Key’s start of 2013 speech

January 25th, 2013 at 4:36 pm by David Farrar

gave today his first major speech of 2013. Some good sections to it, and a fairly major policy announcement. Extracts:

So here in New Zealand we have to be a magnet for investment.

That’s investment by individuals and small businesses as well as big businesses; and it’s investment by people from overseas as well as Kiwis.

The more investment we get, the more jobs will be created.

That’s not to say there won’t also be jobs lost.

In any three-month period in New Zealand, between 100,000 and 200,000 jobs disappear, and between 100,000 and 200,000 new jobs are created, as businesses start up, expand, contract and close altogether.

The labour market is a very dynamic place.

But the only way net new jobs can be created is by private investors putting their money into businesses in New Zealand.

Governments can encourage investment but they can also discourage investment.

A government can load up big costs and uncertainties onto business.

It can make people unwelcome because they are considered to be the wrong nationality to invest here, or in the wrong industry.

And it can lock up the resources of the country.

That would certainly discourage investment.

The fluid nature of the labour market is worth reflecting on. We are decades beyond the jobs for life NZ once had. Jobs get created and disappear on a daily basis. And it is investment that leads to more jobs.

But the big changes we are making this year are to industry training and, in particular, to apprenticeships.

Under Labour’s wasteful management, up to 100,000 people a year listed as being in industry training were in fact “phantom trainees” who achieved no credits and in some cases were no longer alive.

Heh.

1. From 1 January next year, we are going to combine Modern Apprenticeships and other apprenticeship-type training under an expanded and improved scheme called New Zealand Apprenticeships. These new apprenticeships will provide the same level of support, and the same level of subsidy, for all apprentices, regardless of their age. Fewer than half the people doing apprenticeship-type training are actually funded as proper apprentices, through the Modern Apprenticeship scheme, and we are going to change that.

2. We are going to boost overall funding for apprenticeships. The current top-up for Modern Apprentices will be redistributed across all apprentices, regardless of age, as an extension to their learning subsidy. In addition, overall subsidy payments will be increased by around $12 million in the first year, rising over time. Increased funding for apprenticeships will allow industry training organisations to invest in the quality of education for apprentices, lower fees for employers and encourage growth in the uptake of apprenticeships.

3. We are going to boost the educational content of apprenticeships. At a minimum they will require a programme of at least 120 credits that results in a level four qualification.

4. We are going to set clearer roles and performance expectations for ITOs, and give employers other options if their ITOs don’t perform; and

5. To lift the profile of, and participation in, apprenticeships, we are going to give the first 10,000 new apprentices who enrol after 1 April this year $1,000 towards their tools and off-job course costs, or $2,000 if they are in priority construction trades. The same amount will also be paid to their employers.

The Govt estimates this will lead to 14,000 more people doing apprenticeships in the next few years.

We need more houses built in New Zealand, at a lower cost.

That means we need more land available for building, more streamlined processes and less costly red tape.

This doesn’t require the Government to spend a lot of money. We are already a huge player in the housing market and I’m very wary of spending more of taxpayers’ money.

But there are plenty of private sector investors who want to invest in housing – if only we can remove the roadblocks that are slowing down the process and driving up costs.

It’s ridiculous, for example, that developers can wait six to 18 months for a resource consent.

It’s ridiculous that we allow councils to demand almost anything as a condition for the consent.

And it’s ridiculous that we allow them to charge whatever fees they want.

Unless these sorts of issues are dealt with there won’t be more affordable housing built.

Labour’s so-called ‘plan’ to build 100,000 houses doesn’t do anything to fix the actual cost of building – so will either fail miserably, deliver dwellings that people don’t want to live in, or require massive taxpayer subsidies.

It’s dishonest and it doesn’t stack up.

Far better to reduce the cost of housing for everyone, than introduce Housing Lotto when 10,000 lucky people a year get a taxpayer subsidized house by having their names drawn out of a barrel. And yes – that is their actual policy!

… overseas investment in New Zealand adds to what New Zealanders can invest on their own.

It creates jobs, boosts incomes, and helps the economy grow.

Overseas capital can make things happen here that wouldn’t otherwise happen, grow businesses that wouldn’t otherwise have the means to grow, create jobs that otherwise wouldn’t exist, and pay wages that are higher than they would otherwise be.

So it’s sad to see the Labour Party that was such an advocate of trade and investment in the past somehow turning into the number one defender of Fortress New Zealand.

Indeed.

So as you can see, we’ve got plenty on.

But I can guarantee you one thing – Labour will oppose almost all of it.

And the few things they might find to like, Russel Norman or Winston Peters will vehemently oppose.

And that’s the irony of the New Zealand Opposition in 2013.

