“Provincial voters have had confirmed for them today that the Labour Party is abandoning them to their fate, stated Mr Peters.
“Only a strong vote for New Zealand First will guarantee the Provincial Growth Fund continuing in its current form after the General Election.
“Labour’s announcing of a $200 million Regional Strategic Partnership Fund to replace the $3 billion PGF is not a ‘focused evolution’ of the fund but a straight cop-out, said Mr Peters.
“It’s a gross mutation of what has been a flagship success during New Zealand First’s term in government.
“It’s not difficult to discern where the other $2.8 billion will go – digging up Dominion Rd for Labour’s unfulfilled Auckland Light Rail dream, one of their signature mega-failures, alongside Kiwibuild.
“That is a sad commentary on Labour’s priorities when they are by themselves.
“It’s not even urban New Zealanders against provincial ones that Labour cares most about because today’s decision to abandon the regions will be harmful to both.
“One of the ironies here is that Labour politicians, from the top down, can’t get into the camera shots quick enough at every PGF announcement. So why is Labour’s leadership renouncing the fund, asked Mr Peters.
“Voters from Kaitaia to the Bluff know that investments through the PGF during the last three years showed that the government for the first time in a long time were with them.
“Now they know that one party in that Coalition Government, Labour, had no real commitment towards them, said Mr Peters.
Take for example Tiwai Point. Southlanders were already promised $100 million and that only leaves $100 million for the rest of the regions in Labour’s warped plan.
No wonder Tiwai, who makes $450 million profit each year, is rejecting this offer.
“Labour were happy to cut the PGF ribbons, accept the applause, and now they’d rather cut their ties with provincial voters.
“Provincial voters now know that only a vote for New Zealand First will give them the necessary insurance they need to see continued heavy investment in their futures, especially in the trying economic times ahead.
“It’s easy to see why. Provincial success is in New Zealand First’s DNA. Today it was confirmed that it is not in Labour’s.”