Labour’s regional development plan for the West Coast will build on its strengths in engineering and tourism, while delivering a much-needed upgrade to the Buller Hospital, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.
“Labour’s vision is for a thriving regional New Zealand, where people from all around the country know that they are valued, and know that they can make a valuable contribution to New Zealand’s social and economic life.
“The West Coast is a beautiful and valuable part of New Zealand, but it has not been valued by the National Government. National has failed to back the West Coast as it faces a shrinking economy, rising crime, and cuts to transport and health spending.
“Labour values the West Coast, and our plan will add value to the region and restore much needed health services.
“We will invest in the health services the West Coast needs, committing to the redevelopment of Buller Hospital on the existing site, with all of the expected $20 million funding coming from the Crown, rather than a Public Private Partnership that slows the process down too much.
“One of the West Coast’s greatest strengths is its tourism, and we’ll grow this critical industry by supporting the funding of the upgrade and development of two cycle trails, the Old Ghost Road and the West Coast Wilderness Trail.
“And Labour will add real value to West Coast exports and build on its historical strengths by making industrial engineering exports a key focus of the Tai Poutini West Coast Economic Development Action Plan.
“This will include funding a facilitator to work with engineering businesses across the West Coast to share expertise, identify common goals, and develop supplier and marketing information.
“Labour’s plan demonstrates our commitment to the West Coast, where the Labour Party itself was started in 1908, and our commitment to thriving regions around New Zealand.
“Despite the best efforts of hard-working individuals and communities, regions around New Zealand have suffered because of National’s neglect.
“Labour will invest in the regions, building on their individual strengths and fostering thriving regions throughout New Zealand,” says Jacinda Ardern.