Northland projects get a further boost from the PGF trough – and Jones hasn’t forgotten his forestry ambitions

New Zealand First ministers seem to be doing nicely, thank you, in demonstrating to the good people of Northland that they have the best interests of the local economy at heart.

The Point of Order Trough Monitor has recorded two fresh press releases announcing more millions of public monies headed north for projects already boosted by Provincial Growth Fund money in that part of the country.

Isn’t that the home patch for some New Zealand First leaders? We do believe it is.

The PGF late in 2018 provided $13.9m towards the construction of the Hundertwasser Art Centre in Whangarei.

And yesterday – hurrah! – Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced an additional $4.5 million for the centre.

The Ministers said the art centre will house two galleries. The first will be only gallery outside of Austria to house a permanent display of artist Friedrich Hundertwasser’s art, worth millions of dollars. The Wairau Maori Art Gallery will become the national home to the best examples of contemporary Māori art.

“The art centre is estimated to bring in an economic benefit of $26 million to the region and more than 250,000 visitors to Whangarei annually, in line with the number of visitors the Hundertwasser toilets attract in Kawakawa,” Mr Jones said.  Continue reading “Northland projects get a further boost from the PGF trough – and Jones hasn’t forgotten his forestry ambitions”

A ministerial tweet (really?) draws attention to the $300m venture capital up for grabs in new trough

A new source of public funding for business development – let’s call it another trough, folks –  was officially launched in Auckland yesterday.

According to a report in  Deal Street Asia, Associate Finance Minister David Parker announced the launch of the Elevate NZ Venture Fund in Auckland in a Twitter post.

Maybe he did.  But fair to say the Point of Order Trough Monitor was triggered when a heads-up was emailed to news media on Tuesday to advise of the launch.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and David Parker followed up with a joint press statement emailed to journalists, one of two statements on the launch posted on the Scoop website around 11am yesterday. Continue reading “A ministerial tweet (really?) draws attention to the $300m venture capital up for grabs in new trough”

Second helpings (with a price tag in the millions) are served to some PGF beneficiaries

As we acknowledged yesterday, Point of Order must declare a pecuniary interest in the boost to benefits announced by Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni.  Some of the team are among the 800,000 people receiving New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension who will enjoy a rate increase by just over 3 per cent.

Should we therefore turn off the Point of Order Trough Monitor?  Perhaps. But not yet.  

At least, not before the Provincial Growth Fund has been exhausted – and probably not even then, because we are confident it will be either replenished or replaced by another trough.

Accordingly we can advise today that the distributors of PGF swill have been busy in recent days, although none of the latest lashings of largess have been directed into Northland.

In some cases, beneficiaries have been served a second helping.

Here’s what the monitor detected: Continue reading “Second helpings (with a price tag in the millions) are served to some PGF beneficiaries”

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:
Continue reading “Waikato gets another $1m of goodies but Kapiti perhaps has been shunted out of the PGF lolly scramble”

PGF goodies are dished up in Wairoa today – in the region which ranks tops for funding per project

An above-average helping  was dished up today, when the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau, announced the latest distributions from the Provincial Growth Fund.

Tabuteau had moved further up the East Coast after yesterday delivering $2.8 million to the Ngā Ara Tipuna –  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project “to create an authentic cultural tourism experience”.

Today he announced…

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.

The PGF is funding:

  • Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility
  • Up to $960,000 for the Wairoa Digital Employment Programme (funded through Te Ara Mahi, the PGF’s skills and training allocation)
  • $400,000 for the Wairoa Regional Digital Hub.

Continue reading “PGF goodies are dished up in Wairoa today – in the region which ranks tops for funding per project”

Yep, you guessed right if you figured Northland is getting more than a fair share from the PGF

About the same time as Fletcher Tabuteau was announcing the latest handouts from the Provincial Growth Fund, the Point of Order Trough Monitor was massaging all available data on where the money from the fund has been going.

The figures take us up to November 30 2019 and affirm what most readers would have suspected – the region to benefit most, by far, is Northland.

The fund had dished out almost $1.6 billion to 427 projects.

Northland had secured funding of $353.3 million (22% of the total) for 86 projects.

Next best was the East Coast, securing funding of $238.6m. (15% of the total) for 45 projects.

But  Gisborne is listed separately and is credited with winning further funds of $5.030m for one project.

Then there are two separate categories – Pan-Region and National – without obvious regional distinctions.

The Pan-Region has been given funding of $344.2m (like Northland, this accounts for 22% of the total) for 19 projects.
Continue reading “Yep, you guessed right if you figured Northland is getting more than a fair share from the PGF”

Another New Year handout from the PGF nudges us to wonder: where’s the Jones boy?

So where’s Shane Jones, we wondered after the Point of Order Trough Monitor sounded its second alert of the week.

Again, the alert was triggered by the sound of taxpayers’ money being given away by the Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau.

The Provincial Growth Fund – he brayed – is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura.

As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, two projects will receive PGF funding:

  • A $9.88 million investment to begin the design and build of the Wakatu Quay
  • $1 million to look into the potential of South Bay Harbour and surrounding areas

Both projects will be managed by the Kaikōura District Council.

