Northland's economy is set to get a multi-million dollar boost today with the Government launching The Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan in Kerikeri.
Northlanders can look forward to some major announcements today aimed at getting the region's sluggish economy moving. The plan is part of the Government's Regional Growth Programme, which is aimed at increasing jobs, income and investment in regional New Zealand. It is expected to announce a number of initiatives that will pump millions into the region and create hundreds of jobs.
A big focus is expected to be unlocking the potential of Northland's Maori economic development, while tourism, Northland's second largest industry, is also likely to be targeted with funding.
The Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan is due to be launched at a Kerikeri winery today by ministers Steven Joyce (Economic Development), Te Ururoa Flavell (Maori Development) and Nathan Guy (Primary Industries).
Northland business and local body leaders will be at the launch, along with representatives of regional development agency Northland Inc.
The contents of the plan are being kept under wraps until this morning's announcement, but it is rumoured to include cash injections for a Niwa fish farm at Bream Bay, Whangarei's Hundertwasser Arts Centre and plans to put surplus steam and heat from a geothermal power plant at Ngawha Springs to use in industry such as timber processing. None of that had been confirmed at edition time yesterday.
Also today, starting at 1.30pm, Kaikohe's Northland College is holding an information session about initiatives under way at the school which board chair Ken Rintoul said would have significant social and economic benefits for Northland. Those are thought to include college-based forestry and manuka honey academies.
The action plan is based on Northland Inc's Tai Tokerau Northland Regional Growth Study released last February, which found the sectors that will drive Northland's future growth are tourism, forestry, farming, education, marine, aquaculture and horticulture.