Home > Social Issues, The Body Politic > “There’s always an issue of money but we can find money for the right projects” – John Key

“There’s always an issue of money but we can find money for the right projects” – John Key


Key faces questions over extra Antarctica funding

Full story


There are two issues involved with the above story.


The Government spends $26 million on climate research every year. The Prime Minister says that will increase.

There’s always an issue of money but we can find money for the right projects.”

Climate research is a fine endeavour, and this blogger has no problem with that.

What this blogger has a real problem with is when National’s quango’s come up with nasty suggestions like this,


Doubt over savings from restricting ear treatment

Full story


Or, National point-blank refuses to fund life-saving medication in instances like this,



Full story


There seems to be a multitude of “worthy causes” for National in invest our tax dollars in; subsidies for film makers such as Warner Bros; subsidies for the rugby world cup; loans for media companies (which they initially lied about); grants to businesses; advisors; consultants; staff bonuses; MPs travel expenses, and of course, salary rises for members of Parliament.

But when it comes to grommet operations for our children and medication for sick New Zealanders, the response is not quite as generous, as Tony Ryall ‘explained’ to me on 22 November last year,




And then explained on 5 December, explained  how he had pulled a neat little trick to fund National’s promised extension for Herception treatment, outside of PHARMAC rules,




(Note: in all fairness, Tony Ryall is perhaps the only Minister who has the balls to actually respond to my queries. The rest are either evasive, or like Bill English do not reply at all.)


In the above article at the top, TV3 reporter, Samantha Hayes, wrote,

It’s that variability New Zealand scientists want to investigate, using funds from a joint public and private venture – the newly formed Antarctic Research Institute.

See: Key faces questions over extra Antarctica funding


Why is the Antarctic Research Institute a “joint public and private venture”?

What does the private sector hope to gain from research by the Antarctic Research Institute?

On 21 August 2012, the NZ Herald reported,

The New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute was launched by Prime Minister John Key last night at Premier House.

It will operate as a public-private partnership.

The institute will be closely aligned to the crown entity Antarctic New Zealand and its chairman, Rob Fenwick, will chair the institute as well.

See: $5.3m gift sets up Antarctic research unit

About Mr Fenwick,

Rob Fenwick is an experienced businessman and company director with interests closely aligned to promoting sustainable development. He has had a long association with Antarctica: for nine years until 2007 he was a director and later chairman of Landcare Research, one of several CRIs involved in Antarctic research, and is a former chairman of the Antarctic Heritage Trust. In 2005 the New Zealand Geographic Society named the Fenwick Ice Piedmont in the Ross Sea for his work in Antarctica. 

He is a co-founder and director of Living Earth Ltd, New Zealand’s principal organic waste management business and is active in policy development around waste minimisation and climate change, and has been a member of several Government working groups in these areas. He is a special advisor to the Department of Conservation and was conferred with the degree of Doctor of Natural Resources, honoris causa, by Lincoln University this year.

See: antarcticanz.govt.nz/rob-fenwick

The Herald article goes on,

The institute’s director will be Professor Gary Wilson of Otago University, who said the goal was to strengthen Antarctic research capacity in New Zealand through international collaboration on research projects.

“Antarctica and the Southern Ocean hold the solutions to many of the key questions scientists and policymakers need to answer in order to manage the threats of climate change and global resource depletion.”

“Global resource depletion”…

One has to wonder what was so important that our Dear Leader, John Key, had to make the eight hour long flight – after collapsing at a Christchurch restaurant?! Surely not to return three bottles of whiskey to Shackleton’s hut??

Why is the private sector involved in a joint public and private venture with the newly formed Antarctic Research Institute? PPPs are usually formed  where there is the potential for profit by the private investor.

