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About Kānoa – Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit
Kānoa – Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit (Kānoa – REDIU), delivers government funding to nurture economic development in regional New Zealand.
Originally established as the Provincial Development Unit in 2018, the new name 'Kānoa' was chosen in 2021 to better reflect our goal of helping build sustainable, inclusive and productive regional economies.
This new name coincides with the establishment of a new funding programme, the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund (RSPF) which is providing $200 million seed funding to invest in regional priorities.
Kānoa – REDIU continues to monitor and administer already established funding programmes.
These include the Provincial Growth Fund, the Infrastructure Reference Group, the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme, Regional Investment Opportunities, and the COVID-19 Worker Redeployment initiative.
In te reo, the literal translation of 'kā' is fire and 'noa', without restraint.
Used in proverbs and lore, it also provides a broader meaning in Te Ao Māori.
Kānoa was guardian of Hawaiki’s Rua-kumara or kumara store house. By distributing kumara to others, he helped his people thrive and develop both their whenua (land) and their capability. The name 'Kānoa' was chosen for the unit by Te Rau Kupenga in recognition of Kānoa as kaitiaki, a guardian who helped grow prosperity through investment.
The phrase "Kei te kā noa te ahi?" – "Is the fire burning?" – is also used by tangata whenua to ask if their home fire is alight and all is well.
This meaning encapsulates the core principle of Kānoa – REDIU – the organisation – to enable the development of people and their communities to ensure their wellbeing and prosperity.