Steven Joyce

What? No crisis anymore?

Oh dear…Labour launches their ClusterTruck policy early in the week  on nationwide television with a proud and beaming David Cunliffe, and by the weeks end issue a flat press release talking about their “upgrade” for manufacturing.

What sort of a strategist announces a policy for manufacturing the eve of a long weekend holiday?

The funny thing is there isn’t a single mention of the crisis that never was in manufacturing that Labour banged on about endlessly.

Steven Joyce has joined in on the kicking:

Labour’s so called ‘Manufacturing Policy’ once again reheats the same old tired economic policies that would take New Zealand back to the dark days of high inflation, sluggish growth and low-job prospects, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says.

“Labour is stubbornly determined to continue to manufacture a crisis in manufacturing when one simply doesn’t exist,” Mr Joyce says.

“As the latest BNZ-Business New Zealand Performance on Manufacturing Index shows, manufacturing has been expanding for the last 19 consecutive months and 14,300 more jobs were added in the last year. Manufacturing activity is at the highest level since 2006Read more »

Troughing of the Rich and Famous

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Question:  Why would a golf event that is attended by some of the wealthiest people require $1.5M in tax payer troughing dollars?

A golf tournament hosted by Sir Michael Hill at his private course near Queenstown has received more than $2 million from the taxpayer over the past three years despite consistently failing to meet performance targets attached to the funding.

This year’s New Zealand Open pro am – which featured wealthy business people and celebrities such as former Australian cricket captains Ricky Ponting and Allan Border playing alongside professional golfers and business heavyweights at Queenstown courses The Hills and Millbrook – received $900,000 from the Major Events Development Fund (MEDF).

Organisers have applied for another $1.5 million to bankroll next year’s event, with the additional $600,000 to be used to fund live television coverage.

It is a private course.  It is a private event.  Why are your tax dollars going to this at all?   Read more »

Twitter as a political tool

Matthew Beveridge appeared on The Nation to discuss Twitter as a political tool.

He makes the follow extra observations:

1) If you are going to be on social media: Do it, do it properly or go home. There is no point starting a Twitter account and not doing anything with it. There are a number of MPs who are guilty of this, Ian McKelvie, David Parker, Mark Mitchell (though he is now making an effort), Eugenie Sage.  They all have accounts with very low numbers of Tweets. Some with as little as 1. To me, going to the effort of starting an account, adding a profile photo and the like, then not using it is the same as walking away from a conversation. It looks like you aren’t interested in hearing what people have to say. So if you are a political candidate or MP and you are thinking about starting a social media account, make sure you are willing to put in the effort to do it properly, or don’t come out to play.

Mostly they should not come out to play. Most are useless at it and I still don’t believe that any meaningful engagement occurs.   Read more »

National’s blank canvas in science and innovation

National has a page with the building blocks of policy…and one of those blocks is Science and Innovation…unfortunately it goes nowhere.

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Haven’t they heard of the Kerrigan decision?

Sometimes you just have to wonder about how stupid people are.

Landowners in the Mangatarere Valley in Wairarapa say the Public Works Act may be used to forcibly acquire their homes for a private irrigation dam.

The Mangatarere site near Carterton is one of five being investigated by Wellington Regional Council but the council says private investors will build and own the large dam if it goes ahead.

Mike Bennet, who has a property in the valley, says they have been told their land could be taken using the Public Works Act, but he can’t believe the Act can be used as a tool for private investors.   Read more »

Hooton on Labour’s version of crony capitalism

Corporate shill Matthew Hooton calls out David Cunliffe for his own version of crony capitalism.

The most disappointing aspect of John Key’s government is its tendency toward crony capitalism and corporate welfare.

Most passionately debated were the tax breaks and employment law changes for the movie industry after lobbying from Sir Peter Jackson andWarner Bros.

The SkyCity deal involved the government foregoing future revenues from casino relicensing to get a Convention Centre at no immediate cost.

