It's all about the regions

Clayton Mitchell
New Zealand First MP

For nine years we have had little or no investment into some of our regions, which is why New Zealand First has negotiated a Regional Economic Development Fund. Our regions have been marginalised and forgotten by our previous government, with many towns around New Zealand wasting away and slowly becoming ghost towns.

Despite this, we all recognise that the wealth is generated from regional provincial New Zealand, and to create opportunities for Kiwis we need to support our regions.

The $1 billion Regional Economic Development (RED) fund is going to play a major role in fixing areas of New Zealand that have been neglected. This fund will be available to boost our economy, build infrastructure, plant trees and support emerging industries such as tourism.

Hon Shane Jones, the new Minister of Regional Economic Development, has been inundated with calls and emails from individuals, business associations, councils, politicians (current and former) and EDA's wanting to give their considerations and discuss options and special projects that may benefit the regions.

It is a very exciting time for all corners of our country with this new fund now in play, which will be hugely beneficial for Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty. On that note, I will be getting the Minister to visit our region in the New Year to meet with city leaders, scientists and business groups to discuss positive outcomes for our rapidly growing city and outlining areas.

The RED fund can be and will be utilised for research and development, aquaculture, infrastructure (including rail), special projects and forestry (planting one billion trees) to name just some of what this fund can and will be used for.

Tauranga has much to be considered for RED funding support, including an inquiry into the future mobility of Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty, growing industry including tourism in the Bay, aquaculture, adding value to our exports and setting up and supporting technology and IT hubs.

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