No Minister

Posts Tagged ‘Phil Twyford


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Right when he said St Jacinda should avoid going head to head with Judith Collins but wrong in stating that to do so would imply she has status. Sorry Milt, the Leader of the Opposition has status as the Prime Minister in waiting and nothing you or Jacinda can do or say alters that as the election campaign gathers pace.

One suspects however his real concern is that Collins will eviscerate her in debate as she so spectacularly did with with Phil Twyford, Labour’s Mr Failure in Chief … caught out again telling porkies when, in December 2017, he trumpeted that Labour had halted the sale of state houses thus fulfilling their election pledge only to be left high and dry by the revelation today that since then they had in fact sold 146 houses worth $30m.

Jacinda is not known for her grasp of policy detail and her continued exhortations to be kind is no substitute. Collins is across policy and that combined with her rapier like intellect and Jacinda should be afraid, very afraid.

The Revd Clark got shown the door because he was a twit. Twyford had presided over Kiwiflop; the Auckland Light Rail debacle and now this, helped along by Megan Woods. And his reward … a move up the cabinet rankings to number 4. One can fairly ask just what sort of hold he has over Ardern.


Written by The Veteran

July 17, 2020 at 11:52 am

NZ Labour’s Colonel Cargill

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I was amused to see this news yesterday from Stuff via Kiwiblog, Light rail follows Kiwibuild into oblivion:

The Government’s flagship infrastructure project has been put “on hold” while it fights the Covid-19 pandemic, but there are some doubts it will ever get going again.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford said decisions on Auckland’s light rail project “are on hold while the Government’s full focus is on fighting Covid-19”.

During the election campaign, Labour had promised to have the first stage of the Auckland light rail scheme built by 2021.

But after a long and protracted process, the Government has yet to decide who will build the scheme, let alone begin construction.

As David Farrar points out:

It’s worse than that. They haven’t even decided a route. We’re well over halfway to their promise of having built 13 kms by December 2021…

Auckland Light Rail and Kiwibuild eh? And the common factor is Phil Twyford. It immediately reminded me of the character of Colonel Cargill from the novel Catch 22, who was very successful in business before being drafted into the USAAF:

Before the war, he had been an alert, hard-hitting, aggressive marketing executive. 

He was a very bad marketing executive. Colonel Cargill was so bad a marketing executive that his services were much sought after by firms eager to establish losses for tax purposes.

Throughout the civilized world, from Battery Park to Fulton Street, he was known as a dependable man for a fast tax write-off. His prices were high, for failure often did not come easily. He had to start at the top and work himself down, and with sympathetic friends in Washington, losing money was no simple matter.

It took months of hard work and careful misplanning. A person misplaced, disorganized, miscalculated, overlooked everything and opened every loophole, and just when he thought he had it made, the government gave him a lake or a forest or an oilfield and spoiled everything.

Even with such handicaps, Colonel Cargill could be relied on to run the most prosperous enterprise into the ground. He was a self-made man who owed his lack of success to nobody.

Perhaps Twyford has a future in the private sector after all.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 15, 2020 at 12:25 pm

Work For The Dole – Your Time Has Come

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`Leaked documents show the Ministry of Social Development preparing for an extra 300,000 benefit applications, in response to an expected tidal wave of unemployment created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
RNZ has received documents and emails which show the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) bracing for a massive increase in welfare applications.’

This information brought forward this post which I have been thinking about for some time as various projections for unemployment numbers have been put forward both by Finance Minister Robertson and other sources.

I remember hearing a politician, possibly Prime Minister at the time Sir Keith Holoake, in the late 60’s saying that there will always be about 5% of the New Zealand people out of work either because they could not through illness/disability or through an aversion to work would never be able to be employed. I was in my late teens or early 20s at the time and that statement has stuck with me – and it is almost certain that over 50 years later it still rings true. That means from 300,000 unemployed 285,000 approx will be work ready and looking for jobs with the other 15,000 unable to work through illness/disability or an unwillingness to work – Shane Jones’ nephs being prime examples, highlighted by him, in that last category.

Before Christmas Finance Minister Robertson announced with great fanfare that he had $12billion dollars available to fund `SHOVEL READY’ infrastructure projects. Well Grant there are about 285,000 work ready and willing workers coming your way – it is up to Carmel Sepuloni, Phil Twyford and you to get them out there working for the dole that they are going to be drawing from New Zealand taxpayers.

Will the governments ideology allow it – I don’t think so.

Even if they step outside their ideology their performance since taking over the reins of Government strongly indicates they are not capable of making it happen.

Written by pdm1946

May 5, 2020 at 11:36 pm

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I mean direct from presiding over the Kiwibuild f****p it looks as though the Auckland light rail project, entrusted to him by St Jacinda, is headed the same way with the Treasury warning that the initial estimates of $6 billion were way off the mark.  Indeed, one NZTA source has suggested they could double which would see it rivalling Edinburgh’s light rail debacle.  Mind you, this government and debacles tend to go hand in hand.   Indeed one might argue ‘they’ have become rather expert at it.
And all this before a single sod is turned and won’t be until 2021 at the earliest.    Contrast that with the promise made by Ardern shortly after taking office that the Mt Roskill segment would be completed within four years (i.e. 2021).   Politics 101 for dummys … under promise and over deliver. This mob have certainly managed to turn that one on its head.
And all this against the backdrop of firms associated with the project saying the delays caused by the  government shifting the goalposts has cost millions and has seriously harmed New Zealand’s business reputation abroad.
That’s why the hapless Twyford’s throwaway remark to the effect that with the NZ Super Fund taking a stake in the project users of light rail will be contributing towards their own retirement … leaves me cold.   For this to happen the service has to make a profit … tell me, does the Auckland commuter train service make a profit? … just asking.
Nah, no twinge of sympathy for Twyford.   All of ‘their’ own doing.

