A big day for Manawatū yesterday, as Minister Shane Jones announced five rounds of Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding and support that are underway. The Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA) are particularly pleased to see the KiwiRail master plan being unveiled, showcasing the future of the Palmerston North based Regional Freight Hub, a central connector in our regions already strong network of distribution and logistics.
CEDA’s Chief Executive Linda Stewart says that these announcements highlight the progress being made towards Manawatū becoming New Zealand’s most progressive region by 2025.
“The investment into the regional freight hub is a huge catalyst and a critical step towards one of our big goals – to position Manawatū as a leading distribution hub, leveraging its role in central New Zealand – a long talked about aspiration that is now becoming a reality.”
“It signifies confidence in our direction as a region and with confidence comes private investment and growth. It attracts people and expertise. That’s one of the primary levers that we have as an agency to help us support businesses to grow and to continue to drive investment and attract businesses and people to the region.”
Other announcements included $380,000 towards research for New Zealand’s first bio-forestry initiative, and $120,000 towards the Tutaenui Community Agricultural Water Scheme, and a further $200,000 given to Accelerate25 to refresh the Manawatū-Whanganui Economic Action Plan.
Wrapping off the day was an exciting announcement for The Herb Farm who secured a PGF loan to scale up their distribution, with Rangitāne o Manawatū Kaumatua Wiremu Te Awe Awe blessing a new purpose-built facility, marking a new chapter in the journey of their family business. The new manufacturing facility will enable The Herb Farm to increase their output for national and global distribution and hire more locals following the opening of their purpose-built manufacturing facility.
“This project has wide local support, including from the Mayors of both Manawatū District and Palmerston North City Councils, Horizons Regional Council, the Manawatū Chamber of Commerce, and CEDA. It also aligns with the priorities identified in the region’s economic action plan, Accelerate25.
“It’s a pleasure to again be able to support a successful provincial business and deliver on a region’s growth aspirations through the PGF,” Shane Jones said.
Note: Funding from the Provincial Growth Fund is approved in principle and announced, after which contracts are negotiated. Payments are made once agreed milestones are met. These are set as part of contract negotiations and differ from project to project.
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