Great to see Gisborne feature prominently in Labour’s plans

EDITORIAL

Labour has stolen a march on the Government with its announcement today that it will invest up to $20 million to enable the construction of a prefabricated building plant in Gisborne, if elected later this year.

The stimulus package would come from a $200m regional development fund, a policy that it also took into the last general election in 2014. To specify the key project it has planned for this district makes the policy a lot more tangible this time around, and it will be well-received.

Announcing plans for a $10m investment over 10 years in a new Centre of Digital Excellence in Dunedin earlier this month, as the first step in rolling out plans for the regional development fund, Labour leader Andrew Little said: “Labour stands for unlocking the potential of all our regions, with all New Zealanders . . .”

It is great to see Gisborne feature so prominently in Labour’s plans, and how this plant would dovetail into its Kiwibuild programme to construct 100,000 affordable homes over 10 years.

New Prime Sawmill owner Eastland Community Trust will be pleased to see this commitment from Labour as it begins a national search for an operator of the mill. It is no coincidence that both ECT and the Labour Party have identified the importance of adding more value to the vast number of logs the district produces, which are now mostly sent offshore in their raw form. It is the biggest opportunity to help drive economic growth and create good, high-paying jobs here.

It is also probably no coincidence that Labour’s announcement comes just before an expected Government announcement later this month related to the regional economic action plan it has been working on with key stakeholders here.

That will likely involve investment in a broader range of opportunities, but will it match the $20m figure Labour would invest?

The pressure is on the Government to make significant investments here . . . maybe even in the ballpark of its pledge of up to $69m to replace 10 one-lane bridges in Northland in the lead-up to a by-election there in 2015.

Labour has stolen a march on the Government with its announcement today that it will invest up to $20 million to enable the construction of a prefabricated building plant in Gisborne, if elected later this year.

The stimulus package would come from a $200m regional development fund, a policy that it also took into the last general election in 2014. To specify the key project it has planned for this district makes the policy a lot more tangible this time around, and it will be well-received.

Announcing plans for a $10m investment over 10 years in a new Centre of Digital Excellence in Dunedin earlier this month, as the first step in rolling out plans for the regional development fund, Labour leader Andrew Little said: “Labour stands for unlocking the potential of all our regions, with all New Zealanders . . .”

It is great to see Gisborne feature so prominently in Labour’s plans, and how this plant would dovetail into its Kiwibuild programme to construct 100,000 affordable homes over 10 years.

New Prime Sawmill owner Eastland Community Trust will be pleased to see this commitment from Labour as it begins a national search for an operator of the mill. It is no coincidence that both ECT and the Labour Party have identified the importance of adding more value to the vast number of logs the district produces, which are now mostly sent offshore in their raw form. It is the biggest opportunity to help drive economic growth and create good, high-paying jobs here.

It is also probably no coincidence that Labour’s announcement comes just before an expected Government announcement later this month related to the regional economic action plan it has been working on with key stakeholders here.

That will likely involve investment in a broader range of opportunities, but will it match the $20m figure Labour would invest?

The pressure is on the Government to make significant investments here . . . maybe even in the ballpark of its pledge of up to $69m to replace 10 one-lane bridges in Northland in the lead-up to a by-election there in 2015.

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