Waikato gets another $1m of goodies but Kapiti perhaps has been shunted out of the PGF lolly scramble

The Point of Order Trough Monitor was further massaging Provincial Growth Fund data – and wondering what’s going on in Kapiti – when news arrived from the office of the very busy Fletcher Tabuteau.

Tabuteau, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, was announcing  combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation for two projects focussed on supporting youth into the construction industry.

Our wondering about Kapiti was not affected by this decision.  The money on this occasion is going further north:

  • $393,500 to Waikato Tainui/Building and Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) for a work readiness programme to assist rangatahi to enter the construction industry
  • $646,450 to building company Emergent Skills NZ Ltd to set up a Locals Building Local Homes at Volume project.

The Waikato Tainui/BCITO Workstart Programme is a long-term programme with a particular focus on helping rangatahi leaving secondary school or – those who have already left – to get started on a career in the building and construction industry.

  “The BCITO has strong connections to the burgeoning construction industry and its employers in the Waikato so they will be able to facilitate rangatahi into jobs that are close to home, while also supporting a growing industry with a skilled and ready workforce,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.

 The Locals Building Local Homes at Volume Project is led by Emergent Skills NZ Limited who will work closely with the local Institute of Technology Toi Ohomai and the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the programme.

In the first two years of the programme, the goal is to target 100 people from Tokoroa and the surrounding South Waikato region to build at least 30 modular homes. The houses will then be sold to local housing providers, with sale proceeds being put back into the programme to allow for sustainability of the programme post PGF funding.

 “This is a great initiative and will help address the estimated shortage of over 700 houses in the South Waikato region,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.

So why are we curious about Kapiti?

Our analysis of PGF data up to November 30 2019 shows the region had received funding of $3,290,000 for four projects.

Three of these were announced on one day, July 2 2019:

  • Omeo Group Limited was given a $2,500,000 loan “to provide fund planned growth of sales of the Ogo personal mobility device into hungry world markets and to establish a development and assembly facility at Otaki to develop further products to improve the mobility, freedom and independence”.
  • Waiorua Lodge Limited was granted $635,000 “to establish a business case for a significant redevelopment of the tourism infrastructure on Kapiti Island”.
  • The Kapiti Coast District Council was granted $140,000 to engage a Programme Manager to support the development and implementation of PGF applications in Kapiti.

This third project – as you can see – involves the granting of $140,000 for the Kapiti District Council to find worthy projects to receive even more money.

The fourth project was …

  • The Otaki Maoriland Charitable Trust, granted $15,000 for renovation of the Maoriland Hub, an Indigenous Cinema and Arts hub and the largest building in Otaki Village.

But this had been announced in March, a few months earlier.

In other words, the government has dished out $140,000 for the Kapiti Coast District Council to muster the region’s oinkers and bring them to the $3 billion PGF swill.

The absence of Kapiti snouts since then suggests the district council hasn’t yet engaged a programme manager … or it has appointed a programme manager who can’t find a project that passes muster with the distributors of PGF largess.

The second possibility would be akin to watching your child come home from a lolly scramble without any sweets.


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