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Air NZ sale coming on the quiet

Written By: - Date published: 7:57 pm, November 13th, 2013 - 121 comments
Categories: assets, privatisation - Tags:

Word is out that National is going to slam through the sale of its Air NZ shares early next week ahead of the referendum. No mention of ‘mum and dad’ investors this time. No ad campaign imploring you get ‘get your share’. Nope. It’ll be a quick and dirty sale to some big institution which will then divvy it up to other institutions. We might not even be told until after the fact.

121 comments on “Air NZ sale coming on the quiet”

  1. QoT 1

    Well, if that happens we can pretty much resign ourselves to a fucking painful 2014 as they desperately try to strip-mine every last bit of value from our society. They’ve obviously seen they’re going to lose and have hit the big red “endgame” button.

    It’s classic National policy, because the joy for them is it leaves the government books in such a fucked-up state that the incoming Labour government has its hands tied and has to dig the economy out of the shallow grave it’s been left in before they can make any real progress.

    (No that’s not a mixed metaphor, digging out a shallow grave with your hands tied is probably really hard.)

    • Zorr 1.1

      It’s kind of funny.

      If they fuck it up badly enough, it may give Labour the power to press their own big red socialist button in response… PLEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASE!!!

      =^_^=

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      It’s classic National policy, because the joy for them is it leaves the government books in such a fucked-up state that…

      Agreed but Labour could get rational and have the government create the nations money and disallow the private banks from doing so. That will put the nations finances and its economy on a stable footing no matter what National have to done to fuck over the country.

      Just a question of if they’ve got the chutzpah to do so.

  2. ScottGN 2

    It does make you wonder what their polling is telling them?

  3. BM 3

    With Peak oil here right now, Air NZ is only going to go broke.

    Best thing the government could do is unload it onto some one else before it’s completely worthless.

    The sooner the Air NZ sale is completed, the better.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      So you’re supporting canning all the petrol guzzling RoNS as well?

      • BM 3.1.1

        Not at all, we’ll always need roads.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          But what about peak oil?

          • Jared 3.1.1.1.1

            What about it? How many times over the last 40 years has the prophecy been rumoured?

            • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Not a prophecy any longer. It’s time frame didn’t change much from its original prediction by Hubert in the 1960s to when it actually happened.

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1.2

              What about it? How many times over the last 40 years has the prophecy been rumoured?

              40 years ago each new barrel of oil cost less than US$5 to produce. A dozen guys and a test drill rig on the back of an 18 wheeler is all you needed to start.

              Now the figure is sixteen times higher @ US$80 to break even produce a new barrel of oil. Hundreds of men. And a billion dollar drill ship in a kilometre of water.

              Easy cheap oil is already over. Several years ago.

              • alwyn

                Do you have a source for those costs and, in particular, the year to which the $5.00/barrel figure applied?
                I was recently looking at the NZ inflation rate figures and, according to the Reserve Bank calculator and using the General CPI inflation number a basket of goods that cost $5.00 in 1970Q1 would cost $76.18 in 2013Q3.
                Sure, these are NZ dollar figures but the increase is almost exactly the same as the numbers you quote. It is possible that in real terms the production costs for oil may not have changed at all.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2

          No, we don’t always need roads. Something better, called rail, replaced them a couple of centuries ago.

          • photonz 3.1.1.2.1

            Except 90% of the population need a car to get to the rail station, and another car at the other end to get to their destination.

            The Greens predict if they spend billions on their dream public rail system in Auckland, they’ll increase usage to 100,000 people every day.

            Which still leaves out the other 93% of Aucklanders (and the rest of the country).

            • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Except 90% of the population need a car to get to the rail station, and another car at the other end to get to their destination.

              No, they don’t. Walking is fine or even buses.

              The problem with Auckland transport is that we’ve had idiots building roads for decades when they should have been building public transport as it’s far cheaper and far more efficient. Now that we’re decades behind where we should be it’s going to take awhile to fix it. Building more roads in Auckland will actually make it worse.

              But you may have noticed that the question was about the totally uneconomic Roads of National(s) Significance. The ones that barely break even on B/C ratio even under the best case scenario. We really, really, don’t need those ones. In such locations around the country rail would be far better both for PT and freight.

              http://thestandard.org.nz/billions-down-the-drain-on-roads-to-nowhere/
              http://thestandard.org.nz/12-billion-on-roads-no-one-will-use/
              http://thestandard.org.nz/peak-driving-what-nationals-doing-with-12-billion-of-your-money/

              The Greens are trying to save us money by building rail and public transport. National are just throwing good money after bad because they think that building roads today will do for the economy what they did 50 years ago which is nothing but pure delusion.

              • photonz1

                Auckland certainly need a better public transport system. But spending billions of dollars that will (at the Greens most optimistic estimation) at most transport just 100,000 people (2% of the population), is not the miracle answer that rail is made out to be.

                Even after spending billions, it would make at best a 1% improvement in the countries fuel use and carbon emissions.

                • Colonial Viper

                  The RoNS will transport fewer people at far more cost per person. And you seem fine with them.

    • Ad 3.2

      Careful, their biofuel percentage is due to increase.
      Don’t presume doom on Air NZ yet.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Labour: it’s poison pill time. Any asset sales occurring at this late stage in the term will be reversed at the sale price less the Government’s costs in the first 100 days of a Labour government.

    • Francis 4.1

      Hopefully, following the referendum, they’ll promise this for Genesis Enegery. And Air New Zealand, if it turns out it’s not sold until after the referendum.

      The referendum will give a clear indication on whether or not people want our assets sold, and going ahead regardless is completely anti-democratic.

  5. infused 5

    So, reduce it’s share to 51% from 73% and your flipping your mind? Fucking hell.

  6. Jared 6

    subtle differences, Air NZ is already listed….hence no need for a drawn out IPO process
    Pricing – it will be offered at a slight discount because of the size, when you are talking $400 million worth, thats just how the market works, we saw it when GPG sold its stake in Tower, happened over night
    No point in having a cry about it, I can’t see it happening any other way without falling foul of other investers

  7. The Gormless Fool Formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrel 7

    And how will Labour come out against this when they agreed to sell 22% in 2002?

    • photonz 7.1

      I bought my Air NZ shares in 2007 when Labour was in power.

      The funny thing with asset sales is we’re told by the left we shouldn’t sell them because they pay a good dividend, and the capital value goes up.

      But the Greens/Labour power scheme plans to kill dividends which will decimate the capital value of the companies.

      Effectively their power plan totally nullifies their arguments for keeping them.

      • Te Reo Putake 7.1.1

        A good argument for full nationalisation you put up there, Photonz. Re-integrate power into the state, remove the profit requirement, provide cheaper power for kiwis. I like your thinking!

