Kiwifruit industry benefits from Provincial Growth Fund

The kiwifruit industry in the Eastern Bay of Plenty has received a boost from the Government's Provincial Growth Fund.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced the PGF will support several projects in the region, with most of the funding dedicated to aquaculture development.

Among the funding announcements is almost $100,000 for a 'Kiwifruit Labour Co-ordinator' role.

The full time position will connect  workers, contractors and pack houses.

Mr Jones hopes the projects will boost economic potential of the area and unlock new opportunities for local people.

"Rural areas and small towns, like those in Eastern Bay of Plenty, have experienced population decline, lower average workforce participation rates and limited career opportunities compared to main centres," he said.

Ōpōtiki's aquaculture industry has secured funding of almost $20 million for three projects including investment to develop a proposal to establish a deep water mussel farm and on-land mussel processing factory. 

Once complete, this has the potential to create more than 200 jobs.

The Eastern Bay of Plenty will also receive $1.3 million from the PGF to improve digital connectivity.