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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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    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – Transparency in government – do we have it or no...
    . . from: Frank Macskasy to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date: Fri, Aug 22, 2014 subject: Letters to the Editor . The Editor Dominion Post . Some National Party supporters are keen to over-look allegations of wrong-doing and dirty politics in...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – The Marianna’s Trench or Pluto?! WTF was Key hol...
    . . from:      Frank Macskasy to:           Sunday News <editor@sunday-news.co.nz> date:      Fri, Aug 22, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday News . He says he doesn’t know about Judith Collins...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – The Marianna’s Trench or Pluto?! WTF was Key hol...
    . . from:      Frank Macskasy to:           Sunday News <editor@sunday-news.co.nz> date:      Fri, Aug 22, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday News . He says he doesn’t know about Judith Collins...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – Just what is the Prime Minister’s role?!
    . . FROM: Frank Macskasy SUBJECT: Letter to the Editor DATE: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 TO: The Listener <letters@listener.co.nz. . The editor The Listener . John Key says he knew nothing about the activities of his one-time media consultant, Jason...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – Just what is the Prime Minister’s role?!
    . . FROM: Frank Macskasy SUBJECT: Letter to the Editor DATE: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 TO: The Listener <letters@listener.co.nz. . The editor The Listener . John Key says he knew nothing about the activities of his one-time media consultant, Jason...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • A life working for social justice, David Shearer
    I believe New Zealand can be the best country in the world, where everyone can get a fair go and anyone prepared to work for it can achieve their dream....
    Labour campaign | 22-08
  • Key’s pathetic excuses
    Aug 15, 2014Aug 18, 2014Aug 18, 2014Aug 19, 2014Aug 20, 2014...
    The Jackal | 22-08
  • Ancient ocean currents may have changed pace and intensity of ice ages
    This is a re-post from the National Science Foundation Climate scientists have long tried to explain why ice-age cycles became longer and more intense some 900,000 years ago, switching from 41,000-year cycles to 100,000-year cycles. In a paper published this...
    Skeptical Science | 22-08
  • Is Whale Oil a journalist (2)?
    Some time ago, I wrote about Cameron Slater’s claim to be a journalist, which he is invoking for the purposes of protecting his confidential sources. The District Court ordered him to turn over his sources in a defamation case brought...
    Media Law Journal | 22-08
  • Government considering starting CRL on time
    I’ve long suspected the realities surrounding the City Rail Link and its close relationship to some of the biggest development projects in Auckland would in some ways force the governments hand and require an earlier start than 2020. Yesterday the...
    Transport Blog | 22-08
  • Poll of polls
    Polity's poll of polls is up to date, over at the Poll of Polls page. The short version, good to use as a more-or-less pre-Dirty Politics baseline, is: National: 50.4% Labour: 26.4% Greens: 12.0% NZF: 4.6% InternetMANA: 2.3% Conservative: 2.1%...
    Polity | 22-08
  • Primary Teachers Rise Up!
    I have been a primary teacher for 35 years and for over half of that time I have been an active member of the New Zealand Educational Institute, New Zealand's largest education union. NZEI Te Riu Roa represents 50,000 members, including...
    Local Bodies | 22-08
  • Friday melts, weird weather and whales (it’s been a long time…)
    It’s been a long time since my last post: apologies for that. You may blame a bad cold, an urgent need for root canal work, the peak of the truffle season (and truffle tours for culinary heroes1 ), the start...
    Hot Topic | 22-08
  • John Key’s Top 69 Lies – Today No. 29: It’s a left-wing smear campaig...
     Key: 'Left wing smear campaign'   Key continues to back Collins    John Key is wrong. He is not the victim of a smear campaign, and here's why: First, let's define "smear campaign". Wikipedia: A smear campaign, smear tactic or simply smear is...
    Arch Rival | 22-08
  • How Many National MPs are Corrupt?
    Reading through the ‘dumps’ of information allegedly showing Scumbag Adulterer Cameron Slater’s messages with National Party Hacks, there is a lot of discussions about money changing hands, Tobacco Companies making ‘donations’, and so on. Not only has Key’s Office and...
    An average kiwi | 22-08
  • Tolley feeds Slater too
    Because of Nicky Hager's excellent book, Dirty Politics, we know that a number of senior National party officials and Ministers have been caught out supplying information and content to the Whale Oil Beef Hooked blogsite, information that Cameron Slater uses...
