Key’s speech bereft of vision

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, January 26th, 2013 - 35 comments
Categories: john key, leadership - Tags: ,

Key’s opening speech for the year is a dreary, dishonest, and vacuous affair, completely bereft of vision. I haven’t seen an enthustastic response reported anywhere yet. At time of writing:

3 News headlines one of National’s biggest problems “Will Key’s State of the Nation stem the flow?“.

One News gives the headline space to Labour’s response “Apprenticeship overhaul ‘too little, too late’“.

Stuff doesn’t headline it at all, but under the National news section the only mention again goes to Labour “Apprentice scheme attacked“.

The Herald (underneath the more important piece about the weekend weather) chooses to lead with Key’s attack on KiwiBuild “PM: KiwiBuild policy ‘dishonest’“.

No doubt some positive reviews will be rounded up for the weekend papers, but that is a terrible initial response to a speech that was supposed to set the agenda for the year, and give some hope to a country still wallowing in stagnation.

I meant to go on and pick apart some of the spin, and the tired old failed policies in the speech, but honestly, it’s putting me to sleep. So let’s crowdsource the exercise (i.e. I’m tired and lazy). Courtesy of The Herald, here’s the full text. Have at it…

Ladies and Gentlemen

I hope you all had a good Christmas break and that you’re starting 2013 eager and energised.

I know I am.

And I know the Government is, because there are a lot of things to get done this year.

We have a re-energised team of Ministers, which I announced earlier this week.

And we have a very busy agenda.

Whether it’s welfare reform, law and order, education, the rebuild of Christchurch, or continuing our improvements in public services, it’s full steam ahead.

But the big focus for New Zealand remains the economy.

The economy will be front and centre this year.

The Government has a very substantial programme of work ahead of it.

I have told Ministers I want them to get on with the job.

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And I’ve told them to step up momentum, building on the work we’ve already done over the last four years.

That work has been substantial.

We’ve made a huge turnaround in the government’s books, we’ve brought in the biggest changes to the tax system in a generation, and we’re making significant changes to reform the welfare system and strengthen work obligations.

Among other things, we’ve introduced 90-day trials; set time limits for the consenting of large projects under the RMA; introduced a competitive new system for awarding oil and gas exploration permits; got ACC back into good financial shape; and kick-started a multi-billion dollar programme of infrastructure investment.

And throughout that time we’ve been dealing with three major challenges:

• an economy that was left unbalanced, and in poor shape, by the previous government

• the impact of the Global Financial Crisis

• and the Canterbury earthquakes.

Each one of those challenges is still with us.

Around the world, for example, the recovery from the financial crisis is proving the most difficult since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Europe is struggling with high levels of government debt and poor productivity. The United States has well-known fiscal issues to deal with. And, only yesterday, the IMF again downgraded its expectations of world growth.

But I remain hugely positive about the future for New Zealand.

Our economy is robust.

Since the bottom of the recession, in mid-2009, the economy has grown at an average of just under 2 per cent a year, and economists are expecting that to strengthen further.

Our employment rate is very high in comparison to other countries, with over three-quarters of all New Zealanders aged 20 to 64 in work.

There are still too many people looking for work who can’t find it. But forecasts show employment continuing to increase and unemployment falling.

Interest rates are at 50-year lows. Prices for primary exports are holding up, and our terms of trade remain high.

That is helping to support a high New Zealand dollar, which is proving a head wind for other exporters and firms that compete with imports.

But the flipside of a high dollar is that goods priced on world markets are cheaper than they otherwise would be. This includes goods that are crucial to households like food, clothing and fuel. So inflation is running at less than one per cent a year, food on the whole costs less than it did a year ago, and businesses are taking advantage of cheaper capital goods to invest in plant and machinery.

Looking ahead, New Zealand faces some big opportunities.

Our trade and investment links are increasingly with Asia, which is the fastest growing region in the world. Over the last four years, our exports to China have trebled.

And New Zealand faces a domestic construction boom.

That will be centred, of course, on Christchurch, where the spend is now estimated to be around $30 billion.

