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National rubbishes Provincial Growth Fund: 'Flinging money around won't create jobs'

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Monday, 11 February 2019, 12:12PM
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones told Parliament late last year that 9000 had been created however, so far only 54 have been created. Photo / Michael Cunningham

The Provincial Growth Fund is in hot water over the number of jobs it has created.

The project aims to create 10,000 jobs but so far has only created 54.

This was despite Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones telling Parliament late last year that 9000 had been created.

However, the majority of the jobs are expected to come from just one project: The East Bay of Plenty Regional Development Project Implementation which is expected to create 7000 jobs - almost 70 per cent of the goal.

READ MORE: Mike Hosking: Provincial Growth Fund under real pressure

This project was allocated just under $240,000 for "funding a position to manage and report on 65 key economic development projects".

National's spokesperson on regional development, Paul Goldsmith told Mike Hosking claiming the project will create 7000 is an over exaggerating 

"What has been funded so far is one job for one person to manage that process."

"I always knew Shane Jones was full of hot air but what we have seen is that he has taken that level of exaggeration to an industrial scale."

"When you pay for one job which, if everything goes well and every claim made by the promoters of every project turn out to be true, might somewhere down the line lead to a whole lot of jobs."

Goldsmith said it's a huge stretch to say the project will create 7000 jobs.

"It's a bit like coming home and your wife or your husband says: 'We've bought a house'. But when you drill into the detail you find that what they have actually bought is a copy of the NZ Herald's property press and there are a few steps to go before you have got there."

He said under National, the New Zealand economy was creating 10,000 new jobs a month.

"That private sector job creation has crashed since the new government has come in. The last three months averaged 670 a month, so we've dropped from 10,000 down to 670."

Goldsmith said the real driver of jobs is investment, a stable Government, and a good sound economy.

"The real driver of jobs, in the regions and everywhere else is people investing in new products or new factories or taking a chance on a new employer."

"That comes from stable, predictable Government, not being frightened off by a capital gains tax or massive labour reforms," he said.

"The real driver of jobs is a good sound economy, not Shane Jones coming along and flinging some money out. Sure you will create some jobs but it's not an effective or an efficient way of doing things."

ON AIR: Heather du Plessis-Allan Drive

4PM - 7PM