Government launches Tairawhiti plan for Gisborne

  • 28/02/2017
Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges (Simon Wong/ Newshub)
Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges (Simon Wong/ Newshub)

It's a bold plan for Gisborne - increase regional GDP by 20 per cent, create 1260 new jobs and get 250 people off welfare within five years.

But the government is confident their Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan can achieve the goals it has set out.

The plan was launched in Gisborne on Tuesday with a focus on investment in transport, forestry, the labour force and environment.

Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges says locals identified those areas as needing improvement in order to grow and thrive.

The action plan includes investment in growing the Tairawhiti labour force over the next three years.

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says $1.8 million will be invested in all, most in the first year.

"Our aim is to create pathways and opportunities for people to move from education and training into employment and improve local training opportunities to better meet the needs of the region's employers and industry," she said.

The funding includes $450,000 to support MSD clients to get a driving licence, $300,000 toward truck driver training, $220,000 for a drug rehabilitation programme and $185,000 toward a youth employment strategy.

"Developing the potential of young jobseekers to match the needs of businesses is vital for the social and economic future of Tairawhiti," Mrs Tolley said.

As Transport Minister Mr Bridges announced the government's plan to work with transport stakeholders to identify and prioritise transport initiatives in an integrated plan due for completion by the end of the year.

In the meantime $1.5 million will be spent on tourism-related road projects including a new 7km link between State Highway 2 Rere Falls Heartland Ride and the Motu Great Ride.

Up to five new rest stop facilities will be built and others upgraded along State Highway 35 between Gisborne and Opotiki.

The investment announcements: 

  • $1.8 million over three years on labour, including truck driver training, drug rehabilitation and youth employment.
  • $1.5 million tourism-related road projects including upgrading and building new rest stops on State Highway 35.
  • $2 million for a wood-processing facility.
  • Widening the scope of the $30 million erosion programme.
  • Up to $2 million for tourism and cultural commemorations.