But construction is also expected to pick up in other areas, and manufacturers across the country will be gearing up to supply materials.

The Government, for its part, is going to press on and expand its economic programme.

We’ve been very clear and consistent about that programme.

We’re managing the Government’s finances to get back to surplus and start reducing debt.

And we’re pressing ahead with a wide range of measures to build a more productive and competitive economy.

That’s an economy where growth is based on the solid foundations of investment, exports and savings.

Investment is crucial.

Because the truth is, you only get jobs and growth in the economy when people invest money, at their own risk, in setting up a business or expanding an existing business.

Why has Australia been doing so well over the last few years?

Because there has been massive investment in its economy.

Investment in Western Australia, for example, has seen the lowest unemployment rate, and highest population growth, of any Australian state.

Over this side of the Tasman, the Taranaki region has attracted significant oil and gas investment. It has a low unemployment rate and workers’ incomes have grown faster than anywhere else in the country.

The key factor is investment, and not just in oil and gas.

So here in New Zealand we have to be a magnet for investment.

That’s investment by individuals and small businesses as well as big businesses; and it’s investment by people from overseas as well as Kiwis.

The more investment we get, the more jobs will be created.

That’s not to say there won’t also be jobs lost.

In any three-month period in New Zealand, between 100,000 and 200,000 jobs disappear, and between 100,000 and 200,000 new jobs are created, as businesses start up, expand, contract and close altogether.

The labour market is a very dynamic place.

But the only way net new jobs can be created is by private investors putting their money into businesses in New Zealand.

Governments can encourage investment but they can also discourage investment.

A government can load up big costs and uncertainties onto business.

It can make people unwelcome because they are considered to be the wrong nationality to invest here, or in the wrong industry.

And it can lock up the resources of the country.

That would certainly discourage investment.

But as I said, we have to be a magnet for investment.

That’s why my Government is working hard to reduce costs and uncertainties for business.

That’s why we welcome investment that benefits New Zealand.

That’s why we are keeping our own costs down.

That’s why we are ensuring people have the right skills to contribute to the workforce.

That’s why we are ensuring the country has the infrastructure it needs to grow.

And that’s why we’re focused on opportunities to use our natural resources productively and sustainably.

This programme is set out in our Business Growth Agenda, which details a large number of initiatives in six main groupings: skilled and safe workplaces, infrastructure, natural resources, exports, capital markets and innovation.

There is a lot to that Agenda, but today I want to pick out a handful of things which are either new or where I really want us to step up this year.

Skilled workplaces

First, in terms of skilled workplaces, the big challenge for New Zealand over the next few years – especially in the context of Christchurch – is to have people in the right place to do the work that’s available, and to have people with the right skills.

Put simply, there is going to be a lot of work in Canterbury, and there are going to be people in other parts of the country who need that work and could do it, particularly if they get the right training.

The first element of that – getting people in the right place – is going to require some initiative from workers, but also a good deal of innovation from businesses involved in the rebuild, and from the Government.

We aren’t going to micro-manage that process, but we can help it. That’s what we’ve done – for example, with the new Canterbury Skills and Employment Hub, which provides a one-stop shop to link local employers with people looking for work, before turning to immigration.

We’re also looking closely at how we can encourage people to work in Christchurch.

In terms of skill-matching, we are focusing in particular on young people and on vocational training.

This year we are launching five new vocational pathways that clearly signpost the subjects young people should take to prepare for vocational careers in construction, manufacturing, the primary sector, the service sector and social services.

This year there will be over 4000 places available in trades and services academies, allowing young people to explore vocational career opportunities while still at school.

And there will be around 8700 Youth Guarantee places for young people to study fees-free outside the school environment.

But the big changes we are making this year are to industry training and, in particular, to apprenticeships.

Under Labour’s wasteful management, up to 100,000 people a year listed as being in industry training were in fact “phantom trainees” who achieved no credits and in some cases were no longer alive.

So we have been streamlining this scheme, reducing the number of qualifications and putting the emphasis on achievement rather than token participation.

That has freed up some very significant funding to re-invest in expanding apprenticeships.

