Minginui - the small BOP town the government is pumping millions of dollars into

A small Bay of Plenty town is the latest recipient of Shane Jones' $1 billion provincial growth fund, with the hopes employment rates will rise.

Miniginui has a population of just 300, and an unemployment rate of 80 per cent. 

"Minginui has got all the problems of isolation," says Mr Jones, Regional Economic Development Minister and Forestry Minister.

But he says the small community want to "replant ambition in their young people".

Joining forces with iwi Ngati Whare, the government is putting nearly $6 million into a nursery in the town, allowing it to plant up to one million native seedlings a year.

That's expected to take jobs at the nursery from nine to 90.

"The runanga tell me it's going to change the lives of 90 young, and maybe not so young, people," said Mr Jones.

He wants to use the provincial growth fund to not only create jobs, but also help him reach his goal of planting one billion trees.

In Minginui it's hoped the boost will get more locals employed, up-skilled and even encourage others to move to the town.

Mr Jones says there are many small communities around the country that could benefit from similar projects.  

But the National Party say the fund does not have the right checks and balances.

"They're scrambling around the country finding groups to spend the money on, and like I say, there will be some good projects, but there will be a lot of waste if it's not carefully handled," says National MP Paul Goldsmith.

Mr Jones admits money has already been lost on feasibility studies, and it could happen again.

There's hope a new venture will create around 80 jobs. Source: 1 NEWS

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