They criticise the Government for being too hands-off; and yet between each of the Opposition parties they oppose every hands-on change we make to encourage investment, growth and jobs.

Tax changes – they oppose.

Major roading projects – they oppose.

A free trade agreement with the US – they oppose.

RMA changes – they oppose.

90 day trials – they oppose.

Work expectations for beneficiaries – they oppose.

Oil and gas exploration – they oppose.

The Hobbit legislation – they oppose.

A national convention centre – they oppose.

Every piece of legislation or policy we have developed to encourage growth and jobs they have opposed.

And that’s because there is only one type of activist government they know – the big-spending and big-borrowing kind that we know so well from the Labour Party and the Greens.

It’s called “chequebook activism” and New Zealanders know it well because they’ve seen it before.

As a country we are still paying for it – literally.

It means big, wasteful and unaffordable spending, charged to the taxpayer’s bill. And it means Labour and the Greens meddling and choking off private sector investment.

Good to see the PM pointing out the inconsistency. There is a balance to be had when going on the attack. You need to both talk up your plans, but also point out the alternative. The announcement on apprenticeships was a nice anchor for it.

It will be interesting to see what Shearer announces tomorrow apart from the fact Labour will be “hands on”!!

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27 Responses to “Key’s start of 2013 speech”

  1. dave (985 comments) says:

    Under Labour’s wasteful management, up to 100,000 people a year listed as being in industry training were in fact “phantom trainees” who achieved no credits

    This also happened under National for some years afterwards.

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  2. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    I don’t think Key has cut enough of the previous Labour Govt’s programmes to really be able to comment on how it’s dirty Labour’s fault we’re “still paying”… and that is a good thing IMO. He has steered a pretty balanced course through scary economic times.

    It is good to have a sensible business guy for PM, and not some political idealogue. :-D

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  3. krazykiwi (9,188 comments) says:

    It means big, wasteful and unaffordable spending, charged to the taxpayer’s bill.

    So an end to interest free student loans, and WFF. Great! Or would that mean the loss of an acceptable number of votes?

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  4. southtop (257 comments) says:

    I am still waiting for something tangible in terms of repairing the creeping downhill slide of NZ to erupt forth from this government.
    Some fixes will take time due to the ABS braking systems of treaty settlements, and the welfare state etc – the combination delivering a severe case of entitlelitus to many.
    Suggested fixes for Key et al:
    Do not enshrine the Treaty in any constitutional documentation – remove state funded racism
    Stop all sanctioned foreign labour until the 7% unemployed have been sorted – see imported labour in Chch, Hawke Bay, Bay of Plenty, Top of South orchards and vineyards. Then open up if needed
    Kick on with a roading network – again employment opportunities and
    Bring in a form of intelligence testing in the polling booths i.e. ten multichoice civics questions from a base of 50 questions randomly applied, 7/10 and above and you vote counts.
    The aim is to obtain an attitute change in middle NZ. I appreciate the Fabians and Watermelons will oppose however consider this with respect to the testing of votes – don’t they consider themselves to be more intelligent than those they seek to serve?

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  5. Tauhei Notts (1,509 comments) says:

    The $2000 subsidy to the employers of apprentices; Will it turn out to be $1739.13 plus GST?
    Clarification please.

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  6. MarkF (89 comments) says:

    “It will be interesting to see what Shearer announces tomorrow apart from the fact Labour will be “hands on”!!”

    Too late he has already stated according to Stuff

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8223132/Keys-state-of-the-nation-Apprentices-get-cash

    “Labour leader David Shearer says a new apprenticeship scheme announced by the Prime Minister today comes four years too late,”

    One can only ask, why only 4 years too late? What was the previous administration doing for the 8 years before that?

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  7. Changeiscoming (97 comments) says:

    What I find interesting in all this is the fact John Key regularly mentions the Green party. In years passed a National PM would only have mentioned Labour. The face of the opposition is changing and I predict the the Greens become the major party on the left.

    Then look out!

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  8. hamnidaV2 (247 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  9. Redbaiter (6,475 comments) says:

    US Oil Company Apache were ready to invest $100 million exploring for oil on the east coast but pulled out a week or so ago primarily because of the difficulties associated with obtaining clearances to drill.

    Phil Heatley, late lamented Minister of Energy and the rest of the useless National Party did nothing to help Apache.

    The company faced years of negotiations with local councils, regional councils, so called affected parties (in reality anyone who doesn’t want the project to go ahead for any reason) environmental pressure groups, landowners, and local iwi (who run a modern version of Al Capone’s protection rackets) before being granted the permits needed to start drilling.

    When NZ needs oil and gas so badly, what did National and Heatley do for Apache?

    Sweet fuck all. Just left them to the mercy of a legion of parasites and anti-progress selfish whinging no hoping losers and institutionalised racist gangsters.