    The Jackal | 22-08
  • Unsurprising
    No bloggers have signed up to join the Online Media Standards Authority. This isn't really surprising. For a start, membership costs $500 a year (and ten times that if too many people complain) - well beyond the means of most...
    No Right Turn | 22-08
  • Nelson fishing museum satire or not?
    Apparently, unless Fairfax is now taking on The Civilian in the field of satirical news, the Minister of Conservation Nick Smith and fishing magnate Peter Talley are planning a fishing museum in Nelson. And the Minister considers this "ambitious new...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter Responds To Paul Buchanan.
    Uncharacteristically Idealistic: Normally a cool-headed realist (as befits an expert in international relations) Dr Paul Buchanan has taken issue with Chris Trotter's "cynical" Bowalley Road posting Dirty Politics - Is There Any Other Kind? by offering a passionately idealistic defence of...
    Bowalley Road | 22-08
  • This should not have taken five years
    Back in 2009, after the Herald was given information showing that National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi was suspected by the Immigration Service of paying off a woman at the centre of allegations he had made bogus job offers, Immigration Minister...
    No Right Turn | 22-08
  • Poll of Polls update – 22 August 2014
    The latest Herald Digipoll has just been released, and with a polling window running from 14 August to 20 August, the entirety of the polling was completed following the release of Dirty Politics. The results show a sharp fall of 4.9% for National. However,...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-08
  • Hard News: In The Green Room
    Next Thursday, John Key and David Cunliffe will meet in the first TVNZ leaders' debate. At the same time, Green Party co-leaders Metiria Turei and Russel Norman will appear in The Green Room, a "companion" debate streamed live online.I'll be...
    Public Address | 21-08
  • Walking in Manukau
    Just over a month ago I was out at Manukau City, at the open day of the new MIT, which doubles as Manukau station. This is a brilliant facility, with world class integration of land use and transport. If you...
    Transport Blog | 21-08
  • World News Brief, Friday August 22
    Top of the AgendaThai Junta Leader Appointed PM...
    Pundit | 21-08
  • Review finds community water fluoridation safe and effective
    A press release from the Royal Society of NZ today. I think the “take home message is: “The panel concluded that the concerns raised by those opposed to fluoridation are not supported by the scientific evidence” A review of the...
    Open Parachute | 21-08
  • Housing under National: the facts
    1.       House prices in Auckland Council valuations indicate Auckland house prices have gone up by one-third over the last three years. (Auckland Council) The average Auckland house price has gone up by nearly $225,000 since 2008, up over $75,000 in...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Labour irons out low income tax issue
    The increasing casualisation of work has led to many New Zealand families being disadvantaged through the tax they pay, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. "Many low paid workers are having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Cornered Government comes out swinging
    The National Government is so desperate to keep its dead-in-the-water expert teachers policy alive, it has refused to rule out forcing schools to participate through legislation, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “John Key today attacked the Educational Institute for...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Pacific people continue to go backwards under National
    A report from Victoria University highlights the fact that Pacific people are continuing to go backwards under a National Government, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The report shows the largest inequality increases were in smoking, obesity, tertiary...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Wellington transport plan needs to keep moving
    The failure of the Transport Agency to properly look at alternatives to the Basin Reserve flyover is not a good reason for further delays to improving transport in Wellington, Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Annette King say. “The Board of...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Labour’s focus on inequality, kids and better job prospects
    Tackling child poverty and removing barriers to people working part time to enhance their prospects of moving into a fulltime job are highlights of Labour’s Social Development policy. Releasing the policy today, spokesperson Sue Moroney said while part-time work was...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Political staff should give answers under oath
    The Inspector General of Security and Intelligence should use her full statutory powers to question witnesses under oath about the leak of SIS information, says Labour MP Phil Goff. “Leakage of confidential information from the SIS for political purposes is...
    Labour | 21-08
  • High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue
    The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale community, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The company’s inability to compete in international markets...
    Labour | 21-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Labour commits to independent Foreign Affairs and Trade
    “Labour is committed to New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade policy being independent and proactive, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “We are a small but respected country. Our voice and actions count in international affairs. Labour will take a...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Key must sack Collins over abhorrent actions
    The latest revelations that Judith Collins sent the contact details of a public servant to WhaleOil in a desperate attempt to divert media attention from a bad story is abhorrent, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key and Judith Collins...
    Labour | 19-08
  • It’s downhill from here under National
    The forecast drop in exports and predicted halving of growth shows that it’s downhill from here with National, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Growth under this Government peaked in June and halves to two per cent in coming years....
