Gisborne's total take from the Government's Provincial Growth Fund has increased to $180 million after an almost $30m injection from the fund was announced this morning.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said the Government was making "major investments" in some of the region's largest sectors.

The biggest winner from today's Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) announcement was Gisborne's forestry and timber sector.

Some $19.5m from the fund will be spent on developing the Tairāwhiti's Wood Cluster Centre of Excellence – a wood research, training and innovation hub.


Jones expects the first $5m of PGF funding spent on the hub would create at least 30 full-time jobs.

The full $19.5m, according to Jones, would lead to higher-value forestry products being produced and more money going back into the community via pay packets for local workers.

"Forestry is a significant economic driver in Tairāwhiti and we want to make sure the region is able to take full advantage of the opportunities the sector provides."

The rest of the $30m is split between the Matai Medical Research Institute, which is getting $6m, and Aotearoa Social Enterprise Trust, which gets the remaining $2m.

"Matai Medical Research Institute is looking to establish a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) lab in Gisborne to get a better understanding of the brain, heart and body, with a focus on the fast-emerging field of traumatic brain injury," Jones said.

Speaking to the Herald, Jones said he was "very attracted to this proposal".

"The notion of brain research is not something one ordinarily associates with the Tairāwhiti."

He added that the institute, located at Gisborne Hospital, would bring an extra 25 jobs to the region.


The funding for the Social Enterprise Trust will go towards the scaling up of its food harvesting and processing to help get more long-term unemployed people into jobs.

"These projects are an example of the Tairāwhiti region making the most of its strengths and opportunities and the PGF is proud to come to the table and support this."