23 Jul 2020

$100m Southland relief fund plan scuppered by NZ First

From Morning Report, 8:19 am on 23 July 2020

The Prime Minister's plan to announce a roughly $100 million recovery package for Southland, in the wake of the likely closure of the Tiwai Smelter, was scuppered by New Zealand First at the eleventh hour.

RNZ understands, as a result, there won't be any specific amount of money allocated to the southernmost region before the election, because consensus can't be reached within the coalition. Tensions have been building as the election approaches with New Zealand First lining up to fight for its survival.

RNZ understands there was back and forth between ministers about a roughly $100m package, focussed on job creation to help transition the province's economy.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters denies that.

Political reporter Jo Moir spoke to Peters on his way to Question Time yesterday.