Waikato's tourism industry has been given a $1.7 million shot in the arm from the Government.
Matamata-Piako District is the latest recipient of the Government's Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), receiving $900,000 for a "feasibility study for the Te Aroha Tourism Precinct".
A further $800,000 has been given towards another feasibility study for the Waharoa Industrial Hub.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the new funding today in Matamata.
She said these two projects were widely supported across the community and the preparation of business cases would ensure the projects were suitable for further investment.
She said the funding for the initial work on the projects could unlock "huge potential in the area and capitalise on strong forecast growth in the Waikato".
Ardern said the Matamata-Piako District was well placed to build on its strategic location between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga.
"The completion of the Waikato Expressway in 2020 will further enhance opportunities across the region and local people are keen to make the most of the improved transport connections."
Waikato is a popular tourist destination, boasting local attractions such as Hobbiton.
But the most recent ASB regional economic score card – a quarterly measure of the country's regions – said the area's economic performance "remains mediocre".
Today's announcement brings the total allocation of PGF funds up to $308m – not including the $240m earmarked for NZ Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones' One Billion trees programme last month.
The fund, which Jones is in charge of, is tasked with providing $1 billion of funding to regional New Zealand a year - $3b over the Government's first term in office.
Projects of a similar scale to the one announced by the Prime Minister today include the $1.7m Bay of Islands Airport in Kerikeri and the $1.9m joint venture to plant and manage roughly 3600ha of pine trees in the Far North.