A $6.1 million Government investment will transform burned and under-utilised buildings in Wairoa's town centre into a hub of business and tourism.

A Rocket Lab education centre will be created, as well as a new visitor centre, sitting alongside start-up businesses and potentially food and beverage locations.

It's the town centre revitalisation that Mayor Craig Little says the community has needed for years and he said the announcement, out of the Provincial Growth Fund, was "huge".

The funding will provide up to $4.8 million for the revitalisation, to be known as the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility.


Up to $960,000 will also go to a Wairoa Digital Employment Programme and $400,000 for a Wairoa Regional Digital Hub.

Little said it was what his council and his town had been crying out for.

"It's one of the most exciting things to have happened in my 10 years here," he said.

"Wairoa along with other rural communities has previously been neglected.

"Before this coalition government, we would hardly see a minister in town."

Little said he hoped the revitalisation and development of digital programmes will make the town centre a hub for locals and bring a larger sense of pride to the town.

"These investments mark the beginning of an even stronger future for our community," he said.

The integrated business and tourism facility and the Wairoa Regional Digital Hub will be developed by the Wairoa District Council.


"These projects will encourage more businesses and visitors into the main town and create better employment opportunities for local people," parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau said.

Tabuteau said the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility would attract and support local businesses and start-ups, increase employment opportunity and is "expected to attract passing traffic and increase visitor spending across all businesses".

Rocket Lab spokeswoman Morgan Bailey said the educational centre would be a space with resources about Rocket Lab operations and "the importance of opening up access to space to improve life on Earth".

The Wairoa Digital Hub will be developed as a facility which will provide better internet connectivity for individuals, small businesses and corporates.

"Not everyone has access to the internet in Wairoa so this hub will also have huge benefits for individuals in the community," Tabuteau said.

The Digital Employment Programme developed by Korou Digital Agency will provide training programmes for locals who want to work in the digital technology sector.

The 12-week paid programmes will provide digital training including software engineering, programming application and game development.

The training is followed by 40 weeks as a digital apprentice.

Tabuteau said at least 48 people are expected to enrol in the programme in the first two years.

Director of Korou Digital Agency Hinerangi Edwards said the support of the funding is expected to create 52 new jobs over the next two years.

"The employment programme will help whānau and the Wairoa community develop new businesses and opportunities for social and economic benefits beyond those directly involved," she said.

The announcement follows a $9.1 million PGF funding package for the district in June 2019.

The package last year was to address the district's social and economic challenges through digital connectivity, business expansion, roading, skills and employment initiatives.