Hawke's Bay is being dwarfed by other regions when it comes to funding from the Provincial Growth Fund, but local leaders say the best is yet to come.

So far Hawke's Bay has received just over $6 million in funds, the fifth lowest for regional New Zealand.

Comparatively, Tairāwhiti has received more than $156 million in funds, with the West Coast and Northland also raking in around $100m.

Regional Council chairman Rex Graham said Hawke's Bay had been a little slow off the ranks in terms of receiving funding, but it would see its fair share.

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Napier's Mayor Bill Dalton. Photo / File
Napier's Mayor Bill Dalton. Photo / File

He said Hawke's Bay had the added challenge when it came to applying of having five councils, compared with, for example, Poverty Bay which has a single unitary authority.

"We are all as organised as we can be, but we could probably do a little bit better."

In particular he was hoping for PGF funding for projects relating to water security in Central Hawke's Bay and the Heretaunga Plains.

"We all have our own little champion projects of course; with regional council, water security is number one."

For Napier's Mayor Bill Dalton the National Aquarium was a priority.

Mayor of Hastings Sandra Hazlehurst. Photo / File
Mayor of Hastings Sandra Hazlehurst. Photo / File

"We've made an application for very significant funding for the project around the National Aquarium of New Zealand and that is something that the PGF have asked us to prepare a business case for."

He disagreed with Graham that having five councils was a challenge, saying it was a strength instead.

"We have the advantage of having five strong councils and we have Matariki, our regional economic development strategy and all the applications are being forwarded through that so I think it gives us a distinct advantage.

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"We have a lot of applications in, we have a lot of applications under preparation that will go in so I am absolutely convinced that the government will be fair and we will get our fair share."

Mayor of Wairoa, Craig Little. Photo / File
Mayor of Wairoa, Craig Little. Photo / File

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the region had been identified by central government as a surge region, and a region which would see significant PGF investment.

"We are working really hard as a region to develop a set of investment packages that will bring about the greatest opportunities for both the Hastings District and Hawke's Bay."

Mayor of Wairoa, Craig Little, said he may be biased but Wairoa in particular had a lot to gain in terms of funding from the PGF.

He said in particular he was hoping to see funding for roads such as State Highway 2 and State Highway 38, increasing the ability for people to move in and out of Wairoa.

He said forestry was also important for the district, and hoped to see some work done strengthening bridges to help support logging trucks.

Central Hawke's Bay District Mayor Alex Walker. Photo / File
Central Hawke's Bay District Mayor Alex Walker. Photo / File

He also said it could benefit businesses and start-ups in Wairoa.

Central Hawke's Bay District mayor Alex Walker said the mayors and regional council chair were working together to look at what investment would benefit Hawke's Bay.

Specifically in her district she wanted to see funding into water security, farming diversification and investment, and helping young people into employment pathways.