Gisborne and Hawke's Bay are two of the five regions that will get a cut of the money allocated to the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF). They claim an immediate $9.2mil boost for tourism and forestry opportunities.
Minister for Regional Economic Development Shane Jones says the waiting game is over.
"The one billion dollar fund is alive and well," says Jones.
The East Coast region is ready to make tourism and forestry gains.
Te Runanganui o Ngāti Porou Chairman Selwyn Parata says "the biggest benefit is that those living here at home can gain employment here at home."
Jones says "They have a lot of land but not much is coming from it so we are here to provide these funds to help overcome those challenges."
$2.3mil will go towards redeveloping the Inner harbour and $1mil for the sestercentennial commemorations of the first encounter between Māori and Pākeha.
Gisborne's Mayor Meng Foon says the funds could extend to help erect a 'Crook-Cook' statue replacement on Kaiti hill.
"The discussions are still underway between Council, Crown and Ngāti Oneone around that amazing event," says Foon.
$200,000 will kick-start the creation of a $20mil wood processing plant, bringing 167 jobs. $5mil is also allocated for KiwiRail to reopen the Wairoa-Napier line but nothing yet to reconnect the Gisborne-Wairoa link.
But Jones says "we're not writing-off Gisborne out of the script."
Foon says Gisborne will reapply.
The next tranche of funding announcements is expected to be in April.