Inevitably, job opportunities were highlighted in the press statement.

“This is a great time to support tourism and business opportunities in the Kaikōura region as they turn around economic and environmental struggles following the devastating earthquake in 2016,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.

“Tourism is one of Kaikōura’s largest employers and main industries. The Kaikōura Marina Development Programme begins the process of increasing the tourism destinations available in Kaikōura.

“The development programme is projected to create up to 50 new jobs and up to 100 indirect new jobs in the wider Kaikōura region.

PGF funding of $9.88 million has been allocated for the design and build of Wakatu Quay Development – a new destination intended to revitalise the wharves “and celebrate the linkages of Kaikōura to its marine environment”.

You could say that about any development in any seaside town – couldn’t you?

The space will include dining, retail and local cultural elements.

“The purpose of the Wakatu Quay redevelopment will mean visitors can take in the beauty of the surrounding scenes including the Seaward Kaikōura Range,” Fletcher Tabuteau said

But wait.  There’s more.

PGF funding of a further $1 million is earmarked “to look into the potential of South Bay Harbour and surrounding areas”.

It sounds as if this sum will be spent on finding if a good reason can be found for calling Tabuteau or Jones back to Kaikoura to announce PGF funding in yet another project.

“The PGF boost will also provide the foundation for the future development of South Bay Harbour which is currently the launching site for the marine eco-tourism operators, commercial fishing sectors and recreational users.

“These PGF projects align with the Canterbury Regional Economic Development Strategy’s regional visitor aims, with a strong focus on sustainable growth in tourism,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.

The press statement reminds us that funding from the Provincial Growth Fund is approved in principle and announced, after which contracts are negotiated.

Some funding may depend on the completion of business cases. Payments are made once agreed milestones are met. These are set as part of contract negotiations, and differ from project to project.

Continue reading “Another New Year handout from the PGF nudges us to wonder: where’s the Jones boy?”

PGF pumps millions into Wairarapa water projects – but who will own the water?

The providers of public handouts are back in action and the Point of Order Trough Monitor has sounded its first alert for 2020.

Wairarapa water projects are the beneficiaries of a $7.11m boost from the Provincial Growth Fund, announced this morning by Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau.

This is a significantly greater lump of money than the PGF investment of $800,000 which Tabuteau announced in May last year for Wairarapa Water Limited to investigate the development and construction of community water storage.

The money was to help the company to review and update a 2015 pre-feasibility study which investigated six potential water schemes in the region and to align the study to recent climate change projections and current Government policies regarding small-scale water storage schemes for communities.

Today Tabuteau said two projects will receive funding:

  • A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of water storage (and associated distribution) infrastructure at the Wakamoekau site in the Wairarapa.
  • $110,000 to the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency Ltd led by the Wairarapa Water Resilience Committee to develop and produce a Wairarapa Water Resilience Strategy.

Tabuteau has become fluent in speaking the language of Beehive largess: Continue reading “PGF pumps millions into Wairarapa water projects – but who will own the water?”

Just in case you missed the Beehive’s news of another PGF handout, a New Zealand First MP announced it, too

The Point of Order Trough Monitor, programmed to alert us to ministerial handouts, nevertheless sounded the alarm when the latest Provincial Growth Fund spending was announced by a politician further down in the pecking order.

Accordingly we have learned that the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has allocated $3.5 million to develop innovative predator control approaches which will reduce the need for repeated 1080 use.

The news was delivered in an embargoed press release from a New Zealand back-bencher, conservation spokeswoman Jenny Marcroft.

Perhaps she was hoping to draw attention from other matters involving her party.

Perhaps she was hoping the media were less likely to miss the announcement if it was made more than once.

Or perhaps she wanted to give greater emphasis to the role the PGF is playing in finding ways of reducing the use of 1080, the most effective way of eradicating pests such as rats and possums but a poison passionately opposed by some environmentalists.

We muse on the second two possibilities because the news was also announced – the official announcement, you could say – by Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau.

This announcement (posted on the Beehive website) says – Continue reading “Just in case you missed the Beehive’s news of another PGF handout, a New Zealand First MP announced it, too”

Tabuteau hands out more PGF money for skills and employment – this lifts investments in Tairawhiti to $200.1 million

Two East Coast enterprises will have their businesses boosted by distributions from the Provincial Growth Fund announced this week.

Parata Contracting Limited, based in Ruatoria, and Gisborne-based Four Seasons will each get a chunk of the $1.6 million being dished out.

Parata Contracting is listed as a roading service provider.

Four Seasons Packhouse was developed by growers to provide a service that involves the harvesting and packing of buttercup squash ready for export.

It also helps  growers in the packing, marketing and distribution of feijoas and citrus to local and export markets.

The Point of Order Trough  Monitor recorded the latest PGF distributions this week when they were announced by Fletcher Tabuteau, the Parliamentary Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development. Continue reading “Tabuteau hands out more PGF money for skills and employment – this lifts investments in Tairawhiti to $200.1 million”