Craig Foss

If it is so good John why don’t you invest in it yourself?

John Key is being a bit of a dick over the Ruataniwha scheme, and is suggesting he will ignore the voters of Hawkes Bay.

Prime Minister John Key said he would be surprised if the government did not help with rising costs should the Ruataniwha Dam project make it through legislative and local government challenges.

The Department of Conservation is seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court after the Court of Appeal stopped a land-swap to create the reservoir to irrigate 25,000ha of drought-prone farming and cropping land in Central Hawke’s Bay.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is driving the scheme but an anti-dam majority of councillors recently elected are stalling the project.

Mr Key said the area was a very important food bowl for New Zealand “and every so often there is a drought” costing millions of dollars.

“In terms of jobs and just peace of mind, I think it is important,” he said.

“Obviously there are environmental issues and they need to be considered, but it always struck us that the land swap that they were proposing was quite a sensible way through.”

When asked if the government would help top up the scheme – construction costs were calculated during a construction slump in New Zealand and have risen considerably – he said it was likely.

He said there was a lot of money in the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Irrigation Acceleration Fund “and we are not spending it as fast as we want to, because we are having to deal with these sorts of issues with the Ruataniwha”.

“I find it very difficult to believe there wouldn’t be some cash. That is the purpose of having the fund and it is quite big.”

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Foss in charge of another clusterwhatsit

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The Ministry of Transport has proposed a one-off vision test for drivers when they first apply. For renewals, people would simply have to declare they can see properly.

I beg your pardon?

Eyesight testing for licence renewals has been controversial. The majority of people who fail the tests are later told by their optometrists that their vision is fine for driving.

Studies done for the ministry have found there are few safety benefits from frequent eye tests, and a discussion paper said the changes could save up to $13.7 million over the next two decades, mainly through cutting time spent travelling to licensing agents. Read more »

Balanced reporting: hate to be on the same side as Moroney, but she’s right this time

We were told that lowering the alcohol drink-drive limit would save lives. Logic suggested this was rubbish and would only criminalise people who would have been fine under the old limit.

Turns out the sceptics were right.

There has been only one confirmed road death in which the driver at fault had drunk enough alcohol to put them between the new and old drink-driving limits.

Labour transport spokeswoman Sue Moroney said the single death showed that lower-end drink-driving was not a high-risk area, and that a rise in the national road toll showed the Government’s road safety measures were not working.

A total of 320 people died on the roads last year, compared with 294 in 2014. There have been 52 road deaths so far this year, against 49 by the same time last year.

Before the new limit of 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, or 250 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath, was introduced in December 2014, the Ministry of Transport estimated it would save three lives a year, as well as 64 minor and serious injuries.

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How much of your own money is invested Fossy?

Craig Foss has launched an attack on opponents of the dodgy socialist dam in the HB Today.

Foss is indulging in some sledging of Labour MPs without providing any facts or figures to back up his claims.

Great to see our mayors united and finally endorsing the Ruataniwha scheme.

Welcome aboard, although seriously, why did it take so long?

Where has your united support been for the past three years? I have pretty much been a lone political voice facing the brunt of negativity from the loud minority as I continue to drive support for this project which will deliver job and economic growth for our Hawke’s Bay families.

Perhaps now, we can get behind a 10-year pipeline of water infrastructure investment across Hawke’s Bay. Growers in and around Twyford and across the Bay deserve that certainty.

As the final Ruataniwha decision gets closer, and hopefully succeeds through the courts, I can already sense that some opponents are looking for a way to do a massive U-turn and, finally, come out in support. The following politicians have all publicly opposed the Ruataniwha project: Labour MP Stuart Nash has run advertisements against, Labour MP Meka Whaitiri put up a bill in Parliament to stop it.

Councillors Barker, Belford, Bevin and Graham have fought it at every turn. Yet the project continues to work its way towards success.

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Staunch Fossy stands up to Twitter and Labour/Green/Media Party pressure

The pressure on Associate Minister Craig Foss was immense:  let the Kiribati “climate refugee” and his family with young New Zealand born children stay.

Phil Twyford went on the offensive, saying that Ioane Teitiota was a stand-up guy with a strong work history, loved by his colleagues and appreciated by his employer.

The decision has met resistance, not only from Pacific people, but also from Labour MP Phil Twyford.

“As Ioane’s local Member of Parliament, I have asked the Associate Minister of Immigration, Craig Foss, to use the powers that he has under the law of the land to intervene. He has the power right up until the moment the plane leaves the runway,” said Twyford.

