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Ed Sheeran

$200m fund not fit for purpose

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A Māori land development advocate says Labour’s proposed $200 million Regional Strategic Partnership Fund will be more of a hindrance than a help.

The fund will replace the $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund which has been distributed over the past three years as a result of the coalition agreement between Labour and New Zealand First.

Willie Te Aho, who has secured investments from the fund in horticultures, forestry and irrigation schemes in the East Cape and Tūranga areas, says the policy switch highlights the need to develop resilience and self-belief in Māori communities.

"A $200 million seeding fund, to be honest, that's not going to help us in the rural areas. It will just scratch the surface and be an irritating nuisance. What we do need is the likes of New Zealand First and those types of policies that meant real investment in places like Raukokore that we haven't seen since the time of Sir Apirana Ngata," he says.

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