Jones spreads more public resources around the Tairawhiti region (without mentioning a political price tag)

First, as Minister of Forestry, Shane Jones is reported to have told people gathered for a forestry awards ceremony that he expected their votes in exchange for the funding he was giving them.

The funding he was giving them?

Actually, it is taxpayers’ money which he has the privilege of distributing.

Next, Jones was called by the Prime Minister to account for his remarks  – and then he doubled down and promised revenge:

Outspoken NZ First MP and Cabinet Minister Shane Jones has vowed he will have his revenge on those he says attempted to make him “quiver in the corner by running to the media”.

He said that as soon as the election campaign starts next year, and his Cabinet responsibilities are loosened, he will be going after his political rivals in the forestry sector.

“Now that they have started this spat, this utu [revenge] is best served cold and I would say, in about nine months’ time,” he told the Herald. Continue reading “Jones spreads more public resources around the Tairawhiti region (without mentioning a political price tag)”

Good for Northlanders – but how about the rest of taxpayers?

Hosannas for one of the latest handouts from the so-called Provincial Growth Fund – a $94.8m “investment” to bring up to operational standard a 54km section of the Northland rail line – were muted, not surprisingly.

NZ’s state-owned KiwiRail, which racked up a $235m loss in the 2018 year, and a $197m loss the year before that, looks as if it will be saddled with yet more loss-making services – but Deputy PM Winston Peters justifies the investment on the grounds the rail line to Whangarei would otherwise become “unsafe” and have to close within 5 years.

Continue reading “Good for Northlanders – but how about the rest of taxpayers?”

If Seymour has done his sums correctly, each PGF-funded job is costing almost $1m

Provincial Growth Fund supports more full-time orchard jobs.

In May TVNZ took a hard look and decided (according to the headline on this reportJobs created by provincial growth fund may not be quite what they seem.

The report proceeded to reveal:  Continue reading “If Seymour has done his sums correctly, each PGF-funded job is costing almost $1m”

When Marcroft got around to asking a good question about the PGF, the Speaker ruled it out of order

NZ First MP Jenny Marcroft – we may suppose – has yet to become a Point of Order subscriber.

We suppose this on the strength of a patsy question she put to Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones in Parliament yesterday.

We must confess we were gobmacked by the gall of the question – she wanted to know what recent Provincial Growth Fund announcements Jones had made.

Clearly she was oblivious to this blog’s regular reportage of PGF distributions, as we record the government spending detected by the Point of Order Trough Monitor.  

More bizarre, the flood of PGF announcements from Jones is recorded on the Beehive website.  Marcroft’s staff (it seems) have yet to show her how to use her computer to find out where the money is going.

Like anyone else, the MP – or her staff – can find them here. Continue reading “When Marcroft got around to asking a good question about the PGF, the Speaker ruled it out of order”

Jones (carrying our money) has gone south to enthuse about a rail investment and to seed more tree planting

Moneybags Minister Shane Jones has gone south to dish out more money for tree planting in Canterbury after visiting Greymouth to give an accounting of the goodies being generated by money invested on the West Coast. Southlanders will be blessed with the Munificent Marvel’s presence tomorrow.

West Coasters might have been disappointed that he essentially did no more than bandy numbers to justify the wisdom of a Provincial Growth Fund investment in TransAlpine, announced last November.

You could say he has been counting their blessings and visited Greymouth to let the locals know the good news.

But hey – it’s just over a fortnight since he visited the West Coast as Minister of Forestry to announce more than 70,000 native trees are to be planted over the next three years to help restore the Waimea Inlet.

More than $1 million was committed to the project, the money coming from the $240m grants and partnership fund as part of the Government’s One Billion Trees programme.

Jones was wearing his Forestry hat when he travelled to Canterbury (did he go by train?) to provide support for  native planting and restoration projects from the One Billion Trees Fund.

Here’s what we learn from the Point of Order Trough MonitorContinue reading “Jones (carrying our money) has gone south to enthuse about a rail investment and to seed more tree planting”

Questions are raised about the PGF and its promise of provincial rejuvenation

Regional  Economic  Development  Minister  Shane  Jones has  one of  the  great  jobs  in  modern  NZ   politics.   He’s  in   charge  of  spending the  $3bn  Provincial  Growth  Fund,  which  NZ  First  extracted from Labour  as   part of  its  coalition  negotiation.

Already  $2bn   has  been  committed,  and  the fund  is expected to allocate  the  remaining  $1bn  before  next  year’s general  election.

Job  done.

And  the  provinces, the theory goes,  will be  so grateful   they  will ensure   NZ  First  gets  back  to Parliament to  deliver a  repeat dose  post- 2020

Or will  they?

Shane Jones has  certainly  generated a  constant  flow of  headlines,  but  will the benefits to the provinces  yield  sustained  economic development,   and  produce a  renaissance  in the  provincial  cities?  Will  the   economic  benefits  be  solid  enough to  filter down to  the  average  resident  in the  supposedly  deprived  regions? Continue reading “Questions are raised about the PGF and its promise of provincial rejuvenation”

Value-add is sidelined while Jones enthuses about railways and export logs

Just as we anticipated, Shane Jones left the Kapiti Coast yesterday and crossed the Rimutakas to distribute more largesse from the Provincial Growth Fund in the Wairarapa.

He did not travel by train (so far as we know), but he spoke as Associate Minister of Transport to extol the virtues of rail transport and explained why PGF goodies were being invested in KiwiRail and rail hubs.

He also spoke as Minister of Forestry to enthuse about trees and the economic potential of logging.

Logging?

Yep. Value-add seemed to have been forgotten – the talk was about humping logs to ports by rail for shipping overseas.

Perhaps that’s why he wasn’t wearing his Regional Economic Development hat.  Economic development calls for doing something more than chopping trees down and sending logs to China. Continue reading “Value-add is sidelined while Jones enthuses about railways and export logs”