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Ed Sheeran

PGF road and rail spend boosts Kawerau prospects
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The eastern Bay of Plenty town of Kawerau is feeling the love today from the Provincial Growth Fund.

It's putting $19.9 million into three projects in the Pūtauaki Trust Industrial Hub - $9.6 million to construct a rail siding at the Kawerau Container Terminal, $2.8 million into Sequal Lumber's 1.6 kilometre Kawerau off-highway road that will allow logging trucks to reach the siding, and $7.5 million to Pūtauaki Trust to connect around 50ha of vacant plots within the Hub to existing roads by adding a turning bay and a roundabout on SH34.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says the town with its majority Māori population has been neglected in recent decades, but the investment for niche dairy companies and wood processing is putting pressure on infrastructure.

The Government is responding with its own investments in road and rail to ensure products can get out smoothly to the port at Tauranga.

"So you wouldn't ordinarily think of it as a policy with a big Māori moko on it but the reality is we have a large number of Māori whānau there, they call Kawerau their home. They thoroughly enjoy living there and they don't want to endure a second, third rate existence in the absence of flash infrastructure," he says.

The investment will create significant employment opportunities and attract further private sector investment.

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