The PGF pours more millions into the regions (and corporate welfare) – and Seymour is unlikely to stop the flow

Praising NZ First for pulling its support for next year’s tobacco tax hike, Act leader David Seymour suggests Winston Peters’ party should consider opposing a range of other Labour policies.

He also suggests Peters should veto “Shane Jones’ corporate welfare machine”.

“Governments have seldom spent money better than the people who earned it, especially when giving it to businesses. Add in a series of questionable conflicts of interests with Jones’ Provincial Growth Fund, and Peters would be smart to lance the boil before it engulfs him.”

Good luck with that.

The Point of Order Trough Monitor struggles to keep up with the outflow from the PGF, which was mentioned today in a statement from Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage to mark the official opening of the Paparoa Track in Blackball.

The 55km Great Walk is a dual mountain-biking and walking track. Work began under the former government.

It has been enabled by a $12 million government investment to build 41 km of new track to join up 14 km of existing track, two new 20 bunk huts (Moonlight Tops and Pororari) and four major suspension bridges.

The Paparoa Track has been built in conjunction with the Pike29 Memorial Track, which will be opened once the Pike River Recovery Agency has completed efforts to re-enter the Pike River Mine. The site then will be handed back to DOC and work will start to build a memorial to tell the story of mine safety in New Zealand and honour the miners who lost their lives in the 2010 Pike River Mine Disaster.

Sage’s press statement mentions two troughs:

“As well as work done by DOC, the Provincial Growth Fund has funded the Greymouth District Council $3.5m to undertake work to widen the Blackball Road, which leads to the track entrance west of Blackball. The road is being widened from single lane to enable the increase in traffic expected as a result of the new Great Walk.

“The Council has also received more than $600k from the Tourism Infrastructure Fund to develop new public toilets and a public carpark, alongside work to widen roads and improve drainage which the council have funded in the township.

The most recent reference to the PGF trough and corporate welfare on Point of Order was here, after an apparently thriving business,  The Herb Farm, became a corporate welfare beneficiary.

But Jones had more money to invest or lend in the Manawatu-Whanganui region at that time.

26 November 2019

PGF boost to future-proof Manawatū-Whanganui economy

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $772,000 in opportunities for growth in Manawatū-Whanganui, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today.

NZ Bio-Forestry Limited will receive a $380,000 boost for game-changing research which could unlock significant growth in the wood processing sector, while Horizons Regional Council will receive $200,000 for the refresh of the region’s economic action plan, Accelerate25.

The research will consider whether NZ Radiata Pine is a viable alternative to carbon-based plastics like food packaging and single-use cups, and can be used for high-value plywood. The could lead to a processing facility being built to manufacture these products and enable more efficient processing by making use of the entire log, thereby reducing waste.

The PGF will also provide funding support to Rangitikei District Council to develop its plan to establish a rural water supply scheme for its region, and provide funding to assist Tararua and Whanganui with support to undertake economic development projects.

The projects announced were:

    • NZ Bio-Forestry Limited $380,000
    • Horizons Regional Council $200,000
    • Tutaenui Community Agricultural Water Scheme $120,000
    • Capability Funding Support for Tararua District Council $32,000
    • Application Funding Support for Whanganui $40,000

26 November 2019

Another step towards better freight outcomes in Manawatū 

The Regional Freight Hub near Palmerston North has taken a step forward with the completion of the master plan, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said.

He unveiled the high-level design of the new PGF-backed rail-road hub in Palmerston North today.

“Getting rail back on track requires investment across the full range of rail infrastructure. This project will be a major development for freight distribution across the lower North Island,” Shane Jones said.

“Freight volumes are forecast to increase by more than 50 per cent in the decades ahead. Hubs like these are needed to ensure rail can play a key role in handling this increase, so as to minimise transport emissions and avoid increased congestion from more heavy trucks on our regional roads.

“It will allow for greater use of rail across the lower North Island, efficiently link rail and road freight together, and create a focal point that will help draw more distribution businesses to the Manawatū.

“Goods come into Palmerston North from all four directions and it is already a well-known logistics centre of expertise. This project is about building on that, with Palmerston North City Council, Horizons and KiwiRail aligning their thinking and working together to create jobs and grow the regional economy,” Shane Jones said.

The hub design, spread over three kilometres, would include a log yard, container terminal, freight-forwarding facilities and KiwiRail’s train operations and maintenance depot.

KiwiRail is considering potential site options for the freight hub and will run public consultation before making a final decision.

The PGF’s $40 million investment will also enable KiwiRail to buy the required land and have it designated for rail use

28 November 2019

Ten Southland engineering firms get PGF funding

Ten engineering firms in Southland are receiving Provincial Growth Fund investment to lift productivity and create new jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said today in Invercargill.

