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Three Bay of Plenty Māori development projects set for PGF support

Three Māori development projects in the Bay of Plenty are set for a funding boost from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today projects across the country will receive a total of $18.8m from the PGF. Projects funded include $5.6 million for a food production hub in Ruatahuna, land remediation and kiwifruit orchard development at Welcome Bay near Tauranga and the conversion of part of a dairy property to sheep-milking in Rerewhakaaitu.

"These projects will support economic development in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Tairawhiti, Manawatū-Whanganui, Waikato and Southland to build the future prosperity of these communities," Mr Jones said.

"Each aligns to the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) post Covid-19 reset criteria to create jobs and get social and economic recovery underway via projects visible within regional communities."

Minister Jones said more than 300 jobs, both immediate short term and permanent, will be created across the regions through the investments, with more to be confirmed.

"As part of the PGF reset we are investing in projects that grow Māori firms and Māori assets in sectors that will be core to the economic rebuild. We are also continuing to invest in projects that meet whenua Māori criteria such as increasing productivity on underutilised land blocks, announced in February this year."

Nationally, the PGF is partnering with Poutama Trust which will receive a $5m grant to provide access to development capital for small to medium-sized Māori enterprises so it can scale up and grow.

"The funding announced today will help these Māori trusts and businesses to diversify, develop capabilities and create job opportunities within their communities," Jones said.

"Many of these groups would not have received funding from commercial sources as their assets are on collectively owned Māori land."

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