Ex-Finance Minister Steven Joyce is stepping down as an MP to seek new opportunities outside Govt; Says new leader Simon Bridges offered him any portfolio he wanted, but he turned the offer down

Former Finance Minister Steven Joyce has resigned as an MP after coming to a “fork in the road” in his political career.

Given the recent change of National Party leadership, he says he’s had the opportunity to “consider again what I would like to do over the next several years.”

Joyce was one of the five MPs who put themselves forward as leadership candidates after former leader Bill English resigned last month.

He says he has no regrets about throwing his hat in the ring.

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges was selected as the party’s leader by its Caucus last week.

Joyce says Bridges made a “very positive proposal” for him to stay on as an MP and contribute as a senior member of the front bench. He says the new leader gave him the choice of any portfolio.

He was not, however, offered the Shadow Finance portfolio. Joyce says that “didn’t come up” in his conversations with Bridges.

“I’m not necessarily sure that if I had had finance I would have stayed the full two and a half years.”

He would not say who he thought should take the role on next.

Joyce had been tossing up the decision to resign over the past couple of days, but ultimately came to the conclusion that if there was going to be a change at some point over the next couple of years, it’s better to be now.

Joyce says now is the time for Bridges to get a new team around him so National has a good foundation to contest the next election.

He has offered to assist Bridges and the party in any way he can from outside parliament.

Parliament is in recess at the moment; Joyce says he will give a valedictory when the House sits again in two weeks’ time and his resignation will take effect after that.

What’s next?

Joyce says he will return to the private sector to seek new challenges, as well as spending more time with his kids.

“I’m Interested in a range of things,” he says after being asked what part of the commercial world he would return to.

“I used to be in the radio business and I don’t plan to go back there.”

He says he’s really interested in, what he calls, the “frontier for New Zealand businesses these days, which is taking technology and exporting it offshore.

“I have had some wonderful involvement in the tech sector as a minister in recent years. I would love to help some of those companies in some way.

“[I’m] just an open book at this point.”

He cites setting up ultrafast broadband as one of his personal political highlights.

And regrets? Just one.

“Having Labour unpick some of last year’s budget – particularly this issue that is going to become more apparent which is people on the average wage in 3 years’ time who will be paying the top tax rate. That’s untenable.”

‘Huge contribution’

In a statement, Bridges says Joyce has made a “huge contribution” to National over his 15-year political career.

“He was someone both John Key and Bill English turned to for advice and to get things done. That meant he was given some tough tasks but he consistently rose to those challenges. And I will also continue to use him as a sounding board as the National Party looks to 2020.”

Joyce is a list MP and, as such, his resignation won’t trigger a by-election.

Former Fonterra executive and John Key adviser Nicola Willis will enter Parliament as a result of Joyce’s resignation.

Joyce has been MP since 2008 and holding various different ministerial portfolios in the time since – including finance – Joyce has played a vital role behind the scenes of the National Party.

He chaired the review into the devastating 2002 election, where National won just 21% of the vote. He then became the party’s first general manager, managing the 2005 campaign.

He has chaired every campaign committee since then.

He says he is unlikely to chair anymore to come.

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70 Comments

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does it mean that The National party will have to find a replacement who can claim an invisible $11B hole..

The Labour government claimed another victim *sigh*

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You're right for once :)

The National party thugs are now being exposed, when they are unable to pull wool over peoples eyes

Sometimes I do wonder why these national key MPs are leaving one by one? Could it be that they had done a lot of things that they should not had done over the years and are now jumping ship before the purge that will expose them for what they are?

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That giant sucking sound you hear is the sound of the backside falling out of the National party

... or , it could be the ushering into the Gnats opposition team of fresh talent ...

Which is something glaringly obvious about Goofy , when he was anointed new Labour leader after Helen Clark's departure in 2008 ... Labour spent two terms with no rejuvenation ... with all the Clark & Cullen era old hands hanging onto their political seats with grim determination ...

... if the Gnats have any hope of winning in 2020 or 2023 , they need a post Key-English team ... Nick Smith ... " dead man walking " pal ... Jumbo Jerry ... you too , big guy .... WALK !

With Nats having a lot of inexperienced mp's, that should stifle the oft heard call that Labour are inexperienced.

I doubt it. The opposition to this coalition of clowns has been unrelenting from the Right since they were put in power by WP and likely won’t wane. Get used to it.

