The new Labour Government has singled out the West Coast as an early recipient of funds from the newly created $1b regional economic development fund.

The content and character of the fund will not be known in detail until the new year, but Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says the first four regions to benefit will be the West Coast, along with Northland, Wanganui-Manawatu and part of the East Cape.

In announcing the fund, Mr Jones said it would allow Government to “step up to the plate and provide public-good funding”.

DWC chief executive Chris Mackenzie says the opportunities the fund will bring will be welcomed by the region.

“The Government has recognised what is on offer here on the Coast, and clearly wants to play its part in galvanising our economy. We are excited to see what that will mean for the region and we aim to play a key role in directing and supporting the Government in this process.”