    National are useless.

    Apprenticeships? Pfft, a good idea but just a drop in the bucket. Employment laws, insane environmentalism, racism and corruption are just a few examples of the mass of commercial negatives that are killing enterprise in NZ.

    National does nothing where it matters. Like Labour and the Greens, they’re just another pack of moribund do nothing political millstones around the neck of this country.

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  10. Manolo (12,622 comments) says:

    All spinning and cheer-leading aside, the National Party, aka as Labour lite, has been a bitter disappointment to those of us who expected a radical departure from comrade Clark’s policies.

    Smile-and-wave Key is a colourless and spineless PM, who will be quickly forgotten. He deserves that fate.

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  11. RF (1,128 comments) says:

    Creak as the crypt door slowly opens and there stands hambone the hobbit hater, eye blinking in the bright sun. Welcome to the real world. Ham it’s going to be interesting to hear your leader Mumblefucks response to John Keys policies as you claim they were originally Labours. Ifs that’s true he sure as hell must agree with them as being correct and good for the country.

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  12. Pete George (21,804 comments) says:

    …a bitter disappointment to those of us who expected a radical departure from comrade Clark’s policies.

    Your were dreaming then if you expected a radical departure. It shouldn’t have been a surprise that apart from the odd pet policy National would be a careful incremental government, especially in very difficult economic times.

    I don’t recall them signalling they would be much different to how they’ve been.

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  13. Manolo (12,622 comments) says:

    I don’t recall them signalling they would be much different to how they’ve been.

    Yes. National even kept the whorish Dunne as Minister of Revenue.

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  14. sparky (235 comments) says:

    Excellent start for 2013, by John Key. Great Speech, and very encouraging for young one’s wanting to go into a trade. Fantastic.

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  15. Reid (15,530 comments) says:

    Labour’s so-called ‘plan’ to build 100,000 houses doesn’t do anything to fix the actual cost of building – so will either fail miserably, deliver dwellings that people don’t want to live in, or require massive taxpayer subsidies.

    It’s dishonest and it doesn’t stack up.

    See if Key and the Nats used Liarbore’s techniques, what they would do here is start mentioning “it’s dishonest and doesn’t stack up” on every single ministerial interview and press release in the least related to housing, in order to drive it into the subconscious. I hope that happens in this case because what we have in housing right now is the idiots out-bidding each other in the insanity dept.

    The public who support it don’t get it because most of them are of the mentality that the “faceless” govt, whoever “they” are, have money, they always do, it comes from them, that’s where money comes from, der, so from there it’s a mere matter, they think, of getting more from wherever the hell money comes from, which can’t be that hard is their level of analysis on the issue.

    So why not, they collectively bray, like a beastly mindless herd of particularly stupid circus animals, it’s for a good cause so why not just spend the money whatever that is, on a wonderful social cause, of progressively paying for other people’s houses, one at a time, for oh, a few decades or so?

    And an increasing number of them are beginning to listen to this nonsense.

    If I was Key, I’d hammer that soundbite hard until it becomes engrained and remembered like the “cancerous and corrosive” comment and has the same effect on this groundswell of insanity. Interesting isn’t it that compared to Key, Hulun was so good that she could do it once in one go and penetrate like a dagger whereas by contrast Key I predict, will let the chance disappear, like a ship in the night.

    I like the idea of the apprenticeship schemes, I’ve thought that for decades and honestly, to me, it’s palpable that it was a mistake to ditch them back in the 80′s. I hope therefore National puts more into it. 14,000 is the most they can do? I’d use this opportunity to put even more into schemes. This is a perfect way to get well motivated young people into trades we always need and which have often been filled to date esp in Akld by cheap immigrant labour. Let’s put heaps into this.

    I’m real disappointed Key isn’t touching interest-free student loans. I don’t buy the argument it’s political suicide. I understand well the support base which includes not just students but their families of course esp the grandparents. The time we experience globally this coming year however will never be better to have a debate about whether or not, in these times we will have during 2013, we can afford it as it is in the current design. This is possibly the only time this debate will ever be able to be put on the table. Otherwise like the anti-nuke legislation, it risks becoming locked into the NZ psyche forever, precisely as Hulun intended (in both cases). But no-one seems to listen to me, dammit. It’s not fair.

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  16. Viking2 (10,709 comments) says:

    Maximum spend on an apprentice $4000 for mostly 4 year apprenticeships. Apprentices are a weekly wage employee with a time or hours contract. As such they then pay (rightfully), paye.
    Now compare that with a basic Uni student. 4 years of expenditure by the taxpayer, disruptive and protesting behavoir by many of the students, mind training of the brain, by the left, for all students, entitlement attitude on qualifying expecting there to be a job waiting at high wages. Mostly no earnings but plenty of student loans at a free interest rate with very freindly repayment terms.
    Fuck why would you want to be an apprentice.

