Minister announces $924k for Coromandel aquaculture industry
Close to $1 million in Government funding is set to be invested into Coromandel's flourishing aquaculture industry.
The $924,000 - from the Government's $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund - will go towards aquaculture and marine services in the region, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced on Wednesday.
It's been a long time coming, with a need for more funding stretching back to the early 2000s, Jones said.
Coromandel produces about 26 per cent of New Zealand's greenshell mussels and 24 per cent of Pacific oysters.
And production is expected to double over the next 10 to 15 years, creating 550 new jobs.
"But current wharf infrastructure will limit the ability to meet demand," Jones said.
Aquaculture is an industry with annual sales of $612m, which has seen 70 per cent growth in seven years, so it made sense to invest in it, Jones said.
The funding will help address a "severe shortage" in boat ramps and a lack of all-tide facilities.
Of the funding, $558,000 will go towards Sugarloaf Wharf, $93,850 will go towards the Coromandel Marine Getaway and $270,000 will go towards the Kopu Marine Precint.
"There is potential to expend Sugarloaf Wharf to accommodate growing aquaculture demand, so we're exploring that as a first step," Jones said.
At Kopu Marine Precinct supporting services for large, local boats and barges will be enhanced, as will marine facilities.
The Coromandel Marine Gateway will incorporate a marina with boat stack storage, limited berths for fishing charter boats, a marine services area and facilities for charter vessels and ferry landing.
Once underway, that project will create up to 50 new jobs.
"There is strong local support for improvements in this space and evidence a local marina is needed, stretching back to the early 2000s," Jones said.
"The Government is willing to fast track the work because it will make a difference to the people of the Coromandel."