    Labour | 19-08
  • John Key loses moral compass over Collins
    John Key has lost his moral compass over Judith Collins’ involvement with Cameron Slater and lost touch with New Zealanders’ sense of right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Whoever is Prime Minister there are expectations they will not...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Mana Movement General Election 2014 List confirmed
    The MANA List is now confirmed with all the candidates as below (the numbers are the respective Internet MANA rankings). Candidate, Electorate, Internet MANA List Position Hone Harawira, Te Tai Tokerau (1) Annette Sykes, Waiariki (3) John Minto, Mt Roskill (4) Te Hamua Nikora, Ikaroa-Rawhiti...
    Mana | 18-08
  • PREFU likely to confirm dropping exports
    National’s economic management will be put under the spotlight in tomorrow’s PREFU given clear signs the so-called rock star economy has fallen off the stage, with plummeting prices for raw commodity exports, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Under National,...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Record profits while Kiwis face a cold winter
    The record profits by two of New Zealand’s largest electricity companies will be a bitter pill for New Zealand households who are paying record amounts for their power, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “No doubt the Key government will...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time for John Key to answer yes or no questions
    John Key’s train-wreck interview on Morning Report shows he is no longer capable of a simple yes or no answer and has lost touch with what’s right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key has become so media...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Key must clarify who signed out SIS OIA
    Yet again John Key is proving incapable of answering a simple question on an extremely important issue – this time who signed off Cameron Slater’s fast-tracked SIS OIA request on Phil Goff, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “John Key’s claim...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time to invest in our tertiary education system
    A Labour Government will fully review the student support system – including allowances, loans, accommodation support and scholarships – with a view to increasing access and making the system fair, transparent and sustainable, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says....
    Labour | 17-08
  • Labour will facilitate regional Māori economic development agencies
    The next Labour Government will facilitate the creation of regional Māori economic development groups lead by iwi and hapū to work in partnership with business and public agencies as part of its Māori Development policy. “Labour is committed to working towards...
    Labour | 16-08
  • PRIME MINISTER’S DENIAL AT ODDS WITH NATIONAL PARTY STATEMENT
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has today released an email from the General Manager of the National Party that directly contradicts recent statements from the Prime Minister in relation to the 2011 breaches of Labour Party website databases. In his stand-up...
    Labour | 16-08
  • Labour committed to a healthier NZ for all
    A Labour Government will shift the focus of the health system from narrow targets and short term thinking to make public health and prevention a priority, Labour’s health spokesperson Annette King says. Releasing Labour’s full Health policy today she said...
    Labour | 15-08
  • Time Key took responsibility for Collins
    It is well past time for John Key to take some responsibility for the misuse of power and information by his Minister Judith Collins, and follow through on his last warning to her, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “The evidence released...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Dear John, time to answer a few questions… – Harawira
    “When Cameron Slater says about Kim Dotcom ‘I have lots on him…death by a thousand cuts…wait till you see what comes out in coming weeks on that fat c***t’, you have to ask whether this is the same Cameron Slater...
    Mana | 14-08
  • MANA CANDIDATE FOR IKAROA RAWHITI OPENS UP ABOUT SUICIDE
    “This week suicide has claimed yet more lives in whanau and communities in Ikaroa Rawhiti, and my heart goes out to those who are dealing with such a tragic loss”, says MANA candidate for Te Ikaroa Rawhiti, Te Hamua Nikora....
    Mana | 14-08
  • Offshore betting in Labour’s sights
    A Labour Government will clamp down on offshore gambling websites that deprive the local racing industry of funds, Labour’s Racing spokesperson Ross Robertson says. Releasing Labour’s racing policy today, he said betting on offshore websites is a major threat to...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Key has serious questions to answer on Dirty Politics
    John Key must answer the serious questions raised in Nicky Hager’s new book which reveal examples of dirty politics that New Zealanders will be deeply concerned about, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Many people will be disturbed by the evidence...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Creating an inclusive society for disabled people
    A Labour Government will provide free annual health checks for people with an intellectual disability, Labour’s Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth Dyson said today in announcing Labour’s Disability Issues policy. “We will also employ another 100 additional special education teachers and...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA name change
    This is to advise all media that on the 24th of July the ‘Mana’ party name was officially changed to ‘MANA Movement’ under the Electoral Act 1993.  The inclusion of the word ‘Movement’ in our name shouldn’t come as a surprise...
