National’s John Hayes Should Be Retired To Niue

Yesterday I wrote a piece about a report that advocated that NZ taxpayers should be forking out millions of dollars to look after distant Pacific Islands and their residents. Stuff have picked up on the report too, and have written an article highlighting the author’s (National MP John Hayes) call for Niue to be made into a retirement village. For those who don’t know, Niue is about 2500 kilometres north east of Auckland. It is known as the “Rock of the Pacific” for its unusual geology: at 259 square kilometres the single island is the world’s “largest emerged atoll”. The coastline rises 20 to 30 metres straight out of the deep Pacific.

Can you imagine what old age would be like stuck 2500 km away from civilisation, your friends and relatives, on a damn rock in the middle of the Pacific??? Can you imagine how often the grand children would visit? What kind of a damn loony idea is this? That it has been suggested by someone apparently believed to possess some degree of common sense, in that he was appointed to write the report, suggests there must be one hell of a shortage of that commodity in the National government.

The other interesting aspect to the Stuff article is the detail on what looking after Niue and its citizens has cost the NZ taxpayer. The island is presently home to only about 1200 people. It receives $NZ21.5 million in aid. That’s right. $NZ21.5 million. For 1200 people. That works out at about $18000 per annum for every man woman child and baby. Furthermore, they have been getting this money or amounts like it for 40 years.

The report says there are “serious concerns” about Niue’s economic and constitutional viability as its population continues to decline. The committee, headed by National MP John Hayes, says they believe Niue has reached a point where it can never be a sustainable economic entity.

SERIOUS CONCERNS??? Give me a break. The place has been receiving this amount of aid for 40 damn years and we’re only just coming to this conclusion?? What arrogant and cavalier disregard for whose money you are spending. But wait, there’s more.

“Further, we consider that having 20 members of Parliament for a country of just 600 voters is an abuse of trust and responsibility.” The economy was very fragile and most of the New Zealand aid was being spent on salaries for public servants.

Outrageous. Why has this continued for 40 years??? (Maybe because its the same damn thing that is happening in NZ, and neither National or Labour give a damn about that either.) Don’t forget this is only one island. This scenario you can bet your house, will be repeated in around a dozen other instances. What utterly gross incompetence and disregard for the NZ taxpayer. There just does not seem to be any end to this waste and incompetence. Oh well, lets jut borrow a bit more. What’s another $10 or 20 million a week to NZ’s fast shrinking productive sector of about 500,000 citizens? Man I’ve had a guts full of the appalling mis-governance of this country.

Niue was given to NZ by the British for our support in the Boer war. (Conned again) Why not just give it back?

Full story here.

3 thoughts on “National’s John Hayes Should Be Retired To Niue

  1. This guy Hayes is a cruel vindictive Nazi. The heat would kill the old people. Not one journo asked him about that?

    No one would go anyway. Never get off the ground. Experience teaches us you gotta watch out for these no bodies in parliament though trying to make a name for themselves. The name McCarthy springs to mind instantly. But he knew how to work the power brokers psyche. This Hayes fellow isn’t that bright.


  2. Niue has reached a point where it can never be a sustainable economic entity.

    That’s actually not true, if the flood of free money without any guidance is turned off and property rights are established for foreigner investors, things can be turned around… A friend of mine likes to travel there but says it makes you laugh, they can grow lemons there but rather import them from NZ ans Aussie at a cost of $5 each… It’s ripe for tourism but rules meaning no ownership of property for non-Nuieans means no one will invest in hotel and resorts, the government controlled airline means there is only one flight a week, the funds they get aren’t invested, only distributed for subsistence spending…

    Ultimately the first step to a viable is economy is the production of food, then a surplus of food, which they have with the fish processing plant on the island…

    All the building blocks are there, democracy, tourism, food production, they just need to get rid of the xenophobia, regulation and socialism… Then I think you’d see some of the thousands of Nuieans here in NZ willing to consider moving back…


  3. The Hon John Hayes got this job as head of this Parliamentary Committee looking at the Status of the 3 countries that are in the “Realm of NZ” by virtue of the fact that he is a self professed expert on the Pacific Islands. The people of Niue have long accepted that he is a buffoon and his “retirement home” idea serves to illustrate this for the reasons Trueblue NZ has pointed out and other reasons.

    But some of Trueblue’s statements here are equally kneejerk and need some qualifying. For instance the twenty members of parliament to 600 voters situation has not always existed. At independence the population was closer to 5000 and it was Kiwi lawyers that drew up the constitution that has created this ridiculous situation we have at present. A change in the electorate now would require the current legislators to do themselves out of a job because thats what the constitution requires.

    The 21 million per year is also a an erroneous statement this figure having been increased incrimentally over the last 40 years. This is about the same amount that the Ross Dependency recieves for administration and scientific projects. That population is far smaller than Niue’s and we never hear NZ tax payers moaning about that. Is science more important than a unique culture and the maintenance of a pristine environment?

    I agree with the more level headed reply of the previous comment. Niue is not a dead duck and tourism is really the only answer. The fact is that xenophobic Niuean’s do not want foreigners walking around their Island and that has been the main hinderince to tourism development in the past. This is changing with an ultimatum from Wellington saying that if Niue doesn’t get their act together with tourism development then it will only receive from NZ the bare minimum of what is required to run the country (into oblivion?) about $8 million. The land tenure system is not a hinderince to tourism development. Like the Cooks land is easily acquired on a lease basis. The incompetent Niue tourism office staff including an equally incompetent Kiwi tourism consultant have been fired and expat expertise has been employed. Beds lost in the catastropic 04 cyclone are being re-established inorder to accommodate the huge interest in Niue from regional NZ and Australia.

    Talk back mentality kneejerk overviews of Niue’s situation are as tedious as the incompetence of its leadership. The facts are much more complex and current developments promise that the NZ taxpayer will get a more bang for his buck in future. And there is another thing that Kiwis can be happy about. There is a pristine tropical playground in their backyard they can visit anytime.


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