Horowhenua local joins Provincial Growth Fund’s Manawatū-Whanganui team
Published: Jun 13, 2019 · Updated: Dec 1, 2020
There’s a new yet familiar face on the Provincial Growth Fund’s (PGF) Manawatū-Whanganui regional team, with Horowhenua local Catriona McKay joining as Principal Regional Advisor.
Based in Levin, Ms McKay is passionate about the diversity of the region she lives in and the leadership displayed by District Councils, Economic Development Agencies and iwi.
She has a background in commercial law and spent more than 10 years in the public sector in senior roles, and had a particular focus on digital innovation.
“I see strong potential for what the PGF can build on in Manawatū-Whanganui,” says Ms McKay.
“My role is about connecting people with opportunities, whether that’s projects that create jobs, provide education for young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs), maximise our tourism assets or big-picture collaboration with partner agencies,” says Ms McKay.
“As a region, we are progressing well with our Economic Action Plans, which gives the PGF a clear pathway to growth that investment can help accelerate.”
“We know there are pockets of Manawatū-Whanganui that face challenges like heavily seasonal employment and high NEET rates. Working closely with people in the community is essential to make sure the right projects are funded in the right communities,” says Ms McKay.
“Iwi lead a diverse number of projects and initiatives in the region which makes collaboration with partner agencies and our Whenua Māori team vital,” she says.
“It’s great to be working with Di Grennell, PGF Senior Regional Official, with her dual role as Deputy Chief Executive for Regional Partnerships at Te Puni Kōkiri,” says Ms McKay.
With more than $80 million of funding announced for projects in the region, the PGF has made strong investments across a number of sectors that will help grow Manawatū-Whanganui’s economy.
Ms McKay is clear that the PGF is a significant opportunity for groups looking for a step-change in support from Government.
“It really opens your eyes to what’s possible, particularly when funding is driven by the region and the people who know our area the best. There’s an opportunity for us to build on a legacy that will in turn create impacts that will be felt long after the life of the PGF. Real progress happens when people feel like part of the fabric, not just on the side lines of change.”