    Mana | 13-08
  • New Zealand must help in the growing Iraq crisis
    The humanitarian crisis in Iraq looks certain to get worse before it gets better,” said David Shearer Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealand should urgently pledge increased humanitarian assistance to United Nations agencies and NGOs present on the ground....
    Labour | 13-08
  • Allegations of migrant worker rort should be investigated
    Labour is calling for an investigation into the alleged exploitation of workers at Hutt Railway workshops, hired to repair asbestos-riddled DL locomotives. Hutt South Labour MP Trevor Mallard has written to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment asking that...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Medical and dentistry students get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour Government will restore the right of medical and dentistry students to get student loans after seven years of study because it is the right thing to do, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Hard on the heels...
    Labour | 13-08
  • National must stop meddling with ACC before the election
    The redesign currently occurring at the Accident Claims Corporation (ACC) for sensitive claims needs to be put on hold immediately, said the Green Party today.The Green Party is concerned about work currently underway at ACC involving the sensitive claims service...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Markets slow but first home buyers still hurting
    First home buyers are hurting more than ever as the supply of affordable houses in the market dries up, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank will be happy LVR minimum deposits and rising interest rates have dampened...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Green Party celebrates MOU win on contaminated sites
    The Green Party is celebrating the announcement of a national register of contaminated sites today, and $2.5 million to start cleaning two sites up. The Green Party and the National Party agreed to include toxic site management work in their...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Emergency staff at breaking point
    The Southern DHB is so cash-strapped it is failing to fill nursing rosters, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson David Clark says.  “Every day emergency department nurses arrive at work knowing they are likely to be carrying more than their recommended workload. ...
    Labour | 12-08
  • ACC minister fails in mission to change culture
    The latest damning report by the Auditor General shows that the ACC Minister has failed to fulfil her mission to fix the sick culture at ACC and real change will not come till a new Government is elected, the Green...
    Greens | 12-08
  • Labour’s regional development fund to support Palmerston North
    Labour will consider a proposal to develop an inland port at Palmerston North, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The Palmerston North community has developed plans for an inland port which will bring jobs and economic growth to a region which...
    Labour | 12-08
  • Green Party announces priorities for Christchurch
    The Green Party has today announced its plan for a fairer, smarter and more democratic Canterbury rebuild, with a focus on smart transport solutions, restoring local democracy, and keeping Christchurch's assets.The plan sits across all of the Green Party's priorities...
    Greens | 11-08
  • Rock-star economy unplugged by China log jam
    The collapse of log prices due to oversupply in China threatens to wash the gloss off what remains of National's so-called rock-star economy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Already this year the price of milk solids has plunged by more...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Young job seekers dealt a poor hand
    National's "keep 'em poor" card for young people on a benefit is a sorry substitute for job training, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says.  The Government today announced it would extend its payment card scheme to all teen parents...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Labour – achieving change for Kiwi women
    Working towards being a world leader in eliminating violence against women and children will be a priority for a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Women’s Affairs policy today spokesperson Carol Beaumont said while Labour had a proud track record of achieving...
    Labour | 11-08
  • A Matter of Whether John Key is Credible
    Headline: A Matter of Whether John Key is Credible Analysis by Selwyn Manning. Prime Minister, John Key.WITHIN NATIONAL’S STRATEGY TEAM there is an acceptance that the facts revealed in the book, Dirty Politics, is chewing away at the party’s popular...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • TDB Political Diary for 2014 Election
    Here are the political events TDB will be covering this election. I will be live tweeting these events and  blog reviews will follow the next day. Internet MANA launch – August – Sunday 24th – 1pm, Western Springs School Green...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • One man’s struggle to find a copy of Dirty Politics
    I’m typing this on top of Dirty Politics.  I got the last copy yesterday morning at the local branch of a chain bookshop.  I was really in to get the paper.  I know it sold out – everyone knows - but the first thing...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • From Tucker to Key – while you were out
      From Tucker to Key – while you were out...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Amnesty International – Justice is not Blind in Ferguson
    When a US cop pulls a gun on an unarmed man, he could be acting upon a series of impulses that have been formed since before he or she could talk. What does that police officer see in front of...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Putting an end to zero-hour contracts in 2015
    All around the world attention is being drawn to what have been dubbed in the UK “zero-hour contracts”. These are contracts that don’t have any guaranteed hours even though the worker may be regularly employed. Unite Union has been struggling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • NZ’s Foreign Aid: The Party Policies Compared
    For the past two elections, I’ve cast my vote based on a single question, which party promises to give the most money in foreign aid? I grant that this is a fairly narrow and simplistic lens through which to judge...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter responds to Paul Buchanan
    WHEN ACADEMICS take to blogging the rest of us best be careful. And when they offer comment on the subject of dirty politics we should all pay attention. I will always remember my history lecturer, Dr Michael Cullen’s, confident dismissal...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Interview Between Selwyn Manning & Sean Plunket Over SIS Release of OIA...
