Government forced on defensive over the $3 billion fund and how much employment it has so far created.

The vast majority of the jobs expected to be created as a result of Provincial Growth Fund announcements so far will come from just one relatively small project.

This comes as the Government has been forced on the defensive over the $3 billion fund and how many jobs it has so far created.

National's Paul Goldsmith pointed out that only 54 jobs had been created from funded Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) projects so far.

This was despite Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones telling Parliament late last year that 9000 had been created.

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Numbers published on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)'s website show more than 10,000 jobs are expected to be created as a result of Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) announcements made last year.

Of that, 7000 – almost 70 per cent – are estimated to come from just one project: The East Bay of Plenty Regional Development Project Implementation.

This project was allocated just under $240,000 for "funding a position to manage and report on 65 key economic development projects".

That 7000 jobs estimate is based on a feasibility study provided to the Provincial Development Unit, which oversees the PGF, by the Ōpōtiki District Council.

A spokesman for the unit said funding a feasibility study helps to refine the scale and scope of projects so job creation is able to be estimated with "greater precision".

But Goldsmith said it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that a feasibility study into a potential project is not the same as creating real jobs.

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"It is frankly insulting that Shane Jones expects New Zealanders to believe that one project costing just $237,000 for someone to investigate the viability of a long list of potential projects will create 7000 jobs – or 70 per cent of what MBIE are claiming will be created."

The 10,000 figure includes jobs which are expected to be created as a result of PGF spending, as well as jobs created as an indirect result of the fund.

The data does not include all of the PGF announcements, such as the almost $200 million for supporting Māori landowners and boosting employment in the regions, announced last week.

It was compiled as a response to written questions throughout much of last year and, as such, does not provide a real-time update of job creation numbers.

A spokesman said the number of jobs which had been created, and were expected to be created, was "constantly being updated".

Although the data revealed the expected job numbers, it was not able to provide expected job creation numbers on most of the projects at the time the information was released online.

This is because many of them are still in development and job numbers have not yet been finalised.

As well as this, many of the projects – such as the $9 million Waipapa Intersection Improvement deal – would create no jobs, according to the data.

The day after Goldsmith said just 54 PGF jobs had been created, the Provincial Development Unit issued a press release which said "job creation does not happen overnight" and that more than 10,000 jobs may be created as a result of all the PGF investment approved to date.

Speaking to the Herald, the head of the Provincial Development Unit Robert Pigou said the statement was only released to provide "clarity" around how the PGF was structured.

He said he was not able to say how many jobs had been created because of the PGF last year, as he "did not have that detailed information yet" but said it would be higher than 54.

"We're working with the [PGF] applicants because many of them are just starting to get into that employment phase [of the projects]."

The 10,000 jobs expectation is based on the estimates of the PGF project applicants, a Provincial Development Unit spokesman said.

"When applicants outline their project, they include an estimate of the number of jobs to be created both directly through the project and indirectly, as a result of the investment."

For larger scale projects, such as the $40 million to expand the TranzAlpine service, financial modelling by an independent economic firm has been used.

The most jobs expected to be created by the PGF (according to MBIE data)

Eastern Bay of Plenty - Regional Development Project Implementation

$237,500 allocated on December 14, 2018

Nothing paid so far

7000 jobs expected

Southland Hatchery and Nursery feasibility (Building a Brighter Future for Aquaculture in Southland)
$424,976 allocated on December 19, 2018
$210,000 paid so far
550 jobs expected

Rotorua Big Moves - Rotorua Lake front
$811,625 (shared with Whakarewarewa Forest business case development and detailed design) allocated on June 29, 2018
$291,047 paid so far
600 jobs expected (shared with Whakarewarewa Forest business case development and detailed design)

Rotorua Big Moves - Whakarewarewa Forest business case development and detailed design
$811,625 (shared with the Rotorua Lake front project) allocated on June 29, 2018
$291,047 paid so far
600 jobs expected (shared with the Rotorua Lake front project)

Invercargill Inner city Development: Reimagined. Redeveloped. Revitalised. Our city for tomorrow
$995,000 allocated on December 19, 2018
$457,700 paid so far
400 jobs expected

Kiwirail funding for Tourism Rail projects – The upgrade and Coastal Pacific Service Upgrade
$40,000,000 (shared TranzAlpine service) allocated on November 29, 2018
None paid so far
400 jobs expected

Kiwirail funding for Tourism Rail projects – TranzAlpine service
$40,000,000 (shared with Coastal Pacific Service Upgrade) allocated on November 29, 2018
None paid so far
290 jobs are expected

Putauaki Trust Roading and Related Infrastructure - Stage 1 project (ISK)
$2,000,000 allocated on October 24, 2018
None paid so far
150 jobs expected (with 700 indirect jobs expected)

Rotorua Whakarewarewa Forest Park
$7,926,000 allocated in September 24, 2018
Nothing paid so far
133 jobs expected

Upgrade to Gisborne Sawmill site
$500,000 allocated on Sept 7, 2018
Nothing paid so far
50 jobs expected

Barton NZ Ltd - Ruatapu Garnet Project
$10,000,000 allocated on November 29, 2018
Nothing paid so far
40 jobs expected

Opotiki Mussel Farming and Production Facility - Stage 1 & 2
$19,850,000 allocated on December 14, 2018
Nothing paid so far
50 jobs expected

Ruapehu Alpine Lift
$10,000,000 allocated on June 15, 2018
All paid
34-44 jobs expected

Kawakawa Tourism Hub deal
$2,378,000 allocated on February, 23 2018
Nothing paid yet
18 jobs

Unlicensed Driver's programme (Howard League)
$7,514,000 allocated on July 1, 2018
$609,500 paid so far
10–12 people employed so far

All other approved PGF projects approved which will, or have, created jobs before January 29

Dolomite Point Redevelopment Project (DPRP), Punakaiki, West Coast
$25,600,000 allocated
Nothing paid out
10 jobs to be created

Manawatū-Whanganui Tree Planting
$970,600 allocated
Nothing paid out
10 jobs to be created

Westland Milk Products Segregation
$9,900,000 allocated
Nothing paid yet
8-10 jobs created

ManaiaSAFE Forestry School Pilot Project
$301,209 allocated
Nothing paid yet
Seven jobs created

Trees that Count
$6,650,000 allocated
$955,000 paid out so far
Four jobs created

Ngāti Rehia Kauri Sanctuary
$288,000 allocated
$89,000 paid out so far
Four jobs created (one fulltime, three part-time)

NZ Macadamia Industry Development Project
$995,000 allocated
Nothing paid yet
Three part-time and eight fulltime

Kawakawa Tourism Hub deal
$2,378,000 allocated
Nothing paid yet
Three jobs created

Regional Action Plan Programme Manager
$90,000 allocated
$97,750 paid out
One job created

Wairoa Capability Support: Business Case Development and Feasibility support for Wairoa
$250,000 allocated
$57,500 paid so far
One job created

General Manager Transitional Economy
$600,000 allocated
$142,313 paid so far
One job created

Waharoa Industrial Hub Feasibility and Development Programme
$800,000 allocated
Nothing paid yet
One job created

Taranaki Innovation Precincts
$100,000 allocated
$2000 paid out so far
0.2 jobs created