Currently, Modern Apprenticeships are only available for people who begin their training between the ages of 16 and 21 and they attract a significant top-up in funding to pay for advice and mentoring. The top-up is in fact greater than the subsidy that supports their learning programme.

So today I am announcing a new initiative to expand and improve apprenticeship training.

This has a number of parts to it:

1. From 1 January next year, we are going to combine Modern Apprenticeships and other apprenticeship-type training under an expanded and improved scheme called New Zealand Apprenticeships. These new apprenticeships will provide the same level of support, and the same level of subsidy, for all apprentices, regardless of their age. Fewer than half the people doing apprenticeship-type training are actually funded as proper apprentices, through the Modern Apprenticeship scheme, and we are going to change that.

2. We are going to boost overall funding for apprenticeships. The current top-up for Modern Apprentices will be redistributed across all apprentices, regardless of age, as an extension to their learning subsidy. In addition, overall subsidy payments will be increased by around $12 million in the first year, rising over time. Increased funding for apprenticeships will allow industry training organisations to invest in the quality of education for apprentices, lower fees for employers and encourage growth in the uptake of apprenticeships.

3. We are going to boost the educational content of apprenticeships. At a minimum they will require a programme of at least 120 credits that results in a level four qualification.

4. We are going to set clearer roles and performance expectations for ITOs, and give employers other options if their ITOs don’t perform; and

5. To lift the profile of, and participation in, apprenticeships, we are going to give the first 10,000 new apprentices who enrol after 1 April this year $1000 towards their tools and off-job course costs, or $2000 if they are in priority construction trades. The same amount will also be paid to their employers.

As a result of these changes, and stimulated by the boom in construction and other trades that is already underway in Christchurch, we estimate that around 14,000 new apprentices will start training over the next five years, over and above the number previously forecast.

The whole idea is to kick-start new apprenticeship opportunities ahead of the curve, so that thousands of New Zealanders get to learn a new trade that will last them a lifetime.

Infrastructure

Moving on to infrastructure, the Government will this year continue its significant programme of investment, which supports thousands of jobs across the country.

And we are doing so in a way that involves private sector disciplines as much as possible.

The first major public-private partnership ever undertaken in New Zealand will open this year, with the first group of students attending the new Hobsonville Point primary school.

A new secondary school at Hobsonville is also being developed through a PPP, as is the new prison at Wiri and the Transmission Gully project.

By the middle of this year, around 300,000 businesses and homes will be able to connect to ultra-fast broadband, and around 1300 schools and 30 hospitals will have fibre to the gate. In addition, almost 100,000 rural homes and businesses are expected to have access to faster broadband through the Rural Broadband Initiative.

The Government is also continuing to support the development of water infrastructure. Earlier this week we announced we would be establishing a new Crown-owned company to invest in commercial-scale water storage and irrigation projects, and set aside $80 million for the initial stages of its operation.

In terms of housing, the Government is itself planning to build more than 2000 houses over the next two financial years but, more importantly, wants to work with local councils on the underlying problems of land supply, building and resource consents and provision of infrastructure.

We need more houses built in New Zealand, at a lower cost.

That means we need more land available for building, more streamlined processes and less costly red tape.

This doesn’t require the Government to spend a lot of money. We are already a huge player in the housing market and I’m very wary of spending more of taxpayers’ money.

But there are plenty of private sector investors who want to invest in housing – if only we can remove the roadblocks that are slowing down the process and driving up costs.

It’s ridiculous, for example, that developers can wait six to 18 months for a resource consent.

It’s ridiculous that we allow councils to demand almost anything as a condition for the consent.

And it’s ridiculous that we allow them to charge whatever fees they want.

Unless these sorts of issues are dealt with there won’t be more affordable housing built.

Labour’s so-called ‘plan’ to build 100,000 houses doesn’t do anything to fix the actual cost of building – so will either fail miserably, deliver dwellings that people don’t want to live in, or require massive taxpayer subsidies.

It’s dishonest and it doesn’t stack up.

As I said, we want to work co-operatively with local councils and I believe our goals in the end are the same.

