Provincial Growth Fund Already Delivering Jobs And Economic Boost To The Regions – New Zealand Government

Hon Stuart Nash

Minister for Economic and Regional Development

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is successfully creating jobs and boosting regional economic growth, an independent evaluation report confirms.

Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash announced the results of the report during a visit to the Mihiroa Marae in Hastings, which recently completed renovation work funded through the PGF.

“It’s great to see that the PGF has made a huge impact in a very short timeframe. By providing investments into regions that have been historically under-funded, it has helped to build strong, resilient economies,” Stuart Nash said.

“We reset the PGF in 2020 with the goal of investing in smaller community initiatives as a way of addressing the impact of COVID-19 on businesses. The fund has provided regions with billions of dollars, which not only ensures economic security as we emerge from the pandemic but also supports the transition to a low-emissions economy.

“To date, the PGF has committed $3 billion in funding, with $1.87 billion paid out so far. Of the 1,359 projects approved for funding, over 500 have already been completed, resulting in over 16,000 jobs and improved economic outcomes for our regions.

“The report shows that grants and loans from the PGF have directly led to real change with tangible flow-on benefits – such as the $15 million loan and equity stake in Taupō-based GEO-40’s world-leading silica extraction plant, or the $500,000 grant for Southland startup ecosystem COIN South to launch their pilot business support programme.

“What is also promising in the evaluation is the fact that the PGF has had strong benefits for Māori communities. PGF funded training programmes are supporting people into employment, with nearly seven thousand young people, including those not previously in employment, education or training, participating in work skills programmes.

“We can see that projects backed by the PGF are already bearing fruit, creating jobs while building infrastructure and driving innovation for regions and their communities. The lessons we’ve learned throughout this process have already been reflected in the design of the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund,” Stuart Nash said.

Read the full Allen + Clarke PGF evaluation report here.

Notes for editors:

· The report was undertaken by independent policy and regulatory specialists Allen + Clarke and looked at how the PGF operates and contributes to regional outcomes.

· The Allen + Clarke PGF evaluation report follows the recently released Business and Economic Research Ltd (BERL) report, “The impact of the Provincial Growth Fund on the Gisborne economy,” which found that as a result of the PGF investment, Gisborne’s contribution to national GDP is now better than the national average, its businesses are outperforming their rivals elsewhere and there are more, better paying jobs.

· Opportunities for improvement highlighted in the report are being addressed via structural changes incorporated in the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund (RSPF), which follows a targeted investment model for supporting local projects tailored to a region’s particular needs and advantages.

· The RSPF, announced in 2021, is a $200 million seed-fund to boost further investments into the regions.

· The PGF and RSPF are managed by Kānoa – Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit.

· A map of regional PGF funding and projects can be accessed here.

· Three additional images, including an overview of the PGF, funding by sector, and the Worker Redeployment allocation, can be accessed here.