August 05, 2020
Staged spend confounds PGF auditor
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is defending the Provincial Growth Fund from criticism from the Audit Office.
Auditor General John Ryan recommended changes to enable Parliament and the public to see more clearly how the Fund works, where it is being invested, and what it is achieving, regionally and nationally.
He pointed to the fact actual spending has consistently lagged estimates.
Mr Peters says the fund works on staged payments.
"You don't pay for a house at the end of a house being built. You pay a quarter, a quarter, a quarter, whatever the arrangements might be. Likewise, although he have committed $3 billion, so far we have not spent more than $750m because all these projects are on stages of being completed," Mr Peters says.
Winston Peters says the people who are using the fund to boost regional infrastructure and economics understand business better than the Auditor general does.
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