Claire Trevett writes:
Jones had also made much of the benefits of the tree planting programme in terms of jobs.
He had his “ne’er do well nephews” lazing about on the sofa in Northland who would be put to work.
He wanted to go so far as something akin to a planting for the dole programme – something Labour baulked at.
Yet it seems those nephews were in short supply when Ngati Hine came knocking.
The officials’ paper observed there would not have been the labour required for planting the trees even had the land been cleared.
So Jones had to admit they would have looked at bringing in overseas labour – likely under the Pacific Island seasonal labour scheme to plant the trees rather than Jones’ much talked about layabout nephews.
So the net impact of the tree planting scheme will be to import workers from overseas and increase immigration to NZ. I look forward to people reminding Winston of this on the campaign trail.