Q: What do Sky City, Air New Zealand, Mediaworks, South Canterbury Finance and Fletcher Building have in common?
A: They’re all big enough to pull favours out of the Prime Minister’s arse.
After four years This National Government’s policy on encouraging business is now clear: it’s policy is not to encourage an environment in which business in general can grow. It’s policy is to grant favours to specific businesses so they can grow, while all about them struggle.
This is what’s behind behind the quasi-governmental monopoly powers granted Fletcher Building in Christchurch. It was behind the govt’s decision to bailout out South Canterbury Finance investors and Mediaworks. It’s what’s behind the public/private partnerships Key and English favour—as it happens, precisely the crony corporatist model followed in Mussolini’s Italy.
And it’s what’s behind the Government’s plan now to pass special legislation allowing SkyCity to pack the halls of its fusty casino with as many pokie machines as it can manage while maintaining the prohibition on every small operator in the country against overstepping the government’s chosen number.
In the National Government lexicon, this sort of thing is what it means to grow business: it simply means to grow those businesses who can get an appointment with the Prime Minister.
It’s little not large where business life is difficult. But it’s large to whom this National Government sells its favours.
This is what this government thinks it means to do business. Which shows how little they understand about how business really works.