Kelvin Davis dishes up an $8.2m serving from the PGF trough for projects in his home patch

The Point of Order Trough Monitor was keeping an eye on Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis, while he was back on his home patch yesterday dispensing largesse from the Provincial Growth Fund.

The latest offerings amounted to $8.2 million.   This brings the grand total of PGF funding for the region so far to almost $100 million.

Davis issued a press statement to affirm what we suspected: he was on a mission to further flaunt his government’s munificence.

The statement was headlined Government investment in Far North’s future.

The political pitch dripped with promise of a better tomorrow: 

The future of the Far North is looking brighter with Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investments in key community-led projects across the district, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today.

“There’s a lot of work being done in Tai Tokerau to drive economic growth and help improve the lives of local people. This Government believes every New Zealander, no matter where they live, should share in a growing and prosperous economy,” Kelvin Davis said.

“We know the Far North District faces a range of complex challenges including high unemployment, an underutilised labour force, and comparatively lower GDP than other districts, but we won’t rest on our laurels as we turn around the fortunes of the regions.”

Then came the goodies:

  • $4.6 million for Sir Hekenukumai Ngaiwi Puhipi Busby’s Kupe Waka Centre, to be built in Aurere at the southern end of Doubtless Bay.

“Sir Hek is truly an icon of the Far North. The Kupe Waka Centre will see his knowledge preserved and also bring people from both New Zealand and overseas to this incredible part of our country.”

  • $3 million in a multi-use sports centre in Kaitaia.

“Participation in sport and fitness is a key part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and improving the wellbeing of individuals, whānau and wider communities. This facility will create jobs, attract people to live here and help retain workers, young people and athletes in Kaitaia.”

Davis proceeded to say “the investment package” includes support for three iwi (Aupouri, Ngāti Kahu and Te Rarawa)

… to make progress on major projects, funding for preliminary investigations of a water storage project for the area and exploring the potential for a barge at Te Mingi to transport logs to Whangarei.

Then came more rhetoric of the sort crafted to garner votes.

“Taken together, the announcements made today reaffirm our determination to unlock the full economic potential of the Far North. It’s also an example of the PGF bringing agencies together from across Government to make a difference for people on the ground.

“We understand that supporting thriving and sustainable regions requires a holistic approach, ensuring our towns are attractive places for whānau to live, work and play.

“By supporting projects that look to the future, today’s investment will bring new people to the region and keep them here by creating new jobs and opportunities close to home,” Kelvin Davis said.

The grand total was provided in notes which accompanied the Minister’s pronouncement.

Kupe Waka:  Development of the Kupe Waka Centre, including completion of planning works and construction.


Te Hiku Sports Hub: Construction of a multi-use Sports Hub in Kaitaia.


Te Mingi Barge Feasibility: Investigating building and operating a barge site at Te Mingi for transporting logs to the Whangarei port.


ANT – Developing Projects:  Capability support for 12 months to scope three key development projects.


Te Hiku Water Solutions:  Investigate a water storage scheme to support local high value horticultural production.


Total:   $8.2m

The statement further provided an update on Provincial Growth Fund announcements for Northland,  the home patch not only of Davis, but also of Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Economic Development Minister Shane Jones –

Business Case Development – Northland Rail Upgrade:  Exploring upgrade of the North Auckland (rail) Line (NAL), running from Auckland to Otiria in the Far North.


Twin Coast Discovery Route:  Support for the next step in the Twin Coast Discovery Route (TCDR) programme, delivering transport improvements across Northland.

Up to $6.25m

Hundertwasser Arts Centre:  Construction of the Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Maori Art Gallery.


Ngāti Rehia Kauri Sanctuary:  Opportunity for research and control of kauri dieback in a contained plantation environment, with training and education opportunities.


Ngāti Rangi Manuka and Kanuka oil distillery:  Development of a business ecosystem based on extraction of the essential oils of manuka and kanuka.

Up to $70,000

Ngati Hine Forestry Trust Joint Venture:  Te Uru Rākau and Ngāti Hine Forestry Trust to plant and manage 3,600ha of pine trees.


Ngati Hine Manuka Planting Training Programme:  A mānuka plantation and training/work experience programme for 40 trainees over two years.


Opua Wharf:  Construction of a new concrete pontoon, 111 metres long and 4 metres wide at Opua Wharf.


Paihia Wharf:  Extend, upgrade, maintain and operate the Paihia Wharf.


Russell Wharf:  Upgrade to Russell Wharf including floating concrete pontoons, dinghy dock and a wharf extension.


Kawakawa Tourism Hub:  Develop Te Hononga Interpretive Centre, a cultural tourism hub facility in Kawakawa.


Waipapa Intersection Improvement:  Safety improvements to intersection at Waipapa


Totara Industry Proposal – pilot:  A two-year pilot to test the validity of establishing an indigenous tōtara wood industry in Northland.


Hihiaua Stage One:  Initial stage of a wider plan to develop the Hihiaua Peninsula into a contemporary Maori precinct.


Manea Footprints of Kupe:  Establish an interactive Cultural Heritage Tourism and Education Centre in Opononi, Hokianga.


Bay of Islands Airport Terminal Upgrade:  Construction of new terminal building for BOI Airport.


Marine travel lift:  Purchase and installation of a marine travel lift in Whangarei to assist boat-building and refitting services.


Waitangi Mountain Bike Park:  Construction and delivery of the final stage of WMBP including bike trails and jumps and associated infrastructure.


Pouto Road Phase 1:  Extending the sealed portion of Pouto Road


Kaipara Moana (Wharves analysis and implementation):  Investigating wharves and water transport in the Kaipara harbour, including $4.0m for implementation


Road re-metalling:   Improving quality of existing roads.


Pouto Road Phases 2:  Complete sealing to Pouto Point


Waipoua River Road:  Improving safety and access


Programme Support:   Additional resource to assist Kaipara District Council to deliver the investment programme.


Kaipara Kai:  Develop a potential 50,000 hectares of fertile land into a sustainable horticultural area


50MAX HPMV (High productivity motor vehicle) network:  Upgrade bridge and road network allowing access for larger, more efficient trucks


Maori Battalion Museum:  Establishing a museum to honour the 28th Māori Battalion on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds


Kai iwi Lakes Project:  Construction of visitor facilities at Taharoa Domain, Lake Waikare.


The restoration of Lake Omapere initial feasibility study:  Develop a strategy to determine the viability of raising the water level of Lake Omapere on the outskirts of Kaikohe.


Te Waiariki Ngawha Springs Redevelopment and enhancement:  Feasibility work for an upgrade of facilities and access at Ngawha Springs, near Kaikohe.


Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan Portfolio Management:  Additional resources to progress PGF applications and economic action plan objectives.


Ohaeawai Visitors Centre:   Preliminary work to develop an Indigenous visitor experience near Kaikohe.


And (drum roll, please)…

The grand total, dear taxpayer, is $90.9m

One thought on “Kelvin Davis dishes up an $8.2m serving from the PGF trough for projects in his home patch

  1. An example of Pork barreling at it’s finest ..
    buying votes for NZ first on their home parch for the next election…
    All funded ‘buy’ our taxpayers money !
    That’s what it cost labour to buy it’s way ‘IN’ to become The Govt.
    Winston will work with either party as long as it’s in the best interest of Winston and NZ First.
    I suspect that the upgrade of the rail north is just a prelude to his ambition to move the Port of Auckland to Whangarie as has been his ambition for many years…


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