National kettle calling the pork barrelled

Steven Joyce played a significant part in National’s embarrassing result in the Northland by-election, which included a pork barrel promise to build ten bridges.

Now he is accusing Labour of pork barrel politics in the Mount Roskill by-election. He has a point, but so do those who accuse him of hypocrisy.

NZ Herald: National says Labour’s $680m Auckland light rail policy ‘pork barrel politics’

National’s Steven Joyce has accused Labour of panicking and “pork barrel” politics for its Mt Roskill byelection pledge to put $680 million into a light rail system for Auckland.

In an announcement linked to the Mt Roskill byelection on December 3, Labour leader Andrew Little released part of Labour’s transport policy for Auckland – $680m to help pay for the first stage of a light rail system from Wynyard Quarter to Mt Roskill.

Little, joined by Labour’s byelection candidate Michael Wood, set out Labour’s plan on Sunday for the Government to pay half of the $1.36b cost for light rail and Auckland Council the other half.

Joyce said the promise was “taking pork barrel politics to a whole new level”.
“Labour are hitting the panic button fairly early on,” Mr Joyce says. “Promising a $1.4 billion rail link between the electorate and the city looks very desperate.

It has echoes of last year’s Northland byelection, when National was accused of ”pork barrel” politics after Transport Minister Simon Bridges and its candidate Mark Osborne announced a promise to upgrade 10 one-way bridges in the region.

Joyce had overseen that campaign in which NZ First leader Winston Peters took the seat the National Party had long held.

So Joyce is being rather hypocritical.

Little dismissed Joyce’s criticism, saying the light rail policy was completely different to National’s policy to upgrade 10 bridges in Northland.

Labour’s policy to fund 1000 more Police had also been timed for the Mt Roskill by election and Little said it also proposed to re-open a community policing station in the electorate.

Little said no further major announcements were expected for the Mt Roskill by election. A policy announcement he was making on jobs at Labour’s annual conference next weekend would be national.

Meanwhile on the @PaulHenryShow

Labour’s @PhilTwyford insists the pledge for a light rail is about solving the city’s transport woes and not about playing politics.

Twyford is claiming that this isn’t playing politics:

. & announcing for Dom Rd!

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Yeah, right.

Politicians seem to be unaware or uncaring that porcine hypocrisy is likely to raise more cynicism than votes, as National found to their significant cost in Northland.