Fact checking Key on government performance

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, September 21st, 2015 - 22 comments
Categories: accountability, john key, national - Tags: , , ,

In the run-up to the last election Bill English was asked what new ideas National had to boost the economy. He couldn’t think of a single one. Now, a year after the election, John Key has so much time on his hands that his main occupation is trying to dig himself out of the huge hole he has dug for himself on the bungled flag process. How many kids will that feed?

Someone must have asked Key what his government has achieved in the last year. He came up with the following list:

Key talks up Government performance

Extended free doctors visits and prescriptions to children aged under 13,

Yes, and credit where it’s due for that.

extended paid parental leave,

Yes, and though it is still well under the OECD average National has threatened to veto extending it further.

reduced ACC levies

Levies which were too high in the first place.

and increased benefit payments.

Credit where it’s due, but much much more was needed. (Update: See comment 6 below.)

Helping young New Zealanders into their first home through our HomeStart programme, and by working with local councils to free up more land faster through Housing Accords.

And done nothing while rampant house price rises made a nonsense of such minor tinkering.

Investing heavily in health and education.

In fact failing to keep up with growth and inflation resulting in cuts in real terms.

Rolling out ultrafast broadband, investing in infrastructure and in research and development, and negotiating free trade deals.

Scraping the bottom of the barrel, and the TPP appears to be the worst free trade deal ever.

Completed the first of the anchor projects in the Christchurch rebuild, 75 percent of key infrastructure has been repaired, and progress made on red-zone properties.

The Christchurch rebuild has been bungled and is well behind schedule.

Overall that list gets gets a grade of Not Achieved. National are drifting, the economy is in the doldrums. I guess it’s time for Key to go and hitch his wagon to the All Black for a few weeks. But then what?

22 comments on “Fact checking Key on government performance ”

  1. adam 1

    Then in a few more weeks more families will become desperate, and we see more of the middle class slip down the ladder. In turn amping up the fear in the rest of the middle class.

    We all know that domestic violence will spike if the All Blacks lose, but wait didn’t this lot cut funding from women’s refuge?

    My guess, this slow walk into the quagmire, whilst not planned – is the only plan this lot have.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      This lots entire plan revolves around taking from the many and giving to the few which, inevitable, results in the entirety of society sinking into the quagmire.

  2. dv 2

    What is even more scary is the Nats probably believe they are major achievements.

    Mind you they have got the debt up to

    NZ$ 103,634,801,302

  3. save NZ 3

    Yep, why do not the opposition keep the message up about the $103,634,801,302 in debt. At least they can’t say ‘Labour did that too’. If ALL the opposition keep saying it, it will filter through to the public. FACT 1, National have accrued MASSIVE debt.

    With health for example with aging population and increased migration apparently health is underfunded by approximately 25% down in real terms. FACT 2, NATZ underfunding Health in real terms.

    Migration is a bug bear for many, while propping up the Natz government by appearing the economy is still moving, it is having the most damage on the average Joe, who pays more for property, more waiting in the health system, more tax money spent in pensions and social services, lower wages and more time in congested transport, less money for schools, more unemployment.

    I’m not against migration but the way the Natz are doing it, is just another way to fulfil the Natz vision, to get rid of social welfare for ALL and drive down wages! Buying up farms and then importing in people to run them cheaply, while any profits go overseas (and losses presumably accrued here) is clearly not helping the economy – far from it! FACT 3, POOR MIGRATION and FOREIGN investment CONTROLS are not working!

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      +1

      Well said.

    • JanMeyer 3.2

      Why the hell would a progressive left leaning type advocate less government debt? That normally means less government expenditure unless your premise is to have significantly increased taxes? Slippery slope this which Ed Milliband knows all too well about. Please explain.

  4. Molly 4

    I’m not sure that the levies were too high for ACC. I know of a couple of people who have battled with ACC over the last several years trying to get access to treatment.

    I think this is the typical gutting out of services that often happens during a National government to the point where no-one even remembers what an efficient, effective ACC system should look like. Then when it is replaced with private providers, not a murmur is heard.

    One of my friends – who has been dealing with ACC for many years – due to adverse reactions to a surgical implant – is now of the opinion that NZers should be able to litigate. I appreciate the frustration, but it seems to me that – although it solves her personal situation – for future NZers – there be dragons.

