Tier 3

New Zealand’s economy needs robust infrastructure to enable growth.

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) supported projects which ensure the regions continue to grow and thrive. Projects were considered in a New Zealand-wide context against the PGF’s funding criteria.

We also refer to these as Tier 3 investments.

Regional Investment Opportunities

As part of the government’s $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme, $300 million was allocated for Regional Investment Opportunities (RIO), administered by Kānoa – Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit (Kānoa – REDIU).

RIO funding has been invested in land, sea and air projects. These projects will result in job creation, enhance regional economic development opportunities, increase infrastructure resilience and help regional economies thrive.

In February 2020, approximately $190 million of funding was announced for projects across New Zealand, including:
• roading projects
• coastal assets
• upgrades to Taupō and Milford airport terminals.

In May 2020, unallocated funding from this allocation was refocused as part of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) reset.

Read the Regional Investment Opportunities announcement:

Land, air and sea: regions to benefit from NZ Upgrade —

Road transport

Funding for road transport is available through regional land transport plans and the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP), the main funding source for land transport initiatives.

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) supported projects where:

  • local authorities could not meet the regional share of investment
  • projects were not prioritised under the NLTP but were strategically important for a region
  • applicants could not secure investment through the NLTP, but whose projects otherwise met the PGF’s criteria and objectives.

The PGF supported projects which were a priority in regional land transport plans and strategic planning.

Read more about a PGF supported road project:

Fixing more than just Tairāwhiti’s roads


After the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) was set up in February 2018, Cabinet committed to PGF investment in the rail sector, recognising rail as a central part of New Zealand’s transport system. It supported other government objectives, such as the transition to a low carbon economy, and enabled the Government to invest quickly in rail projects.

Read about a PGF-supported rail project: 

$94.8 million to benefit Northland’s economy

Ports and wharves

Making improvements to regional ports enabled economic growth and tourism opportunities.

Proposals needed to show clear alignment with Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) objectives and criteria and align with the relevant region’s action plan.

The investment focused on the upgrade, repair or extension of existing ports and wharves. It also helped with the construction and installation of essential infrastructure and the local maintenance of large vessels. The investment expanded small-scale projects like local fishing operations, as well as large-scale aquaculture initiatives.

Read about some of the PGF-supported ports and wharves projects: 

NZ Upgrade for West Coast ports and roads

PGF expands Sugarloaf Wharf in Thames-Coromandel 


The upgrade of regional airports has helped to boost the tourism sector and keep communities connected.

Proposals in this sector focused on the maintenance and enhancement of existing airports, to keep them safe, secure, resilient and operational. The guiding principles for investment in airports and ports were agreed by Regional Economic Development Ministers in March 2018. They were further updated in May 2019 through the Provincial Growth Fund Position Paper – Airports.

Read about some of the PGF-supported airport projects:

New Gisborne airport terminal opens thanks to $5.5m grant

Strong partnerships deliver new Bay of Islands Airport terminal building

COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund – Infrastructure Reference Group (IRG)

In April 2020 the Government tasked a group of industry leaders to work with local councils and businesses to identify projects to support the economy during the COVID-19 rebuild. 

The Infrastructure Industry Reference Group submitted for consideration by ministers, projects from the private and public sector that were 'shovel-ready' or likely to be within six months. Kānoa – REDIU provided advice on the potential investment in these projects.

In May 2020, $3 billion of infrastructure funding was announced as part of a $50 billion COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.

This put fresh capital, confidence and jobs into New Zealand’s economic recovery as quickly and efficiently as possible.

On 1 July 2020, the Regional Economic Development Minister announced how the $3 billion infrastructure funding would be spent. This included investment in climate resilience, flood protection, transformative energy, large-scale construction and digital connectivity.

Approximately 150 projects were transferred to Kānoa – REDIU to administer.

To read more about this announcement, see Infrastructure investment to create jobs, kick-start COVID rebuild.

For a complete list of all announced IRG projects, including those not administered by Kānoa – REDIU:

Announced Projects — Crown Infrastructure Partners

Small scale infrastructure

Under COVID-19, the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) prioritised infrastructure investments under $20 million and infrastructure projects already in the pipeline. These included small scale roading and rail, treatment of drinking water, flood water management, earthquake-strengthening, climate adaptation and the expansion of small business operations. 

Read more about a PGF-supported small scale infrastructure project: 

Government backs Reefton Distillery expansion

Small scale sustainable water storage and distribution

Water storage is vital for regional development and access to reliable water for land development is key for enabling jobs and sustainable growth in the primary sector.

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) invested in small-scale sustainable water storage and distribution projects in regions which faced limits to water availability, providing economic recovery post COVID-19.

Read more about a PGF-supported small scale water storage and distribution project:

PGF supported Wairarapa water with $7.11 million

Provincial Growth Fund: making a difference

Growing New Zealand's regions.


Duration: 3:33

[Opening music with scenic view of forestry area]

Tui Nikora (Whiting, ManaiaSAFE Forestry School Graduate): I was in the pits for years, and I was actually going further and further and further down. And for Steven to provide this programme, it's life-changing, this whole thing has been life-changing.

