinstate the State Highway 1 coastal route Upgrading the alternate State Highway route between Picton and Christchurch A range of business support packages, and support for the tourism industry and the primary sector A grant to help with the restoration of Kaikoura Harbour; and Temporary accommodation and housing support for residents, including farmers.
“The Government is focused on providing a coordinated and rapid response and ensuring it is targeted to where it will be most effective and best placed to return affected areas to pre-quake levels,” Mr Bridges says.
The report was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Ministry of Transport. They will continue to work with the Earthquake Commission and the New Zealand Transport Agency to monitor key information relating to flows of people, tourists, and freight.
Communications Minister Simon Bridges today announced a number of appointments to the Television New Zealand Ltd (TVNZ) board.
Dame Therese Walsh has been appointed as the new Chair. Dame Therese has been Deputy Chair since 2015 and a Director since 2012. She replaces outgoing Chair Joan Withers who has served on the TVNZ Board since 2009.
“Dame Therese is a highly experienced professional director who sits on a number of public companies including ASB Bank, Air New Zealand and NZX. Dame Therese will bring continuity and strong commercial judgement to the role,” Mr Bridges says.
Andy Coupe has been appointed to the Board as Deputy Chair.
“Mr Coupe is currently Chair of Solid Energy and sits on a number of private and public companies. He will bring a wealth of commercial and financial expertise to the Board as well as significant governance experience,” Mr Bridges says.
Julia Raue, the previous Chief Information Officer of Air New Zealand and now professional director, has been reappointed as a Director for a further term.
Cameron Harland, Chief Executive of Park Road Post Production and Camperdown Properties, is to be appointed as a Director. He has recently completed a six year term on the Film Commission and is currently a director of Weta Workshop, Phoenix Football Club and the Chair of the NZ Story Advisory Board.
“Mr Harland’s extensive commercial and creative industry experience will be of benefit to TVNZ,” Mr Bridges says.
Mr Harland will replace Barrie Saunders who is retiring.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Barrie Saunders, and in particular Joan Withers, for their service to the TVNZ Board. Joan’s deep industry knowledge alongside her substantial governance expertise has been significant to TVNZ’s success”, Mr Bridges says.
Minister of Transport Simon Bridges announced today that Budget 2017 will provide up to $812 million for reinstating State Highway 1 between Picton and Christchurch.
“The Government’s priority is to restore the pre-earthquake transport links to Kaikoura and its surrounding communities, and ensure these vital links are resilient for the long term,” Mr Bridges says.
“To make sure this work continues at pace, Budget 2017 will provide up to $812 million to reinstate State Highway 1 between Picton and Christchurch.
“The corridor is planned to reopen before the end of 2017 with funding to be provided over the 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years for work to continue after the route reopens.
“The Budget will also make funding available for KiwiRail to continue reinstatement work, while its insurance claim is finalised.
“The total cost of reinstating the road and rail corridors is now estimated to be between $1.1 and $1.33 billion. This is still a very large amount, and reflects there are a number of uncertainties when dealing with damage and destruction of this scale.
“More than $45 million of work has already been completed since last November’s earthquake, including clearing slips and obstructions, undertaking geotechnical assessments, and reinstating rail track.
“The New Zealand Transport Agency is considering additional improvements to improve the coastal corridor, which could see a further investment of up to $240 million from the National Land Transport Fund.
“The Government continues to stand with those affected by the November earthquake, and this funding demonstrates our commitment to getting these communities moving again,” Mr Bridges says.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges has today announced appointments and reappointments to the Boards of Maritime New Zealand (MNZ), the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Mr Bridges has reappointed Peter Cowper to the Board of MNZ. He has been a member since May 2011.
“Mr Cowper’s reappointment will provide Board continuity, as he continues to contribute his extensive commercial and leadership skills,” Mr Bridges says.
MNZ is a Crown entity whose primary function is to ensure the safety, security and environmental protection of New Zealand’s coastal and inland waterways. Its Board has five members.
Mr Bridges has also appointed two new members to the Board of the NZTA - former Mayor of Queenstown, Vanessa van Uden and professional director Mark Darrow.
“Ms van Uden brings a new perspective, along with her local government experience.
“Mr Darrow has wide-ranging governance experience, and Chairs the Audit and Risk Committee for the Counties Manukau District Health Board. His appointment brings extensive transport knowledge and an injection of fresh energy to the NZTA’s Board,” Mr Bridges says.
