Stephen Joyce

Feral Barbarians at the gates

You’ve probably already heard:  there was a bit of a riot at SkyCity today.  Quite absurdly, Paul Henry, who wasn’t actually involved in the protest nor what was being protested against, walks up for a spot of lunch and becomes the focal point for the deep hatred these ferals have for people who actually work hard and have some money.

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What happens if you type someone’s name into Google Maps?

People think Maps are for places.   Not so.  This is what happens when you ask Google Maps about me

erwer

This one is rather telling… although it’s good to see it’s not a a certain other lawyer’s home:   Read more »

Steve Joyce exemplifies the lack of care for taxpayers’ money

It’s been revealed a senior Cabinet minister spent more than $1200 hiring a car and driver for a day in Australia.

Latest figures for MPs’ expenses show Steven Joyce clocked up the fare on a Government trip to Sydney last November.

“I think the right approach is for us to have somebody drive ministers because it’s the most cost-effective way, and frankly on this day it was a 4am start and an 11pm finish back in Wellington,” says Mr Joyce.

A car and driver were hired for the day, at a rate of $110 an hour. Mr Joyce says that’s because the Australian Government withdrew the use of its cars for New Zealand ministers last year.

He said if a Crown limo was used for the same length of time, it would have cost a similar amount. But Opposition parties say there are cheaper alternatives.

Joyce had the taxi on the meter all day.  He’d hop out and have the driver just wait until he was done with his meeting.

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Steve Joyce just loves giving money to rich people

No sooner have the public scuttled Grant Dalton’s bid for our tax dollars, and Steve Joyce gives a stack load to a company that almost exclusively contracts for Oracle’s America’s Cup racing program.

They say in comedy timing is everything, and after the revelation Oracle Team USA’s Warkworth based boat builders are receiving a government hand out all you can do is laugh.

The punch line is that it comes just days after John Key reiterated that he isn’t prepared to continue his government’s investment in Emirates Team New Zealand, leaving their future in doubt.

The headlines for the original story may have been a little misleading – the funding is not directly for Oracle – but it’s definitely not a good look to be aiding the opposition when the home team is struggling.

Core Builders Composites have built Oracle’s America’s Cup boats since their 2003 challenge and has received the grant for research and development.

That R&D will either be to create a better boat for Oracle to defend the America’s Cup in 2017, or maybe one of Core Builders other big projects like disco balls.

It might not be the only work Core Builders does, but some say 80 percent of the work done in Warkworth is for Oracle.

The company has been described as Larry Ellison’s plaything. Read more »

Budget announcements coming thick and fast

Just to take all the heat out of budget day (21st), the “leaking” has started

Four new state schools will be built around the country as a result of a $244 million spend in the education sector in this year’s Budget, the Prime Minister says.

John Key made the announcement in a pre-Budget speech at Wellington’s Te Papa in front of a Business NZ function this afternoon.

While Mr Key didn’t give many details away about next month’s Budget, he did reveal two details about spending which also included an $80M boost to research and development funding for Callaghan Innovation.

As part of the Budget spend in education, Rototuna Senior High School in Hamilton, a primary school near Rolleston in Christchurch and two primary schools in Auckland – one in Kumeu and another at Scott Point, will be created.

The money will also go into three new kura kaupapa Maori schools in Whakatane, Gisborne and Hastings.

It’s the way to try and control some of the news cycle leading up to the budget.  I mean, who can argue with new schools where they are needed?

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Brent Edwards: the beginning of the end for the Government

Apparently time is up for the Prime Minister, John Key, too.

It seems one by-election is enough to override the general election result of just six months earlier when National won a third term with a greater proportion of the vote than it got in the two previous elections.

Certainly the loss is a blow to National. This is a seat it has held for decades and its previous MP Mike Sabin, who resigned in January, had a 9,300 vote majority.

On any count this was a by-election National should not have lost. But Northland voters told the Government they were not happy with its performance and elected New Zealand First leader Winston Peters as their MP.

It is the by-election National lost because it did everything wrong.   Everything.

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What is Winston’s price for cooperation? Is it to see Key go?

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says Prime Minister John Key is “acting like a spoilt brat” by saying he doubted Mr Peters would work constructively with National.

Mr Key said yesterday reforms to the Resource Management Act would have to be scrapped or diluted because National no longer had the numbers to pass them. He said he doubted Mr Peters would work with National on such issues even if they benefited Northland because Mr Peters was an oppositional MP.

Mr Peters said National had not even put anything in front of him to consider. “I’m not going to have Mr Key roaring when his toys have been taken out of the cot, as they were last Saturday, making these sort of protestations. What you’re getting now is protestations of innocence and good faith which don’t exist. The National Party has not come to us.”

It’s payback time alright.   Read more »

Herald Editorial “suspicious” of Key’s keen scuttling of RMA reform

The Prime Minister was quick to “rip up” the Government’s intended reform of the Resource Management Act after the Northland byelection. Suspiciously quick. He may be oddly relieved to lose the numbers he would need in Parliament to force National’s policy into law. It wants the act’s guiding purposes to include economic development alongside its present list of environmental and heritage protections. It seems reasonable both should be on the RMA’s scales but this is not the first time Mr Key has backed off the idea.

He spent much of the previous term trying behind the scenes to persuade partners Peter Dunne and the Maori Party to drop their opposition to the measure. Last May he publicly announced he had failed to get their support and he said he would take the issue to the election in September. But sometime between May and September the party decided not to make it an election issue and the subject was barely heard in the campaign. Read more »

Is it even possible? Labour even more irrelevant and marginalised

Labour is offering to look at “sensible changes” to the Resource Management Act as the Government takes its proposed amendments back to the drawing board.

“There’s just no question that you’ve got to rip up what we’ve got now, go back to the drawing board and have another go,” Mr Key said.

Last week Environment Minister Nick Smith admitted it would be more difficult for the Government to make the RMA changes it wants if Mr Peters won Northland.

“There is no doubt that if National is not successful in the Northland by-election the job of resource management reform is going to be more difficult,” he said.

Labour’s environment spokeswoman, Megan Woods, says the Government never had broad political support for its proposed changes. Read more »

And so it starts

NZ First leader Winston Peters, who beat National’s Mark Osborne by more than 4000 votes in Saturday’s by-election, promised during the campaign to reverse “decades of neglect”.

He wants port, rail and road improvements he says are vital for the region’s future.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce, who was National’s campaign manager, says losing doesn’t mean shutting out Mr Peters.

“We’ll be more than happy to work with Mr Peters to meet some of the commitments he’s made,” Mr Joyce said.

“We’re also going to focus on some of the things Northland needs to really lift itself up the rankings of the regions.”

Mr Peters says it’s time to put personality politics aside and he expects “a constructive and co-operative approach” from the government.

This is going to be fun to watch.  One thing we do know, when Winston is bought, Winston stays bought.  But he’s generally not cheap to buy.   To see him bring Joyce to heel is fascinating.   Read more »