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John’s recession-buster: a party, in 2 years

Written By: - Date published: 2:18 pm, June 11th, 2009 - 29 comments
Categories: john key, tourism - Tags:

On Monday, John Key promised he would make a ‘major tourism announcement’ today. Apparently, we’ve just had it.

In a speech today, Key announced that during the Rugby World Cup in 2011, Queens Wharf in Auckland will be a temporary ‘live site’ (whatever that means) where there will be an opening ceremony. Apparently, it will a ‘magnet for fans’ and ‘party central’.

Well, call me Mr High Expectations but I was thinking this ‘major tourism announcement’ might have been funding for some kind of policy to help save our tourism industry now which is in free-fall, especially at the high end where the money used to be. Not letting us know where the parties will be held for the World Cup in two years’ time.

That’s John Key for you – over-promise and under-deliver.

A side point. In his speech, Key listed the ways his government had helped tourism in “our first six months”. The top two were:
* Made changes to the Resource Management Act to make things easier for small and medium enterprises.
* Invested $50 million into the New Zealand Cycleway project

A few corrections:
1. It’s 7 months, not 6.
2. The changes to the RMA have not been made, they’re still at select committee stage. Experts expect them to result in more delays.
3. No money has been ‘invested’ in the John Key Memorial Cycleway yet. In the Budget, there is $12.5 million a year for four years starting in the next fiscal year . The Budget has not yet been passed. I reckon you’ll be lucky to see any actual cycleway built within two years, well after Key expects the recession to be over.

29 comments on “John’s recession-buster: a party, in 2 years ”

  1. Pat 1

    You’re not invited anyway, Eddie.

    Looks like a good idea to me and shock! horror! it will create jobs. No wonder you’re pissed off.

    • gobsmacked 1.1

      Er, it may be a good idea but Banks and Hide aren’t keen on stumping up the cash.

      The government’s lucky it’s “Bain day” in the news, because this is a pretty embarrassing squabble.

      Newstalk ZB:

      “Government plans to buy Auckland’s Queens Wharf for the Rugby World Cup have been put on hold.

      The Prime Minister made the deflated announcement at a tourism expo in Auckland. John Key was hoping to strike a deal with local authorities to buy the wharf for an estimated cost of over $100 million. But that has not happened, because no-one can agree on how much each group should pay.”

    • Merlin 1.2

      Is that it?

      Kind of sums up my reaction to all National’s recession policies.

      Not a bad idea, just a small ineffectual idea.

      • Tigger 1.2.1

        Merlin – I had a multiple paragraph post planned about this but can’t say it better than that. This is another ‘meh’ idea, can’t bemoan that it sounds fine but ultimately it feels, as has just so perfectly been put, ‘ineffectual’.

        This government lacks vision. It’s heartbreaking to have such a lost bunch leading our country at this time in history.

  2. A bit of a negative spin on some good news Eddie. What side of the bed did you wake up on?

    Now if only Steven Joyce wasn’t being such an idiot we might have electric trains running for the Rugby World Cup too, instead of our 1960s ex Perth diesel embarrassments that are bound to break down on the evening of the World Cup Final.

  3. Zaphod Beeblebrox 3

    Some money for our rail network will also help the World Cup experience. Might want to have a word to his transport minister. Improving life for pedestrians in the city too.

  4. tsmithfield 4

    You haven’t given the full story.

    They’re looking to purchase the warf for long-term development including turning it into a cruise ship terminal.

    Sounds fairly major to me. Pretty much what was on the news last night which some tourism representative thought was a great idea.

    • gobsmacked 4.1

      The full story being, the government went ahead with the announcement, just forgot the cash.

  5. Pascal's bookie 5

    Sounds like socialism to me.

  6. Pat 6

    The Left should be happy. If Key f*cks up it will be a huge white elephant which you can campaign on.

    Better not whinge too loudly, though, in case Key doesn’t f*ck it up.

    • gobsmacked 6.1

      I think you’ll be hearing rather more whinging from the other side.

      It’s what Bill English would call an “unfunded commitment”. Classic John Key – he does the feel good stuff, gets the PR, and then leaves somebody else to sort out the sums.

      Banksie ain’t happy. Herald reports:

      “It is understood McCully asked Auckland City Mayor John Banks for $20 million to pay for Queens Wharf and he refused.”

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 6.2

      Even if it doesn’t work, it will be worth the punt. Auckland city needs a major makeover. May be torpedoed by Rodney’s nanny state edict that councils can’t try to use their creativity to improve our cities.