In addition, Mr Bridges has reappointed Adrienne Young-Cooper who has been a member of the NZTA Board since August 2011, and is a member of its Investment and Operations Committee. Ms Young-Cooper’s reappointment provides continuity, as well as strong governance.
NZTA is a Crown entity whose primary role is to contribute to an effective, efficient, and safe land transport system in the public interest. Its Board has eight members.
Mr Bridges has appointed experienced lawyer, Anna Adams and reappointed Grant Lilly, to the Board of the CAA.
“Ms Adams brings experience in public law and regulatory systems. She is also the Board Chair of law firm, Meredith Connell. Her appointment will provide a new perspective for the CAA,” Mr Bridges says.
Mr Lilly has a strong aviation background after 40 years’ experience in the aviation sector. His reappointment will provide continuity to the Board. He has been on the CAA Board since 2011.
The CAA is a Crown entity whose primary function is to regulate and promote an integrated, safe, responsive and sustainable civil aviation system. The CAA Board has five members.
Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Trade Minister Todd McClay have announced that New Zealand will participate in World Expo 2020, to be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The announcement was made during Mr Bridges’ visit to Dubai.
“Through Budget 2017, the Government is committing $53.3 million to construct a New Zealand Pavilion that will allow Kiwi businesses to highlight their innovative products and services and open doors to new export markets,” says Mr Bridges.
“Showcasing New Zealand to the world is a crucial part of boosting economic growth. Expo 2020 will provide a springboard to promote us as an innovative, solution-focused economy to the 25 million visitors expected to attend from across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.
“It will also allow us to build on our strong economic and transport links to the UAE which acts as a global air and sea logistics hub, providing access for New Zealand exporters to a much wider region. We’re already well connected with five direct daily Emirates flights, contributing $700 million to the economy,” says Mr Bridges.
“It makes clear economic sense for New Zealand to participate in this global event,” says Mr Bridges.
The Expo will take place from October 2020 to April 2021 with Mr McClay saying it will attract high-value visitors from all corners of the world.
“Expo 2020 is a vital opportunity to increase New Zealand’s profile amongst new trading partners as well as grow our trade with existing partners,” says Mr McClay.
We have a strong trade and economic relationship with the UAE and $3.8 billion of two-way trade with the wider Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC),” says Mr McClay.
“The Gulf States also importantly provide an entry point into the wider region for many New Zealand companies and a base from which to better access the wider Middle East and beyond,” says Mr McClay.
New Zealand is close to completing a free trade agreement with the GCC, which comprises of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The UAE alone is New Zealand’s twelfth largest trading partner, with annual two-way trade exceeding $1.9 billion in 2016.
About Expo 2020
Expo 2020 has the theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. The Expo site will be around 2sq/km in size and will contain three thematic areas: opportunity, sustainability and mobility.
These three pavilions will showcase ideas and innovations, and countries that attend will have their specific pavilions spread around the thematic areas. New Zealand has been invited to participate in the sustainability precinct.
The organisers expect around 180 nations to participate. New Zealand is among the first 20 to formally confirm attendance.
More information on the Expo see http://expo2020dubai.ae
New Zealand Pavilion
The Government is about to launch an RFP process within the creative sector of New Zealand to select the best team and ideas for the design and content.
Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges will travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) tomorrow for meetings with Ministerial counterparts in Dubai.
“New Zealand’s relationship with the UAE continues to go from strength to strength. This visit will be an opportunity to progress discussions across a range of areas, including economic opportunities and collaboration in areas such as renewable energy and the New Zealand-Gulf Cooperation Council Free Trade Agreement,” Mr Bridges says.
The UAE is now New Zealand’s largest export market in the Middle East, and our 12th largest trading partner.
Alongside meetings with counterparts, the Minister will also meet with Dubai-based New Zealand manufacturing firms and Kiwi business representatives as well as the CEO of Emirates Airlines, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
“The UAE is often seen as the gateway to the wider Middle East and North Africa region and a number of New Zealand firms have a presence in market. It is also an increasingly important hub for tourists travelling to New Zealand. The five daily Emirates Airlines flights alone are estimated to be worth $700 million to the New Zealand economy,” Mr Bridges says.
“Like New Zealand, the UAE is investing significantly in innovation and given the complementarity of our respective markets, this presents real potential for greater cooperation. I look forward to discussing this opportunity on my visit.”
