Project criteria and assessment

Proposed Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) projects will be assessed against key criteria.

The project must:

  • lift the productivity of a region or regions
  • contribute to the PGF objectives
  • create additional value and avoid duplicating existing efforts
  • have a link to the regional priorities and be supported by stakeholders, and
  • be well managed, well-governed and have appropriate risk/reward trade-off.

Structure of the PGF

The PGF has three investment tiers:

  • Regional: Support of economic development projects, feasibility studies and capability building identified within regions.
  • Infrastructure: Regional infrastructure projects that enable regions to be well connected from an economic and social perspective, including rail, road and communications.
  • Sectors: Initiatives targeted at priority and/or high value sector opportunities. This includes the One Billion Trees Programme.

One Billion Trees Programme (MPI website)

Applications can be made to any of the three tiers above, or to two or more tiers where they are inter-connected. For example, development of a new tourism attraction may be accompanied by investment in the local road network to improve visitor access, and investment in building local skills in tourism and hospitality.

Where applications touch on areas that receive government funding from elsewhere, for example, land transport infrastructure – assessment will consider the purpose and priorities of that funding. We will work to ensure that funding comes from the most appropriate source.

Focus areas/sectors

Digital enablement: Digital technologies offer great potential for lifting productivity, and provide opportunities to develop new skills in our regions. The PGF will invest in digital enablement projects to capture employment and business opportunities in the regions. This can involve investing in network infrastructure to improve the reach, reliability and quality of digital connectivity. It can also include investments to ensure people are able to make use of the digital connectivity available to them, and ensuring people living in remote communities can take advantage of digital technologies.

Digital enablement [PDF 225KB]

Food and beverage: The PGF welcomes proposals for projects that increase the capability and employment of local workers (thereby reducing reliance on migrant workers), and use land in ways which are economically and environmentally sustainable. There may also be projects that deploy technology to enhance productivity, reduce environmental impacts, or add value to the end product (for example, use of robotics, or sensors on the farm).

Food and beverage [PDF 111KB]

Forestry: The PGF supports the Government’s One Billion Trees Programme to plant one billion trees across the country over ten years. Forestry has a range of benefits which include encouraging regional economic growth, creating sustainable employment opportunities and lifting social wellbeing. Projects that are environmentally – as well as economically – beneficial will be favoured.

Forestry [PDF 140KB]

Tourism: In the tourism sector, the PGF will prioritise investment into regional infrastructure to support growth of high-value tourism. Priorities for the tourism sector, such as encouraging visitation across the year and across more regions, will also be supported through the PGF. We also expect to see initiatives that further develop Māori culture as an asset for New Zealand tourism.

Tourism [PDF 242KB]

Transport: Transport networks that are fit-for-purpose for the safe and timely movement of people and freight are essential for businesses and communities, both regionally and nationally.
The PGF provides scope for transport investment that generates additional benefits for regions and accelerates their development.

Transport [PDF 120KB]

Who can apply

  • Individuals, non-government organisations, iwi, companies, and charities can all apply to the PGF.
  • All New Zealand companies, including those that are foreign-owned, may be eligible if they are looking to make investments in New Zealand.
  • The three main metropolitan areas – Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch – are not eligible.

Funding arrangement options

The PGF has a number of options for how to fund or contribute to projects. These range from grants and loans through to underwriting or part ownership in a project. The Provincial Development Unit (PDU) will work with you to decide which of the options (or variation of the options) are most suitable for your project.

There are no set limits for funding.

Fund exclusions

The following are not eligible for the PGF as they are funded by other means:

  • Housing (unless it is a core part of a broader project and would not otherwise be required).
  • Water and large-scale irrigation.
  • Social infrastructure (such as hospitals and schools).