Shane Jones’ reprimand from the Speaker today for refusing to account for missing Provincial Growth Fund projects shows he has as little respect for Parliamentary process as he has for normal Ministerial conduct, National’s Economic and Regional Development spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.
“The Minister is on record saying 306 projects have been approved and announced under the $3 billion fund but only 187 projects are listed on the Provincial Development Unit’s website.
“We’ve simply been trying to find out about the missing 119 projects. This is, after all, a $3 billion fund of taxpayers’ money.
“Mr Jones and the Provincial Development Unit have repeatedly ignored questions about the whereabouts of the missing 119 projects. The Minister is now saying that ‘all projects that have been announced appear on the website’ yet they clearly do not.
“The PGF was among the bounty Labour gave to NZ First as a reward for supporting the coalition. The result is a slush fund that lacks transparency and is being treated as NZ First’s campaign chest for the 2020 election.
“Mr Jones has an appalling track record of inappropriate behaviour, conflicts of interest and lack of accountability. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister has shown no ability to maintain order and discipline in her coalition Government.
“National believes in sensible policies that drive economic growth, help businesses create more jobs and ensure the delivery of world-class public services like education and health. We believe in open, accountable Government based on prudent, properly assessed policies.”