Provincial Growth Fund injects $1.7million into the district

Matamata-Piako could experience a tourism and industry boom thanks to a $1.7million funding injection from the Provincial Growth Fund.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visited Matamata-Piako last week and announced the success of Council’s two applications to the fund.

The two approved projects include $900,000 towards a feasibility study and business investment case for a Te Aroha tourism precinct and $800,000 towards a feasibility study for a Waharoa industry hub.

The announcement was made at a luncheon at Dalton’s Plantation, organised by Te Waka, Waikato’s regional economic development agency. In her speech, the Hon. Jacinda Ardern spoke fondly of her memories of Te Aroha and how, overall, she hoped funds used for research, would open doors and encourage people to ‘linger a little longer in the district’.

“Describing to people what Te Aroha means to this region and what it means to me, sometimes I find rather difficult. Both my parents were born in Te Aroha I spent my childhood growing up playing around the Domain. The history of that place is not known to nearly enough people, it’s a beautiful place and could become a real triangle

of tourism”.

The Prime Minister said Waharoa’s prime location meant it had the potential to attract businesses wishing to relocate and also supply Auckland. She said Waharoa had challenges to overcome, such as the right infrastructure and housing but funds towards a business case would help examine these closer and provide solutions, which was one of the fantastic benefits of the Provincial Growth Fund.

“Overall my hope is this region can form links together and become a tourism destination as a whole. Hobbiton already attracting thousands, Te Aroha with its hot springs, Morrinsville with its Wallace Gallery and the biggest cow you ever did see, could be a tourism triangle.”

The announcement was welcome news to Mayor Jan Barnes who said feasibility studies would provide a better understanding of how to increase the productivity potential of the Waikato region, boost the local economy, develop the use of natural resources and help the region to grow.

“These kind of opportunities to enhance economic development, create sustainable jobs, partner with iwi, and build resilient communities are exactly what the Provincial Growth Fund is all about,” she said.

Caption: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with Mayor Jan Barnes and the District Councillors (L-R) Teena Cornes, Adrienne Wilcock, Paul Cronin, Neil Goodger, Kevin Tappin, Brian Hunter, James Sainsbury & Donna Arnold.  

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