Take a note of this email address, dear reader. The right approach to Events <PGFEvents@mbie.govt.nz> could result in your being invited to an occasion where Winston Peters, Shane Jones, Fletcher Tabuteau or one of their esteemed and oh-so-generous colleagues announces another handout from the Provincial Growth Fund.
Who knew it? The PGF management bunch have their own Events Centre for organising this sort of thing.
Our attention- and that of the Point of Order Trough Monitor – was drawn to it by a reader who (presumably) had been invited to join the Deputy Prime Minister, Winston Peters
“ … at an event where Investment announcements will be made for the [Bay of Plenty} region”.
The recipient was asked to please arrive at the Opotiki Golf Club at 11am for a prompt 11.20am start.
Peters did not disappoint. He came to town with a $26 million investment in Ōpōtiki to upgrade important public amenities and fund further progress on new aquaculture opportunities.
Readers of our previous post will have noted the extent to which the recovery from the economic damage done by the coronavirus pandemic has become the justification for massive distributions of public funds. Peters employed the same rhetoric:
“Unlocking the long neglected potential of the provinces and creating hundreds of new jobs in places such as Ōpōtiki, is absolutely essential to our country’s recovery from the economic devastation of COVID-19.”
“A total of 245 jobs will be created through the construction and operation of overdue aquaculture infrastructure in Ōpōtiki, and a further 202 jobs for locals as a result of club renovations and CBD improvements,” Mr Peters said.
But Peters had more money for the region and in Kawerau he announced $5.5 million in funding from the PGF trough for two Kawerau projects.
- Waiū Dairy Limited Partnership is receiving a $4.9 million commercial loan to expand its existing dairy plant in Kawerau.
- Plateau Compost will receive a $588,000 commercial loan to help expand their vermiculture farm operation.
The Waiū Dairy PGF investment will help the purchase and installation of capital equipment, including a butter processor, packaging machine and cool store, enabling the plant to turn cream and bulk butter into higher value products for domestic and export markets.
It’s worth noting that Waiū Dairy is two thirds owned by 11 Māori enterprises and one third by Japanese firm Imanaka. According to Peters’ press statement, it is committed to establishing a sustainable Kawerau-based, Maori owned company sourcing its milk from Māori and creating value for Māori.
Sourcing its milk from Maori-owned dairy cows, we suppose.
“This investment will enable Waiū Dairy to establish a true Maori brand in global markets, and provide tangible benefits to local, Māori owned dairy farms.”
The Plateau Compost money will be spent on capital requirements needed to expand an existing vermiculture operation, otherwise known as worm farming.
The expansion will include breaking in 12 hectares of Māori land and removing noxious weeds such as gorse.
And where was Shane Jones?
Winning the hearts and minds of the good people of Northland.
He announced the Government will provide $8 million towards the revitalisation of the Paihia waterfront in the Bay of Islands.
Weather and economic conditions have taken their toll on this popular destination, he said, and the Government is backing the region by investing in giving the waterfront the makeover it deserves.
The construction project will put money in the pockets of local businesses and create up to 60 jobs. It will be delivered by Far North Holdings and result in the beach being restored after years of erosion, as well as the construction of breakwaters to protect the wharf, the waterfront and the retailers behind it from the ravages of bad weather.
Fletcher Tabuteau was at Kaingaroa Village in the Bay of Plenty, announcing it is to get $5 million to help fund a comprehensive upgrade of its infrastructure, facilities and housing.
This funding is part of the $3 billion infrastructure package in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.
Tabuteau also had the job of announcing that the Rangiuru Business Park project near Te Puke is getting $18 million from the Provincial Growth Fund.
When finished, the Rangiuru Business Park will be the Bay of Plenty’s largest consented green field industrial zone, he said.
The business park will be built on 226 hectares of land and the construction phase alone will create more than 200 jobs, while in the medium to longer term, it is predicted four thousand jobs will be available at Rangiuru, half of them high paying positions.
Other ministers have been drawing attention to other troughs. Some of them – if you are the right colour or pass the ethnicity test – will give you preferential treatment which enables you to nudge out other applicants.
For example, race-based privileges apply in the case of the community groups which can apply to a $36 million fund.
Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni and Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Poto Williams said the Community Capability and Resilience Fund (CCRF) builds on the success of grant funding provided by the government to support communities during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown.
Williams said CCRF funding will be targeted towards community-led initiatives that support priority groups, which include Māori and Pacific communities, as well as culturally and language diverse (CALD) populations.
“We learned during the lockdown that there was high demand for support amongst these priority groups and it is important that we look to meet this need. The CCRF will play a vital role in supporting the wellbeing and resilience of communities as we face the ongoing impacts of the pandemic,” said Poto Williams.
The CCRF will be administered through the Ministry of Social Development and funding will be available in waves. The first funding round opens on 1 August 2020. The next funding round will start in November 2020. More information about the CCRF and how to apply will be available on the Ministry of Social Development’s website
Further information is available from: www.communitymatters.govt.nz
New Zealanders also are being invited to help recognise the work of the many “unsung heroes” in our ethnic communities during COVID-19.
“Aotearoa New Zealand is home to 942,000 people who identify their ethnicity as Middle Eastern, Latin American, African, Asian, and Continental European. During the extraordinary time of the COVID-19 pandemic, community organisations representing ethnic communities worked tirelessly to meet the needs of their local communities,” Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa says.
“When people in our communities and neighbourhoods needed help and support during one of the most challenging times the country has faced, they received it.
“Much of the hard work was done behind-the-scenes and as we continue to focus on rebuilding together I invite you to nominate those groups that made a real difference during this time. I will then personally acknowledge and recognise the group’s contribution.”
Racing rather than race will get you a slice of the action promoted by Peters in his capacity as Minister of Racing.
He says race courses can improve safety with this year’s first round of funding from the Racing Safety Development Fund.
This bucket of money makes available $990,000 for distribution over two funding rounds for the 2020/21 financial year.
“This fund allows racecourses the opportunity to improve health and safety activities to ensure animals, staff and spectators can enjoy and reap the benefits of this industry,” said Mr Peters.
Past projects have included improvements for safety running rails, irrigation and drainage, lighting upgrades, and grandstand repair.
The Racing Safety Development Fund covers up to half the costs of a project with between $7,500 – $50,000 funding being available for each project.
Applications must be submitted by 23 September 2020.