Regional projects

Tier 1

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) invested in a range of regional projects, often supporting community wellbeing, building capability in the regions to drive economic action plans and creating work and training opportunities.

Regional projects focus on economic development, feasibility studies and capability building.

We also refer to these as Tier 1 investments.

Regional priorities and action plans

Many regions have economic action plans which outline opportunities for growth and areas of priority. These plans highlight the advantages of a region, such as natural and cultural features. 

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has ignited collaboration between local and regional councils, sector leaders, iwi and businesses, on a scale never seen before in New Zealand. Capacity funding has helped support regional economic development action plans, prioritising of those action plans and the delivery of PGF-funded projects in the regions.

PGF Position Paper: Economic Development Agencies — MBIE

Following the PGF reset, regional projects were revised to include:

  • Worker redeployment projects, such as road and rail, fencing of waterways and the renovations of marae, town halls, Pasifika Churches and war memorials.
  • Human and social capital projects, looking at the challenges of individuals and supporting them to overcome barriers to employment. This includes worker readiness training, apprenticeships and reducing the harm of methamphetamine.

The PGF invested in projects which brought local working people and employers together to increase employment rates and wages, ensure social inclusion and participation, and enable the Māori population to realise aspirations in the local economy.

Worker redeployment

In March 2020, the Government announced an allocation of $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19. This created immediate short-term employment opportunities for displaced workers, while also supporting regional assets.

Redeployed workers were expected to receive local employment for three to six months after funding approval. This ensured that essential infrastructure remained intact and minimised the impact on people, small businesses and vital economic sectors such as forestry.

$100 million to redeploy workers — Beehive.govt.nz

Renovations of marae, Pasifika churches, town halls and war memorials

Funding for the renovation of marae, town halls and other community facilities, war memorials and Pasifika churches, was earmarked in May 2020 as part of the $600 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding, refocused on projects with immediate jobs and economic benefits as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response. 

This provided work for local contractors. It also supported Māori, Pasifika and other vulnerable workers who were not able to secure work. 

The Provincial Development Unit worked with the Ministry of Social Development on this work programme, as well as Te Puni Kōkiri for marae renovations and the Ministry for Pacific Peoples for Pasifika churches.

Read about several PGF-supported renovation projects:

More money to renovate town halls and war memorials

Pasifika churches get $10m government funding

3100 jobs created through marae upgrades — Beehive.govt.nz

PGF support for Wairoa creates jobs — Beehive.govt.nz

Fencing of waterways

The initial focus was on surge regions, at-risk areas and on projects which could benefit multiple landowners, Māori and the wider community. 

The Provincial Development Unit (PDU) collaborated with Te Uru Rakau, the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Ministry for the Environment. The PDU also worked with Ministry of Social Development so that people requiring redeployment were supported to work on these projects. 

$100m was committed for waterway fencing, riparian planting (planting along waterways) and stock water reticulation. 

Read about two PGF-supported fencing projects: 

Improving water quality and protecting the Hawke's Bay environment 

PGF funding for Jobs for Nature programme — Beehive.govt.nz

Human and social capital

This allocation was a refresh of the existing Te Ara Mahi (TAM) fund.

The Provincial Development Unit (PDU) administered the ‘work readiness training’ projects driven by local employers, encouraging opportunities for economic activity in provincial areas of New Zealand.

This funding helps address the challenges people face and supports them to overcome barriers to employment.

The projects included industry-specific training towards qualifications in sectors such as horticulture, aquaculture, trades, hospitality and tourism. Some of the projects also developed basic work ready skills, first-aid, driver licencing, career pathway development, and interview and CV writing skills.

In July 2020, the Government announced that the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) would invest up to $20 million in programmes focused on reducing the damage of methamphetamine use. These programmes addressed harm on an individual level, through to the detrimental effect it has on whānau, businesses, communities and economies.

The PDU partnered with Police and the Ministry of Health (MOH) to identify capable regional providers who could expand existing programmes designed to eliminate the drug from the regions.

Read more about the investment to reduce methamphetamine use in the regions: 

Fighting meth harm in the regions — Beehive.govt.nz

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

Published: Oct 16, 2020