Labour is poised to inject up to $20 million into the Gisborne economy to enable the construction of a plant for prefabricated building materials, says Labour Leader Andrew Little.
“One of the biggest strengths of the Gisborne region’s economy is timber, yet too many logs are being shipped straight offshore without jobs and value being created for locals.
“A Labour-led Government will provide a stimulus package up to $20 million to enable the construction of a timber prefabrication plant and associated infrastructure in Gisborne. This money will match dollar for dollar investment from businesses and local economic development agencies, and be subject to a robust and transparent tender process.
“This funding could be used for construction of the plant, investment in necessary infrastructure upgrades to support it, or supporting sawmilling technology to help provide the lumber. What’s important is that this investment underpins local aspirations.
“This new factory would complement the existing Wood Engineering Technology plant being constructed on the Prime Sawmill site.
“Labour’s plan for Gisborne will add value to the timber being produced in the region, creating jobs and providing a catalyst for further investment in the wider local economy.
“Our plan also elevates Gisborne’s industry and talent-base into a key role for building of new homes. The housing shortage in New Zealand is growing by 16,000 homes each year and the Government has no plan to deal with the housing crisis.
“By bolstering an already growing prefabrication industry, we can boost the industry’s ability to build houses at affordable prices.
“Under Labour’s KiwiBuild programme, we will construct 100,000 modern, affordable homes over 10 years for sale, at cost, to first homebuyers. KiwiBuild will increase demand for prefabricated housing around New Zealand.
“There’s a definite need for a prefabrication plant in Gisborne, and a Labour Government would get in behind local aspirations to develop value-added solutions in the wood processing industry,” says Andrew Little.