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Choices, choices: Golf, PM holidays, or paid parental leave?

Written By: - Date published: 6:40 am, April 16th, 2012 - 40 comments
Categories: Minister for Overseas Holidays - Tags: , ,

Having had 4 weeks off at New Years, a week fluffing around in Korea, and a week’s holiday in Europe, Key is in Indonesia, where his first order of business was a round of golf followed by a BBQ.

While searching for an image of this for a caption contest, I learned something: You know how Key and Boag were both at the same golf tournament when the Nat Civil War blew open? Turns out you and I paid the $500K prize for that tournament.

On an unrelated note, we definitely can’t afford to extend paid parental leave.

40 comments on “Choices, choices: Golf, PM holidays, or paid parental leave?”

  1. A different tone and room for progress on Paid Parental Leave?

    Key: “I think everyone acknowledges mothers having more time with their infants would be an important thing to support. We’re saying yes it’s an important issue, yes we’d love to extend it”.

    English: “…there would still be a conversation about the issue and the Government welcomed that”.

    Shearer: “”It’s important that we move beyond partisan bickering over this important issue and seek ways to advance…”

    The only issue seems to be when we can afford it.

    Can the bill proceed with the added proviso that it starts when we are back in surplus?

    Or could an agreement be reached where one of the power company asset sales allowed an additional 10% of non-voting shares to cover the cost?

    Is there a possible (affordable) Parental Leave solution?

    • Te Reo Putake 1.1

      How about we don’t give away those assets and instead, use the income stream to pay for PPL, Pete? That actually makes financial sense, as you know, but this Government is not about monetary responsibility is it?

      • Pete George 1.1.1

        But that would mean more borrowing, something we need to avoid.

        The asset sale suggestion was a bit tongue in cheek, but if a party wants new policies implemented when they are in opposition there has to be a way to pay for them as a part of the deal.

        • mickysavage 1.1.1.1

          No Pete only those who cannot see past six months ahead of them would think this was a good idea. Long term if an asset returns 18% but interest rates are 6% you would have to be an economic imbecile to think it was a good idea to sell to pay down debt.

          • Tom Gould 1.1.1.1.1

            So the government borrows $500,000 to pay for a golf tournament? How did that escape the eagle eyed scrutiny of the MSM? Oh that’s right, they were looking the other way. But not in the direction of Key taking a two week ‘holiday’ in Europe. No story there.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.2

            Long term if an asset returns 18% but interest rates are 6%

            The NZ Government can secure international funds at 3% p.a. or less.

          • Dan Hansen 1.1.1.1.3

            You do realise even if they were returning 18% (i suspect normalised return much much lower) but lets for the moment assume you right….

            …that the sale price would be such the the actual return to investors whould gravite towards 6% and proceeds to the Government would increase accordingly

            If you dont believe look at yields on IPOS over last few decades – will be in range of 5% to 8% max

        • (A different) Nick K 1.1.1.2

          I think that the government is talking up / manufacturing a debt crisis to make it the focus of all policy.

          There is good debt and bad debt, if the debt is to get money for things that will continue to make money long term then its not the issue its being made out to be.

          To make an analogy borrowing to start a business that will grow into something profitable isn’t something to be avoided. Likewise borrowing to give children the best possible opportunity to be healthy, well adjusted and productive members of society is something that should be shot down on purely financial terms.

          Anyway I find it a little bit encouraging that Key is willing to discuss, maybe they can even vote for the bill in its first reading and not look like a lame duck government having policy go past it against its will.

          He’s still wrong about the veto though, it might not strictly be undemocratic but the way it was announced, when it was announced was clearly in order to have a chilling effect on public engagement at select committee and steal momentum from Labour on this issue. When this is against the will of parliament you are treading a fine line.

          • (A different) Nick K 1.1.1.2.1

            Of course i mean shouldn’t be shot down on purely financial terms

        • David H 1.1.1.3

          “But that would mean more borrowing, something we need to avoid”

          We won’t need to borrow more you moron. All we have to do is to redirect the on going borrowing from Tax cuts for the rich, and other ambitious spending like the Holiday Highway. to things like this.. Simple…

          • Pete George 1.1.1.3.1

            Not with the current government. There’s a reason why the veto is available, to prevent chaos with how our democracy runs.

