17 Apr 2019

Algae research to benefit from Provincial Growth Fund

5:03 pm on 17 April 2019

Millions of dollars are to be invested in the top of the South Island regions from the Provincial Growth Fund.

The bulk of the $6.4 million investment will go to the Cawthron Institute to help it establish a National Algae Centre in Nelson.

The institute was a world-leader in research into the potential uses of algae, under-secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau said.

"Support from the PGF will enable them to build upon their existing work to unlock new and exciting commercial opportunities.

"We know already there is massive potential and global market demand for algae based products. This investment will enable New Zealand to capitalise on that demand, and will also produce up to 30 new jobs in the region upon the creation of the national centre."

The investment would also make it easier for the wider industry to do business through investments in science and technology.

A regional artificial intelligence facility would recieve $95,000, and $99,000 will support the delivery of more accurate, consistent and better data to the aquaculture industry.

Up to $252,000 would also be spent on investigating an upgrade to Port Tarakohe.

Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash said the investment from the PGF would be a welcome shot in the arm for the primary sector in the top of the South Island.

"Land-based primary industries across Te Tauihu have struggled with drought and fires, and aquaculture has suffered problems with algal bloom and warmer ocean temperatures."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs