Initial focus areas of the Regional Infrastructure Fund

The Government has agreed the initial focus areas of the Regional Infrastructure Fund (RIF) will include flood resilience and Māori economic development.

Flood resilience

The RIF provides flood resilience funding allocation through its resilience infrastructure component. 

Flood resilience is a key component of the RIF, as such infrastructure protects our economic security and enhances the resilience of other critical infrastructure while helping keep families, businesses, and communities safe. 

The RIF will make $200 million available for flood resilience projects. 

Of this, up to $101.1 million is set aside to support an initial 42 projects which have already been identified as construction ready. These projects are largely from Te Uru Kahika report 'Before the Deluge 2.0', which outlined the case for co-investment in flood management infrastructure across New Zealand.

Before the Deluge 2.0 [PDF 15.1MB] – Resilient Rivers

These projects, currently being assessed for RIF support, will be considered by the Regional Development Ministerial Group for approval in July.

Other flood protection projects, including the remaining 'Before the Deluge 2.0' projects not identified for initial consideration, are still able to apply to RIF, where they will be considered dependent on their eligibility, and readiness for approval.

Learn more about the Regional Development Ministerial Group:

Governance of the Regional Infrastructure Fund

Māori economic development

The Māori economy is an important, and growing, component of New Zealand’s economy. Research commissioned by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand estimates that GDP from the Māori economy grew 37% in real terms from 2013 to 2018, compared to 20% nationally.

Access to capital can be a particular barrier for Māori entities and businesses. It is often difficult to borrow against collectively owned land/whenua (whenua Māori) and some Māori entities have lower levels of assets to be used by lenders as security collateral. These barriers to lending result in underutilised whenua Māori, with low productivity.

The RIF aims to be a potential source of investment in Māori-led regional infrastructure projects where it is proven that it cannot be found elsewhere.

Unlocking the potential of the Māori economy and whenua Māori through infrastructure development can also boost growth and resilience in regional economies.

The Regional Development portfolio has previously contributed $800m direct investment into Māori development projects and the RIF will build on this investment.