Rail and skills the focus of new investment in Manawatū-Whanganui
Published: Nov 15, 2018 · Updated: Dec 1, 2020
Regional Economic Development Minister, Shane Jones, has announced a Provincial Growth Fund package worth just over $48.2 million for Manawatū-Whanganui.
The PGF will support projects across a range of sectors – such as transport, food and beverage and tourism – that will help create new jobs and unlock new economic development opportunities for the region.
The largest investment is for KiwiRail to establish a regional freight hub near Palmerston North which will allow efficient distribution of freight via rail, road and air transport.
Training and employment is also a main part of the package, with the Provincial Growth Fund investing $2.8 million towards the expansion of the National Driver Training Centre in Manfeild. With the support of the Provincial Growth Fund, the programme will be expanded to include a full suite of driver training, including truck, digger, 4WD, forklift and roller.
Manawatū-Whanganui will also receive approximately $4.5 million towards improving digital connectivity in the region, as part of today's announcement for funding to improve digital connectivity in the regions. This funding will be used to further expand the Rural Broadband Initiative Phase Two (RBI2), the Mobile Black Spot Fund (MBSF), and make broadband available to unserved marae.