        • photonz 7.1.1.1

          You could nationalise, but if you cut $700million in govt dividends, and therefore $350m in tax, and a similar amount in gst, then the govt has to make nearly a one and a half billion dollars in spending cuts.

          What do you suggest? Benefit cuts? Teachers pay? Health? The majority of govt spending is in those three areas.

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1

            Why exactly would spending cuts be needed again? The NZ Government is the sole manufacturer of NZ dollars in the whole world. It never has to run out of NZ dollars. Once upon a time you needed paper and ink to print the NZ dollars. These days they can be created with key strokes on a computer. Out of thin air. Real fast and real cheap. How many zeroes do you want with that?

            If benefits, teachers pay, health are that important to society, why would they need to be cut?

            You could nationalise, but if you cut $700million in govt dividends, and therefore $350m in tax

            That’s pretty stupid math. The government wins by taking back all the profits from the generators, not just 51%.

            • photonz 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Printing money – your new Mugabe solution for everything.

              Why don’t they just print money, hand it out to everyone and we call all stop work and go on holiday?

              And when we run out, they can dish out some more.

              No one need ever work again.

              Every country could do it.

              • Colonial Viper

                Sorry, can you answer any of the points that I raised? Why does anything need to be cut? If the NZ Govt needs to spend on it, and it is for something societally important, then the NZ dollars will always be available. By keystrokes. Out of thin air.

                Every country could do it.

                Of course. Japan is doing it. The UK is doing it. Canada is doing it. Australia is doing it. The US is doing it. The Eurozone is doing it.

                Really, get with the times, you’re showing how out of touch you are to the current world situation.

                • Francis

                  And the USA did for a fairly long period, following the crash. It can also cause the NZD to fall, something which we desperately need.

              • greywarbler

                Mugabe – What’s he ever done to you photonz. Are you here for a short time to rain on our parade, before you go back and join in their dilemma?

                Or have you wisdom to help with ours? Haven’t seen anything yet. Perhaps you should go quiet and think for a while. Think and learn about what we need not what you didn’t learn about Zimbabwe and its downwards crash.

            • photonz 7.1.1.1.1.2

              CV says “The government wins by taking back all the profits from the generators, not just 51%.”

              What profits?

              The Greens Labour Power Plan is to cut $700m off profits – that’s MORE than total dividends paid to govt and private shareholders when they still owned 100% of the three of the generators.

              Total dividends from the big five (i.e govt owned Mighty River, Genesis and Meridian, AND privately owned Trustpower and Contact) were -
              - $488m in 2012,
              - $592m in 2011,
              - $606m in 2010,
              - $376m in 2009,
              - $667m in 2008
              - $713m in 2007

              So the claim they will/can cut $700 from the power companies is either a lie, or they’ll make them run at a loss.

              Then we’ll end up with under-investment and blackouts yet again.

              • Colonial Viper

                Silly billy, that’s what taxes, borrowing and money creation is for.

                Anyway, cutting $700M from profits is only cutting away money that wasn’t going to be spent on the business itself anways – that’s why it profit, you see.

                Are you sure you know anything about business?

                The Greens Labour Power Plan is to cut $700m off profits

                Also known as cutting $700M off the electricity bills that go out to ordinary households, offices and small businesses.

                Why is that a bad thing again?

                • photonz

                  Ah – the eternal Mugabe solution.

                  Note to self – I must stop debating with deluded people.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    But you won’t, because you’re paid to do this.

                    So can you answer the question – why is cutting $700M off ordinary household and small business power bills a bad thing?

                    Ah – the eternal Mugabe solution.

                    Japan, UK, canada, Australia, US, Eurozone, China are all creating new money.

                    You really are out of touch aren’t you? Poor soul. Let go of your irrelevant Mugabe example, we’d only be doing what our major trading partners are already doing in creating money by key strokes.

            • alwyn 7.1.1.1.1.3

              The maths are perfectly valid, in light of the proposal that photonz was replying to.
              At 7.1.1 Te Reo Putake is proposing that “remove the profit motive, provide cheaper power for kiwis”. If his idea is carried out there will not be any profits for the Government to receive.
              Photonz is therefore quite right to ask whether, if we do what TRP is proposing, what ywe would do if that money is not available. TRP has wished all the profits out of existence.

          • dave 7.1.1.1.2

            you forget there 5 billion dollars of tax evasion in nz every year, 30 billion by the end of slipperys govt any incoming govt has the right to crack down on tax evaders.so there is plenty of money owned by the elite 10 percent criminals as tax evasion is theft.
            the nats must be looking at none cooked poles

        • photonz 7.1.1.2

          That brings up the issue of when the govt owns something, there’s always huge pressure to spend any spare money on social security, health and education, so we usually get massive underfunding on our infrastructure.

          As happened with telecom when it was govt owned. And as happened with our national grid, and power generation in the 90s and 00s – remember the Auckland blackouts. And as has almost always happened with our roads.

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.2.1

            More dick head lies from Photonz.

            It’s the private sector which runs everything down, in order to monetize the real capital of the infrastructure for shareholders.

            As usual Photonz should be pointing the fingers at itself.

            • photonz 7.1.1.2.1.1

              Colonial Viper reaches new levels of delusion claiming the 1998 and 2006 Auckland blackouts are “More dick head lies from Photonz.”

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Auckland_Blackout

              He also thinks the widely publicised underspending by the Post Office on telecommunications in the 1980s is lies

              “1980s. A lack of investment by the Post Office meant the network was not in a position to handle the growth needed for the next generation of services. By the mid-1980s the network was overloaded, there was massive congestion. In Auckland the exchange was verging on collapse and across the country there are frequent network crashes. The Post Office, a government department limited in what it could invest, became increasingly inefficient. ” (from the timeline of the history of NZ telecommunications).

              From the Encyclopedia of NZ

              “Toll prices came down by 60% between 1987 and 1992.”

              “Delays in the installation of new telephones affected more than residential customers. In 1984 Treasury, at the forefront of the push for re-organisation of the Post Office, waited two months for existing telephone jacks to be shifted. Senior officials exchanged angry letters. Treasury argued that it was inefficiency, and the Post Office insisted it was pressure of work.”

              In a few years after Telecom was privatised, over $5 billion was invested in capital expenditure – MORE than the whole company was worth at the time.

              The only thing that happens when you claim well publicised facts are all lies, is that you look incredibly stupid.

              • Colonial Viper

                If looking at BS edited by you and your neolib mates staring backwards is the best that you can muster, you’re on a major losing streak.

                BTW what good are cheap Chinese prices when your job and retirement has been destroyed?

