Regional Economic Development Manager, the Hon Shane Jones’ announcement of almost $43 million dollars’ worth of Provincial Growth Funding for the Manawatū region (Manawatū district and Palmerston North city) is an acknowledgment by central Government of the growth and development opportunities here in the region, says CEDA’s Board Chair, Malcolm Bailey.

Minister Jones announced the funding at Manfeild in Feilding in November, alongside regional and business leaders, Iwi, and central government representatives.

He announced a $40 million investment to enable KiwiRail to build a new regional freight hub near Palmerston North. KiwiRail will use the money to complete site master-planning and concept design for the hub, as well as to secure the land required for the project.

CEDA’s Chief Executive Linda Stewart says CEDA has played an integral role in supporting Palmerston North City Council, Manawatū District Council and KiwiRail’s work in making this freight hub a reality, so this news is welcomed by everyone involved.

“The growth and development of the distribution and logistics sector is a priority for CEDA. This PGF funding, combined with the major infrastructure projects of the Regional Ring Road and Te Ahu a Turanga: Manawatū Tararua Highway, highlights the importance the Government places on this region as a national distribution and logistics hub.”

For residents, the development of this hub and the Regional Ring Road will mean a reduction in the number of trucks coming through the city centre and will provide one central location for rail, road and air.

“This will make the city an even more attractive location for companies looking to be based somewhere central for their logistics needs.”

Another major announcement was $2.8 million for the Manfeild Park Trust to develop its National Driver Training Centre. The Trust will use the investment to develop the facility and expand its current class 1 driver training programme to deliver class 2 to 5 (heavy/commercial licenses), wheels, tracks and rollers and civil construction.

“This facility will play a fundamental role in meeting the region and nation’s growing need for trained, skilled workers across civil construction, distribution and logistics, agriculture and more.”

“The NDTC programme’s ability to help high school students to get their driver’s license is not only helping our younger generation be prepared for employment and independence, it will help to develop the future skilled workers we need within the region. The fact that this is a New Zealand first is something the team at Manfeild should be very proud of.”

The Minister also announced $100,000 for FoodHQ to investigate developments to assist food exporters. FoodHQ’s board chair, Sue Foley, says this funding is a real acknowledgement of the high calibre of work being done by the thousands of food scientists who are based here, and the collaboration between FoodHQ’s partnering organisations.

“This is hugely exciting for the region and this project has the potential to put the region on a global stage. It will enable all the science and research being done here, to be taken to the next level,” says Ms Foley.

CEDA is proud to be a supporting partner of FoodHQ; a collaboration between internationally recognised companies, research and educational institutions, most of whom are based within a one kilometre radius in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

The Central Economic Development Agency drives and facilitates the growth and creation of economic wealth in Manawatū and beyond, working alongside and for Palmerston North City Council and Manawatū District Council and their Long-Term Plans for growth.

“Both councils are investing significantly in the city and district to accelerate and build on their plans for growth across infrastructure, development, key sectors, and our region’s population. CEDA’s programmes and initiatives are developed in partnership with each council to support and help deliver their growth aspirations.

“These announcements go a long way in advancing the work the region is achieving,” says Ms Stewart.

For more information:
communications@ceda.nz
06 350 1830

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