PGF provides for peanut processor Picot’s expansion project

The government has been splashing money around from an array of troughs in the past week.

Shane Jones was not the only minister to announce the handouts and the handouts weren’t peanuts, although a thriving peanut processor will be among the beneficiaries.

The Point of Order Trough Monitor has disclosed these projects for government spending and investment –

23 AUGUST 2019

PGF supports artificial intelligence and high end food development in Top of the South

Regional Economic Development Under-secretary Fletcher Tabuteau announced the Top of the South is set to benefit from Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) support for initiatives that include the establishment of an Artificial Intelligence Institute and a Food Factory for start-up food producers.

The investments totalling over $4.5 million are:

  • Nelson Artificial Intelligence Institute Limited (NAII) $3.4 million loan
  • The Food Factory (Picot Productions Ltd) $778,000
  • Economic development project delivery (Nelson District Council and Marlborough District Council) $400,000

The Artificial Intelligence Institute will focus initially on using artificial intelligence in the aquaculture industry in a region where 70 per cent of the country’s aquaculture industry is located and where untapped potential remains.

“The proposal is a mix of commercial activity, with a strong education focus involving the Nelson-Marlborough Institute of Technology, and over time, the Institute will expand into different sectors and across the country,” Tabuteau said.

The Food Factory is an initiative spearheaded by Picot Productions Ltd, which produces Pic’s Peanut Butter.

 “The Top of the South region is known for its high value horticulture products, as well as artisan products such as cider, cheeses, olive oil and baked goods. The Food Factory will provide start up food companies with a collaborative environment to develop new food products,” Tabuteau said.

23 AUGUST 2019

Hamilton to Auckland rail service full steam ahead

Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced the NZ Transport Agency has approved funding for construction of the Hamilton to Auckland start up rail service.

This funding, which enables the implementation of the service, includes construction and operation with funding of $92.37 million, made up of $79.80 million from the Transport Agency and $12.57 million from local authorities.

 “Our Government is tackling the long-term issues and investing nearly $4 billion in public transport, rapid transit and rail across New Zealand. Auckland and the Waikato are booming and it’s important we build the right infrastructure to unlock their potential.”

The service will initially start with a four-carriage train which can carry 150 passengers – with two morning peak trains and two return afternoon peak trains. As demand grows, it can be expanded to a five-carriage train carrying up to 200 passengers, Twyford said.

The service is expected to roll out of Frankton in Hamilton in mid-2020.

24 AUGUST 2019

Investment package to boost Glacier Country tourism

Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced the West Coast’s Glacier Country will receive a significant investment to boost the area’s spectacular visitor attractions.

The $3.9 million investment is funded by the International Visitor Tourism and Conservation Levy (IVL), as part of the Government’s plan for sustainable tourism.

The package will help support the Fox River area following the Department of Conservation’s (DOC) decision not to reopen the access road to Te Moeka o Tuawe/the Fox River valley.

DOC, with support from Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio, Westland District Council, MBIE and the local community, identified the package of attractions to sustain tourism in the area and build the Glacier Country’s economic resilience.

The package includes:

  • Redesigning the Fox Glacier/Te Moeka o Tuawe experience and valley walks and creating a carpark and cycle/walkway for access to the south side of the valley and glacier views, and building trails to connect existing facilities.
  • Collaborating with Ngāi Tahu and Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio to develop a day walk to Lake Gault, which has reflection views of the mountains and forests and will incorporate rowi kiwi and lowland forest stories. This walk extends the walking options at Lake Matheson.
  • Developing and promoting the easy access Peak Viewpoint which offers stunning views of the Southern Alps/Kā Tiritiri o te Moana.
  • Re-opening the coastal walkway to Galway Beach which provides a mix of alpine views, coastal forests, wetlands and wildlife.
  • Extending the cycle/walking trail on Cook Flat Rd from Fox Glacier township to Lake Matheson.
  • Re-configuring car-parking at Lake Matheson to provide for additional users displaced from the glacier valley.
  • Refreshing road signage and visitor information.

25 AUGUST 2019

PGF investment a game changer for Invercargill

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced the Provincial Growth Fund will help bring the heart back to Invercargill’s inner city as part of a $165 million redevelopment.

The announcement was made on the same day as Air New Zealand launched its new direct service between Auckland and Invercargill. Minister Jones was among those on the inaugural flight on Sunday night.

“It’s a happy day for Invercargill and the wider Southland district with new direct flights between Auckland and a Provincial Growth Fund boost of $19.5 million,” Shane Jones said.

“Our investment, which will be in the form of a loan, is part of a $165 million project to redevelop an entire block in the Invercargill city centre for retail, hospitality, office space and entertainment.”

The new funding follows an initial investment of $995,000 in December towards a business case, feasibility study, concept designs and procurement strategies.


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