Economic Development Minister Shane Jones arrives in Whanganui today with, hopefully, more than political platitudes in his pocket.

Mayor Hamish McDouall has vowed to remind the minister of the pre-election promises that some serious investment would be made in the city.

On the campaign trail, former Labour leader Andrew Little pledged $3 million for the repair of the north and south moles at the river mouth, saying that work was vital as part of a port redevelopment, which would create job opportunities.

And on her pre-election visit to Whanganui, his successor Jacinda Ardern said she was ready to match the National Party's vote-seeking offer of $6 million for the velodrome roof.


Ms Ardern is now the prime minister and Mr Jones is her man charged with delivering for the regions, so we are getting to the "show-us-the-money" stage.

Million-dollar promises are 10-a-penny in the heat of an election campaign, but are sometimes easily forgotten after the votes are counted and a new government is sitting snugly on the Treasury benches.

That must not happen here. Whanganui is one of a number of places that have suffered from the loss of central government jobs, an absence of central government investment and a general obsession with all things Auckland.

Mr McDouall has written to Ms Ardern and Mr Jones reminding them of those pledges, and telling them "they break them at their peril".

The coalition government is setting up a $1 billion regional investment and we need our share of it.

At this week's Whanganui and Partners forum, chairman Myles Fothergill said Mr Jones' visit would be "a meet-and-greet and get to know the minister".

"We won't be lobbying, but we will be advocating."

Well, perhaps we should be lobbying.


At the very least, Mr Jones shouldn't leave town till he has publicly stated the government will stand by those promises.