Steven Joyce

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.

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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.

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The vacuity of Andrea Vance’s analysis

Andrea Vance was spreading propaganda for the Joyce faction in her recent column, but she needs to understand some basic facts about the National Party. Otherwise her opinion is based on factual errors and flawed logic. In the interests of getting decent journalism from a paid journalist there will be a series of posts pointing out the errors in her analysis.

The first point is that the National Party leadership is decided by the National caucus.

To win the leadership you have to have the support of the majority of the caucus. There are no formal rules, and previous leadership battles have either been concessions of defeat or a two candidate race. In the event there are more than two candidates it is expected that the leadership race will be run the same way as selections, with the lowest polling candidate dropping out and votes taken again until there is a winner by majority.

The contention that Steve Joyce and Paula Bennett are presumed replacements for John Key needs to be checked against whether they would win votes from half of caucus.   Read more »

Fat Tony on Northland

Mike Williams aka Fat Tony has a column in the Hawkes Bay Today about Steve Joyce’s Northland debacle.

MAKE no mistake, the outcome of the Northland byelection last Saturday is a political boilover of seismic proportions.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters won one of the National Party’s safest seats with an election night majority of more than 4000 votes, erasing a National Party majority of over 9000 votes in the general election just a few months before. Winston Peters’ final majority is likely to increase when the nearly 1000 newly-enrolled special votes get included in the total.

This 13,000 vote turnaround is unprecedented in our political history, but it is the internal dynamics of Peters’ triumph that should give Prime Minister John Key and National Party campaign manager Stephen Joyce pause for very serious reflection.

Apart from a governing party losing a safe seat, two statistics set this contest apart from any previous byelection. About half of the voters chose to cast their ballot before election day and the level of participation was huge.

The early voting phenomenon is unprecedented, and it exceeds a trend in recent polls.

The turnout level is a genuine abnormality. It has been a rule of thumb for years that byelection turnout levels are half of the previous general poll. The Christchurch East byelection saw 13,000 electors vote compared with the 28,000 who had voted in the previous general election.

This is the established pattern.

Northland broke that mould. With 28,000 voting in the byelection, this wasn’t much short of the 34,000 that voted in the general election five months before.

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I can’t believe Andrew Little still has not spoken to Winston Peters

Unbelievably, since Andrew Little has become Leader of the Opposition, he has barely spoken to Winston Peters and even more unbelievably he hasn’t het met him since Steve Joyce’s Northland debacle.

Claire Trevett highlights the bizarre situation.

The member of Parliament-elect for Northland, Winston Raymond Peters, returned to the House this week, a Phoenix rising, a man transformed.

Strangely, the result has quite gone to Labour’s head. It is acting as if it won the byelection. For the past two days, Labour MPs have strutted in and asked a number of Northland-related questions in Parliament.

Leader Andrew Little and other Labour MPs dedicated their general debate speeches to rubbing National’s nose in the dog poos that was its campaign. Little has also talked about working more with Peters to build a united, strong Opposition. Labour seems to think sending its voters Peters’ way has bought it coalition insurance, a strong comrade-in-arms.

Little best invest in a long spoon before he starts attempting to spoon Peters.

Labour voters did help Peters but at least 9000 of his 15,400 votes did not come from Labour.

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Good, now taxpayers are off the hook at last, but Dalton is clinging desperately to the trough

Steve Joyce must be breathing a sigh of relief as he gets and escape clause from having to pour more corporate welfare into Team New Zealand.

But the idiot Grant Dalton, who these days tends to think with his little head is deciding to waste more taxpayer funds by challenging the organisers.

Team New Zealand are challenging a decision by the America’s Cup Events Authority to ditch Auckland as host of the qualifying regatta in early 2017.

But chief executive Grant Dalton says regardless of the outcome of any hearing “this is not the end of Emirates Team New Zealand”.    Read more »

Why complacency won’t be an option for John Key

John Key and Steve Joyce are fobbing off concern over the debacle in Northland.

They are apparently unconcerned because the polling numbers for National nationwide don’t appear to be affected…which is strange considering Steve Joyce was saying Farrar’s numbers were wrong for Northland, but are surprisingly right for the country.

But this sort of complacency is bred by arrogance…and if they haven’t learned from the shellacking Winston Peters handed out to them on the weekend then there is more pain to come.

Asked how he would deliver, Mr Peters said the Government could not afford to ignore the result and would be “on the road to oblivion” if it didn’t listen to the message Northland sent. He predicted other regions would pick up the discontent in Northland and punish National in the same way.

He spoke about boosting the three Fs of regional industry – farming, forestry and fisheries.

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Key dying in a ditch for Steve Joyce

John Key is dying in a ditch defending the campaign debacle overseen by Steve Joyce.

Prime Minister John Key admits National has been delivered a message by Northland – but rejects suggestions it is a tipping point for his Government.

Key told Stuff Peters ran a good campaign and had massive name recognition up against a relative unknown, National’s Mark Osborne.

But the win was a result of unique circumstances, including Labour throwing its weight behind Peters, turning the contest into a two horse race. People should not read much more into it than that, he said.

“We congratulate him on the win. We will take away some lessons from last night. It’s a simple thing for our opponents to claim it’s the beginning of the end but it really isn’t and it would be massively overstating it (to say otherwise).”

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Peters to resign from list so NZ First can score another MP

Life just got tougher for John Key with Winston Peters confirming he will resign from the NZ First list after his win on Saturday.

That means NZ First will bring another MP into parliament increasing the opposition umbers by one and National reduced by the loss of Northland.

Northland’s new MP Winston Peters has confirmed he will resign from the list – making it harder for the Government to govern.

The NZ First leader, who convincingly wrestled National’s strong hold on the electorate by more than 4000 votes, told Radio NZ’s Morning Report that there was never a question that he would resign as a list MP.

“Of course I’ll resign, I don’t know why it was ever a material question.”

Under MMP rules, Peters resigning as a list MP means the next candidate on NZ First’s list can enter Parliament.   Read more »