In particular we are keenly awaiting the Auckland Council’s spacial plan, and I’m expecting it to include multiple options for both greenfields and brownfields residential property developments.

But if councils aren’t able to change their planning processes, then the Government would have to get a lot more proactive, because we are very serious about resolving this issue.

Natural resources

In terms of natural resources, I think all New Zealanders are aware that our economy and natural resources are closely linked.

New Zealand is rich, for example, in minerals. The Greens and Labour oppose it, but we are going to continue to encourage development of our country’s oil, gas and mineral resources.

Looking across our resource base as a whole, what’s clear is that we need a much better system of planning and resource management – one that enables growth and provides strong environmental outcomes, and does so in a timely and cost-effective way.

We’ve already made changes to the resource management system and we’ve got more in the pipeline. There is a Bill already in Parliament to set a six-month time limit on the processing of medium-sized consents, and to establish a streamlined process for Auckland’s first Unitary Plan.

But as a country, we’re still not planning well enough for our future.

The RMA is constantly cited as a source of frustration, both by investors wishing to develop on their land, and by communities left waiting for years to know the outcome of a project.

There is not enough national consistency. Across New Zealand’s 78 local authorities there are over 170 resource management planning documents. Consistency is important because New Zealand is a small country and local decisions have significant effects on our national economy and national environment.

We also need to ensure that local plans aren’t overly restrictive and that consent processes are proportionate to the scale of the activity.

Public participation on whether an individual builds a deck on their property, for example, is profoundly different from a decision affecting water quality in a lake.

So the Government is working on a comprehensive package of reforms to the resource management system, which we’ll release in the next few months.

I want to see big improvements in this area and it’s going to be a high priority for the Government this year.

Export markets

In terms of developing export markets, the Government is currently negotiating free trade agreements with 11 countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, including the United States, and separately with a number of other countries including India, Russia and Korea.

We’re also about to begin negotiations for a new 16-nation regional free trade agreement across Asia and the Pacific.

Trade agreements can take a long time. But the TPP negotiations are well advanced and negotiators have been asked to try to conclude the broad outline of an agreement by October this year.

The Greens and their fellow travellers say the TPP is anti-democratic. That is nonsense.

A high-quality free trade agreement with the world’s biggest economy, that includes agricultural exports, would be a significant achievement.

The Government has also been ramping up its engagement with Asia, because we see there are huge opportunities there for New Zealand businesses.

This year, for example, we will continue to focus on Chinese tourism.

Before Christmas, some of our opponents thought it was a tremendous scandal that high-value, low-risk and well-travelled Chinese were able to get a New Zealand visa with a little less red tape.

I thought it was a scandal that we hadn’t done this earlier, because Chinese tourism has the potential to be huge for New Zealand.

Finally, on tourism, the best thing we can do to increase high-value tourist numbers – as I’ve said time and time again – is to facilitate the development of a national convention centre in Auckland. The sooner that can happen the better.

Capital markets

When it comes to capital markets, the biggest thing happening this year is the Government’s offer of shares in state-owned energy companies.

Subject to the Supreme Court’s decision, this will start in the first half of the year with our offer of up to 49 per cent of the shares in Mighty River Power.

We also want to proceed with another IPO later this year.

The whole share offer programme will be a shot in the arm for New Zealand’s capital markets.

It will give New Zealand savers an opportunity to invest in big New Zealand companies, and the companies themselves will benefit from better monitoring and market disciplines.

At the same time, the Government will maintain majority ownership of the companies, and will use the proceeds to invest in other public assets, like schools and hospitals.

New Zealanders will be at the front of the queue for shares in these particular companies, but in general we continue to welcome foreign investment in New Zealand.

That’s because overseas investment in New Zealand adds to what New Zealanders can invest on their own.

It creates jobs, boosts incomes, and helps the economy grow.

Overseas capital can make things happen here that wouldn’t otherwise happen, grow businesses that wouldn’t otherwise have the means to grow, create jobs that otherwise wouldn’t exist, and pay wages that are higher than they would otherwise be.

So it’s sad to see the Labour Party that was such an advocate of trade and investment in the past somehow turning into the number one defender of Fortress New Zealand.

