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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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    Tertiary Education Union
  • City Centre Priority Cycle Routes
    An update to the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (page 25) provides some new information about improvements to cycling planned for the CBD and include some artist impressions of just what they might look like – although unfortunately because it comes from a...
    Transport Blog
  • TISA text: US threat to privacy, civil rights, data security
    Press Release – AFTINET Leaked US proposals in the Trade in the secret Services (TISA) negotiations include rules that would threaten privacy and civil rights protections for digital personal data Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and...
    Its our future
  • 2014 will be the hottest year on record
    For those of us fixated on whether 2014 will be the hottest year on record, the results are in. At least, we know enough that we can make the call. According the global data from NOAA, 2014 will be the...
    Skeptical Science
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland.17...
    Its our future
  • Males only?
    Like Vaughan Rowsell I get asked to facilitate or be on panels and speak at events a fair bit. Actually not quite like Vaughan – he’s incredibly popular, and for good reason. Vaughan’s publicly announced that he will not accept...
    Lance Wiggs
  • An OTL milestone
    I have no idea how this happened, but this is the 100th post on On The Left! Things are probably going to slow down a bit around here over the holiday break, but thanks to all our bloggers and readers...
    On the Left
  • It’s nearly Foodmass
    Christmas is coming. The halls are decked with boughs of holly (plastic), and decorated with snow (artificial). Tips for Christmas (stress-free) have been appearing since November. Children are over-excited and desperate shoppers are looking for the perfect presents for people...
    Pundit
  • No justice in the UK
    Four years ago, G4S guards killed Jimmy Mubenga by restraining him inappropriately during a deportation - effectively asphyixiating him. But today, a British jury refused to convict them:Three private security guards who restrained the Angolan deportee Jimmy Mubenga have been...
    No Right Turn
  • John Key wants arbitrary detention
    That's the only conclusion that can be drawn from his comments today about the need to lower the threshold for detention:Prime Minister John Key said the Sydney siege gunman highlighted the conundrum for authorities over protecting citizens against potential terrorism...
    No Right Turn
  • Futility: Educating an IED
    Through this year, I have sadly been lured into spending energy trying to teach Martyn Bradbury about modern political science, and what it means for modern politics. He appeared misinformed about what polls are and how they work, so I...
    Polity
  • The OIA Review
    Yesterday, the Ombudsman announced that they had begun their review of OIA compliance. They'll be looking closely at 12 central government agencies, and surveying 63 more, as well as all 27 Ministerial offices. They'll also be soliciting submissions from the...
    No Right Turn
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    frogblog
  • Equality, Efficiency and Economic Theory (Social Journal Europe)
    Dani RodrikIn the pantheon of economic theories, the tradeoff between equality and efficiency used to occupy an exalted position. The American economist Arthur Okun, whose classic work on the topic is called Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff, believed that public...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon
  • New Fisk
    Peshawar school attack: Massacre of the innocents born of ambivalence towards Taliban...
    No Right Turn
  • How we pay for a universal basic income – Whiteboard Wednesday.
    Lots of people like the idea of an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI), but can we afford it as a nation? In this Whiteboard Wednesday Geoff looks at the three parts of the Big Kahuna package – Unconditional Basic Income, Flat...
    Gareth’s World
  • This will go down well
    Back in September, Mexican police arrested a group of 43 student teachers who had been travelling to Iguala for a protest against the local government. They handed them over to a local drug gang, who murdered them. Since the massacre,...
    No Right Turn
  • AT Metro Launched
    Last week we mentioned about how Auckland Transport was launching a new PT brand. That occurred yesterday and as well as new look buses, they have also launched a new brand for their public transport operations – AT Metro. Auckland Transport has...
    Transport Blog
  • Whales, dolphins, and ‘gunshots’
    I've just returned from seven days on board SV Vega as part of a small team monitoring the impacts of seismic testing on marine mammals off the west coast of Northland. No research has been done in this area, so...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • Meat workers need Jobs that Count
    The CTU is supporting todays Meat Workers Union campaign to combat insecure work in a core New Zealand export industry. Photo:  ...
    CTU
  • 2014: A Venture Capital Odyssey
    Fresh off the wire from Hong Kong, from your friends and mine at io9: Hong Kong based venture capital firm Deep Knowledge Ventures (DKV) has appointed a machine learning program to its board. Called VITAL, it's an "equal member" that...
    Polity
  • Buzzfeed takes the Herald
    Here's a Herald article this week, titled (I kid you not): 20 somewhat horrible things I do to my kids that I don't feel guilty about [Facepalm] I want the Herald to be good. I really do. I know some...
    Polity
  • Sad
    There's a lot of non-cheery news out there in the lead up to Christmas. There's the Taliban school massacre, the Sydney siege, the US Torture Report, and - at a much lower level, and closer to home - the Treasury's...
    Polity
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement...
    Greens
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act...
    Greens
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki...
    Labour
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries...
    Greens
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    Greens
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It...
    Labour
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry....
    Labour
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    Greens
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and...
    Greens
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic...
    Greens
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. “In...
    Labour
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience....
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and...
    Greens
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001...
    Greens
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign...
    Greens
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson....
    Labour
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the...
    Greens
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare...
    Labour
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here...
    Greens
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban
    The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use ofglueboard traps in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today...
    Scoop politics
  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
    Scoop politics
  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
    Scoop politics
  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
    Scoop politics
  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
    Scoop politics
  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
    Scoop politics
  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
    Scoop politics
  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
    Scoop politics
  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
    Scoop politics
  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
    Scoop politics
  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
    Scoop politics
  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
    Scoop politics
  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
    Scoop politics
  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
    Scoop politics
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
    Scoop politics
  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
    Scoop politics
  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
    Scoop politics
  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
    Scoop politics
  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
    Scoop politics
  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
    Scoop politics
  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
    Scoop politics
  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
    Scoop politics
  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
    Scoop politics
  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
    Scoop politics
  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
    Scoop politics
  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
    Scoop politics
  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
    Scoop politics
  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
    Scoop politics
  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
    Scoop politics
  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
    Scoop politics
  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
    Scoop politics
  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
    Scoop politics
  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
    Scoop politics
  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
    Scoop politics
  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
    Scoop politics
  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
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