Regional Growth Programme

The Regional Growth Programme is aimed at helping regional communities reach their economic and social potential. Find out what's happening in the 10 regions involved.

Growing regional economies

We want an economy where our regions can make the most of their competitive advantages by:

  • attracting new investment
  • creating jobs and skills
  • having a good living standard for its local people
  • also contributing to the national economy.

The Regional Growth Programme is jointly led by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

Ten regions taking part

Each region has an action plan which has been developed and led by local people. The plans identify opportunities for growth in their areas – Northland, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu-Whanganui, Southland, Waikato, Taranaki, East Coast, West Coast and Canterbury.

The action plans are based on independent regional growth studies. Those studies identified and prioritised commercial opportunities that had the most potential to sustainably grow the region’s economy.

MPI's role in the regions

MPI has an important role to play in regional growth. Almost 80% of New Zealand exports are from primary industries and are worth an estimated $36.7 billion.

As a nation, we’re looking to double the value of primary sector exports by 2025 and we know we’ll need an extra 50,000 skilled workers in the primary sector by then nationwide.

Future growth for New Zealand will come from the primary sector. Most primary products come from our regions, which underlies our regions' importance to the economy.

Through the Regional Growth Programme, MPI helps regions grow their primary industries – agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and horticulture. That can happen by:

  • attracting new investment
  • creating jobs and skills
  • lifting local incomes.

Examples of what's possible

In Northland, the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan has 60 diverse initiatives.

Examples in the primary industries:

  • Northland groups have collectively planted hectares of forest and mānuka.
  • Extension 350 is helping farmers lift their on-farm performance and profit by sharing knowledge on improving farm systems.
  • Irrigation options are being scoped after a study showed that with an additional 92,000 hectares of irrigated land the region could make more than $247 million extra annually and create 3,400 more jobs.

Find out more

Download the Regional Growth Programme brochure [PDF, 4.3 MB]

Who to contact

If you have questions about the programme, email

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