Eligibility for the Regional Infrastructure Fund

The aim of the Regional Infrastructure Fund (RIF) is to help rebuild New Zealand’s economy by investing in new and existing infrastructure projects that boost regional growth, resilience, and productivity.

To be eligible for consideration for RIF funding, applicants must meet the specified criteria including aligning with their region’s priorities. On this page is information on the types of projects eligible or ineligible for RIF funding, as well as each region’s key priorities.

Applicants should review this information carefully. Questions can be directed to regional Kānoa – RD advisors.

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Eligible applicants must:

  • Be a New Zealand-based legal entity (which does not preclude partnering with offshore parties). A legal entity is an organisation with its own legal identity and constitution, separate from its members (for example, businesses, partnerships, trusts, councils, and iwi).
  • Be able to deliver on a project asset based in one of the provincial regions of New Zealand. Specifically excluded are: Auckland (all elements of the Auckland Unitary Authority), Wellington (Wellington City, Lower Hutt City, Upper Hutt City, and Porirua City) and Christchurch City.
  • Be focused on delivering a ‘hard infrastructure’ (for example, tangible or built) asset or completing physical works that protect existing Crown/local infrastructure or assets developed through the RIF.
  • Contribute to improving regional resilience and/or productivity.
  • Fit at least one of the RIF funding component definitions (resilience or enabling infrastructure). Applicants can read more about this here:
    About the Regional Infrastructure Fund
  • Show an ability to deliver, including an implementation plan appropriate to the size, scale and nature of the project, robust project governance/decision-making systems and risk identification and management.
  • Have a co-investment element (from a private sector investor, iwi or other non-government entity) where relevant (for example, not be wholly central government-funded unless concessionary funding is supported), while any investments in individual businesses must have an element of co-investment.
  • Require government financial support to progress or to attract private sector investment (either within the region or elsewhere) – in other words, the project would not otherwise happen without RIF support.
  • Show alignment to regional development priorities. Regional priorities are listed at the bottom of this page.

Align with regional priorities

Where the investment is for an asset in an individual business:

  • Benefits and outcomes from the project should be non-exclusive to the individual business, meaning, the investment must generate broader benefits or services for other businesses or the community; and
  • The business must have a primary focus on one of the following areas: energy security, water security, food security, connectivity (transport solution or digital connectivity), or growth of a Māori-owned business that is critical to enabling outcomes throughout a community or region.

Exclusions for funding

The following type of projects will not be eligible for RIF support:

  • The project is based outside of the provincial regions of New Zealand. Specifically excluded are Auckland (all elements of the Auckland Unitary Authority), Wellington (Wellington City, Lower Hutt City, Upper Hutt City, and Porirua City) and Christchurch City.
  • Projects already underway, unless the applicant can demonstrate why the project would not proceed further without RIF support and otherwise fits RIF criteria.
  • ‘Business as usual’ infrastructure maintenance works.
  • Purchases of land, except in instances where this is essential to the success of an investment-ready RIF eligible infrastructure project.
  • Projects funded through the following central government programmes:
    • social infrastructure (housing and accommodation, schools, hospitals), large-scale national digital connectivity (broadband) initiatives and Roads of National Significance.
  • Ancillary commercial activity such as marketing or business development (this includes business cases).
  • Funding for apprenticeships or Vocational Education and Training. Vocational Education is defined as preparing learners for jobs based in manual or practical activities.
  • Potable water supply (water used for human consumption) projects, wastewater, or storm water management assets, except for the following that will remain eligible:
    • rural, community-owned water assets (not on the local authority’s water network);
    • water assets, not ‘business as usual’ assets and are directly critically enabling for eligible RIF projects, for example storm water assets typically vital to ensure the success of a floodbank project.

Align with regional priorities

To be eligible for the RIF, applicants will need to outline how the proposal aligns with regional priorities.

Note, any projects proposed for RIF funding must both align with regional priorities and the RIF eligibility and exclusion criteria above. Some projects may align with a regional priority, but are excluded as part of the RIF’s exclusion criteria, for example social infrastructure is excluded from the RIF, even though housing is a priority for a number of regions.

Current regional priorities are outlined below - these may change over time.

Northland / Te Tai Tokerau

Regional priorities include:

  • Grow and improve food processing
  • High value manufacturing
  • Infrastructure and construction
  • Digital and technology
  • Destination.

These regional priorities were decided by: Joint Regional Economic Development Committee, Te Tai Tokerau Economic Action Group.

Waikato

Regional priorities include:

  • Logistics and distribution
  • Sustainable food and agriculture / land use
  • High value manufacturing
  • Technology, digital, and I.C.T
  • Energy and sustainability
  • Tourism.

