The Controller and Auditor-General, Lyn Provost, has completed an examination of the Primary Growth Partnership initiative, which aims to increase overall investment in innovation and the economic growth and sustainability of primary sector industries.
As at 30 November 2014, the Crown and industry partners together had committed $680 million to PGP. The Crown had committed $322 million to 18 multi-year programmes, $129.5 million of which had been spent up to 30 November 2014.
In her report, Provost says:
PGP got off to a mixed start and initially encountered a number of challenges. In my view, PGP partnerships are now generally working well and the management of them has improved in the past five years. More is required, in particular, to achieve clear, simple, and understandable public reporting on individual programmes and the PGP portfolio.
Six programmes reviewed by the Audit Office have a combined Crown and industry commitment of $491.3 million.
These programmes are showing some encouraging results.
But the report says it is too soon to observe the economic benefits of PGP programmes “and it will be at least five to 10 years before we see the extent to which New Zealand’s primary industries achieve the anticipated economic benefits”.
The business cases of the six programmes examined by the Audit Office showed a range of economic benefits expected to be achieved by 2019 and beyond.
Recommendations for improvements in the management of PGP related essentially to matter of transparency and the need for clearer reporting.