Bay of Plenty has been named as one of four areas in New Zealand to benefit from a $44 million boost in funding for the Regional Growth Programme.

The Budget announcement has been welcomed by Tourism Bay of Plenty chief executive Kristin Dunne.

They were at the formative stage of working at a regional level with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on the ways to grow the region's economy.

Although it was too early to get into specifics, the work would encompass the business case needed to grow tourism to a $1 billion a year industry by 2030 in the Western Bay and Whakatane.


Hospitality New Zealand's regional manager Alan Sciascia was pleased the Budget was putting $12 million into helping communities build smaller-scale regional tourism facilities.

He said the rapid expansion of cycle trails in the Bay had not always been accompanied by providing handy toilets and carparks for cyclists and walkers.

Regional Development and Tourism:

- $44 million Regional Growth Programme: To enable greater and quicker progress to be made on regional initiatives arising from regional growth action plans

- $8 million Regional Business Partners Programme: To enabled New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Callaghan Innovation to engage with more export-oriented businesses in the regions

- $12 million Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities grants: To build smaller-scale tourism infrastructure projects like public toilets and carparks.