Steven Joyce

Steve Joyce’s MBIE making bigger troughs available

happy-pig

Steve Joyce’s empire at MBIE is now building even bigger troughs.

The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says.

Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly 200 people in this one Ministry alone being paid more than $150,000 and a whopping 107 individuals earning over $170,000.

“That’s an eye-watering 23 percent increase on the number earning over $150,000 on last year’s total.

“The number of executives earning $170,000 plus at the Ministry increased increase 15 per cent over the same period.   Read more »

Wrong answer Steve

My good friend Steve Joyce has put himself into a bit of a a pickle and shows he doesn’t really understand the game of politics that well.

Sure he is the master of focus groups and polling…but he is like the half-back who is brilliant behind a pack going forward, but as soon as the pack starts dropping the ball and getting shunted backwards problems arise.

Yesterday was one of those.

MBIE is turning out to be a bit of a morass. We’ve had the $70,000 sign, the $140,000 video screen and now we have MBIE providing hair straighteners for staff.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has defended the installation of hair straighteners in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s building.

The Labour Party said the taxpayer-funded hair straighteners were the latest example of extravagant spending by the ministry, which has also been criticised in the last week for purchasing a $70,000 stone sign to display outside its Wellington building and a $140,000 display monitor for its reception.   Read more »

Here piggy, piggy, piggy – MBIE wins waste award from Taxpayers’ Union

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The Taxpayers’ Union have awarded MBIE one of their Government Waste Certificate of Achievement awards for their $140k tv screen.

Porky, the Taxpayers’ Union government waste mascot, this morning visited the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to award a Government Waste Certificate of Achievement to David Smol, the Ministry’s Chief Executive, for the Ministry’s extraordinary lavish office fit out. After some waiting, Mr Smol failed to front, but an MBIE official accepted the award on his behalf.   Read more »

National supports dead beat dads, gives left wing media commentators a budget bonus

Who would ever have thought that National would be seen to be supporting dead beat dads?

It seems incongruous but that is what John Key, Bill English and Steve Joyce have done with their bludgers budget: they have given dead beat dads a write off of their penalty payments.

At least two left wing media commentators will be ecstatic about those changes in the budget.

Prime Minister John Key says he hopes that plans to write off $1.7 billion in penalty payments on parents who missed child support payments will encourage those who have moved overseas to start paying child support again.

Revenue Minister Todd McClay said the overly punitive system had resulted in “paralysing” debts for some parents which meant they had given up trying to pay and thousands had gone overseas.

About 120,000 people had child support debt which totalled $3.2 billion – about half of which was owed by people now living overseas. Only $700 million of the total was in child support while the rest was interest and penalty fees for late payments.

Mr Key said it was the responsibility of liable parents to make child support payments. “They have a legal obligation to pay for their kids and they have a moral obligation to pay for their kids, and they should be doing it.”

However, the Government had to take a pragmatic approach and recognise that many were simply failing or could not afford to meet those obligations.

“We need to breathe the hope into those 120,000 families and individuals who see a hopeless position.

“What we are saying to those people is to come back, start making the principal payments to those low-income families that you owe it to, and we will forgive the interest and we will forgive the penalties.”

Read more »

Time to stop the corporate welfare

The Government says it doesn’t know if the millions it pours into corporate welfare via the Callaghan Innovation fund is helping or benefitting New Zealand.

Sounds like a bloody good reason to end it.

The benefit from millions of dollars of taxpayer-funded research subsidies may be heading straight offshore.

A boat building firm owned by Team Oracle’s founder, American billionaire Larry Ellison, drug giant Bayer, Nasdaq-listed Fiserv and global software firm SAP are all recent recipients of research and development grants from Callaghan Innovation, the government agency charged with administering the money.

But the Government says it has no idea whether any of its investment is actually benefiting New Zealand.  Read more »

After Key. Then what?

When the media regularly speculate about what is to happen after you’re gone, it is an indicator that you are in the autumn of your political career.   Audrey Young assists the process along.

The ponytail saga might have confirmed Mr Key’s infallibility to his hero-worshippers, but it has made talk of his succession a little more relevant.

As was evident in his biography, John Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, his threshold for tolerating failure is low.

In 2012, after a difficult but not disastrous year, he talked to wife Bronagh about whether he was still committed to remaining in the job.

And she was stronger than him about staying on and not be seen to be ”running away”, as he put it.

He has said he will stand again in 2017 because that is what leaders have to say until they change their minds.

But nobody would be shocked if Mr Key changed his mind if his popularity waned, given that his popularity sustains his political drive.

If it happened, it would not happen soon because he would want to recover his respect rather than slink away.

There is no suggestion of a leadership challenge.

Read more »

Rodney Hide: A Routine and Regular Abuse of Power

Guest Post

Annmarie Foidl

Annmarie Foidl

Three weeks ago my mates were summonsed by Senior Insolvency Officer Annmarie Foidl. We all say WT…? I tease them. I am not called.

They turned up as ordered and Deputy Official Assignee Deborah Coles had them swear an oath. They are interrogated by Private Investigator Dennis Parsons and his sidekick Katherine Kenealy, both from InDepth Forensics, Hamilton.

Parsons questioned my mates about my movements and my activities.

Bloody Hell!

I rang Parsons. Kenealy answered and hung up.

I emailed and left messages for chief Official Assignee Mandy McDonald. I heard nothing back. Read more »

Someone needs to tell Dalton he’s dreamin’

Grant Dalton really needs to watch ‘The Castle’ and listen to Daryl Kerrigan.

Team New Zealand will fight for an America’s Cup pre-regatta in Auckland, despite the event’s organisers announcing all races will be in Bermuda in 2017.

Prime Minister John Key said it was “extremely unlikely” the team would get government funding following the announcement on the Cup’s official website yesterday.

Team NZ board chairman Keith Turner told the Herald it “was not the end of the road” for an Auckland qualifying race and the America’s Cup Event Authority’s (ACEA) statement was not legal. The decision was subject to a legal process after the ACEA backtracked on its decision to hold an Auckland event, he said.

Read more »

We’d have a surplus if Key and Joyce didn’t keep splurging on corporate welfare

John Key has announced in a pre-budget speech $80 million more of corporate welfare.

The Taxpayers’ Union is predictably upset.

The Taxpayers’ Union is shocked that the Government is wasting the last $80 million of the ‘Future Investment Fund’ on corporate welfare through Callaghan Innovation’s ‘R&D grants’.

“This is corporate welfare under the guise of ‘innovation’,” says Taxpayers’ UnionExecutive Director, Jordan Williams. “The fund was meant for health, education and infrastructure, not hand outs to private business.”

“Callaghan Innovation gives money to private businesses that pocket the returns. As Sam Morgan has previously pointed out, the main “R&D” component of the grants is the creation of a whole industry who write proposals so companies can cash in.”  Read more »

Northland, polls and polling vs final results

Arts, Lifestyle & Travel blogger David “Pinko” Farrar has a very brief post on the Northland polls.

  • Winston Peters NZF 16,089 54.5%
  • Mark Osborne NAT 11,648 39.4%
  • Willow-Jean Prime LAB 1,380 4.7%

Those polls were pretty accurate.

Read more »