Innovation

Finally, despite tight times, the Government is continuing to put a real priority on science and innovation.

Research funding will be greater this year than it ever has been, because new ideas are a key driver for a modern economy.

In particular, this year will see Callaghan Innovation, the new advanced technology institute, up and running, and working with firms involved in high-tech manufacturing and services.

The National Science Challenges will be finalised in the next few months, and a greater proportion of resources put towards addressing these challenges.

So as you can see, we’ve got plenty on.

But I can guarantee you one thing – Labour will oppose almost all of it.

And the few things they might find to like, Russel Norman or Winston Peters will vehemently oppose.

And that’s the irony of the New Zealand Opposition in 2013.

They criticise the Government for being too hands-off; and yet between each of the Opposition parties they oppose every hands-on change we make to encourage investment, growth and jobs.

Tax changes – they oppose.

Major roading projects – they oppose.

A free trade agreement with the US – they oppose.

RMA changes – they oppose.

90 day trials – they oppose.

Work expectations for beneficiaries – they oppose.

Oil and gas exploration – they oppose.

The Hobbit legislation – they oppose.

A national convention centre – they oppose.

Every piece of legislation or policy we have developed to encourage growth and jobs they have opposed.

And that’s because there is only one type of activist government they know – the big-spending and big-borrowing kind that we know so well from the Labour Party and the Greens.

It’s called “chequebook activism” and New Zealanders know it well because they’ve seen it before.

As a country we are still paying for it – literally.

It means big, wasteful and unaffordable spending, charged to the taxpayer’s bill. And it means Labour and the Greens meddling and choking off private sector investment.

As for the National-led Government, our plan will encourage investment, strengthen the economy and boost jobs.

People know what that plan is, we have stuck to it and we will continue to stick to it.

And New Zealand is heading in the right direction.

The Government’s economic programme is laying the foundations for a stronger economy, sustainable jobs and higher incomes.

The world is full of opportunities for New Zealand over the next few years.

We need to seize those opportunities with both hands.

That’s why the Government is getting on with the job.

Thank you.

35 comments on “Key’s speech bereft of vision”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    The world is full of opportunities for New Zealand over the next few years.!!

    Ah the ” brighter future”

    If he was brutally honest, he would have said ” but I was conned by the IMF and Bill English 4 years ago and I have shit to show for our time in office until now”

    • bad12 1.1

      Actually Slippery wasn’t conned by the IMF in 2008, the interim report from the IMF to that incoming National Government, (which i can no longer find online) directly advised the Government to seriously consider ‘quantitative easing’ as a means to shield the New Zealand economy from the adverse effects of the financial meltdown,

      My understanding is that the IMF interim report is then referred to the Government for it’s comments after which the final report is produced,

      This, the final IMF report was produced with NO reference to ‘quantitative easing’ after the input of the incoming National Government,

      It’s pretty obvious that despite the IMF being okay with the National Government printing the 300 million dollars a week it now borrows, National, (presumably both Slippery and English) deliberately chose that borrowing so as to ‘kneecap’ any following Government…

  2. QoT 3

    Oh gods, I hate this style of speech.

    Vague, unconnected sentences which don’t build towards anything.

    Engineered to make good soundbites.

    That’s the kind of speech I hate.

    A speech which has no ambition for New Zealand.

    No continuity and no real overarching message.

    Full of.

    Significant.

    Pauses.

  3. RedLogix 4

    The Plan is “Keep Selling it Off” ….

    All the more reason, therefore, to welcome the clarity of the message in yesterday’s state of the nation speech. This country, the Prime Minister said, had to be a magnet for investment. “The more investment we get, the more jobs will be created,” he added to reinforce the point.

    An unemployment rate of 7.3 per cent, the highest since 1999, may have concentrated Mr Key’s mind. So might the example of Taranaki, where substantial oil and gas investment has prompted a low unemployment rate and faster-growing workers’ income than elsewhere in the country. Whatever the reason, the Prime Minister has become an unequivocal supporter of investment from any source.

