Hawke's Bay has been dwarfed by other regions when it comes to funding from the Provincial Growth Fund, but leaders say the region should be happy with its share.
As of March 31, Hawke's Bay got $145.8m from the fund (PGF) for 133 projects creating 887 jobs.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the money has ensured there are jobs and infrastructure projects to keep the community safe and housed.
But Northland, which has a population of just 16,000 more people, received at least $500m more than Hawke's Bay, attracting $652.7m, which created a total of 3282 jobs across 189 projects.
Despite the disparity, Hawke's Bay's leaders and businesspeople say the region should be happy with its slice of the pie.
Export NZ Hawke's Bay executive officer Amanda Liddle says regions shouldn't be compared.
"Any investment in job creation should always be seen as a positive for the region," she said.
Liddle said sectors like horticulture suffered in recent times, so the sustainability of the jobs created must remain a focus.
"What's important is how it can positively impact Hawke's Bay in the long term, especially for those in export sector since there are a lot of businesses that sit in the supply chain in the region."
As at March 31, the number of contracted projects through the PGF was worth $2.769m nationwide and had created jobs and employment for 12,322 people across New Zealand.
Tukituki MP Anna Lorck said the money has enabled Hastings and the wider region to become a hive of activities and jobs.
"Seeing how positive we can be is a real example of why Hastings is growing as the engine room of our region," she said.
Hazlehurst said Hastings' funding was organised into private sector, infrastructure and jobs tiers.
The private sector funding included $12m for the Foodeast innovation hub and $20m to Te Mata Mushrooms. Infrastructure funding included $9.3m for improving highways, footpaths and cycle ways, $44m for the Community Fitness Trust and $15m for water infrastructure.
Hazlehurst said some projects finishing in the coming weeks included the infrastructure development for the Tarbet St subdivision in Flaxmere, as well as the footpath and cycleway work on State Highway 51 at Waipatu.
"I'm proud of what we've been able to achieve for Hastings in terms of not only delivering jobs in a time of great uncertainty post-Covid, but also getting many infrastructure projects rolling," she added.
Regional development strategy partnership – Matariki co-chairwoman Alex Walker said via the Matariki partnerships, Hawke's Bay has made a deliberate pipeline of work and investment to ensure the region is not just creating growth for the sake of it.
"We are doing it in a way which can create success for as many households and whanau as we can," she said.
Central Hawke's Bay District Council has directly secured more than $28m from the Provincial Growth Fund since its inception.
Walker said for a small rural authority, the funding will result in many intergenerational outcomes, with 351 jobs created to date.