How many full-time permanent jobs has his cycleway project created?
I am advised that 215 people have been employed in the construction of the “Great Rides” under the New Zealand Cycle Trail project to date. Officials do not hold the number of hours worked by each individual worker on the 18 separate projects around the country, nor do they record the number of volunteer workers. I have no doubt there has been quite a large number of them, but they are not included in that figure.
How many of the 4,000 jobs predicted to arise from the cycleway project are construction jobs only, and how many are long-term permanent jobs relating to the operation of the cycleway?
The early advice I have had is that there will be about 500 jobs in relation to construction. Of course, once the 18 rides around New Zealand are established, there will be, as we have seen with the Otago Central Rail Trail, many hundreds, if not thousands, of other jobs to support them.
The Hon Annette King. [ Interruption] I say to the Labour front bench on this occasion that I have called its deputy leader, the Hon Annette King.
How many of the over 500 jobs that he promised last week would arise from the cycleway project by the end of 2011 will be jobs for women, in light of the growing number of unemployed women in New Zealand, which is now at 7.2 percent, the highest level since 1998—12 years ago?
I do not know the answer to that. But as a woman maybe Annette King could go and work on the cycleway, because she is not making much difference to Labour.
I think that final comment was pretty unhelpful. [ Interruption] If members expect the Speaker to do something about it, they had better remain silent. I ask the Prime Minister to withdraw the last part of that answer.
Is he aware that communities around New Zealand have been led to believe by him that the cycleway project will provide hundreds of jobs in places like Te Aroha, as shown on television last night, which has just lost 160 jobs; and how many real jobs can the people there expect from the cycleway, bearing in mind that only two people have been employed so far?
I do not have the exact details on that, but it is important to understand that those who work on the cycleway are actually employed by the local community, which works in partnership with the project. I can tell the member, though, that the co-funding, which has come on top of the $45 million the Government put in, is over $30 million. That shows incredible local support.
If the cycleway project, the one big idea to arrive out of his Job Summit, is about creating jobs, why did a region like Gisborne, which has 7.3 percent unemployment—above the national average—and whose community got behind the project, miss out on funding, and why was it told that it should not line up for any money until 2012 to 2015?