Jones breaks the Northland drought with the first shower of PGF millions since away back on June 11

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Shane Jones, the Minister of Munificence,  in a joint statement with fellow Northlander and Deputy PM Winston Peters, wrapped up a week of handout investment announcements with news of more millions for the people of his patch in the Far North.  This time it was a sum of $7.5 million to help Northland ventures combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus.

The good people of the region would have been delighted.  They hadn’t heard from their PGF benefactors since … how long has it been?

Oh, yes.  Almost a fortnight.   Back on June 19 Jones attended a blessing on the site where a small-scale facility will be built as part of a water storage development intended to help a Far North iwi use its land for higher value horticulture.

But there had been no announcement of new money since June 11, when a further $37.5 million investment on water storage was announced.

The announcement yesterday was that the PGF is giving  the Northern Adventure Experience a $5.59m funding boost and the Queenstown Resort College will receive $1.96m for a project to help retain and up-skill up to 250 tourism and hospitality employees “to tell the important stories of the region”.

The bountiful twosome reminded their people (and prospective voters) of how much money from the $3 billion PGF trough has headed their way:

“These projects build on the PGF funding of more than $550m to projects in the Northland region to grow the regional economy,” Mr Jones said.

The PM and Education Minister Chris Hipkins were announcing big spending decisions too – four projects worth $126 million during the first wave of a new nationwide school redevelopment programme to upgrade schools over the next 10 years.

Auckland’s Northcote College will benefit from a $48.5 million project, bringing the total investment in Northcote College to $60 million since 2018.  The additional funding will be used to refurbish two of Northcote College’s heritage buildings, and relocate a third to a better location on the site.  A new gym will be built, and 20 ageing classrooms rebuilt or upgraded.

The other school redevelopments announced are:

  • Extending an existing redevelopment project at Wanaka’s Mt Aspiring College to replace poor condition relocatable classrooms, and better configure the site to accommodate future growth – $33.5 million (plus $13 million announced by this government in 2017). Construction is expected to start in early 2021.
  • A rebuild of Twizel Area School, replacing existing relocatable classrooms that are up to 49 years old and in poor condition – $21 million. Design work to start early 2021, and
  • Rightsizing Spotswood College in Taranaki, and replacing poor condition classrooms – $23 million. Design work starts from the middle of 2021.

Under the school redevelopment programme around 180 schools will be upgraded over the next 10 years, representing more than 93,000 student places and needing many more workers.

The first wave includes around 40 schools and has a budget of up to $1.3 billion.

Jenny Salesa, Minister for Building and Construction, and James Shaw, the Minister for Climate Change, announced a new programme, too, declaring it sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

No costings were included in the statement – neither the cost (if any) to taxpayers or the cost to the building industry and, ultimately, customers.

But Salesa did provide a rationale:

“A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious about reducing emissions, and reaching Carbon Zero by 2050, we need a bold plan to address this. 

“The Building for Climate Change programme will reduce greenhouse gas emissions during the construction of buildings, and while we are living and working in them.  It will also prepare our buildings for the ongoing effects of climate change, such as rising temperatures and increased rainfall. It means changing the way we think about building and construction. Energy efficiency and carbon emissions will become core considerations when building – just as important as cost and aesthetics.

“To help us reach this new state, changes will be made to current building laws, targets will be set for energy use and carbon emissions, and incentives will be introduced to encourage people to think innovatively about the construction, design and operation of buildings.”

The first Building for Climate Change initiatives, which expand insulation and glazing requirements in new homes – making them warmer, drier and better ventilated – are expected to be consulted on early next year.  In the future, it’s likely that changes will also need to be made to existing buildings.

The programme will be run by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, working closely with the Building and Construction sector, other government agencies, key stakeholders, iwi, local government and communities.

More information about the Building for Climate Change programme, including the Statement of Intent, can be found on the MBIE website.

Release

3 JULY 2020

Building a more sustainable construction sector

A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa.

Hon Jenny Salesa Hon James Shaw

Building and Construction

Climate Change

Release

3 JULY 2020

PGF funds tourism boost in Northland

The Provincial Growth Fund is investing more than $7.5 million in Northland ventures to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced.

Rt Hon Winston Peters Hon Shane Jones

Deputy Prime Minister

Regional Economic Development

Release

3 JULY 2020

Four new projects announced as part of the biggest ever national school rebuild programme

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced significant funding for Auckland’s Northcote College as part of the first wave of a new nationwide school redevelopment programme to upgrade schools over the next 10 years.

Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern Hon Chris Hipkins

Prime Minister

Education

 

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