21 May 2018

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chairman Doug Leeder says the decision by central government not to support the Ōpōtiki Harbour redevelopment through its Provincial Growth Fund is a blow to the region.

“This is disappointing news, as this project is the largest of the four we have prioritised through our Regional Infrastructure Fund and would have been extremely beneficial to Ōpōtiki,” he explained.

“Having said that, we understand the proposal has been subject to a very rigorous business case analysis and robust decision-making process. The government has had to make some tough calls regarding the allocation of the money they have made available for regional development.

“We look forward to working together with central government and Ōpōtiki District Council to identify opportunities for provincial growth funding to collectively create more jobs for that area.”

Regional Council set aside up to $42.5 million for external infrastructure projects over the nine years between July 2013 and June 2022 with $20 million allocated to the Ōpōtiki Harbour Transformation Project. The other projects earmarked for funding are a Harbour Marine Precinct for Tauranga City, the Innovation Centre at Scion’s Innovation Park in Rotorua and a shared tertiary campus in Tauranga.

Council will now have to consider options around the $20 million set aside for this project, in respect of both council priorities and any restrictions attached to those funds.