$153 million boost

‘Game-changer for the region’.

‘Game-changer for the region’.

Today is historic for Gisborne, with an injection of $152.7 million in Government funding announced.

Never before has the district been handed as much money. It equates to $3400 a person.

Gisborne District Council chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann calls it a “game-changer” for the region.

The $152.7 million investment package is a partnership with the region for opportunities to develop jobs, transport and business.

The biggest chunk of money is $137 million to improve the roading network.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in Gisborne today, alongside Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones, to announce funding from the Provincial Growth Fund.

The a package of funding would help boost the economy, create jobs and enhance tourism opportunities, she said.

“Tairawhiti offers a unique quality of life combined with genuine business and economic opportunities. However, it faces significant infrastructure challenges, high unemployment and lower productivity.

“That’s why the Government is investing $152.7 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to ensure Tairawhiti reaches its potential.”

Projects announced today include investments of:

• $137 million to unlock Tairawhiti’s economic potential through stronger, safer and more resilient transport connections.

• $801,000 for forestry projects that provide jobs and training opportunities for young people.

• $13.3 million for tourism projects to attract more visitors to the region.

• over $1 million for projects in the food and beverage sector.

“The projects funded through today’s announcement reflect the priorities of the Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan, which emphasise the need to connect people and markets and support businesses to thrive,” she said.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said the roading investment of up to $137 million was to help unlock economic potential through stronger, safer and more resilient transport connections.

The National Land Transport Programme is also investing $232 million in Tairawhiti, meaning the total investment in the land transport network is expected to be $369 million.

“The road network in Tairawhiti has suffered from historical under-investment and recurring extreme weather events,” Shane Jones says.

“The purpose of the PGF is to accelerate regional development, increase regional productivity and contribute to more, better-paying jobs. I’m confident that today’s announcement will achieve each and every one of these goals,” he said.

The Tairawhiti Roading Package consists of four components — a two-year physical works programme totalling $33.90 million, funding support for emergency repairs up to $4.80 million, delivery of a five-year pipeline consisting of $3.90 million for investigations, and up to $108 million for implementation (totalling $112.00 million), with construction scheduled to start at year three (2020/21) and resource support up to $1 million.

Mrs Thatcher Swann said the roading network would undergo a major transformation.

“It also safeguards business and visitor access to our region. We depend on our state highways for the safe and efficient movement of the vast bulk of our horticultural and agricultural products to markets nationally and abroad. The economic importance of land transport cannot be overstated,” she says.

Kaiti Hill is set for an upgrade with today’s announcement of $6.1 million for it.

The investment will fund the Titirangi summit upgrade, which includes a visitor facility and carpark redevelopment. This is a significant project that reflects the dual heritage of Maori and European in the region.

“The PGF funding will help to increase productivity and tourism opportunities in Tairawhiti by showcasing and celebrating the unique culture and navigational heritage of the region,” Mr Jones said.

“The Titirangi – Puhi Kai Iti Connection project will recognise important tupuna, such as Te Maro of Ngati Oneone, who made a significant contribution to their people and are important to the Tairawhiti region and to the greater story of Aotearoa New Zealand.

“It is the pinnacle of three Tairiwhiti Navigation Programmes supported by the PGF, which together have the potential to contribute around 44 jobs to the region.

“The programme aims to bring together the voyaging, arrival and settlement histories from two cultures, and provide a world-class heritage experience at key sites based around the Gisborne Inner Harbour,” he said.

Other projects included in the Tairawhiti Navigations Programme are the Gisborne inner harbour improvements and the Cook Landing Site restoration, which has also received $1.6 million from the PGF.

The Mt Titirangi – Puhi Kai Iti Connection is expected to be delivered in time for the 250-year commemoration events in October 2019.

The redevelopment of Gisborne’s airport is up for a $5.5m boost, which will be administered as a loan.

The total cost of the redevelopment is $12.5 million and it will be co-funded by the PGF, Eastland Group Ltd and Eastland Community Trust.

“The redevelopment will ensure the airport terminal reflects the unique cultural aspects of Tairawhiti, closely linking with the region’s navigations- themed tourism initiative. With the 2019 sestercentennial celebrations to be hosted by the region, the project will cater to expected demand, as well as help tell the story of the region.

Also announced today was a $500,000 investment from the PGF in the Far East Saw Mill to increase wood processing capacity and get local people into jobs.

The total cost to recommission the mill is just over $3.6 million, with the rest of the funding coming from Eastland Community Trust and Far East Saw Mill Limited.

