The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.
“The regions are the lifeblood of New Zealand and Labour understands their vital importance to growing New Zealand’s economy.
“Many regions have been hollowed out under National with young people leaving for the cities and overseas. Things have become so bad there is speculation of abandoning communities or ‘red-zoning’ regions.
“Labour will not let that happen. Labour will stand alongside regions and work with them to fulfil their ambitions and keep their young people at home.
“We will work with local government, communities and businesses to develop tailored Regional Growth Plans that identify strengths and opportunities for each region, boost growth and create jobs.
“Labour will support the plans with a new $200 million Regional Development Fund that will co-invest in infrastructure and industry projects which would create an economic step-change for our regions.
“The sort of projects that could be considered include the Opotiki Harbour Development, Marsden Point rail line and the Gisborne-Napier Rail Link.
“The regions will be a core part of our wider Economic Upgrade that is built on investment, innovation and industry. Our Forestry, Manufacturing and ICT Upgrades will create jobs in regions that need them most.
“Under National, the regions have been neglected. The next Labour Government will be a partner and work alongside them,” David Cunliffe says.