West Coast: Future-proofing key to economic growth

The Provincial Growth Fund will invest in two cycle trails for the West Coast and work with the region to develop more proposals to be considered for funding, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced.

“The West Coast has a historic reliance on primary industries and natural resources as the backbone of its regional economy yet is a tourist hot spot with visitor numbers growing strongly” Mr Jones says.

"Today, we’re announcing a $1 million investment towards the construction of two Great Rides – the West Coast Wilderness Trail and the Old Ghost Rd trail.

“The PGF will provide $100,000 to help Punakaiki develop a much-needed master plan to future-proof the township.

“We are also providing $350,000 to assist in the establishment of a waste-to-energy plant in the Buller District.

“The West Coast has unfortunately experienced negative population growth in recent years and the region is constrained by infrastructure that is not fit-for-purpose.

“However, numerous other proposals exist for the West Coast and the Government will work with various groups to identify how the PGF can help enhance its economic opportunities, create jobs and lift the overall productivity potential of the region,” Mr Jones says.