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New Zealand Provincial Growth Fund invests in entrepreneurs and innovators

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.