Jacinda Ardern defends forestry conversion, Provincial Growth Fund

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 24 Jun 2020, 4:02PM
Jacinda Ardern. (Photo / File)

Jacinda Ardern defends forestry conversion, Provincial Growth Fund

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 24 Jun 2020, 4:02PM

The Prime Minister says that the Government's plan for forestry is to put the right tree in the right place. 

Farmers want a cap on new forestry planting to prevent too much hill country going into trees and ripping apart rural communities.

The Government might review planting if it rises above 40,000 hectares a year, but Beef plus Lamb says it's already at 70,000d hectares.

Chairman Andrew Morrison told Mike Hosking the Government is focusing too much on tree planting to reach carbon zero targets.

However, Jacinda Ardern told Jamie Mackay that they are ensuring that highly productive land that can contribute towards food production being used correctly. 

"We don't want highly productive land, and by and large we're not seeing highly productive land being utilised in that way."

She says that there is more they can do to give that assurance to the public. 

Ardern also defended the success of the Provincial Growth Fund.

$3 billion was planned to be spent in the regions this election cycle, but just $544 million has been spent, creating about 2600 jobs.

Ardern says that they've committed to projects that often need wider contracting processes after they receive the green light. 

"There's different PGF funding going into different [areas]. Sometime's it's grants, sometimes their loans, sometimes they're business cases with then further investment down the track."