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And so it begins

Written By: - Date published: 10:47 pm, December 15th, 2011 - 218 comments
Categories: bill english, privatisation - Tags: , ,

So Mighty River Power is first on the block, to be sold in the third quarter of next year (market conditions permitting).

John Key was typically nowhere near the announcement, leaving unpopular news to henchman Bill English and Tony Ryall.  But up for sale it is.  Rich New Zealanders will be given first chance to buy the company we already own.  Ryall says the company won’t be sold for as much as it could be to enable them to be able to get in (and subsequently sell at a profit).  This will be a massive wealth transfer to those wealthy enough to afford shares while New Zealand “muddles through” high unemployment and low growth.

Instead of subsidising our education and health systems, the profits will soon head overseas, worsening our foreign debt in the long run – impoverishing (most of) New Zealand; leaving us tenants in our own land.

The fightback needs to start now.  What are we going to do about it?

218 comments on “And so it begins”

  1. crite40 1

    Of course its a stupid idea and will produce just the results that you point out.
    BUT who started this idea in the first place-
    David Lange and Roger Douglas, that’s who.
    For many years I was a Labour voter, but I have NEVER voted labout since 1987.
    Labour’s biggest problem is simply that many of the people who once supported it remain unconvinced of
    its trustworthiness. If you let yourself be taken over by the “lunatic fringe” even once it can take many decades to remove the stain.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Shame that the “lunatic fringe” (neoliberal economics) is now thought of as standard, mainstream “orthodox” economic theory.

      • Gosman 1.1.1

        Ah wll C.V. perhaps you could form your own political grouping and push your ideas. I mean even Mana isn’t really offering much in the way of a difference to the mainstream beyond higher social spending and more taxes. Certainly nothing in the way of radically reshaping our finance and economic system. In fact none of the parties on the left have anything remotely close to solutions you think are the only option. That must make you feel incredibly despondant I suppose.

    • seeker 1.2

      @crite40
      “BUT who started this idea in the first place”-
      Answer:
      Margaret Hilda Thatcher channelling her mentor, Keith Joseph and Friedman, (supported later by B actor, Reagan,) started the idea and the meme ‘politics of envy’ (stolen from Socrates I think) to undermine any opposition to her dehumanising and corrupting ideology.

      As my English friend said the other day, when I asked her if the Gemans owned their electricity, “Who knows? I just know that nothing belongs to us anymore and our energy bills are phenomenal”
      (The French already had the water, sold in Thatcher’s blitz.)

      • Bill 1.2.1

        Hmm. I was of the impression that the neo-liberal experiment was foisted on Chile in the first instance following the removal of the Allende government by Pinochet and his US backers on September 11 1973.

        • Frida 1.2.1.1

          Bill is correct.

          • seeker 1.2.1.1.1

            To Bill and Frida…..with thanx

            Ah. Missed that bit -too busy experiencing the major onslaught from Thatcher as she attacked education first. I had just started teaching and we lost so many resources that I became “political’for the first time-even made a small banner! I was a ‘vocational’ teacher wanted all our children to succeed in life, and worked hard to find ways to do this. Then I began to notice that someone was also working hard to hinder and ‘stop’ me from pursuing what I thought was a valuable aim in life.

            I remember pleading with my mum not to vote for her as PM,but mum was fixated on war,win, Churchill, conservative so I lost. A little later I remember my anger and saying”well she’s taken everything away, as well as the milk- if I have to teach in a dog kennel I will. She is not going to attack and undermine my children.”Battle lines were drawn . Fancy having your own government attacking you and your/our children!!!

            Little did I know we would have the ‘Thatcher snatchers’ in for 18 longlonglong years.You probably saw the outcome of her corrupt and ‘devastaing to human kind’ ideology in the riots throughout British cities last year. Communities were destroyed under her, and not in a nice, creative, or constructive way either. Souls were ripped out business fashion; and society, we were told, did not exist -just the individual-self, self,self.

            Thats what trickles down from the top, as I said then, values. And the values she showered down upon us were like acid rain. Her values were amoral and just I have explained – all about self. ‘Think the unthinkable and do it anyway’ was a thought pattern she was said to have used courtesy of Keith Joseph ( the steriliser). It took 30 years to trickle down and fester, but Britain got it all back this year from the, by now dysfunctional, young she warped. I know because I was teaching them and watching ‘society’ change, thanks to the vile mentoring of her and the media(under Murdoch). Horrible times and even worse for New Zealand from what I hear (sorry nz).

            And now we have them back in their new soft smiley, beguiling guise, but still with the same underlying non values of amorality, business/money greed and corrosive selfishness to finish us off .

            Well done National,ACT, UF and Maori voters. What have our young done to deserve you as their elders. I think you all need to go to ‘worthwhile values and what it means to be a loving and responsible adult’ school.Tertiary education would be too far advanced for you at the moment.PS make sure it’s not a chartered school, or you will still learn nothing of value as it will probably be run by your corporate buddies.

    • Skeptic to the max 1.3

      And dare we add that on the switch over of Government to National, they did not mind in the least. Check the decade of the largest values and ‘commodities’ of SOE’s happily sold off by National- (until now?). 
      Late 80’s Labour began asset sales -approx: $3.24 b. National 90’s asset sales- approx $15.9 b. http://www.treasury.govt.nz.( History of sales, revenues and purchasers.)

      Wasn’t that the decade then called NZ’s greatest era of poverty? The neo-liberal economics myth, Mum’s and Dad’s didn’t buy the shares then so why would they now? Mum’s and Dad’s how homely and reassuring…….

      “Mighty River Power as the first electricity generator and retailer to go to market, with a sale flagged for the third quarter next year. Treasury officials estimate the company could raise as much as $1.8 million.” Today.

      Herald just prior to election from economist –
      Current fully owned SOE including part of Air NZ dividends to Gov is $813.1 million per year… The partial owner model has dividends halved so that it will take 13 and 1/2 years to make $7b in returns ( NB. author states a generous forecast). The current operating deficit by National was -$7.45 billion, some 20 per cent worse than forecast in the pre-election fiscal and economic update.

      English today had again to explain to all the simpletons why they were selling, obscuring the real scenario with the explanation that asset sales would put a hold on Mum’s and Dad’s investing money in property buying. ( speak for “No, it’s nothing to do with blowout deficits..silly people.”) First of many questions- Why would a M&D give up a sure bet, greater average returns on capital per annum on property for the absolute risk of shares?

      Musing- why does the right wing defender place “loyalty” as a higher virtue/value for decison making over “greater good”; or defend to the hilt with blind loyalty the ‘greater harm’ of the grasping ( desperate for saving the 1% ass) ‘any- policy- will- do- F*the expert research’ National politics?

      P.S. Silly question but I wonder if the Egomeister Keys grew up thinking that Keynesian macroeconomics were theories especially designed for him?

      • Gosman 1.3.1

        I may have missed it in Econ 101 but where in Keynes is there any mention of the State owning commercial enterprises or even that it has to involved in specific areas of the economy?

    • Tom Gould 1.4

      You started it. No, you started it. Oh, grow up. No, you grow up.

    • Jum 1.5

      Crite40,

      Then I assume you didn’t vote for NActMU either because the lunatic fringe you mention was part of that crew until he retired (the other one’s dead) at this election having done all the damage he was required to do by the backers and having left his replacement Key to sign off on NZ’s final sell-off.

  2. queenstfarmer 2

    Rich New Zealanders will be given first chance to buy the company we already own

    That’s just false. It will be open to all. If you look at the Trade Me listing that has just happened, it attracted strong retail support – classic “Mum & Dad” small investors.

    This will be a massive wealth transfer to those wealthy enough to afford shares

    Again, false. And shares are actually very accessible. It costs $30 (or 0.3%) to execute a share trade via ASB. For that, you can buy $1 of shares or $1,000 of shares, or as much as you want. So for much less than the price of a ticket to the Foo Fighters or the Big Day Out, a young person can buy NZX shares (which are liquid assets and can be cashed in very little time). A group of people could pool funds to execute a single trade to only incur 1 x $30 fee. As long as hundreds of thousands of people play lotto and the TAB each week (let alone buy Sky TV, etc), you can’t claim that “the working class” cannot afford to invest shares.

    Labour’s campaign on partial asset sales was at best very misleading, at worst plain dishonest (e.g. about two days after the election Cunliffe admitted that the shares could be bought back, contradicting Labour’s central claim). It failed. Minority stakes will be sold. It does indeed begin.

    So instead of perpetuating Labour’s dubious and failed election tactics, here is what I suggest to all those who don’t want to see the shares go to those evil foreigners and rich pricks: instead of crying over spilt milk, buy them yourself. Either individually or band together and buy as many as you can. Especially as you think they are being sold cheap, and presumably think they are very solid assets, they will be a safe investment and can be sold at any time if you need to cash out.

    There is no doubt that many people will be doing this. I will be doing my little part. You can either do that, or whistle in the wind by sitting on the sidelines proclaiming frankly nonsensical slogans like “the fightback starts now”.

    • Galeandra 2.1

      attracted strong retail support – classic “Mum & Dad” small investors.
      Your evidence that this isn’t simply large institutional investment????
      Your M & D stuff is just spin cycle, formulaic unthink.

      • queenstfarmer 2.1.1

        Your evidence that this isn’t simply large institutional investment????

        Unlike you, of course I have evidence, which of course proves your “spin” allegtion to be wrong.
        I said “it attracted strong retail support – classic “Mum & Dad” small investors”, and it did:

        Jon McDonald, the chief executive of the company, told TVNZ’s business show the rush for the shares has been a “quiet vote of confidence” from a broad range of investors. “There’s lots of the well-known mum and dad shareholders,” he said, “but it’s also Trade Me members who I guess have a very strong affinity with the service that we provide, through to good interest from institutional shareholders as well”.

        http://tvnz.co.nz/business-news/trade-me-caps-off-successful-debut-4634794

        Kiwi mum-and-dad investors in Trade Me are collectively $15 million better off on paper, with Trade Me shares closing at $2.90, up 20 cents on their $2.70 issue price.

