Story image

Classic Joyce: Labour scolds Govt's 'culture of extravagance'

22 Feb 16

The Labour Party is taking swipes at Steven Joyce following reports the MBIE has shelled out $200,000 on an app the party says no one will ever use.

Labour’s economic development spokesperson David Clark says the New Zealand Region’s app has been downloaded only 1000 times and had to be given positive reviews by staff members.

The app was launched to promote the Regional Economic Activity Report, to provide statistics to interested parties and stakeholders about economic performance statistics.

“It was likely never intended to be used much, just to look good at Steven Joyce’s launch party,” Clark says.

Clark says the app is “’classic Joyce, exposing further his ‘culture of extravagance.”

“No one in the real world would download an app to look at information they can find more easily on the internet,” Clark explains.

“This is just expensive window dressing. Most apps cost just a dollar. This one has cost the taxpayer $200 for each download,” he says.

“It appears the makers and MBIE got so worried about lack of interest they rated the app themselves. The first three ratings are Nicholas Guthrie and Craig Eades, who work for the app maker Alphero, and Peter Ellis who works for MBIE. Of course they all gave it five stars. Mr Joyce will be pleased with them,” Clark continues.

He says there is ‘so much’ wasted money coming from agencies connected to Steven Joyce.

“MBIE is infamous for its makeover that included $360,000 on expensive furniture, $140,000 on a giant TV screen, $260,000 on a sundeck, $70,000 on a sign and $200 on hair straighteners,” Clark explains.

He adds the NZTE was exposed for spending $30,000 on pounamu pendants for staff. “As Tertiary Education Minister he is jointly responsible for the Ministry of Education’s $2.5m Stairway to Heaven,” Clark says.

The New Zealand Tax Payers Union also piped in, saying MBIE tax payer wastage will continue until Joyce is held responsible.

"How much money does MBIE need to waste before Steven Joyce will do something about it? Time and time again, Mr Joyce's officials are demonstrating a culture of waste, yet not a single official has been held to account," says Jordan Williams, executive director for the union. 

"It seems like every second week this Ministry is doing something stupid with our money," he says. 

"A $140,000 TV screen for their reception, staff hair straighteners, a $67,000 stone sign. All that money spent without a shred of accountability.

"This Ministry also spent half a million dollars on its website last year, including making it assessable for mobiles. Instead of using that, Mr Joyce's officials dreamed up this new app which no one uses. It's 'Yes Minister' stuff while Mr Joyce sits on his hands," Williams adds.

"If we want regional New Zealand to prosper, we need to support regional priorities," says Clark. 

"That means investment in real infrastructure and real jobs, not TVs, trinkets and flashy downloads.”

TCS collaborates with Red Hat to build digital transformation solutions
“By leveraging TCS' technology skills to build more secure, intelligent and responsive solutions, we aim to deliver superior end-user experiences."
Twitter suspects state-sponsored ties to support forum breach
One of Twitter’s support forums was hit by a data breach that may have ties to a state-sponsored attack, however users' personal data was exposed.
How McAfee aims to curb enterprise data loss
McAfee DLP aims to help safeguard intellectual property and ensure compliance by protecting sensitive data.
HPE promotes 'circular economy' for end-of-use tech
HPE is planning to show businesses worldwide that throwing old tech and assets into landfill is not the best option when it comes to end-of-use disposal.
2018 sees 1,500% increase in coinmining malware - report
This issue will only continue to grow as IoT forms the foundation of connected devices and smart city grids.
CSPs ‘not capable enough’ to meet 5G demands of end-users
A new study from Gartner produced some startling findings, including the lack of readiness of communications service providers (CSPs).
Oracle announces a new set of cloud-native managed services
"Developers should have the flexibility to build and deploy their applications anywhere they choose without the threat of cloud vendor lock-in.”
How AT&T aims to help businesses recover faster from a disaster
"Companies need to be able to recover and continue operations ASAP, without pulling resources from other places to get back up and running."