The Minister will also attend a Dawn Service to commemorate Anzac Day before returning to New Zealand.
The Outer Space and High-Altitude Activities Bill has been reported back to Parliament today following consideration by the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee.
Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges says the Bill will enable the development of a safe, responsible and secure space industry in New Zealand.
“Space launches are a new activity for New Zealand, and it’s important that we provide a regulatory framework that allows companies to operate safely and securely, while encouraging innovation and industry development,” Mr Bridges says.
The committee has recommended some changes to the Bill, one of which clarifies the rules around photography of space debris to ensure New Zealand meets its international obligations.
This includes requirements to protect sensitive technology. The proposed changes make clear in which circumstances a debris protection area would be declared.
A debris protection area could be declared at sites where a launch termination or accident has occurred, but only if the Minister is satisfied doing so is necessary to ensure we comply with our obligations under our international agreements.
“The Bill does not prevent public viewing, photographing or videoing space launches. However it does aim to strike a balance between public and media freedom while ensuring the protection of sensitive technology,” Mr Bridges says.
The Minister acknowledged the work of the committee and thanked those who submitted on the Bill.
“New Zealand has advantages that make it an attractive location for space launches - clear seas and skies, access to valuable launch angles for rocket launchers, a skilled workforce, and an innovation friendly business environment.
“However, New Zealand’s interests in space extend beyond rocket launches and we have the potential to be a niche player in other parts of the industry such as space research, materials development and testing, weather and atmospheric research.
“There are potentially big upsides for New Zealand from this so it’s exciting to see this Bill moving forward,” Mr Bridges says.
The new law is expected to be passed and enacted by the end of 2017.
Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman have today welcomed the World Masters Games 2017 to New Zealand.
The World Masters Games is the largest multi-sport event in the world, with New Zealand set to host 28 sports, 45 disciplines and more than 28,000 participants from 100 countries.
Under the Major Events Development Fund, the Government has invested $11 million into the event, making it the largest investment from the fund to date.
“The World Masters Games is the pinnacle sporting event for masters’ competitors worldwide. It’s the first time New Zealand has hosted the Games, offering a significant opportunity to showcase the country to thousands of athletes and spectators from across the world,” Mr Bridges says.
“We’ve invested in bringing this event to New Zealand for the strong economic and tourism benefits it will bring with the event forecast to generate 266,000 visitor nights and $52 million to national GDP. It is also a prime example of New Zealand’s ability to host major events such as these,” Mr Bridges says.
Participants range from masters sporting greats, former Olympic and Commonwealth Games medal winners, to amateur athletes and teams who compete in the event for fun, for their lifelong love of sport, and to experience new countries and cultures. The oldest competitor is 101 years old and the youngest 25 years old.
“In supporting the Olympic Games ethos of ‘sport for all’, the goal of the World Masters Games is to encourage participation in sport throughout life,” says Dr Coleman. “I’m sure the efforts and achievements of the competitors will inspire Kiwis around the country to continue with their sport or have another go at something they might have given up.”
Two of the philosophies of the Masters Games are to promote friendship and understanding, along with competition, between mature sports people regardless of age, gender, race, religion, or sport status. “This spirit is very much alive in New Zealand,” says Dr Coleman.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges has turned the sod to mark the start of construction on the $13 million Watchman Road Intersection Improvements project in Napier.
The Minister was joined by local iwi Mana Ahuriri, representatives from funding partners Hawke’s Bay Airport and Napier City Council, as well as local stakeholders to mark the start of construction.
The project involves the construction of a roundabout at the intersection, the widening and strengthening of Watchman Road, and the construction of a new road from Hawke’s Bay Airport to link to Watchman Road.
Minister Bridges says the roundabout and improved airport access will provide a safer, more efficient intersection.
“This project will also deliver better access to both the airport and the Napier Port, providing for seamless freight movement around the region.
“Hawke's Bay is a thriving local economy, and supporting regional economic development through investing in projects like these is a key for the Government,” Mr Bridges says.
The $13 million project is jointly funded from the National Land Transport Fund, Hawke’s Bay Airport and Napier City Council. It is part of a $25 million package of road access improvements to Napier Port, announced by the Government as part of the Matariki – Hawke’s Bay Economic Development Action Plan, launched in July 2016.
The project will be built by Higgins Construction and is scheduled for completion in June 2018.