Gisborne in focus for regional strategy

File picture by Liam Clayton

THE Government’s Tuawhenua Provincial Growth Fund will be launched in Gisborne on February 23, catapulting Gisborne to the centre of the Government’s regional development strategy.

Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP and Cabinet minister Meka Whaitiri will also hold a Taste of Te Tairawhiti hui in Wellington on February 27 and has invited Gisborne “movers and shakers” and Cabinet ministers to attend.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones, Ms Whaitiri and other ministers will also meet with Juken New Zealand in Wellington tomorrow.

Ms Whaitiri, the Customs Minister, spoke of the meeting when asked about Labour’s election policy of spending up to $20 million in a joint venture timber prefabrication plant in Gisborne.

Building the Gisborne timber fabrication plant was Labour policy, she said.

“Minister Jones (New Zealand First) has been made aware that we have made commitments to this region,” she said.

The meeting was more around Juken New Zealand.

“Remember Juken New Zealand have got plants around the country. They have told us they are keen to keep wood processing in New Zealand. So, it is how we do that.

“That's what Wednesday’s meeting is about.”

The Tuawhenua Provincial Growth Fund launch is derived from the coalition Government’s agreed policy of having a $1 billion per annum regional development (provincial growth) fund.

100 million trees

The fund covers the capital cost of planting 100 million trees a year (and also includes significant investment in
regional rail and commissioning a feasibility study of options for moving the Ports of Auckland).

Mr Jones will launch the fund in Gisborne.

“It is high on Mr Peters’ agenda,’’ Ms Whaitiri said.

There were regions that had been neglected and would be prioritised.

“It is advantageous for Tairawhiti, as Minister Jones has identified Tairawhiti and Northland as those areas.

“I welcome the attention and commitment from the minister.’”

The launch would ensure land owners would get information in a timely manner if they wished to participate.

Mrs Whaitiri said forestry had been neglected under the previous government, and provincial New Zealand was more diverse than the dairy sector.

At a time after the launch, yet to be determined, Ms Whaitiri and Mr Jones will travel on an East Coast (and Matawai) roadshow to speak to those unable to attend the launch. Ms Whaitiri said Mr Jones was committed to the roadshow.

Surplus land

The policy was an option for land owners if they had surplus land or land unsuitable for farming.

“We are just putting ourselves out there.”

There are also hopes that Health Minister David Clark will visit the district.

Ms Whaitiri said her Taste of Te Tairawhiti hui would allow senior cabinet ministers and/or their senior advisers to attend the presentation on the region.

Issues such as youth unemployment, poverty, homelessness and health are on the agenda while the opportunities in Tairawhiti will also be discussed.

Regional leaders such as Gisborne District Council, Activate Tairawhiti, Eastland Community Trust, Hauora Tairawhiti, police, the two runanga, and community organisations such as Ka Pai Kaiti have been invited.

“It’s an opportunity to sell the Tairawhiti story to the new Government,’’ Ms Whaitiri said.

“Very few regions get this opportunity.”

But the commitment to Tairawhiti would not end with the hui.

“I’m pretty sure you will see Cabinet ministers rolling into Gisborne and the East Coast,” she said.

THE Government’s Tuawhenua Provincial Growth Fund will be launched in Gisborne on February 23, catapulting Gisborne to the centre of the Government’s regional development strategy.

Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP and Cabinet minister Meka Whaitiri will also hold a Taste of Te Tairawhiti hui in Wellington on February 27 and has invited Gisborne “movers and shakers” and Cabinet ministers to attend.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones, Ms Whaitiri and other ministers will also meet with Juken New Zealand in Wellington tomorrow.

Ms Whaitiri, the Customs Minister, spoke of the meeting when asked about Labour’s election policy of spending up to $20 million in a joint venture timber prefabrication plant in Gisborne.

Building the Gisborne timber fabrication plant was Labour policy, she said.

“Minister Jones (New Zealand First) has been made aware that we have made commitments to this region,” she said.

The meeting was more around Juken New Zealand.

“Remember Juken New Zealand have got plants around the country. They have told us they are keen to keep wood processing in New Zealand. So, it is how we do that.

“That's what Wednesday’s meeting is about.”

The Tuawhenua Provincial Growth Fund launch is derived from the coalition Government’s agreed policy of having a $1 billion per annum regional development (provincial growth) fund.

100 million trees

The fund covers the capital cost of planting 100 million trees a year (and also includes significant investment in
regional rail and commissioning a feasibility study of options for moving the Ports of Auckland).

Mr Jones will launch the fund in Gisborne.

“It is high on Mr Peters’ agenda,’’ Ms Whaitiri said.

There were regions that had been neglected and would be prioritised.

“It is advantageous for Tairawhiti, as Minister Jones has identified Tairawhiti and Northland as those areas.

“I welcome the attention and commitment from the minister.’”

The launch would ensure land owners would get information in a timely manner if they wished to participate.

Mrs Whaitiri said forestry had been neglected under the previous government, and provincial New Zealand was more diverse than the dairy sector.

At a time after the launch, yet to be determined, Ms Whaitiri and Mr Jones will travel on an East Coast (and Matawai) roadshow to speak to those unable to attend the launch. Ms Whaitiri said Mr Jones was committed to the roadshow.

Surplus land

The policy was an option for land owners if they had surplus land or land unsuitable for farming.

“We are just putting ourselves out there.”

There are also hopes that Health Minister David Clark will visit the district.

Ms Whaitiri said her Taste of Te Tairawhiti hui would allow senior cabinet ministers and/or their senior advisers to attend the presentation on the region.

Issues such as youth unemployment, poverty, homelessness and health are on the agenda while the opportunities in Tairawhiti will also be discussed.

Regional leaders such as Gisborne District Council, Activate Tairawhiti, Eastland Community Trust, Hauora Tairawhiti, police, the two runanga, and community organisations such as Ka Pai Kaiti have been invited.

“It’s an opportunity to sell the Tairawhiti story to the new Government,’’ Ms Whaitiri said.

“Very few regions get this opportunity.”

But the commitment to Tairawhiti would not end with the hui.

“I’m pretty sure you will see Cabinet ministers rolling into Gisborne and the East Coast,” she said.

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Linda Patricia, Wairoa - 9 months ago
The last thing we need is more Radiata pine.
They blacken the landscape, they are a noxious weed; they destroy rivers and streams, the leftovers washed into waterways creating slips, for example contributing to the slips that took out the Gisborne rail line. The company owners seem to take no responsibility.
The many Indian-origin labourers send their wages home, as do the corporate owners.
The worst-grade timber is sold to Kiwis at a premium and the best is sold offshore.
We need to look at long-term planting of eucalyptus that is rot-proof and does not require toxic copper naphthanide treatment plants billowing out their gasses, i e at Napier on State H/way 2.
The East Coast is one of the last havens of the natural beauty that tourists love. They don't come to look at ugly, dark pine forests.

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