“Only 4 percent of raw logs are milled in Tairawhiti, but there is potential for that to increase by up to 25 percent, which will add an estimated $120 million annually to the region,” Mr Jones said.

“Funding will also help speed up the mill’s production capacity, which is only operating at 10 percent, while also returning 50 jobs to the local economy.

“This will lead to higher-value forestry products produced and more money going back into the community via pay packets for local workers,” Mr Jones said.

Far East Saw Mill is part of the Wood Processing Centre of Excellence, which aims to be a hub for wood processing, wood products, marketing and distribution, and training and research.

The Provincial Growth Fund will provide just over $300,000 to pilot a forestry training course as a solution to the growing forestry skills shortage.

The full cost of the pilot is $840,000, with additional funding coming from Eastland Community Trust, the Forest Growers Levy Trust and Eastern Institute of Technology.

“Forestry is a key sector, but there simply aren’t enough skilled workers in the region to do the work.

“The ManaiaSAFE Forestry School pilot course funded through today’s announcement will reduce the current skills shortage by preparing individuals with the right skills needed to be successful and make forestry their career of choice.

“The forestry training pilot has the potential to provide real benefits to the Tairawhiti region through skills training and employment for our rangitahi, while contributing to the goals of the one billion trees programme.

“If successful, the pilot could also form the basis for similar training courses in other parts of the country where there are forestry skills shortages,” he said.

Snapshot of the funding

  • Tairawhiti Roading Package

Package of upgrades to the roading network across the Gisborne region — up to $137m.

  • Mt Titirangi - Puhi Kai Iti Connection To build ‘Titirangi - Puhi Kai iti’ landscape and facilities, including a new wananga and a bridge, other facilities at the Cook Landing Site — up to $6.1m.
  • Gisborne Airport

Redevelopment of the Gisborne Airport terminal building and supporting infrastructure — $5.5m.

  • Cook Landing Restoration Restoration of the Cook Landing Site National Historic Reserve — $1.6m.
  • New Zealand Macadamia Industry Development Project

Growing macadamia on Maori land for export — $995,000

  • Tairawhiti Rail Feasibility Study Feasibility study for a rail tourism venture, including an extended Gisborne-Napier rail cycleway, and use of the Wairoa to Gisborne line for freight purposes (joint study) — up to $600,000.
  • Far East Sawmill

To recommission and improve a Gisborne mill site — $500,000.

  • Manaia Forestry Skills Training. Feasibility study to establish a ManaiaSAFE Forestry School— $301,000.
  • Regional Action Plan Programme Manager Co-ordinating effort in order to accelerate the region’s growth — $90,000.
  • Tairawhiti Honey Strategy

Development of a Tairawhiti Manuka Honey strategy — $40,000.

  • Water and Waste Management

Application for a feasibility study on a water recycling plant and waste management initiative — $30,000.

Today is historic for Gisborne, with an injection of $152.7 million in Government funding announced.

Never before has the district been handed as much money. It equates to $3400 a person.

Gisborne District Council chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann calls it a “game-changer” for the region.

The $152.7 million investment package is a partnership with the region for opportunities to develop jobs, transport and business.

The biggest chunk of money is $137 million to improve the roading network.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in Gisborne today, alongside Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones, to announce funding from the Provincial Growth Fund.

The a package of funding would help boost the economy, create jobs and enhance tourism opportunities, she said.

“Tairawhiti offers a unique quality of life combined with genuine business and economic opportunities. However, it faces significant infrastructure challenges, high unemployment and lower productivity.

“That’s why the Government is investing $152.7 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to ensure Tairawhiti reaches its potential.”

Projects announced today include investments of:

• $137 million to unlock Tairawhiti’s economic potential through stronger, safer and more resilient transport connections.

• $801,000 for forestry projects that provide jobs and training opportunities for young people.

• $13.3 million for tourism projects to attract more visitors to the region.

• over $1 million for projects in the food and beverage sector.

“The projects funded through today’s announcement reflect the priorities of the Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan, which emphasise the need to connect people and markets and support businesses to thrive,” she said.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said the roading investment of up to $137 million was to help unlock economic potential through stronger, safer and more resilient transport connections.

The National Land Transport Programme is also investing $232 million in Tairawhiti, meaning the total investment in the land transport network is expected to be $369 million.

“The road network in Tairawhiti has suffered from historical under-investment and recurring extreme weather events,” Shane Jones says.

