Government $17M COVID-19 funding package for Rotorua projects
19 March 2020
The government is investing $17 million in tourism, health and wellbeing projects in Rotorua through its Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).
The move was announced today (19 March 2020) by Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau just as the a new COVID-19 case was confirmed in Rotorua.
Fletcher Tabuteau was in Rotorua with Prime Minister Jacinda Adern at the time.
“This PGF support comes at a crucial time as the Government takes decisive action to protect people and their jobs from the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst critically it ensures job security for New Zealanders, it is a reminder that we need to be ready when the world recovers from the effects of COVID-19,” Fletcher Tabuteau said in a statement.
The projects receiving PGF funding are:
$8 million to QE Health for a purpose built new facility
$9 million to The Pukeroa Oruawhata Group to help develop its Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa
“The $8 million support to QE Health from the PGF is enabling QE Health to move from its existing premises that was no longer fit for purpose, enabling a new purpose-designed facility to be built,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.
“Working in partnership with the Government’s $12.1 billion COVID-19 economic package this PGF support will provide much needed job certainty and security for the 75 existing employees at QE health, enable the continuation of its health and wellbeing services, and facilitate its business diversification and growth in the future.”
“QE Health is historically significant to the people of Rotorua as a specialist clinical and rehabilitation provider with a 76 year history that links us to our returning service men, our ANZAC's, originally established for rehabilitation and care for injured soldiers returning from World War II.
Today, QE services include a range of wellbeing services including cancer recovery, accident rehabilitation, clinical psychology and social work. It also facilitates student/intern placements in rheumatology, psychology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nursing, and sports and fitness whilst supporting research with a number of tertiary institutions.
“The $9 million support from the PGF for the Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa, will support the construction of a purpose-built luxury health and wellness spa on the same site, owned by Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.
“Both businesses have a long-term goal to attract domestic and international tourists to stay in Rotorua, known globally as a top 10 destination, while offering health and wellness services that utilise the region’s unique geothermal waters.
“These combined PGF investments are about building foundations for success. We know that Rotorua is one of New Zealand’s leading tourism destinations and that we will pass through the challenges that COVID-19 presents us.
“Kiwis are sensible, practical and smart. We must continue to keep the long-term view in mind, seeing the opportunities that exist currently in our domestic market, and be ready to maximise growth and jobs as the world starts travelling again,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.