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Source: New Zealand Government

Four Bay of Plenty timber businesses will receive investments totalling nearly $22 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to boost the local economy and create jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced.

Rotorua-based sawmill Red Stag Wood Solutions will receive a $15 million loan to develop an engineered wood products manufacturing facility.

“Red Stag is a major employer in the region and a well-respected member of the industry. This funding will enable the company to bring forward by two to three years construction of the facility which will focus on the production of cross-laminated timber.

Its products will be used in the construction of 2000 new houses, which will be invaluable for Government housing initiatives.

“This is going to provide significant employment to an area in need. It is estimated that the project will initially create 30 jobs through construction and is expected to employ 62 people when completed,” Shane Jones said.

Another Rotorua-based timber manufacturing company, KLC Ltd, will receive a $3 million support package that will support around 100 jobs and create 20 new jobs in a low socioeconomic area. KLC is one of the largest employers in Kaingaroa and Murupara.

“The loan to KLC Ltd will help the company weather the storm created by COVID-19 and provide more jobs in one of the areas most at risk,” Shane Jones said.

Edgecumbe-based Tunnicliffe Timber Solutions will receive $2.25 million to help the business expand, creating an additional 30 jobs over the next 18 months.

“The investment in Tunnicliffe Timber Solutions will enable the company to buy new machinery and create a new market locally for high-quality thermally modified doors and windows.”

Tunnicliffe will also receive a Te Ara Mahi grant of $314,000 for an education programme to develop and upskill employees in sustainable manufacturing. Te Ara Mahi is a fund within the PGF to specifically support regional employment through the development of skills and capability.

Te Puke-based Pukepine Sawmills will receive a loan of $1.6 million to increase production. This will create an additional 15 jobs.

Pukepine is one of the largest permanent employers in Te Puke.

“The PGF loan will not only create more jobs but bring an estimated $9 million into the region each year,” Shane Jones said.

“A number of sawmills have closed or gone into receivership. We are not only helping these businesses secure workers’ jobs, they will also be able to take on more employees. We need to boost the industries already supporting their communities to ensure the regions are able to weather this economic storm.”