PGF investing to grow Eastern Bay of Plenty economy

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support several projects in Eastern Bay of Plenty to boost the economic potential of the region and unlock new opportunities for local people. 

Minister Jones was in Ōpōtiki today to make the announcement, which will benefit from a large investment in its local aquaculture industry.

“The Bay of Plenty region has experienced significant growth in recent years evidenced by the fact that per capita GDP and the average household income has increased faster than the national average,” Shane Jones said.

“But it’s also true that not all areas in the Bay of Plenty have shared equally in that growth.  Rural areas and small towns, like those in Eastern Bay of Plenty, have experienced population decline, lower average workforce participation rates and limited career opportunities compared to the main centres.

“From tourism through to aquaculture, the economies of Eastern Bay of Plenty are strongly linked to Tangaroa (Māori god of the sea) and today’s announcement acknowledges and builds on that connection.

“The PGF will support Ōpōtiki’s aquaculture industry with funding for three projects including investment to develop a proposal to establish a deep water mussel farm and on-land mussel processing factory. Once complete, this has the potential to create more than 200 jobs.

“The PGF will also help to progress the first phase of a plan to improve visitor access to Whakaari (White Island) which is a key tourism attraction in the region. This project will collect marine and geological data and contribute to work for safely visitors to the island.

“PGF funding will also contribute to employing a labour coordinator for the Bay of Plenty Kiwifruit industry and $1.76m for local communities to shape future economic development projects right from the planning stage.

“I’m also pleased to announce today that the Eastern Bay of Plenty will receive $1.3 million from the PGF to improve digital connectivity. This follows the announcement last month that the Government had allocated $40 million from the PGF to improve internet and mobile coverage in the regions.  

“The investment we’re announcing today will help to address some the challenges facing the region and reflects the fact that we need to invest, not only in main regional centres, but in small town economies too – where we can unlock significant potential. 

“Eastern Bay of Plenty has a clear vision of the future and through the Provincial Growth Fund, the Government is able to work alongside them to progress projects that will strengthen their communities and grow the local economy,” Shane Jones said.

Today’s announcement builds on a suite of recent announcements in the Bay of Plenty, including $27.83 million for the re-development of the Rotorua Lakefront and Whakarewarewa Forest and $2m to progress a new industrial hub in Kawerau.


Note: Funding from the Provincial Growth Fund is approved in principle and announced, after which contracts are negotiated. Some funding may depend on completion of business cases. Payments are made once agreed milestones are met. These are set as part of contract negotiations, and differ from project to project.


Funding announced 14/12/18




Mussel Farming and Production Facility

Development of a sustainable mussel farming operation in Ōpōtiki

Up to $19,850,000

Improving digital connectivity in Eastern Bay of Plenty

Improving EBOP’s broadband and mobile networks

(This follows a previous announcement that the Provincial Growth Fund will invest in regional digital connectivity)


Accelerating Aquaculture Developments in Whakatohea Rohe Moana

Research and planning exploring potential aquaculture projects


Ōpōtiki Harbour Development Project

First stage in Ōpōtiki Harbour redevelopment


Raukokore Irrigation

Investigating irrigation for up to 640ha of land at Raukokore


Whakatāne Waterfront and Town Centre Regeneration

Progressing Whakatāneredevelopment plan


White Island visitor growth

Feasibility study to investigate improving visitor access to White Island


EBOP Regional Development Project Implementation

Funding a position to manage and report on 65 key economic development projects


Kiwifruit Labour Co-ordinator

A full time position connecting  workers, contractors and pack houses


Ngāti Awa Resource Funding

Completion of preliminary planning work on four projects






Bay of Plenty Provincial Growth Fund announcements to date:





Redevelopment of Rotorua Lakefront

Redeveloping the Rotorua Lakefront, including building new boardwalks, walkways, cycle-ways, landscaping and improving the visual connection between the city and the lake.


Development of Whakarewarewa Forest

Developing Whakarewarewa Forest, including renovating the forest entrance, improving car and bus parking, developing more cycle tracks, and building a visitor centre and amenities.


Minginui Nursery

Funding to grow up to one million native seedlings each year to support the Government’s 1 Billion Trees programme.


Putauaki Industrial Land Development – Stage 1

Funding initial construction work for the Putauaki Industrial Hub.


Rotorua Big Moves - Lakefront and Whakarewarewa Forest

Funding for a business case to progress the redevelopment of the Rotorua Lakefront and development of Whakarewarewa Forest.


Rail Freight Opportunities - Kawerau/Murupara

Funding of a study to look at options for creating an inland hub to connect exports from Murupara and Kawerau to rail.







Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.