                Dick.

                • photonz

                  If you think The Encyclopedia of NZ in now edited by neoliberals, you really have lost the plot.

                  When you start disputing widely known and proven facts because they don’t agree with your cultish ideology, time to get some help.

                  When you abuse anyone you doesn’t agree with your cultish ideology, time to get some help.

                  When you start accusing authors of being extreme right wingers because the facts they’ve written don’t align with your cultish ideology (even if they are respected authors or left leaning academics), then it’s time to get some help.

                  When you say the blackouts in Auckland in 1998 and 2006 due to lack of govt spending on infrastructure is all lies, then it’s time to get some help.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    hey dude, I’d like to ask you for help, but you’re only interested in advocating for foreign shareholders and corporates against ordinary NZers.

                    And yes, I agree with you that the NZ Govt has been underspending. It needs to spend much more. For example, it should be doubling spending on renewable energy infrastructure and resilient energy systems.

                    • photonz

                      We should DOUBLE spending on renewable energy when there’s currently FALLING demand for electricity?

                      There’s around 35 renewable energy projects planned, many of which already have consent and can be started at the drop of a hat.

                      The one thing they don’t have is customers who need the power.

                      As for shareholders – there’s now higher NZ ownership in the NZ sharemarket than any time in the last two decades. And I’d encourage more NZ ownership.

                      That’s where many on the far left have a dilemma. They want companies to be NZ owned, but they hate the thought of anyone ever making a return on their investment.

                      People often whine about the “big institutions” (as at the top of this page) but are ignorant that those big institutions often are the very same ones that they put their Kiwisaver funds into every week, along with 2 million other Kiwis.

                      In fact virtually all the big institutions are nothing more than the retirement savings of thousands of mum and dads investors.

                      And that’s the ridiculous thing. Mum and dad investors are thought of as a good thing, but when the same people put their money into a Kiwisaver institution, it suddenly changes to being something evil in some peoples eyes.

                  • xtasy

                    photonz _ Yes, let us have Taiwanese, Mainland Chinese, Japanese and otherwise “friendly” US interests buy up the whole infrastructure, as they have the money and power to do what you may see as “sensible”.

                    Sell it off, let it be run by others, like those companies that invest little (like Stagecoach bus company, certain rail, airline, communications and other businesses) and reap great profits for their shareholders and owners.

                    Yeah, get rid of all that “shit” NZ stuff, sell this country, it is just a piece of “dirt” on the planet earth, that deserves to be exploited for PROFIT and none else. Welcome the brotherhood of rapists and pillagers, you are onto it.

                    • photonz

                      Investment by Chinese into NZ has meant huge inroads to our ability to increased our exports to China.

                      Private investment in Telecom brought about $5 billion dollars of spending (massively more than the Post Office ever spent), a transfer of new technology from the parent company, massively reduced prices, and hugely improved service levels.

                      Yes the owners made good money on their huge investments and capital injections, but the govt would never have made that because they never made the necessary capital investments – there’s always too many other pressures to spend on health and social security and education.

                      And don’t forget when an overseas investor puts $200 million into a NZ company, that $200 gets spent elsewhere – usually into other NZ companies or ventures. That’s a major benefit from overseas investment that’s always forgotten.

                      So instead of a $200m company employing 1000 workers, we might get two $200m companies employing a total of 2000 workers. Double the wages, double the tax, with one profit staying in NZ, just like before.

                      So that’s massively more beneficial to NZ than having no foreign investment.

                      And also Kiwis have over $100 BILLION in our own overseas investments.

                      That we are invested overseas, and others are invested here, makes the NZ economy MUCH MUCH more stable. Our investments and the investors in us are hugely more diversified that way, and much less susceptible to economic shocks like an earthquake, storm, drought, tech crash, commodity price drops, and currency fluctuations.

                      So there are huge benefits from having foreign investment here. Without it, our economy would be a fraction of the size it currently is.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      So there are huge benefits from having foreign investment here. Without it, our economy would be a fraction of the size it currently is.

                      Incorrect. We don’t need foreign investment and never have done.

                      If a larger economy can be supported, which isn’t guaranteed, then all we need to do is have the government create the money and loan it out at 0% interest to entrepreneurs or spend it directly into the economy itself thus utilising New Zealand’s resources.

                      The only thing we may need from foreign sources is the knowledge that they have which we can also buy using money created by the government at 0%.

                      The money is destroyed (paid back) by the use of taxes, loan repayments and purchasing of the products produced.

                      As for the claim of added stability? LOL, you obviously missed the fact that the entire global financial system just fell over. Not really a lot of stability there especially now that Wall Street has managed to get itself deregulated again and China is about to fall down. Won’t be long before the speculators crash the whole system again in their sociopathic greed.

              • Draco T Bastard

                “Toll prices came down by 60% between 1987 and 1992.”

                And how do you think that happened? I’d say that it was because of the massive investment in the network during the 1980s with the new cabling and the new digital exchanges. We were putting in enough capacity at that time for every new house to have two lines. But even at ~$200m per year every year of the decade we still had to wire up most of the country. There’s a reason why Telecom had ~17,000 employees. It comes down to physical limitations – IMO, it would have been physically impossible to invest faster.

                In a few years after Telecom was privatised, over $5 billion was invested in capital expenditure – MORE than the whole company was worth at the time.

                Milestones a New Zealand timeline of communications and computing

                The 1990s: With deregulation in telecommunications, broadcasting and banking creating a more openly competitive environment than anywhere else in the world, the debate is how to maximize those opportunities, particularly as the Internet and the worldwide web shift from arcane terms to mainstream use. The term ‘information superhighway’ seems to promise an end to ‘the tyranny of distance’ with telcos and techno visionaries waxing eloquent about a science fictional future where New Zealand could lead the world. Talk of ‘broadband’ and ‘convergence’ of computing, broadcasting and telecommunications add to the frustration as the so-called ‘competitive environment’ fails to deliver.

                1991 Telecom’s new owners having learned what they needed about operating in a deregulated environment take the money and run.

                Doesn’t sound like $5b in investment. Sounds more like the overcharging and massive pulling out of dividends that we actually saw. $4b was pulled out in the first 7 years after the sale.

                • photonz1

                  Draco says ” I’d say that it was because of the massive investment in the network during the 1980s ”

                  Then gives us a link to this !!!!!

                  “The 1980s: A lack of investment by the Post Office meant the network was not in a position to handle the growth needed for the next generation of services. By the mid-1980s the network was overloaded, there was massive congestion. In Auckland the exchange was verging on collapse and across the country there are frequent network crashes. The Post Office, a government department limited in what it could invest, became increasingly inefficient.”