    And all that assumes that employers want apprentices, which many do, however having to pay them at 16 adult rates when there is a guy with the skills around the corner at the same rate, just doesn’t stack up.

    One wonders where these guys get there hairbrained idea’s from.
    Perhaps they should ask some small guys in the trades rather than the desk jockeys in the big outfits.

    If this is an attempt to tackle youth rates it won’t even take up those leaving school this next term.

    No pass mark.

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  17. Colville (1,771 comments) says:

    When I did my “time” back in late 80′s as a first year floor sleeper i earnt as much as a first year eng grad cept the diff was I started earning when I was 18 not 22. My tech class had I think 3 uni dropouts in it that has seen the light.
    Doing your 8000 hrs lag with a bunch of good but hard bastards is fantasticly rewarding and it sets you up well with a set of skills that is transferable to many different fields.

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  18. Azeraph (597 comments) says:

    Colville (500) Says:
    January 25th, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    This is true but today it’s the worshipers of the degree except a lot of young grads can’t get work in their fields.

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  19. Nostalgia-NZ (4,685 comments) says:

    JK is softening the electorate up on a ‘new’ sell of what the unemployment rate is, sounds like he expects it to go higher and that the public will accept that’s it’s all about 100,000 to 200,000 jobs being found or lost 3 monthly. That will only work if the unemployment rate doesn’t keep climbing. Putting the labour and green vote together in his speech is risky long term, as is blaming labour policies when your in a second term of Government. Not an overall positive message.

    I thought his supporting word for Parata when speaking at Ratana Pa was odd. Asking an audience who ‘cares more’ about the education of children than Parata isn’t measurable anyway, but saying that an obviously struggling minister ‘cares’ about her portfolio is hardly an endorsement of the minister herself or his perceived intelligence of his audience. I think he managed to make Shearer look more like a PM and the shot of Shearer and Cunnliffe provided a settled picture. In the meantime who is the person in waiting as the next leader of National, it’s looking thinner at the top suddenly by comparison with Labour.

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  20. Reid (15,530 comments) says:

    Key should look at changing immigration policy and start heavily favouring highly educated Europeans and Americans who like the thought of a nice quiet country at the bottom of an increasingly unstable world.

    This is a huge goldmine of skills and talent and money if it’s done right and not marketed like a Hooker Lodge luxury-only offer which it currently is. Open the gates to those people and watch us boom. However the problem is none of them are poor and starving and almost all are Caucasian. Let’s hope none of that’s a showstopper. I’m sure it won’t be.

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  21. duggledog (1,107 comments) says:

    I agree with Reid. Key needs to re-engage with the media and keep countering the opposition with the simple, clear logic he wins elections with. I’ve heard him do it with those Maori guys on Radio Live again and again. Their fire and brimstone seems to melt over the half hour or so they get with him. Same with Leighton.

    If he doesn’t, the bull shit coming from the left just gets parroted, taken on by the media and ends up becoming the lexicon.

    The above as sampled by DPF is what Key needs to do – and more of it. All the time now. Simply spell out what his administration has achieved, under what conditions it was achieved, what they are bedding in now, the ‘money thing’ (there isn’t any) and keep lumping Labour, the Greens etc and more importantly NZF into one coalition by stating NOW he will not work with Winston. Period.

    Then NZ has a simple choice and on this I believe Kiwis won’t risk the cluster fuck option.

    I saw him refer to ‘them’ at the Ratana celebrations on TV last night. I also feel he ridiculed Maori by asking those assembled to name one of their number who gave more of a shit about lifting young Maori than Hekia. No response. Good job. Do it again at waitangi, or just don’t humiliate yourself John!

    Poor Shearer. What a choice. Labour either hangs with the delusional, mad Greens and form a coalition of shite which implodes the day after it is formed, or go to the right of National. Too late for option B.

    Own the territory John Key, back yourself and start barking mate, otherwise you’ll be drowned out by the… mongrels!

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  22. hj (5,677 comments) says:

    Did John Key mention the findings of the governments own pick of experts: the Savings Working Group., or does he dance to the realestate industries flute?

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  23. hj (5,677 comments) says:

    Great that he is talking about training our own youth rather than the (alleged) “needed skills” which apear as (actually) restuarant # 99 on Dom Road or driving a van oof tourists on cut price tours huh!?

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  24. valeriusterminus (242 comments) says:

    BA $18K

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  25. valeriusterminus (242 comments) says:

    Let me count The Ways.

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  26. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    huh…*yawn*…what did i miss ?…did somebody say something new?

    this whole blame Labour excuse just doesn’t cut it anymore!

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  27. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    Hmmmm!,,, So where are the jobs?.

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