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First Green Investment Finance Investment Underwhelming

More than a year after the Greens’ green investment fund said it was ready to start investing and more than eighteen months after its creation, the fund have made the uninspiring announcement that they will allocate $15 million of their $100 million fund to Wellington’s port for plant and equipment upgrades.

This is a central government hand-out to a local government-owned entity that will do nothing to grow innovation in New Zealand.

In terms of the Greens’ near-monomaniacal focus on reducing carbon emissions, replacing a few diesel machines with electric ones is a big win. It is a good thing so far as it goes but it falls a long way short of what the fund is meant to achieve in its own terms. This fund - although woefully under-capitalised - was intended to boost the country’s capacity for innovation and help Kiwi businesses develop new, world-leading technologies.

What the country needs now is not a subsidy for a large, publicly-owned company to upgrade some equipment. What the country needs now is Sustainable New Zealand’s Innovation Plan which will allocate $1.2 billion to driving innovation in the private sector with startup and business development support; innovation support; financing for cleantech firms; and, government-assisted access to overseas markets.

Read the full Innovation Plan in detail here: https://sustainablenz.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/SNZP-Innovation-Policy-2.pdf

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