“The purpose of the PGF is to accelerate regional development, increase regional productivity and contribute to more, better-paying jobs. I’m confident that today’s announcement will achieve each and every one of these goals,” he said.

The Tairawhiti Roading Package consists of four components — a two-year physical works programme totalling $33.90 million, funding support for emergency repairs up to $4.80 million, delivery of a five-year pipeline consisting of $3.90 million for investigations, and up to $108 million for implementation (totalling $112.00 million), with construction scheduled to start at year three (2020/21) and resource support up to $1 million.

Mrs Thatcher Swann said the roading network would undergo a major transformation.

“It also safeguards business and visitor access to our region. We depend on our state highways for the safe and efficient movement of the vast bulk of our horticultural and agricultural products to markets nationally and abroad. The economic importance of land transport cannot be overstated,” she says.

Kaiti Hill is set for an upgrade with today’s announcement of $6.1 million for it.

The investment will fund the Titirangi summit upgrade, which includes a visitor facility and carpark redevelopment. This is a significant project that reflects the dual heritage of Maori and European in the region.

“The PGF funding will help to increase productivity and tourism opportunities in Tairawhiti by showcasing and celebrating the unique culture and navigational heritage of the region,” Mr Jones said.

“The Titirangi – Puhi Kai Iti Connection project will recognise important tupuna, such as Te Maro of Ngati Oneone, who made a significant contribution to their people and are important to the Tairawhiti region and to the greater story of Aotearoa New Zealand.

“It is the pinnacle of three Tairiwhiti Navigation Programmes supported by the PGF, which together have the potential to contribute around 44 jobs to the region.

“The programme aims to bring together the voyaging, arrival and settlement histories from two cultures, and provide a world-class heritage experience at key sites based around the Gisborne Inner Harbour,” he said.

Other projects included in the Tairawhiti Navigations Programme are the Gisborne inner harbour improvements and the Cook Landing Site restoration, which has also received $1.6 million from the PGF.

The Mt Titirangi – Puhi Kai Iti Connection is expected to be delivered in time for the 250-year commemoration events in October 2019.

The redevelopment of Gisborne’s airport is up for a $5.5m boost, which will be administered as a loan.

The total cost of the redevelopment is $12.5 million and it will be co-funded by the PGF, Eastland Group Ltd and Eastland Community Trust.

“The redevelopment will ensure the airport terminal reflects the unique cultural aspects of Tairawhiti, closely linking with the region’s navigations- themed tourism initiative. With the 2019 sestercentennial celebrations to be hosted by the region, the project will cater to expected demand, as well as help tell the story of the region.

Also announced today was a $500,000 investment from the PGF in the Far East Saw Mill to increase wood processing capacity and get local people into jobs.

The total cost to recommission the mill is just over $3.6 million, with the rest of the funding coming from Eastland Community Trust and Far East Saw Mill Limited.

“Only 4 percent of raw logs are milled in Tairawhiti, but there is potential for that to increase by up to 25 percent, which will add an estimated $120 million annually to the region,” Mr Jones said.

“Funding will also help speed up the mill’s production capacity, which is only operating at 10 percent, while also returning 50 jobs to the local economy.

“This will lead to higher-value forestry products produced and more money going back into the community via pay packets for local workers,” Mr Jones said.

Far East Saw Mill is part of the Wood Processing Centre of Excellence, which aims to be a hub for wood processing, wood products, marketing and distribution, and training and research.

The Provincial Growth Fund will provide just over $300,000 to pilot a forestry training course as a solution to the growing forestry skills shortage.

The full cost of the pilot is $840,000, with additional funding coming from Eastland Community Trust, the Forest Growers Levy Trust and Eastern Institute of Technology.

“Forestry is a key sector, but there simply aren’t enough skilled workers in the region to do the work.

“The ManaiaSAFE Forestry School pilot course funded through today’s announcement will reduce the current skills shortage by preparing individuals with the right skills needed to be successful and make forestry their career of choice.

“The forestry training pilot has the potential to provide real benefits to the Tairawhiti region through skills training and employment for our rangitahi, while contributing to the goals of the one billion trees programme.

“If successful, the pilot could also form the basis for similar training courses in other parts of the country where there are forestry skills shortages,” he said.

Snapshot of the funding

  • Tairawhiti Roading Package

Package of upgrades to the roading network across the Gisborne region — up to $137m.

