Northland has been the main recipient so far of the Government's $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund, with $8.2 million announced yesterday for five Far North projects, taking the total dished out in the region so far to almost $100m.

Yesterday Northland got another slice of the Government's $3billion Provincial Growth Fund with Tourism Minister and Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis dishing out $8.2 million in Kaitaia for five Far North projects.

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has $1b a year for three years for projects to help the regions grow. With yesterday's announcement in Kaitaia, Northland will have received $99.1m from the fund - the most of any region.

Davis said the future of the Far North is looking brighter with these PGF investments in key community-led projects across the district.

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"There's a lot of work being done in Tai Tokerau to drive economic growth and help improve the lives of local people. This Government believes every New Zealander, no matter where they live, should share in a growing and prosperous economy," he said.

"We know the Far North District faces a range of complex challenges including high unemployment, an underutilised labour force, and comparatively lower GDP than other districts, but we won't rest on our laurels as we turn around the fortunes of the regions."

The largest amount today is $4.6 million for Sir Hekenukumai Ngaiwi Puhipi Busby's Kupe Waka Centre, to be built in Aurere at the southern end of Doubtless Bay.

"Sir Hek is truly an icon of the Far North. The Kupe Waka Centre will see his knowledge preserved and also bring people from both New Zealand and overseas to this incredible part of our country," Davis said.

An announcement of $8.2million of Government funding for Far North projects went down well at Kaitaia's Te Ahu Centre yesterday.
An announcement of $8.2million of Government funding for Far North projects went down well at Kaitaia's Te Ahu Centre yesterday.

The PGF is also investing $3 million in the multi-use Te Hiku Sports Hub in Kaitaia.

"Participation in sport and fitness is a key part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and improving the wellbeing of individuals, whānau and wider communities. This facility will create jobs, attract people to live here and help retain workers, young people and athletes in Kaitaia," Davis said.

The investment package also includes support for three iwi (Aupouri, Ngāti Kahu and Te Rarawa) to make progress on major projects, funding for preliminary investigations of a water storage project for the area and exploring the potential for a barge at Te Mingi to transport logs to Whangārei.

"Taken together, the announcements made today reaffirm our determination to unlock the full economic potential of the Far North. It's also an example of the PGF bringing agencies together from across Government to make a difference for people on the ground.

"We understand that supporting thriving and sustainable regions requires a holistic approach, ensuring our towns are attractive places for whānau to live, work and play.

"By supporting projects that look to the future, today's investment will bring new people to the region and keep them here by creating new jobs and opportunities close to home," he said.



PGF Funding for the Far North:
Kupe Waka: Development of the Kupe Waka Centre, including completion of planning works and construction - $4.6m.

Te Hiku Sports Hub: Construction of a multi-use Sports Hub in Kaitaia - $3m.

Te Mingi Barge Feasibility: Investigating building and operating a barge site at Te Mingi for transporting logs to the Whangarei port - $257,000.

ANT – Developing Projects: Capability support for 12 months to scope three key development projects - $250,000.

Te Hiku Water Solutions: Investigate a water storage scheme to support local high value
horticultural production - $99,500.

Total: $8.2m

PGF Funding for Northland so far: $99.1m, including $9.94m for the Hundertwasser Arts Centre; $9m for safety improvements at the Waipapa intersection; and up to $6.25m on the Twin Coast Discovery Route.