Christopher Luxon slams Government after Provincial Growth Fund reset catches attention of Auditor-General

  • 14/06/2023

The National Party says it's not surprising the Government has caught the attention of the Auditor-General over the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).

On Monday, the Auditor-General said in a review New Zealanders couldn't be reassured a reset of the fund's investments represented good value for money.

The $3 billion PGF was previously overseen by NZ First MP Shane Jones in the last Coalition Government. It was "reset" in 2020 to refocus "on projects with more immediate economic benefits" after the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded. 

National leader Christopher Luxon told AM the PGF was another example of Government spending running rife.

"This Government's wasting a huge amount of money and when I talk about wasteful spending, this is exactly what's going on," he told host Ryan Bridge. "The Auditor-General has given a number of reports across a number of projects over the last few years to say, 'Look, money's being spent but it's being poorly targeted, poorly directed, poorly managed' - that's exactly what's happened here as well."

He added the Government was "spending so much money - and there's no evaluation of, what return has that money generated?"

Christopher Luxon.
Christopher Luxon. Photo credit: Newshub.

But Labour has denied it has a spending problem and Regional Development Minister Kiri Allan told Stuff the Government "always take reports of this nature seriously and I acknowledge its findings".  

The Government would "work through where the areas of improvements are needed", she said.

ACT leader David Seymour, after the Auditor-General's report, labelled the PGF as always having "a bad stench about it".