    During a RadioLive interview between host Sean Plunket and managing director of Multimedia Investments Ltd, journalist Selwyn Manning, a fiery exchange developed after Plunket attempted to “wet flannel” the issue of whether the Prime Minister has been truthful over what...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • “Even though my hours are being cut, my rent doesn’t get cut to compens...
    Fast Food = Slow Pay   Lola is a manager at a major fast food chain. Last year her employer arbitrarily cut her hours from 32 hours to anywhere between 18 and 26 hours each week. “I said I can’t...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Hate Politics has no place in NZ Politics
    I wasn’t going to write about Nicky Hagar’s ‘Dirty Politics’.  There are plenty of policy issues to discuss. Then I read the book, and what it reveals strikes at the very heart of our democracy. My overwhelming feeling is one...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Pak’nSave pull adverts from Whaleoil
    Pak n Save have replied to complaints that their adverts were appearing on hate speech site Whaleoil by deciding to block their adverts from appearing on the site. Their reply… Congratulations for Pak’NSave on making this type of ethical stand. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Herald Poll – Why the Greens will hit 15%
    The biggest problem for John Key is that there are swathes of National Party voters who are educated and decent people whom will be forced to read Dirty Politics out of intellectual curiosity and will be horrified by what National...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Dirty Politics and Dirty Media
    The Nicky Hager book is mind blowing on so many levels. The revelations of government ministers and their staff colluding with vile and hateful schemers to attack other people, is truly ugly. When the dust settles on the illegalities, immoralities...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • “You just have to keep on fighting” – an interview with Metiria Turei
    We’re meeting in her office. It’s austere, though she does have a nice teapot. The view is startling. One can map the Bowen Triangle, though the teapot is still more interesting. A group of pink faced men are running across...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Taxation and Real Estate – turning housing debate on its head
    The debate about property prices in New Zealand is disingenuous. It is clear that there is a global process in which speculators are using massive amounts of unspent and borrowed money to blow bubbles in the world’s major asset markets....
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – Faith and politics
    In a week which has seen our collective focus shift to those who see politics as a great game to be manipulated for their own ends, it is timely to reflect on the fact that many people are in fact...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Government’s Own Guidelines Show John Key Would Have Been Informed Of SIS...
    Analysis by Selwyn Manning. INFORMATION THAT I HAVE ACQUIRED, sourced from the State Services Commission, states in black and white the tight guideline requirements that must be followed whenever the SIS informs a Prime Minister of any pending release of...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Simply Not Credible: Dr Tucker’s “clarifications” are only making thi...
    THAT DR WARREN TUCKER, Director of the Security Intelligence Service in 2011, agreed to the release of politically sensitive material – thereby intervening in an on-going contretemps between the leaders of the National and Labour parties – without receiving the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: Evidence of Collusion between the NZ Herald and Imm...
    . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the Herald...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Dear Canon NZ – Malevolence should induce revulsion, it shouldn’t be ce...
    Giovanni Tiso’s analysis on Slater is possibly the best in NZ… It’s been a good week for some of us. A week of feeling vindicated, offeeling galvanised. Where it goes from here will depend on several factors, some of which are largely...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • 5AA Australia: After Dirty Politics Can National Provide Stable Government?
    AS WE ALL KNOW New Zealanders and Australians do not like political parties that are unstable, or can no longer assure us that they are able to provide stable government. And the big question for Kiwis as we prepare to...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • SIS letter means it’s over for Key
    It’s over. I may not agree with all of Phil Goff’s positions, but you can’t question his integrity the way Slater did in Dirty Politics and not be deeply concerned that our Secret Intelligence Agency is being used for political...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • who to vote for in Epsom
    who to vote for in Epsom...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • The Rise and Fall of John Key – who will be the next leader of National P...
    . . It was all set to go: Teamkey would be the cult of personality that would do Stalin, Mao, Reagan, Thatcher, or any of the Nth Korean Kim Dynasty, proud.  National and it’s “Teamkey” propaganda strategy   would cash-in Big Time...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Who said Kiwis couldn’t get a fire in their bellies over an arcane intern...
