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The Standard

Mr Fucks It

Written By: - Date published: 9:29 am, March 16th, 2013 - 41 comments
Categories: jobs, Steven Joyce - Tags:

In what is sure to be an interesting test of our amnesty, I want to point out that Steven Joyce is probably the most over-rated politician in living memory. The man has literally never achieved anything. He lost the unloseable election, his fossil fuels-centric economic policy is a predictable failure and he has completely failed on jobs. And what’s he managed on Novopay?

Steven Joyce came to the job with the background of being a successful businessman and National’s campaign strategist in 2005 and 2008. But scratch the surface –

Joyce went from being a small time radio host to owning the RadioWorks empire in the 1990s. When you read the bios on him, how this transition happened is seldom mentioned. What happened is he exploited Maurice Williamson’s shabby selling off of the radio spectrum to get a hell of a lot of value while paying the taxpayer next to nothing. Winston Peters related the story nicely earlier this year:

Mr Steven Joyce poses as a self-made millionaire, but every morning he rises, he points his head towards not Mecca but Pakuranga, and he goes down on his knees and he thanks a man called Maurice Williamson, who in the early 1990s was Minister of Broadcasting and under a Vickrey sales process gave him, literally, broadcasting licence after broadcasting licence for a pittance. Mr Joyce bid the highest bid, but under Mr Williamson’s programme he was required to pay only the second-highest bidder’s bid. Do you like that? Do you like that? So he bids $1 million for the licence, Mr Banks bids $100,000 for the licence, and I bid, say, $50,000. Mr Joyce, in this case, gets the bid because he had the highest bid, but he pays Mr Banks’ bid of $100,000. What do you call that? It is a rort, and that is how he became this extraordinarily wealthy, self-made man, who now knows all about exports too, because, apparently, he is in exporting. We know what he is exporting: people

So, Williamson was doing these ‘efficient in theory, incredibly open to rorting in reality’ spectrum sales and Joyce puts in crazy bids knowing that hardly anyone else would be bidding and walks away paying hardly anything at all. Williamson should have got a valuation and then negotiated with buyers who would exceed that value – instead he gave the spectrum to a National crony for peanuts. In return, National got a radio network that ran a hell of a lot of National propaganda (I still remember the Brash interviews on The Rock – the DJs trying so hard to make him cool). That’s only lessened very recently, once Joyce had been forced out.

The ‘self-made man’s next triumph was as campaign manager in the 2005 election. He was obsesses with ‘optics’, which is why he had Brash climbing in and out of tiny cars and walking planks, and talking about his candidates’ testicles on TV. Cutting a dirty little secret deal with the Exclusive Brethren was his biggest triumph. The irony was the EB’s ‘campaign’ was a bunch of hysterical,counter-productive nonsense in unreadable pamphlets. And when it came out – as anyone with any game would know was inevitable – it cost National the election. The aftershocks later cost Brash his job.

What about 2008, you say? Yeah, cause running small target with a photogenic leader against a third term government was soooo hard.

Which brings us to Joyce’s performance as a minister. What has he actually done?

Anyone?

Can anyone name an achievement of Steven Joyce as a minister of the Crown?

How’s the economy going? How’s the mining, oil, and gas agenda going? It takes someone pretty special to fail to get a fossil fuel agenda humming in a world of increased resource scarcity.

All Joyce seems to have produced is a lot of bluster. He even wrote the bluster down and put pretty pictures around it and called it the 6-point Business Growth Agenda. In its short life so far, the only work we’ve seen out of Joyce’s Mobie super-ministry is the six turgid volumes of this agenda – which has blossomed into Joyce’s ‘300 initiatives‘ (not to be confused with his completely different 120-point economic development action plan).

If making ever more detailed lists of petty things you would like to do was a virtue, Joyce would have been in the running for pope. But it’s not, it’s just a cheap trick that the useless learn to look busy when they’re achieving fuck all.

And Novopay. Two months and nothing has happened. No decision on whether to keep or ditch the system. No fines for Talent2. It’s clear what Joyce’s strategy is – wait for the fixing process that had begun before he got the job to work out the bulk of the bugs, declare victory, and claim the credit for himself.

