The Trough Monitor: dip in for low-emission transport projects and pest eradication

The  Point of Order Trough Monitor,  which keeps a check on how taxpayers’ money is being invested, spent or given away by the Ardern Government, has alerted us to a ministerial invitation to dip snouts into the swill provided for low-emission transport projects.

The latest helping is worth $3.5 million.

Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods,  the first Minister of the Crown to trigger the Trough Monitor this year when she announced a record boost of more than $11 million for low-emission transport, today opened the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund for a new round of applications.

A few days earlier the Provincial Growth Fund was tapped – perhaps plundered is a better word – to expand predator control in regional New Zealand and bolster the operations of Predator Free 2050.

A $19.5m investment is involved. One objective is to find ways of reducing the use of 1080. 

Here’s what came out of the Beehive this week:

21 FEBRUARY 2019

Fund open for low emission transport projects

Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods today opened the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund for a new round of applications.

“The Government has a comprehensive work programme to transition our economy to a low emissions, renewable future. Helping to get more low emissions vehicles on the road, and helping more Kiwis take advantage of this technology, is a key part of that plan.

“This fund helps do that by offering up to 50 per cent co-funding for projects, with applicants required to match or exceed the amounts granted.

This year, up to $7 million is being made available, $3.5 million of it through this funding round.

The investment focus for this round aims to stimulate continued innovation and investment in areas such as filling key gaps in the charging network, facilitating the scale-up of low emission vehicles technology, high-visibility demonstration projects and electric vehicle (EV) technology innovation.

Woods noted that in projects to get funding in last round included hydrogen fuel cell powered buses at the Ports of Auckland, electric heavy vehicle trials, development of an EV battery testing method and 34 new public charging stations.

Over five rounds to date, the fund has committed $17.2 million in government funding to more than 90 projects. This is matched by over $28 million applicant funding.

Calling for new applications, Woods said:

“I look forward to seeing how applicants will use this funding round to help bring the benefits of these emerging technologies to even more New Zealanders,” said Minister Woods.

The fund is administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.

Applicants have until Thursday 21 March 2018 to submit their proposals.

For more information about the fund, visit

For general information about electric vehicles, see

19 FEBRUARY 2019

Funding to support innovative predator control in the regions

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is making a $19.5m investment to develop innovative approaches to expand predator control in regional New Zealand.

The new approach will also focus on maintaining predator free environments using innovative techniques once initial eradication in the project areas has been achieved.

“This will reduce the need to use 1080 to maintain predator free status in these areas,” Shane Jones said.

“New Zealanders know that a healthy environment is at the heart of a healthy economy.”

The funding will be used by Predator Free 2050 Limited, a Crown-owned company, to contract projects that will bring tens of thousands of hectares of rural and forested land under predator control, create regional jobs and stimulate demand for education at regional training institutes.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage welcomed the commitment from Predator Free 2050 to invest in research and development that will improve predator eradication tools and technologies.

“This project will help stimulate rapid innovation in the design of products such as more effective traps, lures, remote sensing, surveillance and data management technologies.

“Natural assets are at the heart of our regions and their local economies. This investment will further protect this important resource and support regional growth,” Eugenie Sage said.

Predator Free 2050 Limited will seek expressions of interest in ambitious, predator eradication projects from local authorities and community-backed entities in the PGF surge regions of Northland, Bay of Plenty, East Cape, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatū-Whanganui and the West Coast.

Information about funding support for surge region projects and product innovation is available on the Predator Free 2050 Limited website:


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