The goal of the Provincial Growth Fund is for Government to partner alongside iwi, local government and private sector firms to enhance regional economic development opportunities, create jobs, improve well-being and lift the productivity of regional New Zealand.
The Provincial Growth Fund Whenua Māori allocation is an exciting opportunity to unlock and empower Māori capability, including further land development and investment, benefiting both Māori in Rotorua and across New Zealand.
It's hard to know what will be achieved from this announcement. It's light on detail on exactly who will have access to taxpayer funds and what the conditions are.
If the Government is serious about being fair and assisting all landowners with underdeveloped land they need to focus on Resource Management Act and Te Ture Whenua Māori land reforms.
These are two of the most significant obstacles to development of land resources around the country. They must also set meaningful targets, we've seen what happens with loose promises and spending under the KiwiBuild shambles.
I'm pleased this coalition Government has taken the first practical steps towards taking the brakes off the ambitions of Māori to fully realise the potential of their whenua, create jobs and place more control over our future, back into the hands of our own people.
Leaving investment-ready Māori land blocks undeveloped because the land's special status gives pause to traditional lenders, is effective to leaving economic, social, environmental and cultural opportunities to rot on the vine.