Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)

​​About the Provincial Growth Fund (PFG)

The New Zealand Government has allocated three billion dollars over a three-year term to invest in regional economic development through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).

The goal of the Provincial Growth Fund is to accelerate regional development, increase regional productivity, and contribute to more, better-paying jobs by investing in projects and initiatives that will;

  • Create jobs, leading to sustainable economic growth
  • Increase social inclusion and participation
  • Enable Māori to realise aspirations in all aspects of the economy
  • Encourage environmental sustainability and helping New Zealand meet climate change commitments alongside productive use of land, water, and other resources
  • Improve resilience, particularly of critical infrastructure, and by diversifying our economy

Download The Guide to the Provincial Growth Fund below:

How the West Coast will be supported by the PGF


The West Coast is a great place to work and play and can be even better with a little support and investment from central Government

The PGF can see it's clear that there are opportunities to invest in the region to drive sustainable economic development. Challenges facing the region from the mining downturn and low dairy prices emphasise, more than ever, how important it is to diversify the West Coast's economy.

The West Coast has been prioritised for early investment from the Provincial Growth Fund, the PGF team have been working alongside local people to identify initiatives and projects to support. See below for funding announcements that have been made.

For more information on the PGF please visit their website by clicking here.​​

PGF supports new visitor experience centres on the West Coast​

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing nearly $18 million in a region-wide collaboration to connect the area’s tourist attractions located in Haast, Hokitika, Greymouth, and Westport.

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing nearly $18 million in a region-wide collaboration to connect the area’s tourist attractions located in Haast, Hokitika, Greymouth, and Westport.

The Te Ara Pounamu pathways project will receive $17.87 million to support the roll-out of state-of-the-art innovative digital technology to tell the West Coast’s unique cultural and historical stories, for the first time, to Aotearoa New Zealand and the world.

Four new ‘visitor experience centres’ in separate locations across the West Coast will support the region’s tourism operators, boost sustainable employment, and provide upskilling opportunities for local people.

This is just one of a number of projects in the West Coast that we are working on together to help support job creation and a sustainable tourism industry.

Over 50 jobs will be created through the construction, management, and operation of the hubs.

We know that by investing in the West Coast tourism sector now, the region will be in a strong position, not only to tap into the domestic tourism market but also to be ready for when international visitors return.

By working across the region’s councils and with local iwi, this initiative will encourage visitors to spend more, travel further, and stay longer in the region.

The digital nature of the hubs also ensures that content can be continually adjusted according to the needs of the tourism sector.

The first hub will start to be built in Haast later this year, with all four expected to be completed by 2023.

This investment will boost the West Coast region by diversifying its economic reliance on mining and agriculture, and put the region in a strong position over the long-term to capitalise on future tourism.

NZ Upgrade for West Coast ports and roads


West Coast ports and roads will benefit from an investment of $18.6 million to improve safety and resilience and enable future economic growth.​

The $12 billion NZ Upgrade Programme announced last month allocated $300 million for regional investment opportunities, to be administered by the Provincial Development Unit.

The operation of the ports has been heavily impacted over recent years by declines in key sectors on the West Coast, including forestry and mining.

The West Coast owned and operated fishing fleet has a relatively small share of the local fishing market but there is potential to expand the region’s fishing sector thro​ugh today’s investments and utilise the ports for other sectors.

The ports are currently a financial burden for the respective owners and ratepayers and there is little ability to fund improvements from the small ratepayer base. This is a major barrier to getting the ports into a financially sustainable position and capable of contributing to economic growth opportunities.

West Coast ports will receive $8.5 million funding package to help secure the region’s fishing industry and restore the financial sustainability of its ports.​

  • $4 million to the Buller District Council to install floating pontoons at Westport
  • $4 million to Grey District Council to install floating pontoons at Greymouth.
  • $500,000 to Westland District to repair the wharves at Jacksons Bay, south of Haast.

