The Trough Monitor is stretched as Ministers dispense (or squander) more millions of our money

Wow – the Point of Order Trough Monitor struggled to keep count of the money being thrown around today and the goodies being dispensed to the government’s chosen industry groups in a flurry of Beehive announcements.

Not all the announcements related to money being dished out.  To the contrary, Deputy PM Winston Peters brought news of revenue being foregone:  the betting levy is being repealed.

The racing industry will benefit from having more money to invest in its revitalisaion.

Peters’ colleague, Shane Jones, meanwhile was dipping into the Provincial Growth Fund to find goodies for a few lucky beneficiaries.

Here’s what we learned from the Trough Monitor, which does not distinguish between good and bad investments of our tax monies. It’s your money they are spending (or squandering).  You decide the merits…

17 MAY 2019

Racing betting levy repealed

Racing Minister Winston Peters has announced a repeal of the betting levy (racing totalisator duty) currently paid by the racing industry to the Crown.

The levy will be phased out over three years and freed-up funds will be redistributed to the racing Codes and Sport New Zealand, with a proportion set aside to support the reduction of gambling harm.

The betting levy represents 4 per cent of betting profits which amounted to $13.9 million in 2018.

The racing industry contributed $1.6 billion to the economy in 2016/17 whilst employing tens of thousands of New Zealanders.

17 MAY 2019

Funding skills and training for young people

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing more than $2.2 million in three programmes to help unemployed people into future jobs generated by economic growth in the Bay of Plenty.

The funding will go towards three skills and education programmes which will collectively support about 200 people a year.

The three programmes are:

·         Kawerau Pathways to Work, delivered by Industrial Symbiosis Kawerau and Tūwharetoa Ki Kawerau Health, Education and Social Services – $969,000 combined funding from HPR and TAM.

·         Eastern Bay of Plenty Driver and Operator Training Centre, delivered by Toi EDA – $598,000 funding from HPR.

·         School of Hard Knocks – $713,740 from HPR delivered by Social Good Limited.  .

Two of the initiatives, Kawerau Pathways to Work and the Driver and Operator Training Centre,  build on the PGF’s existing $2m investment in the Kawerau-Putauaki Industrial Hub, which underpins a number of promising commercial investments in Kawerau that are expected to bring around 500 jobs to the regions in the next five years.

17 MAY 2019

PGF investment in horticulture expansion and jobs

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced the Provincial Growth Fund is partnering with Eastern Bay of Plenty landowners to accelerate the development of horticulture and create year-round employment for up to 175 people over three years.

The Te Kaha Landowners Group will receive a $370,000 grant in the first instance and, subject to the successful outcome of planning work, the PGF has committed to investing up to $13 million to turn the project into a reality.

The  programme includes the development of a water distribution network to enable the expansion of 100 hectares of a high-value kiwifruit orchard on Māori-owned land and a trial nursery,. The investment also will accelerate a skills, training and employment programme to ensure an upskilled and work-ready workforce is ready to fill the jobs created.

TKG is made up of six ahu whenua trusts that each own successful and viable gold variety kiwifruit orchards of around 80 hectares in Te Kaha and Ōmāio.

PGF funding will include investment from its Te Ara Mahi and Whenua Māori allocations.

17 May 2019

Delivering a better freedom camping system for all

Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced a further $8 million “to continue delivering a better freedom camping system and to encourage responsible camping across New Zealand”.  

The funding will be available for summer 2019/20 for education and ambassador programmes, enforcement activity and the provision of temporary facilities for the busy summer season.

The responsible camping funding round will open on 1 June 2019. Further information, including funding criteria, is available at

Summer 2019/20 funding:

The responsible camping funding will be available for operating costs. This includes education and enforcement projects, ambassador programmes, as well as temporary facilities like showers and toilets.

Timing for the responsible camping funding round:

  • 17 May 2019 – criteria and application process available on the MBIE website.
  • 1 June 2019 – responsible camping funding round opens
  • 14 June 2019 – funding round closes
  • Early July 2019 – successful programmes announced
  • Summer 2019/20 – successful programmes to be up and running during the busy Summer 2019/20 period
  • The funding will not be available for capital costs. Applications for capital projects, such as permanent shower or toilet blocks, carparks, can be directed to the Tourism Infrastructure Fund.
  • The last Tourism Infrastructure Fund funding round closed on 29 March 2019. Successful projects from this funding round will be announced in early July 2019.
  • The next Tourism Infrastructure Fund funding round will open on 1 August 2019


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