Written by The Veteran

October 23, 2019 at 12:27 am


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Fresh on the back of another weak performance in the House where he was skewered by Judith Collins and forced to admit the only Kiwibuild houses we are likely to see in the next little while are those the government intends purchasing from private developers.

That translates to a net increase of housing over and above that planned and built by private enterprise as zip, zero, nothing.

Campaign rhetoric doesn’t easily translate into results.    Twyford is increasingly looking like a possum caught in the headlights and wondering what to do next.

So, what did he do … well to divert attention from his failings in housing he put his Minister of Transport hat on and joined Shane Jones in taking pot shots at Air New Zealand for doing what it is mandated by the Companies Act to do.

Look Phil … you are the Minister.   The answers within your governments gift.   Buy back Air New Zealand (as you did KiwiRail) and turn it into an SOE.    Then and in accordance with the public policy imperative you can direct it to fly into where-ever, what-ever number of times per day/week and all will be well perhaps … or not.     All you need to do is to convince your Finance Minister to stump up with the several billions of dollars needed to purchase the company and accept a reduced dividend.

I wish you well (cough); the balls in your (and Shane’s) court and not with Air New Zealand.

Written by The Veteran

March 23, 2018 at 10:44 pm

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every day looking more like a possum caught in the headlights on a dark rural road and about to be run over by a truck as he backtracks on everything to do with housing.    And it just gets worse with a reinvigorated ‘Crusher’ at number 4 in National’s ranking looking forward to holding his feet to the blowtorch.    

Promises made in Opposition are easy.   Doing it is the hard part and already the cracks in Labour’s housing policy are starting to assume earthquake proportions.

Smart move by Bridges to give Collins Planning (RMA reform) reform as well.   The Act is broken and inhibits economic development.    Labour and its poodle parties can’t/won’t move to fix it in any substantial meaningful way … at best they will apply band-aid solutions.    Collins has the nous and strength to develop this into an election winning policy.

Just as important … her jump up the ranking will reinvigorate National’s activist base.   Looking good.

Written by The Veteran

March 11, 2018 at 2:37 am

Focusing on Twyford Land

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Now that the government has changed, I have decided to do a little more blogging over the next three years.

The Executive is huge, and with that will come more spin doctors and noise.

It’s too much for any critiquer to handle.  There will be stuff-ups, and I expect the country to hurt.  Winston Peters already alluded to that in his “acceptance” speech.  He knows how bad the government’s policies will be for the poor and helpless, and he has forewarned us.

For me, Jacinda has done me a huge favour by making tertiary education free for the first year as my daughter is heading off there in 2019.  That will save our family about $5,000.00 for that first year – better than any tax cut could have.  But of course, that’s paid for by taxi drivers in Gore and hairdressers from Wanganui – thanks!

It is impossible for any of us to capture all the dire shit that will be propelled upon us, and so I will focus almost entirely on housing, and particularly Phil Twyford’s policies and promulgations.  Property, real estate, tax et al are areas I know a fair bit about, and so it makes sense for me to do that, rather than try to be a jack of all trades here.  It will probably involve Official Information Act requests and the like.  As much as I can, I will apply the blowtorch to his ill-founded proclamations.

It also makes sense because as sure as night follows day, the media won’t do that job.  Particularly not with Paddy Gower, who seems to be behaving more and more, each day, like a love-struck teenager fawning over Jacinda Ardern.

So that’s my plan.  Hopefully, it will leave a policy area that can be looked back upon over the years, much like Lindsay Mitchell does with welfare.  I have created a new tag for the posts – Twyford Land.

On the topic of Lindsay Mitchell, keep an eye on this – it’s a valuable line in the sand.

Written by Nick K

October 28, 2017 at 11:30 pm

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Just when you thought that Labour couldn’t get much worse along comes Phil Twyford, their Spokesthingy on Housing galloping to the rescue with his quite bizarre notion that landlords shouldn’t be able to specify ‘no pets’ and that tenants should be able to carry out ‘modifications’ to the dwelling as of right and without having to seek permission of the owner.

Don’t know what planet Mr Twyford comes from but it sure ain’t Planet Earth.   With his background as a ‘journo’ and Union organiser  (funny that) and as the Director of Oxfam he demonstrates his absolute ignorance of business and the realities of the housing market.

Just why any landlord would want to offer up ‘his’ house to a tenant who could then proceed to modify it as he/she saw fit without reference to the owner sure beats the hell outa me.   That, along with having to agree to the tenant having pets when you didn’t, would surely cause responsible landlords to exit the market, reducing the numbers of rental stock, and pushing prices up.   A huge own goal by Twyford which demonstrates yet again how unfriendly Labour is to business.

Some two decades ago I owned a rental property in a complex close to Eden Park.   Good location and individual off-street tenant parking.   I can say with some certainty and from bitter experience that you go into the landlord game with the deck stacked against you.   What you want are good tenants who respect your property.    It doesn’t just happen … you have to work on it.   My solution which worked a treat.   If the rent was say $200/week  I put 10% of that into a special account in the tenants name.   If the rent was paid on time and if the property suffered no damage beyond reasonable wear and tear then I paid that sum over to the tenant at he conclusion of the tenancy.   At regular intervals I gave the tenant a print-out showing how his nest-egg had grown.    Worked a charm for both me and the tenant.

Clearly Mr Twyford is devoid of real life experiences and it shows.

Written by The Veteran

March 1, 2016 at 7:58 am

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