Hokianga PGF annoucement

Hokianga PGF Announcement

Waiparera Marae, Hokianga
12.55pm, Friday 5 April

Check Against Delivery

Kia ora koutou, good afternoon.

It’s great to be here today in Hokianga supporting the First Citizen of the Provinces, Shane Jones to make the latest funding announcements for Northland.

$18.5m for water storage in Northland, digital connectivity for marae and two Forestry Joint Ventures for the region - these are initiatives that will make a difference to people’s lives.

Our regions

This Government is seeing that people in the regions get the investment they deserve.

We are passionate about the regions.

Our regions are the backbone of our country.

But our regions have not always received the respect and investment they deserve.

Some of our greatest treasures are in the regions and the images the world sees and admires are often these unspoilt parts of New Zealand.

But for years regions have missed out, while investment has poured into our biggest cities.

We see industries shifting out of regions to cities or even offshore.

Young people and families often have to move in search of work and opportunity.

Local schools can find it hard to attract good teachers and principals.

In some regions, people feel they’ve been left behind.

But the regions are still home to 2.29 million people, nearly half the national population, and generate around 40 per cent of the country’s economic output.

New Zealand’s economy is growing and unemployment is at its lowest in a decade.

Wages are rising and record investment is going into infrastructure and public services. 

To maximise New Zealand’s economic potential, every region needs to do well.

By investing in the regions, all Kiwis can share the economic prosperity of a strong economy.

Through the Provincial Growth Fund we’re making this happen.

The PGF

Families growing up in regions expect and deserve quality local education, strong thriving communities and good job opportunities that are close to home.

Investing in infrastructure and business creates strong regional foundations and the construction and expansion means new long-term jobs which in turn, drives more growth.  

A thriving town attracts more quality teachers and doctors, property owners are motivated to improve buildings to meet demand, and more businesses and services will emerge.

As people see and experience these improvements, pride in their regions grows too.

There has been a range of PGF investments across a vast range of areas – food and beverage, transport, tourism, and infrastructure.

So far Northland has received PGF funding for diverse investments such as the Hihiaua Cultural Centre, the Tōtara Industry Pilot, the Ngawha innovation and enterprise park, Twin Coast Discovery Route, Hundertwasser Arts Centre, Kawakawa Tourism Hub, to name a few.

The PGF is taking care of some long-standing issues.

Here in the North, Kaipara’s Mayor Jason Smith has seen the results of his years of advocacy, starting before the Mayoral Chain was around his neck.

Work is already gearing up to update, modernise and make the district’s roads safer with a $19 million investment from the PGF.

As the Mayor says, taking Kaipara “from zero to hero” and the PGF has made that possible.

But it’s not just the big projects. A roundabout on a blackspot in Waipapa near Kerikeri will be built thanks to PGF funding. 

Locals have asked government for the safety improvement for 29 years and it took the PGF to finally make it happen. 

That work is underway now and Waipapa will be that little bit safer in a year.

These types of stories are happening across the country.

How it works

The Government’s Provincial Growth Fund is investing three billion dollars over three years to drive sustainable regional economic development and grow our regions.

This investment will create jobs, improve wellbeing, increase environmental sustainability, create better road and digital connections and diversify the economy.

Every project must stack up by contributing to regional growth while meeting strict criteria including lifting productivity, being well managed, adding value and fitting local priorities.

We support smart new thinking and pushing boundaries to get results.

The Provincial Growth Fund helps projects improve the lives of regional New Zealanders and by growing the regions, the whole country benefits from that economic success.

Today’s announcements

The initiatives announced today will add future value to the region through economic growth, jobs and wellbeing for our communities.

Better water management is one of the major key enablers, recognised by the region, required for greater sustainable economic development.

Better digital connectivity will be a catalyst to increase productivity and harness the economic benefits of the internet.

The two forestry joint ventures will create opportunities for your community and deliver benefits for your people and your environment.

Through the PGF we are making a difference.

ENDS