The beneficiary of an $800,000 loan is BeGin Distilling, in New Plymouth, which makes Juno gin. It is borrowing the money to expand its operations, employ more staff and provide greater opportunities for local farmers.
In other words, the Ardern Government is borrowing to lend money to BeGin and other businesses which become the recipients of loans through an array of developmental programmes.
The Reefton Distillery Co last week became the recipient of a $928,000 loan for its expansion.
The South Taranaki museum, and a Pasifika building firm will benefit, too, from Government investments totalling more than $1 million announced yesterday by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says.
The patter was typical of PGF announcements in recent months: the $1.05m in grants and loans from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will help the recipients expand and create new jobs in the region, in line with the objectives of the Government’s COVID-19 economic response.
“The distillery is a great success story and this loan will help it expand and increase production to meet the growing demand for its products, both here and in overseas markets,” Shane Jones said.
The expansion will create five new distillery jobs, as well as offering local farmers new opportunities to grow key ingredients for the gin, such as juniper and orris root.
The Provincial Growth Fund is providing a $200,000 grant to help fund the expansion of Patea’s museum.
The $1.78 million project involves the construction of a new building to provide additional exhibition and collection space for Aotea Utanganui: Museum of South Taranaki.
Jones says the funding will provide a much-needed boost for Patea.
“Patea has struggled since its freezing works closed nearly 40 years ago and it now has one of the country’s highest levels of deprivation.
“It needs more economic opportunities and there is clear evidence cultural tourism through projects like the museum can provide one.
“The museum is already popular, with 7000 visitors a year, and its expansion will bring more visitors to Patea, helping local businesses and encouraging others to become established.
“Just as importantly, developing Aotea Utanganui will make the district’s rich and diverse heritage accessible to locals so they can see themselves and their stories reflected in their own place.”
The project will provide nine jobs during construction, with up to another three at the museum when it’s finished.
The third beneficiary of the funding announcement is the Pasifika-owned company Uhila Building Solutions, which is receiving a $50,000 PGF grant to help it grow its business.
“This funding fits with the Government’s focus on encouraging Māori and Pasifika businesses and will allow Uhila to immediately scale up its business to employ four new staff and take on more work,” Shane Jones says.
Dave and Jo James – discussing their launch of boutique London-style gin in 2017 – said it will be distilled in New Plymouth using ingredients grown and sourced in Taranaki and throughout New Zealand.
Dave’s business philosophy is:
“Make it fun. If you’re not enjoying it, if it’s not fun then why are you wasting your daylight hours doing it.”
And Jo advised:
“Make it together. Together is always going to be greater than the sum of its parts. Working with our suppliers and the people who will be enjoying our beautiful gin has been an essential ingredient during the development phase.”
Latest from the Beehive
2 OCTOBER 2020
PGF funding for Taranaki projects
The South Taranaki museum, a New Plymouth distillery and a Pasifika building firm will benefit from a Government investment totalling more than $1 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says.