More than $48 million in loans from the Provincial Growth Fund will be pumped into regional projects that will help offset the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says.
“While this Government has responded quickly to the need for short- and medium-term support for Kiwis, businesses and industry, we are also working on a comprehensive long-term economic recovery package.
“Finalising these Provincial Growth Fund loans and getting this much-needed capital into the regions over the next few months will aid longer-term economic stability and create sustainable jobs in the regions.
“They are proof of the commitment we have to supporting our regions and the confidence we have that they will recover economically from what has been a devastating blow for some regions and sectors,” Shane Jones said.
The projects receiving loans include water storage projects and horticulture development on under-utilised land and include iwi and council ventures.
“These projects are going to make a real social and economic difference in their communities. Our regions will play a large role in the recovery of our economy and we need to channel every dollar of PGF funding we can into supporting them and the communities within them,” Shane Jones said.
The nine initiatives receiving loans totalling $48.4m are:
- Raukokore River Water Ltd, water storage project – $10.6m
- Wai o Kaha Gold JV Ltd Partnership, kiwifruit orchard development – $5m
- Wairarapa Water Limited, community water storage – $7m
- Whakatāne District Council and Ngati Awa, Whakatāne riverfront revitalisation – $9.6m
- Te Rahui Lands Trust, Ngati Awa Group Holdings and Whakātane District Council – $4.7m
- Te Waka Pupuri Pūtea Trust, Awanui water storage project (Far North) – $3m
- Hineuru Iwi Trust – Hineuru cherry orchard development – $4.3m
- Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Tukituki water storage development phase – $2.5m
- Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Heretaunga Plains water storage development phase – $1.7m
Some of these loans will be paid in tranches and ongoing payments are subject to conditions that include reaching key milestones.
“When making loans, the Provincial Development Unit considers a range of public benefits such as contribution to regional economic growth, job creation, skills development and improving environmental, cultural and social indicators that commercial banks don’t typically consider,” Shane Jones said.
Notes on the projects being funded:
Raukokore River Water Ltd, water storage project – $10.6m
Design and construction of the Raukokore/Waihau Bay community water storage and distribution project that is expected to support 200-300ha and potentially up to 900ha long-term of high-value horticultural development.
Wai o Kaha Gold JV Ltd Partnership, kiwifruit orchard development – $5m
A Whenua Māori loan to develop a kiwifruit orchard that is expected to use the Raukokore water storage and distribution infrastructure. It will enable higher value land use and sustainable employment opportunities in Raukokore for landowners and the community.
Wairarapa Water Limited, community water storage – $7m
Development of water storage pre-construction phase to provide resilient freshwater supply to Wairarapa. This will enable better environmental and economic outcomes, and provide a secure water supply to industry, sustainable primary sector activities and drinking water.
Whakatāne District Council and Ngati Awa, Whakatāne riverfront revitalisation – $9.6m
For the development of a continuous riverfront promenade developed with visitor amenities and recreation area, and a wharf package to upgrade facilities to encourage growth in vessel numbers and boost commercial and recreational activity.
Te Rahui Lands Trust, Ngati Awa Group Holdings and Whakātane District Council – $4.7m
Development of a commercial boat harbour to expand the boatbuilding industry in Whakātane with the expectation it will create 230 new jobs on the water and around 380 boatbuilding jobs over the medium- to long-term.
Te Waka Pupuri Pūtea Trust, Awanui water storage project – $3m
Development of low-cost water storage on Māori-owned land near Kaitāia to transition dairy support land to higher-value, sustainable horticulture.
Hineuru Iwi Trust – Hineuru cherry orchard development – $4.3m
Development of 14ha of unproductive iwi-owned land in Meanee, Hawke’s Bay, for growing and packing cherries and develop to an economic scale of production.
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Tukituki water storage development phase – $2.5m
Development phase of water storage project in Tukituki to achieve environmental objectives, including in the context of the recent Plan Change 6 to the Hawke’s Bay regional resource plan, provide security of supply to existing industry and primary sector water use and provide more water for growth opportunities.
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Heretaunga Plains water storage development phase – $1.7m
Development phase of water storage infrastructure project in the Heretaunga Plains to mitigate the depletion impacts of municipal, industry and primary sector water use and provide more water for growth opportunities.