    An amazing team of activists has taken the campaign on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to local governments throughout the country. Their latest triumph came last Monday when the Dunedin City Council endorsed a resolution expressing concern about the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National’s Dangerous Education Agenda Exposed
    Putting aside the dirty politics coming out of the Beehive and the right-wing blogisphere, there are some very strong signals that another term of a National Government would do even more serious damage to the public education system. The Education...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • We can have clean politics and get our democracy back.
    Something is rotten in our politics and it stinks. Dirty politics has sadly become one of the defining features of this election campaign. In the light of recent revelations about the extent of nasty and disingenuous political strategies, it would...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Book burning copies of Hager’s book? The next generation of National Part...
    It seems we are getting the next generation of National Party Dirty Politics now. There are claims the Young Nats in Hamilton are buying up copies of Dirty Politics and burning them. One witness was contacted by the Waikato Times...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National Party Poetry Day Haiku
    Key’s inbox and Cam’s poison most foul, there he blows hoist by own harpoon...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Why Cunliffe will be the next PM
    David Cunliffe will be the next Prime Minister of NZ. Labour’s inclusive and positive TV adverts… …are in stark contrast to National’s team of white people powering away from the rabble of the ‘others’… …the messaging is vital and crucial...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • From smiling assassin to grumpy butcher – on giving Judith Collins a last...
    After #dirtypolitics Key isn’t the smiling assassin, he is the grumpy butcher. When he said Judith had  a ‘last chance’ he meant 1 second after voting closes on 20th September. Key would love nothing more than to cut Collins loose and end...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • If the National Party rowing advert was real….
    If the National Party rowing advert was real there would be more blood in the water. If the National Party rowing advert was real it would be Cameron Slater calling the strokes. If the national Party rowing advert was real,...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Cameron Slater: Zionist and political pundit
    It is hard to know where to start with right-wing blogger Cameron Slater (Whale Oil), especially after the release of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics. This confirmed everything many of us thought Slater to be: a snivelling pundit who serves...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Bryce Edwards stood down from Herald for election season??? Are the editors...
    I only found this out via twitter last night and I am still in shock. Bryce Edwards, easily the best critical thinker and news analyst the NZ Herald has has been stood down by the NZ Herald ‘for the election...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • So who’s a “conspiracy theorist” now?!
    . . As the media storm over Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics“,  and allegations over smear campaigns continue to swirl,  National’s spin doctors have given Key, Collins, and other National Party ministers a string of  phrases to use in all...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Momentum shift
    When you are deeply immersed in a local campaign sometimes it can be difficult to see the helicopter view.   I don’t know how accurate the political polls are and have always known that things can change quickly in politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Dear Toby Manhire. Bad call on backing Farrar
    Oh dear. I say this as someone who regards Toby Manhire as one of the smartest journalists/commentators/columnists this country has, and I think Toby has made a terribly dumb call here. Let’s see if Toby is still singing Farrar’s praises...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Radio NZ apologise to me for getting it wrong
    Radio NZ have contacted me, reviewed the claim by their host that I had an advance copy of Nicky Hager’s book and they have concluded they got it wrong, they have called me and apologised and will make a statement...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Reclaim UoA – Students’ Message to Steven Joyce
    Tertiary Education – we’ve been sold a lemon  A group of 30 students attended an event on Tuesday evening about ‘the future of tertiary education’ at which the Minister of Tertiary Education Steven Joyce was slated to speak. As Joyce...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Can someone in the media please ask the PM of NZ to categorically deny any ...
    Now we see the MO of Slater & Co, the setting up, the digging for dirt, the use of staff to dig that dirt, can the Prime Minister of NZ categorically deny any National Party staff worked with Cam Slater...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Panic setting in for National as they realise what’s about to happen
    And the terror starts to set in. I’ve never seen blind panic like this before  and it’s spreading as the enormity of what’s about to happen starts to sink in. Hager’s book is a mere entree, Nicky’s personal ethics wouldn’t...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics: what the book ultimately reveals is abuse of powe...
