Three billion dollars for about 7000 jobs: Has the Provincial Growth Fund worked?

Source: 1News

The $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund is wrapping up and the number of people working at the moment is sitting at 7000.

It was designed to give New Zealand’s regions life support by pumping in $3 billion over three years but political opponents say it's a failure.

Jobs for the regions was the big promise when the fund was pitched. Ahead of it wrapping up in June, latest figures show a mix of full and part-time jobs.

The latest figures show there are more than 2800 full-time jobs, 2410 part-time jobs and 1689 jobs where officials can't say if they are full-time or part time.

It adds up to about 7,000 jobs if both full and part-time are put together.

But ACT says the numbers are disappointing because effectively, there are only 2800 full-time jobs.

“We are still paying for it but we haven’t got the jobs that were promised, act said all along that politicians are not going to be able to invest people’s money and create more jobs than the people who had it in the first place could,” ACT leader, David Seymour told 1 NEWS.

But the minister in charge says it's not just about jobs and says it's created a legacy that will last for generations.

“There is a legacy, there is no doubt about that that will last generations, having said that there's still about 850 projects that are being delivered or to be delivered,” Minister for Economic and Regional Development, Stuart Nash says.

Nash says over the life of the scheme “you're looking at about 13,000 jobs, 7000 Kiwis employed at the moment employed, I think that's not bad numbers,” he said.

This project was the baby of New Zealand First - Shane Jones was the front man and was continually questioned about why so much was being spent in Northland.

“There really was a significant amount of rigour that went into this, we are spending taxpayer money after all,” Nash says.