Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry today announced funding will be made available for tourism infrastructure and cultural events as part of the Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan.
The Action Plan was launched at an event in Gisborne today and articulates the region’s economic development opportunities for the next five years, including a focus on tourism. Key areas for development include:Māori and cultural heritage tourism Eco-tourism, including initiatives at Te Wherowhero Lagoon East Coast tourism, such as the historic East Cape Lighthouse and Tokomaru Bay wharf Cycle tourism Further research into cruise ship tourism
“Tourism has the potential to be a key driver of growth and jobs in Tairāwhiti which is why the Government is keen to work with the region to co-invest in Tairāwhiti tourism opportunities,” says Mr Bridges.
“The region is currently developing initiatives to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the first meetings between James Cook, Tahitian navigator Tupaia and the tangata whenua of Aotearoa. The Government is willing to contribute up to $2 million alongside local Government,” Ms Barry says.
“This commemoration from October to December 2019 provides an excellent tourism opportunity and we look forward to supporting the region in acknowledging these significant encounters.”
“The Government has already committed $3.5 million towards the New Zealand-wide First Encounters 250 voyage through its major events fund and is planning a flotilla, including James Cook’s Endeavour replica, to visit Gisborne and the other landing sites as part of the commemorative programme,” Ms Barry says.
The Ministers also welcomed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Activate Tairāwhiti and Air New Zealand which sets out an agreement to combine resources to grow Gisborne’s tourism strategy and increase Air New Zealand’s Gisborne seat sales, maintaining flight services for local businesses and residents.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges has announced that the Government will work with local stakeholders to identify and prioritise transport initiatives to help boost economic growth in Gisborne.
The announcement was made at the release of the Tairāwhiti Economic Action Plan in Gisborne today.
“The Integrated Transport Priority Plan will provide an opportunity for the region to help shape the transport network and find solutions to meet the needs of local customers, businesses, such as the forestry sector, and tourists,” says Mr Bridges.
“Roads are a lifeline for the region’s community and there is a strong focus on getting products to market, especially through Eastland Port. Primary industries in general, and the forestry sector in particular, are significant contributors to the local economy. The priority plan will centre on their needs,” says Mr Bridges.
Led by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), in conjunction with council, iwi and other stakeholders, the study will ensure that robust analysis of transport options results in a plan that can enable and support the region’s economic growth initiatives.
The Priority Plan will provide key stakeholders the opportunity to identify and analyse options across the transport network. It is scheduled to be completed by December 2017.
In the meantime, the Government will fund a $1.5 million package of tourism-related roading projects on the East Coast. These are projects that are able to get underway soon. These are:An upgrade of existing rest area facilities and the construction of up to five new facilities along the 320km State Highway 35, which stretches from Gisborne, around the East Coast and down to Opotiki. Funding to replace the Horoera Bridge leading to the historic East Cape Lighthouse. Funding for a 7km link between the State Highway 2 Rere Falls Heartland Ride and the Motu Great Ride.
Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges, Associate Primary Industries Minister Louise Upston and other Ministers are in Gisborne today for the release of the Tairāwhiti Economic Action Plan, highlighting the Government’s support for the region.
The plan has been developed by Tairāwhiti people for the community and represents a shared investment in the future. The plan’s development was led by the Tairāwhiti Action Plan Governance Group and is supported through the Government’s Regional Growth Programme.
It articulates opportunities identified by the region and represents their priorities for the next five years.
“Growing Tairāwhiti tourism to attract more visitors, upgrading state highways, improving digital connection, and growing skills so that businesses are better supported by the labour force are all actions identified by the region as needed in order to grow and thrive,” says Mr Bridges.
It is linked to, and has been launched alongside, the Tairāwhiti Māori Economic Development Report which focuses on a Māori economic perspective.
“The dual launch demonstrates the desire for a regional approach to economic development and to recognise that Māori have a critical role to play in boosting economic growth,” says Mr Bridges.
Tairāwhiti is a small economy underpinned by an export-focused agriculture sector.
“The East Coast has a comparative advantage and is internationally competitive in the primary sectors including forestry, beef and lamb, horticulture and viticulture,” Ms Upston says.
“25 per cent of regional GDP and 26 per cent of employment is in the primary sectors and through the Action Plan we will stimulate sustainable primary industry growth to create more jobs and improved environmental performance,” Ms Upston says.
Regional economic development is a key government priority and is supported by the Regional Growth Programme.
The programme is co-led by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, and the Ministry of Primary Industries, with other government agencies, to increase jobs, income and investment in regional New Zealand.
More information can be found at http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/regions-cities/regional-growth-programme/gisborne-tairawhiti
Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith today announced $2 million funding for a wood-processing facility which uses automation and robotics to turn low-value pine trees into high-value wood products.
