A scheme funded by New Zealand taxpayers netted billionaire Peter Thiel tens of millions of dollars while his publicly funded investment partner barely broke even.
The partnering of Thiel's Valar Ventures and the Government-owned New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF) was launched by minister Steven Joyce in March 2012, nine months after Thiel took his oath of citizenship at the New Zealand consulate in Santa Monica.
Joyce said at the time the venture was "part of the Government's comprehensive business growth agenda", but a Herald investigation has discovered the arrangement was quietly ended in October when Thiel activated a generous buyback option allowing him and his private partners to claim all profits from the venture by cheaply buying out his public co-investor.
If this was Klark, circa 2005, there would be outrageous shrills of corruption. And they'd be close to the mark, but this is the Nats, those excellent economic "managers" and providers of massive amounts of corporate welfare that, as Joyce says, provides a "comprehensive business growth agenda". So let's all start clapping at those impressive words.
Joyce, our current Minister of Finance has an impressive background with deals like this. Only recently, there was millions pissed down the drain at Wynyard Group.
But as any good advocate of personal responsibility should, he cops it on the chin:
Joyce said he had inherited the settings for the NZVIF, including the buyout clause, and suggested Lees-Galloway direct his criticism elsewhere.
"If he's got a problem with it -- and I don't argue with him that he should -- then he needs to go back and talk to the Labour ministers at the time  who set this up," Joyce said.
A few days ago, Kiwiblog put up a post about how Labour has had 3,000 days in opposition, and have they shown to be a Government-in-Waiting. Well, the Gnats have now had 3,010 days in government, and they're still blaming Labour from 2002!
Labour is a terrible opposition at the moment. And that's what's allowing Joyce to get away with this shit.