Steven Joyce

There should be no taxpayer money for dysfunctional Team NZ

Team NZ is falling apart and the blame can be laid squarely at the feet of Grant Dalton.

The latest stoush is over Dean Barker who has now called in the lawyers.

A furious Dean Barker has called in the lawyers as the bitter battle over his future with Team New Zealand intensifies.

Barker was left shell-shocked at leaks to media this week that he was to be axed as skipper of the America’s Cup syndicate. His lawyers have written to the syndicate’s board seeking a “please explain” over his treatment.

The campaign for the 2017 regatta in Bermuda was already mired in controversy over taxpayer funding, and now the Herald on Sunday has learned the relationship between Barker and syndicate boss Grant Dalton has been toxic for some time, and that they rarely speak. It emerged this week that Barker only learned he was to be replaced at the helm of Team New Zealand by young sailing star Peter Burling after reading it on Facebook.

The leak occurred while Barker was in negotiations with Team New Zealand top brass. It is understood one of the options being discussed was for Barker to be replaced as skipper, but to retain a leading role within the team.

That now appears unlikely, with the Herald on Sunday learning last night that Barker – left in tears after Team NZ’s heartbreaking loss to Oracle in the 2013 America’s Cup – is set to walk away from the crew if Dalton remains in charge of the syndicate.

A source close to the team said if Barker moves on he will reject any imposition of a gagging order and is preparing to reveal all.

Read more »

Cut the Crap, Andy

Andrew Little made his mark towards the end of parliament last year by telling John Key to cut the crap over his obfuscations under questioning.

Now it is him under the cosh about what he knew, when.

He needs to follow his own advice and cut the crap.

So far the story has been, that it is paid (only after Steve Joyce busted him), and that it wasn’t a worker, but a contractor…now we get the brain fade excuse.

Asked whether he would be surprised to learn Mr McCarten had known a month earlier, Mr Little said “yes, that would be a surprise to me.”

Mr Little said the first he knew that the invoice was not paid was at the end of January.

He had asked for the invoice and paid it on Tuesday this week – the same day Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce mocked him in Parliament for it and almost three weeks after he was told about it.

Mr McCarten did not wish to comment today, but Mr Little defended him, saying the campaign was his own responsibility and was in his capacity as a Labour Party member rather than the leader or an MP. “He [McCarten] was caught in the middle of volunteers trying to sort out a situation.”

He admitted there had been a delay “but once I knew there was an invoice, I paid pretty much as quickly as I could.” ¬† Read more »

Dimpost: “random bewilderingly stupid sh*t for no comprehensible reason”

What do you mean I have to pay my bills?

What do you mean I have to pay my bills?

Danyl at Dimpost offers his opinion on Andrew Little’s bill paying methodology:

If I could distill¬†the Labour Party‚Äôs woes over the last six years into just two words, I‚Äôd probably choose ‚Äėbewildering stupidity‚Äô. The causes are manifold and complex, but the symptom is that Labour and its leaders often do¬†bewildering, obviously stupid things despite the fact the things they are doing are obviously stupid. Think about David Shearer holding up dead fish in Parliament as his poll ratings flat-lined, or Goff dying his hair orange the day before making a major speech, or Cunliffe railing against secret trusts while financing his leadership campaign through secret trusts . . . The list is very, very long. And today:

Labour leader Andrew Little has hurriedly paid an overdue bill but apparently only after the Government used it to embarrass him in Parliament.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce attacked Little over his stance on employment law changes after revealing Little had not settled his bill with National Business Review columnist David Cohen.

Writing in the NBR last week Cohen confirmed he did paid work for Little to help him secure the Labour leadership but four months later was still waiting for the cheque.

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Why are we giving a hand out to a profitable company?

The worst welfare bludgers of all are corporate welfare bludgers.

They should know better, and if they can’t make money without the government hand-outs they should close.

It is even more ridiculous when the bludgers are extremely profitable companies like SkyCity.

They made a truck load of money in the last six months, yet are still wandering around sticking their hand out.

SkyCity Entertainment Group has increased its December half-yearly profit slightly, making $66.6 million normalised net profit after tax, up on its previous $66.4 million.

Read more »

Tell John Key to man up

John Key and Steven Joyce are so off the radar of mainstream opinion on SkyCity that we should be doing all we can to make sure that they man up and tell Sky City to go fly a kite.

The left are jumping on the bandwagon because they see it as a way to stop stupidity tax. But the way I see it is that SkyCity made a deal and John Key needs to ensure they deliver.

The Taxpayers Union has launched a petition they intend to deliver to Parliament. I’ve already signed it.

Sign the petition to stop taxpayer money going to SkyCity.¬† ¬† Read more »

The delusions of John Minto

The next big thing that Hone Harawira and John Minto has got going is Mana News.

