Provincial Growth Fund creating jobs in the regions

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The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is on track to create thousands of jobs, says Robert Pigou, the Head of Investment Management at the Provincial Development Unit. 

“As the administrators of the Provincial Growth Fund we welcome scrutiny of our work and discussion about the impact the PGF is having in New Zealand’s regions,” Robert Pigou said. 

“The Provincial Growth Fund will create jobs in the regions, but job creation does not happen overnight.  An expectation otherwise fails to appreciate and understand the fundamentals of project delivery and the fact that work takes time to scale-up. 

“Funding is announced in principle, after which contracts are negotiated and applicants work to secure their co-funding requirements.  In some cases this may take up to six months.  Only then will the project receive any funding from the PGF. 

“The Provincial Development Unit is proactively releasing information about the work we are doing, including key measurements like jobs created.  These figures are updated as we receive new information and analysis – for example as projects ramp up delivery.  We caution against the selective interpretation of this data without taking into account wider context.

To date the Provincial Growth Fund has committed to invest in a number of projects including infrastructure like road and rail, tourism initiatives like the redevelopment of Rotorua’s lakefront, and Te Ara Mahi, a programme to directly support a range of skills and employment initiatives in the regions.

“As careful stewards of public money we have a duty to ensure that our investments lead to sustained and meaningful outcomes (including increased jobs) in our regions. For many projects this means funding feasibility and business cases to test assumptions and to ensure these projects are primed for further funding.

“Initial work done by applicants as part of their submissions to the Provincial Development Unit shows that over 10,000 jobs may be created as a result of PGF investment.  This includes jobs created in the construction and delivery of projects, and across the wider economy. 

“The PGF is supporting long term projects and developments and therefore it will take some time to understand the impact the PGF will have on employment outcomes.  Evaluation of the PGF will include economic growth and the number of direct and indirect jobs created.

“We are working to grow New Zealand’s regions and drive sustainable economic development in our provincial towns and cities.  The focus of the PGF remains to work with provincial New Zealand, especially the surge regions to ensure the investments being made are improving the lives of local people and making a difference for business, iwi and communities,” Robert Pigou said. 

Media contact: 027 442 2141 or media@mbie.govt.nz