The Chair of Te Waka, Dallas Fisher, has enthusiastically welcomed today’s announcement from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern that two major projects in the Waikato region have received Provincial Growth Fund support.
The two projects will:
Fully investigate the feasibility of developing Waharoa as a major industrial and food processing hub in the eastern Waikato.
And advance work and build the investment case to redevelop the Te Aroha Mineral Spa as a major Waikato tourism destination.
Fisher said these projects had the potential to help unlock the significant economic development potential of the Matamata-Piako district and contribute towards the region’s economic wellbeing.
“The Waikato economic summit identified the need to focus on several things including sustainable food production clusters, high value tourism product and supporting industries that can offer employment opportunities,” Fisher said.
“These two proposals tick these boxes, and the feasibility and business case work which this funding will support ensures that any future investment is targeted, market tested and ready to go.”
Te Waka CEO Michael Bassett-Foss was especially pleased that these proposals have been approved, given the collective effort that went into their development. Both proposals were co-developed by Matamata-Piako District Council with input and support from local businesses and the Te Waka team.
“This is exactly what the Te Waka value proposition is about. By working with industry clusters, iwi, central and local government, we can go so much further than if we all go it alone. Mayor Jan and her team have shown the value of collaboration,” Basset-Foss said.
Te Waka is currently working with many other development proposals across the Waikato region - some of them very large and long term, some smaller and more immediate.
“Not all of them need PGF funding - but they all matter. A smaller development that delivers 10 jobs in say Kawhia can have as much positive impact as one which delivers100 jobs in Hautapu. It’s our job to help turn these ideas into reality and create real economic value for the Waikato. We’re on a roll now,” said Fisher.