    Guide to the many faces of John Key Nicky’s book is now doing what I suspected it would do, create a shockwave of revulsion. Andrew Geddis over at Pundit Blog sums up this attitude best, and it’s reverberations build with every...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Fancy taking children seriously
    Let’s see why all political parties should pay close attention to the Green Party’s policy for children. First, it is a comprehensive attempt to put children, not ideology, at the heart of family policy. Wow, children at the heart of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Amnesty International: Dear Azerbaijan, Stop Torture, Love Kiwi Kids
    This is a world where many adults often underestimate Generation Y. Being only a few years out of being a teenager myself, I feel I can make this statement with certainty. However, I have been the Youth Intern at Amnesty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GCSB meetings today in Christchurch 1pm at Uni 7pm at Cathedral
    The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. 1pm at Canterbury University bottom floor James Height Building: Chair: Bomber Bradbury Ruth Dyson – Labour Party...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about
    Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Guide to when Key is lying
    Guide to when Key is lying...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The State of the Student Nation …or is just Al...
    Students politics are dead and our student media is in terminal decline. The most disappointing thing about university is the politics, or should I say lack of? I was raised with the idea that students held the power.They were the...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Love Lifts Us Up: Thoughts from the Green Party’s campaign launch.
    Author Eleanor Catton wants people to give their party vote to the Greens.Photo by Peter Meecham NO ONE WAS QUITE SURE how he did it. Somehow Bob Harvey had persuaded the owners of the rights to Joe Cocker’s Up Where...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • The Nation Environment Debate with Amy Adams & Russel Norman
    Lisa Owen: Now, this week's campaign debate. As a handful of islands at the bottom of the world, New Zealand is an environmental treasure, and as Kiwis, we're proud of being clean and greenish. But putting that environment to work...
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • The Nation: Debate Between Amy Adams And Russel Norman
    Lisa Owen Hosts an Environment Debate Between National’s Amy Adams And Russel Norman From the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • Travel And Accommodation Determination for MPs Released
    The Remuneration Authority today released its determination covering Members of Parliament New Zealand accommodation, travel services for family members, and travel services for former Prime Ministers and their spouses....
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • Te Kuiti man imprisoned for images of young children
    A Te Kuiti man caught with pictures of children being sexually abused has been sentenced to ten months imprisonment. Sickness beneficiary Daniel James Parry, 35, appeared for sentence in the Tauranga District Court today (Friday) after pleading guilty...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Japan Maritime Training Squadron visit – Open Day, Band
    • The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Training Squadron will make port in Auckland from Wednesday 3 September to Saturday 6 September...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • MP Perk Transparency Needed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the increase in taxpayer-funded entitlements for MPs and their families published on the legislation website this afternoon . Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Debating the future of Auckland’s housing
    With only weeks until the General Election, Auckland’s mounting housing crisis will be put under the spotlight in an Election Debate hosted by the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland. The debate’s topic “Market forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Let’s sort this out – Human Rights Commission
    A Whangarei woman allegedly censured for greeting customers with Kia ora can get in touch with the Human Rights Commission says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. “We really need to resolve these kinds of issues. I had thought that...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Aged Care Association welcomes Labour’s wages policy
    The New Zealand Aged Care Association welcomes the Labour Party’s announcement that if elected, it will raise the minimum wage for aged care workers within its first 100 days in Government....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Honorary doctorate for Secretary-General of the UN
    An Honorary Doctor of Laws degree is to be bestowed on His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, by the University of Auckland on Wednesday 3 September, both in recognition of his role as an international statesman...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya
    The New Zealand Bar Association joins the International Bar Association (IBA) and other Law Societies and Bar Associations worldwide over the reported surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Bob Parker, China State Media and Tibet Forum
    Former Christchurch mayor was signed up to position statement without his knowledge; observed “happiness” in Tibet as Tibetan protesters elsewhere shot by security forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • “Walk the talk to reduce the wage gap”
    There’s just a few weeks left to convince the candidates of all political parties that reducing the wage gaps makes good sense....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Digital Currency on the Drawing Board
    Government policies and digital currency ideas and issues will come together at three public workshops next week....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • NZ Cycle Trail welcomes $8 million fund
    Government funding of $8 million to maintain and enhance the Great Rides of New Zealand will help ensure the trails are delivering the best possible visitor experience, says Evan Freshwater, Manager Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail Inc. (NZCT)....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Judges Comments Bonkers – McVicar
    Napier Conservative Party Candidate Garth McVicar is accusing a Judge of forgetting that he is the gate-keeper for the community and not a benevolent caregiver for law breakers. "The comments by this Judge are not just alarming, they're completely...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Oxfam: World must suspend arms sales to protect civilians
