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Red letter day for the East Coast

It’s a red letter day for the people of Tairāwhiti and Hawkes Bay who will be delighted with the $9.2 million dollars that the Government will spend immediately in the region, says Ikaroa Rāwhiti MP the Hon Meka Whaitiri.

“I am excited that the money from the Tuawhenua Provincial Growth Fund has been earmarked for projects that range from improvements to Gisborne’s inner harbour to kick-starting a $20 million Wood Processing Centre of excellence in the city.

“At the heart of this wide-ranging policy is the Government’s billion trees programme with enormous opportunities for our Māori people. It has to be remembered that nurseries are going to be needed for the millions of native trees that will have to be planted this year.

“Another key policy I am proud of, is our decision to invest $5 million in KiwiRail to reopen the Wairoa-Napier line for logging trains. This will get 5,700 trucks off our roads.

“We will also be spending $1 million on a commemoration programme for first encounters between Māori and  Pakehas to bolster local tourism. Other schemes we are investing in include manuka plantings at Lake Whakaki in Wairoa and a recharge trial for the Makauri aquifer.

“In 2016 New Zealand’s provinces produced over $91 billion of our GDP.

“Half of New Zealand’s population live outside our cities and for New Zealand to do well our provinces have to thrive. This is a bold and ambitious plan that reverses nine years of neglect in our regions,” says Hon Meka Whaitiri.