Whakatāne gets a $2.5m 'turbo boost'

Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade.

Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make the announcement at a hui at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi this morning.

The Provincial Growth Fund top-up will help "speed up" the riverfront revitalisation, the commercial boat harbour and the kāinga development, according to a press release.

The three projects previously received $36.8m as part of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme.

Mr Peters said the funding also complemented the $8.2m worker redeployment package allocated for Whakatāne this month "and provides the support needed to strengthen and revitalise Whakatāne for years to come".

"This package is about jobs, and about community confidence."

Bay of Plenty-based Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau, said the investments would "play a significant role in our economic recovery from Covid-19".

He said when the initial funding for the three projects was announced in March 2020 it was estimated the projects would create 453 new direct and indirect jobs in the region by 2030 and "attract future investment, unlock tourism, cultural and commercial opportunities across the district".

Today's announcement "puts the turbo boost on the region's economic opportunities and needs now," he said.



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