This is just one of the local initiatives announced at the release of the Tairāwhiti Economic Action Plan in Gisborne.
“Forestry is a major employer in the region and this funding accelerates research and development in this sector. This technology from Wood Engineering Technology Ltd ensures that even low value ‘pulp’ logs, or forestry blocks on remote sites, can become economically viable,” says Mr Bridges.
WET Gisborne Ltd, a joint venture between Wood Engineering Technology Ltd and the Eastland Community Trust, is building a $9 million prototype plant, where this technology is being developed.
It is expected that there will be three plants on the initial site creating 120 highly skilled jobs, and see potential opportunity in opening further plants in the more remote locations of Eastland.
“The processing plant is being partly funded through a Callaghan Innovation growth grant and demonstrates how innovative technology can improve productivity and profitability,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“Delivering commercialised technology to market is a core part of Callaghan Innovation’s mandate, so it is pleasing to see the Gisborne region benefitting directly from the government’s investment in research and development through growth grants.”
The Government will invest up to $1.7 million over five years into the mountain biking Crankworx Festival and Enduro World Series in Rotorua, Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges has announced.
Crankworx, the world’s biggest mountain bike festival, will be held in Rotorua from 25 March to 2 April this year. It has previously been hosted in Whistler and the French Alps.
“Crankworx provides a fantastic opportunity to showcase the Bay of Plenty as one of the best mountain biking venues in the world, attracting the world’s best pro-athletes. This event is expected to inject millions into the Rotorua economy and lead to wider economic benefits for New Zealand economy as a whole,” Mr Bridges says.
The Government also invested $420,000 in the 2015 and 2016 Crankworx events. After a successful first and second year, it is expanding to a nine-day festival this year.
“The economic and tourism benefits this event brings to Rotorua and New Zealand are significant. In 2016, the festival contributed $8 million to the Rotorua economy and 6.1 million viewers watched the event on television and online,” Mr Bridges says.
Last year the event attracted 1300 international visitors and this year it’s expected to increase to around 1735, rising to more than 2000 by 2021.
“Continuing to invest in this event ensures it not only continues but also provides new initiatives, including marketing the event in Australia, the United States and Canada and bringing new international visitors to New Zealand during the shoulder season,” Mr Bridges.
“It will also allow the trade and expo show to expand to a wider variety of products and businesses.
“I would particularly like to acknowledge the local MP, Hon Todd McClay, for his ongoing advocacy and strong backing of this event for Rotorua.”
The Government’s investment comes from the Major Events Development Fund which supports major events that generate significant immediate and long-term benefits to New Zealand.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges today opened a new section of State Highway 3 north of Normanby that will improve both capacity and safety on a critically important route for the Taranaki region.
The $17.6 million project was identified as a priority in the 2012-2015 Regional Land Transport Programme for Taranaki.
It was also included in the Government’s Accelerated Regional Roading Package which makes significant funding available to a number of regionally important State Highway projects.
“The local community has campaigned passionately for much-needed safety upgrades to this section of road which has a long history of serious accidents. I’m very pleased that the Government has been able to deliver these improvements, reducing the risk of crashes and making the route safer, more resilient, and more efficient for all road users,’ says Mr Bridges.
“State Highway 3 is a busy commuter and freight route, but the previous alignment included some sharp curves and an old overbridge that increased the risk for motorists travelling through the area. By removing the bridge and curves and widening the shoulders of the road we’ve made it a shorter, safer route.
“This project, alongside the $135 million being invested in the Mt Messenger and Awakino Tunnel bypass projects, also being delivered under the Accelerated Regional Roading Package, demonstrates the Government’s ongoing commitment to investing in Taranaki’s transport development and economic growth.
“I would also like to acknowledge the local MPs, Hon Chester Borrows and Jonathan Young, who have advocated strongly on behalf of the community for these important projects,” says Mr Bridges.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges turned the first sod for the $1.98 million Te Tuaiwi cycleway at Whanganui Intermediate School today.
“Te Tuaiwi will connect existing cycleways to provide safer access to the centre of the city and allow the 3,500 students living within 500m of the route to cycle to school in the morning,” Mr Bridges.
The Minister also opened a section of the City to North Mole cycleway, a part of the scenic Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail, will provide a riverside link to the city centre for the 11,000 residents of Gonville, Tawhero and Castlecliff.
“The City to North Mole path will offer an attractive commuting option that will revitalise and improve the liveability of the central city, while providing greater access to areas like Bedford Avenue,” says Mr Bridges.