These regional priorities were decided by: Waikato Regional Council -  Te Kaunihera ā Rohe o Waikato, Waikato Pacific Business Network, Te Waka - Waikato Economic Development, Waikato Wellbeing Project - Hinonga toiora o Waikato and Future Proof - Te Tau Tītoki.

Bay of Plenty / Te Moana-a-Toi

Regional priorities include:

  • Accelerate a globally focused, high-value wood products industry
  • High-value horticulture product delivery
  • Diversifying the Māori economy
  • Driving sustainable aquaculture opportunities
  • Tourism and logistics.

These regional priorities were decided by: Toi Economic Development Agency (Eastern Bay of Plenty), Toirawhiti (Eastern Bay of Plenty), RotoruaNZ (Rotorua), Te Tau o Te Arawa (Rotorua), Priority One (Western Bay of Plenty and Tauranga), Toi Kai Rawa (Western Bay of Plenty and Tauranga).

Hawke’s Bay / Te Matau-a-Māui

Regional priorities include:

  • Water security
  • High-value food production
  • Addressing the labour shortages
  • Housing
  • Freight logistics.

These regional priorities were decided by: Matariki Governance Group, Hawke’s Bay Regional Recovery Agency, Hawke’s Bay Regional Economic Development Agency.

East Coast / Tairāwhiti

These regional priorities are currently in development. These will be posted here as soon as they are finalised by the region. Applicants who intend to apply for RIF funding are encouraged to reach out to their Tairāwhiti regional advisor through the contact us page.

Contact us

These regional priority decisions will be made by the chief executive of Gisborne District Council, Trust Tairawhiti, and iwi.

Taranaki

Regional priorities include:

  • Energy
  • Food and fibre
  • Tourism
  • Land use
  • Māori development
  • Housing.

These regional priorities were decided by: Taranaki Mayoral Forum and Iwi Chairs.

Kāpiti-Wairarapa

Regional priorities include:

  • Water resilience (specifically Wairarapa)
  • Food and fibre (specifically Wairarapa)
  • Transport resilience (specifically Wairarapa)
  • Tourism - Dark Skies (specifically Wairarapa)
  • Food and beverage (specifically Kāpiti)
  • Medical tech (specifically Kāpiti)
  • Advanced tech (specifically Kāpiti)
  • Education (specifically Kāpiti).

These regional priorities were decided by: Wairarapa Economic Development Strategy Group (WEDS) and Economic Development Kotahitanga Board.

Manawatū-Whanganui

Regional priorities include:

  • Food and fibre
  • AgriTech
  • Advance manufacturing
  • Tourism
  • Housing
  • Transport infrastructure
  • High performing workforce
  • Māori economy
  • Specialised services - digital, agritech and advanced manufacturing.

These regional priorities were decided by Accelerate25.

Top of the South / Te Tauihu (Nelson, Marlborough, and Tasman)

Regional priorities include:

  • Ocean economy
  • Horticulture, food and beverage
  • Forestry and wood processing
  • Māori economy
  • Science, technology, and innovation
  • Aviation (specifically Marlborough)
  • Screen and creative industries (specifically Marlborough)
  • Tourism economy (specifically Nelson and Tasman).

These regional priorities were decided by: Nelson Regional Development Agency (NRDA), Innovate Marlborough.

Canterbury / Waitaha

Regional priorities include:

  • Energy
  • Transport / Planning
  • Housing
  • Public infrastructure
  • Water
  • People
  • Food.

These regional priorities were decided by the Canterbury Mayoral Forum.

West Coast / Te Tai Poutini

Regional priorities include:

  • Housing and infrastructure resilience
  • Health care
  • Workforce and business education.
  • Regional connectivity
  • Mineral extraction
  • Renewable energy
  • Value add to minerals sector.

These regional priorities were decided by: West Coast Mayors and Chairs.

Otago / Otakou

Regional priorities include:

  • Connectivity
  • Productivity
  • Talent
  • Housing
  • Sustainability.

These regional priorities were decided by Otago Regional Economic Development Group.

Southland / Murihiku

Regional priorities include:

  • Aquaculture
  • Tourism
  • Housing
  • Agriculture
  • Forestry
  • Transport and roading
  • Energy
  • Water.

These regional priorities were decided by Great South Joint Shareholders Committee.

Chatham Islands / Wharekauri

Regional priorities include:

  • Infrastructure solutions to support better economic outcomes
  • Increase the value of returns and diversification in the food and services economy.

These regional priorities were decided by Chatham Islands 4 Entities Group.