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/business/6137556/Trade-Me-shares-up-20c-on-first-day

        Trade Me chairman David Kirk said the offer attracted strong support from a wide range of institutional and retail investors. “We have a strong and diverse range of shareholders including Trade Me members, mums and dads, institutions, and Trade Me staff

        http://www.voxy.co.nz/business/trade-me-announces-successful-completion-ipo/5/110312

        • Ben Clark 2.1.1.1

          Mum & Dad investor is such a meaningless slogan.

          Michael Fay & David Richwhite have children. They will be Mum & Dad investors. If Bill Gates bought a big chunk, he’d be a Mum & Dad investor.

          That doesn’t stop it being a wealth transfer to those wealthy enough to be able to afford it.

          • adriank 2.1.1.1.1

            By the same token, I am a single 27 year old who is neither a mother nor a father. Accordingly, I expect I will not be allowed to buy these shares.

            • Josh 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Why not?? As long as you are willing to put in your money you will be able to buy at the market rate, which as described above, you could buy in for less than a concert ticket, less than $50.00 even.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      You’re a fool QSTF, 50% of New Zealanders earn less than $30K pa, they will be able to buy nothing of these strategic power companies.

      They will be bought up by trust funds belonging to rich Remuera mums and Dads, and onsold to foreigners anytime a decent tax free capital gain can be made.

      A massive transfer of generationally built up wealth to today’s wealthiest.

      • Janice 2.2.1

        Tony Ryall looked most uncomfortable on TV3 news last night when a reporter (yes!) asked him if he, Bill English and other NATS would be investing. He almost blushed and said “that would be most inappropriate”. Didn’t deny it though.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 2.2.1.1

          Once Politicians judges and other worthies were given special allocations so they ‘didnt miss out’.

          Not sure it still doesnt happen. A bit like tickets for the All Black tests. Mum & Dads ? – only after the big end of
          town gets its share first

        • Josh 2.2.1.2

          They can’t buy the shares as it would be a conflict of interest.

          • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.2.1

            Their blind trusts can, conveniently.

            BTW when has this quaint idea “conflict of interest” come into anything this government does. Million dollar loans to Joyce’s Radioworks, anyone? At the same time as he is working to shut down Radiowork’s public competition?

      • queenstfarmer 2.2.2

        50% of New Zealanders earn less than $30K pa, they will be able to buy nothing of these strategic power companies

        A non-sequiter claim CV. Income does not determine eligibility. And as I mentined, as long as lotto sales stay at near record levels such a claim (even if correctly expressed) doesn’t wash at all.

        • Bored 2.2.2.1

          Queenie, you really know how to be a complete fuckwit dont you? I am sure you can buy $2 of shares (no minimum of course, no brokerage fees etc). Once a week maybe, if there is something left over. And you will be spending the $2 on shares instead of Lotto on the basis of hope as well that they will value up and get you out of destitution.

          Merry Christmas Mr Scrooge.

        • Jan 2.2.2.2

          Lotto splotto. Record lotto sales are evidence of high levels of disposable income? Really?

          And partial privatisations make really good sense if your start from the premise that you want to enrich 5% of the population at the expense of everyone else. That would be so that the new found wealth can trickle down to the have nothings at the bottom.

          Meanwhile NZ heads towards private wealth and public squalor – part 2 the frightening sequel and an already faulty electricity distribution model is mandated to go forever after shareholder profits instead of service innovation, modernisation, carbon minimisation, smart grids, diversification, the entrance of new market players and service price and quality to domestic and business clients. Finally the profit levels encourage investment in the non-tradable rather than the tradable and export sectors.

    • RobM 2.3

      It’s not open to children.

      They’ll be the ones forced into fighting back by your shortsighted greed queensthick.

      • queenstfarmer 2.3.1

        What do you mean “it’s not open to children”? And what is my alleged “greed”?

        • RobM 2.3.1.1

          My six month old doesn’t have the $31 to gain a share of an asset her great grandparents have already bought and paid for.

          I’ll drop a coin jar down the local playcentre so they can’t start saving today.

          I know nothing of share trading but seriously – $30 to execute a single trade?
          I guess those mainframes use a lot of power.

          The greed was an assumption based on your apparent love of all contracts other than the social.
          My apologies if incorrect.

          • queenstfarmer 2.3.1.1.1

            Six month olds can’t sign up for Kiwisaver either, but that doesn’t condemn the Kiwisaver scheme. Your point?

            I know nothing of share trading …

            And this is a key part of the problem. I am not criticising you or anyone else for not knowing anything about the sharemarket, but financial illiteracy is a key problem. It was rife in Labour’s (and Labour/Green supporter’s) endless, and ongoing, incorrect claims about how the markets and companies work. This unfamiliarity breeds suspicion.

            I have long encouraged people of all incomes to get into shares, even in a very small way, not because it will make you lots of money (it won’t) but because it is an excellent way to gain a bit of financial literacy and understanding of economics, as well as investing money which would probably otherwise be spent. Suddenly the business section of the news has a bit more context and relevance. And of course NZ’s saving record is dismal. It does make you think twice about forking over $10 for an overpriced beer when you could buy say 5 Telecom shares for the same price.

            $30 to execute a single trade?
            That’s ASB, there may be cheaper around. But put it in context – that’s less than 2 adult movie tickets, or less than 1/5th of a Big Day Out ticket that thousands upon thousands of young’uns (or there parents) buy.

            • lprent 2.3.1.1.1.1

              There is a rather simple solution to that.

              Rather than selling the shares, just give them away to voters. After all they are the currently the ultimate owners already and it will fulfill all of your other points about financial literacy. It would also ensure a fair distribution of the asset to current owners.

              It would also mean that the money raised is not wasted by paying for Nationals taxcut to the wealthy deficit.

              • Josh

                The biggest problem here is it does not in anyway fulfill financial literacy, it just encourages the current ill-literacy we have today. To encourage we need to make sure people need to save money and invest, not about getting a hand-out which they didn’t have to work for.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Dude – those power assets are ones we have all worked for!

                  The rich Remuera mums and dads who will be buying the lions share of those SOEs weren’t the ones who built the hydrodams! Theywere built by the Crown for the benefit of all.

            • RobM 2.3.1.1.1.2

              I have fair command of financial acronyms, just not big on the mechanics of share trading.

              I do know a bit about computers and my brother works in corporate finance.
              In the interests of leveling the playing field, I’m going to have a chat with Mr Weldon about installing an HFT server for the exclusive use of Ma & Pa investors.

            • Ari 2.3.1.1.1.3

              You still haven’t addressed the fact that the kids who SHOULD be the exclusive owners of these companies once they grow up will have no chance to buy shares, and are essentially being robbed of their assets by an older generation.

              • Josh

                If enough people strongly agree with you, why don’t you group and all put in a few bucks to buy shares, that way you can then give them to the next generation. Or are you expecting someone else to fork-out for you?

                The fact is they will still be able to buy them from the NZers (or overseas investors) who have already brought them, but they would have to pay market price. Most on this site obviously don’t agree with having to work for your keep, so expecting the old, ‘but how can they afford it crap’ to come up.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Josh it’s ironic hearing you say that you are so concerned about “the next generation” because its only the next generation of kids from wealthy families (and their family trusts) who are going to benefit from this sell off of strategic assets which already belong to us, and which have already belonged to many generations of NZers.

                  • Josh

                    It really depends and it’s what you make of it, I will be investing in these shares as I think it will be a good long term investment. I will also say again, you have the power, people power, if enough people care enough to invest there own money you could get together and buy enough shares for the next generation.

                    Just saying that action is better than words, a idea could be door knocking for donations to ‘buy back the assets for the next generation’. Just saying if enough people care enough you can do something about it.

                    So if you don’t want only the ‘next generation of kids from wealthy families’ to benefit, then get in on the action.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m sorry mate, but you clearly don’t understand that not every NZer has blind trusts and trust investment managers who handle this shit for them.

                      Trying to blame individuals who are struggling to get by day to day for not caring enough to combat the asset grab of the corporate investment banking machine is disingenuous. Remember that these capitalist assholes are being paid $100M in fees out of our own pockets to give a damn. Hey even I’d door knock the neighbourhood personally as you suggest, if you gave me $100M in fees.

                      Frankly most NZers don’t understand the economic mechanics and fiscal implications of National’s actions, and you trying to pin culpability on them for that is again, disingenuous.

                      In summary, the expropriation of strategic hard assets into the hands of a few in exchange for printed fiat currency weakens the economic strength of this nation and concentrates the ownership of wealth generating assets into the hands of the 1% even further.

                    • Josh

                      Sorry Mate, but I never suggested that they do have blind trusts or investment managers, to invest you don’t need to have a trust investment manager or blind trust, anyone can buy in.

                      In no part have I blamed anyone, just more suggesting that you’re views are not as wide-spread as your lead to believe. I have even given you a suggestion to prove me wrong, but not everyone has the work ethic or guts. If you so strongly believe in what you are saying, you would act on it.

                      Economic mechanics is a pretty simple concept, so thats the major problem if ‘most NZers’ don’t understand, is there any better opportunity to learn?? Now is the chance for ‘most NZers’ to be interested and learn. Broaden there understanding. It’s a opportunity is all I’m saying.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Economic mechanics is a pretty simple concept, so thats the major problem if ‘most NZers’ don’t understand, is there any better opportunity to learn??

