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Start of COVID-19 recovery welcomed by central NZ businesses

The Government’s COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track) Bill and Provincial Growth Fund announcements made today are a positive start for central New Zealand, but hopefully, it is just the beginning, says Business Central and Wellington Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive John Milford. 

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"We welcome that the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track) Bill is fast-tracking eleven infrastructure projects and paving the way for other projects to be sped up too," says Milford. 

"Job opportunities and improving critical infrastructure are just what the country needs right now. As we all well know, the consenting process has caused extremely frustrating delays over the years, so we are pleased to see it speed up to get key projects underway." 

Of the fast-tracked projects, two are in the lower North Island (Te Ara Tūpuna Petone to Ngauranga walk and cycleway, Wellington Metro Upgrade programme) and one in the upper South Island (Picton Ferry Dock and Terminal upgrade). 

"With the range of infrastructure challenges the central region faces, we would have liked to have seen more. However, with the Bill allowing for other projects to be sped up, we expect to see more in due course. 

"It is also promising to see today’s Provincial Growth Fund announcement, which will support much-needed employment in Manawatu-Whanganui, Wairarapa, Taranaki, and the upper South Island. 

"There are many projects in our region that have been ‘ready to go and much needed’ for years. We would welcome even more," says Mr Milford. 

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