What would the Republicans think of Steven Joyce?

This ad outlines the case against Government being the agent of growth, something of a mantra for Republicans. This is very different to here where the allegedly right wing National government wastes hundreds of millions of dollars on corporate welfare. Steven Joyce thinks governments can pick winners, or at least he can, and is frantically picking them all over the place, including massive subsidies for farming intensification.

Lord only knows why the Labour Party haven’t seized on this. They could be bashing Joyce and Bennett as scrooges who will reef money back from the minor league bludgers on the DPB and the dole, but keep dishing it out to the wealthy business bludgers or farming bludgers who keep sticking their hand out.

The Republicans call this for what it is. Socialism. Steven Joyce’s market distorting department and their corporate welfare programs should be cut quicker than the NZSO.


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  • Dutyfree


  • Will

    I’m trying to guess what these “massive subsidies for farming intensification” might be. Assuming you refer to the irrigation projects, would you consider the following points?

    The RMA has made it impossible for farmers to undertake these kind of developments themselves; without government help, they won’t happen.
    NZ was driven into recession in 2007 and drought was a major factor, just as the wet season we are experiencing at present contributed to the last quarter’s impressive growth stats.
    But the real question is, are they just going to give the farmers the water, or will they have to pay for it? I don’t know the answer, I’m not affected by this, but if they are just giving the water away, then it truly is a subsidy. But if, as seems more likely, farmers will pay for the water, where is the problem? Farmers can use the water to create value, and taxpayers get a return on investment. Hardly a subsidy.

    • nasska

       Will’s reference to the RMA is highly pertinent.  Without the ability, actual or implied, of Government to legally enable development it is involved in, the nimbys & Greens will stuff any initiatives that might advance the country.. 

      The RMA allows these arseholes to object & appeal until they derail anything.

      • Blokeintakapuna

        Exactly! It would make for interesting reading all the projects of National significance the Greens, the Taniwha’s and Labour have shot down costing the country untold millions in lost revenue and employment…

        Marsden Point Power Station…
        The $2Bn+ Project Aqua…

        These 2 are likely to be just the tip of the iceburg…

        Could WO compile a list of these projects perhaps? I’m sure there would be plenty of contributers to help get the list together… 

    • Euan Rt

      I think whale is probably referring to this earlier post, 
      While I take his point and it can quite correctly be technically called a subsidy, I would prefer to look at it as an investment as it should directly bring more than the ‘subsidy’ into the country as export dollars. Some economists may even call it prudent use of resources. If such ‘subsidies’ are considered on a case by case basis rather than general across the board subsidies as of old, then the govt is really just partnering and encouraging businesses that are being productive and providing jobs.

  • unitedtribes

    American farmers enjoy massive subsidies and are also protected by import duties

  • Hang him

    I think you are barking up the wrong tree here WO, in America the small farmers get nothing it is the big corporations that pull in billions of farm subsidies, also they lock out most competition from overseas and subsidies exports of agricultural products massively.
    Also if you are talking irrigation schemes most are longterm loans that are paid back by the user (user pays).
    If you want to talk subsidies, why is Len and his mates trying to get the rest of NZ to pay for his hair brain schemes, its seems when it comes to Auckland user pays never applies.

    • Neil

       Agree with your comment – amazing that Monsanto has now bought one of the companies whose main roll was to monitor the use of genetically modified crops and food products for safety………talk about the poacher turning game keeper – bang goes any truth from that quarter.

  • The Gantt Guy

    Whale, the fact is New Zealand should be renamed the Democratic People’s Socialist Republic of the Long White Cloud. NZ has had a century-long love affair with Big Government Statism (Socialism), to the point where the vast majority of kiwis believe there is no problem either so big or so small that a government program cannot solve it. That so many member if the allegedly centre-right National Party caucus would be right at home with the lunatic left green party speaks volumes. There are maybe 2 current National MPs who would not be Democrats in America, and even those 2 would be considered RINOs, or moderates.

    Certainly the likes of Joyce, English, Mad Nick Smith, Brownlee are all in favour of a centrally-controlled economy, even after seeing what Muldoon almost did to NZ.

    And the fact that the only 2 politicians who have ever tried to introduce any element of the free market into the NZ economy are so hated and vilified, also speaks loudly about New Zealand and New Zealanders. It really is the Cuba of the South Pacific!

  • parorchestia

    Hang him is right on all counts. The US can afford massive agricultural subsidies since it such a small sector (12th last time I looked). The Florida cane sugar subsidies have been pilloried by many US commentators, but without any changes being evident. Politics —
    NZ suffers from the same syndrome my children did when they were toddlers – “Me Do”-ism. They rushed in to do tasks that were quite beyond them, but they were keen and did not realize that they couldn’t do them as they were beyond their capabilities. Our political parties of all hues believe they are the only ones who can do, which is a nonsense of course. The US is being saved by its vigorous and innovative private sector. Our government wants a tame private sector that tugs its forelock and does what it is told. No wonder we have sunk from No 1 to No 26 in the OECD stakes!
    Once we were a rich and innovative country. We can be again, but not with present policies. National squandered its first term when it could, should have made structural changes in the economy. We are now paying for their timidity and will continue to pay for decades to come, especially if “spend-up-big” Labour get back into power.
    As for Auckland – dead right. It needs to be more productive and pay its way. Len should be told firmly that we are not going to have yet another subsidy for this city. It must be a case of user pays. Aucklanders do not use the trains they already have. Why does he think they will change the habits of a lifetime?

    • unitedtribes

      Dont forget the tall poppy thing. Its hard to get out and do it in this country without getting blasted by all and sundry

  • Neil

    Good use of the word allegedly Cameron – I tire of some of the responders here still thinking we have left and right major political parties here – apart from the main individual players there’s bugger all difference at present – it’s some of the reason why I still think National got in due to voters being sick of the same old same old from Labour rather than National winning with their policies…..as a country we desperately need points of real difference and some positive leadership instead of this meandering nit picking.

  • parorchestia

    you are quite right, Unitedtribes. It is a real problem.