The Minister of Transport and the Minister of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) jointly released the East Coast Regional Economic Potential Study today.

The study assesses the economic performance, existing barriers and economic potential of the region, which covers Gisborne, Wairoa, Napier and Hastings. It includes five economic growth scenarios and the implications for transport and skills over the next 30 years.

The study finds the key transport priorities for the region are:

  • continuing to improve the quality and reliability of State highway 2 between Gisborne and Napier
  • developing the capacity for High Productivity Motor Vehicles (HPMVs) on State Highway 35 north of Gisborne
  • developing options for the storage of logs prior to export from Eastland Port in Gisborne.

Additionally the study found:

  • The East Coast region already has a strong primary sector and there is potential to grow the economy through value-added primary processing.
  • Forestry and logging, wood processing, pulp and paper, and food and beverage processing industries are expected to lead economic growth in the coming decade.
  • There is little evidence to support the case for reinstatement of the damaged rail line from Gisborne to Napier.
  • Improved roading is important to economic growth in the region – particularly with logging freight expected to increase in the coming decade.

The East Coast Regional Economic Potential Study was jointly commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Ministry of Transport. A local steering group for the study was formed with the Mayors of Gisborne, Napier, Hastings and Wairoa, the Chair of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and the Chairs of Te Rūnanaga o Ngāti Porou, Te Rūnanga o Turanganui a Kiwa and Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated.

Read the joint Ministerial statement(external link)

Read more about the East Coast Regional Economic Potential Study on MBIE’s website(external link)

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