Gisborne sawmill and roading win funding
THE GOVERNMENT’S RECENTLY ANNOUNCED BIG $320 MILLION spend-up for the East Coast will help a community to re-vitalise its sawmill and also upgrade roads in the region that will benefit log truck traffic.
The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will invest $500,000 in the Far East Saw Mill near Gisborne to increase wood processing capacity and get local people into jobs, says Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones.
The total cost to recommission the mill is just over $3.6 million, with the rest of the funding coming from the Eastland Community Trust and the Far East Saw Mill Limited.
“Currently only 4% of raw logs are milled in Tairāwhiti (Gisborne), but there’s potential for that to increase by up to 25%, which will add an estimated $120 million annually to the region,” says Mr Jones.
“Forestry is a significant economic driver in Tairāwhiti and we want to make sure the region is able to take full advantage of the opportunities the sector provides. Funding from the PGF will also help speed up the mill’s production capacity, which is currently only operating at 10%, while also returning 50 jobs to the local economy.”
Meanwhile, the region will benefit from up to $137 million spending on much-needed roading and transport upgrades over the coming years.