Or is it that Gareth Morgan has a point when he sez on his blog,

Taking care of Antarctica requires a constant diplomatic effort. John Key’s visit may look like the usual smile and wave routine, but the symbolism is much stronger. His presence is simultaneously reasserting our claim, bolstering our position at the negotiation table, and recognising the wonderful contribution the Scott Base installation has made for so long. Declaring to the world that Antarctica is important to us and we want it managed well is central to Mr Key’s visit. New Zealand has a long history of leadership in Antarctica.

See: Key Antarctica trip more than waving at penguins

Methinks there is more to this story than we’ve been told.





Other blogs

Gareth  Morgan: Key Antarctica trip more than waving at penguins


Beehive Press Release

Antarctica New Zealand

Previous related blogposts

Children’s Health: not a high priority for Health Minister Tony Ryall

Health Minister circumvents law to fulfill 2008 election bribe?

Terminal disease sufferer appeals to John Key – Update & more questions



= fs =

  1. Possum
    20 January 2013 at 12:38 am

    he’s getting a kick-bck from some where, he is jst a ^%#&%^$^# a.hole at times and its about time the truth come out and where the money is coming from. how much are they still borrowing a wk 2 pay 4 chch rebuild, several million gone missing there l reckon.

    • caustic rebel
      20 January 2013 at 12:42 am

      it’s a bit like the unnecessary roadworks done around my neighbourhood recently in that Keys needs to learn about prioritizing


      • Possum
        20 January 2013 at 12:57 am

        what about all the nzhc houses that got painted and didnt need a fall job done, although those that need doing dont get done, logic? waste of money and now lm going 2 make them clean there mess up after them.

  2. Chris S
    20 January 2013 at 12:43 am

    I wish I could find the money to take 10 people with me when I go out for dinner, let alone go Antarctica.

  3. Mick
    20 January 2013 at 12:54 am

    Antarctica was on Johns “bucket list” .

  4. Alison D
    20 January 2013 at 2:17 am

    My thoughts totally! Surely the health care of my daughter and others inflicted with the same condition that is life threatening should be of more prominent issue that taking his “minders” down to the South Pole.

  5. Nigel Y
    20 January 2013 at 8:03 am

    “He also is active as an investor and developer in New Zealand, where he spends some of his time. His family owns three lodges: Kauri Cliffs Lodge near Kerikeri in Northland; Matakauri Lodge Queenstown; and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Hawkes Bay, as well as several wineries. Robertson was made an Honorary Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and philanthropy in the New Year Honours announced on 31 December 2009.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Robertson

  6. Ralph Lawrence
    20 January 2013 at 8:23 am

    On a Radio New Zealand report yesterday Dear Leader when asked why he needed to take a bodyguard to the South Pole answered ‘you never know where an assassin might strike’ Dear Leader meet Mr Bond….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDDjxa7RsKg

    • 20 January 2013 at 9:17 am

      Ralph – protection against hostile Snowmen?

  7. Alison W
    20 January 2013 at 8:28 am

    Key making sure that his ‘rich mates’ are ensured of brighter futures and big, fat pay checks hu? Meanwhile, NZ has one of the worst, child poverty issues in the EEC. Unfuckingbelievable!.

  8. TO
    20 January 2013 at 8:41 am

    In the meantime our prime minister is spending up a storm on frivilous trips to the Antarctica, and funding private- public- partnership research projects (outsourced privatisation of knowledge) to the tune of $26million. More than what some iwi got in Treaty settlements. While people are begging for to the Ministry of Health to have the treatment and medicines they need. Pure Fn glutoney.

  9. SpaceMonkey
    20 January 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Antarctica is probably rich in mineral resources. Based on the geology and what we know about South America, Australia and Africa, Antarctica is believed to have cobalt, chromium, nickel, vanadium, copper, iron and platinum as well as oil. With the ice receding due to climate change it may become easier to prospect. These moves may be the opening gambit to massage public opinion in favour of drilling and mining.

  10. Holly M
    22 January 2013 at 5:02 pm

    sick people are not as cute as penguin colonys.. or oil drilling rig spots either..

  11. 23 January 2013 at 12:36 am

    “Right projects” – like increased politicians pay?

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