29 Sep 2020

Regional Pasifika churches receive $10m from PGF

7:30 pm on 29 September 2020

The government has announced $10 million of funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for the renovation and improvement of Pasifika churches in the regions.

Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones revealing the details on the $3 billion infrastructure spend on 1 July, 2020.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones. Photo: RNZ /Dom Thomas

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says 27 churches will benefit, as part of the Covid-19 response and recovery plan.

The money would allow much needed renovations and improvements on many provincial Pasifika churches while providing up to 400 temporary construction jobs, Jones said.

The locations of some of the churches that have secured funding, from Balclutha to Oamaru, and Hamilton to Tokoroa, may surprise people, he said.

"This geographical spread shows how much the Pasifika community is part of New Zealand."

Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio said provincial Pasifika churches played a leading role during the Covid-19 pandemic in bringing agencies together to provide for Pacific communities.

Sio said Pasifika people in the regions value their churches and the roles they play in the community.

"I'm pleased and I know that Pacific peoples in regional New Zealand will be delighted to see that their church facilities will be supported to make the necessary improvements as they continue to serve their local communities," he said.