Monday, July 15, 2024

Marae project delivers regional development milestone

A remote Far North marae has become the 500th regional economic development project completed with Crown investment from the PGF and other funds.

The Ministers for Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Regional Economic Development say the $500,000 renovation at Puketawa Marae near Ōkaihau in the Hokianga marks a significant milestone in support for provincial communities.

As the MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Kelvin Davis said Puketawa Marae is the turangawaewae of the hapū of Te Honihoni and thanks to Crown investment it has now had a significant makeover.

“It is fitting that a vital community hub like a marae has chalked up this important milestone as the 500th regional development project to be completed,” Mr Davis said.

“Across the whole country, 358 marae are being renovated with government investment. Marae are the focal point for local Māori – for whānau, hapū and iwi – and reflect and represent Māori identity, language, matauranga and whānau wellbeing. There are 33 marae renovations in Northland, and 19 have now been completed.

“It is also fitting that the official opening of the new Puketawa Marae is scheduled for Waitangi Day, reflecting the continuing partnership between Māori and the Crown,” he said.

“With more than 500 projects now delivered, regional economies have been given a shot in the arm from our wider strategy to support local jobs and businesses, and strengthen community resilience,” said Minister Stuart Nash.

“The renovation of Puketawa Marae was done by local companies, subbies and workers, with 22 people employed at various stages. Locals were kept in work during the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and local businesses won contracts for materials and services.”

In total, 364 projects worth $800 million are managed in the Northland region by Kānoa – RDU, the regional development unit in MBIE. It administers the PGF and several other funds.

“Te Tai Tokerau is an area with several challenges and is a prime focus of our regional development programme,” said Mr Nash.

“The momentum of regional economic development is picking up pace. We are backing communities all over the country and giving them confidence to keep investing.

“It has been a priority to invest in regional infrastructure which had previously been run down. These investments are even more important as we respond to the economic shock caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“Regional investments help remove barriers for growth and give a meaningful boost to our regional economies across a wide variety of industries and sectors.

“For example, the new Gisborne Airport Terminal is one completed project. It is essential to keep our easternmost city connected and to help Tairāwhiti businesses grow, in a region brimming with innovation and potential. New cycle trails in Hawke’s Bay have also enhanced flood protections on Tuki Tuki River stopbanks.

“The new Tidal Creek Bridge between Karamea and the Buller District provides a vital connection, enabling local travel, business and tourism on the West Coast. Invercargill airport has gained better air cargo and terminal facilities.

“We have protected beloved community assets like the Ōtaki Civic Theatre, now restored to the glory of when it was originally built more than 80-years ago. In Dunedin, iconic war memorials have been restored as prominent sites of community pride.

“The investments also support essential community services including the new St John’s Ambulance Station in Rotorua, a new dementia unit in Ōtorohanga, and the world-class Papamoa Surf Rescue Base and Community facility.

“Government investment through the PGF and other regional development funds is not only supporting local economies but also enhancing public services and facilities,” said Mr Nash.

More details of the 510 completed projects can be found on the Kānoa website here

RegionCompleted Projects, all Regional Economic Development fundsAmount Paid
Bay of Plenty50$40,528,059
Chatham Islands4$781,051
Hawke’s Bay47$34,210,701
Pan-Region (e.g. rail networks)21$138,730,295
Tai Tokerau/Northland75$64,600,376
Tairawhiti/East Coast51$81,198,623
Te Tau Ihu/Top of the South15$4,419,070
West Coast41$12,475,710
Grand Total510$437,960,452

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