                      I tell you what, you think the mechanics around this are so simple why are the Banksters charging $100M in fees?

                      The National Government is perpetrating their part of the global financial fraud on NZ, concentrating ownership of wealth generating assets into the hands of a few.

                      “Hard work” doesn’t come into it in an economy which devalues labour and values capital; most hard working kiwis don’t even make $800 or $900 pw.

            • ropata 2.3.1.1.1.4

              The NZX is seriously under-regulated and people keep away from it with good reason. Remember 1987 (black monday) and 2000 (tech bubble). It’s the Wild West. Billions have been stolen by the financial sector — proven over and over to be completely untrustworthy, yet Bilbo “Bagman” English and Tony “Soprano” Ryall want to encourage kiwis to risk their savings in Enron style schemes.

              The claim that SOE offerings will reduce pressure on housing prices is a completely baseless speculation. Have the laws of supply and demand been suddenly suspended? Housing prices are determined by scarcity, and the Govt is doing sweet FA to invest in more housing stock — it would rather sink billions in unnecessary motorways.

              Nobody actually voted FOR this BS. They voted for a fantasy in which John “The Messiah” Key saves NZ by using his super monetarist banskter skillz.

              Sickening

              • Colonial Viper

                Shame our compliant and uneducated MSM will only interview ideologically “approved” economists and financial market specialists about these issues.

            • Vicky32 2.3.1.1.1.5

              but because it is an excellent way to gain a bit of financial literacy and understanding of economics, as well as investing money which would probably otherwise be spent.

              That’s the crux of the matter, QSF… There are thousands of people who have to spend everything they get. Investment is a fantasy for them. In a week or so, I will be back on UB, $190.00 a week, and I have to spend every dollar of it on the basics – food, rent, power and phone… “Probably otherwise be spent” – well, no shit Sherlock! What do you think most people do with money?

    • Ben Clark 2.4

      So I’m poor and I spend $30 for my share trade, and … oh, that’s my disposable income for the week, before I can buy my shares. Until you can buy a decent amount of shares that $30 is going to really kill your expected return.

      I have the same “opportunity” to buy shares as someone wealthy… but I don’t really. I don’t have the money.

      I also have the same “opportunity” to be All Blacks coach later today as any New Zealanders… but I don’t really. I don’t have the skills.

      It’s not a level playing field.

      Indeed in real life I’m in the top 10% of earners. I don’t have the spare cash to buy my share of the assets – or indeed any worthwhile amount of the assets. How many New Zealanders do?

      Why should I buy them anyway? I currently own them. I could claim “extortion” for forcing me to pay money to keep something I already own far more legitimately than those who claim all tax is “theft”.

      • queenstfarmer 2.4.1

        It’s not a level playing field.

        Wrong. It is a completely level playing field. Anyone with about $2.05 can buy a Telecom share today. Doesn’t matter who’s $2.05 it is.

        Your objection would only be valid if you are saying that because not everyone can afford to play to the same extent, then no-one should be able to at all (which does appear to be your objection). Does that also apply to housing – because not everyone can afford to buy a house, then it is not a level playing field and house buying should be banned? Or cars? What about Kiwisaver – some people say they can’t afford to enter that (and take the modest pay cut) – should that be halted because “it’s not a level playing field”?

        • dv 2.4.1.1

          And telecom was $5 a while back!!!!

        • Ari 2.4.1.2

          1. Whose. Who’s means “who is”.

          2. For it to be a level playing field we’d have to all be starting with the same amount of money, which is clearly not the case. What you seem to be saying is that any unfairness is due to the universal nature of the price, not discriminatory raising of the price to certain people. However, putting a price on something people already own that prices them out of the market to buy it back is absolutely unfair on its face.

        • Colonial Viper 2.4.1.3

          Wrong. It is a completely level playing field. Anyone with about $2.05 can buy a Telecom share today. Doesn’t matter who’s $2.05 it is.

          One telecom share is not a purchaseable or tradeable parcel you dickhead

          Oh you forgot the $50 brokerage

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 2.5

      If its such a good buy, it must a terrible sell. Seriously you fail to answer the most obvious question- why sell in such a poor market? Especially when it is earning you such good dividends. If my investment advisor were advsing this I would be asking him to think about getting a new career. This is real Ron Paul/Paul Ryan economics.

  3. Skeptic to the max 3

    Said of Keynes ( in light of the global comeback particuarly Anglo-American politics of Keynes)

    “This went very well indeed. Keynes was in his most lucid and persuasive mood: and the effect was irresistible. At such moments, I often find myself thinking that Keynes must be one of the most remarkable men that have ever lived – the quick logic, the birdlike swoop of intuition, the vivid fancy, the wide vision, above all the incomparable sense of the fitness of words, all combine to make something several degrees beyond the limit of ordinary human achievement.” Robbins, London School of Economics.
    “I am spellbound. This is the most beautiful creature I have ever listened to. Does he belong to our species? Or is he from some other order? There is something mythic and fabulous about him. I sense in him something massive and sphinx like, and yet also a hint of wings.” LePan.
    “There is the man himself – radiant, brilliant, effervescent, gay, full of impish jokes … He was a humane man genuinely devoted to the cause of the common good.” The Times.

    Does Key in his learnings of politics desire greatly that history would say this of him too? Downside was that Keynes was a devoted director of the Eugenic’s Society and avid supporter of eugenic policies. Does the new NZ “underclass” have oppressive conditions and policies keeping them down where they belong? You Bet!!!!

  4. Tigger 4

    Dunne is my electorate MP.  So I am going to lobby him.

    • Treetop 4.1

      Could you ask Dunne: Why there is no place to buy a long distance bus ticket in Johnsonville? The only way to buy a long distance ticket was to ring up NZ Railway and then go into the Postshop and pay a $3 booking fee. Then when I got the ticket it did not state on the ticket where to wait for the bus.

      I asked some people in the main Johnsonville shopping centre where his office was and no one could tell me because I wanted to make his electorate office aware of the situation.

      Places smaller than Johnsonville have an outlet where a ticket can be purchased and some are now charging a $1 booking fee. I am not sure about the cost when you book online, but not everyone has a credit card.

  5. And so it begins…

    Rich New Zealanders will be given first chance to buy the company we already own.

    Facts to back this claim up?

    Ryall says the company won’t be sold for as much as it could be to enable them to be able to get in (and subsequently sell at a profit).

    Reference to quote please.

    …the profits will soon head overseas…

    All profits? Or what proportion? You must have facts to base this statement on?

    • The Voice of Reason 5.1

      Oh, how cute! Pete just wants the facts. Just like yesterday.

      • Pete George 5.1.1

        You’re getting off topic there but I’m glad you brought that up. You haven’t come up with the facts there yet.

        What did that poll ask? You weasel worded your way out of answering that.

        • mickysavage 5.1.1.1

          PG

          The poor and homeless will have an equal opportunity with the rich and ruthless to purchase shares in our company.  Its just that they won’t have the cash.

          And of course some profit will head overseas.  I could spend some time going through the history of such companies as Telecom and Contact Energy and what happened with shareholding and dividend flow but you would then pop up again tomorrow and make an equally inane comment and demand proof so I don’t think I will waste my time.

          Regrettably everything that a number of lefties has said is now coming true.  There will not be a sale to “mum and dad investors”, overseas investors will have the opportunity to purchase and if Government tries to regulate this then Australia and China can claim breaches of various trading treaties. 

        • The Voice of Reason 5.1.1.2

          Bullshit. The question was on support for asset sales, as you well know. And there ain’t none. Suck it up, Pete, you’ve been Dunne like a dinner.

          • Pete George 5.1.1.2.1

            Funny. Last time I noticed National had an electoral mandate and were going ahead with their asset sale program.

            If Labour want to continue to be the anti party voters will likely remain anti.

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.2.1.1

              You still on about this electoral mandate shit? And acting as an apologist for a gutless and spineless bauble grasping Dunne?

              Now I see what it takes to be a UF candidate.

              • I’m not the only one.

                Critics who talk about a lack of mandate totally disregard the fact that the National Party put its plan to the electorate clearly and unequivocally. It won. Labour, which campaigned strongly against the part-sales, received only 27 per cent of the vote.

                By any reasonable yardstick, there is a mandate for what the Government terms the “mixed-ownership model”…

                One day you might wake up and accept who won the election, and who lost.

                • felix

                  Notice how Pete always compares the Lab vs Nat votes?

                  He knows the valid comparison is Lab+support parties vs Nat+ support parties, which is much closer thing.

                  But if he insists that comparing single parties is the way to go, he should be reminded that Labour won – what was it again – 40 times the UF vote or thereabouts?

                  I guess that’s why he’s now arguing the Nats’ position instead.

                • Gosman

                  Pete, many on the left only believe in electoral mandates when it involves Government taking more money off people or Government spending more money. Then it is fine and noone can complain about it or if they do they get a variation of Dr Cullan’s infamous mantra “We won, you lost, eat that”. The Right can never have a mandate for any of their policies because they are obviously wrong. You just need to look at the opposition to the introduction of National Standards and the 90 Day trial period to see that.

                  • framu

                    obviously, – you eat babies

                    i mean if were just making shit up and attributing it to people we dont know, you will of course accept this statement to be true

            • rosy 5.1.1.2.1.2

              I like Gordon Campbell’s take on the UF position:

              It is not a moderate position to support the selldown of a 49% stake in the state’s energy companies and Air New Zealand, and foregoing the full flow of dividends from these publicly owned assets, forever. Nor is it a moderate position to collude in ramming through the first sale regardless of the state of a global economy that will play a large part in ensuring the public get the best price for the assets.

