elocal sat down with Shane Jones at the recent New Zealand First Christmas function. Below are excerpts from that conversation.
Shane going back to the last election Winston said that capitalism no longer works. What do you think he meant by that?
I think that the engines of growth. I’m firmly of the view are well known. It’s just how you distribute a dividend of growth. I suspect that’s what he was actually referring to because in the DNA of most Kiwis if not all, they are from that basic adaptable pioneering stock. And let’s face it through toil, taking a risk, either borrowing, begging, short of stealing capital. That’s what developed the country and we’re not going to see a change to that. So, on the distributional side obviously I fully support Winston. Whether it’s between metropolitan New Zealand or regional New Zealand, whether it’s the fact that a lot of our industries now are tightly controlled, such as supermarkets, insurance, banking, so it’s hard to find us a place where that classic entrepreneur can come in and corner the market.
We’re going to need the ‘number 8 wire mentality’ once we go further on this climate change journey.
And I’m very intolerant of shrill voices and professional scientists parading as academics which are rather than most of the time they’re just activists, solid, no time for them. I do feel however that rather than railing and stigmatizing and I think the term is carbon carbon shaming or carbon guilt I’m all on to adaptation. Adaptation with these changing realities, that’s what made the country.
On the topic of carbon trading. Do you think New Zealand should be part of this Kyoto agreement?
I’m getting my backside booted by the farmers at the moment on the question of carbon trading.
So, what I thought I was doing taking on forestry was expanding the classic conception of forestry which is planting trees, harvesting trees, making jobs, creating goods but there is a new type of forestry called carbon forestry where people are proposing they’ll never cut down the trees.
So, we’re going to have to go back and revisit the settings and I’ve got zero tolerance for us having to go overseas and buy carbon units. And similarly, I’m not particularly interested in people either living on Queen Street or overseas planting trees purely for the purpose of trading carbon and never actually using the trees for the purpose that I think the party stands for. I mean what strengths and failings that any party has. We are a private industry party and that’s an area we are probably slipped into a minefield quite frankly. On the question of his carbon trading but we’re never getting ourselves sport and I see little place for people being rewarded for buying land planting trees and never ever ever utilising the trees.
That’s not what I came in politics for.
Water, farmers are hot on the new topic of trading, trading nitrogen credits…..
Well, it’s on the question on the deeper question of water.
I always remember Geoffrey Palmer using that quaint term we are a Peruvian country which means that hoses down with rain. But in the wrong place. So I’m a great believer in water storage. I do think though the cockies got too cocky and didn’t feel they needed to be held to account for despoiling a lot of our waterways. But mind you, metropolitan people have buggered up waterways as well. So, the first thing is like we’re all on the waka together. But we should ensure that we live a decent period of time to resolve these issues.
And that’s one thing that New Zealand First is going to have to address before the next election with our friends from Labour on the question of trading nitrogen and trading I guess emission permits in a given catchment area.
I came from the fishing industry and one of the most hell bent sort of hellish experiences was how do you allocate the entitlements that enable you to be a trader.
And we are nowhere near having cracked that nut and that’s something that I’m looking forward to participating in because I’ve had more experience than anyone in Parliament on a trading system called the property rights system underpinning New Zealand fishing industry. I just haven’t sunk my teeth into it yet but it’s something we’ve got to make sure that we don’t let a situation arise where a tiny number of people end up creating all of the water rights or all of the natural rights. If we do that then we will have failed the test that Right Honourable Winston set for us to bring a face of humanity to the powerful Taniwha of capitalism
On the topic of guns..
Yeah, I think it’s difficult to find much more to say after the lady representing the Muslim Mother’s Society or something like that, the lady came out the other day and basically said; and I’m quite amazed that she said in her view there was no was no additional purpose as to why guns should be regulated.
That was her submission. I’m going to go back to Wellington over the course of the week and read that submission. I think that the changes that were made after the massacre; I wasn’t in the country, I was in Singapore when the massacre happened. I was away on a trip. However those changes were a totally understandable result of a range of issues that had been allowed to drift in New Zealand. But the bill that’s before the House at the moment with further changes. New Zealand First has endorsed Ronnie Mark but to go forward and we won’t be voting for the passage of that bill in its current form until such time Ronnie Mark reports back to our caucus and enables us to see how the bill has to be improved.
He’s not only our spokesman, he’s a genuine expert about guns and we always thought he would be firm but fair and listen to the concerns and listen to people’s conception of how their rights are being unfairly trampled upon. And we just set a meeting about it last week. So, we’re waiting to hear it from Ronnie.
I’ll certainly back his view about these things we’ve made. I think we’ve made the big change up front. As I said after the Christchurch massacre and now I’m very, very anxious that we don’t unwittingly trample upon genuine Kiwi rights to enjoy themselves recreational sporting clubs with guns.
Banking systems in New Zealand. On the campaign trail I interviewed Winston as you probably know a number of times and had a quite a discussion about the level of international banking in the country and what a tight hold they have over our retail market and mortgages and how money creation is basically created from thin air.
So, without a doubt the Aussie banks have triumphed. And when you look at problems with farming etc….
The banks have to be held to account as well. They created enormous amounts of capital and shovelled it out to farmers and home buyers. On the question though of where’s banking actually going to go. The large banks control a central entity like a clearing house, and I have met with a host of smaller operators who want to revolutionize banking. I’ve discussed this with the Reserve Bank as well, as they guard their independence like a medieval maid guards her chasteness.
So, they regard a lot of us politicians are straying right out of our writ if we advise them, encourage them to move in a certain direction. So, unless the Reserve Bank’s going to take on these issues then the only other option I can see is for and I don’t think the National Party will probably want to sell Kiwibank is to go back and create a force that moderates cost and conduct to do that. Obviously, a government would need to strengthen the size and the balance sheets of Kiwi Bank for it to have that role.
I don’t have that much more I really need to say about the Aussie banks. They’re in a hell of a state back in their own country but they are…. Yeah, they’ve come like barons really to Sherwood Forest otherwise known as New Zealand and we don’t really have a Robin Hood at this stage.