Earlier this month, central government announced a $45 million injection into the Manawatū-Whanganui Region with funding towards Foxton environment and visitor amenities, Te Puwaha – Whanganui Port revitalisation, the development of a new wing for the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Whanganui, and talent and skills initiatives to support the region’s labour market.
Te Puwaha will be overseen by a new governance model, to ensure the whole community are included and the new legal status of the Whanganui River is recognised under Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Act 2017. The four foundation members of the governance group are: Gerrard Albert (Chair of Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui Trust), Rachel Keedwell (Horizons Regional Council chair), Ken Mair (Chair of the Whanganui Land Settlement Negotiation Trust) and Hamish McDouall (Mayor of Whanganui).
This investment is a huge opportunity. It comes at a critical time for the Whanganui community and the wider region, as we seek to offset the economic impacts of COVID-19. It will build economic resilience, create jobs and ensure certainty around economic growth.