              In sum, holding the line against a merely theoretical total sale, while colluding with the actual partial sell-off, is wilfully misleading if this is being presented as a moderate, centrist position. Dunne’s is being National’s flunkey on asset sales, however he tries to dress up the collusion.

              • It’s a lot more moderate than alternatives that Goff kept claiming would happen – United Future have negotiated an agreement with National it won’t be legaly possible for that scaremongering to happen this term.

                Campbell also said:

                Thus, the Greens are on very shaky ground in saying that Dunne doesn’t have a mandate to support the 49% selldown this year.

                Norman will find that the shakedown approach will not win the sort of friends the Greens need to progress.

                • rosy

                  Thus, the Greens are on very shaky ground in saying that Dunne doesn’t have a mandate to support the 49% selldown this year.

                  I agree with that too – because Dunne has advocated asset sales for a very long time. Hence Cambell’s later paragraphs. Shows how duplicitous he is to state caution but at the same time support the policy.

        • Galeandra 5.1.1.3

          No, arse about wee Petey,you need the facts.
          The right are changing NZ’s situation substantially, THEY (ie you) need to show that the sales DO go to mum and Dad and not wealthy trust holding multi farm owning Tory MP’s.
          Opponents assert that PAST HISTORY eg Contact is evidence.
          Too hard to get that?

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 5.1.1.4

          I’m heading O/s next year and i can see the huge benefit of guaranteed dividends through bargain shares- so there will be some at least.

    • Ben Clark 5.2

      He said on (I think) check point that they weren’t getting as much as they could from it. They’d get more if they sold the full 49% as one chunk, to a corporate. So they’re taking a hit to sell local, and taking a hit to sell to retail investors.
      So it’s New Zealand’s wealthy elite that will make money out of it (initially, before they on-sell), rather than a foreign wealthy elite (although they’ll benefit when they hoover up the shares later). Which is better I suppose, but still not to the benefit of the country.

      We don’t know what percentage will end up overseas, due to not being clairvoyant, but Contact Energy is a good case study, which might suggest more than half in about 5 years. So a good 25%+ of the profits by 2017?

    • Frida 5.3

      Pete – the reference for the Tony Ryall quote is last night’s (Thursday) interview with Mary Wilson on Checkpoint. I haven’t got access to the link at the moment because of where I am at present, but I am sure someone else can find it.

      Do stop trying to justify the deplorable actions of your Puppet Boss desperate to keep his snout in the trough for another three years.

  6. higherstandard 6

    ‘What are we going to do about it?’

    I’ll be buying a packet of shares and holding on to them.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Enjoy it while it lasts, one day they’ll be reacquired.

      • higherstandard 6.1.1

        That’s fine, the government of the day is welcome to reacquire at an acceptable price.

        • mikesh 6.1.1.1

          Hopefully a future Labour government will regulate electricity prices so that profits are zero.

          • Gosman 6.1.1.1.1

            And therefore slash it’s own dividend stream from the 51% of shares they own.

            Talk about cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.

          • higherstandard 6.1.1.1.2

            And regulate the way you vote and what you eat and think.

  7. <i>Facts to back this claim up?</i>

    You’re a funny guy, Pete.  Of course he can’t back it up.  It’s an egregious lie, because the poor will have the same first chance to buy the company they already own as the rich do!  Ah, what a laugh riot you are.  Ha!  Stupid poor people!

     

    • You know very well Ben’s trying to continue the Labour framing of a rich prick class war. The problem is this continued poitical bitching is sending Labour to the bottom of the class, the 20% of non-achievers perhaps.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        It is class war Pete. Fewer and fewer people are shying away from the term.

        Even the NBR knows what it is, with their desperate front page defence that inequality in NZ is improving under their watch.

        • Pete George 7.1.1.1

          Only a few use the term – is it those who see their power possibilities slipping away and wish for a revolution to magic their way to glory? But war just means gory.

          • rosy 7.1.1.1.1

            Nah – it’s the rich who use it too – like Warren Buffet – and all those UK, French and other Europeans that wrote open letters to their governments stating they should be taxed more.

            • Gosman 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Nice. Perhaps they could voluntarily donate a proportion of their income to the Government if they feel so strongly about it.

              • McFlock

                Buffett, for one, does. Quite a large proportion. 
                  
                So does Gates. So does, closer to home, Gareth Morgan.

                 
                But the trouble is that there seem to be quite a few rich folk who have no problem with letting people starve. Which is where government-coordinated wealth redistribution and common good investment comes in, also known as progressive taxation.

                • KJT

                  All credit to the rich who are not “rich pricks”.

                  Notice it is generally the ones who have pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps, and know how hard it is, who have empathy for those who cannot.

                  Those benefiting from totally unearned inherited or burgled (paid beyound their competence level or for useless ponzi schemes) wealth are, mostly, the ones who want to continue their theft.

          • vto 7.1.1.1.2

            Yep, class war it is.

            Class war.

            Got it? And it is clear which side you are on Pete. Best of luck – all’s fair in love and war. You lot in United Future are wankers.

      • Psycho Milt 7.1.2

        The problem is this continued poitical bitching is sending Labour to the bottom of the class…

        If only the Opposition would do its proper job of supporting the govt it would be more popular, huh? It’s an interesting concept, but there’s something in the phrase “Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition” that ought to provide a clue as to why they’re not supporting the govt.

        Feel free to point out exactly what is incorrect in Ben’s post. It looks like an accurate assessment to me.

        • Josh 7.1.2.1

          I think the term was more alluding to actually coming up with solutions rather than pointing out problems.

          No point saying hey the government is crap at tiddlywinks without saying what you will do to improve it. The only solution the opposition was providing though out the election campaign was to borrow more money, this didn’t fly which is why they lost a lot of support to the greens.

  8. dv 8

    It is worth rereading the standard post

    http://thestandard.org.nz/contact-energy-a-case-study/

    The ownership point stands out
    1999 to 225,000 shareholders. Those New Zealanders rich enough to buy a share quickly cashed in as the price rose and in 2002, a little over 3 years later, the number of shareholders had halved. It now stands at about 80,000.

  9. Salsy 9

    The fightback needs to start now. What are we going to do about it?

    I posted a couple of weeks a go on open mike regarding asset sales and a referendum. Jeanette Fitzimmons has put forward an offer of help suggesting that even the process of the referendum would tie up the process of asset sales for a term.

    http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-11122011/#comment-415210

    I so far havent heard anything further – Perhaps some folks here at the Standard would like to take this to the next level.. ??

    • Bill 9.1

      I’ve seen the idea rattling around on facebook. I’m assuming that something is underway and expect to see some evidence in the shape of a petition (or whatever the term is) at some point.

      Thing is, what I don’t get is that since the referendum itself would not be binding, why would the prospect of a referendum put the brakes on sales?

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        It won’t but it will show that the government is selling the assets for their own reasons and not because NZers want them to, ie, that NAct don’t have a mandate. Opens up the renationalisation without compensation option as well.

  10. chris73 10

    What am I going to do about it? Buy some shares is what I’m going to do about it. That way I can own some of the power company

    • The Voice of Reason 10.1

      Yep, you can own some of it, soon, as opposed to all of it, now.

    • felix 10.2

      You already own it now. Mind you I’m sure it’ll feel good charging your neighbours for something they already own too.

      • chris73 10.2.1

        Well of course I own it, why just the other day I was talking to my bank manager about loaning some money and he asked me if I had any collateral to cover the loan and I said of course I do I own power companies and he said that will do nicely and loaned me the money at a very reasonable rate of interest.

        No wait thats not quite how it happened…

        • felix 10.2.1.1

          Actually that’s exactly what happened chris, except that Bill English was at the meeting as your representative.

    • Bill 10.3

      So you’ll ownership will amount to 5/8th’s of fuck all of the company and your level of control will be even less. So what is the point behind your buying of shares again? Meanwhile, the decisions of the tiny minority….the major shareholders…. will see your electricity bills spiral upwards.

      • chris73 10.3.1

        Lets see whats the point of buying shares…divedends, increased share price and historically power companies are a safe and reliable investment

        Plus power prices go up no matter who owns them

  11. Bored 11

    In a historic context you might ask is this still the era of “Rogernomics / neo liberalism” still current or at an end? Is the sale off still part of this era, or and end to it? Or is it part of the new international era of financier kleptocracy?

  12. tsmithfield 12

    “Rich New Zealanders will be given first chance to buy the company we already own.”

    Silly argument.

    Firstly, the transaction is essentially an asset swap. So those selling the assets are in exactly the same net position as they were before the sale.

    Secondly, I suspect those complaining about the sale are more likely to be those who pay zero net tax anyway, so have no financial argument for claiming ownership in the assets.

    • Bored 12.1

      TS, reach for your companies books please and examine your lines of business and the cost you pay for bank finance etc.Put it on a spreadsheet and work out your true return.

      Now do the same for these State assets at today’s finance rates, compare that to your rate of profit……if you have half a business brain, (as anybody from the right should claim) you will notice that your capital return on the transaction makes absolutely no sense. It will be negative

      Give me a business rationale: if you advocated this kind of action in any one of my companies I would invite you to revise your CV.

      That is a business viewpoint, don’t get me started on the politics.

      • tsmithfield 12.1.1

        Bored, my point is about the net position at the moment of sale.

        You are getting into the argument about whether dividends from the state owned assets are greater than the interest saved on not borrowing money. If the money raised from sales is put into more assets, then the same applies assuming we would have otherwise borrowed the money to purchase these assets.

        There has already been considerable discussion around whether dividend returns exceed interest saved. A lot of the figures Labour was throwing around for dividends was seriously inflated due to several one-offs associated with large items that were sold. However, according to the Treasury forecasts, dividends and interest saved basically cancelled each other out. So, if that is the case, then there is no adverse affect going forward in terms of net income.

