Sector-based projects

Tier 2

Projects in any sector are eligible to apply for funding. However, regional action plans generally highlight particular sectors that they want to focus on. For many regions, these sectors include food and beverage, tourism, and forestry.

We also call sector-based projects tier 2 projects.

About sector-focused projects

Funding from the Provincial Growth Fund can help accelerate the transition from a volume-based export economy, to a value-based economy.

We expect to see many projects being funded in the food and beverage, tourism and forestry sectors, because these align to international demand, and play to the regions' strengths.

A sector-focused project should take into account environmental impact and the region’s resilience, in line with our goals for resilience and sustainability. We aim to support projects that:

  • increase local skills
  • reduce environmental impacts
  • improve the productivity of the sector,.

We will consider the markets that each sector supplies, and in particular their export potential, so that we can maximise the benefits for all of New Zealand.

Food and beverage

Primary industries (food and fibre) play a major role in New Zealand’s economy, particularly in the regions. The broad primary sector (including agriculture, horticulture, fisheries, aquaculture, and food and fibre processing and manufacturing) is worth an estimated $42.6 billion annually. This figure is likely to keep growing.

Although this sector performs well, there are some challenges to overcome if there's to be more growth.

We welcome proposals and applications that:

  • seek co-investment in value-added food and beverage processing and manufacturing. This could include support for regions to process and package regionally-grown produce that can be sold at a premium
  • support initiatives to address persistent areas of skill shortage, reduce reliance on migrant labour and support young people into employment. This could include providing funding for formal and informal training, mentoring, and work experience to local workers for the skills required in the region now and in the future
  • support higher-productivity and sustainable use of land, such as lifting the productivity of Māori-owned land and supporting land conversions to higher-value crops, with lower environmental impacts
  • support the use of infrastructure and technology to enable sustainable resource use, such as real-time sensors to optimise fertiliser use
  • support small-scale water storage schemes with clear environmental benefits that add value to land, help communities prepare for the physical and economic impacts of climate change, and support Māori to achieve higher returns from their land.


Tourism is New Zealand's biggest export earner. It’s a significant source of employment, and forecasts predict that there will be over 5.1 million annual international visitors by 2024.

In the tourism sector, we prioritise investment into regional infrastructure to support growth of high-value tourism. We will also support projects that address priorities for the tourism sector, such as encouraging year-round tourism across more regions.

We welcome funding proposals and applications that:

  • encourage more tourism all year round, rather than just the traditional high season, and to more regions
  • reduce existing pressures on tourism infrastructure, particularly in communities that lack local funding capacity
  • add value to the tourism and the visitor economy, including attracting high-value tourists
  • enhance the productivity of tourism businesses, drive innovation and support professional tourism career development
  • improve the sustainability of the industry or assist the industry’s transition to a low-emission footprint
  • develop Māori culture as an asset for New Zealand tourism.


Forestry plays an important role in regional economic action plans and regional land transport plans. Over the last ten years, forestry has been one of the highest growing export sectors, and demand is likely to grow.

We'd like to see proposals and applications for projects that:

  • support Māori to achieve forestry-related economic and cultural development goals
  • generate sector and regional productivity increases including through transport
  • create safe and rewarding jobs in forestry
  • deliver positive environmental outcomes, including for native ecosystems and habitats
  • provide wood products for domestic and overseas markets, especially replacing petroleum-based products
  • support security of supply for wood processors
  • enable carbon farming.

Proposals that relate to the One Billion Trees Programme and support or enable the planting of trees (including skills development) will be managed by Te Uru Rākau Forestry New Zealand. Wider forestry sector initiatives (including processing and as with other primary industry initiatives) will be supported by the Ministry for Primary Industries. They'll work with regional groups to ensure a collaborative and integrated approach to to planning and development.

For help, advice, and support with applying for funding, get in touch with our advisors. Email Call us on 0508 743 473