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Q+A: Corin Dann interviews Shane Jones

Please find the interview between Corin Dann and the Minister for Regional Economic Development, Shane Jones available here.

1. On the meeting between government ministers and building industry leaders on Monday

CORIN: Are you saying that in future, the government, the taxpayer is going to have to take more of the risk so potentially they’ll pay for the losses if it goes wrong?

SHANE JONES: "If we want a vertical construction sector and we don't really have a strong one at the moment. Do we want one or do we want to surrender it to the Aussies?”

“If a key problem is how we conceive and how we execute these contracts for huge marquee projects that the state is paying for then, it's certainly legitimate for them to bring that concern and for us to look at our reset and procurement policies. No guarantees how it will come out.”

CORIN: Are you saying that the tax payer, the government will take on more of the liability from these massive projects so if they go wrong it’ll be the tax payer bearing the cost.

SHANE JONES: “No, I’m not saying that. What I’m saying is that they have raised the necessity of us being a lot more pragmatic about our procurement policies. They’ve also called for the creation of an infrastructure agency that has the best skills in the country so that the crown when it projects what it’s going to do spending billions of dollars on infrastructure we’ve got a far better and more robust agency than something obscured in the foliage of treasury.

2. On the government’s plan to increase the minimum way to $20 an hour by 2020

CORIN: I bet there are businesses in the region who say to you we can’t do 20 bucks an hour.

SHANE JONES: “Well often what they’re saying is they want more migrant labour… I’ve had a gutsful of seeing ordinary Kiwis in the regions saying they can’t even live one week to the next.”

3. On mining continuing on conservation land

CORIN: You have made strong comments that you want to see mining continue on conservation land. Can you win that argument?

SHANE JONES: All I’ve said is that in my view a lot of the land which is called stewardship land is wasteland.

CORIN: It’s conservation land.

SHANE JONES: No no no, it was land that was dumped there in 1987 after Rogernomics and it has never been sorted out.

CORIN: And you think some of this should be used for mining.

SHANE JONES: Yeah that’s what I’m pushing yeah.


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