East Coast gets $153m investment from Provincial Growth Fund

The Government will invest $152.7 million in the Gisborne/Tairāwhiti region for several major projects including upgrades to the roading network, airport and the Titirangi Summit.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones were in Gisborne to announce the investment from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).

"Tairāwhiti offers a unique quality of life combined with genuine business and economic opportunities. However, it faces significant infrastructure challenges, high unemployment and lower productivity," Ms Ardern said.

Around $137 million of the investment will be put towards improving the safety and resilience of the road network.

"The road network in Tairāwhiti has suffered from historical under-investment and recurring extreme weather events," Mr Jones said.

"The locals have repeatedly told me they need an efficient and reliable road network that better connects the community, helps them get goods from farm gates and forests to the local and global market, and supports tourism."

Projects include upgrades to SH35, Rakaiatane Rd  East Cope Rd, the Heavy Industrial Zone ( MacDonald, Dunston and Aeredome Rds), and a replacement to the Makokomuku single lane bridge.

$6.1 million will be invested in the Mt Titirangi  Puhi Kai Iti Connection project, including landscaping and new facilities including a wananga and bridge at the Cooks Landing Site.

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

$5.5 million will be put towards upgrading the Gisborne Airport terminal building and infrastructure

"Reliable air connections provide businesses with opportunities to expand and grow, as well as bring more visitors to the regions, providing opportunities for businesses based in Tairāwhiti to grow their offerings locally," Mr Jones said.

The full list of projects for the Tairāwhiti region:

  • $137m Tairāwhiti Roading Package: Upgrades to the roading network across the Gisborne region
  • $6.1m 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 Cooks Landing Site
  • $5.5m Gisborne Airport: Redevelopment of terminal building and supporting infrastructure
  • $1.6m Cooks Landing Restoration: Restoration of the Cook Landing Site (CLS) National Historic Reserve
  • $995,000 New Zealand Macadamia Industry Development Project: Growing macadamia on Maori land for export
  • $600,000 Tairāwhiti 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)
  • $500,000 Far East Sawmill: To recommission and improve a Gisborne mill site
  • $301,000 Manaia Forestry Skills Training (Priority): Feasibility study to establish a ManaiaSAFE Forestry School
  • $90,000 Regional Action Plan Programme Manager: The Programme Manager role has been both valuable and crucial to coordination and reporting on project progress, and coordinating effort in order to accelerate the region's growth.
  • $40,000 Tairāwhiti Honey Strategy: Development of a Tairāwhiti Manuka Honey strategy
  • $30,00 Water and Waste Management: Application for a  feasibility study on a water recycling plant and waste management initiative