The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.
The PGF is funding:
- Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility
- Up to $960,000 for the Wairoa Digital Employment Programme (funded through Te Ara Mahi, the PGF’s skills and training allocation)
- $400,000 for the Wairoa Regional Digital Hub
“These projects will encourage more businesses and visitors into the main town and create better employment opportunities for local people,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.
“The Wairoa District Council will develop the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility and the Wairoa Regional Digital Hub. The Korua Digital Agency, set up by the Korou Digital Charitable Trust, will deliver the Wairoa Digital Employment Programme.
“Wairoa has a unique community and this funding will transform two centrally-located, under-utilised buildings by concentrating economic activity such as the visitor centre, start-up tenants, Rocket Lab education centre and a potential showcase for local food and beverages in a prime location in the township.
“The Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility is expected to deliver benefits to the Wairoa community through attracting and supporting local businesses and start-ups to the township, increasing employment potential and diversifying economic activities.
“It is also expected to attract passing traffic and increase visitor spending across all businesses.
“The Wairoa Digital Employment Programme will develop digital capability through training programmes for local people who want a future career in the digital sector and will help grow better opportunities within the high-skilled, high-waged sector.
“The programmes will provide 12 weeks of paid digital and technology-based industry training, including software engineering, programming application and game development followed by 40 weeks employment as a digital apprentice with at least 48 participants expected to enrol in the first two years.
“Funding will also be used to develop the Wairoa Regional Digital Hub, which is a facility that will provide better internet connectivity to individuals, small businesses and corporates.
“The Hub will be used for training, mentoring and business advisory with workshops to upskill business or IT related activity.
“Not everyone has access to the internet in Wairoa so this Hub will also have huge benefits for individuals in the community,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.
Funding from the Provincial Growth Fund is approved in principle and announced, after which contracts are negotiated. Some funding may depend on completion of business cases. Payments are made once agreed milestones are met. These are set as part of contract negotiations and differ from project to project.