Monday, May 27, 2024

$5.4m grant lifts off for Canterbury aerospace centre

Infrastructure Minister, Megan Woods, has announced further support for the Tāwhaki Aerospace Centre at Kaitorete.

The Minister said a $5.4 million grant would be provided to the Tāwhaki Joint Venture to fund a sealed runway and hangar facilities to encourage investment, growth and continued research and development in New Zealand’s aerospace industry.

“Tāwhaki predicts that over the next 10 years this development will contribute to over 1,300 highly skilled, high-paying jobs and up to $2.4bn in economic benefits,” said Minister Woods.

“I’m pleased to be supporting a project that so obviously benefits New Zealand. The aerospace sector works alongside our world class universities and Government agencies to help drive economic growth, innovation and new jobs.

“Today’s funding means that Tāwhaki can immediately look at opportunities to scale up the site and help the aerospace industry in New Zealand continue to take off.

“Without this investment there is risk that some flagship aerospace companies would move offshore. We want this sector to continue to thrive here, directly benefitting the local community in Canterbury, and wider New Zealand economy.”

Tāwhaki is a Māori-Crown partnership between Kaitorete mana whenua – Te Taumutu Rūnanga and Wairewa Rūnanga, and the Crown, with a dual kaupapa to heal and rejuvenate the unique whenua at Kaitorete and advance Aotearoa’s aerospace industry.

“New Zealand has natural advantages in aerospace which can help secure its position as a leading place to safely test, trial and adopt aerospace technologies,” Dr Woods said.

“Aerospace technologies will greatly improve how we respond to issues like climate change, emergency management and monitoring our ecosystems and natural resources.”

The current facility at Kaitorete is already being used by local companies including Kea Aerospace, Aerosearch and Swoop Aero, as well as the University of Canterbury. The new infrastructure will be used by a wider range of aerospace companies onshore and abroad, and research institutes, with the intention to scale up over time.

“It’s brilliant that Canterbury will directly benefit from our aerospace sector which is innovative and globally competitive.”

“The funding announced today is going to help cater for multiple users across advanced aviation and space launches. It’s pretty exciting stuff,” the Minister said.

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