Regional growth programme

Our economy is made up of diverse regions, each with distinct strengths and challenges, depending on local natural resource, infrastructure and people. Because New Zealand will realise its full economic potential when all our regions are thriving, regional economic development is a priority for MBIE and is supported by the Regional Growth Programme.

[image] The Regional Growth Programme cover imageThrough the Regional Growth Programme we work to identify potential growth opportunities in selected regions and help increase jobs, income and investment in regional New Zealand. Read the Regional Growth Programme booklet [PDF 3.9MB].

The programme has been commissioned jointly by MBIE and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), working in partnership with other central government agencies and regional stakeholders, such as businesses, iwi and Māori, economic development agencies and councils.

Regions are a cross-cutting theme in the Business Growth Agenda, and the Regional Growth Programme contributes to the following six focus areas:

  • export markets
  • investment
  • innovation
  • skilled and safe workplaces
  • natural resources
  • infrastructure.

Participating regions

Regions involved in the programme (see below) are selected based on need, which is identified by how the region compares against national averages for income, employment and investment.

Senior Regional Officials

Senior public servants from various agencies are appointed to lead government work in each area.


Senior Regional Official


Ben Dalton, Ministry for Primary Industries

Bay of Plenty

Paul Stocks, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment


Mike James, Ministry of Transport


Ruth Bound, Ministry of Social Development

Hawke's Bay

Carl Crafar, Ministry of Justice


Di Grennell, Te Puni Kōkiri


Helen Wyn, Department of Internal Affairs

West Coast

Bruce Parkes, Department of Conservation


Penny Nelson, Ministry for the Environment