Provincial New Zealand wins big
The Coalition Government has finalised the first year’s allocation of $1 billion for the Provincial Growth Fund, says Regional Economic Development and Forestry Minister Shane Jones.
“The Government has been clear in its intention to see regional New Zealand sharing in the economic success of the country as a whole,” says Shane Jones.
“The establishment of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is a fundamental element of the Coalition Agreement between New Zealand First and Labour.”
One Billion Trees
Of the Budget 2018 funding, $245.0 million ($132.5 million operating and $112.6 million capital, both over 10 years) will support the Government’s One Billion Trees planting programme. A further $12.8 million operating funding from Budget 2017 also contributes to the programme.
“As part of breaking ground for the tree-planting programme, early decisions were taken to enable Crown Forestry to plant and maintain trees and to expand the Ministry for Primary Industry’s Hill Country Erosion programme. Of the PGF allocation for the One Billion Trees programme, $13.5 million in operating funding is for planting native trees in 2018/19 and 2019/20,” says Shane Jones.
“As announced earlier this month, on top of the PGF’s support for One Billion Trees, Budget 2018 has also set aside $15.0 million in operating funding in 2018/19 for the establishment of the new Forestry Service, Te Uru Rākau, in Rotorua.
“It also provides $6.0 million in operating funding over four years to allow the Ministry for Primary Industries to work across the Government, Māori, industry, land owners and other interested groups to develop a cost-effective One Billion Trees programme. It will establish a Ministerial Advisory Group for Forestry, to ensure a coordinated approach across Government to deliver the programme,” says Shane Jones.
How the Provincial Growth Fund is allocated
Budget 2018 allocates $1 billion to the PGF across both operating and capital expenditure, as set out below.
“The PGF has so far committed $130.2 million to the regions for projects across various sectors, including forestry, tourism, energy and infrastructure.
“The Government will not wane in its desire to support economic opportunity in our regions that creates sustainable jobs and lifts the productivity potential of many parts of New Zealand.
“I am proud of Budget 2018 and the potential it holds for our regions and look forward to continuing to work with provincial New Zealand to undo many years of neglect,” says Shane Jones.