Do you seriously have any hope that this government won't push NZ back into deficit and borrow >10billion due to their financial mismanagement?

They are already failing on their kiwibuild and tree planting promises. And with their massive spend up and tax hike, and regressive industrial relations and collapsed business confidence the economy is not exactly going to flourish.

Do you seriously have any hope that this government won't push NZ back into deficit and borrow >10billion due to their financial mismanagement?

Govt spending ends up the private sector. Do you not like that?

Let's boost GDP by breaking a few more windows eh?

Making windows--and houses to wrap around them--might be a better boost for GDP.

After 5 months is it not a bit early to be passing judgment on Labour's 10 year plans?.
Perhaps you could list National's achievements, as to demonstrate what you think progress looks like.

After inheriting a huge structural surplus from outgoing Clark admin, and weathering both the chch earthquakes and the GFC they had managed to stop the deficits growing (as proportion of GDP) by 2014, and in following 3 years had worked to further reduce debt and grow the economy significantly.

Numbers on welfare and general standard of living of NZers as well as numbers in poverty (check the stats rather than your anecdotes/feelings) dropped greatly as a result of increased median wages and overall growth of economy that produced higher tax take to pay for expanded social programs.

They were about to implement significant tax cuts for most working NZers that would have further boosted the economy. Tax and spend always kills growth (with exception of severe recessions like GFC), and hurts everyone over the medium-long term as it reduces incomes.

Labour with their poor spending choices (eg massively subsidising middle class students in the hopes of buying their votes) are working to ruin this good progress.

National made a lot of mistakes, but they managed the economy well.

[Edit addition]Promoting a 10 year plan in a 3 year electoral term democracy is the worst kind of political bullshit. They know they'll never have to deliver on it, and they are already walking it back - now saying just 15million trees out of 200million promised in first 2 years, and MBIE says that at best they will only build about 8000 out of 30000 promised kiwibuild houses this term (and don't factor in the reduction in building that this is likely to cause in private sector). Labour; clueless to do this!

“Inherited a huge structural surplus”? Culled crowed he’d spent the lot - and walked out the door with a $6.5 Billion annual deficit and Treasury gross debt projections, without earthquakes, of $70 Billion. He bestowed a train wreck on the country in more ways than one.

Agreed, and well summed indeed. .. and yes labour left a big Financial hole for National who only found out how deep and big it was when they took office.

However, it is not Labour's fault - they did not elect themselves, it is the fault of the thousands of naive, brainwashed and opportunistic people who allowed them in , just like they allowed the other useless lots ... who are hiding ATM ...

If National was in office and done what labour has achieved to date, you would have seen blood in the media and on the streets by Labour supporters ... but they are all hush hush ATM .. hoping that they have made the right choice, eventually !

Should this Gov continue bribing the electorates and should their voters keep swallowing the same toxic bait next term, then we all have proved that we are a hopeless bunch of spoiled idiots at the bottom of the Pacific who have lost a great opportunity to advance in this international economic cycle and would never get close to any of the countries we like to imitate ( like Germany).

We are hopeless in improving productivity when we have "things for free", and "she'll be alright " culture, and our affordability will only follow one principle " robbing Peter to pay Paul "

Let's see if National has some real fighters in its younger ranks - in fact if all goes to plan , all they need is to expose the current coalition which is doing a great job in humiliating themselves -- the spin doctors Labour have employed can only hide so much and the dirty laundry will be very obvious.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12007466

Time will tell

You might want to check the plight of midwives as an example of how well National ran things, now there are enormous holes in certain sectors of society as they have been allowed to languish for 9 years, to the point that many services, especially health and housing are at crisis point. That is not managing an economy well, because now these things can no longer be swept under the rug.

sure, you might like to check out these too, and explain how this Labour lead government will be any different in splashing away money made by others from previous ones ..:
http://www.sharechat.co.nz/article/62f6179a/nz-wholesale-trade-value-ris...
http://www.sharechat.co.nz/article/70aa31cc/nz-govt-s-7-month-operating-...
Now you may see what a great Job National did to the country without narrowed views ...it is easy to splash and redistribute money that you have, not so when you don't have it -- however, you have to make it first !

