Goldsmith versus Jones on the Provincial Development Fund

Paul Goldsmith, National’s Spokesperson for Economic and Regional Development, has been nagging away at Shane Jones, the minister in charge of the Provincial Development Fund.

In Parliament last Wednesday:

Hon Paul Goldsmith: When he told the National Business Review that we have to make sure that “We’ve got enough nephs or if necessary a few Melanesians to help plant the trees.”, what proportion of any new forestry jobs does he expect to be filled by Melanesians, presumably by the way of the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme?

Hon SHANE JONES: Yes, well, from Melanesia we already draw a host of RSE workers and policy is being looked at, but the preference is to get the proverbial nephs off the couch. It is proving to be a challenge as a consequence of the last nine years of Kaikohe, Kaitāia, Gisborne, Hastings, and a whole host of other places—and I would remind the member that $50 million was put aside by his Government and not a single neph got off any couch, because they never spent any of that money.

Hon Paul Goldsmith: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The question was what proportion and he made no reference to anything like that.

SPEAKER: Right, I think the Minister can have another go.

Hon SHANE JONES: In terms of proportions between workers that may or may not come from Melanesia and the nephs, such a policy is under active consideration.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Can the Minister confirm that the fame of this visionary policy has been so far-reaching that countries in the Pacific and Pacific Islands are now mustering their workforce to assist the member in the implementation of his plan?

Hon Gerry Brownlee: Come off it. What a load of rubbish.

1 News: Shane Jones forced to correct answers after failing to disclose 61 meetings

National’s Paul Goldsmith said the slip was of concern as he controlled the $3b provincial growth fund.

Press releases from Goldsmith:

Jones’ forestry jobs cost at least $485k apiece

Shane Jones could hire the Prime Minister to work on his tree-planting schemes – and she’d get a pay rise – based on the fuzzy economics of the Provincial Growth Fund.

More questions than answers in $140m spend-up

The Government’s travelling caravan of grants and soft loans is continuing to the West Coast tomorrow with the bequeathing of $140 million of taxpayer funds that raises more questions than answers.

Last night Goldsmith and Jones were put up for a debate on Q+A last night – Is the Govt’s billion dollar provincial fund the best way to boost regional economies?

Jones is responsible for dishing out $3 billion over the current term, so it is important he is held to account. Goldsmith’s nagging is a good way to do this – he doesn’t seek attention as much as some politicians, but his nagging keeps forcing Jones to explain what he is up to.


  1. Strong For Life

     /  3rd December 2018

    When Jones’ pork barrel is empty will there be many positive results from all the splashed cash?

    • David

       /  3rd December 2018

      You would think with child poverty and homelessness being our biggest problem spending all the governments surplus on state sector pay rises, Jones,s re election fund, new embassies and middle class subsidies for rich kids to attend university and study art history is a poor use of public money.
      Give a bit more to Twyford instead because his Kiwibuild is falling apart.

  2. David

     /  3rd December 2018

    The regions have been doing pretty well with most finding getting workers is the biggest problem. If Gisborne/Northland has a problem well Ashburton has 500 job vacancies they cant fill which is typical for the SI.

    • Blazer

       /  3rd December 2018

      as a matter of interest David…what is the nature of those 500 vacancies and the pay rates offerred?

      • David

         /  3rd December 2018

        Who knows, living is pretty cheap in Ashburton and the commute is pretty short.

  3. Gerrit

     /  3rd December 2018

    Did I hear right and did Jones disparagingly call Goldsmith, Goldstein yet again?

    Jones comes across as smug, arrogant and pompous arse , whilst continuing his anti-Semitic rhetoric he started in parliament chamber.

    Jones then patronisingly started calling Goldsmith, Goldie as well. What a fraud Jones is.

    • Gezza

       /  3rd December 2018

      She’s a rum do, this coalition. NZF is led by two prominent politicians whose services & policies are for sale, whose policy is whatever will garner votes from anywhere & can flip 180° at drop of a hat in a way no other party would dare risk, and possibly flip again a few weeks later – leaving everyone wondering what it is at the current time, & whose principles are:

      1. Stay in the limelight and
      2. Get re-elected, then
      3. Did we say that? No we didn’t. Ok. Whatever. Things are different now: do as we say.
      5. Someone else can worry about the books. We’re vote-buying & big noting.
      4. Rednecks & other suckers will still vote for us.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  3rd December 2018

        In the Listener’s ordinary crossword (I do it and the cryptic one) a clue was:’What insect with large compound eyes can swivel its head 180o ?’ (7, 5)

        No, the answer was not Winston Peters or Jacinda Ardern (what a pity) although ‘pr(e)ying mantis’ could be either of them.

  4. Kitty Catkin

     /  3rd December 2018

    I hope that if Jones did say ‘Goldstein’, he was thinking of that annoying series of ads that went on far too long. The bumbling Jewish Goldstein was played by an actor who really was a New York Jew.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  3rd December 2018

      He is probably jealous of Goldsmith being the name of a craftsman, while Jones is dead common, innit.

      His name should be Fingersmith. Most of the Coal should be called that.

    • Gezza

       /  3rd December 2018

      The thing I didn’t like about that Goldstein ad series was that he was continually shown lying to his boss & I kept wondering, ok, that’s supposed to be amusing, but that continual subtle messaging was that that’s what employees should do. I think it was the first ad that really made me realise how far NZ ad makers have gone in losing their moral compass – telling viewers to lie to their boss.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  4th December 2018

        I felt that he was bluffing rather than deliberately lying, he was panicking and saying anything to get out of the predicament.

        I thought that the ads went on far too long and ceased to be at all funny and became teejus in the extreme. Goldstein, go home.