Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese says yesterday’s announcement of Government investment will boost economic development in the region.
Three Nelson-based projects are to receive funding from the Provincial Growth Fund and the Infrastructure Reference Group’s (IRG) shovel-ready project fund.
The projects align closely with Nelson WhakatÅ«’s vision of The Smart Little City – he taÅne tÅrire a WhakatÅ« – and will support Project KÅkiri, the region’s economic response collaboration to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hawk Eye Limited and Apollo Autonomy will receive $3 million to further develop software that will enable unmanned airfreight operations, with an operation run out of Nelson and initial piloted flights between Nelson, Westport and Christchurch.
The Apollo Aviation project will create up to 10 jobs in the short term, and between 25-40 permanent jobs as the project develops, which Mayor Reese says will provide a boost to aviation employment opportunities in the region.
“Nelson has a proud aviation history and a focus on leading edge innovation is a positive move as the sector responds to downsizing challenges as a result of Covid-19,” she says.
Port Nelson Ltd and Aimex Service Group will receive $9.8 million to replace an aged and inadequate small marine slipway with a state of the art modern replacement to ensure the region’s fishing, aquaculture and marine engineering industries will be preserved for years to come.
Mayor Reese says projects such as this are critical to building strength in our region’s ocean economy and this project opens the door to attracting more national and international work to our region.
Funding of $7.5 million has also been granted to Nelson City Council’s Saxton’s Creek Upgrade Project in Stoke to allow critical flood mitigation works to continue at pace, creating employment for the region.
The Saxton Creek Upgrade Project is a climate change resiliency project that aims to protect the residential, commercial and industrial properties along the Creek for a 1 in 100 year event.
It will also mitigate flooding of Main Road Stoke (a main transport arterial between Nelson and Richmond) and increase capacity of the culverts between Main Road Stoke and Whakatu Drive.
Initial work on improving the upstream section of Saxton Creek, between Champion Road and Main Road Stoke, began in 2016, with stages 1 and 2 complete and stage 3 currently under construction.
This Government Funding will enable the work between Main Road Stoke and the sea (stage 4) to be fast tracked and will delivering savings to Council.
Council has committed $10M to date on the first 3 stages of the project and receiving a $7.5M of government investment is a significant contribution to Stage 4 (total estimated cost $10M) to complete the project.
The work will create employment for the region, including construction jobs, sub-contractors, engineers and the local supply chain through the provision of materials.
Mayor Reese says this aligns closely with the Nelson City Council vision.
“This project delivers on Council’s climate change resilience commitments and creates employment for the region, including construction jobs, sub-contractors, engineers and the local supply chain through the provision of materials,” she says.
This flood protection work will provide protection for industries critical to our region’s economy, including a major meat processing facility, engineering services, technical education centre, numerous building trade companies and storage facilities.
At yesterday’s announcement, the Parliament Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau, said it’s providing another reason for people to be drawn to the Nelson region.
“These projects will transform the region, create jobs and make the Top of the South an even more attractive place to live, work and visit,” he said.