Thursday, 7 April 2011

Who’s the Wastemaster General now, Bill? [update 2]

TeWaka Bill English has been opening his mouth again and letting the wind blow his tongue around.

He says there is an “economic case” for a $2 million giant plastic waka that will be planted down at Queen’s Wharf for a month later this year.

Saying you have an economic case for X has a very specific meaning. It means you envisage specific economic benefits to specific economic players from X.

Does anyone really believe there is any economic benefit to be derived from this beyond the direct $1.8n million benefit to Ngati Whatua themselves? If there is an economic case for the waka, then I say let those who think they stand to benefit economically take the entrepreneurial risk themselves.

How dare Bill English and Pita Sharples and Ngati Whatua big cheese Ngarimu Blair load that entrepreneurial risk onto taxpayers instead of taking it themselves.

This is a very good example of why entrepreneurial risk should always be borne by the owners of capital—not by taxpayers at the behest of politicians playing political games.

There is little enough capital in this country anyway, most of it still malinvested. Should taxpayers bear the risk with their capital of Bill English's/Pita Sharples’s/Ngarimu Blair’s entrepreneurial acumen? Or lack thereof?

Hell no.

This is why taxpayers should not bear the burden of paying for a big plastic waka. If there are economic benefits to be had from it, then let those who stand to benefit stump up and risk their own capital.

Same argument for Team New Zealand, frankly. If there are economic benefits to be had from yachts with New Zealand logos floating around the world's pleasure spots, then let those who stand to benefit stump up and risk their own capital.

Same argument for the Rugby World Cup itself, frankly. If there are economic benefits to be had from "showcasing New Zealand," of from building “slugs” on Queen’s Wharf to “showcase New Zealand businesses,” then let those who stand to benefit from that showcasing stump up and risk their own bloody capital without dipping into other people's pockets.

And same argument for an inner-city rail loop round central Auckland. If there are economic benefits to be had from a rail line under central Auckland, then let those who stand to benefit economically from that rail line take the economic risk themselves.

These are many, many, many things that are "nice to have"--and those who find them nice should be the ones that have to find the money.  Why the hell should people who might think it's nice just to afford their rent be forced to take food out of their own mouths to pay for someone else's idea of "nice."

There are many other things that others might think it "nice to have" but will never ever have any economic benefit at all. That are just Waste with a capital ‘F.’ Boondoggles that Bill English should recant on now. And if he doesn’t recant on them now when his Government confronts the most economically destructive natural disaster the country has ever see combined with the biggest government deficit this country has ever seen then one has to wonder when he will.

  • A bailout for South Canterbury Finance debenture holders. Nice for some. Not nice for NZ taxpayers.
  • A bailout for AMI Insurance policy holders. Nice for some. Not nice for NZ taxpayers.
  • Welfare for Working Families. Nice for the middle class families getting the welfare. Not so nice for the taxpayers paying for it.
  • Interest-free loans for students. Nice for the students getting the interest-free loans. Unaffordable for for the taxpayers Bill English still forces to pay for it.
  • Michael Cullen’s train set. Nice for the few people who use it. Not nice for those taxpayers Michael and Bill taxed to pay for it.
  • Nick Smith’s Emissions Tax Scam. Nice for the bureaucrats administering it. Nice for those who think it makes NZ look “nice” to the rest of the world. Nice for Nick Smith who gets to strut around looking “nice” before his friends at the world’s climate conferences. Not nice at all for all you hard-pressed producers and consumers who have to pay for it.
  • Continuing to pay for Ministries of Women’s Affairs, Ethnic Affairs, Maori Affairs, Pacific Island Affairs and Consumer Affairs (let all these pressure groups handle their own bleeding affairs); for Ministries of Youth Development, Economic Development and most of the Ministry of Social Development (have you seen them doing any developing to speak of?); for Commissions for Commerce, Children, Electricity and Race Relations; and Councils for Alcohol Advice, Fish and Game, Gambling and “Human Rights”—not to mention the whole litany of other government millstones hanging round the neck of producers.
  • And of course “Party Central” itself and its giant plastic waka—which as everyone really knows has no economic case whatsoever.  It is simply nice for Pita Sharples and the Ngati Whatua Browntable, and very nice for John Key and Bill English—who get to buy the Maori Party’s votes in Parliament with money out of your pocket.

Before the last election, when National’s luminaries were swallowing dead rats while pretending they didn’t know there was an economic crash coming, they were busy calling Michael Cullen the Wastemaster General.

Who’s the Wastemaster General now, Bill?

Who’s the Wastemaster General now, John?

UPDATE 1: Eric Crampton: “Oh, the dangers when the government starts picking winners.”

UPDATE 2: Please take this 3 News poll: “Should the taxpayer or businesses pay for World Cup projects - eg Cloud or the Waka... ? “


  1. I felt that my ass has been violated by this bunch of socialist fuckers from the National Party. Are you there Bill English? Are you listening John Key?

    I won't vote National in the next election.

  2. Bloody hell, Peter, you put the case so well!! An excellent, passionate and well thought-out piece of writing. Thank you.

  3. Who do you vote for ? Buy an airline ticket and vote for Abbott is the only option left.

  4. Socialism is not the same thing as 'society'. You rabid libertarians have never been able to tell the difference. I assume you'd have demanded that the British government in WW2 let people build their own Spitfires if they wanted to avoided being bombed?

  5. Sorry wasn't supposed to be anonymous...

  6. You assume wrongly with regard to your WW2 example, Mark C.

    The purpose of govt is to protect its citizens from force. That naturally includes external menace.

    It most certainly does not include the force imposed upon taxpayers by govt. Particularly a govt that has the fiscal temerity to wear blue.

    Firstly understand the purpose of govt. It's pretty clear-cut from that point.

  7. the drunken watchman7 Apr 2011, 17:23:00

    yes, definitely, I would want to be able to build my own Spitfire were I being bombed. Why not?

  8. Mark C....if you had stayed Anonymous you would have better off as you look even more of a cock now for that spitfire statement.

    Wasn't it a private individual who having seen Germany's military build up first hand decide he had better whip something up quick smart if Britain was to have a chance? And wasn't it a cowardly Labour Government that had left Britain virtually disarmed between the wars putting Britain on the brink of disaster when hostilities resumed in WW2?

  9. "And wasn't it a cowardly Labour Government that had left Britain virtually disarmed between the wars putting Britain on the brink of disaster when hostilities resumed in WW2?"

    Ah no. That must be the Libbo version of reality you're relying on there chief. Look it up.

    Jol Thang


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