Regional economic development funds and programmes

Growing regional economies

We want an economy where our regions can thrive. Where they can increase their productivity and prosperity sustainably by:

  • attracting new investment
  • creating jobs and skills
  • having a good living standard for local people
  • contributing to the national economy.

MPI’s role in the regions

MPI has an important role to play in regional growth and prosperity. Almost 80% of New Zealand merchandise exports are from primary industries, worth an estimated $36.7 billion.

As a nation, we’re looking to increase the value of our exports and we estimate we’ll need an extra 50,000 skilled workers in the primary sector by 2025.

Most primary products come from our regions, which underlies their importance to the economy.

The Provincial Growth Fund

As of September 2020, the government’s $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has almost been fully allocated.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PGF focused on initiatives in priority sectors and regions. During the COVID-19 lockdown, the government reset the PGF to enable it to play a vital role in helping the country recover from the economic impact of the virus.

About $600 million of PGF funding has been reallocated into initiatives that will create jobs in short timeframes and bring immediate economic benefits.

In addition, the Provincial Development Unit was given the responsibility for the delivery of more than 100 shovel-ready projects, identified through the Infrastructure Reference Group, creating jobs for displaced workers in our regions.

As a result, the volume and value of applications the PGF has received far exceed the funding available.

What remains of the funding will be used to invest in key areas as part of the government’s post-COVID-19 response. As a result, it is unlikely that any outstanding or new applications will be progressed.

Learn more about how the fund works – MBIE website

One Billion Trees Programme

The One Billion Trees Programme is a major programme under the Provincial Growth Fund.

The Government has set a goal to plant one billion trees over 10 years (between 2018 and 2027) and MPI plays a key role in helping to meet this goal.

Find out more about the One Billion Trees Programme

Who to contact

If you have questions about regional economic development, email

Tonga: EU channels emergency assistance

[unable to retrieve full-text content] European Commission Press release Brussels, 22 Jan 2022 Following a request for assistance, the EU is channelling aid to Tonga