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Labour to invest in Whanganui River infrastructure

Labour will work in partnership with the Whanganui Council to repair and redevelop the city’s Port precinct in advance of planned economic development and expansion. To enable Whanganui’s plans, Labour will commit $3m in matching funding for repairing the Whanganui River moles, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.

“There is major infrastructure work that needs to be undertaken at the Port before its potential as a centre for excellence and economic development can be realised.

“The City Council has told us that repairing and developing the Port precinct is a very high priority in order to create a business hub that will attract industries and companies that have already indicated an interest in moving into the revitalised space. This redevelopment will create hundreds of jobs. This project is part of a growing partnership between the Council and Iwi. It will help improve the health and wellbeing of the Whanganui River in recognition of its new legal personhood.

“The first stage of this redevelopment is repairing the North and South Moles at the mouth of the Whanganui River.

“The Whanganui River moles are just one example of a crucial piece of regional infrastructure that has been allowed to decay under National. If they are left to fail, the mouth of the Whanganui River will potentially move and damage vital parts of the city, including the port, the airport, and up to 100 homes.

“Labour supports Whanganui’s vision for its future and opportunities to develop its economy. Repairing the Whanganui River moles will protect and create jobs in Whanganui. It is a great example of how Labour’s Regional Development Fund will help our towns and cities prosper.

“As part of Labour’s fresh approach, we’re saying it is time for Central Government to step up and play its part in investing in our regions. Labour will offer Whanganui Council an investment of $3m to meet half the cost of structural work on the Whanganui River moles, with a matching contribution by the Council.

“Labour’s positive plan is about helping our regions to build the type of communities they need to prosper. Securing the future of the Whanganui River will help the city achieve its vision,” says Andrew Little.