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The Degenerate Muldoonist Key Government

The Degenerate Muldoonist Key Government

Hugh Pavletich
Performance Urban Planning
New Zealand

26 April 2014

Within this week’s New Zealand National Business Review, Matthew Hooton with “(Steven) Joyce Resurrects Muldoonist State” outlines the micro-management “Muldoonist” style of Minister Steven Joyce.

Is a repeat of 1984 looming ?

Back at the time of the 2008 election, the incoming National Government was acutely aware of the poor performance of the public sector at both central and local levels, as Matthew Hooton made clear within a February 2009 Opinion “Time To Step Up, JK” for the NBR (see attached).

The expectation was that the new Key led Government would clean up the messes of the previous Clark led Labour Government.

The public bureaucracies had had a field day under her “reign”.

Mr Key made it clear within a Wall Street Journal article early March 2009 “You cant spend your way out of a crisis”. Mary Kissel of the WSJ reported …

“These days, you have to travel far to find a national leader who is talking about market-based approaches to the global recession. All the way to the other side of the world.”

" ‘We don't tell New Zealanders we can stop the global recession, because we can't,’ says Prime Minister John Key, leaning forward in his armchair at his office in the Beehive, the executive wing of New Zealand's parliament. ‘What we do tell them is we can use this time to transform the economy to make us stronger so that when the world starts growing again we can be running faster than other countries we compete with.’"

“That idea -- growing a nation out of recession by improving productivity -- puts Mr. Key and his conservative National Party at odds with Washington, Tokyo and Canberra. Those capitals are rolling out billions of dollars in stimulus packages -- with taxpayers' money -- to try to prop up growth. That's "risky," Mr. Key says. "You've saddled future generations with an enormous amount of debt that then they have to repay," he explains. "There is actually a limit to what governments can do…’”

Voters expectations were clear at the time of the 2008 election.

Then Housing Minister Phil Heatley explained soon after the election, at the time of the Demographia Housing Survey release, that his Government was committed to dealing with the housing problem … as promised.

This was made clear with the Ministerial release “Bringing better balance to the housing market”. Unusually, a hyperlink was provided within the Ministerial Release to the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey , just to make it clear the issues were land supply and infrastructure financing.

Near 6 years on, virtually nothing has been achieved in simply allowing affordable housing to be built.

Remarkably, with the copious quantities of academic research and political grandstanding, there has been no grounded “nuts ‘n bolts” research completed (refer … Focus on Restoring Housing Affordability ), setting out clearly …

(a) the artificial fringe zonal scarcity values of the New Zealand metros and …

(b) lining up the detailed costs of New Zealand metros new fringe housing with new housing being supplied on the fringes of the affordable North American housing markets.

The Andrew Atkin THE REAL DEAL poster graphically illustrates the extent of the problem. The costs are even worse now.

The shambolic Christchurch earthquake recovery led by Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee, could diplomatically be described as a “Muldoonist Muddle” too … as explained recently within Christchurch Failure – The Long History .

Recently, Jesse Colombo, writing for Forbes explained from a finance perspective, the heightened risks to the New Zealand economy, due to the lack of essential structural reform. In response, a simple structural assessment with respect to the New Zealand housing market was outlined by this writer with New Zealand's Bubble Economy Is Vulnerable ( also Scoop NZ ).

Minister Steven Joyce, the “Muldoonist Meddler”, was not impressed with Jesse Colombo of Forbes assessment. A simply check with a structural assessment illustrates Mr Colombo of Forbes is in large measure correct.

The big question is … why has the John Key led National Coalition Government failed to date ?

And too … why did Mr Key do a U-turn following the 2008 election … negligently allowing New Zealand to be even more vulnerable ?


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