But let’s go back to Joyce’s core role – Economic Development. Effectively – Minister for More Jobs.

How’s he doing? 30,000 jobs lost last year, including 17,000 in manufacturing. Let’s assume Joyce works a 60 hour week – that means every hour he spent as Economic Development Minister, 10 jobs were lost last year.

Mining, always a minor employer and completely inadequate as a cornerstone economic policy, is also losing jobs. The foreign oil companies have come, had a sniff around and left. The coal companies are on the verge of collapse.

The fossil fuel agenda has failed. Meanwhile, a real large-scale employer, manufacturing, has been ignored and hung out to dry by Joyce. Which didn’t stop him skiting yesterday when some tinpot surveys suggested things were looking up:

joyce manufacturing

And, then literally 2 hours later, this happened:

geon collapse

Christ, what a fuck up.

41 comments on “Mr Fucks It”

  1. irascible 1

    And now he’s in charge of Novopay… any guesses on how quickly that management turns belly up?

  2. ianmac 2

    It is his smug arrogance that bugs me. He treats the population with contempt and like an unscrupulous second-hand car salesmen, he glosses over the realities that might show the flaws in his arguments. Like Mr Key really.

  3. tc 3

    Style over substance. Joyce talks a good game and bullies in public and behind the scenes knowing exactly how to line his own and the hollowmens pockets.

    He’s really one of the better performing ministers based on their success measures being plunder and spin to name a couple.

  4. QoT 4

    The story of his “self-made” mythology is illuminating and if more widely-reported would really allow people to gain an informed opinion of Joyce’s actual business acumen. No wonder I hadn’t heard it before.

  5. Jared 5

    “In return, National got a radio network that ran a hell of a lot of National propaganda (I still remember the Brash interviews on The Rock – the DJs trying so hard to make him cool).”

    Except at that stage Joyce had sold out to Canwest…
    But you know, if it makes the story sound better!

  6. ordinary_bloke 6

    Very good point Eddie, but Winston also deserves credit for bringing it up.

    In a democracy you have to work with the people you’ve got .. I can’t see
    someone like Graeme Hart standing for Parliament.

  7. Rogue Trooper 7

    according to the MSM, there is expansion in the manufacturing sector; in food, beverage and tobacco related products. Yep! going great guns Steven, sorta like Steve MacDonald’s love life!
    (lotsa f*cks, little real progress, only the women coming out on top)

  8. prism 8

    My Joyce meets NACTs standards – he is a fluent talker, with an answer to everything that puts him and them in the right, he made a lot of money and did that by manipulating words and the broadcasting market. The perfect man to advance an already hollowed out economy with joblessness, falling wages and specialising in aimless technology such as lots of laser lights which are pointed at the people so they can never see clearly where they are going.

  9. One Tāne Huna 9

    Joyce’s personal history demonstrates yet again that a wingnut’s worst nightmare is the fact check. Unfortunately New Zealand media doesn’t know what a fact check looks like.

  10. Georgy 10

    He treats the population with contempt and like an unscrupulous second-hand car salesmen, he glosses over the realities that might show the flaws in his arguments. Like Mr Key really.

    Which is how they ran their 2011 election campaign. No engagement by any national MP.

  11. Mike 11

    And you can add to the list: the clusterf*ck with ‘Ultrafast’ broadband & Chorus as well as the big white whale of MoBIE

    • MrSmith 11.1

      And remember Telstra Clear, anyone?, Joyce ran them out of town basically by handing his mates at telecom most of the contracts, so we will be stuck with a Monopoly/ part duopoly for the next 10 to 20 years at-least thanks to mr Joyce.

  12. ghostrider888 12

    Let Us Not Forget;
    the ramifications of No (or too much) vopay to rumble on for two more years (read it in the paper so it must be true, corroborated by the tele, so it must be canon.

