By Kylee Katipo - February 2019
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced that the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will invest up to $100 million to help unlock the economic potential of whenua Māori and build prosperity in the regions.
The announcement was made on 4 February 2019 at Otamatea Marae, in Kaipara. The portion allocated to supporting Māori economic development constitutes ten per cent (10%) of the PGF’s $1 billion-a-year allocation.
The Prime Minister says that “funding will enable Māori to access the capital required to progress projects which are investment-ready and will ultimately support moves towards higher-value land use.”
The funding is intended to overcome barriers to whenua Māori development including accessing financial capital to support the utilisation of whenua Māori and is aimed at increasing economic benefits to the regions including providing employment opportunities.
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says that “lifting the productivity of Māori land will have enormous benefits for regional economies” and supporting Māori economic development is a key focus of the PGF.
This funding is part of significant work across government to support Māori landowners to build governance and management capability within trusts, and completing initial feasibility studies for the development of Māori land.
Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta has welcomed the funding to help unlock the potential of whenua Māori. She says this is the first practical step to reform whenua which will provide economic benefits of up to $650 million for whānau in the future.
Minister Mahuta has also announced a new cross-government Whenua Māori Programme to stimulate opportunities for whānau. The Programme will include legislative amendments, new on-the-ground services for Māori land owners and technology improvements to assist Māori towards realising their goals for their whenua whether they be economic, social, environmental or cultural.
For more information about the PGF please see website: https://www.growregions.govt.nz/get-funding/how-to-apply/
Kylee is a Senior Solicitor in our Māori Legal Team and can be contacted on 07 958 7424.