Government ministers launch economic plan for Gisborne

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More logging, increasing tourism numbers and fixing local roads are the key promises in a plan to grow the East Coast's economy.

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Source: 1 NEWS

Five ministers are in Gisborne today, launching the Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan.

It aims to create 1260 new jobs by 2022, increase regional GDP by 20 per cent and see 250 people off benefits and into permanent employment.

That would see unemployment halved in the region.

Gisborne has the highest unemployment rate in the country at 8.1 per cent. The Maori unemployment rate is 16.1 per cent.

The Social Development Minister says $1.8 million will be spent to grow the skills of the workforce, including youth.

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Source: 1 NEWS

That includes funding for drug rehabilitation, truck driver training and supporting clients to get their drivers license.

Following on from the Prime Minister's comments on employers finding it hard to employ workers who aren't on drugs, minister Anne Tolley says it's a big problem in the region.

"We need to get them off the drugs. It's a big problem here, we all know that," Ms Tolley told an audience of about 300 people.

Other government funding will go on tourism roading projects and erosion control.

The report says there's a huge potential for a 25 per cent increase in local wood processing but a new site for doing that is needed.

It also acknowledges SH35 has bee neglected and work is needed, especially if more heavy trucks are to use it.

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