        Anyway, if we were to borrow the money in the current environment, borrowing costs might well be higher than previously projected due to sovereign default worries. Also, when we come to roll the loans, the interest rates might well be higher again for similar reasons. So, interest considerations should not be just made on the current interest rate, but also likely rates going forward.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          You’re full of nonsense.

          Eurpoean sovereign default worries make the NZ Government’s cost of borrowing cheaper, not more expensive, as capital flies out of the EU.

        • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1.2

          If the money raised from sales is put into more assets, then the same applies assuming we would have otherwise borrowed the money to purchase these assets.

          No it doesn’t as the assets that the government are talking about buying don’t have the same returns (most of them should be funded by ongoing taxes as they’re ongoing costs). Hell, some of the returns will only be to dairy farmers in Canterbury.

          The government never has to borrow. Just needs to print the money and raise taxes to drop the amount of money in circulation.

        • Bored 12.1.1.3

          Fired for business stupidity TS, in the words of a neolib telly show “you are the weakest link”.

    • rosy 12.2

      ” I suspect those complaining about the sale are more likely to be those who pay zero net tax anyway”

      Probably no more than those who pay zero net tax who are going to buy the assets.

      For the record – I’m complaining and this working household, no kids, pays plenty of tax in NZ so has plenty of financial argument for claiming ownership in the assets (by your reckoning). Seeing as practically everyone pays GST, practically everyone else does too.

      • tsmithfield 12.2.1

        So, if you are in a financial position to do so, and are worried about the assets going overseas, then you could do your bit by buying some shares in Mighty River and not sell them to foreigners.

        • rosy 12.2.1.1

          A patriotic duty – nice re-framing – the last refuge of the scoundrel, isn’t it?

          We’d prefer not to spend our money on stuff that we already part own.

          • tsmithfield 12.2.1.1.1

            I wouldn’t expect you to do it for patriotic duty, but because it is a financially sensible thing to do.

            You might have nice gooey feelings now about “owning” the state assets. However, it does you bugger all good in terms of return. If you actually own shares in the companies then you get to earn some dividends and make capital gain on the increasing value of the shares, without even having to worry about a nasty capital gains tax. :smile:

            • Draco T Bastard 12.2.1.1.1.1

              However, it does you bugger all good in terms of return.

              Well, that’s an outright lie. The profits from the power companies reduce taxes by several hundred million per year. Selling them will mean that taxes will have to be raised to cover the loss.

              • tsmithfield

                That depends if dividends lost exceed the interest saved. Treasury thinks they cancel each other out. If that is the case, I am correct.

                • dv

                  Thus the return is about 2% according to Treasury.
                  PE of 50!!!

                  Better to collect interest in the bank!!

                • Draco T Bastard

                  It’s been pointed out the Treasury is usually wrong about these things – probably due to their neo-liberal ideology.

            • framu 12.2.1.1.1.2

              “but because it is a financially sensible thing to do.”

              if its such a good buy why sell?

              “However, it does you bugger all good in terms of return”

              if theres such a crap return why buy?

              • rosy

                Because the govt is going to flog them off at below market value to get kiwis to buy… almost guaranteeing sales to overseas investors after a certain time, but without the headlines.

            • rosy 12.2.1.1.1.3

              I wouldn’t expect you to do it for patriotic duty

              No? What’s this line then?

              “you could do your bit by buying some shares in Mighty River and not sell them to foreigners.”

              If I was going to do the ‘financially sensible’ thing I would sell them to foreigners seeing as they will likely pay more for them (even the govt agrees maximum price won’t be achieved without offshore buyers).

    • Ben Clark 12.3

      I’m sorry, if you pay zero net tax currently you don’t have any claim to ownership of the assets?

      Tell that to all the pensioners – particularly to those who helped build the dams personally.

    • Colonial Viper 12.4

      Firstly, the transaction is essentially an asset swap. So those selling the assets are in exactly the same net position as they were before the sale.

      Fuck off trying to explain this as no change, there is certainly a change and you can tell because wealthy private investors are lining up for it, and that is not something they do to maintain the status quo.

      Further get it into your head that we are swapping valuable strategic hard energy assets for printed out of thin air US dollar assets. One is worth more than the other, but you have to look from a non-financial viewpoint. You are being deliberately obtuse, aren’t you.

      • tsmithfield 12.4.1

        “Fuck off trying to explain this as no change, there is certainly a change and you can tell because wealthy private investors are lining up for it, and that is not something they do to maintain the status quo”.

        At the instant of transfer there is no change. What happens after that is up for debate.

  13. vto 13

    “What to do about it?”

    Make it a clear policy to buy it back. At the exact price at which it was sold – no more. Done. And even that’s generous.

    • queenstfarmer 13.1

      Like many of the Soviet/dictatorship policies that those on the far-left daydream about resurrecting in New Zealand, this is simply in the realms of fantasy. Look at Shearer’s interview where he dissembled on the question of buy-back (let alone confiscation). And now other Labour MPs are waking up to the reality, eg in today’s paper ‘Jones backs investment by iwi in state assets

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        Actually qstf, red china’s method of nationalising assets after the revolution was quite effective.

        Takes a few years to play out, but you get them all back for fuck all.

        You actually wouldn’t start with requiring shares to be bought back etc. You’d just start by requiring the majority of the seats on the Board of Directors.

      • vto 13.1.2

        Aint nothing of the sort. It is actually a good investment (so good in fact that you yourself are going to buy some shares) so why not buy it back and use the income to support the governments finances. May even mean that less taxes need to be raised. Fancy that.

        In addition, electricity is of such importance that it should be not be left to the free market. Look what happenned to rail and air new zealand. Old ladies rely on it to keep warm in winter. You think there will not be the same sorts of problems with electricity?

        You see queen, this entire idea just fails on so many levels.

      • Ben Clark 13.1.3

        That’s just pragmatism. The government has the numbers (and I would accept thus a mandate, thanks to their man-date). That doesn’t mean we have to agree with everything they do – the vast majority of New Zealanders disagree with them on asset sales for a start.
        They shouldn’t be sold, but if they are then I would prefer they went to iwi and other community groups too.

        You have compulsory purchase of shares by private companies not irregularly – as those who held airport share after previous asset sales would attest. What’s so different about the government doing it?

        • queenstfarmer 13.1.3.1

          Indeed, you are correct that the Govt could launch a takeover bid and buy them back – a point that Labour shamelessly lied about throughout its entire campaign.

          The fundamental difference would be legislating to force a non-market buyback (assuming of course the shares have risen), aka confiscation.

          • vto 13.1.3.1.1

            What on earth do you mean “non-market”? The market, being the entire NZ-wide economy, is a case of whatever you can dream up and do is “market”. The people of NZ as represented by govt is part of this market so whatever it wants to do is market action. Govt can play by the exact same principles as business. Legislating to buy it back is the “market” in action. So suck it up and stop complaining.

            Similarly, if there is a “mandate” then it is entirely reasonable too. And we all know what a mandate is now thanks to Key.

            Just like those people compaining about the strike action at Ports of Auckland, the “market” is the biggest whinger in the country when other people also play by market rules and principles.

            Mandates and markets – ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, handle your own medicine.

  14. Tiger Mountain 14

    The benefit of public ownership is over time, a long time. ShonKey does not need at all to flog off Mighty River, it is an ideological wink to the banksters that is all. It was one thing for private owners to run down railway and telecommunication infrastructure, damaging as that was. It could get very interesting if hydro electric damns and rivers are not maintained properly.

    • vto 14.1

      “It could get very interesting if hydro electric damns are not maintained properly”

      Exactly. What measures are in place to ensure that electricity generation is maintained and increased? The same as were in place for rail? ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Perhaps that wanker Peter Dunne could answer this issue…… Or Pete George. From the other side of the class war divide.

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    Every single party that is against asset sales needs to come out now and say that these will be renationalised without compensation by the next government.

    • I think Shearer will be smart enough not to dig that hole.
      I doubt he wants to lead a hissy fit anti party.

      Shane Jones gets it.

      Labour MP Shane Jones says his party has to realise that National has the numbers to push through state asset sales, and he will not criticise iwi which wish to invest in them.

      Yesterday Mr Jones said that although Labour opposed state asset sales they were now inevitable and iwi wanting to invest in them for commercial reasons should not be pilloried.

      He indicated a more pragmatic stance on the issue was ahead as Labour sought to re-build its links with business and enterprises.

      “We can continue to criticise that programme, because we are in Opposition. But … the Labour Party needs to learn to count in terms of the election outcome.

      “The Government has the numbers to pursue its programme. I certainly won’t get too precious if various iwi step up to the plate and say ‘we want to be part of this action’. That’s a decision they’re entitled to take. They’ve got sovereignty over their own commercial decisions.”

      Can’t expect everyone joing common sense straight away.

      • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1

        No, he doesn’t get it. He’s just saying that Labour should go more to the right than they already are. That’s not what NZ needs but I’m not surprised – Labour has been a right-wing party since the 1980s.

        • Pete George 15.1.1.1

          Haha, and the fringe on Kiwiblog keep claiming National is a left wing party.
          And the half dozen on TrueBlue claim everyone but them are communists.

          Politics is relative. Extremists get extremely frustrated.

          • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1.1.1

            Extremists get extremely frustrated.

            Especially with non-entities like you are around.

            Say, PG, when you take this test whereabouts does it put you on it’s political spectrum?

            Labour ends up on the right of it, NAct is right-authoritarian. I get -10 (left), -8 (liberal).

            • Gosman 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Do you want a medal?

              By the way that test is bollocks. Some of the questions were along the lines of “When did you stop beating your wife”.

              • Draco T Bastard

                It’s not totally accurate but it’s not bad and it gives a constant measure. Certainly not as bad as the ones I’ve seen promulgated by libertarians.

