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The Prime Minister, Pastoral property, and Parata…

5 February 2013 9 comments

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Point 1: The Prime Minister

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Key’s appearance at Waitangi’s Te Tii Marae was marked by the usual “theatre” (as Labour’s Shane Jones refers to it – see: Titewhai Harawira wins over escorting PM at Waitangi) and the media were only too happy to focus their attention and cameras  on the drama of the day.

Someone, though, profitted enormously from today’s (5 February) events,

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'It is easy to say I will walk away' from Waitangi - Key

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John Key vows to return to Waitangi

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PM says he'll keep coming to Waitangi

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Unfortunately  for the Left, Key’s mana was only enhanced by the public spectacle of his calm, stately, demeanour and will have raised his popularity as Prime Minister by several percentage points. Middle Class Pakeha will have lapped up Dear Leader’s performance – especially his vow to “keep returning”.

Shades of Douglas MacArthur’s famous quote during World War 2, “I came through and I shall return“.

Not in 2014, I hope.

National governments are too costly for our economy and social cohesion. Just ask any of the 175,000 unemployed or 250,000 children living in poverty or 40,000 jobs lost in the manufacturing sector in the last four years.

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Point 2:  Pastoral property

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9. John Key Tenants in our own country

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The Great Sell-Off of our country continues unabated, as news came out today that Chinese company, Yashili New Zealand Dairy Company has announced that it has applied for  Overseas Investment Office approval to build a $210 million milk processing plant at Pokeno in Waikato, and a Swedish company,  Southern Pastures Partnership,  has been approved by the OIO to purchase  eight Waikato dairy farms, totalling over 3,000 hectares.

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Swedish investors acquire Waikato dairy farms

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Yashili Dairy looking to set up shop in NZ

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Once again, we are seeing the most productive and profitable parts of our primary industries being sold off to foreign investors.

See also: Chinese dairy giant buys land for $210m factory

See also: Chinese dairy giant enters NZ market with $210m factory

See also: Swedish investors buy farms from Hart

See also: Swedish investors cleared to buy Carter Holt dairy farms

Those naive enough to believe that this will benefit us – need to look again.

What the Swedes and Chinese have done is make an immediate investment for long-term gains. The dairy industry is profitable now – when the human population on Earth  reaches 9 billion, it will create incredible wealth…

wealth for those who own the means of production.

In this case, the profits made by Yashili New Zealand Dairy Company and Southern Pastures Partnership will be ‘exported’ back to the home-nations of the investors (Sweden and China), along with the goods that they produce.

We will end up with some taxes paid by employees (us) and the companies.

But most of the dairy pay-out from Southern Pastures Partnership and profits from exports by  Yashili New Zealand Dairy Company will be remitted overseas.

The consequences, if it needs to be spelled out will be;

  • lost profits to us, as a country
  • lost foreign revenue, through exports,
  • a worsening Current Account deficit.

In years to come our descendents (most of whom will be living in Australia by then) will look back at us and wonder at our lack of foresight and economic  naiveté.

In short – how dumb were we?

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Point 3: Parata

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Further to my blogpost  on 18 January, our very own Invisible Woman – Hekia Parata – our so-called “Minister of Education”, was still shying away from appearing in the media. (See previous blogpost:  Parata, Bennett, and Collins – what have they been up to?)

Campbell did another story on the Novopay fiasco today (5 February), and  invited Ms Parata to an interview.

She was nowhere to be seen. (And as I speculated twelve days in my blogpost – Karma for Key?  – the reason may be that she’s been told;  “stay away from the media and keep your mouth firmly zipped, sweetie“.)

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Campbell Live - 5 February 2013 - Hekia Parata - No show - novopay

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Which is just as well, as Campbell had some further remarkable instances of cock-ups made by Novopay. Like, school cleaners getting paid $20,000 for working 24 hours a fortnight?

Maybe John Key’s promise in 2008 to raise the wages of New Zealanders has finally come true?

Nah. No such luck – just more  Novopay cock-ups.

Meanwhile some teachers were being paid $0.00.

Never mind paying $100  million for Novopay’s lemon – perhaps National should’ve just left it to Lotto? The results would’ve been about the same.

