$27.5 million PGF boost for Tairawhiti

PGF funding expected to createover 50 jobs

PGF funding expected to createover 50 jobs

FUEL FOR THE FIRE: Bio-fuel stocks at the ECT Wood Cluster Centre of Excellence awaiting to help fuel an automated boiler system, which was built with $500,000 from the Provincial Growth Fund. The centre has received a boost of $19.5m from the PGF. Picture by Liam Clayton

About 50 new jobs and a multimillion-dollar medical research lab with potentially global significance are coming to the region through $27.5 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones today confirmed a further investment to support medical research, wood processing and social enterprise to further enhance Tairawhiti’s economic potential. This is in addition to the $152m already committed to the region from the PGF.

“The PGF is making a major investment in wood processing, the biggest growth opportunity in Gisborne,” said Mr Jones.

“We’ll also invest in a local social enterprise so it can build on its current success, and we’re backing the establishment of a medical research lab, which could create benefits globally.”

Mr Jones confirmed $19.5m for Eastland Community Trust’s Wood Cluster Centre of Excellence, $6m for the Matai Medical Research Institute and $2m for Aotearoa Social Enterprise Trust (ASET).

Those PGF funds will be further boosted by Eastland Community Trust.

The trust is providing $250,000 to ASET and $1m to Matai Medical Research, alongside ECT’s overall investment of $17m in the wood cluster to date.

“Eastland Community Trust is thrilled to support and see these projects supported by the Provincial Growth Fund,” ECT community engagement manager Audine Grace-Kutia said.

“The $5.5m received from the PGF for the new airport terminal was a prime example of local collaboration between the PGF, iwi, local Government, Eastland Group, stakeholders and the trust.

“It is fantastic to see the momentum from this strong joint approach carry on throughout the region into other projects like the continued growth of the wood cluster, ASET and Matai.”

Mr Jones said funding the Wood Cluster Centre of Excellence was expected to create 30 new jobs.

“The Eastland Community Trust is set to receive its first funding instalment this month for the Wood Cluster Centre of Excellence.

The centre is being developed as a hub for wood processing, wood products, marketing and distribution, and training and research.

“This first funding tranche will be for $5 million and will generate at least 30 full-time jobs. We expect employment will continue to grow as the centre is developed in stages.

“Forestry is a significant economic driver in Tairawhiti and we want to make sure the region is able to take full advantage of the opportunities the sector provides.

“The $19.5m investment is a commitment to the region. This will lead to higher-value forestry products being produced and more money going back into the community via pay packets for local workers.

The PGF invested $500,000 to the centre in 2018 for its first stage of development.

Funding for the Matai Medical Research Institute would bring 25 new jobs to the region, he said.

Matai Medical Research's work to include fast-emerging field of traumatic brain injury

“Matai Medical Research Institute is looking to establish a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) lab in Gisborne to get a better understanding of the brain, heart and body, with a focus on the fast-emerging field of traumatic brain injury. MRI uses harmless magnetic fields to see inside the body. This allows non-invasive insights into injury and disease.”

The centre will bring up to 25 new jobs and economic stimulus to the region, and undertake research that has the potential to better understand, diagnose and treat traumatic brain injury, which is believed to have an impact on crime, unemployment and mental health in New Zealand and worldwide, he said.

“Advances in technology means the institute is not restricted by location. It is committed to being based in Gisborne and has international interest and a desire from a number of international researchers to work with the institute.”

The institute will be located at Gisborne Hospital.

Aotearoa Social Enterprise Trust will receive up to $2m to scale up and maximise its food harvesting and processing through the construction of a food processing facility to help get more long-term unemployed people into jobs.

“The charitable trust currently employs about 22 people in a variety of roles and provides pastoral care to keep people in work,” said Mr Jones.

“Today’s funding will enable it to accelerate its training and place long-term unemployed people, or those not in education, employment or training into jobs and on the path to independence.”

“The more successful the trust is the more people it will be able to invest in via training and education. This will help reduce poverty in Tairawhiti.

“These projects are an example of the Tairawhiti region making the most of its strengths and opportunities, and the PGF is proud to come to the table and support this.”

Mayor Meng Foon, who is also chairman of ASET, said the PGF continued to be “great for Tairawhiti”.

