Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development
Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth
The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today.
Almost $20 million is being dedicated to re-establish KiwiRail’s Hillside workshop, once a key part of New Zealand’s rail infrastructure, as part of the Coalition Government’s plan to revitalise rail.
“Under this Government, rail is back on track and the days of managed decline are over. We are dedicating $19.97m to re-establish the Hillside workshop as a mechanical hub and heavy engineering facility to service KiwiRail’s trains. Hillside is the only heavy lifting rail facility in the South Island so it is vital to KiwiRail’s business,” Shane Jones said.
“The Coalition Government is investing more than a billion dollars in rail, including $300m from the PGF in Budget 2019. It makes sense to ensure there are quality facilities available to support KiwiRail to maintain their trains and undertake a range of heavy maintenance and upgrade work.”
The Provincial Growth Fund is also investing almost $8m in smaller engineering and manufacturing sectors, which are vital for this region both in terms of economic growth and employment opportunities.
“We are providing $5.8m towards the establishment of a dedicated manufacturing agriculture technology business unit within Dunedin-based company Scott Technology. This unit will be dedicated to automation solutions and services for New Zealand food processors, producers and their suppliers,” Shane Jones said.
The funding package also includes nearly $500,000 for the Southland and Otago Regional Engineering Collective (SOREC).
David Parker says this funding will support the collective work that SOREC are doing to find ways to reinvigorate the sector.
“Both this and the seven other projects that received funding today will create a step change in productivity and efficiency, and lead to the development of 87 new permanent jobs in the region.”
“New Zealanders have a reputation for thinking outside the square and the PGF recognises our regions are home to some of our most creative and innovative thinkers. Our focus on the manufacturing and engineering industry recognises this region’s pioneering spirit,” David Parker said.
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.
Further details on the nine engineering projects funded:
Southland and Otago Regional Engineering Collective ($495,000 – over 3 years) towards establishment of the Collective to bring a coordinated approach across the sector to build capability and capacity.
Scott Agritech ($5.8 million) for the establishment of a dedicated Agritech Business Unit to become a New Zealand-specific and customer-led supplier of automation solutions and services for mainly food processors.
Petridish Limited ($240,000) towards equipment and salaries for its ‘Makerspace’ area that allows manufacturing businesses to trial and test new, innovative products.
United Machinists ($520,000) towards purchasing a specific piece of engineering equipment to accelerate the manufacturing of parts and products.
Site Weld ($350,000) to purchase three pieces of engineering equipment for its fabrication, repair and maintenance services business, which services mining, industrial, heavy transport, marine and forestry sectors and is regularly involved in Health and Safety solutions.
Farra Engineering Limited ($325,000) towards the installation of a Horizontal Floor Borer machine which will help complete maintenance work in shorter timeframes for several major South Island power generators.
Bison Group Limited ($110,000) towards creating a demonstration space to showcase its products that lift and weigh shipping containers and for additional equipment.
Red One Fabrication Limited ($93,000) towards a specific piece of engineering equipment to help this company, which is a leader in the innovation and design of Stainless Steel and Aluminium products for the Aviation industry, increase its output.
KiwiRail Dunedin Hillside Workshops ($19.97m) to upgrade the two main workshop buildings, overhaul mechanical plant, to enable KiwiRail to increase the services it undertakes at Hillside.