November 29, 2023
Business discipline needed for regional fund
Māori economist Matt Roskruge says separating the politics from the business will be critical to the success of the new $1.2 billion on regional growth fund.
New Zealand First secured the fund as part of its coalition agreement, with Regional Development Minister Shane Jones picking up where he left off with the Provincial Growth Fund under Labour.
Professor Roskruge, the associate dean, Māori, at Massey University’s business school, says a lot of the infrastructure round the country is in poor shape and needs fixing.
“But if it is just going to go into projects that lobby successfully rather than ones that have a really strong business case for them, we are not going to see much benefit from that $1.2 billion. Just like some regions saw benefit from the Provincial Growth Fund but it wasn’t I think shared equally around the motu,” he says.
Professor Roskruge says on current Budget settings National is going to struggle to deliver on the promises its made to its own constituency as well as those in the coalition agreements with ACT and New Zealand First.