Stu Nash is the man who got away from the Labour Party. They wanted more poofters, maoris and unionists so they looked less like modern New Zealand, and Nashy isn’t any part of this, even if he does appeal to middle New Zealand.
Nashy also struggles in Labour because he isn’t a total socialist. This also means he wouldn’t fit in National who believe in socialised farming, and subsidising the bludgers who want free water and a free right to pollute.
He’s written a good article on why Hawkes Bay shouldn’t be pissing away $600m on an irrigation dam.
The Ruataniwha Water Storage scheme is being promoted by the HB Regional Council as the single biggest economic development project for decades. In terms of total spend, this is undoubtedly true. The question is, however, if given a choice as to how to spend $600 million driving economic development, is a dam the best use of scarce funds?
Nashy just lost the bludging farmer vote, who want the taxpayer to kick in for a big dam so they can get a big capital gain and make bigger profits. And by the sounds of things it won’t bring more work for the unemployed in Hawkes Bay, it will just bring in lots of cheap foreign labour.
The Ruataniwha dam project will create employment, but it will largely be the type of jobs that are currently taken by seasonal labourers on the RSE scheme who come in to pick our fruit. As many will know, we have an immigrant workforce that comes into the Bay around November and leaves once the picking season is over. They are very efficient and the fruit growers love them due to their work ethic and reliability. While I don’t doubt their efficiency, the problem is that nearly every dollar these workers earn is sent back to the homeland. Very little is spent in the local economy.
The Minister of Immigration says it is wonderful for our foreign aid programme. That may be the case, but it is dreadful for our local economy and struggling communities.
The jobs created by the development of the dam may well be the same. Many of the agricultural labouring jobs across the country these days are taken by Filipino workers. Again, because their work ethic is tremendous and they are prepared to work long hours for very little.
Socialism and foreign aid. Sounds like exactly what National pretends to stand for.