Fri, 01 Dec 2023

The Government is helping Canterbury's aerospace industry take off with further infrastructure support for the Twhaki Aerospace Centre at Kaitorete, Infrastructure Minister Dr Megan Woods has announced.

"Today I can confirm we will provide a $5.4 million grant to the Twhaki Joint Venture to fund a sealed runway and hangar facilities to encourage investment, growth and continued research and development in New Zealand's aerospace industry," Megan Woods said.

"Twhaki predicts that over the next 10 years this development will contribute to over 1,300 highly skilled, high-paying jobs and up to $2.4bn in economic benefits.

"I'm pleased to be supporting a project that so obviously benefits New Zealand. The aerospace sector works alongside our world class universities and Government agencies to help drive economic growth, innovation and new jobs."

"Today's funding means that Twhaki can immediately look at opportunities to scale up the site and help the aerospace industry in New Zealand continue to take off."

"Without this investment there is risk that some flagship aerospace companies would move offshore. We want this sector to continue to thrive here, directly benefitting the local community in Canterbury, and wider New Zealand economy."

Twhaki is a Mori-Crown partnership between Kaitorete mana whenua - Te Taumutu Rnanga and Wairewa Rnanga, and the Crown, with a dual kaupapa to heal and rejuvenate the unique whenua at Kaitorete and advance Aotearoa's aerospace industry.

"New Zealand has natural advantages in aerospace which can help secure its position as a leading place to safely test, trial and adopt aerospace technologies," Megan Woods said.

"Aerospace technologies will greatly improve how we respond to issues like climate change, emergency management and monitoring our ecosystems and natural resources."

The current facility at Kaitorete is already being used by local companies including Kea Aerospace, Aerosearch and Swoop Aero, as well as the University of Canterbury. The new infrastructure will be used by a wider range of aerospace companies onshore and abroad, and research institutes, with the intention to scale up over time.

"It's brilliant that Canterbury will directly benefit from our aerospace sector which is innovative and globally competitive," Megan Woods said.

"The funding announced today is going to help cater for multiple users across advanced aviation and space launches. It's pretty exciting stuff."

Note to Editors:

The Mori-Crown partnership was executed through the formal signing of a joint venture agreement on 26th May 2021. The Crown and Kaitorete Limited each own 50% of the shares in Kaitorete Land Holding Limited which owns 1,000 hectares of land at Kaitorete, 50 minutes' drive from the Christchurch CBD.

The $5.4 million funding will help build $6.1 million sealed runway and hangar infrastructure at Kaitorete. The $700,000 co-funding will be provided by Twhaki.

Source: Beehive

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