“The funding will go a long way to support employment, accelerate new enterprise, enhance environment projects and mitigate climate change.

“Funding for ASET will help train more people, employ more people, and make new products not on the market like kamokamo chutney.”

About 50 new jobs and a multimillion-dollar medical research lab with potentially global significance are coming to the region through $27.5 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones today confirmed a further investment to support medical research, wood processing and social enterprise to further enhance Tairawhiti’s economic potential. This is in addition to the $152m already committed to the region from the PGF.

“The PGF is making a major investment in wood processing, the biggest growth opportunity in Gisborne,” said Mr Jones.

“We’ll also invest in a local social enterprise so it can build on its current success, and we’re backing the establishment of a medical research lab, which could create benefits globally.”

Mr Jones confirmed $19.5m for Eastland Community Trust’s Wood Cluster Centre of Excellence, $6m for the Matai Medical Research Institute and $2m for Aotearoa Social Enterprise Trust (ASET).

Those PGF funds will be further boosted by Eastland Community Trust.

The trust is providing $250,000 to ASET and $1m to Matai Medical Research, alongside ECT’s overall investment of $17m in the wood cluster to date.

“Eastland Community Trust is thrilled to support and see these projects supported by the Provincial Growth Fund,” ECT community engagement manager Audine Grace-Kutia said.

“The $5.5m received from the PGF for the new airport terminal was a prime example of local collaboration between the PGF, iwi, local Government, Eastland Group, stakeholders and the trust.

“It is fantastic to see the momentum from this strong joint approach carry on throughout the region into other projects like the continued growth of the wood cluster, ASET and Matai.”

Mr Jones said funding the Wood Cluster Centre of Excellence was expected to create 30 new jobs.

“The Eastland Community Trust is set to receive its first funding instalment this month for the Wood Cluster Centre of Excellence.

The centre is being developed as a hub for wood processing, wood products, marketing and distribution, and training and research.

“This first funding tranche will be for $5 million and will generate at least 30 full-time jobs. We expect employment will continue to grow as the centre is developed in stages.

“Forestry is a significant economic driver in Tairawhiti and we want to make sure the region is able to take full advantage of the opportunities the sector provides.

“The $19.5m investment is a commitment to the region. This will lead to higher-value forestry products being produced and more money going back into the community via pay packets for local workers.

The PGF invested $500,000 to the centre in 2018 for its first stage of development.

Funding for the Matai Medical Research Institute would bring 25 new jobs to the region, he said.

Matai Medical Research's work to include fast-emerging field of traumatic brain injury

“Matai Medical Research Institute is looking to establish a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) lab in Gisborne to get a better understanding of the brain, heart and body, with a focus on the fast-emerging field of traumatic brain injury. MRI uses harmless magnetic fields to see inside the body. This allows non-invasive insights into injury and disease.”

The centre will bring up to 25 new jobs and economic stimulus to the region, and undertake research that has the potential to better understand, diagnose and treat traumatic brain injury, which is believed to have an impact on crime, unemployment and mental health in New Zealand and worldwide, he said.

“Advances in technology means the institute is not restricted by location. It is committed to being based in Gisborne and has international interest and a desire from a number of international researchers to work with the institute.”

The institute will be located at Gisborne Hospital.

Aotearoa Social Enterprise Trust will receive up to $2m to scale up and maximise its food harvesting and processing through the construction of a food processing facility to help get more long-term unemployed people into jobs.

“The charitable trust currently employs about 22 people in a variety of roles and provides pastoral care to keep people in work,” said Mr Jones.

“Today’s funding will enable it to accelerate its training and place long-term unemployed people, or those not in education, employment or training into jobs and on the path to independence.”

“The more successful the trust is the more people it will be able to invest in via training and education. This will help reduce poverty in Tairawhiti.

“These projects are an example of the Tairawhiti region making the most of its strengths and opportunities, and the PGF is proud to come to the table and support this.”

Mayor Meng Foon, who is also chairman of ASET, said the PGF continued to be “great for Tairawhiti”.

“The funding will go a long way to support employment, accelerate new enterprise, enhance environment projects and mitigate climate change.

“Funding for ASET will help train more people, employ more people, and make new products not on the market like kamokamo chutney.”

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