And they are straight into bizarre conspiracy theories…and likely a few defamation suits.

Eleanor Catton has managed to reveal the mechanism of the National party media dictatorship this could be extremely dangerous for the survival of our democracy. According to Sean Plunkett you are not permitted to criticise the National government its unpatriotic and against the people of New Zealand.  Too many reporters within journalism have intimate relationships with the national party that are a conflict of interest designed to mislead the New Zealand public. These reporters are holding back real journalists like Andrea Vance. It is unnatural for the press gallery to be uncritical of a seven year old government. The Prime minister office is pouring to many resources into dirty politics and controling the media and little effort to tackle the housing crisis or poverty reduction.

The conspiracy would be more believable if they could spell Sean Plunket’s name properly. I’m surprised that they haven’t substituted every ‘s’ for a ‘$’.

scheme-560x818 Read more »

Trotter gets a bit wonky with his thinking

Chris Trotter looks at Winston Peters and at John Key.

It’s a good article but gets some things dreadfully wrong.

The successful populist politician‚Äôs response will always echo that of Alexandre Ledru-Rollin, one of the leaders of the February Revolution of 1848 in France: ‚ÄúThere go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.‚ÄĚ

To carry off this leading-by-following trick, the populist politician requires both a vigilant eye and an unusually sensitive ear. In present-day New Zealand, for example, only a blind, deaf and extremely dumb populist would assume that to stay behind the rage he has only to hurl abuse at John Key’s government. All he would demonstrate by such tactics is how thoroughly he has missed the fact that John Key is, himself, an extremely accomplished populist leader. What’s more, John Key, unlike Alexandre Ledru-Rollin, has no need to go running after the crowds. Thanks to his pollster, David Farrar, and focus-group supremo, Mark Textor, the Prime Minister knows exactly where the people are going. That’s why he’s so often to be found parked there, waiting for them to arrive.

David Farrar is probably New Zealand’s best pollster…he keeps John Key and Steven Joyce focussed.

Though the article is wrong and shows it clearly in this statement.

Mr Key‚Äôs Cabinet‚Äôs slavish adherence to neoliberal ideology has meant that economic and social policies that could have really assisted the ‚Äúaverage Kiwi‚ÄĚ are consistently ruled out of contention

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Steve Joyce is on a tax payer money giveaway rampage

Far from being a careful steward with our money, Joyce is being exposed as a bit of a spendthrift

Taxpayers will pay $1.9 million to bankroll the next two New Zealand Open golf tournaments despite the predicted economic return falling well short of the requirement for such a large investment of public money.

The Major Events Development Fund investment requires a return of $4.50 for each dollar handed out. The 2012 and 2013 golf tournaments, which received taxpayer contributions totalling $1.15 million, returned $2.55 for each dollar received, documents obtained by the Herald under the Official Information Act show.

The projected returns for the 2015 and 2016 events are in a briefing for Minister of Economic Development Steven Joyce.

But the figures have been blacked out in the version given to the Herald. The report does state that the expected returns “are lower than those that would be expected at the requested level of investment”.

Mr Joyce said the projected return was “just one of the things that is taken into consideration”.

Tax payers shouldn’t be propping up rich people. ¬† What is it with the Government and sports like the America’s Cup and the NZ Golf Open? ¬†Both of these attract extremely wealthy players, syndicates, companies and individuals, yet they think nothing of coming to the tax payer money trough and helping themselves. Read more »

Think of it was a rare event: Everyone except National and Sky City agree – no deal!

Andrew Little has joined the chorus of people telling Stephen Joyce and Sky City to get knotted.

SkyCity must find the cash to meet the shortfall for its international convention centre, Labour leader Andrew Little says.

“A deal is a deal,” he said today. “SkyCity offered to build the convention centre, if they can’t come up with what they now say is a shortfall in costs, that’s their problem.”

Mr Little says there’s no way taxpayers should meet the extra cost.

SkyCity agreed to pay for the $402 million centre in exchange for gambling concessions. The Government kept its part of the deal, and put legislation through parliament.

Now SkyCity is saying construction costs have blown out by between $70m and $130m, and it wants the Government to pay at least part of that.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says that’s the least preferred option. He wants the plans re-examined to see where money can be saved, and he’s suggested Auckland Council might come to the party. Read more »

Sky City turns Steven Joyce into the Labour and Green Parties’ whipping boy

via Newstalk ZB

via Newstalk ZB

Stephen Joyce must be wondering: with friends like Sky, who needs enemies?

Opposition parties are urging the Government not to fund a cost blowout in SkyCity’s proposed new international convention centre in Auckland.

A resource consent application lodged on Friday revealed the centre’s initial $402 million price tag is set to increase by $70m to $130m.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce blamed inflation, and said the cost differential will be addressed through savings on the project, including in procurement. Read more »