Regional economic development

Regional economic development is aimed at helping regional communities reach their economic and social potential.

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

Through the Provincial Growth Fund, central government has committed to investing $1 billion a year over 3 years in regional economic development.

The Provincial Growth Fund aims to lift productivity potential in the provinces. Its priorities are to:

  • enhance economic development opportunities
  • create sustainable jobs
  • enable Māori to reach their full potential
  • increase social inclusion and participation
  • build resilient communities
  • help meet New Zealand's climate change targets.

All provinces are eligible for funding. However, regions identified for early investment are:

  • Tairāwhiti/East Coast
  • Hawke's Bay
  • Tai Tokerau/Northland
  • Bay of Plenty
  • West Coast
  • Manawatū-Whanganui. 

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.

Who to contact

If you have questions about regional economic development, email

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