Steven Joyce

TPPA deal done, cue left wing tears of impotent rage

The TPPA deal has been done overnight and it looks like a good start.

Sure we haven’t got everything we wanted but let’s get some perspective.

  1. It is more than we had before.
  2. Tariffs are massively reduced or eliminated altogether
  3. Access to previously closed markets is now open and largely free of interference
  4. There is a commitment to move on remaining tariffs
  5. Raw dairy didn’t do so well but processed dairy has huge benefits.
  6. Even so dairy has greater access than before.
  7. Pharmac is untouched

We are a small nation, of around 4.5 million, smaller than cities in the countries we have just concluded a trade deal with. We have just gained increased access and lower cost of access to those new markets.

I am struggling to see how more trade is bad.

We have done well out of free trade, it has improved NZ’s GDP, and NZers are undoubtably better off than in the early eighties.   Read more »

Steve Joyce in damage control

Steve Joyce is about to bugger off to China, and was on Q+A doing quite a bit of explaining about why a ministerial ban on the sale of Lochinver Station isn’t really a problem.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce told TV One’s Q+A programme that his Government wants more foreign investment in New Zealand companies – and he thinks New Zealanders will be in favour of it.

“We have a programme where we’re seeking to attract investment, not just international investment but domestic investment as well into our productive companies and the food industry and ICT and high-tech manufacturing. That will continue to go on, and the more investment these companies attract, then the more ability they have to get out there and compete and win on the world stage.”

” New Zealanders ultimately want to see jobs and incomes for them and their families and their kids in New Zealand. And there’ll be lots of growth in the world over the next 20 or 30 years, and the only question is where it is. It’s sort of like a geographic play. We can have more investment in this country or some of that investment could instead be in Australia or in Singapore or in Jakarta or wherever. So if we welcome that investment, if we attract it, we bring it here, that means more jobs, higher incomes, capital invested in our companies. And I think as long as New Zealanders see that and understand that and can see that it works for New Zealand, they’ll be in favour of it because ultimately what they’re really looking for is for the chance for their kids to be successful and grow up and bring up their own families in this country. And we’re seeing that with the shift in migration back to New Zealand that people see that future.”

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Steve Joyce off to China – likely to face numerous “please explains” over Lochinver

Steve Joyce is going to find his little jaunt to China somewhat tedious when he gets lecture after lecture about his dead head ministers stuffing up a deal.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce leaves tomorrow for his second visit to China this year, where he will represent the Government at the New Zealand-China Partnership Forum in Beijing. He will also visit Guangzhou in southern China, a significant economic player in the Chinese economy and a top source of Chinese students and tourists in New Zealand.

The Partnership Forum, which is running for the second time, is jointly organised by the New Zealand China Council and the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges. It will feature discussion among senior delegates from New Zealand and China on a range of topical issues key to the New Zealand-China relationship.

“The purpose of the Forum is to showcase the deepening strategic economic and trade partnership between New Zealand and China,” Mr Joyce says. “Participants from both countries, representing the public and private sectors, will explore the opportunities and challenges at the forefront of the relationship, and contribute to building the foundation for the relationship into the future.    Read more »


Another of Steve Joyce’s chosen corporate bludgers goes under costing the taxpayer

Steve Joyce loves corporate welfare, thankfully one of his chosen recipients didn’t seem to like it that much, but still managed to burn $1.4 million of taxpayer cash.

After Mako collapsed, owing Spark $26 million and a total $30 million in debt, one minor shareholder asked NBR, “How do you lose $30 million?”

He wondered, darkly, what had become of a $4.3 million research and development grant from the Ministry of Science and Innovation (later absorbed into Callaghan Innovation) in 2011

The surprising answer: not much.

“Mako drew down only $1.4 million of the available funding,” Callaghan chief financial officer told NBR on Friday afternoon.    Read more »

Labour’s inconsistent approach to the TPP

On the weekend a few loons who oppose everything, and especially free trade deals, were out protesting the TPPA. Their rationale is that it loses our sovereignty. No doubt many of those protesting will also be lobbying for a flag change to remove our links to Great Britain and in the process lose another piece of our sovereignty.

Of course where there is a protest there are Labour MPs and that is just because it is the only opportunity they ever get to speak to more people than could fit in an old-style phone box.

Stuart Nash rocked up in Napier to speak about TPP and explain Labour’s ludicrous bottom lines. Predictably this has been seized upon by Steve Joyce to point out the disconnect in Labour’s ranks.

Mr Joyce, the Economic Development Minister, said Labour tried to suggest it was generally in favour of TPP and trade deals as a way of backing regional New Zealand but then attended anti-TPP rallies, including in Hawkes Bay.

