Hawke's Bay's leaders have their fingers crossed ahead of the launch of the Government's Tuawhenua Provincial Growth Fund in Gisborne today.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters will be in Gisborne to attend the launch, with Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones, who is expected to announce the first tranche of the regional economic development fund, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister confirmed.
This launch is part of the coalition Government's agreed policy of having a $1 billion annual regional development (provincial growth) fund.
Contingents from most of the region's councils will be there, with many having approached the Government for funding.
Hawke's Bay Regional Council chair Rex Graham said he was sure the region would get support from the Government, given its focus on regional development.
He understood the council had spoken with the Government about financially supporting a number of projects - from waterway improvements, to the Napier-Wairoa rail.
The council was also looking for support from the Government for its Kahutia Accord project, which seeks to "recloak Hawke's Bay in trees". The fund covers the capital cost of planting 100 million trees a year.
Napier mayor Bill Dalton will also be attending today's announcement. The Napier City Council has applied for a set amount of funding for its $45 million National Aquarium of New Zealand expansion project through Matariki - Hawke's Bay Regional Economic Development Strategy.
"We're really excited about Matariki, we think it's going to turn Hawke's Bay around and that's why we're putting these regional projects through Matariki because they are true, regional projects."
Wairoa mayor Craig Little said the Wairoa District Council had spoken with Mr Jones about several projects when he visited the district last year.
"We've put a proposal in ... [it was about] a lot of things, State Highway 38, around tourism, forestry, we've got a lot of exciting things [the Government] can get into," Mr Little said.
Although Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said her district council had no formal applications or proposals in yet for the fund, she will attend the launch with Hawke's Bay District Council chief executive Ross McLeod and councillor Damon Harvey.
Mrs Hazlehurst said the council was working with Government and regional partners to consider the opportunities the fund presented.
They wanted to be at the launch to ensure they continued to"build on our strong relationships with the Government and make sure the Hastings District gets the very best from these funding opportunities".
"HDC is very interested in pursuing social and affordable housing development opportunities, additional road infrastructure funding and support for infrastructure for growth in both commercial and residential areas.
"It is a constant and growing challenge for council to fund infrastructure needs, while at the same time keeping our rates affordable."
Central Hawke's Bay mayor Alex Walker said CHB had not made any proposals, and would not be attending the launch.