    In that context, New Zealanders’ placement at “the front of the queue” for shares in the part-sale of state assets would be an exception, rather than the rule, the Prime Minister indicated.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10861510

    And Shearer could stop the whole process in it’s tracks by uttering one word …”re-nationalisation”.

    • rosy 4.1

      Sounds like that editorial was written by Fran. Did you catch Brian Fallow’s piece about how selling power company shares before the fate of the Bluff smelter is known is a ‘folly’

      It is folly to press on, full steam ahead, with the partial privatisation of the state-owned power companies when the future of the Tiwai Pt aluminium smelter is unresolved.

      It would be no better to capitulate to Rio Tinto’s demands for a better deal merely in order to remove that dark shadow of uncertainty overhanging the electricity industry, in order to get the floats away.

      Demand for power is growing slowly. There is overcapacity in generation.

      Were the demand side to shrink by 14 per cent over three years, if the smelter closed, it would have huge implications

      Maybe that’s why Key is continuing with the Kiwi share. Maybe he thinks we’re financially naive enough to buy anyway whereas overseas buyers would realise they might very well be had.

    • aerobubble 4.2

      Shearer will find it very easy to declare the books are in an abysmal state (Key did), that the National
      government were useless and that extreme measures are needed. Print money and re-nationalize the energy companies. In a world were lying about economics is the rule, that banks printing money from leveraging has not been the norm, its not in any way wrong for any future government, National or Labour to do so. I mean Labour brought us Rogernomics, so why can’t a future National do re-nationalization.

    • xtasy 4.3

      Key is in favour of “prostitution”, no doubt, he is one of the first lining up for the money!

    • burt 4.4

      RedLogix

      And Shearer could stop the whole process in it’s tracks by uttering one word …”re-nationalisation”.

      Nationalisation worked so well for Muldoon – lets try it one more time with a red flag and pretend the outcome will be different this time.

      • KJT 4.4.1

        I am no fan of Muldoons, especially the borrowing for election bribes, like the social welfare for sheep, (Many similarities with Key’s National there) but “think big” was one of his better ideas.

        In fact, Burt, many of the think big projects gave excellent returns, for their private owners, after the rogernomes sold them off.

        NZ Refinery, for example. 300 million sale price, 300 million spent on upgrades before sale. 300 million profit to the oil companies in the first year.

        The returns would have made Muldoon a hero if oil prices had continued to rise, at the time, as most people expected them to.. New Zealanders were not privy to the US decision to overthrow regimes and go to war to keep oil prices low in the early 80’s.

        The mistake was borrowing from the IMF, and possibly doing it at a time of high resources and labour demand, instead of using QA and waiting for a recession to free up resources, , like the first Labour Government.

      • mike e vipe e 4.4.2

        burt Cullen saved Air NZ you Dumbarse

  4. Blue 5

    To summarise:

    “It’s all Labour’s fault….Christchurch rebuild will save us…we need foreign investment…need to wreck the environment to make money….’encourage’ people to work…cut red tape…TPP…sell assets…Labour sucks.”

    Jam-packed full of original ideas, then.

  5. Why bother to reproduce this bullshit as if we could find some ‘vision’ to latch onto.
    Key is the franchisee for US global capitalism. That is the vision that he projects. It is echoed by todays corporate granny hacks.
    That vision is rip, shit and bust economics for the kumara republic.
    The biggest ripoff is the property market, it shits on workers making them homeless or debt slaves to finance capital. It is the biggest bust looming. $630 billion in unproductive residential property while the NZX has only $66 billion. Of course the billions in secret trusts never pass through the books.
    Key’s vision is to make workers produce more profits for the bosses on their path to destruction of the planet.
    You should know that by now.
    Think of what we propose to do about it and whether the Labour Party will be part of that plan.
    I doubt it because it means taking direct action to close down fossil fuels and impose draconian taxes on greenhouse polluters and rent rorters.
    Labour is far too committed to managing capitalism to imagine an alternative.

    • David H 6.1

      “Of course the billions in secret trusts never pass through the books.”

      Maybe Shearer should grow a pair, and target these hidden assets for taxation just like the Americans are doing all over the world.

