Hawke's Bay has already spent nearly $10 million of the roughly $100m allocated to the region by the Provincial Growth Fund, but big projects are taking time to complete.
The NZ First-inspired fund, which is overseen by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones, has invested $98m into Hawke's Bay since the beginning of 2018, for 39 separate projects.
A little over $9m of that has already been spent on now-finished projects, though the only major project that is now fully complete is the $6.2m Napier-Wairoa rail line reopening.
Central Hawke's Bay and Wairoa have been the big winners from the fund, benefiting from almost half of the total amount spent in Hawke's Bay.
• Hawke's Bay companies awarded $14 million in PGF windfall
• $68 million PGF injection for Hawke's Bay for transport, internet, water and jobs
• Bay's water and infrastructure to get $18.8 million
• $40 million provincial growth funding for Central Hawke's Bay
The PGF is administered by the Provincial Development Unit, part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment and is part of a Government plan to allocate $3b over a three-year term to invest in regional economic development.
Thirteen of the 39 funds granted in Hawke's Bay have been completed.
Along with the Napier-Wairoa rail line completion are small funds for planning and designing around future concepts which have then received further funding, such as the Hawke's Bay Food Innovation Hub.
The hub is projected to be a centre of excellence in food processing skills training, a place of sustainable food and beverage innovations, production and packaging and a centre of entrepreneurship in food business.
In June 2018 $200,000 was granted towards a business case study which identified the facility as a strategically important asset for Hawke's Bay, expected to generate $100 million of additional regional gross product over 10 years, as well as more than 500 skilled jobs.
In September 2019 the Provincial Growth Fund announced a $12m grant towards the estimated $18m cost of the hub – subject to the remaining $6m coming from other investors.
A large chunk of Hawke's Bay's $98m of funding has gone towards investment in water, $30m of which was announced in June 2019.
That includes nearly $3m spent on the 3D Aquifer Mapping Project, which was launched this week, and the Regional Water Assessment which is in the late stages of design and planning.
The rest of the $27m is being used towards the development and construction of water storage options at the Heretaunga Plains and Ruataniwha Plains, which are both in the late stages of negotiation with the Provincial Development Unit.
A further $20.1m was also funded at the same time to further improve Route 52: Waipukurau to Porangahau, with plans in place reading to commence work on the road this year.
How the Provincial Growth Fund works
To receive funding from the PGF an application has to be made to request funding and will only be accepted if it supports the regional economic development of its particular region.
Government has control over the PGF and who makes the funds decisions depends on how much is being paid.
Cabinet has oversight of the Provincial Growth Fund, and makes decisions about investments of $20 million or more.
Regional economic development ministers make decisions about investments between $1 million and $20 million, consulting with the relevant portfolio ministers when this is appropriate.
Senior regional officials (SROs) make decisions about investments of below $1 million.
The Independent Advisory Panel (IAP) looks over applications and provides advice to ministers about investment proposals, and supports the work to build a balanced and coherent portfolio of investments.
Once a project is chosen to receive funding a contract is negotiated, between the Government and the recipient, which includes milestones that that particular application needs to reach in order to access their funding.
For example if it is a building project the contract will likely say the company gets one amount to work through the planning and consenting process, then another amount when they get the consent.