Upton Announces South Pacific Private Sector Aid

  • Simon Upton
Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Nineteen training and business development grants to support private sector development in the Pacific Islands have been announced today by Associate Foreign Minister Simon Upton.

The grants, totalling NZ$525,000.00, are being made under the Pacific Islands Investment & Development Scheme (PIIDS), part of New Zealand's Official Development Assistance (NZODA) programme, and cover private sector activities in eight countries.

"PIIDS promotes more effective business and training linkages between the New Zealand private sector and counterpart private sectors of our South Pacific neighbours", Mr Upton said.

"PIIDS is a forward looking and innovative use of our Official Development Assistance which acknowledges the important contribution which the New Zealand and Pacific Islands' private sector can make toward regional development".

In the July bidding round, 30 proposals were submitted for competitive assessment. Grants were allocated according to each proposal's development value, commercial viability and the likely long-term economic and employment benefits for the recipient country.

Proposals for the next round of PIIDS grants should be sent to the Development Cooperation Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade by 3 October 1997.

List of grant recipients and background note attached.

The nineteen proposals cover activities in eight South Pacific countries:

PIIDS Advisory Missions

Dave Bamford of Tourism Resource Consultants (Wellington) will work with the Niue Tourism Office to assist with the development of sustainable tourism initiatives, specifically in the areas of adventure and nature tourism.

Business for Change & Co (Wellington-Dunedin) will work with Safety Net Care & the Women's Prison Community Association (Fiji). The NGOs will be trained in planning and organisational skills to assist them to develop, strengthen and achieve their goals.

Dr John Harre will provide the South Pacific Performing Arts & Tourism Trust (Apia) with management, training and marketing advice to the Performing Arts and Tourism Centre. The centre provides quality training programmes preparing young Samoans for employment in the entertainment and tourist industries in Samoa and the world.

The Nei Tabera Ni Kai Video Resource Unit is a fully commercial operation which will make local language videos for Kiribati, primarily in raising awareness of health issues, and for educational purposes. Nick Murray of the Gibson Group (Wellington) will travel to Kiribati to provide technical advice on the installation of the specialist computer-based editing equipment.

David Stevenson and Joe Newson of Russell will provide a fishing and fish processing training programme in standards required for exporting seafood.

The course will be run from the Star Harbour Fish Factory in the Makira Province.

Stevenson and Newson will also work with Government Officials to discuss how the production and standards of the Star Harbour Fish Factory can be improved upon.

Bioglobal Consultancy Ltd (Auckland) will work with the major Fijian Papaya producer groups and the Ministry of Agriculture to establish and implement a quality management programme for mature ginger.

PIIDS Training Programmes

David Stevenson and Joe Newson of Russell, in association with the Tetaungagoto Learning Centre in the Rennell and Bellona Province, will provide a fishing and fish processing training involving thirty men and women. The course will cover all aspects of preparing fish for export, and involves several practical demonstrations at sea.

Prue Townsend and Valeti 'Aipolo Finau of the Whitireia Community Polytechnic (Porirua) will work with local trainers in Tonga to help women in villages make hand made paper with local fibres that can have a role along side or in place of the traditional use of ngatu for cultural presentations, gifts, crafts, wallhangings and costume.

Hort+Research (Horticulture & Food Research Institute of NZ Ltd) will deliver training courses in postharvest handling, transport and packaging techniques to major fruit exporters in Fiji to improve the quality of fresh fruit exports from Fiji.

Rohan Bell of Expense Reduction Analysts (Auckland) will work with Michael Dimoline (Auckland) to provide two courses in production techniques for leather craft workers.

Capital Development Agency (Wellington) will provide intensive income generation and enterprise development training to up to 40 unemployed school leavers from the Nuku'alofa area who have expressed an interest in enterprise development.

Mr Robert Gilmour of Metier Consultants (Auckland) will present a training course in Small Business Accounting for the Kiribati Chamber of Commerce.

