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Tourism, heritage ventures secure millions in funding

29 Sep 2020  By Staff Reporter | | @tourismticker

Historic buildings, a tourism venture on Stewart Island and several long term Māori development projects are amongst a raft of new funding announced by the Government.

The money was being allocated for shovel-ready projects from the $3bn infrastructure fund, and the Provincial Growth Fund.

A $22m restoration of Seddon House in Hokitika was announced by minister for rural communities and West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor.

The category 1 historic Seddon House was once a hub for government on the West Coast, and will be earthquake-strengthened used by 85 Department of Conservation permanent staff based in Hokitika.

Seddon House is the largest historical building in downtown Hokitika, built between 1907 and 1914. It became privately owned in 1994. The Edwardian Baroque style building was purchased for $400,000 and would become the 45th property owned and managed by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga and leased to DOC.

“This investment into Hokitika demonstrates the Government’s commitment to the West Coast. Restoration of this building has been talked about for years, this commitment means it will now happen,” O’Connor said.

Several town halls, war memorials and other community landmarks across the country would also be renovated thanks to grants of $12.4m from the PGF.

Regional economic development minister Shane Jones said more than 1000 jobs were expected to be created during the renovation programme.

“Jobs will be created for local tradies and contractors displaced by the economic impact of Covid-19. Although many of the jobs will be short-term, workers will typically be involved in a number of different projects in their region,” Jones said.

In total, 37 applications involving 97 individual projects had been approved across 14 regions.

Otago, the West Coast and Canterbury were the areas with the most projects approved – with an estimated 600 jobs being created across the three regions.

The other regions were Kāpiti Coast, Southland, Northland, Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay, Top of the South, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Manawatū-Whanganui, Chatham Islands and Wairarapa.

Māori development projects across the country were also in line for funding, receiving a total of $18.8m from the PGF.

Regional economic development minister Shane Jones said more than 300 jobs, both immediate short-term and permanent, would be created across the regions through the investments, with more to be confirmed.

In the far South, Rakiura Māori Lands Trust would receive nearly $2.2m in loans and grants for an environmental tourism initiative on Stewart Island. This involved building tracks and other infrastructure, including a predator-proof fence.

Poutama Trust would receive a $5m grant to provide access to development capital for small- to medium-sized Māori enterprises.

In Northland, Taumata Tirotiro Ltd would receive $719,000 for land development on four Māori-owned land blocks to operate a beef farm.

About $5.6m will go to three Bay of Plenty projects, which included the establishment of a food production hub in Ruatahuna, land remediation and kiwifruit orchard development at Welcome Bay near Tauranga, and the conversion of part of a dairy property to sheep-milking in Rerewhakaaitu.

Tairawhiti region would receive nearly $2m for three projects that would lift productivity on whenua Māori.

More than $970,000 would go to Te Aitanga a Māhaki Trust’s 23 Whenua Māori blocks so it could plant forestry.

Parera Station would receive $495,838 for farm remediation and an upgrade of its East Cape campground.

Maraetaha Inc would receive $489,900 to develop 460ha of underutilised farm land.

In Manawatu-Whanganui, the PGF was investing in nearly $2.6m to develop a 5ha strawberry farm near Whanganui.

Pukerewa Station Development in Waikato would receive $912,000 to install water reticulation and fencing.


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