Sure, Larry has billions of dollars, but obviously not enough to help his Warkworth company’s R&D

April 24, 2015
Driven by a fair wind and a nice Kiwi subsidy...

Driven by a fair wind and a nice Kiwi subsidy…

Alf’s mates in the Eketahuna Club are pretty keen for him to have a chat with Steven Joyce about some of the R&D funding handouts he loves to toss to people who seriously look like they don’t much need it.

They are livid that some of this boodle has been tossed to Oracle’s boatbuilder – potentially worth up to $17.25 million, according to media reports.

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Sir Peter Jackson’s new aircraft just goes to show how welfare (well focused) can create a high-flyer

May 29, 2013

It is great to see how a beneficiary of state welfare has picked himself up by the bootstraps and …

Well, now he can buy himself a new $80 million jet.

News of this uplifting story reached Alf via the Dominion Post.

A version of it is told here at Stuff.

It involves none other than Sir Peter Jackson.

We can be sure WhaleOil will have taken note, because at Gotcha he has expressed himself somewhat critically on the matter (as you will find here).

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Polls shows we’re away with the fairies – or hobbits – if we don’t listen to Winston on this one

March 15, 2013

If it's a chunk of the profit you want - go away...

If it’s a chunk of the profit you want – go away…

Alf got huffy with The Hobbit bunch when they dropped him from the invitation list for the premiere screening.

As he confessed at the time (here), he is now taking a more jaundiced view of things.

His mates similarly were telling him they are just a tad sceptical, when they heard Sir Peter Jackson say there was a very real danger the Hobbit movies would be made outside New Zealand.

Accordingly, Alf finds himself doing the nigh-unpardonable and – brace for this, dear constituents – agreeing with Winston Peters.

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Is the abandonment of Christchurch a Maori phenomenon – or is there a broader story?

April 7, 2011

Let's leave rebuilding to the property-owning honkeys.

Well, well, well. A Maori exodus.

And all because the departing Maori feel they don’t have a stake in a city where fellow citizens – as ratepayers and taxpayers – have been subsidising their low-rent accommodaion.

Christchurch Maori academic Rawiri Taonui was reported today as saying many Maori are abandoning the city because they don’t have an ownership stake in rebuilding it.

An interesting word, “abandoning”.

That’s what we do – and rats, too – to get off sinking ships.

And the evidence for this claim that many Maori are abandoning the city?

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Switching from milk to whisky sounds like a good idea – unless it catches on and Scotch prices surge

February 18, 2011

Alf notes with some bemusement that his good mate David Carter, our Minister of Agriculture, is seeking advice from his officials about the cost of milk.

He has been prompted, it seems, by complaints that milk is now more expensive than soft drinks, even though milk is supposed to be good for your health and soft drinks bad for it.

Alf is not convinced by this. He has spent a lifetime giving milk a wide berth, and he remains in good nick (for his age).

When he reaches the age of 100 and is asked for the secret of his longevity, he will say a wee dram every day (of Scotch, obviously) did the trick.

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Gerry and the film-makers – or how to grovel to keep The Hobbit from emigrating

October 22, 2010

Betcha Gerry will come up with a bigger subsidy if I threaten to stick this up him.

Size does matter, of course, and if you are big enough you can get the Key cabinet to turn all sorts of tricks for you.

Especially when Hollywood movie moguls are involved, Alf’s Nat mates are eager to perform – and to please.

Want new labour laws?

Yep. We can fix it.

Want bigger subsidies?

Yep. We can fix that too.

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So which plonker came up with a scheme to prop up wine prices with our taxes?

June 3, 2010

Alf hadn’t appreciated that players in the wine industry are struggling to make ends meet and have been hollering for state welfare.

Perhaps not all of them. But some of them.

And surprise, surprise. The Government has sprung a million bucks or so from taxpayers for them.

The money presumably has been diverted from something not so important in the grand scheme of things, such as adult education for poor people.

Instead the Government is backing a push for the billion-dollar wine export industry into the US market.

The aim is to build a super premium wine category.

Hmm. Let’s see if Alf understands this correctly.

We have a billion-dollar export industry.

But it needs taxpayers’ handouts for a sales push.

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Great stuff for Fox but what do Kiwi taxpayers get back for their investments in a blockbuster?

February 14, 2010

A bloke called Luke Malpass raises a bloody good question in the Sunday Star-Times today: it’s whether taxpayers should be pumping money into our film industry.

Malpass is a Policy Analyst at The Centre for Independent Studies.

His question is something that Alf tried to bring up with Gerry Brownlee, our Minister of Economic Development. He didn’t get far.

The question was triggered for Malpass by news that the film Avatar had overtaken Titanic to become the highest grossing movie in history by raking in about $US2 billion.
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Greens dump on car scrappage scheme

April 16, 2009

Government incentives to buy new (more efficient) cars seemed such a great idea, Alf was about to raise it with The Boss.

One of its great merits is that environmentalists have dumped on it.

Its biggest impediment, on the other hand, is that Labourites seem to be thinking about implementing it. The Telegraph says Britain’s Government

is tipped to announce a £2,000 incentive to buy a new car, according to briefings from the Treasury in advance of next week’s Budget.

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