                  Hillarious.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Yep, you keep repeating that but where do you think the digital exchanges came from?

                    In 1985 Telecom, then the Post Office C&M branch, invested $500m in upgrades. I don’t have a link for that unfortunately, it’s what I heard through the union and management. And of course it was limited in what it could invest. It had limited funds from its rental and was also physically limited in what it could do at any one point in time.

                    The Post Office, a government department limited in what it could invest, became increasingly inefficient.

                    That is also incorrect. During the 1980s Telecom was becoming more efficient as new tools were used (doing things by hand was no longer needed), digital exchanges were installed (no longer had to go to the exchange to wire up a connection) and paper insulated and lead and steel wrapped cable was replaced by plastic (much easier and faster to work with). Quite simply, technology was developing faster than what anyone could install it across the nation.

                    For some strange reason you seem to think that simply throwing money at things gets them done and don’t believe that it also takes hard work and that what can be done is limited to what’s already there.

                    What it sounds like is that some idiot took the word of Treasury rather than looking at what was actually happening.

                    • photonz1

                      Now you’re also backing up what I said.

                      telecom investment in the six years from 1992 is claimed to be $5.13 billion. Others who have argued that it was low, still put the figure close to $4 billion.

                      No company in the country invested anything like that in the 1990s. It built fibre cables to Australia and US, the whole cell phone network etc.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Now you’re also backing up what I said.

                      No I’m not.

                      telecom investment in the six years from 1992 is claimed to be $5.13 billion.

                      [Citation Needed]
                      Especially considering:
                      Theresa Gattung: “Think about pricing,” the press quoted her as saying. “What has every telco in the world done in the past? It’s used confusion as its chief marketing tool. And that’s fine … But at some level, whether they consciously articulate or not, customers know that’s what the game has been. They know we’re not being straight up.”
                      and:
                      In the words of financial analyst Brian Gaynor: “Their combined 90 percent shareholding cost $3.8 billion yet they have received an estimated $5 billion from dividends, a capital repayment, share buyback and the sale of shares in the 1991 float and in 1992 and 1993…Thus the two American telecommunication giants will exit New’ Zealand with an estimated total realisation, including dividends, of $11.5 billion, compared with the original investment of just $3.8 billion.”

                      One wonders just where the $5b could possibly have come from. Now, $5b across the industry including Vodafone, Saturn, Clear possibly. The problem with competition in infrastructure is that it ends up costing the country more due to the duplication while introducing massive regulatory issues as we saw in the 1990s.

                      the whole cell phone network etc.

                      The cell phone network was started in the 1980s.

                      1988 There are 2300 cellphone (brickphone) subscribers to the Telecom network.

          • Tim 7.1.1.2.2

            The lesson (or rather ‘learnings’ for you Photo) with it all is not JUST that privatisation has not worked, but ALSO that natural monopolies run along corporate lines, including Gubbamint departments – the Douglas and others neo-liberal experiment – does not fucking work!
            I’d agree that even Kiwirail still as its problems, though not nearly as severe as they were under Wisconsin.
            And if you actually delve into the failed pig farmer’s rhetoric about taking weeks to get a landline when operated by the NZPO, still muttered in his dotage, you’ll find that under the new regime, in many instances its not just that it takes weeks, its that it’s not possible at all (e.g. insufficient available cable pairs).
            – case in point: the only reason I’ve been able to return to ADSL is because a neighbour gave up their landline during the past 12 MONTHS).

            I’m pretty sure that even when ACC was designed, it’s architect didn’t envisage the effect of neo-liberal kulcha that would become pervasive in large corporate business (of whatever flavour – i.e. private or public).
            In saying that, I’d begrudgingly give Rob Fyfe some kudos if only because he had some respect for employees and recogised that he was playing in an environment where national branding and identity politics had become normalised. (compare that with the oz experience for example – i.e. how that little “camp Irish bastard” dealt with Qantas).

            • photonz1 7.1.1.2.2.1

              The biggest failure and bailout of the railways was when it was govt owned.

              It was $1.2 BILLION dollars in debt. The govt paid that off and sold it for $400m.

              So effectively they PAID $800 million for someone to take it off their hands.

              Funny how that’s never mentioned.

              There’s certainly no shortage of appallingly run departments under government control, just like there’s badly run private companies.

              • Draco T Bastard

                It was $1.2 BILLION dollars in debt. The govt paid that off and sold it for $400m.

                So effectively they PAID $800 million for someone to take it off their hands.

                And just think, if they’d kept it instead we wouldn’t have had to buy it back for $700m and the rail network wouldn’t have been run down as it was under private control.

                The biggest problem with essential infrastructure in private hands is that the private owners know that they can pull out huge profits and not do any investment because the government will have to step in with large sums of money to fix things. Exactly what has happened in Telecom and rail.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.2

        But the Greens/Labour power scheme plans to kill dividends which will decimate the capital value of the companies.

        The strategic value and importance of the power generators to the nation is exactly the same as 5 years ago, duh.

        Do you Righties know anything.

      • lprent 7.1.3

        You mean after Labour had to bail out AirNZ after they had been privatized in 1989. Air NZ are crucial infrastructure for many nz businesses like ours. Letting some irresponsible fool owners bugger our main reliable air freight company wasn’t an option. So the fool investors took a bath in 2000 because they let the company nearly drop the essential airfreight.

        The government took a majority position that these dipsticks (probably also well bathed in the past) in this government want to push out for a second wash…

        Umm you were saying?

        • framu 7.1.3.1

          and lets not forget BNZ and Toll

          Why are all of photonz arguments so weak? Riddled with logic holes, contradictions and really simple factual errors

          • photonz1 7.1.3.1.1

            What facts are wrong?

            • Colonial Viper 7.1.3.1.1.1

              All of them. The fact you present them automatically invalidates them.

              • photonz1

                Vipers answer to everything – it lies. Yawn. You’re getting really boring.

                Everything is lies, even when it’s the well known Auckland blackouts of 1998 and 2006 are lies.

                Nothing intelligent to say?

                No. Thought not.

                • Tim

                  so please then educate us all.
                  Why exactly DID the BNZ, Toll/Wisconsin need bailing out?

                  I seem to remember that BNZ bailout at the time was roughly equivalent to the $ amount in benefit cuts – though I may be wrong.

                  Funny (sad) thing is … a while ago I checked out Ruth Richardson Limited’s site where she was promoting her services to South America.
                  Please let her try Venuzuela!

                  • photonz1

                    Don’t know a whole lot about BNZ as I was out of the country for a few years.

                    But as I understand it, BNZ was still under govt control (51% ownership) and had been struggling for years (even under 85% govt control) and was hit hard by the4 sharemarket crash and 20% inflation which led to a large number of bad debts.

