New Zealand First is today releasing details of its Royalties for Regions (RFR) scheme which will make life easier and fairer for many New Zealanders.
The new RFR policy would see 25 per cent of royalties collected by the Government from enterprises such as mining, extraction and petroleum stay in the region where the respective enterprise is located.
The revenue would be held in a special purpose investment fund administered by the relevant regional council, and used for a wide range of regional community projects and initiatives.
These could include fixing roads, building new health centres, creating new play areas for children, or improving water treatment plants.
Rt Hon Winston Peters says the royalties in the RFR scheme need to be increased and distributed more fairly.
“But even as it stands, the Government collected $383 million in royalties in 2011. Under our scheme, $96 million would have remained in the regions.
“It could have been used to help regenerate regional New Zealand by expanding job opportunities and building a sound economic base.”
Mr Peters says the new policy makes sense given that the Government wants to encourage greater exploitation of New Zealand’s natural resources.
“Ensuring regions get their fair share of the wealth they generate is a key New Zealand First policy.
“It differs markedly with National and its coalition partners who have sadly neglected regional New Zealand to the point where it is dying in an economic sense,” says Mr Peters.