                • Gosman

                  What absolute rubbish.

                  You could save yourself several painful minutes doing that test simply by asking youself two simple questions.

                  How economically liberal am I?

                  How socially liberal am I?

                  If you think there is a place for private ownership but has no problems with government intervening actively in the economy then you are Center left economically.

                  If you don’t think Gay people should adopt kids and have a belief that private morality in important then you are Socially conservative.

                  None of that BS in that test you linked to.

                  • felix

                    Most people are a bit more complex than you, Gos.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    So, my guess is that you got a right-authoritarian result while you thought you were a right-liberal. As you didn’t like the answer you’re dissing the test.

                • Vicky32

                  So, here’s me..
                  Your political compass
                   
                  Economic Left/Right: -9.25
                  Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.41

                   

            • Pete George 15.1.1.1.1.2

              Last time I tried the compass I was not quite as far left as Greens for were placed for 2011, and about where David Cunliffe nominated his own position on vote chat.

              I don’t think that means much.

              Where would the Nat’s asset plan fit on a chart like that? About 49% of the way across and down? Or 51%?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Where would the Nat’s asset plan fit on a chart like that?

                About where National sits.

              • vto

                Pete. A question for United Future on asset sales ….

                The perfectly legitimate question of how the government retains its 51% ownership stake in the event that further shares are issued and the government does not take up its full entitlement has been raised by various politicians such as Russell Norman but not answered by anyone.

                How does Dunne intend that its ownership stake is not reduced in this or other similar events?

                And answers that rely on on hope and crossed fingers are not accepted.

            • David H 15.1.1.1.1.3

              Economic Left/Right: -9.00
              Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.87

    • eatyourgreens 15.2

      if labour did that. i would return to voting for them in a moment. won’t be holding my breath though

    • insider 15.3

      If they did that then they would quickly become the mythical ‘1%’

  16. johnm 16

    The… Privatize I Must Privatize… man King Shonkey and his political prostitute mate Dunne plus the baubles and bangles party the so called Maori party are traitors to New Zealand. We will rue their actions in the serfdom to corporate tyranny in league with government.

  17. tc 17

    The trolls have a busy few months ahead I see from this post.

    Not a problem as they’re well rewarded and got plenty of those CT and neolib banksta lines to run out….especially the self answering ones they claim as conclusive proof and evidence.

    Enjoy the ivory towers you’ll find the mob rather unforgiving when it comes.

    • Gosman 17.1

      You mean like those mobs involved in the OWS protests? Yeah they have been really effective at scaring the mythical 1%. I can see them quaking in their Armani suits as I type.

  18. One Anonymous Bloke 18

    If you are so greedy you put your own personal financial gain in front of society’s best interests, you don’t deserve to have property rights. Nationalisation without compensation.

    • Gosman 18.1

      Excellent! I can’t wait for a leftist party to campaign on that.

      Can I offer a couple of slogans the party might like to use?

      “New Zealand – The Zimbabwe of the South Pacific”

      or

      “Anything Zanu-PF can do we can do better”

      • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1.1

        The problems in Zimbabwe are a consequence of classic right-wing born to rule arrogance. Remind me how much the Zimbawean farmers paid up front for the land they were evicted from.

        • Gosman 18.1.1.1

          Ummmmm…. many if not most of them brought their land post 1980 and after getting a certificate of no interest from the Government which had first refusal on farm sales in the country.

          But it is good to see that you are comfortable being associated with the forced land redistribution exercise in Zimbabwe. Most leftists try and argue that the policy bears no resemblance to left wing policies for some ill defined reasons.

          I’d be happy if a left wing party campaigned for forced nationalisation it would be a boon for the right. Forget about dancing Cossack ads.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1.1.1.1

            One problem with that: you dupes were already comparing NZ to Zimbabwe four years ago. The little Gosman who cried wolf.
            This is going to be your last three years for a generation, enjoy it while it lasts.

            • Gosman 18.1.1.1.1.1

              I think you are mistaking me for someone else. You do realise that there are more than one person on the right and we all have different views and do different things don’t you?

                • Gosman

                  Irrelevant Felix. You are somehow trying to equate me highlighting the pathetic nature of tests trying to identify someone’s political leanings versus OAB’s mistaking my view to someone elses about whether NZ was turning into Zimbabwe four years ago.

                  • felix

                    Whoosh.

                    One minute you argue that the test is bunk because anyone’s political ideology can be determined by answering a couple of very specific questions:

                    If you think there is a place for private ownership but has no problems with government intervening actively in the economy then you are Center left economically.

                    If you don’t think Gay people should adopt kids and have a belief that private morality in important then you are Socially conservative.

                    then nek minit:

                    there are more than one person on the right and we all have different views and do different things

                    2:16pm Gosman thinks 2:11pm Gosman is a fool. I think I agree.

                    • Gosman

                      Jeeze Felix do I have to spell it out to you?

                      Deciding where someone sits on the political spectrum is relatively easy. You don’t need 30 odd questions to get this. Certainly not 30 odd bollocks questions like in that test that was linked to here.

                      I could pretty much determine where you stand with half a dozen questions.

                      That doesn’t mean that everyone that shares the same space as you on the political spectrum thinks or acts identically. Only a fool would argue that. Are you arguing that?

                    • felix

                      Oh dear, the contradictions have become sentence-to-sentence.

                      Gozzy, the reason for asking more than a couple of questions is because people, on the whole, are more sophisticated in their thinking and more complex in their views than a simpleton like yourself.

                      When you say things like

                      If you don’t think Gay people should adopt kids and have a belief that private morality in important then you are Socially conservative.

                      then you’re not even talking about a spectrum at all. You’ve reduced the entire subject (two subjects actually) to a binary decision, you’re either this one thing or the other opposite thing.

                      What you’ve written indicates that you don’t even grasp what a spectrum is. Frankly I think this is all a bit beyond you.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Naturally, but I don’t see why I should make excuses for you: when you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas

          • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1.1.1.2

            PS: nice to see you taking the bait by the way. I’d like to see a left wing party adopt this policy just to see the naked fear of the wingnuts who’ve been lying about “socialism” all these years. Beneficiaries to receive free cobblestones and guillotines.

          • Bored 18.1.1.1.3

            Gos, this Zimmers thing is under your skin a bit. Perchance are you related to one of those people who had their land redistributed?

            I think it a sad thing, as sad as the original piece of forced redistribution a hundred years prior when the land was taken from other saddened people. Not good either time for the people on the land. My worry about citing the recent event in isolation seems to legitimise the prior event. Both events are bastards.

            • Gosman 18.1.1.1.3.1

              Never been to Zimbabwe myself and have no relations there as far as I know. That stated I have met several ex-Zimbo’s, both Black and White. None of them have anything good to say of Zanu-PF’s left wing economic policy.

              I find it a fascinating study in the failure of the type of statist left wing policies advocated by many lefties here.

              What people don’t realise is that the collapse of the Zimbabwe economy didn’t start in 2000 with the land distribution exercise but stretches back to the mid 1990’s when the War Veterans were granted a massive payout from the State. The currency nose dived and the economy started to tank.

              It was only as a result of this that Mugabe and co decided to use the land issue as a diversion to try and win back the support of the rural poor. He scapegoated the wealthy farmers on whom the country relied heavily for it’s wealth.

              Once he had destroyed his productive sector and drove away foreign investors the only source of capital was via the Reserve bank printing currency (something I believe DTB would love to see here). Of course this led to hyper inflation which Zanu-PF blamed on profiteers (those damned nasty Capitalists again).

              The typical left wing response was to try and manage the market yet again and impose price controls but you can’t beat the market. Of course the inevitable response was that those damn nasty capitalists stopped producing the products that the price controls were slapped on and people had to travel to South Africa to get the essentials that Zimbabwe used to produce in abundance.

              After all these wrong headed left wing policies instead of accepting blame Zanu-PF decided to blame Western sanctions which were basically restricted to stopping the Zanu-PF goons from shopping trips in Western nations.

              The only thing they could grasp on to that may have made sense is that the IMF wouldn’t lend them any money either. Kind of ironic that they blamed a neo-liberal capitalist organisation not helping them for their economic plight don’t you think?

              Anyway, I see Zimbabwe pre 2008 as the ultimate realisation of left wing economic thinking. It is such a brilliant case study of what is wrong with much of what people think here is a solution to our problems.

              • ropata

                Reminds me of Muldoon more than anything

              • Bored

                So where exactly are the lefties? Mugabe? Dont think so, convenient label, just like the Yappies labelled Mandela a communist.

                Dont get me wrong Gos, I quite frankly admit Mugabe and his actions killed off his country, a place that must have been paradise for blacks under white rule going from your rants. Socialist? All I saw was tribalism and kleptocracy.

                • Gosman

                  Kleptocracy was definately part if it but that tends to go hand in hand with the leftist policies that being pursued.
                  When the state become a large part of power and wealth there is always a risk people will find the temptation too great. However tribalism was less of an issue after the 1980’s.
                  By the way I’m not stating it was perfect or enen much better pre-independence. Certainly economically it was. However human dignity wise it was much worse.
                  What I am stating is that hard core leftist thinking ruined the country.The sort of thinking I see here regularly. Such as the complete disregard for private property rights.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    What I am saying is that theft from the commons and the public balance sheet happens all the time and that it is the corporate right wing who have designed an entire system around it to a fine art.

                    $100M fee to sell our own power dams. Yeah right.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                “I see Zimbabwe pre 2008 as the ultimate realisation of left wing economic thinking.”

                Why Zimbabwe rather than Finland or Sweden? Delusional much?

                Oh, and thanks for exposing your own witless lies: “I think you are mistaking me for someone else.” The little Gosman who cried wolf.

