Minister checks progress on Invercargill inner-city revamp

Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash reviewing progress at Invercargill's inner-city development with officials on Thursday. Photo: RNZ
Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash reviewing progress at Invercargill's inner-city development with officials on Thursday. Photo: RNZ
An inner-city revamp of Invercargill is helping to future proof a regional centre, Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash says.

The government previously provided close to $30 million in a loan and equity investment for Invercargill's inner-city development.

Invercargill company The Seriously Good Chocolate Company received more than $500,000 from the Provincial Growth Fund to help establish a collaborative test kitchen to develop innovative food products.

Nash is in Invercargill checking on the progress that has been made on both projects.

He said they were valuable projects for diversifying the city's economy.

He toured through the inner-city development, climbing up the scaffolding stairs to overlook the building site.

"In towns like Invercargill, up and down the country, we're facing buildings that aren't up to code in terms of earthquake strengthening," Nash said.

He confirmed the project was 100 percent up to scratch with the earthquake strengthening code.

"This does future proof Invercargill as well as bring in the high end retailers or the chains as well as the local stores, because they see that development is happening. They see that people will be shopping."

That was really important for keeping the city alive, he said.

Nash was pleased with the progress report.

"Sod was turned not that long ago and already we're looking at a four-storey carpark. This is amazing. This is what we need to transform inner city New Zealand actually - provincial New Zealand," he said.

"This will basically ensure that the heart of Invercargill not only survives, but thrives for years ahead."

 

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