Eco Bird, ever heard of Labour's - Cullen Fund? https://www.nzsuperfund.co.nz/

National suspended contributions and its likely that hundreds of millions were lost in potential earnings. Current Government has now resumed contributions.

Another promise kept - (tick)

The Cullen Fund. Borrowing money in your grandchildren’s name to invest in the stock market and give cushy jobs to your mates. Nice. If it goes tits up the unborn children are always there to cover the losses.

The Left cannot see past the ATM.
This years budget will be interesting for all the wrong reasons. The country will still be riding on National Govn coat tails in three years time . Dreams and wishes are free the reality has to be paid for.

So for Mr Fix it there is nothing left to “fix.” Obviously well versed and capable in the corporate world and he played to that strength quite emphatically. Not sure that the average NZ’r really needed those interests and ambitions to outweigh their own basic requirements and entitlements. In other words there is more to running a nation than just a balance sheet.

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" He says the new leader gave him the choice of any portfolio"
[ Fragment removed. Personalising the insults is not required. Keep it civil. Ed ]

Could be a deal with the Govt for a cushy diplomatic posting???

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Nick Smith will be next, then I expect, one by one, the old guard will quietly exit stage left.

“Nick Smith will be next” – and won’t the top echelons of NZ and AUS boardrooms be banging on his door….

About 4 years too late. The guy is a fool. His work on the construction industry retention scheme was commercially illiterate and a disgrace

Just a little of what I was alluding to - Thank you!

National is now well and truly stuffed

Well Boatie that’s why, when you and I saw the writing on the wall, we voted for WP. The handbrake! God defend NZ if he loses his grip.

First the PM legs it and drops Bill in the deep end. Then Bill loses yet another election to a mediocre and ramshackle Labour and quits politics. There's a knife fight for the poisoned chalice of party leader and now Joyce throws his toys out of the cot... Ahhh, politics is amusing :)

Were they sex toys?

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I wonder if he'll follow many of his National Party predecessors and will soon announce that he's been employed by a Chinese owned bank. Seems to be a pretty standard retirement job for them.

Or peaches and cream?

Joyce would fit right in.

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Unlike Cullen who is still feeding from the public trough.

Nicely put ! ... members of both sides of the political divide engage in poking their snouts into the pubic trough after their political careers have ended ...

Joyce and Judith may join to form a new Party, 'Pure National' perhaps ?

Probably not a silly move, Nationals best coalition partner would probably come from within , allowing both parties to move to the left or right to cover a wider range.

Who would hang around when gaining power depends on the whims of a tipsy, self serving 1978 era dinosaur.

You would have to be blind not to see why Labour were so keen to get him on board. You may want to question the National Party's campaign manager - oops he is gone - as to why they released personal details when he was at 14% and followed up with their tame media mates to see a drop to 7%. Subsequently shown that thousands were overpaid Super during this period.

So dependent on whims of a guy whose constituents rejected him. Why would anyone base their career on such a system? How did Winston claim overpayments for seven years and not notice? Is he stupid or a crook?

Trevor Mallard will be happy as the Speaker with no Joycee. Will be a good see ya later speech in Parliament.

All the hot air "holding the Government to account" will either become more substantial or fizzle out with no Joycee.

Given the Publics massive vote for National's continued leadership is it a surprise to see so many of the big timers leaving Parliament?

Not very committed to their loyal National supporters. If not bloody rude?!

This is terrible news, I still had lots of dildo jokes stored up and now they'll go to waste.

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What is the difference between a dildo & Steven Joyce ?

... one brings secret pleasure to sad lonely folks , who really ought to get out more and meet some real human beings ...

And the other is a rubberized sex toy ...

Gummy LOL

Job for you here Steven, put your zoology degree to good advantage
www.indeed.com
Wildlife Educator
The Nature Company - Brooklyn, NY 11206
$25 an hour
Those are $US Steven & you could rent a room nearby

Workers on the big underground train tunnel in New York are averaging $150 usd per hour , and some of them are not even there 1/2 the time. Sounds ideal.

Sand hogs earn around 100K a year here
A woman managing their pension fund screwed them over so retirement isn’t a great option on a fraction now of what they would’ve gotten
Here’s a little info
The business is a very family oriented one. I can only name probably 6 out of the 60 people or so that work down with me that didn't have their fathers working there. And their father's fathers.

Zero education is needed to start, although it definitely helps to not be a total fuckwit.

