Billions of lies

Written By: - Date published: 7:49 am, April 29th, 2017 - 41 comments
Categories: economy, election 2017, infrastructure, making shit up, spin, Steven Joyce - Tags: , , , ,

The Nats are settling in to election mode – smoke and mirrors and they hope we won’t notice – Billions for infrastructure reflects booming economy – Joyce

Finance Minister Steven Joyce yesterday promised to pump an extra $11 billion into new infrastructure over the next four years, spread across new schools, hospitals, housing, roads and railways.

Yeah nah – Joyce’s big reveal not what it seems

Then he got to his announcement, that the Government had decided to invest $11 billion into new capital infrastructure over the next four years, including $4 billion in the Budget he’ll be delivering in about a month’s time. They were impressive figures from a Government finally doing something about our congested roads, exploding school rolls and overcrowded hospitals.

But hang on – the announcement wasn’t quite what it seemed. They’d already said last December they were going to spend $9 billion bucks over the same time. In reality the announcement essentially was about what they’d already told us they were going to do, with an additional billion being tagged on as election lolly this year with another couple of dollops a few years out if they’re reelected.

That’s billions of dollars worth of lies then.

41 comments on “Billions of lies”

  1. gsays 1

    How are the 10 Northland bridges coming along?

    • The decrypter 1.1

      Several bridges have already been sold, but if you want to buy a bridge,” I have a bridge to sell you,”

      • ianmac 1.1.1

        Aha! You decrypter are really that Joyce chap. And I wouldn’t trust you at all!

      • gsays 1.1.2

        Hmmm.. how much?
        If you have one called Simon, I would be keen to acquire it for a garden ornament.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.3

        Northland didn’t buy the bridges, so none were ever built.

        • gsays 1.1.3.1

          I remember a public assurance that regardless of result, the bridges were to be built.

    • saveNZ 1.2

      With a few cardboard boxes under the bridge, (or maybe an ‘upmarket’ container shanty village), the housing crisis can be solved by the Natz!

    • Incognito 1.3

      The plans have been drawn, approvals obtained, and they are ready to start building. In Minecraft.

      • David Mac 1.3.1

        Speaking of Northland bridges, I was amused to see 3 men in hard hats in a triangular conversation at the Southern end of the Taipa bridge a few weeks ago. I guess, technically, now the claim can be made “The Taipa bridge widening is underway.”

        I’m not sure how those that use the bridge regularly feel, personally I like it as it is. Rarely do I wait for longer than a minute, it’s a chance to respond to a text or raise a finger to the blokes I haven’t seen for ages coming the other way. NZTA put up temp traffic lights for the loopy Xmas/New Year fortnight.

        The bridge makes us special. Where else is there a State Highway running into a village via a 1 lane bridge? I’d rather see the money building a fight gym out at Whatuwhiwhi and a few of the old folk around the Bay getting new hips and heart-jobs. If it becomes an issue, give a set of traffic lights a go before spending the millions on widening.

        • Bearded Git 1.3.1.1

          @David Mac Nicely put. You raise an interesting issue. Maintenance and not-always-necessary minor improvements to State Highways cost over a billion a year and with people like Joyce in charge this will never be questioned-there are plenty of vested interests looking for those contracts.

          However, if maintenance was scaled back to say $700m a year imagine what could be done with $300m in terms of community assets (parks, gyms, youth centres, toilets and picnic facilities at free camping areas, school rebuilds [see Chiquita below]) improvements to public transport and walking and cycle tracks, both urban and the long ones the tourists love that cross NZ.

          This government likes to express expenditure figures over several years to impress (hence the equal pay settlement costs $2 billion rather than $400m a year over 5 years). Well redirecting $300m a year of roading expenditure over 5 years would add $1.5 billion to the assets listed above.

