“The PGF was never about regional economic development. It was about NZ First trying (and failing) to buy votes in the provinces,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Today the Auditor-General released their review into the PGF’s reset. It showed that there was next to no oversight or measurable achievements for what was a huge amount of taxpayer money. The report states: “We saw no evidence of clear reporting or regular monitoring of how well the PGF reset was achieving its objectives or how its overall success or value for money could be determined. We also did not see evidence of planning for, or commitment to, an evaluation of the outcomes of the PGF reset.”

And: “not enough attention is being paid to ensuring that criteria are clear for funding applications, decision-making is transparent and appropriately documented, and the public is able to see how significant investments are achieving the intended outcomes and represent value for money. "

“NZ First put National’s corporate welfare machine on steroids and wasted almost $3 billion. It’s difficult to how overstate how badly taxpayers have been treated.

“Shane Jones used the PGF to give money to organisations that he was previously involved with or that had donated to him. It always had a bad stench about it.

“Bureaucrats and politicians have neither the information nor the incentive to make good investments with other people’s money.

“If an MBIE bureaucrat or Shane Jones were investing their own money, would they do what the PGF has done? Of course not.

“We get better outcomes when government doesn’t pick winners and allows people to invest their own money.”

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