West Coast state hig​hways will receive $10.1 million to improve safety and resilience. The funding announced today will go to:​

  • $5 million for safety retrofit upgrades for up to six single lanes bridges on State Highway 73 and 6
  • $3.6 million for State Highway 67 seawall protection at Granity
  • $1.5 million for a cycle and walkway clip-on to the State Highway 6 Tatare Bridge at Franz Josef

The Granity seawall project will provide protection against erosion to a section of SH 67 between Granity and Ngakawau with the construction of a 950-metre rock-lined bank. This is an area that suffers from frequent coastal erosion and is an important link into the northern West Coast. The seawall will improve the highway’s resilience for the local community, and for freight supplies and rural services in the region.

The funding includes the installation or upgrade of guardrails on six single lane bridges on the West Coast state highway network. Tartare Bridge at Franz Josef will additionally have a clip-on pedestrian and cycle walkway added.

The West Coast has the largest number of single lane bridges in New Zealand on the state highway network, some of which timber rail, pipe rail, or concrete edge protection, often with no approach guardrail. This creates a safety crash risk.

The work will indirectly contribute to regional economic development by improving the road user experience for locals and tourists by improved traffic flows and access and addressing safety risks.

The bridges to be improved are:

  • SH 73 Taipo River
  • SH 6 Mikonui River
  • SH 6 Wanganui River
  • SH 6 Moeraki River
  • SH 6 Gates of Haast
  • SH 6 Tartare Bridge

The work will leverage design work already underway to improve road user and cyclist safety at high-risk single lane bridges on the West Coast also.

The work should be completed by late 2021.

$60m for nationwide job creation​

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is providing $60 million to councils and KiwiRail to create employment for local workers.

As part of the recent PGF reset we announced an allocation of $60m for road and rail projects across the country that will focus on worker redeployment. 

This is made up of $27.2m for local roading projects, $26m for rail projects, and nearly $6.8m for the Ministry of Social Development to support workers into training to take up these jobs.

This means at least 800 New Zealanders most in need of employment due to the economic effects of COVID-19 can be employed into work in their own communities.

Workers throughout New Zealand have been significantly impacted by the economic impacts of COVID-19. This latest investment is in addition to the $100 million earmarked for worker redeployment, of which $28 million has already been allocated to Tairawhiti, $6.2 million nationally for forestry workers, and $36.7m to other regions hard hit by the effects of Covid-19.

The $27.2 mīllion for roading projects means work start almost immediately on improving roads, cycleways, tree maintenance, and water projects in seven regions. These are in the Bay of Plenty, the West Coast, Manawatu-Whanganui, Wairarapa, Taranaki, top of the South Island, and Waikato.

The $26m rail investment means work can start early next month on culvert clearing and drainage improvements on regional railway lines. KiwiRail will be working with the Ministry of Social Development to take on and train new regional rail workers.

The package announced today consists of roading and rail projects. 

Roading projects total $27.215 million
  • Bay of Plenty – $12.55 million for footpaths, the Motu cycleway extension, a horse trail, tree, and pest removal, track and park maintenance, water projects and roading (291 jobs)
  • Manawatu-Whanganui – $5.52 million for roading, cycle trails, tree removal and firewood supply (159 jobs)
  • West Coast – $1.9 million for planting projects in the Buller District and work on the Greymouth Reservoir Replacement Project (30 jobs)
  • Wairarapa – $1 million for tree removal and maintenance on high-risk roads (10 jobs)
  • Taranaki – $1.12 million for road safety (12 jobs)
  • Top of the South – $2.73 million for roading, cycleways, drainage clearance, tree clearance and planting (65 jobs)
  • Waikato – $2.39 million for cycleways and tree removal (72 jobs)
Rail projects total $26 million
  • Projects include drain and culvert condition surveys, culvert cleaning and maintenance, vegetation control and drainage renewals and improvements.
  • The work will take place around rail lines from the Waikato to Wairarapa, and in Canterbury, West Coast and Otago-Southland.
  • The investment will create work for 200 people, including new rail trainees, local regional contractors, and redeployed KiwiRail staff.

Our aim is to put in place measures to soften the impact on workers and businesses in some of the most affected areas and in sectors where jobs have been lost and most in need of support.​

The local councils and KiwiRail projects are providing vital support to regional economies as the PGF refocuses on projects that will provide immediate jobs, can start immediately, and have high visibility to boost public confidence in the economic recovery.​

​More on the PGF

​If you would like to learn more about the PGF please visit their website by clicking here.

Page reviewed: 15 Jul 2020 8:36am