Bay of Plenty Regional Council has leveraged its port and other investments to help fledgling regional infrastructure projects to take flight, without tapping into property rates.
The contestable Regional Infrastructure Fund was established to provide capital funding to help accelerate and improve outcomes and quality of regional infrastructure projects. Projects are chosen for funding based on their potential to create jobs and other economic benefits.
Money for the fund was raised through a share issue in Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s whollyowned Quayside Holdings Ltd through which it holds its investment in the Port of Tauranga.
Four projects were chosen in 2013 for investment of up to $40.5 million. These include an Innovation Centre at Scion’s Innovation Park in Rotorua, a shared tertiary campus in Tauranga, a Harbour Marine Precinct for Tauranga City and transformation of the Ōpōtiki Harbour.
The 2013 allocation unlocks total infrastructure investments of $96.7 million across the region that are expected to help generate thousands of jobs and increase export earnings by up to $1 billion.