          • David Mac 1.3.1.1.1

            Because the cars are moving slowly, in one direction and the pedestrian way is well protected from the road. It’s safe for children and adults reliving their youth to leap off the bridge to the estuary a few metres below. There is no “Don’t jump off the bridge” sign. We encourage it. A swish 2 lane bridge would see the end of that traditional Kiwi Summer thrill. An afternoon of hooting and laughter with the kids. When the tide gets too low, down onto the mud and into the cockles. Cost: Free. Value: Priceless.

            • Pete 1.3.1.1.1.1

              So the bridges don’t need to be widened.
              Why did National promise to widen them? And if they are not to be widened so the money can be spent on community assets, what chance that money would be spent on community assets in those Northland communities?
              (And the money on the Holiday Highway too for that matter.)

              • David Mac

                Hi Pete, these are just my thoughts re: 1 of the bridges. The people that use it regularly may feel differently to me. Finding out what the people want is a logical place to start. Ask the people waiting to cross it to visit a website that features the pros and cons, invite visitors to note the suburb they live in and ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

                But we get….”We’re going to build bridges, really fabulous bridges, you wait till you see these bridges…..’Someone else talks like that??’ Is it just a coincidence that Mr Bridges is the minister for Bridges? If Simon Power comes back and gets the Energy portfolio I’m calling for an Enquiry.

                Yes Pete, how do we know the bridge money we saved is building a gym out on the Peninsula? Provided we’re not planting out a forest in the Gobi Desert at the time, it could get spent there. What a wonder true transparency would be.

                A press release like: ‘The people in the Far North have decided to postpone the widening of the Taipa bridge and wish to see the money invested in an extension of the Kaitaia hospital and a gym at Whatuwhiwhi. Tender details for the construction of both buildings will appear in next Thursday’s Northland Age.

                A government that does stuff like that would be cool.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1.1.2

            However, if maintenance was scaled back to say $700m a year imagine what could be done with $300m in terms of community assets

            You’d get shit like this:

            The tragic rush-hour collapse in Minneapolis of the I-35W Bridge over the Mississippi River is again forcing a reexamination of the nation’s approach to maintaining and inspecting critical infrastructure.

            According to engineers, the nation is spending only about two-thirds as much as it should be to keep dams, levees, highways, and bridges safe. The situation is more urgent now because many such structures were designed 40 or 50 years ago, before Americans were driving weighty SUVs and truckers were lugging tandem loads.

            Cutting maintenance on infrastructure will kill people. I suspect that we actually need to increase it but if we did that then we’d have to raise taxes and rates which would get lots and lots of people complaining about it due to their ignorance.

    • timeforacupoftea 1.4

      Simon B is dead in the water I would say !

    • mary_a 1.5

      @ gsays (1) … well let’s hope the good folk in the Northland electorate are taking notice of the fact they were fed BS by the Natz and vote accordingly this year.

    • John 1.6

      The northern motorway extension puhoi to warkworth promised in 2008 has only just started at the end of 2016. Northland always last cab off the rank as it was safe national territority. Until Winston rattled their cage. Not sure if any or how many of the 10 bridges will be built in time for the 2917 election.

    • michelle 1.7

      yeah wheres all the bridges they promised bloody liars the only bridge they have provide is simon bridges

  2. Ch_ch chiquita 2

    Schools in Christchurch are still waiting to be rebuilt with no start date on the horizon, so we all know it is nothing but a good headline.
    I wonder if the punters on social media are going to ask where the money is going to come from like they do whenever Labour is releasing a policy of funding something.

  3. Ad 3

    This government has altered the entire motorway network across the North Island, and they have set further projects going that will see that progress continue for many years to come (I don’t agree with all of them, but most have been worthwhile). There are plenty of areas that are far safer and faster than they used to be. They deserve credit for that.

    Other than some earthquake recovery works, the projects take so long – usually three terms from plan to ribbon cut – that surely there is no electoral benefit. Even the National Convention Centre is still only a hole in the ground four years from inking the deal.

