[15 March/Stuff]

Regional Economic Development Minister, Shane Jones, announced that an iwi’s plant nursery will get $5.8 million of Government’s Billion dollar regional investment fund. The money will be used to expand the nursery by 2021. Ngāti Whare Chairman, Bronco Carson, said the nursery would hire 81 more employees and encouraged locals to take up these positions. Ngāti Whare Holdings Chairman, Rick Braddock, said that the Government funding boost for the small town of Minginui was in line with its regional development agenda and helped with its plan to grow one billion trees. There are fifteen types of podocarp trees including rimu, kahikatea, miro, matai and totara grown in the nursery.  Most of the projects funded to date by the regional development fund were in Northland.