It shows they are “speaking out both sides of their mouths”.   Read more »

Council of Trade Unions Non Subscription Income


Following on from earlier posts we have looked at the Council of Trade Unions and their income stream. As may be expected the CTU gets income from its affiliates, but surprisingly this is only a very small amount of the money they received in the last financial year.

Subscriptions  Non Subs Income Total Income
Council of Trade Unions $1,611,291  $2,235,954  $3,847,245

Looking further into where the CTU gets its income from, we find they have a lot of what looks like state subsidised money filling their coffers.   Read more »

Would you arrest people that took $3.1B from you and wouldn’t give it back?

If anyone should be arrested for student loan debts it should be Helen Clark.

Inland Revenue is currently monitoring and considering the arrest of 20 overseas student loan borrowers who continue to default on their repayments.

It estimates there are almost 110,000 borrowers overseas who collectively owe about $3.1 billion.

Inland Revenue (IRD) can issue a warrant for the arrest of those who persistently default on their loan repayments.

In the past year, 20 Australia-based borrowers were referred for legal enforcement. Three have now repaid what they owed.

The Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Steven Joyce, said since the campaign to encourage overseas student loan repayments began in 2010, more than $200 million has been repaid.

He said for many it was the threat of arrest that forced their hand.    Read more »

Steve Joyce can’t cope with real people

It looks like Steve Joyce can’t deal with real people…who might talk back at him.

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce’s refusal to meet medical students over the student loan cap is ”extremely disappointing”, New Zealand Medical Students’ Association president Elizabeth Berryman says.

The association renewed its efforts to secure a meeting after collecting more than 20,000 signatures in an online petition, but had been fobbed off by officials for weeks, Ms Berryman said.

”Do we have democracy in this country or not? ‘It’s not that hard for him to give us a response, so why is he being so cagey about it?”

Medical students are lobbying for the removal of the seven-year loan cap, which the association says could prevent some students from becoming doctors.

It will start to affect a few students from the end of this year, but will not be felt broadly until 2017.   Read more »

Robbo grooming himself for another tilt at the leadership?

With Andrew Little’s poll ratings mired below even David Cunliffe’s you have to wonder whether or not Grant Robertson is grooming himself for another tilt at the leadership.

Despite his announcement after being rinsed by Andrew Little off of the back of the union bosses supporting Little, it appears that Robbo may actually be having a crack again.

He has ramped up his publicity…he’s gone after John Key on a privileges complaint and done a soft…and I mean really soft positioning piece with Tracy Watkins at Fairfax.

The whole article doesn’t say much at all other than Robbo is going to do some shouting. Presumably in some country pubs because that is what all Labour aspirants do…cart themselves around the provinces supposedly to reconnect.

It is hard to tell though from the article.

Rugby mad Hurricanes fan Grant Robertson must have shouted himself to exhaustion at the Super Rugby final last weekend, One of his final tweets from the match admitted as much before his phone battery finally gave out from all the tweeting and texting.

Robertson’s approach to the finance portfolio curve ball thrown at him by Labour leader Andrew Little has been nowhere near as shouty as he was forced to rapidly negotiate unfamiliar territory.

Robertson was not the obvious fit; that mantle sat squarely on former finance spokesman David Parker’s shoulders. Always the lateral thinker of the Labour caucus, Parker was the man behind Labour’s  20011 economic platform. He  won widespread kudos for tackling some of the thorny issues – think capital gains tax, monetary policy and raising the pension age – head on. But kudos failed to translate into popularity, and Little’s claim to the leadership was built on a promise to review – read dump – the more unpalatable measures.

Little may be having a rethink as a lot of the economic chickens come home to roost, in the form of Auckland’s housing crisis, particularly in light of Bill English and John Key’s halfway house move to a capital gains tax.

But Robertson’s challenge has been to craft a coherent economic position while waiting on the wider party and caucus to grapple with the fundamentals of which parts of Labour’s 2011 manifesto to jettison, and which to keep or re-package.

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Explaining is losing, so Steve Joyce refuses to answer

As we all know explaining is losing, but there is an alternative, which Steve Joyce used on The Nation…refusing to answer.

Of course that just then leads to accusations of hubris and arrogance…something Steve Joyce has in spades.

Economic development minister Steven Joyce is dismissing talk of an economic recession but admits “the job isn’t done in the economy”.

The economy is facing some challenges but they must be kept in perspective, Joyce told TV3’s The Nation on Saturday.

“We shouldn’t talk ourselves into a funk. We should focus on what we now know works for New Zealand, and that is we’ve seen a recipe over the last five or six years which is really working for this country. This is a reminder that we keep pushing in those directions, that we keep opening up to world trade, that we keep encouraging investment in our economy, that we keep building the innovation in our industries. Those are the things that are important,” Joyce said.

His comments came as a bank economists pointed to further cuts to dairy payouts, interest rates and economic growth forecasts.

[…]    Read more »