    I would want that long term country-altering attitude from any government.

    • John up North 3.1

      “I would want that long term country-altering attitude from any government.”

      Unfortunately apart from the BS RONS (roads of national significance), it seems the other plans and schemes this Nat govt has embarked upon that fit this criteria include but not limited to the following hobbling of our population.
      – Under funding of Education.
      – Under funding of Health.
      – Under funding of Social Services.
      – Under funding of DOC.
      – Under funding of RNZ.
      – Asset Sales.
      – State assisted money laundering (Panama Papers).
      – Ostrich behaviour in regards to Climate Change.
      – ditto our water ways and use/selling of our water.
      – Thoughtless (???) Immigration policy.
      – The housing crisis.

      These are all parts of a long term country-altering attitude (plan?) from THIS government.

      ps: The ??? re immigration policy being thoughtless is because I actually think a lot of thought has put into the current policy, and it works as planned, even Benglish loves our low wage economy.

      • Ad 3.1.1

        They have continued Clark’s policies almost in total.

        They have, through earthquake storm and flood, taken the “nationbuilder” crown from Labour.

        They have plenty to go to the electorate with.

      • New Zealand FIrst has Railways of National Importance (R.O.N.I.), which is a plan to work on improving the capacity of and better using our railways. It includes re-establishing as a major railway the Napier to Gisborne line.

        And just wondering in terms of supplying petroleum to some provinces, whether or not it could not be put on rail instead of a big fleet of rigs on the road.

  4. gsays 4

    While I am at it, I recall the selling of the power companies was to fund investment in schools, hospitals etc.

    • The decrypter 4.1

      Good things take time. Anyway how about a Crowd funding or give a little venture to buy an ex railway bridge, many have coastal views, In some cases hemp intrusion clearance required, hence bargain prices

  5. Morrissey 5

    So Northland will reject National again, and vote for Winston. But what’s the bet that, if the General Election result is closer than we are expecting, the old fool won’t end up in coalition with his former party again?

    • fisiani 5.1

      Winston had a dislike of Honest John but admires Bill English. So too does Shane Jones. National plus NZF would be over 50%.

      • Johan 5.1.1

        I count five lies in the above comment, fisiani.

      • Ad 5.1.2

        Winston for PM either way it goes.

      • ropata 5.1.3

        who is this “Honest John” you keep mentioning?

        doesn’t sound like any politician i have heard of

        • The decrypter 5.1.3.1

          Sir john Harrington-well known for developing flush toilets. Sir john key idolised him.

      • WILD KATIPO 5.1.4

        @ fisiani

        Something a little off topic.

        But enough to make guys like you suck in your breathe before you spout off anymore and spew your bullshit all over this site.

        And here’s the website to confirm:

        New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?
        http://www.newrightfight.co.nz/pageA.html

        Idiots like you make me want to puke.

        …………………………………………………..

        Mont Pelerin on the Left…. Mont Pelerin on the Right
        By 1990, when a population disgusted with being the guinea pigs for the most radical free market experiment in the Western world, clearly intended to kick the Labour Party out of office, the Mont Pelerinites moved to secure their “revolution.” According to economist David Steele, writing in the March/April 1990 edition of the PSA Journal, shortly before the election, a three man delegation from the Business Roundtable, two of whom were Mont Pelerin members Gibbs and Kerr, met with National Party leader, and soon to be Prime Minister, Jim Bolger, to “request” that Ruth Richardson, a Mont Pelerin asset, be made Finance Minister in his new government. She was, and Mont Pelerins revolution escalated’, as Richardson and the Nationals – again, under cover of a “crisis”suddenly discovered by the treasury – rammed through the Mont Pelerin Society programme of “labour market reforms,” which even Roger Douglas had not been able to do. Such “reforms”effectively end trade unionism as it had been known in New Zealand for decades. Indeed, the infamous Employment Contract Act did not even mention the word “trade union”once.
        Mont Pelerin Society member Gibbs, the close friend and early tutor of Roger Douglas in economics, cashed in handsomely on “Rogernomics”; over the years of the “reform” he and the Mont Pelerin Society had imposed on New Zealand, Gibbs’ personal wealth had soared from $46 million in 1986 to $200 million by 1998, making him the 4th richest person in New Zealand at the time.