  6. Possion 7

    Lot of Rhectoric ,and response to criticism which suggests that Key and not an anticipator a bottom dweller in any food web.

    This a likely due to prior failures of predictive job creation in his prior occupation.In 1982 Merrill Lynch for example as a response to deregulation and a booming sharemarket created an additional 6000 positions,by april 1983 they has laid off 2500 due to decreased profits hence one should be wary of Hedeghogs (those with only one big idea) such as the market.

  7. PlanetOrphan 8

    Well good ole DunnoKeyo really pulled this one out of his arse didn’t he ?

    We need to seize those opportunities with both hands.

    And of course they are such competent hands that NZ won’t want to …
    “BURN THEM IN EFFIGY” every weekend.

    As usual with the Gnats it’s all care but no responsibilty.

    Incompetent people endevouring to be “Hands ON” = RIOTS IN THE STREETS
    (Sorry should call them “Peacefull Protests” but the Gnats call them RIOTS M8!

  8. bad12 9

    In all honesty i have to give the empty suitcase of intellectual rigor we have as Prime Minister half a point for the apprenticeship scheme and it’s focus on the building trades,

    It is as described ‘too little” but not i submit ‘too late’ perhaps the Slippery little Shyster would care to double the numbers as after November 2014 both Labour and Green policy would dictate the need for a far greater emphasis on the workforce needing qualifications in the building trades,

    While Slippery is at it could He rearrange the immigration criteria so as to promote immigrants with those same building trades experience and qualifications ahead of others wishing to settle in New Zealand, doing it now will just make the ‘Kiwibuild” after November 2014 that much easier to get operational and save the Labour/Green coalition the need of one piece of legislation,

    As far as the rest of that ones ‘grand vision’ goes it’s simply kick the poor to remind the middle class how ugly things get if your not on the ‘winners’ side and carry on with the enrichment of the already rich…

  9. Colonial Viper 10

    I tried to read Key’s speech, I really did, but a whole lot of my brain cells cried out all at once and were suddenly silenced.

    • rosy 10.1

      Ha. I true to read it as well but nodded off at the bit about it being Labour’s fault.

    • bad12 10.2

      LOLZ,as it was intended to do, it’s a series of ‘opium hits’ designed to put anyone who listens or reads the whole thing to sleep and when they awaken they only remember certain ‘catch-phrases’,

      Clever newspeak!!!

      I see a clinic full of cynics,
      trying to twist the peoples wrists,
      they watch everything we say,
      all are included on their lists…

      • bad12 10.2.1

        PS, in ‘newspeak’ the catch-phrases are important as Key during the year will keep using them in whatever context is relevant to the ‘message’ of the moment,

        People having already had the phraseology inserted in their minds,(and who don’t actively despise the Slippery little Shyster and everything the National Party stand for),immediately get ‘re-connected’ via that particular phrase having been inserted into their psyches personal library…

  10. pollywog 11

    Jeez what a tool..Seems written with primary school kids in mind.

    i is feeling soooo dumbed down.

  11. Plan B 12

    Catch the IPO comment in the speach about asset sales .

    We also want to proceed with another IPO later this year.

    Definition of ‘Initial Public Offering – IPO’

    The first sale of stock by a private company to the public.

    So does this mean that they have already decided to move beyond a 49% sales

    He did not have to use the term Initial Public Offering for the 49% sales of shares. so why did he in a speach with everything written down so there are no mistakes?

    • bad12 12.1

      Slippery’s intention is that Mighty River Power (who’s assets center on the hydro-dams across the Waikato river) be the first of the State assets to be flogged off,

      Am not sure what comes next but can’t see that being the States mining company ‘Solid Energy’ as in the current economic climate it would fetch pea-nuts,

      Then again as fully half the National Government benches seem to be occupied by some form of genetically inferior neanderthalic ape-like creatures perhaps pea-nuts is all they require…

  12. I do ask – is John Key saying, he sees that Jenny Shipley made a huge mistake when she eliminated the apprenticeship scheme when she was Prime Minister.

