A total of 29 Pacific businesses located across regional New Zealand have received grants of up to $100,000 each from the Pacific Aotearoa Regional Enterprise Fund, Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, confirmed today.
The Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment’s Kānoa – Regional Economic Development and Investment Unit, transferred $2 million to the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to support small and medium sized regional Pacific businesses and stimulate growth in response to the impact of COVID-19.
“This innovative fund has been far-reaching. Its impacted Pacific businesses in Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Northland, Otago, Canterbury, Hawkes Bay, Southland and Manawatū-Whanganui, and creating 49 new employment opportunities for Pacific peoples in the regions,” Minister Sio said.
“These business owners are proud Pacific peoples of Aotearoa who are direct descendants of Samoa, Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji, Rotuma, Kiribati, Niue, and Tokelau. They represent construction to fruit growing and everything in between.”
He said funding had helped businesses to diversify into new areas to survive during the pandemic, and as a result, many were now thriving.
For businesses like the Bay of Plenty’s TAUA Developments Ltd, collaborating with other businesses and providers has allowed it to expand to become the only Pacific property development company to provide affordable housing accommodation opportunities for Pacific people in the region, the Minister said.
“Island Donut Crunch from Palmerston North now has a customised food truck, which produces donuts at markets and events, while Waikato-based underwater diving company Deep Dive Division Ltd now sends its funded camera underwater remotely operated vehicle for asset inspections and search and rescue operations in confined spaces, instead of sending divers into dangerous waters to do inspections by eye.”
“Last but not least, Keteni Food Imports in Otago has a new funded food packaging machine, meaning its Pacific Island cuisine food is now suitable for supermarket shelves. This now makes Pacific kai accessible throughout Dunedin and Central Otago.
“This is just a snapshot of the impact this fund has had on regional Pacific businesses, and we look forward to this growth continuing,” Mr Sio said.