West Coast gets $140 million taxpayer cash injection

The Government is investing $140 million in the West Coast for a number of major projects, including a new garnet mine, tourism infrastructure and investment in the dairy industry.  

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced the cash injection from the Provincial Growth Fund while on the West Coast on Thursday. 

"This Government is committed to funding regional growth because local jobs and businesses drive resilient, thriving communities and the West Coast has so much potential," said Jacinda Ardern.

Around $87 million will be put towards tourism, upgrading popular sites and environments.

The projects include upgrading KiwiRail's TranzAlpine service, improving tourism infrastructure at Punakaiki, improving the environment surrounding the Oparara Arches, upgrading the Croesus road walking and biking track and improving the memorial track for the men killed in the Pike River mine disaster. 

A $3 million loan has also been granted to the Punakaiki Resort Wellness Centre to build spa facilities. 

Thirty-two million dollars will help extend ultra-fast broadband and mobile coverage across the region.

Hokitika-based dairy company Westland Milk Products has got a $9.9 million loan for a milk segregation project, and $10 million is being loaned to create a new garnet mine at Ruatapu. 

"The projects announced today also reflect the priorities of the Tai Poutini Economic Development Strategy and focus on the key sectors already driving the region's economy, which increases the chances of success," said Mr Jones.

"This is a significant boost for the West Coast and demonstrates how the Government is partnering with the region to support projects that will build a better future for rangitahi and everyone here."

Full list of projects for the West Coast region:


  • $40 million for provincial rail - upgrades to KiwiRail's world-class TranzAlpine service
  • $32.8 million in connectivity - improving the regions ultra-fast broadband and mobile networks
  • $25.6 million for the Punakaiki redevelopment - upgrade of Punakaiki tourism infrastructure and improving Dolomite Point visitor experience 
  • $10 million for the Ruatapu Garnet Project - develop new garnet mine at Ruatapu, near Hokitika (loan)
  • $9.9 million for Westland Milk Products segregation - develop milk segregation processes to add value to milk products (loan) 
  • $9.36 million for the Kawatiri Coastal Trail - create 55km family-friendly walking and cycle trail between Charleston to Westport
  • $5.7 million for Oparara Arches - improve tourism infrastructure to protect the unique environment and enhance visitor safety.
  • $3.5 million for Croesus Rd - upgrade Croesus Rd to Blackball, improving visitors' access to Paparoa track and Pike29 Memorial Trial
  • $3.3 million for the Punakaiki Rest Wellness Centre - build spa facilities above Punakaiki Resort (loan)
  • $0.4 million for the Runanga Miners Hall - restoring a nationally significant historic building


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