The Waikato Regional Council intends to help marine agriculture by providing an injection of funding of $ 2 million to Sugarloaf Wharf.

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The Waikato Regional Council intends to help marine agriculture by providing an injection of funding of $ 2 million to Sugarloaf Wharf.

Funding increases for a Coromandel dock and for the Waikato display industry were made in the first grants from the Waikato Area Council Regional Development Fund.

The council will contribute $ 2 million to Te Ariki Tahi / Sugarloaf Wharf Ltd and $ 575,000 to Hamilton-Waikato Tourism for the Waikato Screens project.

The Te Kouma wharf received $ 19.95 million from the government’s provincial growth fund in 2020 to increase mussel culture capacity by 20,000 tonnes.

A council statement said the wharf expansion will unlock an estimated $ 822 million in economic benefits over 35 years and support 880 jobs.

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Te Ariki Tahi / Quai du Pain de Sucre in Te Kouma.  The wharf will receive $ 2 million from the Waikato Regional Council to help develop marine agriculture.

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Te Ariki Tahi / Quai du Pain de Sucre in Te Kouma. The wharf will receive $ 2 million from the Waikato Regional Council to help develop marine agriculture.

The growth of the marine agriculture sector in Coromandel depends on the infrastructure of the wharves, advisers heard.

The funding agreement will include a number of conditions, including a requirement that all consents are first approved before the grant is released, as well as the establishment of performance expectations.

The wharf is jointly owned by the Thames-Coromandel District Council, the Coromandel Marine Farmers Association and the Ministry of Innovation and Employment.

Council Chairman Russ Rimmington said the funding will help marine farmers invest in on-water operations.

“The potential to change lives, to boost the local and regional economy through this work, is the reason this council has committed funds to it,” said Rimmington.

Erin Griffiths, left, and Waikato Screen's Madelien Scholten worked to get more of Waikato onscreen.

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Erin Griffiths, left, and Waikato Screen’s Madelien Scholten worked to get more of Waikato onscreen.

As a tribute to Waikato’s burgeoning screen industry, over half a million dollars will be donated to Waikato Screens over the next three years.

Hamilton-Waikato Tourism will receive funding on behalf of the project, with the aim of actively promoting the area as a film location and scouting location.

The area has not had a cinema office for years, although it is home to iconic film sets in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

And three films had already been shot in the region in the past eight months.

Hamilton advisor Angela Strange said she was really excited about the proposal.

“Imagine what they [Waikato Screens] could do with our support.

“I’m really excited about this proposal and see it will bring millions of dollars to the region, create jobs for locals as extras and inspire young people. “

The hills and paddocks of Waikato are an integral part of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movies.  Here we see Sir Ian McKellen in a scene from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

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The hills and paddocks of Waikato are an integral part of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movies. Here we see Sir Ian McKellen in a scene from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Similar to the Te Ariki Tahi Sugarloaf Wharf grant, there will be conditions prior to the release of funding that Waikato Screens must meet, and other conditions after years one and two.

The council’s regional development fund was set up as part of the council’s 2015-2025 long-term plan and holds $ 5.5 million. These projects constitute the first round of financing.

The fund was created to support projects of regional importance that promote regional economic development.

The fund’s policy will be revised after its first grant delivery to give the board the opportunity to assess the processes used for grants and solicit feedback on improving the design and delivery of the Regional Development Fund.



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