Manawatū-Whanganui business gets PGF support
Published: Dec 12, 2019 · Updated: Dec 1, 2020
The Provincial Growth Fund announced $772,000 in funding for the Manawatū-Whanganui region in November.
NZ Bio-Forestry Limited received a $380,000 boost for bold research which could unlock significant growth in the wood processing sector.
The research could lead to New Zealand’s first bio-plastics like food packaging and single-use cups, and can be used for high-value plywood. This could lead to a processing facility built to manufacture products and enable more efficient processing by reducing waste and making use of the entire log.
Nationally, this research is a key step in developing technology which could help New Zealand meet climate change targets and transition to a low emission economy.
For the wood processing industry, this would lead to increased productivity, new jobs, and growth across many regions which could use the technology. Given the majority of forests in Manawatū -Whanganui are on iwi-owned land, there is also an opportunity for this project to improve economic returns for Māori.
The PGF has also provided funding support to Rangitikei District Council to develop its plan to establish a rural water supply scheme for its region, and to assist Tararua and Whanganui with support to undertake economic development projects.
Horizons Regional Council got $200,000 to refresh the Accelerate25 economic action plan. This will make sure priorities for the area reflect recent changes in regional economies, keeping local people front and center of spearheading Manawatū-Whanganui’s pathway to a stronger regional economy.
Local skin care business The Herb Farm in Ashhurst is scaling up its manufacturing capacity with the help of a $261,000 loan from the PGF. The loan will make it possible for the business to increase output, hire more staff and expand production to keep pace with growing demand for their products.
The PGF also supported the completion of a master plan for the regional freight hub near Palmerston North. The hub will allow for greater use of rail across the lower North Island, efficiently link rail and road freight together, and create a focal point that will help draw more distribution businesses to the Manawatū.