  13. Poission 13

    less then 3 months after opening the new rd test site in ch-ch Skope has reduced to 4 day weeks.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/8000687/Global-refrigeration-tested-at-home

  14. Tim 14

    Why single out Joyce? What exactly has John Key achieved aside from the accumulation of millions ‘on the back of’ [to coin a money market phrase] the hard work of others and rolling the doice.
    And Maurice Williamson! What I’d really love to know is if & WHEN he (OR people he had a beneficial relationship with owned TELECOM shares. Some of you might recall during the previous run of the Nats, Williamson being lauded as the tech-savvy Mister Intelligent. Never was, never was.

    These are very sleezey people. But just as Hobbits slumber through it all now, SO TOO did the third term of the last Labour Gubbamint – you know, the one that had the opportunity to do so much, but instead slipped into complacency, self-agrandisement and an old guard sense of entitlement and decided to have a wee lay down.

    And now they would have us believe the common enemy is NActs – whereas its arrogance, the self-entitlement, the spin, the naturalisation of bullshit and playing the game of commercialised media.

    We’ll see. They (Labour) should have considered that at some point, people of principle might be fed up with voting for least worst options.
    They actually survive in the same manner many of our buzniss leaders do – BLUFF.
    As you suggest Eddie – dig a little deeper – since we’re without a 4th Estate, noone else will

  15. BM 15

    Joyce is doing a great job with Novo pay.
    !% error rate and it’s only going to get better
    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/govt-releases-pwc-report-pay-period-25

  16. karol 16

    The 120 point economic development plan, as linked in Eddie’s post, makes interesting reading.

    how have these parts of the plan boosted jobs and the economy?

    Rebuilding Canterbury
    120 Training for the rebuild: Provide up to 4500 places for construction-related training
    in Canterbury and around the country.

    105 New Zealand Cycle Trail: Develop a series of 18 Great Rides around the country
    to attract tourists and support regional economies

    Employment law
    28
    90-day trial: Introduce voluntary 90-day trial periods for new employees to
    encourage businesses to take on new staff. Completed
    29
    Personal grievance reform: Reform the personal grievance system to reduce delays,
    costs, and vexatious claims. Completed
    30 Holidays reform: Give employees the choice to trade one of their four weeks’
    annual leave for cash. Completed
    31
    Keep The Hobbit: Clarify the status of independent contractors in the film industry
    and secure the filming of The Hobbit in New Zealand. Completed
    32
    Starting-out wage: Establish a new wage to lower the barriers to work for our
    youngest workers, who are being priced out of the job market.  New policy
    33
    Collective bargaining: Improve the collective bargaining process to reduce
    bureaucracy and costs.  New policy
    34
    Constructive dismissal: Review how allegations of constructive dismissal can be
    better managed.  New policy
    35
    Flexible Working Arrangements: Grant the right to request FWAs to all employees,
    and allow employers to agree without having to go through a formal process.

    And the priorities for rebuilding Christchurch seem to have missed something?

    Rebuilding Canterbury
    19
    Earthquake Recovery Fund: Use $5.5 billion for the Government’s share of
    rebuilding essential local infrastructure and repairing Crown-owned assets. In progress
    20 Temporary stadium: Underwrite a temporary 17,000 seat stadium to ensure
    Cantabrians can enjoy the benefits of major sporting events.

    Rebuilding Canterbury
    120 Training for the rebuild: Provide up to 4500 places for construction-related training
    in Canterbury and around the country

    • karol 16.1

      Edit: This isn’t a quote but my comment –

      And the priorities for rebuilding Christchurch seem to have missed something?

  17. pollywog 17

    General Rumblefuck…generally rumbles on and achieves fuck all.

  18. David C 18

    I cant decide who I would rate as most overrated polly in NZ…Nanaia Mahuta or Jacinda Ardern…one rides the gravy train thru being born brown and into the right Iwi,…and the other has the nice teeth….hmmmm….

    • felixviper 18.1

      I don’t understand the comment about the teeth, or what it has to do with being an overrated politician.

      Care to explain it for those of us just waking up?

      • lprent 18.1.1

        Care to explain it for those of us just waking up?

