Government backs Reefton Distillery expansion

Published: Sep 30, 2020

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A West Coast distillery is benefitting from a Provincial Growth Fund loan allowing it to expand its operations and create jobs in the town of Reefton, the Minister of Regional Economic Development Shane Jones has announced.

Reefton Distilling Co building with a green Model A car parked outside

The Reefton Distilling Co is expanding to keep pace with demand for its popular products, thanks to a loan from the Provincial Growth Fund.

The Reefton Distilling Co. will receive a $928,000 Provincial Growth Fund loan to help relocate its distillery to larger premises and buy the equipment it needs to expand operations.

The Minister of Regional Economic Development Shane Jones says the craft distillery is growing rapidly.

“The distilling company only began operating two years ago but it is already proving hugely successful, so much so that it has outgrown its existing premises,” Shane Jones says.

“Demand for the distillery’s international award winning products is increasing and the $1.86m expansion project will allow it to keep up with that demand, grow production and host even greater tourist numbers, having a positive effect to the local economy.”

Shane Jones says the project will also create jobs.

“The relocation and fit out of the distillery will provide local construction jobs and significant spending in the region. Construction work is expected to be completed in the first quarter 2021.

“The expansion has created another seven to eight full time jobs with others expected to be created in early 2021, on top of the existing full time permanent staff and five casual workers,” Shane Jones says.

“The new development will also provide education and training opportunities for youth through part time employment, work experience and internship programmes.

“This employment growth is significant in a small town like Reefton and fits in well with the government’s COVID-19 response plan which aims to create jobs by backing projects which can start immediately.”

Shane Jones says the Reefton Distilling Co. is also increasing its environmental sustainability.

“The distillery is already working with Department of Conservation to grow its sustainable use of native botanicals to flavour spirits, as well as collecting rainwater, considering solar energy and using a bio-mass boiler to power its stills.”