The first section of the $1.29 million City to North Mole Shared Path leads from the City Bridge to Bedford Avenue, well known as an artistic hub for the city.
“When completed, these two paths will contribute to a safer, more connected cycle network for Whanganui, giving people greater access to their homes, schools, and workplaces,” says Mr Bridges.
Both projects were jointly funded by the Whanganui District Council and the Government through the Urban Cycleways Programme.
Through this programme, central and local government are working together to deliver $333 million of new cycleway projects nationwide by June 2018, the single biggest investment in cycling in New Zealand’s history.
New Zealand will join Australia in a world-leading satellite technology test-bed, Transport Minister Simon Bridges announced in Queenstown today.
The New Zealand and Australian Governments will be partners in a two-year trial of Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS), and an associated programme of trials.
SBAS is expected to improve air navigation, smartphone-based services, asset management and precision agriculture, and is expected to be needed for the deployment of connected and autonomous vehicles.
“This is a world-leading trial that will allow us to investigate how New Zealand might benefit from the added precision SBAS adds to current and future global navigation satellite systems such as the widely used Global Positioning System (GPS),” Mr Bridges says.
“Essentially, SBAS is expected to help ready us for technologies that need more precise and reliable positioning data.
“While current GPS locations are accurate to within 5 to 10 metres, the SBAS test-bed could improve positioning to within as little as 10 centimetres. This means that a vehicle will recognise the road it is travelling on, but also which lane it is in, and its distance from surrounding objects.
“The test-bed and trials will be the first in the world to utilise next-generation SBAS technology, putting Australasia ahead of other parts of the world, and showing again why New Zealand is an ideal place to test new technologies.”
The New Zealand Government will contribute A$2 million towards the test-bed and trial programme.
The SBAS test-bed will contribute to the initial work programme of the Australia – New Zealand Science, Research and Innovation Cooperation Agreement signed in Queenstown today.
Minister for Economic Development Simon Bridges has welcomed the announcement today of the first confirmed bookings for the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC).
“This will be a fantastic new facility for New Zealand, and it’s great to see it’s already attracting international conferences,” says Mr Bridges.
“When completed the NZICC is projected to inject $90 million dollars into Auckland’s economy annually and the city is already benefiting. To date over 1280 people have worked on the project.
“Today’s announcement is confirmation that New Zealand’s proven track record of hosting high quality international events makes us an attractive place for significant international conferences. Up until now our capacity to do so has been limited by the size of our facilities, with NZICC that’s changing.”
Two ophthalmology conferences held by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, in conjunction with the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness will see thousands of eye care professionals and researchers from around the world come to Auckland.
“Initial estimates from Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development indicate the conferences will provide 15,000 room nights and some $11 million in economic benefit to the city,” says Mr Bridges.
“This doesn’t include any gains from conference attendees who decide to stay on and explore other parts of New Zealand.”
Mr Bridges says Tourism New Zealand, the Auckland Convention Bureau and the New Zealand International Convention Centre put together impressive bids, competing against other countries to bring the conferences to Auckland.
“All in all, these first bookings are great news for the Auckland and New Zealand economies and shows the promise of NZICC for the future.”
Transport Minister Simon Bridges today opened the $630 million Mackays to Peka Peka Expressway, delivering a long awaited road to the Wellington region.
The Expressway is part of the Wellington Northern Corridor, one of the Government’s Roads of National Significance, identified as key to economic growth.
The 18km four-lane expressway stretches along the Kāpiti Coast, and includes 18 bridges and 16km of walking and cycle ways.
“This impressive piece of infrastructure has been a long time coming and after three years of construction, it’s fantastic to be delivering it four months ahead of the original scheduled completion date,” Mr Bridges says.
“It has been an important project for the Kapiti and wider Wellington region, with more than $200 million contributed to the local economy through employment of local businesses and more than 5000 people having worked on the project.”
Mr Bridges says the project will deliver a range of benefits including shorter and more reliable travel times and significant safety improvements.
“Improved journey times to Wellington's port, CBD, interisland ferry terminals, airport and hospital will benefit the wider region.
“We know that transport is an enabler of economic activity so we need to continue unlocking key congestion points to get people and freight moving swiftly around the country.
“The Expressway also delivers a second, more resilient road network north of Wellington, an important feature in the wake of recent geological events.
“I’d like to acknowledge everyone who has been involved in the build including the Transport Agency, the contractors, local MP Nathan Guy, who has advocated for this road strenuously over time, as well as former Transport Ministers Gerry Brownlee and Steven Joyce who have been integral to its progression.”
The official opening will be followed by the Kāpiti Coast ExpressDay, a community event this Saturday to give the community a chance to experience the Expressway before it opens to traffic in the next two weeks.