[Tui sitting on a log talking to the camera]

[Forestry workers talking to each next to work trucks]

[Aerial view of forestry operation]

[Forestry worker using a chainsaw to chop a log]

Steve Beach (Managing Director, Train Me Quality Services Ltd): The Provincial Growth Fund is creating that bridge, and it helps people as individuals and whānau to support their homes as well as to provide mana for themselves. It's about having a job, it's about contributing to society, and just general life skills

[Steve talking to the camera in front of forestry area]

[Forestry workers measuring, roping, and spray painting logs]

[Scenic shot of Ruapehu mountain]

Jono Dean (General Manager Whakapapa Ski Field, Ruapehu Alpine Lifts): I guess for us, the Provincial Growth Fund shows that there is hope within our region to expand the opportunities for our community and family, and that ability to connect together, and a lot of that comes down to the economic opportunity within the region.

[Worker on a construction site]

[Two construction workers talking to each other]

[Crane moving construction materials]

[Jono talking to the camera in front of construction site]

[Worker moving materials inside construction site]

[Two construction workers high up on construction site]

[Aerial view of construction site]

Jessie Watling (General Manager, Finance, Ruapehu Alpine Lifts): By having central government involved, it was a really strong message in terms of the belief behind the project, and what that means for the community, and it's going to continue to have a flow-on effect with other businesses.

[Jessie talking to the camera in front of mountain]

[Two construction workers harnessed high up ski lift pole]

[Two construction workers on the mountain]

[Roundabout in Invercargill with cars driving around]

Aimee Kaio (Manager Tribal Economies, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu ): The Provincial Growth Fund has been a critical catalyst for wider community conversations. For local authorities, industry, iwi, community, to collaborate and work together on what we want for our region.

[Aimee talking to the camera in front of Māori artwork]

[People discussing project in a warehouse]

[Two men discussing project plans]

[Location of project site from across the road]

Scott O’Donnell (Chairman, HWCP Group): It's a one in a hundred year chance to go and fix an entire city block and reactivates a CBD. There's something northwards of 500 construction workers required to go and build this over a three-to-five year period. And then, the more skills we have in the town, the better it is for the economy. And a growing economy is a good economy, it gives people opportunities, and people with opportunities succeed in life.

[Scott walking into the project site which is derelict]

[Scott talking to the camera from inside an office building]

[Scenes showing the outside of the project site]

[Aerial shots of a boat moving up Greymouth harbour]

Allan Rooney (Local fisherman and Vice President of the NZ Federation of Commercial Fisherman): Well to me it was a godsend. They were talking a million dollars to bloody dredge it and we weren't sure where the money was going to come from. There's a lot of jobs saved I think, by this dredging here.

[Close up of a boat in Greymouth harbour]

[Allen talking to the camera standing at the wharf]

Tony Kokshoorn (Grey District Mayor): The public here can see light at the end of the tunnel, in that they know for one, that the government does care about us. Someone up in Wellington is saying, "Well hey, the provinces need help, we're going to go down there, we're going to ignite their economies." There is a flow-on effect to engineering, shops, the supermarkets, the ripple-out effect is extremely big.

[Tony talking to the camera in front of Greymouth Harbour]

[Allan working on his fishing boat]

[Fishing boats unloading fish]

[Workers in fish processing factory]

[Aerial shot of harbour near Waitangi Mountain Bike Park]

Tiffany Holland (Project Driver, Waitangi Mountain Bike Park): To be here standing now, seeing people out there enjoying the park, you know, there's nothing more rewarding than that. We had one bike hire place in town, way back when, that maybe had 10 bikes, they now have a whole fleet, extra staff. The local bike shop in Kerikeri has tripled its floor space, taken on more staff, and so that's all directly related to the creation of this park.

[Tiffany talking to the camera in front of Waitangi Bike Park hire facility]

[Aerial shots of bikers using Waitangi Bike Park]

[Close up shots of bikers using bike park]

[Birds eye view of bike hire facility]

[Close up of bikers reading an information board and laughing]

[People selecting and mounting bikes]

[People riding away from mountain bike hire facility]

[Aerial shots of bikers using Waitangi Bike Park]

Grant Harnish (Chairman, Focus Paihia): For a district that has always struggled financially, we've got some hope now that we're actually going to be able to provide the level of infrastructure that we've always wished we could. Every day I get told from people visiting overseas how beautiful our country is, and most of that is in the regions.

[Grant talking to the Camera in front of harbour]

[Aerial shot of the Bay of Islands]

[Close up shot of Tony Kokshoorn (Grey District Mayor]

Steve Beach ( Managing Director, Train Me Quality Services Ltd): The Provincial Growth Fund has been so important because if you look at the long-term vision, the social impact of what we're doing is huge. And it's not limited to New Zealand. The world can learn from this, and we can be leaders in that space. It will save lives, it will build futures, and it will deliver skills to a lot of people.

[Close up shot of Allan Rooney]

[Close up shot of Steve Beach]

[Close up shot of Tui Nikora]

[Close up shot of Aimee Kaio]

[Close up shot of Scott O’Donnell]

[Close up shot of Jessie Watling]

[Close up shot of Jono Dean]

[Close up shot of Grant Harnish]

[Close up shot of Tiffany Holland]

[Music Fades]

For help, advice, and support with applying for funding, get in touch with our advisors. Email Kā Call us on 0508 743 473

Published: 23 November, 2021