New Zealand Provincial Growth Fund invests in entrepreneurs and innovators
On April 6, the Government of New Zealand announced that the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will invest NZ$100,000 to support Taranaki’s entrepreneurs and innovators. The announcement was made by Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau.
The NZ$100,000 funding will contribute to a feasibility study into the creation of innovation precincts in the region. The feasibility study will investigate how a series of connected precincts, with a central New Plymouth hub, could support innovation and community engagement.
The proposed innovation precincts are anticipated to be in New Plymouth, Hawera, Stratford, Opunake, Waitara and Waverly/Patea and would include shared co-working and meeting spaces, incubator programmes, education and training delivery, and private sector participation.
Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said Taranaki has a small but growing entrepreneurial community.
“What these start-ups often need is a focal point, a sense of connection with others and a way to share ideas and knowledge,” he stated.
“While this is a small investment, it has the potential to lead to much bigger and better things,” he commented.
The new $1 billion per annum Provincial Growth Fund has been officially launched in February by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones.
“As of today, the Provincial Growth Fund is open for business and has the potential to make a real difference to the people of provincial New Zealand,” Minister Jones said.
“We are being bold and we are being ambitious because this Government is committed to ending the years of neglect. Nearly half of us live outside our main cities. If this country is to do well, then our provinces must thrive,” he add.
The Provincial Growth Fund aims to enhance economic development opportunities, create sustainable jobs, contribute to community well-being, lift the productivity potential of regions, and help meet New Zealand’s climate change targets.
The NZ$3 billion will be fully committed over three years, making investment in the provinces more attractive for private sector investment, which has strongly favoured New Zealand’s main urban centres in recent years.
All regions in New Zealand are eligible for funding.