Our Coalition Government is strengthening the West Coast economy, creating new jobs and supporting West Coast businesses and families.
The last couple of weeks have seen a number of major Provincial Growth Fund announcements for the West Coast - from transport, to industry, to tourism, and more!
New Zealand's West Coast offers an array of unique tourism opportunities - and with visitor numbers set to increase, infrastructure needs to be modernised to make sure the experience is the very best on offer.
We're investing in five tourism initiatives within the Buller district, ensuring the region’s popular sites and unique environments are protected and offer high-quality experiences for visitors. These initiatives are:
- Redeveloping Dolomite Point in Punakaiki, focusing on improved visitor facilities and visitor experience
- Building Kawatiri Coastal Trail between Westport and Charleston
- Improving visitor facilities and environmental protection at Oparara Arches in Karamea
- Building hot pools and spa facilities above Punakaiki Resort
- Upgrading Croesus Road at the Blackball end of the new Paparoa Great Walk and Pike29 Memorial Trail
We're also turning KiwiRail's Coastal Pacific into a year-round service, increasing capacity, upgrading stations and bringing more visitors to the region to experience KiwiRail’s world-renowned TranzAlpine Great Journey of New Zealand.
We're extending and improving ultra-fast broadband and mobile coverage across the West Coast and Southland, because we know investment in digital infrastructure is crucial for strong economic growth.
The Provincial Growth Fund is investing in a number of crucial projects to boost digital connectivity in the region, including:
- Haast Fibre Loop between Fox Glacier and Lake Hawea
- Milford Highway Fibre Connection into Milford Sound in west Southland
- Extending and improving mobile coverage on the West Coast
- Extending and accelerating Ultrafast Broadband (UFB) in UFB towns on the West Coast
We're supporting the Ruatapu Garnet Project, a new venture to mine garnet on the West Coast.
The Ruatapu Garnet Project will create sustainable jobs and wealth locally, while meeting the region’s goal of diversifying its economy. Up to 50 permanent, high-paying jobs will be established through the Ruatapu Garnet Project, as well as boosting support industries like transport and trades in the region. The Barton New Zealand Limited (BNZL) mine has support throughout the region, including from councils and iwi.
We're investing in high-tech dairy, helping future-proof a critical West Coast industry. Our investment in Westland Milk Products will support the development of segregation facilities at the co-operative’s Hokitika site, which will encourage farmers to produce milk that can be turned into much higher value products, delivering higher returns without requiring an increase in herd numbers.
This will pave the way for Westland Milk to grow its business by processing to higher value products. It's a great example of how technology can help drive growth that is both meaningful and sustainable. The West Coast community has highlighted dairy as a key industry for their region. Today’s investment from the PGF shows the Government is willing to back industries that matter to a region and have the potential to make a real difference.
We're proud of the work our Coalition Government is doing with the Provincial Growth Fund to ensure New Zealand's regional economy continues to develop and thrive for many years into the future.