            For example, long tern highway planning and commitments can’t be chopped and changed whenever a Member’s Bill gets public support. Just the same as things like WFF can’t be tweaked as soon as an alternative way to spend or tax comes up that some bloggers like.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.3.1.1

              There isn’t any long term planning as far as the RoNS are concerned as they’re all useless even in the short term.

              Long term planning would take into account declining road usage and Peak Oil.

    • Hayden 1.2

      Can the bill proceed with the added proviso that it starts when we are back in surplus?

      So, about two years after National are voted out?

    • Blighty 1.3

      “Can the bill proceed with the added proviso that it starts when we are back in surplus?”

      Um. It wouldn’t be passed until 2013 at the earliest. It would phase in over 3 fiscal years (2013/14 to 2015/16). Surplus is meant to return in 2014/15.

      Moreover, there is a billion extra per year in each budget from 2013 on that is unallocated.

      So, the deficit is a non-issue here.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      Or could an agreement be reached where one of the power company asset sales allowed an additional 10% of non-voting shares to cover the cost?

      Ah, right, so UF will allow the total sell off of our assets.

      BTW, selling productive assets won’t cover the costs of an ongoing expense. Keeping them will.

  2. tc 2

    You can get away with a lot when you play that grey old chestnut of building up tourism and enhancing our reputation in major events.

    Gifting casinos more pokies, major studios cash and some law changes, then there those lovely mines that brownless claimed would be great tourism spots.

    The excuses get lamer by the day but then why try as the MSM nor the voting public don’t.

    • Anne 2.1

      +1 tc.

      You can get away with a lot when you play that grey old chestnut of building up tourism and enhancing our reputation in major events.

      Not enhancing our reputation. Enhancing his

      • Jim Nald 2.1.1

        Quite simply, John Key’s government does not think twice or give a hoot when they squander money on their ill-advised priorities for their own interest and to advantage their cronies, but is quick to cry poor and demand austerity when it is in the public interest and common good.

  3. Jenny 3

    The unelectable ogre, English is the real power behind the throne anyway.

    He is to Key what Cheney was to Bush.

    The brutal and nasty extremist thug.

    It is no surprise that it is English who is wielding the undemocratic dictatorial power of the veto.

    When asked whether this decision would have been made by the Prime Minister. English answered: “I have consulted with the PM. Of course.”

    Um, isn’t this a bit back to front?

    Not only is parliament being undemocratically over ruled, it is being done by someone who when he was the leader of the Nats. they couldn’t win a chook raffle.

    • Carol 3.1

      Is it that English is the REAL power or that English gets delegated to front the bad news and has little control at all? In which case, he wouldn’t be a very happy chappy.

      • (A different) Nick K 3.1.1

        I think you are right Carol. Rumours I’ve heard are that McCully and Brownlee have more influence behind the scenes, Key gets to front the happy fluff and pretend to be relaxed and English gets to deliver bad news as the general public never really warmed to him anyway.

        Who knows there is always something slightly sneaky going on with most politicians, more and more is a case of never let true intentions get in the way of a photo opportunity so no one is totally up front about things.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.2

        English is there because the old conservative farming block of the National Party (particularly in the South Island) backs him strongly.

        But that is not enough to give him much sway in current proceedings as the rest of National view him as their past, not their future.

      • Jenny 3.1.3

        Probably why English always wears a scowl. Of course Dick Cheney also always sported a scowl.

        Maybe it is because of how these individuals see the world.

    • Dr Terry 3.2

      Has anyone inquired after the length of time spared for Mrs English to stay home nursing her several babies? Or did Bill “veto” that?

  4. CnrJoe 4

    So councils have to concentrate on ‘core business’ and this Worst. Govt. Ever. is free to flaff around with professional golfers and spreading them some largesse.

  5. Maui 5

    When was John Key due to retire .. ?

