Labour pledges $20m to a prefab factory

'One of the biggest strengths of the Gisborne region’s economy is timber . . .'

'One of the biggest strengths of the Gisborne region’s economy is timber . . .'

File photo by Liam Clayton

THE LABOUR Party has pledged up to $20 million to help develop a factory for prefabricated building materials and associated infrastructure in Gisborne, if elected this year. The stimulus package would come from a $200m regional development package and match dollar-for-dollar investment from businesses and local economic development agencies.

Labour leader Andrew Little made the announcement this morning at a public meeting at the Gisborne Wine Centre.

“One of the biggest strengths of the Gisborne region’s economy is timber, yet too many logs are being shipped straight offshore without jobs and value being created for locals. There is a definite need for a prefabrication plant in Gisborne, and a Labour Government would get in behind local aspirations to develop value-added solutions in the wood processing industry.

“This funding could be used for construction of the plant, investment in necessary infrastructure upgrades to support it, or supporting sawmilling technology to help provide the lumber. Labour’s plan for Gisborne will add value to the timber being produced in the region, create dozens of jobs directly and provide a catalyst for further investment in the wider local economy. What is important is that this investment underpins local aspirations.”

The factory would transform raw logs into building timber and framing to build houses for New Zealand, and infrastructure could include upgrades to the district’s transport systems. It would complement the existing Wood Engineering Technology plant constructed on the Prime Sawmill site by Eastland Community Trust, which this week launched a national search for a mill operator.

THE LABOUR Party has pledged up to $20 million to help develop a factory for prefabricated building materials and associated infrastructure in Gisborne, if elected this year. The stimulus package would come from a $200m regional development package and match dollar-for-dollar investment from businesses and local economic development agencies.

Labour leader Andrew Little made the announcement this morning at a public meeting at the Gisborne Wine Centre.

“One of the biggest strengths of the Gisborne region’s economy is timber, yet too many logs are being shipped straight offshore without jobs and value being created for locals. There is a definite need for a prefabrication plant in Gisborne, and a Labour Government would get in behind local aspirations to develop value-added solutions in the wood processing industry.

“This funding could be used for construction of the plant, investment in necessary infrastructure upgrades to support it, or supporting sawmilling technology to help provide the lumber. Labour’s plan for Gisborne will add value to the timber being produced in the region, create dozens of jobs directly and provide a catalyst for further investment in the wider local economy. What is important is that this investment underpins local aspirations.”

The factory would transform raw logs into building timber and framing to build houses for New Zealand, and infrastructure could include upgrades to the district’s transport systems. It would complement the existing Wood Engineering Technology plant constructed on the Prime Sawmill site by Eastland Community Trust, which this week launched a national search for a mill operator.

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Mary-Ann de Kort - 1 month ago
I'm so happy to see that at least one major political party has a plan to create jobs and stimulate the local economy in Gisborne. Imagine the flow-on effects for our town if there are people with money in their pockets? Job creation will flow on to more jobs. I'm also happy to see that this well-thought-out plan will result in NZ benefiting from the added value of our precious raw logs rather than an overseas corporate.
It's senseless to send raw products such as logs, milk powder, mussels etc overseas and then to import the finished product when it can all be done here.
It's time we forgot about profit for individual companies, many of which are owned overseas, and looked at the big picture for our benefit.
I've long been concerned that our fertile soil and moderate climate and rainfall have seen us becoming a food basket and raw product source for parts of the world which are unable to provide these for themselves.
We need to grow NZ for New Zealanders, not to export profits.

Kim Baker - 1 month ago
Great idea. I'm interested in how the finished product is going to be shipped out of the region. That's disingenuous of me. There is no other option than road. More trucks on unstable roads.

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