After 10 years of planning, an $18 million investment for the Rangiuru Business Park project near Te Puke from the Provincial Growth Fund will create thousands of jobs in the long-run.

Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau made the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) announcement today at The Orchard Church in Te Puke.

The business park would be the region's "largest consented green field industrial zone" when finished, he said.

It will be built on 226 hectares of land and the construction phase will create more than 200 jobs, he said.

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"In the medium to longer-term, it is predicted 4000 jobs will be available at Rangiuru, half of them high paying positions."

"These opportunities will be a significant boost to workers and their families, and in turn, the region's economy. It will also support the Bay of Plenty's quick recovery from the impacts of Covid-19."

The business park will be developed near Te Puke between two major roads, the Tauranga Eastern Link and the existing State Highway 2. Photo / File
The business park will be developed near Te Puke between two major roads, the Tauranga Eastern Link and the existing State Highway 2. Photo / File

The business park will be developed near Te Puke between two major roads, State Highway 2 - Tauranga Eastern Link and the old State Highway 2 which is now a local road.

This investment will fund the construction of an interchange connecting the industrial park with the Tauranga Eastern Link road.

"At the moment, the region's other industrial developments are at capacity, but once Rangiuru is finished, it will provide local industries with the space they need to develop," Tabuteau said.

"The Business Park has been planned for 10 years, with strong support from local government, communities, and business."

"This is all about unlocking the potential of this region."

"The PGF is a circuit breaker. It gets long-planned projects moving by providing financial support and I am delighted to deliver this good news today," Tabuteau said.

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Among those at the announcement today were Western Bay of Plenty District Council mayor Garry Webber, Scott Hamilton from Quayside Holdings, MPs Angie Warren Clark and Clayton Mitchell, Te Puke EDG managing director Mark Boyle, and representatives from Tapuika and Waitaha iwi and Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Rangiuru Timeline
2005: Original land purchase takes place.
2008: Original rezoning consent approved.
August 2015: Opening of TEL creates the potential for an interchange serving the business park.
June 2017: Environment Court decision clears the way for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council's investment arm Quayside Holdings to begin development.
May 2019: Western Bay of Plenty District Council applies for $20 million from the Government's Provincial Growth Fund for an interchange to provide access to the business park.
April 2020: A bid for $120 million is made to the Government's Crown Infrastructure Partners for development of the business park.
May 2020: A joint bid from seven Bay of Plenty councils for $755 million in Government economic stimulus funding for transport projects includes $23.5m for upgrading roads and rail crossings for the business park.
July 2020: Government approves $18 million of Provincial Growth Fund money for the construction of an interchange connecting the industrial park with the TEL.