22 Jul 2012

Joyce hits out at Labour 'hypocrisy'

8:03 pm on 22 July 2012

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has accused the Labour Party of hypocrisy over its opposition to a number of economic policies promoted by the Government.

Mr Joyce told the National Party's annual conference in Auckland on Saturday that Labour wants the economy to do poorly to help its election chances in 2014.

Mr Joyce said Labour has opposed a number of initiatives, from mining exploration to negotiating the construction of an international convention centre in Auckland, which are similar to those it promoted when in Government.

He said Labour politicians are beneath contempt because they oppose economic development for purely political ends.

Mr Joyce said Labour doesn't want the economy to do well, so that it can say the Government has failed to create jobs and argue that voters need Labour back in government.

In his speech, Mr Key also criticised the Labour and Green Parties for opposing anything designed to get the economy going.

He says not only do they say no to mining and no to irrigation.

"They say no to jobs that are coming from Australia and they even said no to those cute, furry, fluffy little hobbits. And the latest thing is they want the unions to help elect their leader - well good luck with that one".

Mr Key says the Government and its support parties have a willingness to find solutions and work constructively together.

He says in comparison Labour and the Greens have no plan.

Oil exploration 'essential for growth'

Energy Minister Phil Heatley criticised environmental opposition to the Government's plans for more oil and gas exploration off New Zealand's coast.

Mr Heatley told conference that oil and gas exploration is needed to help boost the country's economic growth.

He said the Maui oil and gas field discovered in 1969 is a good example of the economic benefits which can flow from oil exploration.

The field had produced 180 million barrels of oil and provided gas to 225,000 customers, he said,

Crime rate

Justice Minister Judith Collins is blaming the Labour Party for previous increases in the crime rate.

At the conference on Sunday, Ms Collins show a graph of the crime rate since the 1980s and told delegates that the rises in crime tend to be whenever a Labour Government was running the country.

Meanwhile, National Party president Peter Goodfellow was re-elected unopposed following after a unanimous vote.