The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $924,000 in Coromandel aquaculture and marine services, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced.
“It makes sense to invest in aquaculture, which has grown by 70 per cent in seven years, has annual sales of $612 million and can drive regional development,” Shane Jones said.
“Funding into feasibility studies will help get the planning right to support future aquaculture and marine services. There are three projects based in Coromandel:
- Sugarloaf Wharf, Coromandel, $558,000
- Coromandel Marine Gateway, $93,850
- Kopu Marine Precinct, Coromandel, $270,000
“There is potential to expand Sugarloaf Wharf to accommodate growing aquaculture demand, so we’re exploring that as a first step.
“Coromandel produces around 26 per cent of New Zealand greenshell mussels and 24 per cent of Pacific oysters, but current wharf infrastructure will limit the ability to meet demand.
“Production is expected to double over the next 10-15 years, creating 550 new jobs, so this investment will help the industry get match fit for those emerging opportunities.
“We’ll also look at the feasibility of developing a large marine facility at Coromandel Gateway to increase capacity and overall safety for recreational users and ferry and charter boats.
“Currently Coromandel Town has no all-tide marine facilities and a severe shortage of boat ramps, but there is growing demand for all these facilities.
“The Coromandel Marine Gateway is anticipated to incorporate a marina with boat stack storage, limited berths for fishing charter boats, a marine services area and facilities for charter vessels as well as a ferry landing.
“Once underway, the project is estimated to create up to 50 new jobs including permanent marine and charter crew and management roles, as well as jobs in related industries.
“At Kopu Marine Precinct we’ll investigate enhancing the current marine facilities and supporting services for large locally-based boats and barges.
“There is strong local support for improvements in this space and evidence a local marina is needed, stretching back to the early 2000s.
“This Government is willing to fast track the work because it will make a difference to the people of the Coromandel,” Shane Jones said.
Note: Funding from the Provincial Growth Fund is approved in principle and announced, after which contracts are negotiated. Some funding may depend on completion of business cases. Payments are made once agreed milestones are met. These are set as part of contract negotiations, and differ from project to project.