$10.88 million of PGF funding for Wakatu Quay and South Bay

PGF primary

Kaikōura’s bright future received a $10.88 million endorsement from the Provincial Growth Fund today at Kaikōura District Council.

The funding grant is for two projects, $9,880,000 for redeveloping Wakatu Quay into a mixed use commercial, retail and hospitality area and $1,100,000 for a business case for developing the harbour at South Bay.

The $9.8million grant for the development of Wakutu Quay offers a unique opportunity to develop a commercial, retail and hospitality precinct in an iconic environment

The harbour is a cornerstone of local infrastructure. The grant of the $1.1 m for a detailed business case for further development is a major step forward in making sure Kaikoura is building for the future.

The announcement is the result of 18 months of collaboration between Council, Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura, community and stakeholders, made possible by government support.

The funding grew out of community and stakeholder led thinking around a marine development programme the goal of which was to develop Kaikōura’s marine sectors over 10 to 15 years. 

Why these projects?

In 2017 the government committed to the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF). The fund will invest three billion dollars over three years in regional economic development. It aims to improve jobs, wages, and opportunities including for Maori. Only projects likely to generate commercial return or drive growth are eligible. 

Post-earthquake Kaikōura was looking for projects that would help 'Re-imagine Kaikōura', drive growth, create jobs, build partnerships and enhance our district. Council also looked for projects that align with the Canterbury Regional Economic Development Strategy’s regional visitor aims, with a strong focus on sustainable growth in tourism.

Council sought advice from experts and the government about which projects were likely to be successful and be given PGF funding and focused on those. These projects aim to provide local jobs and opportunities and are the first step towards wider marine based development.

How did we get here?


  • Recovery work brings together ideas and aspirations from across the community that honour the district's history and will help Kaikōura develop.
  • Council focuses on economic development and growing the ideas in the 'Reimagine Kaikoura' recovery plan.      


  • Work continues to identify funding and find ways forward for several ideas.
  • September: Council is awarded $200,000 from the PGF to investigate the suitability of three concepts for funding. The concepts are; marina development, airport development, and developing a marine centre of excellence (an aquarium with research and education facilities, a paua hatchery and a seafloor canyon observatory).
  • October/November: Consultants are engaged and detailed investigation work begins. Input is sought from locals, experts and government.


  • Investigations are completed. They find the harbour and Wakatu Quay are a good fit for the PGF with strong opportunities but the airport has very limited opportunities for commercial development. The other ideas are in very early stages, without the commitment from partners and detail needed to be ready for PGF funding.  
  • Following discussions with the PGF, Council applies for funding for Wakatu Quay and the development of South Bay harbour - the two projects likely to be successful and achieve funding quickly.


  • January: A PGF grant of up to $10.88 is announced – up to $9.88 to develop Wakatu Quay for commercial, retail and hospitality use and up to $1.1million to study how South Bay Harbour and its surrounds could be developed.
  • Funding agreements between Council and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment are developed. Plans to engage with stakeholders and experts begin to be developed.

What happens next?

Both projects are in the early planning stages. Council will be engaging with Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura, stakeholders and other partners to develop initial ideas and throughout the project. An update will be included in this year’s Annual Plan in April/May. Other ideas including the marine centre of excellence may be revisited as part of Councils long term planning.