Govt funding to aid Northland’s economy, create jobs

  • Nick Smith

The Government is investing $2.3 million in waste minimisation projects in Northland that will create jobs and boost the local economy, Environment Minister Nick Smith announced today.

Enterprise Northland is to receive $2.1 million from the Waste Minimisation Fund towards the cost of processing more than 6200 tonnes of waste oyster shells and 300 tonnes of waste timber at Opua in the Bay of Islands.

“The Northland oyster industry is poised to expand.  Oyster farmers need the space in their farms that’s currently clogged with waste shells and timber to support this expansion,” Dr Smith said.  “It’s estimated that a fully operational aquaculture industry could inject more than $200 million a year into the Northland economy.  This project is expected to create 10 new fulltime positions and four part-time roles. 

“The new machinery being funded will process the oyster shells into an ingredient for cement and other calcium-based products.  At the same time, the waste timber will be turned into mulch for the Far North District Council’s civic gardens. This is exactly the sort of innovative project the Waste Minimisation Fund was set up to assist.”  
While in Northland, Dr Smith also announced $190,000 from the Waste Minimisation Fund to help establish the Whangarei Resource Recovery Park. 

“This park will create new jobs while stopping an estimated 10,500 tonnes of waste being dumped annually at landfills.  A composting facility, and sorting of demolition and construction waste for recovery, reuse or recycling, will be provided at the park. This is a real community effort, with local iwi, businesses and the community working together to deliver a great asset for Whangarei,” Dr Smith said

The Minister also announced that Environs Holdings Trust will receive $35,000 from the Government’s Community Environment Fund for a series of community workshops that will develop a collaborative approach to support restoration of the Kaipara Harbour.

“Support for all these projects demonstrates the Government’s bluegreen approach of backing practical initiatives that grow the economy while ensuring we make a real difference to improving the environment.”