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Taranaki is the exclusive recipient of every cent of the Government’s most recent tranche of Provincial Growth Fund spending, with the lion’s share going to walking tracks and a Cathedral

Taranaki is the exclusive recipient of every cent of the Government’s most recent tranche of Provincial Growth Fund spending, with the lion’s share going to walking tracks and a Cathedral
Shane Jones cartoon by Jacky Carpenter.

The second round of Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) spending all goes to Taranaki’s economy, with the Government signing the check for a $20 million investment.

Unlike the first round of PGF funding – where the $60 million was split across multiple areas of the country – Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones will focus exclusively on the one region.

The funding comes after an ASB report into the economic health of New Zealand's regions put Taranaki at 13th out of the country's 18 regions. 

Big ticket items include $13.3 million to “investigate and support” the Mounga ki Moana Taranaki Crossing project. The funding provides for track upgrades and a 41 kilometre “Mounga to Moana walking experience.”

Jones says this investment will help “unlock Taranaki’s tourism potential.”

The Government is also putting $5 million towards the local cathedral to turn it into a “nationally significant tourist drawcard.”

Funding will go towards “professionally designed displays, audio-visual guides and multimedia resources to tell this story.”

The other nine project investments – including $400,000 for “determining the value of State Highway 43 to Taranaki’s economy” – are all less than half a million.

“The region is transitioning to a modern, high-value economy based on the skills, enterprise and knowledge of its people,” Jones says.

Taranaki’s economy has traditionally relied on the oil, gas and minerals industry, as well as dairy and energy, which make up about 40% of the region’s GDP, he says.

Almost 120,000 people live in the area.

The funding is allocated according to an action plan for the region which explores how energy, food, the Maori economy and tourism can contribute to Taranaki’s future growth.

The PGF will fund up to $20 million for projects from the action plan, with the region itself contributing more than $16 million.

The Government investment comes at a time when the region’s economy is suffering.

In the most recent ASB Regional Scoreboard, Taranaki received just two out of five stars and was ranked 13th out of New Zealand’s 16 regions for economic growth.

“Holding back the region is a weak jobs market compared to the rest of the economy and also weak consumer confidence perhaps stemming from the drought declaration [over summer],” ASB say.

There is an expectation the region will bounce back, but whether that will happen next quarter or later in 2018 remains to be seen, the Scoreboard says.

Despite this, numbers from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show that at $71,000 Taranaki’s GDP per capita is almost $20,000 higher than the national average.

How much for what?

Announcement PGF 
Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary $5,000,000
Taranaki Crossing Experience $13,340,000
New Energy Development Centre – business case $100,000
H2 Taranaki Hydrogen Road Map $50,000
Future Foods – Taranaki Hill Country initiative $250,000
Future Foods – Major Food Opportunities $125,000
Future Foods – Food Network $50,000
SH43 $400,000
Taranaki Innovation Precincts $100,000
Māori Education and Enterprise Stocktake $100,000
Tapuae Roa Support $210,000

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... why doesn't Jonesy just hand the money bags to Rampaging Ron Mark ....

And he can scatter the cash out of the helicopter , next time he's on an Air Force junket , flying up and down the country at our expense ...

... free munny ..... weeeeeeeeee heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee !!!!!!!!!!!!


Taranaki is a regional with great potentials.

I must say that it is a well-chosen region and the spend is pretty well spread.

Let New Plymouth be the center of the economic cluster for the middle of west coast of North Island.

The geographic region you mention (west coast of NI) already has a single major population centre - New Plymouth. Mission accomplished!

make it a cluster then. a single and isolated point can do much less than a well connected net work.

make it a 30min to 1hr economic circle among New Plymouth - Whanganui - Palmy - Hamilton - Gisborne - Napier - Taupo.

Good point. Historically, economies have boomed with well-planned cluster-like metro regions. Be it cities in Benelux, Northeastern US or the cities along the Yangtze river in China.
I see little merit in the Hamilton-Auckland-Tauranga triangle since Auckland has played out all development cards and is already seeing growing pains.

The (13million) funding provides for track upgrades and a 41 kilometre “Mounga to Moana walking experience."

Jesus, 300$/m for a track!! All boardwalked covered and carpeted? More friends of Shane's getting 'generous' handouts?

Shane’s nephew probably owns a couple of spider excavators sitting idle in a yard screaming out for $300 /m of scraping.

Taranaki is the region with the highest GDP per capita. They're trying to encourage some tourism to get it down a bit.

That is actually not that bad. I seem to remember a few years ago reading an article about adding an overatking lane to SH1 up near Whangerei. I recall it worked out to about $300k per meter to add the extra lane onto an existing state highway.. Somewhere where you can drive a truck and digger right to the worksite. $300/m isn't that bad when you consider they will have to helicopter in tons of gravel and lumber, those small diggers they use on the tracks and the sheer amount of work that has to be done manually on steep terrain.

Good to see them throw in for the Crossing, that has massive potential.

The Cathedral on the other hand...

$20MM for a region with above average GDP per capita driven by the energy business? Feels like they are sweetening the locals before dropping the hammer on the oil and gas permit block offers....

Unbelievable, no it probably isn’t!
$400k to determine the value of state highway 43 to Taranaki’s economy??????
FFS, what the hell is he on?
What is the flippen point and how on earth do you waste 400k determining the value?
Who is getting their hands on money for nothing?
Blatant BS, coming from the COL once again, but I know the supporters will come on and defend this!

Yep, just throwing money around.

$5m for multimedia displays at a cathedral? Heck I'd do it for three and pocket $2.5m in profit.

The Jones Boy flying high.... Tracks are winners for spin off businesses. Accommodation, track transport.... Nice. He done good.

You are nothing if not consistent and effusive in your praise for him. I rely on the family dog for that.

I really just love my country, don't like to see any left behind. Warms my heart to see regional areas Advance.

I think those of us who live in Taranaki would rather keep our high paid resource jobs and leave the low paid tourist servant (service) jobs to the regions with overloaded infrastructure and unaffordable housing.

The left want to de-industrialise the country mate. No well paid jobs for the regions. Bunch of bloody know it all townies.

New Zealand is considered less attractive than Democratic Republic of the Congo when it comes to mining:

Oh dear, we don't bend over and take it from international mining companies.. boo f'n hoo.

Top of the list is Finland. Next is Saskatchewan, then Nevada, the Irish republic, Quebec, Ontario, hardly uncivilised places. Yet we are in the company of the most violent, mismanaged and corrupt countries on the planet. Why is that? Is that where we want to go? Why ignore why we were once of the richest places on the planet, and thus able to create a more civilised country? Why do we sabotage ourselves?

What's missing from your post is the criteria used for the rating.