• Patrick McBride

$20m heading West from PGF

- Provincial growth funding update and exciting prospects.


PHOTO: File.

An update on funding was presented to the Westland District Council economic development committee yesterday with an announcement of further projects on the horizon.

Districts have taken a hit from the fallout of Covid-19 so any money being sent down to the Coast is seen as good money. Four new projects to the value of $20m are expected to be released soon. It is rumoured the Pounamu Trail will be the bulk of the funding.

DWC released information on the exciting culture and heritage development last year. A workshop of 36 participants from Iwi, Councils, Development West Coast, museum, heritage and cultural experiences met to determine how to bring these initiatives together, linking the cultural and heritage stories across the region.

Francois Tumahai, Chairman of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae, said that the history of Maori across the West Coast had been missing from many of the stories of the region, and central to that story was pounamu.

“The workshop attendees felt a real resonance with the Pounamu Pathway concept, recognising the untapped value in this narrative,” he said.

Pounamu is unique to the West Coast and a key point of difference for the region when exploring Maori history.

"We welcome any funding from Karamea to Haast from the PGF" Mayor Bruce Smith said.

Key projects on the West Coast to date:

  • Punakaiki re-developments and visitor centre ($25.6m)

  • Charleston-Westport cycle trail ($9.36m)

  • Westport airport sea wall ($2m)

  • West Coast employment scheme ($2.09m)

The budget added a further $500m to the PGF post Covid and are now looking for projects throughout the region.