        Gloating is not a good look. I got dragged out of bed for a social brunch with family at some ungodly hour of the morning.. 😈

        That rain looks pretty persistent

        • felixviper 18.1.1.1

          Yep, quite pleased about the rain. Especially enjoyable from the horizontal perspective 😀

          • lprent 18.1.1.1.1

            Well I can tell you that the “it was only drizzling when we went in for brunch, but now it is hosing down; the car is an infinite distance away; and oh shit who carries a umbrella in a drought” feeling is not a warm fuzzy

  19. David C 19

    I see someone has changed my icon thing for me….hmmmm….

  20. georgecom 20

    Stephenn Joyce – Minister of 300 small ‘initiatives’.

    Minister of the insignificant?
    Minister of minor ‘initiatives’?

    ‘gonna do’ Key comes out with grandiose statements about what Natioanl will do, is gonna do…

    …and then nothing happens.

    “relentless focus on jobs”, “rolling maul of initiatives”, “build a brighter future”, big talk, big noise etc etc…

    …and then nothing.

    I guess Stephen Joyce is part of the nothingness. Key can’t be part of the delivery of the big talk as he is more about image than substance, being the front man.

    The heavy work relies on senior ministers like Joyce.

    Not much to show.

    • xtasy 20.1

      georgecom: “relentless focus on jobs” –

      This may sound irrelevant in a way to you, but to beneficiaries it is causing constant distress, pressures and fear on a daily basis. This is what the Nats do in welfare now, and the unemployed will know what I am talking about. The Nats have under Bennett, Key and consorts instilled so much fear and distress, it makes some beneficiaries sick. When you are forced to go and look for work, to do all to get a job, have to present to a case manager 20 or more efforts a week (documented) about trying to get a job, where there hardly are any, then this causes serious harm to mental and physical well-being.

      No wonder that despite of all the tough talk the numbers on sickness and invalid’s benefits have not really decreased much, if at all. Hearing Bennett talk makes me sick and sicker. And with the welfare reforms to be implemented from July, things will really get very, very nasty and frightening for many.

      Yes, the Nats do not deliver jobs and opportunities, but they force people to try and do the impossible.

      • georgecom 20.1.1

        and the 200+++++ people who queued for half the day or more to register their names as interested in 7 jobs shows that no matter how much national bends and bows to the market narrative of ‘work readiness’, the ‘relentless focus on jobs’ big talk big noise from Key was simply sleight of tongue trickery.

        Key does the fronting and always makes lots of noise about what he is going to do, big noting stuff. The noise and promises are made to distract people for the while. He never follows through of course, being the ‘front man’ he isn’t capable. There is nothing substantial enough within National to deliver on the big noise anyway, even if they wanted to.

        The sleight on tongue continues and like all sleight of hand tricks, the audience doesn’t pick it up.

  21. xtasy 21

    Sorry Eddie, but this post is missing the point in some ways. Even though Joyce has not really achieved much as a minister and key person within government, he has achieved a fair bit for himself, and for persons like him, that is all that “really” counts.

    He has managed to position himself in the core leadership group of the Nats, and now running his MOBIE ministry monster, he wields more power than English or even Key do on their own. Indeed Joyce is in charge of much of what the government does, he has too much leverage than he should be allowed to have.

    His past is of course colourful and full of strange deals that helped him along very nicely, and Maurice Williamson was a useful good mate that helped him get into radio broadcasting on the cheap.

    This man is actually quite a smart, calculating and highly dangerous operator. I consider him more dangerous than even Key, and his cunning ways with figures (see him during Question Time from Parliament for enlightenment), his arrogant and condescending, mean and back-stabbing way of operating, that is what Labour and other opposition members are at times struggling with.

    It does these days anyway not count so much anymore what is real and true, and Joyce knows this. He is an expert in twisting facts, manipulating figures and other details, and he always has some answers, when media confront him. So he presents things in ways that “appear” convincing, but in reality should not be doing so. And thus he gets away with so much, while delivering very little (if anything) in real results. It does not say much for journalists and certain opposition politicians, that so far they have not managed to expose the BS that senior Nat politician gets away with all the time.

    Spinmeister is the best description of this species of a human being.

  22. Cantabrian 22

    +1 xtasy. Don’t forget he has been Minister of Tertiary Education too. He has been a disaster for Canterbury University and the sector generally.

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