    • Ed 4.1

      The major part of the reduction in levies was because National had refused to reduce levies in accordance with official and expert advice. New Zealanders paid significantly higher levies for over two years until National’s political needs enabled them to ‘achieve” a reduction. What remains to be seen is whether the reduced levies are now lower than the long term cost, and they will need to be increased again – probably after the next election. The political tinkering has been blatant, but we lack the journalists to report it,

      The gutting of services is a different issue, and less financially significant, although serious for those where ACC has pushed eligibility beyond legislative provisions. National has been caught with ACC by the reality that it provides statutory benefits; private providers can not fiddle with the edges of policy definitions, and new problems / treatments must be dealt with within those statutory provisions. Their previous efforts to “privatise” (effectively to contract out services, as ultimately they could not contract out ultimate responsibility) was such a failure that private companies would not have a bar of any attempt, but just as for all social services, National believe that by categorising as many claimants as possible as a potential fraudster, and by reading provisions for benefits as narrowly as possible, they can save money.

    • DH 4.2

      ACC seems to be a bit of a catch-22 the way it’s structured, both Labour and now National have made a mess of it.

      Any increase in services will result in an increase in the outstanding claims liability. That would require higher levies to maintain the full-funding.

      National’s reluctance to cut levies might suggest they knew well in advance that interest rates would be lowered. Any longer term fall in the risk-free rate of return will also increase the outstanding claims liability and again require higher levies.

      • Ed 4.2.1

        Why do you say Labour made a mess of it? The only major change Labour made was to use some of the surpluses to move from an unfunded liability for future payments in one(major) section of the fund, towards a fully funded basis – this was effectively allowing for the expected aging of our population as baby-boomers go through retirement and the ‘dependency ratio’ will mean benefits in retirement (largely NZ Super and ACC benefits) are better funded. Labour also put the investments on a more professional basis. National continued the additional funding (that possibly thought that would help with privatisation but that will not happen for other reasons – see above), but also so that they could lie in blaming Labour for keeping rates higher than necessary, and then claiming credit from returning that ‘over-taxing’ when they felt it necessary for political purposes.

        Both governments have rightly tried to ensure that only eligible benefits are paid, but National introduced bullying of staff and applicants for benefits, shading of definitions and insisting on carefully selected experts to try to reduce costs, and may well have reduced short term costs lightly even after legal costs for challenges, but at the expense of a mistrust in ACC (and of government) by the public, and with little effect on overall funding requirements for claims accepted – increased unemployment, stress, poverty and reduced worker safety will have had a larger effect in increasing the number of benefits in payment.

        ACC funding must be able to be adjusted through different economic and investment conditions – fortunately lower investment earnings are generally accompanied by lower inflationary increases in benefits, so overall long term funding to an extent automatically adjusts. There is no need for exact matching of assets and liabilities in any particular year, there is a need for a control / feedback system that keeps levies reasonably stable but out of the sort of political deception that we have sen over the last 8 years.

  5. Matthew 5

    & the benefits hikes havent happened yet either…..

    • Keith 5.1

      And they will claw them back making beneficiaries go back to work a lot earlier with little kids. Its a mockery!

  6. Kay 6

    “And increased benefit payments”

    Will you please stop perpetuating this myth. It implies that ALL benefits were increased and the way it was promoted at the time by the MSM has led the majority of non-beneficiaries in this country to believe that all benefits have been increased. A FEW families with children MIGHT get up to $25/week extra, but not till next year.

    For all beneficiaries, like every year since 1991 we have not had any sort of increase to counter the cost of living (with the exception of the generous $5/week increase which Blinglish was/is still adament would adequately compensate us for the GST increase) so in real terms we are getting cut all the time. National will never give beneficiaries more money if they can possibly help it so they do not deserve any credit for that PR exercise.

  7. Poission 7

    Completed the first of the anchor projects in the Christchurch rebuild,

    A bus stop

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Don’t be silly. It’s a bus stop that’s been converted into a casino because, as everyone knows, no one uses buses.

  8. save NZ 8

    750 jobs lost at Fonterra and more to come – softening up for cheap fire sale – run em down, sell em cheap – course have to change the law first, or sell enough farms to foreign owners….

  9. Keith 9

    ACC levies were hugely and unjustifiably inflated by National when they got in, using Chicken Littles “the Sky is falling” bullshit reason. But of course the real reason was to milk dividends from them after their stupid unaffordable tax cuts. And even then it added to GDP, so awash with cash was ACC.

    And now they’ve put some down. Whooptee do, go National you idiots!

  10. Thinker 10

    Time for a Royal visit?

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  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
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  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
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  • In Search Of Unity.
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  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
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    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
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  • Fragments
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    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
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  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
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    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
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    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
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    2 weeks ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
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    2 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
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    3 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
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    4 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
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    6 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
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    7 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
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    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
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    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
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    1 week ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
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    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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