        ………………………………………………………..

        Suck on that for a bit and explain your right wing NAZI bullshit if you can.

        That is , – after you have read the whole site .

        I think you might have to have a cup of tea and a lie down after you read it however, it makes you drongos look like glove puppets.

  6. bruce 6

    I think before money is spent on new infrastructure there is quite a bit to do on maintaining the old. I had to take the road to Whangerai last week and the road is in a terrible state with big pot holes abounding. I can understand the need now for a gas guzzling SUV, in our little city runabout I found the road treacherous .

  7. dukeofurl 7

    And the school rebuilding. Nikki Kaye has run around telling all sorts of schools they have approval to get plans.

    Thats all they get as funding wont be coming after the election
    remember this one?

    “Northland ‘slum’ school fix-up very slow”
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/275258/northland-%27slum%27-school-fix-up-very-slow
    The money never came for rebuild, what they got was patchups.
    Once it was high lighted suddenly the funding was there.

    And this bypass for Rotorua announced before 2014 election?

    they even had plans produced.

    cancelled in late 2015.
    The NZ Transport Agency has confirmed that the Rotorua Eastern Arterial (REA) will not be constructed and that the designation will no longer be required.
    https://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/sh30-rotorua-eastern-arterial/

    That was one hell of a mirror ($100m+) as anyone could see it wouldnt solve anything

    There is whole list of new ‘arterials’ proposed for this election, Whangarei Taranaki Nelson southern link etc

    There is even a $15 m project to improve caess for Fonterras tankers around its giant Edendale plant in Southland.

    https://www.nzta.govt.nz/assets/projects/edendale-state-highway-1-bypass/2016-10-14-Proposed-alignment-Option-2.pdf

  8. Sacha 8

    From the sidebar, Julie-Anne Genter notes how Joyce and co are spinning their numbers on infrastructure and have wasted $10b on questionable pork-barrel highways https://blog.greens.org.nz/2017/04/29/steven-joyce-spent-billions-on-highways-you-wont-believe-what-happened-next/

    • Muttonbird 8.1

      Interesting what she says about the Waterview tunnel:

      The Waterview Connection is about to be a huge scandal: the $2 billion tunnel has been so poorly designed, it will have ramp signals on the tunnel itself. Rumours have it that the opening has been delayed because shoddy concrete under a ventilation tower has collapsed, and that the ramp signals are needed to prevent people asphyxiating if traffic gets backed up.

      I had a theory here a few weeks ago that National had ordered they delay so that the benefits of the new opening would be felt by the public closer to or immediately before the election.

      Now I’m starting to think they’ve ordered the delay until after the election because the thing is going to be so bad when it opens because of poor design and cost-cutting, that there’ll be a severe public backlash.

      • Sacha 8.1.1

        Feels like the delay is driven from lower down than govt. Stuff-up rather than conspiracy. Differing stories about what the problem is.

    • Ad 8.2

      If I were Minister I would stall the opening until that Waterview cycleway is completed.

      July.

      Deep into election season.

      With added bonus of children on bicycles for the tv news slot.

  9. Keith 9

    I have it good authority that Kiwirail had a substantial insurance policy in respect of Kaikoura that has saved the governments arse.

    I wonder if this so called “extra” funding for infrastructure includes that insurance money? Because if it does it’s yet again another lie on top of a lie from National for the voting population given with all the contempt that those who do the lying have for people .

    Key may have been the spiv suited wide boy front man for this bunch of liars but Joyce has always been the media strategist.

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