River rejuvenation supports Foxton growth

Published: 2 March, 2021

Tagged with:

  • Media release
  • Manawatū/Whanganui

A recently rejuvenated section of the Manawatū River will support Foxton’s regional economic development, while providing environmental and quality of life improvements, says Chief Operating Officer of the Provincial Development Unit (PDU) Ben Dalton.

Te Kenehi Teira, Ben Dalton, Robin Hapi, Arjan van der Boon standing in front of the Foxton river loop

Te Kenehi Teira, Ben Dalton, Robin Hapi, Arjan van der Boon at the site of a blessing held in Foxton on Saturday 27 February 2021.

The completion of the government-supported river improvements was formally recognised with a dawn blessing last Saturday, followed by a celebration of the achievement by the Foxton community. The event incorporated the annual Manawatū River Festival.

“Today is a significant milestone for the Foxton community, and I am pleased the PDU is part of this project to improve public facilities. It is a pleasure to celebrate Foxton’s progress towards a sustainable future that will enable the town to grow for many years to come,” Ben Dalton says.

The PDU is managing a $3.86 million government investment which has helped the Horowhenua District Council make improvements to the river environment in Foxton, including the recently completed river dredging and riparian planting.

The next part of the project will provide upgraded visitor facilities such as barbeques, viewing platforms and playgrounds, and help accelerate planning for the next phases of Foxton’s regeneration.

Ben Dalton says the PDU-managed investment helps create jobs to support the region’s recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

“This project supports local employment opportunities and helps make Foxton a more attractive place to live, work and visit. This part of the project has seen 55 people employed so far, from project planning and stakeholder engagement roles through to excavation, construction and maintenance.

“It is wonderful to witness the level of community involvement with this project. The Save Our River Trust has made significant volunteer efforts over the years, and the council works hard with its project partners to involve local schools and community members in its work.”

“The PDU continues to support regional New Zealand’s economic development through investment in towns like Foxton. I am excited to see the wider Manawatū-Whanganui region keep growing as it attracts new visitors and commuters.”