Kānoa-funding projects open in Otago, enabling further regional growth

Published: 25 August, 2023

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Two Otago landmarks worth more than $33 million officially opened today, heralding further economic development for the region’s tourism and wider community.

The Government has contributed $18.25 million, with $16.4 million coming from Kānoa – the Government’s Regional Economic Development and Investment Unit, to enable these projects to get off the ground. The total funding of all parties with regional investment will see wider, long term benefits for the region.

Clutha Gold Trail extension

Investment of $8.35 million has enabled a 63 kilometre extension to the 73 kilometre Clutha Gold cycle trail, linking a number of historic and natural landmarks between Lawrence and Lake Waihola.

The trail is one of the 23 Great Rides of Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trails, and compliments the Otago Ride cycle trails network which aim to collectively connect Queenstown, Wanaka and Dunedin.

Grant funding for the extension comes from $6.5 million from the Provincial Growth Fund, administered by Kānoa, and $1.85 million from the New Zealand Cycle Trail Fund, administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Tourism Branch.

Clutha District War Memorial and Community Centre

Funding of $9.9 million towards the $24 million rebuild of Clutha District War Memorial and Community Centre, provides the town’s first modern business and community hub.

The hub will also provide a large 400-seat multi-purpose auditorium, local runanga space, leased retail areas and modern public services.

Government funding for the Clutha District War Memorial and Community Centre comes from a $9.9 million grant from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, administered by Kānoa.

“We remain committed to seeing our regions thrive economically. Today’s opening of the multi-functional community space and war memorial hub in Balclutha, along with an extension to one the area’s great cycle trails will create further economic and tourism opportunities for the Otago region,” says Kānoa head Robert Pigou.

“Collectively, these projects will bolster community development and economic growth in the region, promoting it as both an international and domestic tourism destination.”

An estimated 12,000 people use the Clutha Gold Trail each year (which is expected to increase to 15,000 with the extension). Two thirds of these visitors are from outside the region, bringing in about $2.5 million a year in revenue to Otago.

The multifunctional Community Centre aims to attract visitors with a stopover location and central service community location for those living and doing business in the Balclutha region.

“These two projects will really add to Otago’s burgeoning economic growth, showing our investment in regions provides real benefit to their economies.” says Robert Pigou.

Kānoa has paid nearly $129 million in funding to 129 projects across Otago since 2018. Another $46 million has been allocated for projects in the region.

Since 2018, $3.2 billion has been paid out from the 8 regional investment funds administered by Kānoa to support regional economies. 1,148 projects have been completed.

“Through a mix of grants, loans and equity, we’re investing in projects that will enable our regional businesses to continue to grow,” says Robert.