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Labour will put $20m into Gisborne factory

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/02/2017

Labour is promising Gisborne that if it leads the next government it will put $20 million into a new timber prefabrication plant.

Party leader Andrew Little says timber is the strength of the regional economy but too many logs are being shipped offshore.

"A Labour-led government will provide a stimulus package of up to $20m to enable the construction of a timber prefabrication plan and associated infrastructure," he said on Friday.

"This money will match dollar for dollar investment from businesses and local economic development agencies."

Mr Little says the $20m could be used to build the plant, pay for infrastructure upgrades, or sawmilling technology.

A spinoff is that the plant could help build the 100,000 affordable houses Labour is promising if it wins the election.

"By bolstering an already growing prefabrication industry we can boost the industry's ability to build houses at affordable prices", Mr Little said.

Spending watchdog the Taxpayers' Union described the announcement as "pork barrel politics at its worst".

"No disciplined economic analysis, no business plan, just a bunch of politicians seeking a photo opportunity and a headline," said executive director Jordan Williams.

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