      • jarbury 6.2.1

        The Herald editorial today is pretty scathing of Rodney’s plans for local government. Just to show that there are pretty mixed feelings on the Right about Rodney’s local government reforms:

        Ratepayers, by and large, acknowledge this and are happy to pay for art galleries and the like. They recognise that such facilities are often not attractive to commercial operators and will not attract sufficient private sponsorship. The Prime Minister also appears to appreciate this, saying social policies are an important role for councils. John Key’s response suggests Mr Hide’s push will gain even less traction than Sir William’s.

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 6.2.1.1

          Yeah, but how does that tally with the Auckland Local Government act? In its current form there will be no one left (or capable of) providing these services. Remember this is what cabinet (and parliament) voted for when they through the RC in the bin!

          • jarbury 6.2.1.1.1

            Regional funding for Art Galleries makes sense, so I imagine they would be under the control of the Auckland Council. Smaller galleries could be decentralised to the local boards I suppose.

            I’m almost done with my submission on the Local Government (Auckland Council) Bill. Has been quite a tricky exercise.

  7. The government asking the city council to pay the regional council $20m? Hmmmm… I knew there was an up-side to some sort of Super-City.

  8. Nick 8

    Please Jonkey give us our cycleway before oil runs out, and keep the trucking lobby and jerry Brownlee off it.

  9. Quoth the Raven 9

    The government shouldn’t be putting any money into the Rugby World Cup or into propping up the tourism industry.
    I see today in the news the tourism industry is going cap in hand begging the government for a hand out.
    We have cuts in education funding and these guys want their dollop of corporate welfare and people on the left are supporting this. I just don’t get it.

    • Rex Widerstrom 9.1

      Surely these things shoukd simply be done on the basis of a thorough, independent cost-benefit analysis? A “hand out” might be justified if it stimulated the employment market and was likely to bring in more in overseas funds (via tourists) than it cost. Or it might not, in which case it should be refused.

      Frankly I’d say at this point jobs (providing they’re real) outweigh pretty much everything else beyond the provision of basic social services.

      I’d rather watch the collected speeches of John Key than 5 minutes of a rugby game but if any investment in it can be shown to bring in more in pounds, francs, euros, Aussie dollars and yen than it’ll cost, and will create some jobs in the process, then go for it I’d say. But that’s a pretty big “if” at $100 million plus…

      • Quoth the Raven 9.1.1

        It would be interesting to see a cost-benefit analysis of the RWC. Subsidising professional sport is one of those things that most economists agree is a bad thing. Remember the Beckham stupidity? As someone has already said today there is always the oppurtunity cost. What else could the government have spent the money on? There is the wider issue of whether the government interferring in the market, whether its professional sport or tourism can ever provide a better outcome than leaving the market alone. I don’t think it can. Would we have more jobs if the governent stopped interferring in the market on behalf of the capitalists? Probably. Then there are all the unseen effects from the lack of competition that government fosters by picking favourites .

  10. rave 10

    This is just the Banksters branding their Celebrity City.
    A bolt hole for the rich fleeing the enraged workers in the Northern Hemisphere to a place that looks just like home without the uprisings.
    We’ll be rubbing their phalluses like peons in their palaces.

  11. Loco Burro 11

    John Key asking John Banks to sign off on $20 million for this proposal a week after he refers to him as a “super mayor”. Can anyone say Quid Pro Quo?
    It smacks of backroom dealings and dodgy politics.
    Banks will make some noise complaining about the cost but he has already signed off on this privately with Key and McCully.

    • jarbury 11.1

      Loco, Banks refused though:

      “It is understood McCully asked Auckland City Mayor John Banks for $20 million to pay for Queens Wharf and he refused.’

  12. vto 12

    ha ha, bet it goes off

    in the usual fireworks fashion.

    what overseas ruby player wants to be at the bottom of queen street when they come on a rugby tour to NZ? My guess would be near none.

    • MikeG 12.1

      Not so sure about that. Didn’t the English team stay at the Hilton on Princes Wharf, and some of them enjoy themselves in Fort St? Both of those locations are near Queen St.

  13. Loco Burro 13

    Jarbury – haha, wait a week. The plan is for the money to be allocated by the council for rugby world cup events, which will then be placed under the control of central government. This way Banks can look tough denying money is going into this specific project, but behind the scenes the money is there, it just will not be obvious.

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