Tier 3

New Zealand’s economy needs robust infrastructure to enable growth.

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) supported projects which ensure the regions continue to grow and thrive. Projects were considered in a New Zealand-wide context against the PGF’s funding criteria.

We also refer to these as Tier 3 investments.

Road transport

Funding for road transport is available through regional land transport plans and the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP), the main funding source for land transport initiatives.

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) supported projects where:

  • local authorities could not meet the regional share of investment
  • projects were not prioritised under the NLTP but were strategically important for a region
  • applicants could not secure investment through the NLTP, but whose projects otherwise met the PGF’s criteria and objectives.

The PGF supported projects which were a priority in regional land transport plans and strategic planning.

Read more about a PGF supported road project:

Fixing more than just Tairāwhiti’s roads


After the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) was set up in February 2018, Cabinet committed to PGF investment in the rail sector, recognising rail as a central part of New Zealand’s transport system. It supported other government objectives, such as the transition to a low carbon economy, and enabled the Government to invest quickly in rail projects.

Read about a PGF-supported rail project: 

$94.8 million to benefit Northland’s economy

Ports and wharves

Making improvements to regional ports enabled economic growth and tourism opportunities.

Proposals needed to show clear alignment with Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) objectives and criteria and align with the relevant region’s action plan.

The investment focused on the upgrade, repair or extension of existing ports and wharves. It also helped with the construction and installation of essential infrastructure and the local maintenance of large vessels. The investment expanded small-scale projects like local fishing operations, as well as large-scale aquaculture initiatives.

Read about some of the PGF-supported ports and wharves projects: 

NZ Upgrade for West Coast ports and roads

PGF expands Sugarloaf Wharf in Thames-Coromandel 


The upgrade of regional airports has helped to boost the tourism sector and keep communities connected.

Proposals in this sector focused on the maintenance and enhancement of existing airports, to keep them safe, secure, resilient and operational. The guiding principles for investment in airports and ports were agreed by Regional Economic Development Ministers in March 2018. They were further updated in May 2019 through the Provincial Growth Fund Position Paper – Airports.

Read about some of the PGF-supported airport projects:

New Gisborne airport terminal opens thanks to $5.5m grant

Hokitika Airport terminal upgrade announcement 

Strong partnerships deliver new Bay of Islands Airport terminal building

Infrastructure Reference Group (IRG)

In April 2020 the Government tasked a group of industry leaders to work with local councils and businesses to identify projects to support the economy during the COVID-19 rebuild. 

The Infrastructure Industry Reference Group submitted for consideration by ministers, projects from the private and public sector that were 'shovel-ready' or likely to be within six months. The Provincial Development Unit (PDU) provided advice on the potential investment in these projects.

In May 2020, $3 billion of infrastructure funding was announced as part of a $50 billion COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.

This put fresh capital, confidence and jobs into New Zealand’s economic recovery as quickly and efficiently as possible.

On 1 July 2020, the Regional Economic Development Minister announced how the $3 billion infrastructure funding would be spent. This included investment in climate resilience, flood protection, transformative energy, large-scale construction and digital connectivity.

Approximately 150 projects were transferred to the PDU to administer.

To read more about this announcement, see Infrastructure investment to create jobs, kick-start COVID rebuild.

For a complete list of all announced IRG projects, including those not administered by the PDU:

Announced Projects — Crown Infrastructure Partners

Small scale infrastructure

Under COVID-19, the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) prioritised infrastructure investments under $20 million and infrastructure projects already in the pipeline. These included small scale roading and rail, treatment of drinking water, flood water management, earthquake-strengthening, climate adaptation and the expansion of small business operations. 

Read more about a PGF-supported small scale infrastructure project: 

Government backs Reefton Distillery expansion

Small scale sustainable water storage and distribution

Water storage is vital for regional development and access to reliable water for land development is key for enabling jobs and sustainable growth in the primary sector.

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) invested in small-scale sustainable water storage and distribution projects in regions which faced limits to water availability, providing economic recovery post COVID-19.

Read more about a PGF-supported small scale water storage and distribution project:

PGF supported Wairarapa water with $7.11 million

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

Published: Oct 16, 2020