                    The Railways continually need bailing out (whether govt or privately run) because NZ is the most difficult country in the world to run a railway, because
                    - we have a low population,
                    - distributed over a larger area,
                    -which is very steep,
                    - meaning rail travel is slow, and
                    - tracks expensive to build and maintain, and
                    - our networks are separated by Cook Strait, and
                    - we have no land borders with highly populated countries (or any countries)
                    - and few of the products we freight are bulk (which is what rail is good at).

                    No country has more disadvantage for rail than NZ.

                    If we want to run a rail system, expect to keep pouring hundreds of millions down a black hole – no matter who runs it.

                    • Tim

                      “No country has more disadvantage for rail than NZ.”
                      Not quite true … the Swiss might tell you otherwise, as well as others.

                      It’s also no argument for purposely running down the infrastructure that is/was already in place – especially when there are people willing to use it (such as freight to Gisborne).
                      Running it on ‘corporate lines’ (pardon the pun) is the real problem. Short term gains wanted (like buying a load of cheap sleepers from OZ that are rotting after only a few years; or like Wisconsin simply profit taking; or buying nasty wagons with brake problems ‘cos they were the cheapest)

            • lprent 7.1.3.1.1.2

              What facts are wrong?

              Basically you haven’t stated any. All you have done is wank on about your opinions about causation – which clearly indicate that you are a fool.

              The blackout in 1998 was to one particular area of Auckland, the CBD (and myself). It was due to cables that were laid in the 1950′s and I think the 1960′s. One failed, and the others then failed successively under the extra loading. The reason for that wasn’t so much the cable design as much as that Mercury Energy failed to do what they should have under the circumstances. The cable that failed was a duplicate of one of the remaining cables (and therefore likely to fail).

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1998_Auckland_power_crisis

              THe first problem was that Mercury’s board should have rationed power through brownouts or cuts or whatever. That was what their engineers recommended. The board at the time was dominated by inserted and elected neo-liberal fools because it was being readied for sale as happened a year to two later. They ignored the recommendations and did it over the vehement objections of the minority of experienced board members. The cables successively failed one after the other under the load.

              Basically the lesson is that having neo-liberal fools on the boards of crucial infrastructure
              is a silly thing to do.

              The 2006 power failure (one day rather than 5 weeks) was due to a lack of maintenance and concentration of security of supply by transpower. That in turn was driven by the private and marked-for-privatisation power companies who had proved to be obturate about the prices charged by Transpower to maintain the network. They prefered instead to pay dividends.

              It is noticeable that after that failure that the levies charged by Transpower to the power companies increased massively. Basically the remaining neo-liberal fools on the Electricity Commission who’d been appointed by Max Bradford suddenly realised that it was expensive to have power failures on the grid.

              Essentially photonz1, you appear to be a one -eyed fool too stupid to think about root causes of engineering issues.

              • photonz1

                You say I’m wanking on and the comments are those of a fool.

                Then spend all your time putting together a post that backed up EXACTLY what I claimed ….that the blackouts were due to a lack of spending on infrastructure.

                Thanks.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Exactly. Diverting money away from shareholders profits into reinvestment and more robust infrastructure is the way ahead.

                  Thanks.

                  • photonz1

                    Slight flaw – if the investors don’t make a return, they don’t invest the money in the first place.

                    That’s the laughable thing about the Chorus debate. The left don’t want people to get a return from Chorus, but they want them to invest billions of their hard earned money into building a fibre network.

                    There has to be a balance.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Sure. Investors can get back 5% on their capital, capped.

                      If that doesn’t suit them, we can always find other investors.

                      but they want them to invest billions of their hard earned money

                      “Their hard earned money”??? Fuck off. It’s mostly the bank’s money, from what Chorus has been saying.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Slight flaw – if the investors don’t make a return, they don’t invest the money in the first place.

                      The government doesn’t need to make a return on investment. Or, to be more precise, the return is social and thus can’t be counted in monetary terms.

                      There has to be a balance.

                      There would be balance. We, as a country, invest in the network and get better services.

                      See, balanced. It even costs less because it would no longer have the dead-weight loss of profit on it.

                    • photonz1

                      Draco says “The government doesn’t need to make a return on investment. ”

                      Of course it does. Otherwise how does it pay back the debt it takes on to build new infrastructure.

                      If it doesn’t take on debt, then you need to make cuts in benefits or health or education to pay for it.

                      Unless you ask Mr Mugabe,… er I mean Mr English…. to start his printing presses again – the answer to all problems.

                    • photonz1

                      Colonial Viper says “Their hard earned money”??? Fuck off. It’s mostly the bank’s money, from what Chorus has been saying.”

                      You REALLYy beleive the bank will loan all the money for the fiber network if investors don’t put their own money in? (when Chorus is on the second lowest investment rating down, and on credit watch for a downgrade).

                      If Chorus drops more than one level, it drops out of investment level and the banks pull their money out.

                      Colonial Viper says “Sure. Investors can get back 5% on their capital, capped.”
                      If that doesn’t suit them, we can always find other investors.

                      Yeah right. Investors can get 5% from a safe company like Auckland airport which faces few risks. Chorus is spending billion on the fibre network. If they don’t get enough people transfering across to fibre, they go bust.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Auckland airport? There’s another piece of critical NZ infrastructure which we could do with back in public hands, instead of having all these ticket clipping investors along.

                      If they don’t get enough people transfering across to fibre, they go bust.

                      And?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Of course it does. Otherwise how does it pay back the debt it takes on to build new infrastructure.

                      What debt? The government creates the money debt free and without interest. This is paid back through charging for the service as per normal.

                      The government has no need of profit.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Then spend all your time putting together a post that backed up EXACTLY what I claimed ….that the blackouts were due to a lack of spending on infrastructure.

                  Because of the need to pay dividends. In other words, the private business mentality was the cause and not government ownership. Same as what has happened in Telecom which has required the government to step in with billions of dollars of funding. Same with rail.

                  The lessons NZ needs to have learned over the last thirty years is that the drive for profit causes massive harm.

                  • photonz1

                    Draco says “Because of the need to pay dividends. ”

                    Under govt control the railways paid nothing and still went into $1.2 BILLION debt.

                    With no incentive to be profitable, both telecom (Post Office) and NZ Rail were appallingly run. The wastage was unbelievable.

                    You seem incredibly against any business making a profit. Without it, there is no such thing as company tax.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      What are you? Hoping no one remembers history? Ozzie’s Toll fucked up railways, dickhead.

                      You seem incredibly against any business making a profit. Without it, there is no such thing as company tax.