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Taking responsibility, National-style

5 February 2013 28 comments

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"The National Party is built on age-tested principles that reflect what is best about New Zealand. We are a party of enterprise; a party of personal freedom and individual responsibility; a party of family; an inclusive party; a party of ambition." -John Key, 27 May 2007

“The National Party is built on age-tested principles that reflect what is best about New Zealand. We are a party of enterprise; a party of personal freedom and individual responsibility; a party of family; an inclusive party; a party of ambition.” – John Key, 27 May 2007

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"We also need to remember the enduring principles on which the National Party is based – individual responsibility, support for families and communities, and a belief that the State can't and shouldn't do everything." - John Key, 30 January 2007

“We also need to remember the enduring principles on which the National Party is based – individual responsibility, support for families and communities, and a belief that the State can’t and shouldn’t
do everything.” – John Key, 30 January 2007

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So let’s see how well Dear Leader and National  Does Responsibility…

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John Key blames burglary on drug addicts

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Blame: drug addicts

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Key blames production firm for DVD music woes

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Blame: music production company.

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Worth blames media for Key 'ticking off'

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Blame: the media (always a good flogging-post for polis in trouble)

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Key blames Labour for his Govt's wage gap failings

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Blame: previous Labour government, Recession

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Key blames Hubbard for SCF collapse

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Blame: Allan Hubbard. (Hubbard had not been convicted of any offense.)

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Bill English blames Labour for bad economic management

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Blame: previous Labour government (again).

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Govt refuses responsibility for credit downgrades

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Blame: previous Labour Government (yes, again),  Europe, and the United States.

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Key blames Wall St, Minto blames Key

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Blame: Wall Street (an industry sector in which Key used to work)

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Key blames popularity dip on election campaign

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Blame: election campaign (damned inconvenient, these “election” things)

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Key blames edgy policy for poll drop

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Blame: Polls, “edgy” things, state asset sales, and “lots of challenges out there”.

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Key blames messenger in Beckham comments

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Blame: “Somebody” (or anybody, whatever)

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Pike River - Key blames company for disaster

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Blame: Pike Rive mining company (which was following de-regulated safety laws enacted by National in 1991.)

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Govt blames global economy for jobless woes

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Blame: “global economic headwinds” (but not an excuse beneficiaries may use).

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Govt blames election, rugby on DPS blowout

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Blame: Rugby World Cup, the general election, and Diplomatic Protection Squad.

And when National has run out of people, institutions, countries, and things to blame – they can always refer to  the mystical realm,

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Parata blames 'karma' after Ministry of Education staff miss pay day

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Blame: Karma.

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And of course, there are the none-too-subtle attempts to blame welfare beneficiaries for not having the jobs that existed prior to 2007/08,

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Free birth control for beneficiaries

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Beneficiary drug testing plans unveiled

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Cost of beneficiaries $78b - report

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Taking responsibility, National-style – means someone else copping the blame. Or sunspots.

Are we all clear on this?

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Addendum

Clayton’s Responsibility – The Responsibility You’re Taking, when You’re Not Really Taking Responsibility,

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Kate Wilkinson resigns as Labour Minister

Full story

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Wilkinson’s resignation was almost on top of the public release of the Pike River Royal Commission of Inquiry report. She was the “sacrificial lamb”, with the deliberate  objective to short-circuit media and public debate over National’s culpability in the de-regulation of the Mining Inspectorate in 1992.

Wilkinson’s “resignation” wasn’t taking responsibility – it was a carefully-crafted exercise in damage-control.

Note that Wilkinson retained her other portfolios (at the time), along with her $250,000-plus salary plus Ministerial perks and allowances  (see:  ‘What have I done wrong?‘).

Indeed, any attempt by National to  take responsibility was watered down when Key said,

Under successive governments, since 1992, the influence and reach of the mining inspectorate was eroded.”

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Mr Key says the Government accepts there were systemic failures in the regulatory regime across successive governments.” – John Key, Govt responds to Pike River Royal Commission, 5 November 2012

So there you have it. Key’s comments attempts to spread responsibility as far as possible across twenty years of successive governments. Because, as we all know, if you spread responsibility – like margerine – as wide as possible, it becomes thinner and thinner until there’s bugger-all of it left.

The Nat’s spin doctors earned their tax-payer funded salaries that day.

Taking responsibility National style reminds me of that famous phrase from the 1970  movie, “Love Story“,

Love Means Never Having to Say Youre Sorry

For Dear Leader and his cronies, the sentiment is the same,

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John Key Power Means Never Having to Say I'm Responsible

“Power Means Never Having to Say I’m Responsible.”

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Previous related blogpost

It’s official: Key’s mind is someone elses’ responsibilty

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