A $26 million investment into Ōpōtiki will create more than 400 jobs and see the town revitalised and progress made on new aquaculture opportunities.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters made the announcement today, saying 245 jobs will be created through the construction and operation of overdue aquaculture infrastructure in Ōpōtiki.

A further 202 local jobs will be created as a result of club renovations and CBD improvements.

"The people of Ōpōtiki have been waiting decades for real investment in key infrastructure and support for the incredible aquaculture opportunities that the wider region can provide," Peters said.

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Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters. Photo / File
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters. Photo / File

"Unlocking the long-neglected potential of the provinces and creating hundreds of new jobs in places such as Ōpōtiki, is absolutely essential to our country's recovery from the economic devastation of Covid-19."

The projects announced today are a mixture of Provincial Growth Fund and Infrastructure Reference Group shovel ready projects.

Peters said the investments would enable the people of Ōpōtiki to make progress towards their aspirations and would support thriving communities for years to come.

Ōpōtiki mayor Lyn Riesterer said the funding was an investment in community facilities and would bring their public spaces and amenities up to a high standard.

"It is part of our mission to turn Ōpōtiki around and create a better future for the generations that come after us.

"We want to hand over a district with a vibrant new industry, new training and employment, robust infrastructure, outstanding community spaces and a world of new opportunities. It is thrilling to be on the right path to that future," Riesterer said.

Where the funding will go

Ōpōtiki CBD Improvement project - $11.9 million

This Ōpōtiki District Council project will include redevelopment of
• local Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi library and a digital hub
• refurbishment of council-owned properties
• updated town signage
• green space redevelopments
• skatepark upgrades
• improvements to signage and access to cycle and heritage trails
• pavement and verandah replacements.

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Ōpōtiki Clubs Building Upgrade project - $169,686

This Ōpōtiki District Council project will see renovations made to the local golf and rugby club.

Funding will go towards refurbishments such as repositioning walls, replacing toilet and shower facilities, adding storage and upgrading kitchens.

Ōpōtiki Marina and Industrial Park - $8.8 million

This project will provide infrastructure for the Ōpōtiki Harbour Development including:
• a 1.3 hectare basin
• a wharf on the west bank of the Waioeka River
• an access road and other infrastructure required for safe mooring of the dredge and support vessels involved in the harbour development project.

Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board - $5 million

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Funding will be used to invest in Whakatōhea Mussels Ōpōtiki Limited's (WMOL) mussel farm expansion and a new mussel processing facility.

This funding will accelerate work and enable WMOL to upscale its operations and increase employment.

Mahi Ora Ōpōtiki programme - $100,000

Funding will help connect employers with potential employees to meet the significant work demands of development in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. This includes the Government-funded Ōpōtiki Harbour redevelopment and WMOL expansion.

It will support the development and implementation of a local workforce development strategy, providing education to employment pipeline.