PGF invests $68 million to grow Hawke’s Bay economy
Published: Jun 14, 2019 · Updated: Dec 1, 2020
The Provincial Growth Fund has invested more than $68 million in Hawke’s Bay to build on the region’s strengths and unlock its economic potential and improve social outcomes.
The announcements were made by Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau on Monday.
The package comprises transport infrastructure, digital connectivity, water storage, and skills and employment initiatives.
While Hawke’s Bay is known for its rich farming and horticulture sectors it faces challenges such as high youth unemployment, low wages and lower GDP per capita compared to the rest of New Zealand. This is why the PGF has prioritised the Hawke’s Bay for investment.
Hawke’s Bay is a significant contributor to New Zealand’s agriculture sector and a global producer, processor and exporter of primary sector products. It is therefore heavily reliant on a dependable water supply and transport to get produce to market.
To support the primary industries the PGF is making a major investment in water storage and transport across the region.
The PGF will help fund two water storage initiatives, an aquifer mapping project, and a region-wide water assessment project to better understand the region’s wider water needs.
Funding for transport initiatives will improve links within the region and between major transport hubs, key services and markets, making travel more time and cost efficient.
Other announcements included marae digital connectivity, unlocking the potential of Māori owned land and investment in employment, skills and capability that will grow employment opportunities for the benefit of local people and businesses in the region.
The investments will provide a much-needed boost for Hawke’s Bay and will lead to economic growth and enhanced social outcomes for the region. Further investments in industry-led activities in the Hawke’s Bay region will be announced in the coming months.