The Nelson and Tasman regions have joined forces to battle the economic impact of Covid-19.
The Nelson Tasman Economic Response and Regeneration Plan, that was officially launched on Friday last week, outlines the economic strategy for the region for the next year.
The document was launched last week by project Project Kōkiri, which is a joint response to the Covid-19 pandemic from the Nelson City Council, the Tasman District Council, Nelson Regional Development Agency, Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce, and local iwi.
Since the project was formed, it has already submitted 27 requests for infrastructure projects to the government’s ‘shovel ready’ project, including 14 priority projects.
Waimea Dam was just one of the major projects that has been submitted for funding, with project Kōkiri asking for $32.6 million for the dam, including $9.6 million to add a hydropower station.
If all the projects are accepted, this would create 2434 new jobs across the region.
Unemployment has been a looming concern for the region. Earlier this month the total number of unemployed across Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough had doubled to over 4000 since March 20. Unemployment is highest among under 30’s, with unemployment in that age group sitting at around 40 percent.
The response plan will see a range of measures taken over the next year to stimulate the economy across Nelson and Tasman, including action to protect existing jobs as well as creating new jobs and speeding up investment in the region.
CE of the Nelson Regional Development Agency, Mark Rawson, says that the purpose of the plan is to give a sense of direction for the economic recovery for the region.
“The significance of the challenges ahead will require us to be more aligned in our thinking, planning, decision-making and actions.”
Tasman mayor Tim King says that it is imperative for the regions to work together.
“While our diverse economy provides us with some advantages, to make the most of them we need to work together,” Tim says.
“We will not succeed without a combined effort from the community, central and local government and the private sector.”