The Nats won’t want Jones fired – not when voters would be robbed of the chance to bridle at being wooed with public funds

Cabinet  Minister  Shane  Jones   is under fire  for  promising  utu against the whistleblower  who told the NZ Herald about his comments at the forestry awards evening.

Jones, adopting Donald Trump’s technique, says he knows who went to the Herald and he’s going to “deal to them”.

“When the election comes around and the Cabinet restrictions have been loosened, then I am personally going to deal to these National Party sympathisers who thought that it was a smart idea to try and have me quivering in a corner by racing to the media.At the appropriate time, I will deal to them as a big-time, NZ First wrestler.”

Commentators  as   diverse  as  Peter  Dunne   and   Heather du Plessis-Allan reckon he has  over-stepped  the mark. Continue reading “The Nats won’t want Jones fired – not when voters would be robbed of the chance to bridle at being wooed with public funds”

Jones spreads more public resources around the Tairawhiti region (without mentioning a political price tag)

First, as Minister of Forestry, Shane Jones is reported to have told people gathered for a forestry awards ceremony that he expected their votes in exchange for the funding he was giving them.

The funding he was giving them?

Actually, it is taxpayers’ money which he has the privilege of distributing.

Next, Jones was called by the Prime Minister to account for his remarks  – and then he doubled down and promised revenge:

Outspoken NZ First MP and Cabinet Minister Shane Jones has vowed he will have his revenge on those he says attempted to make him “quiver in the corner by running to the media”.

He said that as soon as the election campaign starts next year, and his Cabinet responsibilities are loosened, he will be going after his political rivals in the forestry sector.

“Now that they have started this spat, this utu [revenge] is best served cold and I would say, in about nine months’ time,” he told the Herald. Continue reading “Jones spreads more public resources around the Tairawhiti region (without mentioning a political price tag)”

Good for Northlanders – but how about the rest of taxpayers?

Hosannas for one of the latest handouts from the so-called Provincial Growth Fund – a $94.8m “investment” to bring up to operational standard a 54km section of the Northland rail line – were muted, not surprisingly.

NZ’s state-owned KiwiRail, which racked up a $235m loss in the 2018 year, and a $197m loss the year before that, looks as if it will be saddled with yet more loss-making services – but Deputy PM Winston Peters justifies the investment on the grounds the rail line to Whangarei would otherwise become “unsafe” and have to close within 5 years.

Continue reading “Good for Northlanders – but how about the rest of taxpayers?”

Time for a new airport on the North Shore?

Air NZ CEO Chris Luxon raised Defence hackles with his proposal to use the RNZAF base Whenuapai for commercial services. The air force has long resisted this for reasons of security, safety and the absence of land for passenger terminals and parking.

Cynics reckon this is an opening salvo from Luxon who seems headed to Parliament sooner rather than later. Sometimes the airline thinks it is the only business in town.

Continue reading “Time for a new airport on the North Shore?”

Jones and Bollard get into the creation business to decide how best to spend $41 billion

It looks suspiciously like the government has a Biblical adviser to help with the names it gives to new agencies and programmes.

Earlier this week we turned to Google for a translation of “Hokai Rangi”, the name the Corrections Department has given to its widely publicised strategy for reducing (a) prison inmate numbers and (b) the high percentage of Maori in the prison population.

According to Google, the Government wants its brave new touchy-feely Corrections system to become Heaven.

And now we have an announcement from Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones that our new Infrastructure Commission should be known as …

… drum roll, please….

 … the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga.
Continue reading “Jones and Bollard get into the creation business to decide how best to spend $41 billion”

If Seymour has done his sums correctly, each PGF-funded job is costing almost $1m

Provincial Growth Fund supports more full-time orchard jobs.

In May TVNZ took a hard look and decided (according to the headline on this reportJobs created by provincial growth fund may not be quite what they seem.

The report proceeded to reveal:  Continue reading “If Seymour has done his sums correctly, each PGF-funded job is costing almost $1m”

Jones is back in the Waikato with PGF money to propel Te Waka – or perhaps to top it up

We are open to correction, but it seems Provincial Growth Fund fairy dust is not sprinkled in the Waikato as generously as it is in – let’s say – Northland.

A year ago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones met with three district councils in the eastern Waikato – Thames-Coromandel, Hauraki, and Matamata-Piako – to discuss, among other things, the recently launched Guide to the PGF – Powering up Aotearoa – New Zealand’s Regions

A few days later Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau spoke at a meeting in Hamilton hosted by the newly formed Waikato Regional Economic Development Agency about the fund and the opportunities it provides for the region.

“Waikato is full of potential and the Government is committed to working with the region to lift productivity and build on its many attributes,” Fletcher Tabuteau said. Continue reading “Jones is back in the Waikato with PGF money to propel Te Waka – or perhaps to top it up”