                      Dollars provided to Chorus which are nothing more than corporate welfare is not “profit”.

                    • photonz1

                      Colonial Viper says “Toll fucked up railways, dickhead.”

                      Wow – I’m impressed with the level of your insightful debating skills. Such intellect.

                      No one ran the railways as badly as the government. They left it with $1.2 BILLION debt. That’s $2.5 BILLION in todays money.

                      After privatisation the railways had hugely increased freight traffic, faster delivery times, better reliability, fewer derailments, and for the first time, ever, you could freight goods without a high chance of it being pilfered by railway workers along the way..

                    • McFlock

                      Sigh.

                      From wikipedia:

                      The government wrote off NZ$1.3 billion in debt acquired by the company from the Railways Corporation (mainly for the electrification of the North Island Main Trunk, a Think Big project), [...]

                      So just to sum up, the NZ govt invested a billion dollars in infrastructure improvements, then gave those improvements to the new private owners for free.

                      Fucking typical.

                    • photonz1

                      McFlock says “So just to sum up, the NZ govt invested a billion dollars in infrastructure improvements, then gave those improvements to the new private owners for free.

                      Fucking typical.”

                      So now you’re trying to blame $1.3 billion of debt, on the electrification project which cost over a billion dollars LESS than that ($100 project that blew out to cost the govt 250% of the original estimate – $250m)

                      Typical.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      With no incentive to be profitable, both telecom (Post Office) and NZ Rail were appallingly run. The wastage was unbelievable.

                      The profit drive doesn’t magically get rid of wastage. The only things that can do anything about that is a culture of thrift within the organisation and proper accounting. Unfortunately, neither truly exist in a profit driven business – the drive to push all the expenses onto the public does though (see government payments to Rio Tinto, Telecom, farmers and tax breaks to Warner Bros, – the list goes on). I’d say that the profit drive increases waste – it certainly pushes unsustainable growth as evidenced by AGW and the corporations trying very hard to prevent the governments of the world doing anything about it.

                      And you also misread what I wrote. The need to pay dividends decreased the amount available to re-invest back into the network resulting in the failure of the network. If the dividends didn’t need to be paid then those millions could have been spent on the necessary maintenance.

                      You seem incredibly against any business making a profit. Without it, there is no such thing as company tax.

                      Since when have companies paid tax?

                      If we want companies to pay tax then we need to change the laws so that they don’t have any loopholes to drive their BMW’s and Audi’s through.

                    • photonz1

                      If you think companies pay nothing, then you’d be happy to cancel the $9 billion a year it takes off companies?

                    • McFlock

                      So now you’re trying to blame $1.3 billion of debt, on the electrification project which cost over a billion dollars LESS than that ($100 project that blew out to cost the govt 250% of the original estimate – $250m)

                      Nah, photoshop. I provided a source that said it. You provide fuck all to back up your assertions. But (according to your own arse-pulled numbers) at least a fifth or so of the “debt” was new infrastructure that the government created and then gifted to the private sector.

                      Fuck, I can pretend to run something more efficiently than the previous owners if they quietly gift me a quarter of a billion dollars worth of infrastructure that they pay for.

                  • photonz1

                    Draco says “What debt? The government creates the money debt free and without interest. This is paid back through charging for the service as per normal.”

                    I see – the Mugabe solution fixes every financial issue in all sectors.

                    If it REALLY works, you’d think we’d have been doing it for years.

                    Meanwhile….back on planet earth….governments try to come up with real solutions.

              • greywarbler

                Very interest lprent. You stick around and photonz1 can do a photoshoot of himself and get developed.

              • ropata

                photonz1 would do well to read this analysis of the power crisis by Dr. Peter Gluckmann or perhaps this Roger Award for 1999

                Extracts from Gluckmann’s report:

                In the last five years, Mercury Energy have followed the present economic
                wisdom of aiming for efficiency and a good return to their shareholders (the
                Mercury Trust), raised power prices, reduced their field workforce by half, and
                raised management salaries by 30%
                , with total revenues of $580M in 1997. In
                addition for the last three years their energy has been poured mostly into a
                pointless (and ultimately fruitless) struggle to take over their neighbouring
                power supplier, Power NZ, which cost Mercury $300m
                . In the middle of the first
                week without power, the Auckland City Council called an emergency meeting in
                the town hall to discuss the problems people were facing. Some of the business
                owners who attended were on the verge of bankruptcy because of the lack of
                power, but Mercury didn’t even bother turning up, an act which the mayor
                described as “a disgrace”. This sort of thing isn’t endearing them to their
                clients/victims. There seems to be a strong feeling that those who got the
                huge pay rises and bonuses when things were going well should now take
                responsibility when things are going badly. One company manager was even more
                blunt: “fix the problem, make sure it doesn’t happen again, then resign”. On
                the afternoon in which Mercury directors held an emergency meeting to discuss
                the implications of the two repaired cables failing, the meeting had to be
                moved at the last minute because one of their dissatisfied customers/victims
                threatened to blow them up. The police are taking the bomb threat seriously.

                According to a story in the New Zealand Herald (Auckland’s largest paper), the
                power problems go back to the old state-run Auckland Electric Power Board
                (AEPB), the immediate predecessor of Mercury Energy. Former AEPB engineers
                told the Herald that the cables needed to be replaced in the early to mid
                1980′s (in the early 1970′s the cables were expected to last 10, perhaps 15
                years if people were lucky). Mercury Energy has full records of meetings,
                reports, and discussion papers in which this problem was addressed, but has
                declined to make them available even though they were once public records,
                probably out of concern that they’d make a prime smoking gun for use in various
                lawsuits. According to the Herald, the issue of replacing the increasingly
                dodgy cables came up again and again, but was ignored by the board until
                Mercury inherited the problem in 1993. When the old power boards got
                restructured, a profit-driven mentality took hold with the idea being to drive
                the plant as hard as possible while performing the minimum of routine
                maintenance.
                I’m not sure how much of this is just 20/20 hindsight, everyone
                asked about the matter seems to have known that the cables were past the end of
                their effective life, but noone did anything about it. A Mercury board of
                directors member has claimed in a TV interview that they had no idea that the
                cables were dodgy: “there was no alarm sounded whatsoever”. I’m putting my
                money fairly firmly on “We tried to tell them, but noone listened”.

