Don’t damn dam rally

June 20, 2014

Two Waipawa businessmen who are organising a rally in Waipukurau to support the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme:

Gavin Streeter and Shane Heaton are directors of Isaac’s Pumping and Electrical and have taken it upon themselves to show there is grassroots backing for the project.

“The project has been bashed to pieces in the media with the coverage focusing on the Environmental Protection Authority and how councillors are voting.

“We want to take a different approach – this is a rally by the people for the people – the entire Hawke’s Bay community needs to get behind this and show their support in the face of the negative attention the process is receiving,” Mr Streeter said.

Through their business they deal with farmers as customers and said there is a lot of positivity in the farming community about the project.

“The farmers have been doing their bit over the last few months. We thought we would do something on behalf of the local business owners, as it’s not only the farmers who would benefit from this.

Contrary to the anti-irrigation brigade irrigation doesn’t just benefit farmers.

They put up most of the money and have most at risk but the benefit is spread through the community to those who work for, service and supply them.

“If it goes ahead, it might mean we could employ five more local people at our business,” said Mr Heaton.

To that end they were out and about beating the streets in Waipukurau yesterday, visiting as many businesses as they could to spread the word about the rally dubbed “Don’t damn the dam”.

“We don’t just want people from Central Hawke’s Bay to attend, though. We want the big industries in Hawke’s Bay such as Pan Pac, Heinz Watties and McCains to get involved too – this project will have long-term benefits for the whole region,” Mr Streeter said. . .

Those industries will benefit too with more produce to process and sell, which will create more jobs.

Federated Farmers is backing the rally:

“We are calling on every person and business in Hawke’s Bay who wants to have a better future here, to get in their car, ute, tractor or truck and be at Waipukurau’s memorial hall car park on Friday at 12pm,” says Will Foley, Federated Farmers Hawke’s Bay provincial president.

“This Friday is our chance to show New Zealand how much Hawke’s Bay wants to create a positive future for our kids and their kids. The dam will provide so much opportunity for Hawke’s Bay.

“We are expecting a strong show of support and are positively backing Ruataniwha because this is our last shot before the Board of Inquiry delivers its final decision.

“Nothing of any worth has ever come from being negative.

“That’s why we need a positive show of support to demonstrate what we the people who live here want. The feeling in the community is positive and we need to make a stand to show how much of a game changer the dam is going to be for the region.

“The South Island’s Opuha scheme is a shining example of how the whole water storage package works for the economy and the environment.

“The answer to reversing the population drift to Auckland and reversing the loss of businesses and services is as simple as ‘just add water.’

“Federated Farmers is okay with having a number for nitrogen, but let’s make it an indicator and not chiselled in granite.  The whole scheme’s viability hinges on this policy point.

“That will only happen if we show everyone just what Ruataniwha means to us.

“You can do that by making a slogan banner to hang off your vehicle this Friday at midday at Waipukurau’s memorial hall car park,” Mr Foley concluded. . . .

From outside Hawkes Bay seems to have it all – good climate, good soils, a variety of viable businesses, a vibrant arts community . . . .

But it has an underbelly with high unemployment and the social problems which go with it and it’s drought-prone.

Irrigation would provide insurance against droughts, boost other businesses and create more jobs.

This is the province’s chance to lay a strong foundation for the future and the rally will indicate whether the people are willing to take it.


Attracting regional investment

April 14, 2014

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise is to establish a new regional investment attraction programme to encourage more international firms to invest in New Zealand’s regional economies, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says.

NZTE will work in partnership with regions around the country to create comprehensive investment profiles that outline the strengths of the particular regional economy, the opportunities for investment, and what the region can offer to investors.

“We know there are big opportunities for New Zealand from the massive growth in the numbers of consumers across Asia. However, companies these days can invest their money wherever they like around the world. The challenge for each of New Zealand’s regions is to showcase the real opportunities for competitive businesses in their region, and this programme will help them do it in a more systematic way,” Mr Joyce says.

The NZTE regional investment attraction programme is part of the agency’s work to mobilise capital from domestic and international sources to help lift exports and grow New Zealand’s economy. This includes the new “Better by Capital” service which helps companies to understand the capital raising process to fund their international growth.

“The regions that are doing the best are those that have a clear positive approach that welcomes investment and new opportunities,” Mr Joyce says.

“The profiles will allow regions to clearly lay out the advantages they offer investors in terms of natural resources, infrastructure, the availability of skilled workers, and innovation hubs that support investment.

“NZTE will also provide a toolkit, training, and assistance for regional economic development agencies to better support investor engagement, guidance, and due-diligence.”

To help create and further develop these investment profiles, the Government is commissioning a number of Regional Growth Studies to evaluate growth opportunities in particular regions. These detailed in-depth reports will identify areas of existing economic strength and where opportunities for further growth lie, with a particular focus on the primary sector.

“In commissioning the Regional Growth Studies, the Government will work alongside regional stakeholders such as regional councils and economic development agencies. Local input into the reports will be vital to ensure they are evidence-based and comprehensive,” Mr Joyce says.

“The first study, for the Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay region, arose out of discussions with Regional Councils last year and is nearly complete. A request for proposals for the Northland study was released yesterday by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment alongside the Ministry of Primary Industries, and additional studies will be considered in partnership with other regions.

“The latest data shows that it is the regions that have been clearly leading New Zealand’s recovery out of the GFC. Today’s announcements will further accelerate this progress.”

The left demonise foreign investment, but it brings significant benefits:

A $70 million investment in Hawke’s Bay that future-proofs one of the region’s biggest employers was celebrated yesterday.

Japan-owned Pan Pac in Whirinaki, north of Napier, has upgraded its grade of wood-pulp exports thanks to a new $50 million plant that bleaches the product.

A $20 million investment was also made so that treated waste was “better than it has ever been before”, pulp mill manager Roger Jones told dignitaries touring the plant.

Previously, Pan Pac sold only newsprint pulp to its owner Oji Holdings for the Japanese market but now exports two grades of pulp throughout the world, with the US an increasingly important customer.

Pan Pac has the country’s largest Market Mechanical pulp mill and thanks to a recent third shift of workers, now has the country’s most productive sawmill. . .

This investment safeguards jobs, it’s already brought in foreign money and some of the export earnings will remain here for on-ging maintenance and development.

Investors who come from cities whose population is bigger than that of the whole of New Zealand might not be aware of the potential for investment like this outside our main centres.

But lower costs for property and generally stable workforces could make regions attractive to overseas investors.

These factors ought to be considered by domestic investors too when close proximity to a larger market isn’t a consideration.


%d bloggers like this: