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This week New Plymouth MP Jonathan Young spent two days looking at regional economic development in the South Island regions of Canterbury and Westland.  Young is the chair of National’s Regional Development Caucus Committee – a group whose aim is to champion regional New Zealand as great places to work, do business, and raise a family.

“It was a fantastic opportunity to see first-hand the exceptional work being done by Ngai Tahu,” Young Said.

“Theirs is a success story of turning a $170 million treaty settlement into an asset base of over $1 billion, which offers educational and employment pathways for their people.”

Young led a group of eight MP’s including Speaker of the House Rt Hon David Carter, and Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox, as they visited Ngai Tahu’s housing development. They went to Wigram and the Preston development in Christchurch East, comprising of over three thousand houses. The MPs also visited several of Ngai Tahu’s farms which were converted from forestry blocks.

“The iwi group own extensive tourism operations in both the North Island and South Islands and demonstrate strong corporate growth which is enabling investment into their whanau, education, environmental work, fisheries, and forestry.”

The tour also included a second day visiting each of the West Coast mayors in the Westland, Grey, and Buller districts, and the chair of the Westland Regional Council.

“The aim of this visit was to meet the civic leaders and discuss the challenges and opportunities they are facing as a region,” Young said.

“With Taranaki being a dairying and mining region, similar to the West Coast, there is certainly an affinity between the two regions.

“I am committed to championing regional economic development. Visiting these regions and seeing what they’re doing helps build the bigger picture of regional New Zealand and what needs to be done to ensure growth in the future.”

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