NZ First pork or overdue help for regions?

I don’t think there’s any doubt that the regions have been neglected and in some cases allowed to wither by successive governments over the past thirty years.

It’s harder to work how much the $3 billion over three years regional development fund is an overdue investment in provincial New Zealand, and how much might be a vote buying spree by NZ First and Labour.

There were multiple media statements from Minister of Regional Economic Development Shane Jones detailing initial spending targets.

Provincial Growth Fund open for business

The new $1 billion per annum Provincial Growth Fund has been officially launched in Gisborne today by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones.

“As of today, the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is open for business and has the potential to make a real difference to the people of provincial New Zealand,” Mr Jones says.

“We are being bold and we are being ambitious because this Government is committed to ending the years of neglect. Nearly half of us live outside our main cities. If this country is to do well, then our provinces must thrive.

“Our first regional packages support the regions most neglected by the last government: in Northland, Tairāwhiti-East Coast, Hawke’s Bay and Manawatū-Whanganui and the West Coast of the South Island.

“We are providing an immediate boost to these areas by investing $61.7 million into forestry initiatives, tourism ventures, rail and roading projects, and supporting these regions develop their proposals further to help them get off the ground.

“The first of many projects the PGF will support will create more than 700 direct jobs, and 80 indirect jobs – an impressive start to what will be an exciting three years for our provinces.

“If all the projects we’re funding realise their full potential, this will equate to more than $344 million of public and private investment for our regional economies.”

The PGF aims to enhance economic development opportunities, create sustainable jobs, contribute to community well-being, lift the productivity potential of regions, and help meet New Zealand’s climate change targets.

“The $3 billion will be fully committed over three years, making investment in the provinces more attractive for private sector investment, which has strongly favoured our main urban centres in recent years.

“We will form genuine partnerships up and down the country and provide the capital needed to stop projects languishing in long-term plans and regional action strategies.”

All regions are eligible for funding.

“An Independent Advisory Panel has been appointed to assist the decision-making of ministers and officials, supported by a new Regional Economic Development Unit within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to work directly with regions, ensuring this isn’t a Wellington-driven Fund.

“Our provinces are full of ideas and proposals. I have been heartened by the aspirations of so many businesses and investors, local councils, iwi, and community groups and I’m pleased to say that we now have a mechanism to see these realised.

“The announcements we’re making today are just the beginning and I’m looking forward to building on this momentum over the coming weeks, months and years and realising the untapped potential of our provinces,” Mr Jones says.

Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay: Tourism and forestry take centre stage

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will invest $8.6 million in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay to immediately boost tourism and forestry opportunities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says.

Manawatū-Whanganui: Port and Rail boost

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will invest more than $6 million towards revitalisation of the Whanganui Port and upgrade of the town’s rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says.

Northland: Tourism and jobs at heart of economic development package

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will provide $17.5 million to help create jobs, address infrastructure deficits, diversify the regional economy and enhance the tourism opportunities that exist in Northland, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced today.

West Coast: Future-proofing key to economic growth

The Provincial Growth Fund will invest in two cycle trails for the West Coast and work with the region to develop more proposals to be considered for funding, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced.

Collaborative efforts towards the ambitious one billion trees target are well under way with the first areas of land needed for Crown Forestry planting this winter committed, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says.

Regional Economic Development Minister and Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones has today announced the first of many regional rail initiatives the Government is looking to support.

The future of the upper North Island ports, including whether Ports of Auckland should be relocated, will be considered as part of a wider transport and logistics strategy, Associate Minister of Transport Shane Jones has today announced.

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will provide up to $4.6 million towards a new cultural tourism experience in Opononi, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis has announced.


  1. Trevors_elbow

     /  23rd February 2018

    Sooooouuuuuueeeeeeeeeeeeeee……… here pig, pig, pig!!!!!

  2. PartisanZ

     /  23rd February 2018

    @Miss Kitty – “If things need constant handouts, is it worth keeping them going?”

    You mean like small rural towns and villages that residents love to live in – and often have done for generations – with marae that Maori whakapapa back too – and people love to visit when they’re on holiday, sometimes stay at or just say “quaint” as they drive on through?

    They can go huh?

    Or do you mean, like, people … the unemployed, beneficiaries, sole-parents and their children, the low-waged and casualized – the Precariat – who need constant handouts to survive?

    They can go too I guess?

    Superannuitants need constant handouts! They can go!

    Lets not even give this Provincial Growth Fund a chance … Not see what comes of it, maybe in terms of product to fill the trucks that daily destroy our provincial highways … while we’re spending unconscionable amounts of ‘other peoples money’ on Roads of National Significance … Roads of Non Sense …

    Let’s just call it a Pig and give up on whole swathes of the populace and vast tracts of the country … They can go … What do we need them for?

    • Gezza

       /  23rd February 2018

      I think we should give this fund a go. I miss the former, thriving, vibrant little towns & hamlets on my trips back to my turangawae in the Naki. They’re quite beautiiful locations in many cases. Anything that jump starts some of them & mayb creates jobs & niche industries etc & feeds incomes & taxes back into the whole ecosystem is worth a try at least.