$1B regional development fund needs coherent vision
Maxim Institute welcomes investment in New Zealand’s regions, but CEO Alex Penk cautions that we urgently need more detail on how the new Government plans to spend this money.
“Simply spending money will not bring lasting growth. Our Growing Beyond Growth report, released earlier this year, warned that regional development spending needs to be based on solid evidence about what works, in order to bring long-term growth,” says Alex Penk. “It is important before money is handed out that the Government works together with local government and stakeholders to offer a coherent, evidence-backed vision for what kind of regional development they believe will produce results over the long term.”
“Without a detailed plan, it’s open season for lobbyists. There’s also a risk of wastage and politically motivated spending. Our report showed that New Zealand’s regions are facing significant demographic and economic challenges over the next 30 years, so the use of this one-billion-dollar fund needs to have clear, transparent, and prioritised goals that explain the reasoning and expectations behind the new Government’s decisions,” says Alex.