Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced that the Provincial Growth Fund is investing in projects to support Tairāwhiti medical research, wood processing and social enterprise to further enhance the region's economic potential.
“What's the benefit of allocating money to grow finances? It's much better to grow the skills of the workers, the youth and the families so they can say to their kids 'stay here in the East Coast',” says Jones.
The Eastland Community Trust will receive nearly $20mil for a Wood Cluster Centre of Excellence.
Jones says, “Supposedly it will entice companies to come and set up businesses because there is a wall of trees here and how many billions are still growing on the East Coast? It's not good to see the majority being lost overseas.”
The centre will be a hub for wood processing, wood products, marketing and distribution. Training and research and will generate at least 30 full-time jobs.
"It's better to bring them to Tūranganui-a-Kiwa and create flooring and build houses and the many other jobs that it will create," says Jones.
The Aotearoa Social Enterprise Trust receives $2mil for the construction of a food processing facility to help get more long-term unemployed people into jobs.
Jones says, "There is work here for you to make a living there are pathways here to grow skills in the young men and women that's what I'm pleased to see is the establishment of those initiatives."
$6mil is allocated for a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) centre, looking to bring up to 25 new jobs.
“You won't be able to set one up in Kaikohe or Kaitaia but Tūranganui-a-Kiwa- there's no place better.”
More regional funding announcements will be made tomorrow.