Leaked: Shane Jones' '$1b fund' is several hundred millions short

Shane Jones' $1 billion fund is looking more like a $700 million fund.

Newshub has been leaked documents which show in the provincial growth fund's first year, less money will be spent than planned.

The Provincial Growth Fund is Mr Jones' billion dollar baby. He was initially promised $1 billion would be spent per year in the provinces - but will that actually happen?

"I am unfortunately hobbled by the by the treacle-riddled feet of the system that is implementing my billion dollars," he told Newshub.

The Regional Economic Development Minister allocated $1 billion in the first year as promised, but he may not be able to spend it all.

"$1 billion will be committed, but I can't guarantee when every cent will be spent because I'm not in control of the biological life-cycle of a tree," he said.

Select committee documents leaked to Newshub reveal that of the $1 billion to be spent in the first year, $303 million will be spent beyond year one, and $245 million of that is over 10 years - planting his one billion trees.

"The trees can only be grown when Mother Nature makes them available," Mr Jones said.

Paul Goldsmith says Mr Jones is backtracking on his original plan.

"He didn't strut around like a peacock saying 'we're going to spend $1 billion over the next 10 years," he told Newshub.

"He said 'we're going to spend $1 billion a year for each of the three years'."

Mr Jones says by the end of those three years, he'll have spent every cent.

"The $3 billion will be completely exhausted, mark my words."

But Mr Goldsmith isn't so sure.

"When it comes to the figures, Shane Jones is as slippery as one of those Northland eels that he likes to eat."

Under-spending public money is perhaps not a bad problem for a minister to have, but Mr Jones has been relishing the political points he clocks up every time he mentions his $1 billion fund.

The '$700 million give-or-take fund' doesn't have quite the same ring to it.