Regional business action plan moving ahead

A 54-point plan launched in February has goal of attracting $68.6m of capital investment into Gisborne.

A 54-point plan launched in February has goal of attracting $68.6m of capital investment into Gisborne.

File picture

INITIAL moves to enact a regional action plan aiming to boost the economy are expected to be in place by the end of the month.

The 54-point plan was launched at the end of February, with the intention of attracting $68.6m of capital investment into Gisborne, 15 percent of which would come from the Crown.

Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges had previously said that more funding could be expected upon the completion of a new integrated transport plan for the region.

“One month since the launch, the priority is to recruit a programme manager and to confirm the membership of the governance group which will oversee the implementation of the plan,” Mr Bridges said yesterday.

“A number of the projects are in the process of finalising proposals so that funding and governance arrangements can be confirmed.

“To date, the Government has committed to making up to $10.3 million available. It’s a five year plan so many of the actions are at feasibility or concept phase and those initiatives may receive further government investment in the future.

“Most actions also already contain substantial private sector investment, including commitments from regional organisations, such as the Eastland Community Trust, Gisborne District Council, and Activate Tairawhiti. An example of this is the support for Wood Engineering Technology development, which has significant private investment.”

Integrated Transport Plan

The Integrated Transport Plan would be delivered by December but plans were already in motion to complete three separate transport projects across the region.

Those projects would be an upgrade of existing rest area facilities and the construction of up to five new facilities along State Highway 35, funding to seal the East Cape Road and replace the Horoera Bridge leading to the historic East Cape Lighthouse, and money for a 7km link between the State Highway 2 Rere Falls Heartland Ride and the Motu Great Ride.

Mr Bridges confirmed that the Crown would fully fund the three projects, worth a combined $1.5m.

“The NZTA is developing its project plans and scope for the three transport projects. Project start dates are not yet confirmed, however we expect to have project teams and plans in place by the end of April 2017.

“We expect that all three projects will be completed by the end of June 2018, subject to potential consent requirements.”

Mr Bridges said it was intended that the plan be driven by the region.

Programme manager in place soon

Activate Tairawhiti, the regional economic development agency said it would work to get a programme manger in place as soon as practical.

Activate Tairawhiti chief executive Steve Breen said that would strengthen coordination with government and to confirm a meeting date for the Governance Group.

“With the plan launched the immediate focus is on delivering those projects receiving government funding. In particular Minister Flavell’s support for Maori Tourism is timely given the new approach to regional tourism development about to be launched soon.

“Transport is a key area, and the recently released NZIER report ‘Contribution of Forestry to New Zealand’ emphasises the importance of upgrading SH35 connecting routes. This is a key Action of the Plan, which reflects our regional priorities, and therefore will be included in the Integrated Transport Plan when it is delivered in December 2017 so planning for that action can start now.”

Mr Breen said the governance group was led by business and reflected the partnership between business, Maori, central and local government and a shared commitment to ensure Tairāwhiti thrived.

“A key action in the Plan is the investment in our digital infrastructure. This digital connectivity and our Air NZ flight services are the key assets we have to counter our physical isolation and retain and attract talent to our region.

“Other actions are being worked on and more information can be expected as they are brought forward.”

INITIAL moves to enact a regional action plan aiming to boost the economy are expected to be in place by the end of the month.

The 54-point plan was launched at the end of February, with the intention of attracting $68.6m of capital investment into Gisborne, 15 percent of which would come from the Crown.

Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges had previously said that more funding could be expected upon the completion of a new integrated transport plan for the region.

“One month since the launch, the priority is to recruit a programme manager and to confirm the membership of the governance group which will oversee the implementation of the plan,” Mr Bridges said yesterday.

“A number of the projects are in the process of finalising proposals so that funding and governance arrangements can be confirmed.

“To date, the Government has committed to making up to $10.3 million available. It’s a five year plan so many of the actions are at feasibility or concept phase and those initiatives may receive further government investment in the future.

“Most actions also already contain substantial private sector investment, including commitments from regional organisations, such as the Eastland Community Trust, Gisborne District Council, and Activate Tairawhiti. An example of this is the support for Wood Engineering Technology development, which has significant private investment.”

Integrated Transport Plan

The Integrated Transport Plan would be delivered by December but plans were already in motion to complete three separate transport projects across the region.

Those projects would be an upgrade of existing rest area facilities and the construction of up to five new facilities along State Highway 35, funding to seal the East Cape Road and replace the Horoera Bridge leading to the historic East Cape Lighthouse, and money for a 7km link between the State Highway 2 Rere Falls Heartland Ride and the Motu Great Ride.

Mr Bridges confirmed that the Crown would fully fund the three projects, worth a combined $1.5m.

“The NZTA is developing its project plans and scope for the three transport projects. Project start dates are not yet confirmed, however we expect to have project teams and plans in place by the end of April 2017.

“We expect that all three projects will be completed by the end of June 2018, subject to potential consent requirements.”

Mr Bridges said it was intended that the plan be driven by the region.

Programme manager in place soon

Activate Tairawhiti, the regional economic development agency said it would work to get a programme manger in place as soon as practical.

Activate Tairawhiti chief executive Steve Breen said that would strengthen coordination with government and to confirm a meeting date for the Governance Group.

“With the plan launched the immediate focus is on delivering those projects receiving government funding. In particular Minister Flavell’s support for Maori Tourism is timely given the new approach to regional tourism development about to be launched soon.

“Transport is a key area, and the recently released NZIER report ‘Contribution of Forestry to New Zealand’ emphasises the importance of upgrading SH35 connecting routes. This is a key Action of the Plan, which reflects our regional priorities, and therefore will be included in the Integrated Transport Plan when it is delivered in December 2017 so planning for that action can start now.”

Mr Breen said the governance group was led by business and reflected the partnership between business, Maori, central and local government and a shared commitment to ensure Tairāwhiti thrived.

“A key action in the Plan is the investment in our digital infrastructure. This digital connectivity and our Air NZ flight services are the key assets we have to counter our physical isolation and retain and attract talent to our region.

“Other actions are being worked on and more information can be expected as they are brought forward.”

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