Innovation and Employment

Labour continues to highlight Steve Joyce’s MBIE excesses

Labour continues to focus on the small beer…and to act like the Grinch who stole Christmas.

For a ministry the size of MBIE $20,000 is bugger all….but it’s all Labour has got.

A government department’s spending on a Christmas party has been labelled as unbelievable.

The Labour Party said the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment overspent on its already excessive budget of $20,000 for the event.

The party’s economic development spokesman David Clark said minister Steven Joyce should step up and apologise to taxpayers.   Read more »

Reader Content: A lesson in being stonewalled

by Rodney Hide

Whaleoil Readers may remember I have been trying to find out why the Insolvency and Trustee Service has had private investigators asking questions about my activities and movements.

My best mate Hendo is bankrupt — and they are investigating him; after all, everyone else has had a crack — but the Service has no power or authority to be investigating me.

My friends and colleagues have been detained without charge and compelled to give testimony by a Mr Dennis Parsons and a Ms Katherine Keneally from the firm Indepth Forensics Ltd. The two on behalf of the Official Assignee have hovered up information about me, my friends, my family, up to and including the health status of my mother- and father-in-law.

I am anxious to know what they want to know and why.  And why they have never approached me.

I have emailed and rung the Official Assignee Mandy McDonald to no avail. I have been to her Christchurch office to be told by Deputy Official Assignee Robyn Cox that she knows nothing of the investigation and that her staff were present at the interrogations only for the purpose of administering the oath.

She then called a security guard should I return. The security guard was employed for a week. I know because I took him coffee each morning with the promise I would be back the next day.

I have been to my local MP Nicky Wagner.  She secured me the Official Assignee’s assurance that I am not under investigation but this is patently untrue.

I have rung Indepth Forensics only to have them hang up and they refuse to answer my emails.   Read more »

Steve Joyce’s MBIE making bigger troughs available


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


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 »

Rodney Hide on insolvency and the wild west of the industry

Rodney Hide writes in the NBR of the gobsmacking arrogance of the Official Assignee, the lack of accountability and the general parlous state of insolvency.

I have hitherto reported the Official Assignee of New Zealand, Mandy McDonald, spending a gobsmacking $835,000 administering Jamie Peters’ bankruptcy.

I wanted to find out how she spent the money, first, to tell astonished NBR readers; second, to make an uninvited report to the minister; and third, to complain to the Auditor General.

I made a s.227(2) application under the Insolvency Act 2006 to inspect the Assignee’s accounting records.

I had a back-and-forth with a number of staff and finally received a “statement of receipts and payments” from Robert Rendle, Lead Business Registries, Legal Services, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The statement was three lines long. Now remember, the Official Assignee excused the $835,000 cost because Mr Peters’ bankruptcy was “complex.” And here it was, “sale of assets: $388.35; legal fees: $288.79; service of documents: $99.56.” That’s it.

That three-line statement of receipts and payments perfectly illustrates the lack of transparency of the New Zealand Insolvency Service.

The Official Assignee tells us how she spent the $388.35 she raised from Mr Peters’ estate but not the $835,000 plus of taxpayers’ money she spent getting it. Our spooks and spies are more forthcoming than the Official Assignee. And less intrusive.

Read more »

Makes Sense

NZ Herald

It looks like someone in government is doing their job. If only they would put the Defence Force spending under their control then they wouldn’t be tucked with single bidder non-public tenders that help boutique vineyards near Nelson to flourish:

John Ivil is the $300 million man – that’s the amount of money he and his team of public servants have saved the taxpayer in two years.

The former army logistics officer heads a team of negotiators who have turned the Government’s approach to spending money on its head.

Government departments have always taken an individual approach to buying goods and services, with $30 billion spent by agencies, hospitals, local councils and schools.

Public servants need cars, flights and office supplies, and each agency will head out into the market to try to strike the best deal with taxpayer money.

Now Mr Ivil and his team of 30 people at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment promote the Government as the “customer of choice”, using the combined purchasing power to drive costs down and secure discounts.

Instead of Government departments going looking for the best deal, they now have the best deal looking for them.

Mr Ivil said his team had made $293 million in savings over the life of contracts secured so far (five to seven years).