                We need better wingnuts.

          • fmacskasy 18.1.1.1.4

            Gosman: For your interest…

            “During the 1990s students, trade unionists and workers often demonstrated to express their discontent with the government. Students protested in 1990 against proposals for an increase in government control of universities and again in 1991 and 1992 when they clashed with police. Trade unionists and workers also criticised the government during this time. In 1992 police prevented trade unionists from holding anti-government demonstrations. In 1994 widespread industrial unrest weakened the economy. In 1996 civil servants, nurses, and junior doctors went on strike over salary issues” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zimbabwe#Post-Independence_.281980.E2.80.931999.29

            Zimbabwe can’t be much of a socialist “paradise” if the Trade Union movement is openly hostile to Mugabe’s regime, eh?

      • kriswgtn 18.1.2

        under ur masters

        The Zimbabwe of the South Pacific” is already here dickwad

  19. freedom 19

    Mums and Dads, NZ investors first, transparency and fairness, all important ideas and if there really is nothing to be done about the fire-sale of our future then we should focus on the inevtiable Share swindle that is being laid out. There is a lot of discussion about NZ investors being first in the queue despite the various Trade ageements that clearly say this is going to be difficult [expensive] to navigate.

    Are the Trade agreement issues null and void if the Share purchase is done by a private citizen and not a commercial or other legal entity?

    Why not make it that every share purchase has to be to a NZ Citizen or NZ passport holder.
    That is a clear and transparent process. I suspect it is also why it would never happen. Can you imagine John Key or Paul Holmes or Jenny Shipley agreeing to a deal where they had to personally validate how many shares they own?

    They can say what they like, we know the reality is Asset Shares will dissapear into Shadow Funds with the flimsiest of links to NZ. Nothing we do, say or suggest, will halt this incremental theft.

    • Gosman 19.1

      Only people on the left can equate purchasing something as theft.

      Did you enjoy the coffee you stole from the coffee shop this morning?

      How about that car you nicked from TradeMe?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 19.1.1

        It’s exaggeration for dinnimic effect. Sauce for the Gos.

        • Bored 19.1.1.1

          He has never heard of “receiving” stolen goods I think.

          • ropata 19.1.1.1.1

            It is theft
            Central banks print fiat money, commercial banks get free/low interest $$$, traders swap numbers in a database for real assets, the market price fluctuates like crazy, the casino capitalists make a killing, and the tax payer has another bailout

            THEFT and LOOTING of the whole community for the benefit of the elite few.

      • fmacskasy 19.1.2

        Last I heard, Gosman; over two thirds of New Zealanders did not want assets sold. New Zealanders are the “share holders” of those assets. So if those assets are being sold against our will – I think that is pretty damn close to theft, don’t you?

        QED?

    • a different Matt 19.2

      Just look at the recent parking meter lease the city of Chicago sold to private investors. Fast tracked with little oversight, sold for far below the actual value, and the buyers (when the shell companies used for the sale vaporized upon closing) turned out to be middle eastern sovereign wealth funds. Rates skyrocketed overnight, no more holiday exemptions, you know the rest. Taxpayers get to eat it after their own public services were sold out from under them.

  20. randal 20

    why hasn’t the sale of these assets gone before parliament and the scrutiny of a select committee?
    is kweewee just making unilateral decisions from the executive suite now?
    does winning the election now mean that you can just do what you bloody well like?

    • seeker 20.1

      randal,good question

      I rang the ombudsman to ask this and I was told that the government is the crown and basically has the baton. Only way to change their decisions is in another 3 years. Seems somewhat arbitrary to me. Last time there was arbitrary govt. (apart from maggie thatcher) was the 17th century with Charles 1 and his “Divine Right of Kings” which really caused him to lose his head in 1649.

  21. Jackal 21

    Here’s what Trevor Mallard says:

    I’ve been around politics for a while and capital markets for even longer. And I know a subsidy when I see one.

    The loyalty bonus will be paid for through a discounting of the market value of the shares. So the people with the wealth to buy shares (not a high percentage) get them cheaper than they would otherwise be worth. So who pays for that. Either power users if it is an internal company arrangement or more likely taxpayers who end up getting less for the shares than they would otherwise be worth.

    Not only is it a huge transfer of wealth to the richest… they’re paying less for the shares than they should be. What a ripoff!

  22. drongo 22

    Time for the full-on assault of the Maori Party and of Peter Dunne. These two outfits can single-handedly bring a stop to this nonsense.

  23. Karl Sinclair 23

    ‘Thomas Spence’
    Ye landlords vile, whose man’s peace mar,
    Come levy rents here if you can;
    Your stewards and lawyers I defy,
    And live with all the RIGHTS OF MAN

    Lets say power companies are worth $13,500,000,000

    What if some monkies (bankers, lawyers, traders etc) get paid a 2% commission when flogging them off with no risk to themselves…….

    Thats $ 270,000,000, even half of that is nice little earner…..

    Ye Monkies vile stealing assets and flogging them off is your style;
    Your medicority knows no bounds;
    Ye create nothing new,
    Just skiming off the margins, thats all you scum sucking bottom dwellers ever do…..
    No risk at all in it for you……just leave the country in the poooooo

    Not Thomas Spence….

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      I wouldn’t pay a real estate agent 2% commission on a $150K house, let alone hundreds of millions of dollars.

      Right wing government facilitated bankster theft of public wealth.

    • Jum 23.2

      Karl Sinclair,

      One of those monkey flunkies will be Simon Power. I wonder how fast he can turn his fee into shares in all of our assets. I would imagine, with the powerful and wealthy client base he is serving up our assets on a plate, he’d be able to get a temporary loan – they owe him and Key that much.

      Just remember what he has done when he comes back to Parliament a very wealthy man and wants the prime ministership. Oh that’s already been done hasn’t it by the current encumbent.

      Sickening.

      • Karl 23.2.1

        Jum,

        According to Wiki:

        On 3 May it was announced that Power would be Consumer Affairs Minister until the end of the 49th Parliament. In January 2012 he becomes the head of Westpac Private Bank.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Power

        Hummmmmm……………………………………………………………………………….

        Imagine if you were a Minister for State Owned Enterprise, then went to work for a bank……………..

  24. crite40 24

    Many thanks, sceptic to the max.
    You have given me another reason to admire J.M Keynes.
    In the 1930’s,40’s and 50’s Eugenics was flawed because it had no basis in science.
    This is no longer the case. We have sorted out the Human Genome and can improve the genitic base of humanity on a scientific basis. As time goes on our knowledge gets better.
    I wonder how many of those onsite who are violently against Eugenics have actually had a severly handicapped member of their own family. I have.
    In my own experience claiming a high moral ground is very easy if you don’t have to get your own hands dirty.
    In any event such people are ususally against birth control too. Shortly I will be leaving this planet (i’m over 70), good luck to those who try and live in a world of over 12 billion, you’ll need it!!!

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      Modern human science understands only a fraction of things like how the human genome interacts with dozens of other none genetic factors to influence shoe size.

      Selectively breeding people like you do sheep also has more than a few ethical issues around it.

  25. walter 25

    I see that Mercury Energy sell the power generated by Mighty River.

    What if there was a campaign that encouraged consumers to leave Mercury Energy?

    How many would have to leave to make a difference to Mighty River, to make it unprofitable, to make it unattractive to investors, to scuttle this whole venture?

  26. mik e 26

    What will happen is that the easy way to make profits in the electricity industry is to not increase capacity so prices go up , with out having to spend any money what so ever that’s what will happen!
    The free market.yeah right.

  27. newsense 27

    Oh read this and assumed you meant

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6149387/Cunliffe-not-so-supportive-after-all

    So Labour has shed most vestiges of the Clark government and hurrah says Stuart Nash and National has shed, actually SFA of their old dodders: Brownlee, English, Ryall, Smith, McCully are still there- though I can’t remember actually hearing any of them apart from English say a damn thing. With Maurice Williamson outside cabinet.

    Really? Is success measured by not having any institutional memory at all and having very little or no experience of actual government in your front ranks?

    Does this cabinet also look like it will spend more time playing push me pull you with Pagani and Nash giving advice from the side? So much for the momentary optimism.

    The ones who could win their electorates and party votes are mostly leaving or down the list. The ones who didn’t win their electorates are being promoted or given jobs.

    sorry should probably put this in open mike….can this be resolved and with the “vestiges” removed what will the party be underneath??

  28. randal 28

    and so it begins.
    yes well when did it stop.
    kweewee and his parliamanet of fleas are busy socialising the losses and privatising the profits.
    this has nothing to do with the public good but has everything to do with lining the pockets of the already rich

  29. Treetop 29

    Whats the rhetoric I hear, ONE OWNER WAS REQUIRED TO GET THE BEST PRICE FOR SCF ASSETS and that is why you bailed SCF shareholders out. Oh I see it is all about having the control.

    How many owners again did you say for Mighty River Power?

  30. mik e 30

    The National govt is also bailing out ami taking on 1,6 billion dollars of its debt subsidizing the debt so Aig can start with a clean slate bailed after failed. already the govts books are in a lot worse order within 3wks of the election.

  31. Jum 31

    10% is all each investor can buy up, says one of the government rules for stealing our wholly New Zealander owned assets.

    Please name me 10 New Zealand investors that will buy up 10% using their tax cuts from Key and their money made from earlier selloffs by Douglas and then will combine to corner that 49% market of Mighty River Power. The new owners will collude to control the board and the shareholding dividends and the pricing, etc. of the entire company. Sovereignty lost on day one of the asset share issue.

    I’ll start the cartel list:

    Key’s Blind trust
    Key – NZ agent for Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs
    Fay
    Brierley
    Richwhite
    Watson?
    Todd…

    I’d also like an answer to Winston Peter’s question ““He (English/Key) does not say what is going to happen to ownership and control of the waterways and lakes that provide water for Mighty River power stations.”

