$140m investment in West Coast economy

The Government is investing significantly in the West Coast through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) to strengthen the region’s economy and create new jobs with a $140 million investment package announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today.

The Prime Minister is on the West Coast alongside Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor to announce the PGF funding.

“This Government is committed to funding regional growth because local jobs and businesses drive resilient, thriving communities and the West Coast has so much potential,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“That’s why the Government is investing $140 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to capitalise on future opportunities for the West Coast.”

Projects announced today include:

  • $87.46 million for tourism, ensuring the region’s popular sites and unique environments are protected and offer high-quality experiences for visitors
  • $32.8 million for extending ultra-fast broadband and mobile coverage
  • $10 million for a garnet mining project at Ruatapu
  • $9.9 million for a milk segregation project with Westland Milk Products

“The projects announced today also reflect the priorities of the Tai Poutini Economic Development Strategy and focus on the key sectors already driving the region’s economy, which increases the chances of success,” Shane Jones said.

“This is a significant boost for the West Coast and demonstrates how the Government is partnering with the region to support projects that will build a better future for rangitahi and everyone here,” Shane Jones said.

The full list of projects included in today’s announcement is provided below.

Project Description PGF Funding
Provincial Rail Upgrade KiwiRail’s world-class TranzAlpine service $40m
Connectivity Improve the region’s ultra-fast broadband and mobile networks $32.8m
Punakaiki Redevelopment Upgrade Punakaiki tourism infrastructure and improve Dolomite Point visitor experience $25.6m
Ruatapu Garnet Project Develop new garnet mine at Ruatapu, near Hokitika (Loan) $10m
Westland Milk Products Segregation Develop milk segregation processes to add value to milk products (Loan) $9.9m
Kawatiri Coastal Trail Create 55km family-friendly walking and cycle trail Charleston to Westport $9.36m
Oparara Arches Improve tourism infrastructure to protect the unique environment and enhance visitor safety $5.7m
Croesus Road Upgrade Croesus Road at Blackball, improving visitors access to Paparoa Track and Pike29 Memorial Trail $3.5m
Punakaiki Resort Wellness Centre Build spa facilities above Punakaiki Resort (Loan) $3.3m
Runanga Miners Hall Restore nationally significant historic building $0.4m
Total   $140.46m