(National Party media release)

Labour needs to front up and make decisions around land use in the cyclone-affected Hawke’s Bay to stop the local horticulture industry from bleeding further money, National’s Cyclone Recovery spokesperson Chris Penk says.

“A report out today from the Boston Consulting Group estimates the Hawke’s Bay horticulture industry will lose $500 million this year. That figure is set to increase to $3.5 billion between 2024 and 2030, if the Government does not start making decisions and providing the necessary support.

“We are yet to see any significant action or plan from the Government since their initial recovery package in February. This is simply unacceptable,” says Mr Penk.

“Hawke’s Bay families and businesses have been through enough.  Labour needs to get a move on and make some decisions around land use and whether people can rebuild.

“The horticulture industry in Hawke’s Bay contributes more than $1.2 billion to the New Zealand economy and employs more than 6,700 workers.

“The Government’s lack of action is having a big impact on the local economy which relies heavily on a strong horticulture sector.

“It is high time the Government stepped up for the sector and the region that is facing an enormous recovery.

“National supports our horticulture industry and will continue to make sure their voices are heard.”