“And if he can’t find it in himself to exercise the passion and common sense to allow Ioane and his family to stay in this country, then I don’t think he’s doing his job properly,” he said.

Labour’s Twyford and The Green’s Shaw (who?) even made a big deal about accepting the petition delivered to parliament by Ioane Teitiota’s lawyer.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The pressure on Craig Foss was substantial.   And yet, he decided not to intervene and overturn the deportation order.

This afternoon, more information about Ioane Teitiota has reached the public.
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More populist tinkering by a third term National

The government is considering raising the speed limit on a few short pieces of road.

Speed limits of 110km/h could be on the way.

Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss has revealed the Government is still considering increasing the speed limit on certain roads.

“There are potentially some roads – very high-class, Roads of National Significance – where that is possible,” Mr Foss said today.

“We are doing a bit of work in that space at the moment, no final decisions yet.

“Potentially the Transmission Gully, maybe the new Tauranga Motorway, the new road north of Auckland, the Waikato Expressway – that kind of class of road is potentially able to cope with [an increased speed limit].”

Mr Foss made his comments after being asked about an Automobile Association report that found a majority of its members wanted an increase in the open road speed limit on top-rated motorways to 110km/h.

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Which MP will be the next to shake down John Key?

The Northland by-election has caused something of a permanent problem for John Key, not just a short-term headache.

If Winston doesn’t win there is nothing to stop him having a go in another by-election, and he has shown that just about any seat, no matter how big a national majority, is in play.

This means Key is in a very difficult position.

He cannot high handedly give Cabinet ministers the arse like he did to Kate Wilkinson or Phil Heatley, or sack them like he did with Maurice Williamson and Judith Collins, or demote them like he did with Chester Borrows and Craig Foss.   Read more »

Minor Losers, Ctd – Anna “Marge” Lorck

Labour’s home wrecker candidate for Tukituki, Anna “Marge” Lorck is another minor loser in our list from the past year.

She reckoned she was going to win by 10,000 but turned out to be a terrible candidate and created bad press just about everywhere she went. As far as bloggers go Marge is a dream candidate as she gives us so many free hits. She has to be the worst candidate in New Zealand outside of Colin Craig, beating even the truly dreadful Sue Moroney who didn’t manage to create anywhere near as much negative press.

took a strong position on Anna “Marge” Lorck from the very beginning.

There are two groups of people who should not be allowed to hold public office, wife beaters and women who break up marriages.

The tipline has been running hot about what an awful woman Lorck is, and how she ruined her business partner’s marriage stealing him from his heavily pregnant wife.

Personal ethics should be the starting point to any political career, not an afterthought that is glossed over.

Lorck should be outed as having appalling personal ethics, and Labour voters in Tukituki should give their party vote to Labour and their electorate vote to another candidate to send a message that homewreckers shouldn’t run for parliament.

I called out Marge for not disclosing here political affiliations when she wrote an op-ed in the paper. Fairfax withdrew the article.

This is pretty shameless stuff going on here. More fool Fairfax for falling for it.

There should however be a disclaimer telling readers that she is the Labour candidate for Tukituki.

UPDATE: Fairfax have withdrawn the article.  

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Fossy’s new non-gay ute?

Word on the street is Craig Foss is looking for a new ute…his gay one is a bit long in the tooth.

Given he is from the Tukutuki electorate something like this might be useful.

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Dodgy Socialist Dam Slammed in Farmer Magazine

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Regular readers will know that the extremely dodgy Hawkes Bay Regional Council, lead by Chairman Fenton “Jong-Un” Wilson, have been promoting a dodgy socialist dam in Hawkes Bay.

These ratbags want the taxpayers of New Zealand and the ratepayers of Hawkes Bay to fund a dam that will make money for 150 farmers and cost the rest of us.

Now an eminent economist and former Head of Dairy Policy at the Ministry of Agriculture has pointed out exactly how dodgy the socialist dam is. The whole article is worth reading, but for those short on time there are some absolute cracker quotes

Fraser said the paper sought to find out if lessons from the “unmitigated disaster” that was the Clyde High Dam on the Clutha River applied to the Ruataniwha Proposal, and what those lessons were, and had they been heeded. The paper said the arguments presented in support of the Ruataniwha scheme were “eerily familiar” to those put forward for the Clyde Dam.

And

“The notion that the Ruataniwha scheme was a regional, let alone, national game changer, was “illusionary” given the economic evaluations commissioned by the regional council’s own investment company showed the entire project had a net present value of minus $27m when discounted at the public sector discount rate of 8% over 35 years”

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