PGF announcements hit the mark


PGF announcements hit the mark

We welcome today's government announcement that money from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will be used to support initiatives to boost skills and employment, and provide better digital connectivity to marae and communities around Northland.

Both initiatives complement work we've been doing recently.

Joseph Stuart, our general manager of business innovation and growth, said this morning’s announcements were good examples of effective, joined- up thinking at both a national and regional level.

“The dollars announced today provide a much-needed opportunity to put well-developed plans in place and we look forward to working with the Provincial Development Unit (within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) to start delivering for the people of Northland in double-quick time, something we know the Minister is keen to see,” Mr Stuart said.

Mr Stuart chairs a digital enablement group backed by the Northland Regional Council and the three district councils that serve the region. Part of its recent work has been to lay the groundwork for digital hubs in regional centres that enable small to medium-sized businesses to establish themselves there.

The Orchard in Whangarei and Kerikeri’s BizSpace are two well-known examples of this approach.

The new $82.4 million skills and employment initiative announced this morning, Te Ara Mahi (Pathways to Work), fits well into the Skills Development component of the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan (TTNEAP).

One of the TTNEAP working groups, the skills and employment steering group, has been developing the component with input from education providers, employers, students and tangata whenua.

“Much of the legwork here has now been done,” said chief executive Dr David Wilson. “We know the whos, whats, wheres, whens and hows; the missing component up to this point has been the funding. That’s why we are pleased that central government has now supplied the money that will give this work the boost it so badly needs.

"Minister Jones and the PGF have landed on the two areas that are critical and which have the greatest potential to deliver long-term economic growth for the region."


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