Give a lot but don’t expect a lot

Forget about the $100M handout from the Provincial Growth Fund and move over Shane Jones because Jacinda Ardern has stolen your role as Santa dishing out cash. This government could set up a web page called ?Give a lot but don?t expect a lot? just so we could keep track of how much money is going south. It’s hard to keep up. Quote.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a new regional skills and employment initiative called Te Ara Mahi (Pathways to Work), to support workers and employers in the regions.

Up to $82.4 million from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will go into the programme.

Ardern said job creation was a cornerstone of the PGF, the Government’s $1 billion a year fund for regional economic growth.

The lion’s share of the funding, $60m, will go to five of the so-called “surge regions” which require extra help. They are Northland, Bay of Plenty, Tair?whiti, Hawke’s Bay and Manawat?-Whanganui.

Those regions faced issues including high unemployment, low wages and lower productivity compared with the rest of New Zealand. The rest of the regions will get $20m and the remaining $2.4m will be spent on programme delivery.?End of quote.

Lower productivity is worrying because throwing more money at those regions will not necessarily provide long term jobs. Businesses have to be successful to do that. How much analysis was done on the best opportunities for regional growth?   Quote.

“We will be investing in two specific programmes that support M?ori and Pasifika ? He Poutama Rangatahi [$13.2m] and the expansion of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ successful Pacific Employment Support Service [$8.8m],” Ardern said.?

end quote

The money is being spent with a bias toward supporting Maori and Pasifika. Would anyone run a business this way?? Wouldn?t you invest in the opportunities that create the most jobs and make the most money so that more people can benefit?

It is disturbing to hear that PGF investments are not tracking well. Quote.

Newshub can reveal the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), designed to create jobs and boost the regions, has only created 54 jobs and spent just $26.6 million of its $3 billion.

Even with just 3.4 percent of the funding paid out, each job is costing the Government about $484,000.?

  Newshub end quote.

Leading up to the next election National will have to do very little to score points. Paul Goldsmith, National’s spokesperson for Economic Development, was scathing. Quote.

“Despite all the hoop-la, the press releases, the high-vis jackets, the tens of millions of dollars, what have we got for it so far? Fifty-four jobs.”

end quote.

And let?s not forget Ardern?s promise that 2019 is ?our year for delivery.? She should have said 2019 is our year for spending big on promises we may not keep.

The prime minister?s staff might like to remind her that making promises also means delivering on them. On second thoughts, the webpage tracking this government’s cash handouts could be ?promise a lot but don?t deliver a lot.?