    • Jum 31.1

      a few questions:

      – how many people are there in each of these cartel families who can buy for their 10 percenter?
      – how fast can you sell to others what you have just bought, so that you can buy another 10,000?
      – how many shares will there be?
      – will there be preference shares with a higher value that will make it even harder for the hardworking, badly paid workers to afford to buy?
      – who are the wealthy clients in Westpac that Simon Power is ‘looking after’ having been seconded by Key and Joyce (sorry retired from Parliament – at least until he’s sold our SOEs and made some money – and then started a very convenient job advising wealthy people just before our SOEs are sold). Remember he said he would not take up the SOE ministerial portfolio because it would be a conflict of interest? He already had his job lined up then.
      – how many shares will John Key buy and sell off to his Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch mates?
      – how much time does English give ‘all’ New Zealanders to buy these shares before the sharks dive in? Will he wait a few weeks while they put a bit of money into a few shares each week out of the electricity/food/mortgage or rent jar.
      – then, when the badly paid worker has put what they can afford to into one energy company what happens to the other two state owned energy companies – who buys them?
      – Why does Fairfax say the sell off is ONLY 3 % of all our assets when they know very well it is the most valuable?

      • Treetop 31.1.1

        Is there any system which tracks the number of shares purchased and sold on shore and off shore, the price and the date?

  32. millsy 32

    The electricity industry is a crock anyway. Trust me, I work in it. Competition in the sector is pointless given that all the power retailers contract out the meter reading etc to the same company.

    • Josh 32.1

      Ahh yes, but from the producer side there are numerous options, Mighty River Power is the main Hydro and wind power producers, they focus primary on renewable energy. Solid Energy is in direct competition, they have more of a focus on Coal. Then there is Shell Todd Oil Services, or STOS, which has a focus on Gas and Oil, but mostly Gas in NZ’s Energy Supply.

      there is huge competition in this area within NZ.

  33. randal 33

    thats right Millsy.
    the whole competition thing was concoted by the then nashnil gubmint as a way of funnelling public money into private pockets.
    they used right wing nutbar rhetoric from the US and all the kiwi cretins bought it.
    and now we have to pay for it!

  34. ropata 34

    What is Keyster going to sell next?
    http://youtu.be/Deyi7rSzVZw

  35. Jum 35

    Josh said…
    17 December 2011 at 9:35 am

    ‘then get in on the action’.

    This quote from Josh describes everything that is greedy, selfish and ‘tunnel vision’ thinking.

    The ‘getting in on the action’ of stealing what belongs to others is certainly the language of the ethically bankrupt.

    And whichever way you spin it Josh and Queenstfarmer, you are stealing others’ rightful ownership of State Owned Assets. Now you seek to have them join you in your crime.

    Stable, income earning, valuable future assets which governments and corporates want to own and John Key has promised them he will deliver

    PS Interesting to know that:
    ‘ Late 80′s Labour began asset sales -approx: $3.24 ‘

    BUT… ‘National 90′s’ sped up on ‘asset sales- approx $15.9.’

    The Act cuckoos under Douglas and Richardson (with the help of governor Brash and Treasury) were consolidating their control over National, faster than with Labour. With this new National government they have perfected it.

  36. My take on how to explain asset sales to those who voted FOR John Key, who also at the same time OPPOSED asset sales. (It’s the closest I can get to understand this form of Double Think from voters) http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2011/12/16/the-story-of-asset-sales-in-very-very-simple-terms/

  37. Karl Sinclair 37

    Just one little rant + a solution (not perfect)

    So we sell Assets so we can fund private Charter Schools for profit…. Well thought out really…If your into money more than people

    Lets look at the past and see what we could have done:

    According to news sources: The Dunedin pleasure dome apparently cost $200 million – a significant commitment for a city of 120,000 but a snip for a modern sports arena. Now I suspect somebody is making some coin of this in terms of interest payments…Was there a better way to spend that dosh?

    Solution (just a step in the right direction):
    Compare this to the cost to provide every school age child in New Zealand with a laptop ($246/laptop) x 76,000 (children) = $186 Million……….. Could this reduce the prison population overtime, maybe, just…… A little simple maybe, yes.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/1009117

    To late…..

    Gee, imagine a world where educational software and internet access was setup for free for children’s learning. Imagine media & marketing getting behind advertising campaigns and savvy kids programs to make it cool to study…. Just Imagine, behaviour modification…. instead we get spoonge bob and endless X factor bs………………………………………….

    Oh that’s right, its too simple isn’t it….. We need Charter schools, something else for the Money Monkeys to get their teeth into……… YOU ARE AVERAGE, YOU PREDATE ON IGNORANCE

    Still not seeing the need to sell off Assets…..

    • Colonial Viper 37.1

      Good points in principle, but laptops and software are a waste of time and money. Knowing how to interact with, question and relate to people is the more important skill; laptops and tablets can be taught quickly and easily later on. That’s what the modern Apple and Windows GUI is for.

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  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • The week in politics vs. Gilmore Girls
    This week in politics: Andrew Little became leader of the Labour Party. Julia Gillard spoke at the University of Auckland about gender and politics. Gerry Brownlee was fined for breaching airport security. Tony Abbott threw down with Vladimir Putin at APEC....
    On the Left | 19-11
  • Whither the class line?
    In 1995 I published a book that explored the interaction between the state, organised labor and capital in the transitions to democracy in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. The book was theoretically rooted in neo-or post-Gramscian thought as well as the...
    Kiwipolitico | 19-11
  • This video shows the pain caused by NZ’s current benefit system
    Darryn bravely talks about the stigma that comes with being on the benefit, and how that has affected his life. This stigma is just one of the many problems our current benefit system creates. These problems would be removed if...
    Gareth’s World | 19-11
  • Climate change: The cost of past inaction
    For the past 20 years, New Zealand's climate change policy has been one of inaction and delay. While we've seen no less than four failed attempts at putting a price on carbon (including the current ETS), we've never really tried...
    No Right Turn | 19-11
  • Policy of fear
    Community groups have a vital role in New Zealand. In addition to speaking out on social problems such as poverty, mental illness and addiction, they also often have a direct role in fixing them via government funding. Unfortunately there's an...
    No Right Turn | 19-11
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47A
    A carbon tax could bolster wobbly progress in renewable energy A dam revival, despite risks Congress is about to sabotage Obama’s historic climate deal David Cameron urges Tony Abbott to do more on climate change G20 pledges lift Green Climate...
    Skeptical Science | 19-11
  • ‘Consult on promotions policy’: TEU to Auckland VC
    TEU is asking the vice-chancellor of the University of Auckland to engage in a process of consultation on the university’s Academic Grades, Standards and Criteria policy and other policies so the two sides can avoid further litigation. Earlier this month the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Asia-Pacific plans for gender equality
    New Zealand is one of the few countries who have not sent a government minister to an Asian and Pacific conference on gender equality and women’s empowerment in Thailand, but it has sent TEU women’s officer Suzanne McNabb.  The conference...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • TEC, Ministry and Treasury want new funding model
    The government should consider a radical shift in tertiary education funding policy according to advice from the Tertiary Education Commission, the Ministry of Education and the Treasury. All three agencies advise the government to shift tertiary education funding away from...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • The awkward question of New Plymouth
    It’s rather common knowledge that Andrew Little wasn’t exactly a star in New Plymouth. He stood in the former Labour Party seat in 2011 and 2014, losing ground in both the electorate and party vote on each occasion. Overall, the...
    Occasionally erudite | 19-11
  • Academics say academic freedom getting worse
    Nearly two-fifths of academic staff say that their level of academic freedom is worse than when they started work, according to a survey on the state of the tertiary education workforce. AUT’s Work Research Institute undertook a State of the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Academics say academic freedom getting worse
    Nearly two-fifths of academic staff say that their level of academic freedom is worse than when they started work, according to a survey on the state of the tertiary education workforce. AUT’s Work Research Institute undertook a State of the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared
      This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Real reasons to fear Government’s new approach to child poverty
    Now  I really am worried.  Selling state houses is bad enough but a taking a ‘social investment focus’ to deal with child poverty? “The Treasury will issue a Request for Information inviting submissions from people who work with vulnerable New...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Power to the people!
    With all the huffing and puffing of the election out of the way and the right-wing still in ascendancy after 30 years of community-sapping neoliberalism it was a pleasure to attend a strike by workers at Carl’s Jr in Lincoln...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: OIA reveals WINZ trespassing 400 people a year
    W.I.N.Z is broken and it’s breaking my heart. Every year WINZ issues trespass notices to just under 400 people. 2008 / 418 2009 /  382 2010 /  347 2011 /  411 2012 /  373 2013 /  384 And this year...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • So David Farrar and the Government were wrong on gangs after all?
    Oh the predictability of this… Ministers acted on inaccurate gang data Cabinet signed off tough new measures to tackle gangs on the basis of inaccurate information which over-estimated the scale of the crime problem. The briefing paper told ministers 4000...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Right to Life Congratulates the new Labour Leader
    Right to Life congratulates Andrew Little MP, on being elected as the new leader of the Labour Party. This is a very important election as Andrew Little is now a Prime Minister in waiting His election follows a line of...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Reply to open letter on earthquake repair in Christchurch
    You raise many points and I acknowledge the frustration some people are experiencing when their homes are still not repaired or rebuilt. We have consistently said that the scale and complexity of events has always meant that it will not...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Andrew Little New Labour Party Leader
    In a press conference held on Tuesday in the Labour Party Caucus room at Parliament, it was announced Andrew Little had been voted in as Leader of the Labour party....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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