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Danyl over at The Dimpost has been having some fun:-

    Sunday

    Success. The ratio of carpet to hallway has now reached the optimum level. I reject criticisms that this is because the hallway has collapsed – it’s true that it’s not performing to the levels I’d like, but it’s still a space inside the house between the kitchen and the TV room.

    Today is a day of rest. It’s been a productive week, and the next seven days are critical in establishing my plans for a super-room, which combines the pantry, shower and garage. I need to build on the momentum I’ve established, and really hammer home the inefficiencies.

    Tomorrow: back-office functions. Moving gas fittings to the front-line, outsourcing sewerage, and migrating the storm-water drains to the cloud environment.

    :lol:

  7. Ross 7

    This talk of needing to be in surplus is a smokescreen. The government can print money if it needs to. Indeed, governments all around the world, including the US and UK, are doing just that. The fact is that PPL and Mondayising holidays are anathema to the Tories.

    • Jim Nald 7.1

      Uh huh.

      ‘They’ print money and tell others there is no alternative. The trick is to do it themselves and stop others.

      Boussef, Brazil’s President, gets it and spoke out against the global ‘tsunami’ of cheap money, unleashed by the US and the EU in the wake of the financial crisis, that is rendering their exports less competitive:

      http://dawn.com/2012/04/02/what-keeps-brics-together/

      Meanwhile, back in New Saleland, the government readies our valuable public assets to be flogged off in exchange for the global tsunami of cheap money?

  8. English says we can’t afford $150 million for parental leave but tax payers can afford
    $650 million to help out the farmers via to ets committments.
    A nat ‘choice’ is to get rid of public service workers because of the cost saving,then
    hires consultants at a cost of hundreds of thousands each.
    ‘Selective’ nat prioritising is strangling the economy,key and english call it re-shaping.
    The sale of the tax payer owned assets is to pay debt,then it is to build schools,hospitals
    etc,now mining,oil drilling,fracking,is also to pay for building schools,hospitals etc,is
    there two account books in the beehive or is the rhetoric given to every minister when
    they have got to get out of a hole,as in Q & A on sunday morning.
    ‘Veto’ yelled english,to key’s horror,so key tried to calm the waters to save some
    angry voters from jumping ship by saying ‘we will look at it later’.
    There are many instances what english and key says, flies in face of the
    real truth,now is a good time to ask key and english “show us where the hell nz is
    heading economically,because we just dont understand the maths of what
    you are both doing to our godzone” I can think of a word beginning with R and it
    has P in it,four letters.

  9. Georgecom 9

    Simple way for English to afford an increase in PPL. Actually do something about your claims of wanting to catch Australia and match their 18 weeks PPL. It’s not the 26 weeks that is being talked about but it will bring us on a par with Australia in terms of weeks leave. Won’t cost a whole lot either English.

  10. eduardo kawak 10

    We already have an FTA with Indonesia so a high-level trade delegation there seems to me completely unnecessary.

    http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2012-04-11/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dilbert%2Fdaily_strip+%28Dilbert+Daily+Strip+-+UU%29

  11. Jim Nald 11

    Nah, no Cabinet rift.

    “English yesterday denied there had been a difference in views.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6755955/No-Cabinet-rift-over-paid-parental-leave

    What is that common saying in China again?
    “Only believe something when the government denies it”??

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    The idea that a Government department can give a nod and a wink to traders that it won’t enforce shop trading laws and for a Government MP to then claim it as grounds for a review of the law is...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Kiwis still paying too much for ACC
    Kiwis are still paying too much for ACC so that the National Government can balance its books, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “ACC Minister Judith Collins told Cabinet levies were too high but ACC’s proposed cuts would impact the...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Collins’ memory recovery raises further concerns
    Judith Collins sudden memory of briefing the New Zealand Ambassador to China about her dinner with a Chinese border official and her husband's fellow Oravida directors raises further concerns about exactly what was discussed, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This...
    Labour | 21-04
  • MP to attend progressive politics conference
    Labour MP Grant Robertson will attend the Progressive Governance conference in Amsterdam later this week. “This conference brings together Social Democratic parties from around the world to discuss how progressive politics should work in the post global financial crisis environment....
    Labour | 20-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold