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Government looks to fix up Whanganui port

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 11/08/2016

The government is throwing half a million dollars behind a plan to revitalise Whanganui's port.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce announced the plan on Friday as part of a wider strategy to give the Manawatu-Whanganui area a boost.

The government hopes the $500,000 in partnership with Whanganui District Council will support more than 135 jobs in boat building and marine services.

It sets out plans for a new marine services centre, which will house an expanded area for boat builders, a visitor centre and recreational area.

"The expansion of diversified businesses servicing recreational boating and visitor attractions will generate even more opportunities for industry growth and employment," Mr Joyce said.

Other parts of the broader strategy for the region look to increase jobs by focusing on farms and food production - with another $465,000 going towards the primary sector.

"Benefit modelling carried out by NZIER has estimated that the primary sector opportunities alone have the potential to increase regional GDP by around $580 million by 2025," Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said.

Minister for Maori Development Te Ururoa Flavell on Friday also announced another $193,500 from the Whenua Maori Fund would be spent on helping two large groups of Maori landowners work out the best use for their land.

"Maori have been heavily involved in the plans development and are well-represented in areas such as tourism, hill country sheep and beef farming, and manuka honey," he said.

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