Training will cover the preparation of cash receipts, payment journals, bank statement reconciliation, balance day adjustments and final
accounts, payroll, stock control systems, commercial mathematics, and the preparation of budgets from annual accounts.

John Stewart (Mount Maunganui) and Rachel Harvey (Lower Hutt) will work with the Ministry of Fisheries in Tonga to co-ordinate a training programme in Seafood Hazard Analysis (HACCP) for the Freight Forwarding Agencies at the International Airport and the five main fish exporting companies in Nuku'alofa.

John Stewart and Roger Dicky of Mount Manganui will work with the staff of three major Samoan fish export companies to increase their awareness and understanding of the hygiene and sanitation systems, and an introduction to the processing of all species of fish for export.

John Stewart and Roger Dicky of Mount Manganui will work with the Ni-Vanuatu staff employed as deckhands and fish processors employed within the fishing and hospitality industry in Port Vila. The programme will improve the skills of those preparing export quality seafood products and those who are preparing fresh filleted products for the local hotel industry.

PIIDS Equity Grants

Vivek Sharma (Fiji) and Wendy Lewis (New Zealand) have formed Previne Investments Limited, a joint venture company in Fiji which will grow herbs, fruit and vegetables for export as processed products. Methods of processing will include freezing, drying and essential oil extraction for export. The PIIDS grant will be applied to purchasing a specialised harvester for collecting and processing the herbs.

Gavin & Siusi Peacock (Tonga) will form Kingdom Meats, a joint venture company with John Bostock of J.H. Bostock Limited (Hastings). Kingdom Meats will establish a facility in Tonga for processing prime meat imported through Mr Bostock in New Zealand for the tourist, expatriate and local markets in Tonga.

Customer service and quality at affordable prices are Kingdom Meats' priorities. The equity grant will be applied to establishing the processing factory in Tonga.

Fisheye & Associates Ltd. (Wellington) and a local counterpart will work in a joint venture to conduct 10-day guided mountain bike tours in Fiji between May and September. Fiji mountain bike tours are designed to utilise the more remote country roads using a local Fijian guide and a support truck to carry customers' gear, drinks, and those who wish to have a rest from cycling.

Group sizes are limited to 12 to meet safety, accommodation and environmental concerns.

Pare & Ruru Masters (Aitutaki) and the Free Range Egg & Poultry Company Ltd (Auckland) will create a fully integrated farm on Aitutaki in the Cook Islands. The primary product will be fresh chicken eggs, with dressed chicken as a secondary product, and meat breed birds at a later date. The joint venture hopes to satisfy outer island demand for eggs, and eventually move into the Rarotonga, and even the export market.

Background Note: The Pacific Islands Investment & Development Scheme (PIIDS)

The scheme has developed from a combination of the old Pacific Islands Industrial Development Scheme, and the South Pacific Development Assistance Facility (SPDAF).

Basic Objectives Of PIIDS

To encourage private sector development in Pacific Island Countries in partnership with the New Zealand private sector.

To create employment and economic growth in the South Pacific based on Pacific Island economies' comparative advantages.

To encourage New Zealand private sector investment in the Pacific Islands.

To facilitate the transfer of knowledge from New Zealand to the South Pacific through the provision of training, marketing, technical, and managerial support.

How the Scheme Works

The scheme aims to meet the needs of the private sector directly. PIIDS has been designed to be flexible with a range of funding options available including training, feasibility, and equity assistance.

There are six separate grants available under the scheme. PIIDS Investment allows for the funding of up to 50% of the cost of a feasibility study to a maximum of $10,000 and may contribute up to $75,000 as an Equity Grant to the new venture on a dollar for dollar basis. PIIDS Development can provide grants of up to $25,000 to facilitate Training Needs Analyses, Training Programmes, Advisory Missions, and Personnel Attachments to New Zealand.

PIIDS proposals are assessed by a panel made up of Development Division staff and an independent private sector consultant during three competitive assessment rounds each year. Proposals are assessed on the basis of their developmental merit, and in the case of PIIDS Investment - their commercial viability.

The total 1997/98 PIIDS allocation is $2 million.