Is Steve Joyce all steam and no hangi?

via ZDNet

via ZDNet

…there is a suspicion among some in the Beehive that Mr Joyce is all press statement.

Even the Prime Minister recently seemed to enjoy repeating a Radio host?s comment that Joyce was the Minister of everything while Bill English did everything.

So it was with some anticipation among MPs that Mr Joyce last Thursday fronted up before the Commerce Committee for its annual interrogation of him on the activities of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

There is something that Steve is good at, and that’s giving away our hard-earned money, mostly to businesses that are already profitable. Where the money is really needed, like the regions, is getting further scrutiny.?

However, the total budget for the regional development plans is only $11 million.

David Clark pointed out that this was less than one million per region and asked if it would buy more than a few photo opportunities.

But Mr Joyce was having none of that.

He said a big part of the Regional Growth programme was to make sure that all the Government funding across such areas a tourism and ultra-fast broadband was working together ?to the benefit of the region?.

Mr Joyce is a past master at packaging up a handful of Government policies and giving them a new name without actually really changing anything.

This breeds a degree of suspicion that when he does announce something new, there may be less to it than meets the eye.

Thus, former Labour leader David Cunliffe, asked about Mr Joyce’s show piece science fund, the Endeavour Fund.

??How much of the $183 million is actually new?? he asked.

?All of it,? replied the Minister.

?So you are going on the record as saying none of the $183 million is a reprioritisation of existing funding?? asked Mr Cunlife.

?David, because you have questioned me I have checked with my colleagues, and the answer is, yes, it?s all new.?

Mr Cunliffe was left to grumble that that was very different to the information he’s received from the Parliamentary Library.

Joyce definitely is the minister of Looking Busy.? You only have to follow his social media to get the impression he never eats, sleeps or has any time off. But more people are seeing through that carefully crafted mirage.

Others have tried to lift the lid on what is really going on.

The session continued with questions about hotel funding, the payroll problems,t he New Zealand business number, the Ruataniwha Dam and the Sky City Convention Centre ? all of which the Minister batted away with his overall theme of ?don?t worry, it?s under control.?

The only problem with the Minister?s approach is that thought it might have been reassuring, no one was really any the wiser at the conclusion of the session.

Of course, that may be the secret to Mr Joyce’s success.


– Richard Harman, Politik