                This kind of outage brings home the fact that electricity isn’t a simple
                commodity like clothing or electrical goods where an interruption of the supply
                doesn’t have any significant consequences. Electricity is an essential
                requirement for modern life. If something goes wrong, it isn’t just an
                annoyance for the company shareholders, it’s something which affects everyone.
                This means that companies supplying essential services like electricity (and
                water and other similar services) can’t be run like standard companies where
                the consequences of poor decision-making are restricted to the end-of-year
                profit and share price, but need to have substantial extra capacity and
                redundancy to provide a good safety margin. The current economic wisdom
                appears to be that privatisation is a Good Thing and everything else leads to
                waste and inefficiency. This was borne out by Mercury: They cut maintenance,
                cut the workforce, deferred investment in new plant, made record profits, and
                then knocked out the largest city in the country.

                • photonz

                  And was Mercury a private company, or government owned?

                  That’s right – government owned.

                  • Francis

                    But run in exactly the same way as a privately-owned company. Hence the flaw of the SOE model when used for critical infrastructure.

                    • photonz

                      Irrelevant.

                      If it wants to, any govt at any time can direct any SOE to spend more to keep infrastructure up to date.

                      With govts, there’s huge pressure to spend on every other sector.

                      That’s why every opposition complains about every government about underspending in pretty much every sector.

                    • photonz

                      That’s irrelevant.

                      Any govt at any time can direct any SOE to spend more on infrastructure.

                      With govts, there’s huge pressure to spend on every other sector.

                      That’s why every opposition complains about every government about underspending in every sector.

                    • McFlock

                      That’s why every opposition complains about every government about underspending in every sector.

                      The National opposition complained about labour UNDER-spending in every sector?
                      That’s one of your more stupid lies, photoshopnz.

                    • photonz

                      McFlock – they may not have complained about lack of spending on benefits, but they certainly complained about lack of spending on electricity infrastructure, and roads, and operations etc.

                      The point there are so many demands from so many sectors that governments (even ones like Labour in the middle of the 2000s economic boom/bubble), are forever underspending on essential infrastructure.

                    • mickysavage

                      Citation needed photons. I have been reading your comments for a while and I see no understanding of what was happening or an appreciation of the deep financial hole the country currently is in.

                    • ropata

                      When Nactional was the opposition they bleated on about all sorts of things. The underclass, the Cullen Fund, health and education. All of which remain sadly neglected by the Shonkey regime.

                      I don’t see Nactional making wise investments in the electricity sector, when they are flogging off long-term profitable SOE’s to pay down low-cost debt. Their behaviour is standard neoliberal idiocy (or greed, take your pick).

                    • McFlock

                      McFlock – they may not have complained about lack of spending on benefits, but they certainly complained about lack of spending on electricity infrastructure, and roads, and operations etc.

                      they’re the ones who cut the spending on those things

                  • joe90

                    And was Mercury a private company, or government owned?

                    That’s right – government owned.

                    Oh dear.

                    • ropata

                      And the directors were not running it like a public utility, they were exploiting it to maximise profits. The directors had the power to decide whether to invest in infrastructure, but they chose to waste $300 mill in the pursuit of further market dominance. The SOE model is flawed.

                • greywarbler

                  ropata
                  Very informative and unsatisfactory and a great big warning.

  8. greywarbler 8

    No doubt Jokey Hen is looking at US airline precedents! The example of the USA in how to run an airline with affordable prices, efficiently and profitably!!

    when I needed to book a trip to Motown with a week’s notice the round trip fares ranged from $1,374 to $2,000 on the legacy carriers. Guess who had the highest price? American. That is, until Delta upped the ante to $2,010, which American promptly matched.
    The only other nonstop option was plucky Spirit Air, priced at $335, but I couldn’t make either of its two daily flights. The next best option was a one-stop through Washington on American’s betrothed, USAirways, at $329.

    That is the kind of oligopolistic pricing that has DOJ’s knickers in a twist: a city pair dominated by the big three collecting economic rent
    http://business.time.com/2013/11/09/the-sky-high-price-of-airline-mergers/

  9. Tracey 9

    What is the source for the headline post?

  10. Red Horse 11

    Never buy airline shares: they are always a losing proposition. Least of all government-run ones.
    Buy pharmaceuticals and industrials shares instead. They are the key to a successful investment portfolio.

    Capitalists of the world, unite.

  11. Bill Drees 12

    “Stop Asset Sales” was not a great campaign. The reality is it has failed.

    Despite the number of petition signatures (after a second go) we failed to capture the public imagination to a degree that stopped the Nats in their tracks.

    It has a negative call to action. “Assets” is an accounting term. The Air NZ inclusion in the referendum question diluted what could have been a better campaign.

    Had we asked the public
    “Do you, as a citizen/taxpayer/consumer want the Hydro Electric Dams to remain public ownership?”
    we would have captured their imagination. That would have given people a simpler image and something more tangible with which to identify.

    • photonz1 12.1

      The real problem is the the important referendum on asset sales was at the last election – it was one of the main election issues.

      So the current referendum is two or three years too late – obviously – because the two main sales have already happened.

      • Tracey 12.1.1

        What happened to the mandate to pay down debt and put more money into schools and hospitals with the proceeds?

        • photonz1 12.1.1.1

          They are doing that. Millions from the asset sales has already been allocated, including

          - $426 million for the redevelopment of Christchurch and Burwood hospitals. As announced previously, this will be the single biggest building project in the history of New Zealand’s public health system.
          - $50 million to speed up the School Network Upgrade Project which enhances the technological capability of schools.
          - $94 million for the fourth year of KiwiRail’s Turnaround Plan.
          - $80 million for irrigation projects, as announced previously.

          As far as school building goes, there hasn’t been so much building going on around our local schools in decades. A year or so ago the South Island got it’s first new primary school in over 20 years. And another is on it’s way.

          Until recently, there’s been massive underspending on school infrastructure for a very, very long time.

          • ropata 12.1.1.1.1

            And now they have lots of misdirected spending on schools instead. Primary schools don’t need flashy technology they need more teachers and classrooms. Did you notice that NACT are closing schools all over the place?

            Nobody can fault the rebuild of Christchurch hospitals but we didn’t need to sell our best power companies to pay for it. Earthquakes have become Keys bullshit excuse for everything (disaster capitalism)

            • photonz 12.1.1.1.1.1

              1/ There’s no point keeping the power companies when the Green/Labour power plan is to kill off the returns and decimate their value.

              2/ The previous Labour govt closed hundreds more schools than National has.

              • ropata

                1/ The value of a public utility is not measured in dollars, but in its benefits to society. National are helping foreign banksters to soak kiwi households. Previous generations of NZers worked hard and died and sacrificed towns and rivers for these power stations. And you want to toss them away for a few blankets and beads. You blinkered fool.

                2/ ‘hundreds’ … cough cough.

  12. Tracey 13

    “Postal voting for the non-binding referendum opens on Friday November 22 and closes on December 13. “The smart money is on something to kick off early next week,” said one market source.