Minister Jones announced over $4 million of PGF support for projects in the engineering and manufacturing, and aquaculture sectors and for skills and employment training.

“Today builds on recent announcements made in Dunedin to support Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector, and further enhances the work of the Southland and Otago Engineering Collective (SOREC) which is working on ways the sector can collaborate,” Shane Jones said.

“Ten Southland engineering and manufacturing firms will receive a total of $2.13 million to assist them with purchasing equipment that will lift productivity and create 57 new jobs in the sector.”

Details of the engineering firms:

JK’s Engineering: $500,000 to purchase a Computerised Numerical Control (CNC) Beamline Machine to help their work with workshop expansions and earthquake strengthening for local businesses.

FI Innovations: $370,000 towards equipment that will allow them to purchase a large scale 3D printer that will be a game changer for designing innovative and timely solutions in New Zealand.

Yunca: $250,000 for the Invercargill and Dunedin company to purchase new equipment and create an extra 16 jobs for this domestic home heating appliances manufacturing business.

Nulook Windows and Doors: $140,000 to purchase equipment that will allow this Southland based company to fabricate and install doors and windows for more commercial customers.

Bluff Engineering and Welding: $77,500 to purchase five pieces of equipment to lift productivity for their clients in the maritime, farming, transport and construction industries.

Zenitec: $130,000 to purchase equipment that will remove production line bottle necks in this Southland family owned business that services the arboriculture and forestry industries. The company specialises in the manufacture of specialty textile-based products such as protective clothing for chainsaw users.

Stabicraft: $225,000 to accelerate productivity, bring more processes in-house and create 12 new jobs to build more aluminium-chambered vessels for their commercial and domestic clients.

Sheet Metalcraft: $132,500 to purchase equipment and increase productivity for this light-medium engineering firm that specialises in sheet metal fabrication, site fitting, and laser and waterjet profile cutting in a range of industries.

EIS: $55,000 that will create eight more jobs in this automation engineering and electrical company so that it can deliver its fibre-optic services more effectively.

Southern Steel Windows Ltd: $250,000 towards four specific pieces of engineering equipment that will increase productivity and create three new jobs. This company specialises in the design, manufacture, and installation of architectural and commercial steel joinery, including fire-rated windows, fire doors, security doors and windows.

28 November 2019

PGF backing Southland skills  

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is supporting an initiative that will help Southlanders into local jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced in Invercargill today.

“I’m pleased to be in the great South today to announce PGF support of $1.5 million for Southland Youth Futures. This initiative is all about local employers, educators and industry leaders working together to get young people the right training for the jobs available in this region,” Shane Jones said.

“Southland Youth Futures is a career programme that exemplifies the purpose of Te Ara Mahi to give regions the capability to support local people to upskill, train and gain employment but also future proof economic growth for the region.

“The programme, run by Great South – Southland’s Regional Economic Development Agency, has been operating successfully since 2016. Over that time the region has seen a decrease in the numbers of young people not in education, employment and or training in Southland by a third.

“The PGF funding will mean they can continue operating and expand the programme to work with up to 6200 young people aged 14-20 years over the next three years.”

Jones does not have a monopoly on distributing largess from the PGF.

About a week earlier Environment Minister David Parker was dipping into it …

22 November 2019

PGF approves wind turbines funding for Stewart Island

Stewart Island/Rakiura has been granted $3.16 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help build two wind turbines, putting the island on a path to sustainable electricity generation, Environment Minister David Parker announced today.

Stewart Islanders are estimated to pay on average about three times as much as mainlanders for power, putting a huge extra burden on household budgets. The high cost of electricity also hinders businesses that might otherwise – for example – process fish on the island.

It also makes sense to reduce the reliance on diesel, given the island’s reputation and potential as an environmental tourist destination, both for the National Park and as a Dark Sky Sanctuary, Parker said.

Electricity is currently generated on the island through diesel generators that consume around 360,000 litres of diesel a year. Currently the full cost of diesel is not met, and fiscal reserves are likely to be depleted within a few years.

Building an initial two wind turbines as part of the island’s power generation network is the most economic and environmentally acceptable option. It provides a renewable energy source. It is estimated to reduce diesel use on the island by half, which will enable the price of electricity to be stabilised.

The PGF funding will allow for the pre-development and construction stages to be completed. The pre-development phase includes design, resource consents, geotechnical surveying, land access and economic analysis. The construction phase will include civil works and construction and turbine installation.


One thought on “The PGF pours more millions into the regions (and corporate welfare) – and Seymour is unlikely to stop the flow

  1. Thank you for tracking this frivolous disregard of hard earned taxpayer money by totally immoral unethical politicians seeking nothing more short term personal gain. 90% of these funds spent will ultimately prove to have been a total waste

    Liked by 1 person

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