Wairoa Mayor Craig Little says a windfall of $9.1 million in funding for the district is "the first time ever Wairoa has been in focus".
His comments came after the announcement that the northern Hawke's Bay district would receive $9.1 million from a wider Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment package of $68.3 million for Hawke's Bay.
"It's exciting news," Little said. "It's all things Wairoa has never seen before."
Dianne Downey and Paul Hyslop, owners of Wairoa's The Limery, would also benefit from $355,000.
The two said they were "honoured and overwhelmed" at the funds heading their way, which they said would facilitate the expansion of their acclaimed citrus company on Kopu Rd.
Since opening in 2009, the couple have brought new employment opportunities to the district, and facilitated growth in other citrus businesses by providing a local place to process their fruit.
"It's the start of a journey for us," Hyslop said. "Currently, we have 4000 lime trees on four hectares with four lime varieties – the goal is to be the largest grower of limes in the country."
The Limery is a "prime example of smart local people maximising the opportunities that horticulture brings to the region," Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau said.
The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) package also saw $6.5 million invested into the Ngati Pāhauwera Horticulture, Forestry, and Land Enhancement plan - $5.5million of which would go towards the Whenua Maori Fund to support Māori landowners, and $1 million into the Te Uru Rakau's One Billion Trees programme.
"Our investment in Ngāti Pāhauwera Commercial Development Ltd has the potential to convert and develop 82 hectares of flat, unproductive land into productive horticulture over the next three years," Tabuteau said.
The project would look to employ up to 40 local people.
Little said The Ngati Pāhauwera were "leading by example".
The Wāiroa High Productivity Motor Vehicle (HPMV) project received $2.2 million, which will update roads to a standard that can be operated on, and prioritise proposals that result in "fewer trucks on roads, reduced wear and tear on road infrastructure, and increases in regional productivity".
Quality Roading and Services (QRS) would also receive $60,000 to grow employment opportunities and enhance the organisation's capabilities.
Tabuteau said Wairoa had been a town that "has not only faced significant economic and social challenges, it has often found it difficult to be heard by central government.
"It is personally pleasing to see the needs of Wairoa being taken seriously by this Government."