    Another market player told the Herald that he had heard it could happen before the weekend.”

    A kind of insider trading of information?

  13. Great blog you have here.. It’s hard to find high-quality
    writing like yours nowadays. I truly appreciate people
    like you! Take care!!

  14. photonz 15

    Mickey Savage says “I have been reading your comments for a while and I see no understanding of what was happening or an appreciation of the deep financial hole the country currently is in.”

    Our govt debt to GDP is half the OECD average – HALF!

    Our interest rates are set to go UP at the next rate change, because the economy is buoyant.

    We have massive housing problem that need to be addressed. But at least for the first time in several governments we’re finally started to have some changes –
    - tightening up on LAQCs
    - tightening up on claiming depreciation
    - tightening up on availability of mortgages
    - loosening up of available land
    - loosening up of council rules
    etc
    etc.

    Labour has finally started to look at the problem, most of which was caused under their watch. Our mortgage debt went from $60b to $160b in just five years, but we owned THE EXACT SAME HOUSES as we had five years before. The only difference was we are $100 BILLION further in debt.

    The tweaking of rules by National has made lots of small improvements, but I’d like to know more about Labour’s new plan to build thousands of new homes.

    Potentially (if done right) that has the potential to make a much bigger positive difference to the problem than anything National is doing.

    The time might have come for the government (or their chosen large contractor) to become a property developer on a scale never seen before here.

  15. photonz 16

    McFlock says “they’re the ones who cut the spending on those things”

    Here’s govt spending from Labour in 2008, and National in 2013, from Treasury

    Health
    Labour $11,297m, National $14,526m
    Education
    Labour $9,551, National $12,355
    Housing
    Labour $260m, National $317m
    Rail funding
    Labour $24m, National $169m (and $300-500m the previous four years)

    That’s the funny thing – there’s been massive 30% increases of $3 BILLION EACH for health and education, during a recession, yet any Labour or Green supporter will swear blue than there’s been big cuts.

    The sad thing is, they actually truly believe their own lies.

    • McFlock 16.1

      Allow me to provide actual links, which you are incapable of doing:

      http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/2013/taxpayers/01.htm:

      Where do core Crown expenses go?
      2013/14: $72.4b (31.8% of GDP)

      http://www.treasury.govt.nz/government/financialstatements/yearend/jun09/06.htm:
      (tables heavily edited to make it easy for people to see who is attempting to mislead)

      Actual 2009
      [...]
      Total Crown expenses [...] 83,821
      % of GDP [...]
      46.5%

      And before you say that drop was all backroom bureaucrats, tell that to community education classes, plunket, and Rape Crisis for example.
      Oh, and those seem to be contemporary dollars. I wonder how inflation would effect the data.

      • photonz 16.1.1

        So you’ve added and extra $20 billion spending from SOEs etc for your 2009 figure, but then omitted it for some reason in your 2013 figure

        If you use the SAME method – core crown expenditure, you’ll get $72 billion in 2013 and $57 billion in Labour’s last year

        If you want a comparison of government spending across all sectors, total, health, education (split into early childhood, primary, secondary etc) from 2008 to now and projected into the future, you won’t get much better than this –

        http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/forecasts/befu2013/befu13-pt8of11.pdf

        • McFlock 16.1.1.1

          actuslly, you seem to be correct there. Because I had to go hunting for what you wee talking about, I fucked up.

          And now you’ve mastered the art of providing links, good for you.

          Ok, so sans SOE (“core crown expenses”?), govt has gone from Labour’s last budget year (2008/9) 33.4% of GDP down to 31.8% of GDP 2013/14, correct?

          But to recap: your assertion was that national complained about Labour’s alleged lack of spending on “electricity infrastructure, and roads, and operations etc”, and I responded that they’d cut spending on those things.

          2013/14 Tranport and communications: $2.2b.
          2008/9 Transport and communications: $2.8b.
          Looks like a cut in funding to me, in nominal, real or %GDP terms. And I think it includes “roads, and operations etc”.

  16. greywarbler 17

    Government departments must follow a tender process but a source said that could overcome by the Government picking a company from its pre-selected panel.

    That panel includes Goldman Sachs, Macquarie, First NZ Capital, Deutsche Bank, UBS, Craigs Investment Partners and Forsyth Barr.

    The above are the people really scalping this country. Or maybe they have us by the short and curlies. And government departments practices over tendering. They haven’t got good at it yet. Read about Steven Joyce and Radio whatisname.

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  • So long Shane, thanks for all the ‘fush’
    So Shane Jones is off. Retired from politics he says. Couldn’t give 100 percent to the cause so he did what he thought was best for the Party.Shane Jones has always been a polarising figure and never more so when...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 24-04
  • The benefits of transparency
    Ministerial expenses were released today, and as usual, I spent an hour trawling through the credit card statements hoping to find evidence of Ministers rorting us. So what did I find? Nothing. No $1,000 a night luxury hotel rooms. No...
    No Right Turn | 24-04
  • Christchurch to use Auckland’s old trains?
    As the new electric trains roll out over the coming year or so, a question we don’t know the answer to is what will happen to the old diesel trains Auckland no longer needs. Of course we will need to...
    Transport Blog | 24-04
  • Access: Defective, deficient, deviant and delinquent
    As many NZ babies do, I developed eczema and asthma. My mother took me to various clinicians. I have vague impressions of kindly doctors with strange accents. In retrospect they were probably part of the Jewish diaspora - educated at...
    Public Address | 23-04
  • An FPP politician in an MMP world
    So, now that Shane Jones has gone, he's come clean about the reason: he didn't want to work alongside Russel Norman and the Greens. Which I think emphasises just how much of a throwback Jones was, and how unsuited he...
    No Right Turn | 23-04
  • Hard News: Friday Music: News from talented women
    As I may have noted once or twice, Janine and the Mixtape's Dark Mind EP is one of last year's overlooked local gems. Or perhaps not-so-overlooked now, given that her new video for 'Hold Me' was premiered this week on...
    Public Address | 23-04
  • Focus on housing costs, raise wages not interest rates
    "The increase in the Reserve Bank's interest rate, while expected, shows little imagination and will raise mortgage costs for home owners," says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg. “The focus should be on getting housing costs down, and raising wages to make...
    CTU | 23-04
  • One year on: progress made to prevent another Rana Plaza tragedy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 24, 2014Body:  An official from one of the two global union bodies that negotiated the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, currently visiting New Zealand, says that the Accord continues to make big steps forward to ensure...
    First Union Media | 23-04
  • Update from Dr.Gevil
    We wanted to share with you a little fun....
    Gareth’s World | 23-04
  • Matauri Bay: There are certain stories that get under your skin