Buzz from the Beehive: water is a common factor in Govt spending decisions but mussel spat gets more money than flood relief

A mussel spat initiative has done better from government handouts – oops, we meant to say investment – than the people and communities most affected by the severe weather in Tairāwhiti in recent days.

The Government will contribute $175,000 towards a Mayoral Relief Fund to support the flood-ravaged people of Tairāwhiti

Its Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit will initially invest $500,000 as equity in a mussel spat venture in Eastern Bay of Plenty with more funding to be released, up to $6 million, alongside investment from iwi, hapu and other investors.

An Eastern Bay of Plenty tribe, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, will receive the investment from the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund (RSPF) to develop a hatchery and research hub near Te Kaha.

Accelerating the aquaculture industry has been identified as one of the priorities for economic growth in the Bay of Plenty, Nash said.

Who did the identifying (we wonder, here at Point of Order) and if it’s such a good deal why hasn’t sufficient private-sector finance been attracted?

Continue reading “Buzz from the Beehive: water is a common factor in Govt spending decisions but mussel spat gets more money than flood relief”

The PGF makes way for the RSPF – there’s not so much money and Maori projects will have the inside running

We haven’t had time to add up the sums involved, but the Government has made several announcements in the past 24 hours or so involving the spending or investment of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Mind you, most of the population has been deemed ineligible on race grounds to benefit directly from some of that spending – you could say much of it.  But the government does insist that if Maori do well, we all do well, which means we will all benefit in the long run.

The aviation industry is one beneficiary where ethnicity (so far as we can tell) has not been a consideration in the government’s decision-making.  An additional $170 million is being provided for the Maintaining International Air Connectivity scheme to October 2021.

Another announcement – for regional grants and loans promised before the election – transforms the Provincial Growth Fund and continues its work in developing regional projects, but with less money and a new name, the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund.

Even so, there’s $200 million to be distributed to worthy causes (and Maori projects are being given the inside running).

Maori medium schools are the beneficiaries of $77 million in new capital and Maori communities are the beneficiaries of 15 initiatives to receive $2.8m of funding for renewable energy projects.  This is just a first helping:  in total $14 million will go to renewable energy projects for Māori housing over the next four years.

Our observations are that five of the fresh press statements from the Beehive can be characterised as  … Continue reading “The PGF makes way for the RSPF – there’s not so much money and Maori projects will have the inside running”

PM pops up in Ōpōtiki with Shane’s bountiful successor to celebrate harbour spending while Verrall mounts assault on weeds and pests

The Government reminded us yesterday we don’t need Shane Jones – remember him? – to draw attention to distributions of public money in the regions to stimulate enterprise, generate jobs and (all going well) garner votes.

The Point of Order Trough Monitor accordingly has been triggered twice since we last brought you news from the Beehive and – wait, is that it it shrieking again?

No. False alarm.

Both the PM and Stuart Nash, Jones’ successor as Minister for Economic and Regional Development, joined Whakatōhea iwi, local councils and representatives of the aquaculture and marine industry at a ceremony to celebrate the beginning of the construction of the multi-million dollar Ōpōtiki harbour infrastructure project.

This gave Nash the opportunity to bray about the magnitude and benefits of public handout under a Labour Government:

“We are today celebrating the growth of a community which is now able to move from strength to strength,” Mr Nash said.

“The government is investing more than $112 million in three major infrastructure projects as part of the Ōpōtiki Harbour Development project.” Continue reading “PM pops up in Ōpōtiki with Shane’s bountiful successor to celebrate harbour spending while Verrall mounts assault on weeds and pests”

Nanaia Mahuta joins Jones in announcing a $2.96m handout – but the PM signals the plug will be pulled on the PGF

News about the Provincial Growth Fund, which often features in our daily Latest from the Beehive reports, typically involve announcements of the latest grants or loans.

Today Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced a battle site of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the fund.

But other news about the PGF came not from the Beehive, but from the Labour and New Zealand First Parties.     

First, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern advised that the plug will be pulled on it if she leads the next government (presumably without a New Zealand First partner).

A new trough – with a weak $200 million gruel rather than $3 billion chowder – will be established in its place. Continue reading “Nanaia Mahuta joins Jones in announcing a $2.96m handout – but the PM signals the plug will be pulled on the PGF”

Race comes into the govt’s housing policy considerations and Northland again is favoured by govt funding decisions

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.” Continue reading “Race comes into the govt’s housing policy considerations and Northland again is favoured by govt funding decisions”

Regions are to benefit from $190m poured into capital projects – but what about those emission targets?

Announcing a package of regional capital projects worth about $190 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones mentioned climate change.

He said Regional New Zealand “will be a hive of activity in the coming months as the New Zealand Upgrade Programme delivers on its promise to modernise our infrastructure, prepare for climate change and help grow our economy”.

How well climate change has been taken into considerations is a good question.  In Britain, plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport face an uncertain future after the Court of Appeal said the government’s decision to allow it was unlawful.

According to CNN –

The British government’s contentious plans to build a third runway at London’s Heathrow Airport have been blocked by an appeals court on environmental grounds, in a landmark victory for climate campaigners. Continue reading “Regions are to benefit from $190m poured into capital projects – but what about those emission targets?”

Money is dished up for the war on plastics, development in Kapiti and the promotion of te reo

It’s been a bit quiet, on the Provincial Growth Fund front. We had supposed (a) Shane Jones needed a breather from ladelling out money up and down the country; (b) the PGF trough needed replenishing; or (c) a mix of both.

We were caught napping, therefore,when the Point of Order Trough Monitor was triggered by a flurry of announcements.

First, in tandem with Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage, he announced a $40 million allocation from the PGF for investment in projects to tackle waste. Officials are being despatched to look for suitable recipients.

Then Jones headed for Otaki where the good people of the Kapiti Coast learned they are in the money.  Or a few of them are and the money is modest.  Perhaps they are at the wrong end of the North Island. Continue reading “Money is dished up for the war on plastics, development in Kapiti and the promotion of te reo”