Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall said that a $26.75 million funding announcement from the Provincial Growth Fund for Whanganui’s port revitalisation is welcome news for the district.
The announcement, delivered by Regional Economic Development Minister, the Hon Shane Jones, at the port today, will see allocations from the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund invested in the port across four applicants – Horizons Regional Council, Whanganui District Council, Q-West Boat Builders and the Whanganui District Employment Training Trust.
“These projects will create hundreds of jobs for local people and ensure that Tupua te Kawa, the values associated with the legal framework of Te Awa Tupua, are upheld,” said Mayor McDouall.
Via the Port Infrastructure project, the Whanganui District Council would upgrade wharves, develop marine infrastructure and improve its dredging capabilities to enhance the local boat building and marine industry.
Whanganui iwi organisations, Ngā Tangata Tiaki o Whanganui and the Whanganui Land Settlement Negotiations Trust, together with both councils, recently announced a new governance structure for the lower Whanganui River infrastructure and port redevelopment and the project has been renamed Te Puwaha (the river mouth or gateway).
Myles Fothergill, Managing Director of Q-West Boat Builders, added that he envisages Whanganui being a major New Zealand centre for marine development. “My project involves creating a world-class marine precinct at the Whanganui Port. Along with neighbouring businesses, I’d expect to be looking at 80 new jobs created as a result.”