The Tiwai Point aluminium smelter, with annual revenues of over $1 billion, was given a one-off handout of $30 million, an amount which cannot materially improve its viability.

The government tried to keep prices for broadband and landlines artificially high to subsidise Chorus.

These are the best-known examples but seldom does a week go by without Steven Joyce announcing a new handout to some chosen sector or firm.

I don’t subscribe to subsidies, but politicians love the pork.

In his first party conference speech as leader, Mr Cunliffe launched a fearsome assault on National for “tilt[ing] the playing field even further” towards its “mates.”

“[National]’s Hall of Shame,” Mr Cunliffe boomed, “involves those shabby deals with Warner Brothers, Sky City, Rio Tinto and Chorus.”

Quite accurately, Mr Cunliffe reported businesspeople telling him they wanted no part of it. “They want a level playing field that’s fair and transparent, not one set of rules for National’s mates and another for everyone else,” he said.

It was a superb issue for Labour because it unifies everyone from the anti-business far left to the New Zealand Initiative, the resurrected Business Roundtable.

Now Labour has gone and blown it.  Read more »

Cunliffe vs the truth…again

David Cunliffe’s truthiness issue seems to be getting worse. Today he tweets about the regions:

However the facts are quite different

Provincial regions across the country have led New Zealand’s economic recovery from the Global Financial Crisis according to new Statistics New Zealand numbers released today, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says.

Bay Of Plenty, Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay in the North Island, and Nelson/Tasman, Canterbury, Otago, and Southland, have experienced growth above the national average of the five year period from 2008 to 2013, while Auckland, the West Coast, and Waikato have been just under the average. Meanwhile Taranaki continues to generate the highest GDP per capita by some margin.  Read more »

You got to love this Novopay hit job

Headline

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Let’s see what the drama is all about

Southland schools are struggling with new Novopay problems, prompting some to suggest it might finally be time to ditch the plagued system.

The Government has now pledged $43 million to fix Novopay glitches, which have been frequent since the payroll system was introduced in 2012.

Southland Primary Principals’ Association president Ben Witheford said that, after promising signs last year, pay periods this year had been fraught with new “time-wasting” problems.

One staff member had been paid for 80 hours’ work when she had worked only 55 hours, others had found their special allowances suddenly stopped, and wait times for the Novopay helpline, which had improved, were back to unacceptable levels, he said.   Read more »

John should have listened to Whaleoil

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Just because John and I talk doesn’t mean he listens.   But perhaps he now rues ignoring the clear signals that Parata’s trail of destruction wasn’t going to end when he stuck her in the back office after a string of public embarrassments over school closures, and then had Steve Joyce front the Novopay debacle.

And unlike Judith Collins, who has the people’s respect, Parata’s dog tucker.   Read more »

This mate is not for turning

The NZ Herald has gone all in on Judith Collins, deploying everyone to write articles about how terrible it is to support exporters, have a dinner and a glass of milk.

John Armstrong has this headline:

mates

WONKY HEADLINE: John Armstrong shows he knows nothing of caucs sentiment

Well I have news for the tragics of the press gallery…this issue has done nothing of the sort….certainly not from this mate.

Mates don’t go septic with their mates because the media have a bunch in their panties. If anything this has strengthened the resolve of Judith Collins and her political mates.

The more they go on and the more they attempt to ‘get’ her the stronger she becomes. They have now unwittingly given her a massive name recognition boost, successfully shown themselves and the opposition to be hypocrites and bullies, and at the same time managed to soften Judith Collins image and show her as human and not an automaton.

Far more column inches have now been written about a dinner and a glass of milk and words that the minister neither wrote nor approved than any other political story in recent months or even years.

The talk of a leadership war between Steven joyce and Judith Collins is merely wishful thinking on the part of gallery journalists who usually sit in the gallery waiting for a messenger from which ever minister’s flunky or opposition spokesman is wanting a story or lines run.  Read more »