  • Mt Titirangi - Puhi Kai Iti Connection To build ‘Titirangi - Puhi Kai iti’ landscape and facilities, including a new wananga and a bridge, other facilities at the Cook Landing Site — up to $6.1m.
  • Gisborne Airport

Redevelopment of the Gisborne Airport terminal building and supporting infrastructure — $5.5m.

  • Cook Landing Restoration Restoration of the Cook Landing Site National Historic Reserve — $1.6m.
  • New Zealand Macadamia Industry Development Project

Growing macadamia on Maori land for export — $995,000

  • Tairawhiti Rail Feasibility Study Feasibility study for a rail tourism venture, including an extended Gisborne-Napier rail cycleway, and use of the Wairoa to Gisborne line for freight purposes (joint study) — up to $600,000.
  • Far East Sawmill

To recommission and improve a Gisborne mill site — $500,000.

  • Manaia Forestry Skills Training. Feasibility study to establish a ManaiaSAFE Forestry School— $301,000.
  • Regional Action Plan Programme Manager Co-ordinating effort in order to accelerate the region’s growth — $90,000.
  • Tairawhiti Honey Strategy

Development of a Tairawhiti Manuka Honey strategy — $40,000.

  • Water and Waste Management

Application for a feasibility study on a water recycling plant and waste management initiative — $30,000.

Detail in the roading funding package

Physical works

  • Improved local road level of service: Improved service on the road condition on journeys with significant freight movements. These are proactive maintenance-focused improvements that seek to provide a minimum service in line with future economic activity.
  • Route security State Highway 35: Resilience improvements targeted at route security and network availability issues on State Highway 35.
  • Heavy industrial zone upgrade (focus on MacDonald, Dunstan and Aerodrome Roads): Improvements to surface condition and service in response to demands associated with intensified economic activity. Strengthening and widening the road to support increasing freight volumes.
  • Rakaiatane Road upgrade (road to Eastland Port): Strengthening the road to support increasing freight volumes and responding to intensified economic activity.
  • East Cape Road sealing the first 1.6km: To provide a consistent level of service between existing sealed sections of East Cape Road to support improved access for the community.
  • Route security (focus on local roads): Resilience improvements targeted at structural issues that could be progressed now.
  • 50 MAX improvements: Local network efficiency improvements through enabling 50MAX bridge capability on economically-active corridors (including local road network).
  • Makokomuku single lane bridge replacement: Responding to ongoing maintenance, resilience and inefficiencies associated with two single-lane bridges and one dual-lane bridge.
  • Full high productivity motor vehicle (HPMV) access Napier to Gisborne: State highway bridges and culverts upgraded to support HPMV.
  • Full HPMV access Gisborne to Opotiki: State highway bridges and culverts upgraded to support HPMV.

Five-year pipeline

  • Route security Tiniroto Road: Resilience improvements targeted at route security and network availability issues on Tiniroto Road to deliver improved access to isolated communities and improved inter-regional resilience, providing a more reliable alternative route.
  • Kings Road/Harper Road local road upgrade: Efficiency improvements and reducing conflicts between community and commercial activities within the region.
  • Passing opportunities: SH2 Gisborne to Opotiki, SH2 Gisborne to Napier, SH35.
  • Route security State Highway 35: Resilience improvements targeted at route security and network availability issues on SH35.
  • Route security East Cape: Resilience improvements targeted at route security and network availability issues on East Cape Road which delivers improved access to isolated communities and enhanced tourism opportunity.
  • Waikare Gorge: Realignment.
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Richard - 2 months ago
Forestry should pay for the roads they ruin, not Gisborne rate payers and tax payers.

Richard - 2 months ago
Firstly I would like to point out that the submission 1 day ago attributed to "Richard" - that forestry should pay - was not submitted by me!

I did make a submission which questioned the excessive $600,000 feasibilty study. Perhaps someone at the Herald should look into why that post has not appeared and why the "Forestry" comment has been credited falsely my name.

Footnote from Ed:
Your comment on the feasibility study was posted under the September 7 editorial "Impressive commitment". The problem of there being two Richards posting comments with only their first name could be rectified by using your surname as well.

Passenger Railway Richard - 2 months ago
Thank you for the explaination Ed.

Russ orr - 1 month ago
A bit tough on districts that have gone without in order to maintain their roads to a good standard.

Poll

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    Do you support the call for a feasibility study into developing an "inland port" and sending the district's export logs to Napier Port by rail, to get log trucks out of the city and to repurpose the port and harbour area?