Latest from the Beehive
Done with legislating – for now – ministers have been busy redistributing the monies the government has gathered from taxes and (increasingly) by borrowing.
Housing Minister Megan Woods dipped into a $400 million fund under her control to launch the government’s Progressive Home Ownership scheme, designed to enable more families to own their own homes.
Race has been brought into considerations. The fund has a priority to support:
- locations with severe housing affordability,
- households unable to otherwise buy, and
- Māori, Pacific people, and families with children.
The Minister declared:
“The fund will scale up funding for organisations already providing PHO schemes with wraparound support services, such as budgeting advice. As part of this approach, there will be a dedicated iwi and Māori pathway, with a specific focus on better housing outcomes for Māori.”
Regional preferences are reflected in the announcement, too. Under phase one of the programme, the Housing Foundation in Auckland and Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust have been chosen as the first providers who will sign up households for access to the scheme. More phase one providers in other centres are to be be announced soon.
The fund will help up to 4,000 families who could not otherwise afford home ownership, Woods said.
It includes an initiative through Kāinga Ora for households with an annual income of under $130,000 to receive shared ownership support directly from the Government.
The Progressive Home Ownership fund is part of the Green Party and Labour’s Confidence and Supply Agreement.
The government is pumping money into a war on drugs, too. It is investing $20 million in regional programmes to reduce the damage methamphetamine use is causing but only a few regions – for now – will benefit. .
The Provincial Development Unit, working with Police and the Ministry of Health to identify regional providers who have programmes to reduce the harm, has identified only nine community-based providers – in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Tairāwhiti and Otago – to receive funding to scale up their programmes.
Police Minister Stuart Nash said 1.8 tonnes of meth were seized by Police and Customs last year, three times as much as the previous year, and in the the first half of 2020, Police busted 38 clandestine meth labs.
So why will only a few providers in just five regions benefit from the government’s funding from – guess where?
Yep. The Provincial Growth Fund.
And guess which region gets special mention in the press release…
“Innovative cross-agency programmes are already in place like Te Ara Oranga in Northland, which we want rolled out further around the country. But we know we can do more in provincial communities and this PGF funding will allow that to happen.”
Northland is the beneficiary, too , of a $9 million investment in a raft of infrastructure projects in the town of Kerikeri.
The projects are:
- $3 million to rebuild and rejuvenate the Kerikeri Domain
- $2.45 million to rebuild the Rangitane Wharf
- $2 million to help develop land at Waipapa into sports facilities
- $1 million to create two new animal shelters
- $550,000 to build a sculpture at the entrance to Kerikeri
The ubiquitous PGF has been sprinkling its fairy dust down south, too.
The government is investing $3.1m from the fund in Hanmer Springs to support its domestic tourism market.
- $2.123 million total investment to the Hurunui District Council to construct a family friendly ‘Fly-Line’ tourist attraction on the popular Conical Hill at Hanmer Springs ($2 million infrastructure funding and $123,000 Provincial Growth Fund)
- $977,000 in PGF funding to the Hurunui District Council towards creating a world-class day spa and developments at the Thermal Pools.
Associate Regional Economic Development Minister Fletcher Tabuteau enthused:
“The Fly-Line, is like a Flying-Fox without the risk, where riders will be able to glide through the forest, safely suspended in a comfortable seat under a supporting carriage that runs virtually silent on a stainless-steel track.
“The relatively short construction time for the project means the Fly-Line can be up and running by the start of spring 2021, and it is expected that the Fly-Line will create up to 25 new jobs with $4 million of economic benefit generated to the region over the first five years of operation.”
The PGF-funded Thermal Pools and Spa expansion project involves investigating the construction of a luxury day spa on the site of the former Queen Mary Hospital and the provision of a new area of hot pools and a new hydro-slide.
These combined projects are predicted to create a total of 51 to 55 new jobs (inclusive of part-time jobs).
While down that way, Tabuteau announced the Kaikōura Aquatic Centre and Scout Hall will benefit from a $1.47 million Government investment.
The projects are:
- $1 million from the Covid Recovery Fund set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure, will enable completed construction of the Kaikōura Aquatic Centre
- $470,000 Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) grant to renovate and refurbish the Kaikōura Scout Hall, located beside State Highway 1
Oh, and Otago Polytechnic, a subsidiary of the NZ Institute of Skills and Technology, will get a new purpose-built centre in Dunedin devoted to training qualified workers for the building, construction and related trades, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has announced.
The Government is investing $28 million by way of grant and loan through its tagged contingency for infrastructure towards the three-level building at the polytech’s Forth St campus. This project is expected to create up to 200 jobs during construction and put money into the pockets of local businesses, suppliers and workers.
The funding is part of the $3 billion infrastructure package in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones on July 1.
25 JULY 2020
The Government is investing $20 million in regional programmes to reduce the damage methamphetamine use is causing to whānau, businesses, their communities and economies.
24 JULY 2020
Hanmer Springs will benefit from a Government investment of $3.1 million to support its domestic tourism market.
24 JULY 2020
More New Zealanders will be helped into home ownership with today’s launch of the Government’s Progressive Home Ownership scheme, Housing Minister Megan Woods said.
24 JULY 2020
The Government is investing $9 million in a raft of infrastructure projects in the Northland town of Kerikeri that will provide a much-needed boost for the regional economy and create jobs as the region recovers from the COVID-19 downturn, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has announced.
24 JULY 2020
The Kaikōura Aquatic Centre and Scout Hall will benefit from a $1.47 million Government investment.
24 JULY 2020
Otago Polytechnic, a subsidiary of the NZ Institute of Skills and Technology, will get a new purpose-built centre in Dunedin devoted to training qualified workers for the building, construction