Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Fraud On A Grand Scale

Why Haven't We Thought About This Before?

We confess that we are getting sick and tired of the incompetence and deception of the New Zealand government.  Under Jacinda Ardern it has devolved into a bloated Santa Claus.  The reason for existence, it would seem, is to throw money taken from citizens via the taxation regime at Maori and any other madcap scheme d'jour.

The latest nonsense is the pledge of $100 million for capital development projects amongst northern Maori tribes.  The Mouth of Government--presently one Shane Jones--has sarcastically dismissed the failure of banks to provide investment funds to enable Maori to begin to exploit the natural resources of their land.

The banks, to be fair, have always had a problem when it comes to lending to Maori tribes for the development of tribal assets.  Many myopically prejudiced folk would argue that this is a case of institutional racism.  But the banks have a fundamental obstacle when it comes to whether they should lend to tribal entities.  There are no assets able to be put up by Maori tribes as collateral for loans.  Sure there are tons of tribal assets.  But no one entity owns them.  Because ownership is tribal there is no soul to damn and no butt to kick if things turn to custard.

This is particularly the case in the north--where many sub-tribes reject Ngapuhi's overlordship.  Jones wants to spend most of his cash in the north, because he wants to be re-elected in one of its electorates, securing his political future.

Sure, the banks are more than willing to lend money to small and medium sized businesses where there is collateral and assets put up by the borrowers as security for loans.  But in the case of so many Maori tribal commercial developments everyone in the tribe is understood to own everything that the tribe has and so no-one owns it.  No one entity can say to the bank, "If we fail to meet interest and capital repayments there are forty acres down by the river that you can take possession of it. It's all surveyed, and everything.  We are willing to mortgage the land, so the bank can take possession if we fail in our interest and capital repayment obligations."

But the NZ Government and its chief Quartermaster, Shane Jones are not worried at all about such trifles.  Jones's chutzpah is magnificent.  "We are commercial geniuses; if Maori tribes and sub-tribes fail to meet the terms and conditions of loans from the Provincial Growth Fund, we have ways of recouping the loss."    Banks apparently are too hidebound and stupid to grasp this common sense solution.

Here is Jones telling us this time it will be different:
On Newstalk ZB this morning, Jones, who is in charge of the $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund, said that banks had been too reluctant to lend money to develop collectively owned Māori land.  "I won't shy away from the fact that we will be working on projects that the conventional banks can't work out how they can extend money and recover the money if there's 1000 owners over a 50-acre block."  He said there would be a strict criteria for who gets money from the fund. [NZ Herald]
Note the implicit boast in this speech: banks can't work out how to lend money to Maori there there are 1,000 owners for a 50-acre block.  The implication is that Jones and his bureaucrats are smarter than the banks.  They have worked it out.   What is the solution?  What have they worked out?

Here is what we believe will be the "solution".  When a tribal loan turns bad, we expect Jones and the government will wipe it off the books in the blink of an eye.

The Government, you see, is much, much smarter than the hidebound banks.  The Government can always top up the coffers for Maori tribal lending at the next budget round; no worries, mate.    The tax payer exists to be fleeced--again and again.  Let's be clear.  There will be no limitations on how many times defaulting borrowers can come back to the trough.  Isn't it wonderful.

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