Tons of horror stories. Grinded up people (from falling in front of the Tunnel Boring Machine,) just last year we had someone fall from the top of the shaft. He survived, but broke damn near every bone in his body. We also had a guy about my age suffocate in cement a few months ago. Typically if something happens to someone, even if they are covered, we all throw money into a pot to help the person and their family out. We're not just coworkers, we're a really dysfunctional family.

Dangers include everything from falling hundreds of feet to being covered into cement, to being crushed by 100 ton bins of mud that we're lifting out with a crane.

Started a radio business in his early 20's and grew it to a 650 person organisation. You could dream of being that capable. Joyce is a proven top level talent he will be earning multiples of his MP salary in short order.

Let’s see Steven employed here then earning my salary
Don’t make statements you can’t back my friend

Simon Bridges can barely speak properly but he is young & that’s a plus in my book
Too many old people in power like Trump 71
Jacinda is a breath of fresh air and should see NZ do very well albeit there’s always the greedy complainers
Time for the workers to get a shot

SB strangely inarticulate for an ex crown prosecutor, doesn’t seem to quite fit. Yes JA has freshness but that will wane & sour soon enough if she allows the Clark/Cullen lot to re-emerge from behind the scenes and start deploying the old control freak antics.

Bridges is a staid, old man in a younger man's skin, don't be fooled.

Breath of fresh air will soon turn to a chilling wind of reality

Yeah - he will pop up as a director of some Chinese outfit or he will form a new party to help National who have no mates - maybe call it the "11BHP - $11 Billion Dollar Hole Party" - good riddens! So who is resigning next, Smith or Collins?

I just loved the comment about Stevens abilities
Guess that’s why he’s not leader !

Is still going to sue Mathew Hooton for defamatory opinion piece? Softy.

The commentary above is extremely unbalanced - and, frankly, reads like sour grapes.

There are plenty of Labour, NZ First and Green politicians who wouldn't hold a candle to Stephen Joyce. Some of you old lefties could do worse than reflect upon that.

TTP (the moderator)

TTP, were you referring to Bobsters brilliant comment "That giant sucking sound you hear is the sound of the backside falling out of the National Party" ?

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Well, the point of my comment was, Joyce was I think perceived as a competent and experienced moderate. With him and people like him leaving, what have you got left? Simon bridges....who’s he? Judith Collins.... Yuk. National are deep in a rebuilding phase. I doubt they will be in a compelling shape for government in 3 years time. But frankly they need to rebuild. They should embrace it as a “sign of success” and a “nice problem to have”

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Sour Grapes from Joycee. He wanted to be PM in 2020. good luck with the shadow rump. Bridges will be better off with even more of the old guard gone. Otherwise he's sleeping with one eye open.

.

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Comment from this side of the ditch; "Australia had a great PM, until she flew home last Friday"

Muldoon’s comment comes to mind.

Comment from afar says it all really in terms of his leadership bid:

"If he had been in closer touch with the caucus, he probably would never have tried."

Even at the time, the "hole" nonsense sounded tired, desperate and unconvincing - as perhaps did the messenger.

The hole is real your in it up to your neck. Watch the next budget, we need new taxes to pay for all the wasteful spending

I went to the local National party meeting years ago 2007/2008 ish, Joyce was speaking. He talked about the LGFA he was going to set up. This was to allow Councils to borrow because he thought that would stimulate local economies. I sat with my jaw on the floor, why the hell did this guy join National with policies like that? I got up and asked how he would discipline spending when councils could just borrow and do what they want, I thought the best discipline for councils was going to rate payers and telling them rates are going up. Always a difficult sell. So now council debt has ballooned heading to 20 billion dollars, we have a new level of entitled overpaid bureaucrat, thanks for that Mr Joyce.

Then they changed the structure of the party, an unpopular move which reduced membership. I never went back to a meeting again, I cancelled my membership after that day.

Local council debt
https://www.oag.govt.nz/2015/ltps/appendix1.htm

says the whole thing about National in your comment, focussed on short term gain but the results are long term pain for NZ e.g. giant credit bubble

National and Labour are both Bigger Bubble Blowers:
https://www.interest.co.nz/charts/credit/housing-credit2

Look at that chart of bubble blowing and spot the change of government, if you can. (Change tab to $million and expand to full extent, 2000 to present). They are identical in incompetence on that measure.