    • bad12 13.1

      NO, Slippery is simply playing reactionary politics, having been out-manouvered by Labour’s housing policy He had to do ‘something’ or lose the political initiative within which He has up to that point had a free hand,

      Putting Nick Smith into the un-HousingNZ portfolio was His counter to the housing policy released by Labour, but He was then totally blindsided by the release of the Green Party housing policy and totally losing the political initiative that He has so far had free rein over the apprenticeship scheme announced yesterday was His reactionary means of attempting to seize back that initiative,

      Obviously the apprenticeship scheme should have been upgraded as soon as the damage from the Christchurch earthquakes became apparent and god only knows who Slippery and National have had in mind since those earthquakes that was capable of undertaking the rebuild,

      As an effort from National to provide a reposte to both the :Labour and Green Party’s housing policy it’s simply appalling and shows the Archilles heel of both Slippery’s leadership and the National government policy where they continue to cling to market economics which have FAILED in the housing market,

      Other than that the National Government fronted by Slippery have nothing to give New Zeland in the form of affordable housing policy except their ‘Leader’ whining endlessly about the Auckland City Council taking 18 months to give them resource consent to bowl over what He calls a ‘few’ houses so the developer mates can build even more overly-large icons to over-consumption on the sections,

      That of course is just more lies from those who Govern via the use of a continual pattern of untruths the ‘few’ houses talked of being a ‘few’ hundred State rental houses only a third of which will be replaced as the developers have no interest in building affordable housing and in all reality nor does the National Government or it’s ‘Leader’…

      • millsy 13.1.1

        The CHC earthquake shambles is also owed to the 4th Labour government for dismantling the Ministry of Works and Development, and the resultant loss of expertise. A public service stacked with lawyers, accountants and professional managers is pretty much hopeless.

    • xtasy 13.2

      NOOOOOH –

      He will blame Labour for not having fixed it again, before he came to power and NOW does (belatedly and only insignificantly) “fix it”!?

  13. Poission 14

    Iceland president had an interesting vision

  14. millsy 15

    John Key’s speech was essentially: Market good, state bad.

  15. xtasy 16

    Key’s message in brief:

    The economy is our focus, and it all hinges on the “mighty” Christchurch rebuild.

    Train apprentices when the work they are supposed to be trained for is already being done by thousands of imported migrant workers, some of whom are employed under dubious conditions and terms, and working for low pay (even below the minimum wage).

    Threaten local body administrations and councils: “Deliver us available, cheap land, to build affordable homes on, or we will pass laws to force you to make some available”. “Nick the Dick has been put in the job to deal to you”.

    Now, that is really smart politics, I suppose, is it not?

    All the rest is basically more of the same we have been told over the last 4 years, a bit of hyped up smart talk, little of substance and propaganda. Naturally lashing out at the opposition, who come up with some alternative ideas (even if they need a bit of enhancement and in the case of Labour a partial rethink), that is apparently the best Key can deliver.

    While I think the apprenticeship program that is proposed is somehow constructive and a good idea, it comes far too late, and starting it next year makes it a ridiculous kind of measure to supposedly create the workforce that is already needed now for construction and related jobs.

    It is a poor attempt to fix training, that was destroyed and neglected for many years, naturally primarily by National.

    Now, there is a chance for Shearer, we will all be fixed to the radio and television, I am sure?! To be honest, I do not expect him to deliver the stuff that is needed and that I want to hear and see.

  16. millsy 17

    “Threaten local body administrations and councils: Deliver us available, cheap land, or we will pass laws to force you to make some available.”

    While I am fully aware that he means zoning, etc, I thought land was owned privately? And perhaps farmers and other land owners dont actually want to sell?

    • RedLogix 17.1

      Yes that one in particular boils my blood. It’s flat-out lies. Slimy, shitty filthy lies.

      You could make an infinite amount of ‘free land’ available to developers and it would make very little difference to the price of retail sections. The cost of the raw land is only a small fraction (about 10-15%) of the price the builder pays for the section.

      The only people who would benefit from ‘free land’ would be the developers. Key knows this and it’s why he’s happy to plug the lie.

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