The PGF will contribute $350,000 to develop a detailed business case for the expansion and enhancement of the National Aquarium of New Zealand in Napier.
“The National Aquarium has the potential to become a unique tourist attraction and a leader in environment education to both schools and the community,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.
“The business case will be co-funded by the PGF and the Napier City Council at a total cost of $700,000.
“With the existing National Aquarium requiring significant reinvestment, a detailed business case will explore the National Aquarium’s potential to create a greater long-term benefit to the region and New Zealand.
“It will also analyse and develop the business case from economic, commercial, financial and management perspectives.
“The expansion of the National Aquarium aligns with the strategic direction of Matariki – Hawke’s Bay Regional Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan 2016, and will contribute to creating more jobs and strengthening the region’s tourism status.
Napier Mayor Bill Dalton is thrilled that the Napier City Council’s application to co-fund with the PGF has been approved and is looking forward to making the National Aquarium of New Zealand expansion project a reality.
Dalton has described the expansion project as a “game-changer” for Hawke’s Bay and “puts us on the map as a conservation centre of excellence and a significant eco-tourism destination”.
Fletcher Tabuteau said today’s move builds on other recent PGF announcements for the Hawke’s Bay including $5 million for the re-opening of the Wairoa to Napier rail line and $200,000 to develop a feasibility and business case for a new Hawke’s Bay Innovation Hub.
“The Coalition Government is committed to developing thriving and sustainable regions so I’m really looking forward to seeing what other successful projects come out of the Hawke’s Bay region,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.