    As the New Zealand Government prepares to ratify the global Arms Trade Treaty, and after ceasefire talks collapsed and violence erupted yet again in Gaza yesterday, Oxfam is calling on all states to immediately suspend transfers of arms or ammunition...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Degrees in Picking up Rubbish
    Responding to the Fairfax media report of a University of Otago survey of Wellington’s street-connected walkways, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Another Union row
    “ The teachers union the NZEA is getting ready for another industrial dispute. These disputes now only occur in the government sector. National has no one to blame but themselves” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Whyte: Speech to Grey Power
    National’s failure to increase the age for super and reform health is a threat to every New Zealander’s security....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Local Govt should not go into business
    “No one should take any comfort from the fact that “Infracon”, a roading company in Tararua and Central Hawke's Bay, is to go into liquidation. This puts the future of more than 200 jobs in doubt. ACT sympathises with those...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Join the hikoi to end child poverty in New Zealand
    CPAG is calling on people across society to join a march from Britomart to Aotea Square in Auckland to demand action on child poverty in Aotearoa....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Ngapuhi Chair Says Enough of the Political Sideshow
    Time for side-shows to end so we can focus on future of our nation – Raniera (Sonny) Tau, Chairman, Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Commissioner of Police v Kim Dotcom And Ors
    An order is made extending the duration of the registration of the restraining orders issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on 10 and 25 January 2012 and registered in New Zealand on 18...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Labour Announcement on Future of Hillside Workshops Welcome
    Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement in Dunedin today that a government led by his party would re-open Hillside Railway workshops was welcomed by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU). ‘Since the workshops were shut down in late...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Primary teachers and principals vote to put kids first
    Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunkett: Educating for Success
    In all the turmoil stirred up by the "Dirty Politics" revelations, the real issues that the campaign should be about have been put to one side....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Dirty Politics – Number One Bestseller and Back in Stores
    An exposé of the hidden side of New Zealand politics, Nicky Hager's book, Dirty Politics , has been in hot demand since its release last Wednesday....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Epsom: profiling NZ’s most controversial electorate
    Welcome to the wealthy inner Auckland electorate of Epsom: home of coat-tailing, the Tea Tapes, a convicted outgoing MP... and heavy newspaper and magazine readership....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Families Free From Violence campaign and website
    We are pleased to announce the launch of our Families Free From Violence campaign and our new Families Free From Violence website. This website has been created to encourage people to take responsibility for ending family violence by seeking help...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • PSA And DHBs Reach Settlement on Five Collective Agreements
    The 20 District Health Boards are pleased to reach settlement via mediation on five Multi Employer Collective Agreements (MECAs) with the Public Service Association for 12,000 mental and public health nurses, allied, public health and technical staff,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Refusal to complete census results in 46 convictions
    Failing to fill out a census form has resulted in the convictions of 46 people, Statistics New Zealand said today....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Council Amalgamations Still Bad Deal
    Northland, Bay of Plenty, and Wellington ratepayers should not be seduced into accepting the amalgamation of their Councils by a recent amendment to legislation allowing for local boards not community boards, Chris Leitch, Democrats for Social Credit...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • DHB industrial action withdrawn
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has withdrawn notices of industrial action covering 12,000 health workers at District Health Boards (DHBs) across New Zealand, after progress was made in mediation....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Aged Care Pledge Needs Better Target, Says Care Agency
    Labour’s pledge to set up an aged care working group to address industry concerns is good to see, but appears to skirt the obvious issue of a looming lack of beds and carers for our rapidly growing elderly population, says...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Social inequality still rife in New Zealand
    Social inequality has worsened over the past decade in New Zealand, a new study from Victoria University of Wellington shows....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Working towards a living wage and more Māori in paid work
    The Māori Party will build on the gains it has already achieved in Government and accelerate job opportunities particularly for young Māori....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Deepwater Group Supports Changes to Catch Limits
    The Deepwater Group says the increase in the Total Allowable Commercial Catch for hoki shows the benefits of a long term commitment to build biomass in this major New Zealand fishery....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Ohariu candidate Sean Fitzpatrick
    “Our Ohariu candidate will be Sean Fitzpatrick. Sean has strong ties to the region and I’m glad to hear he will be doing his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the area,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Tauranga candidate Stuart Pederson
    “Our Tauranga candidate will be Stuart Pedersen. Stuart has strong ties to Tauranga and I’m glad he has agreed to do his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the electorate,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party scores massive own goal
    Green Party scores massive own goal as their own policy auditor criticises their fiscal plan...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party’s own Auditor of their Budget finds it dodgy
    “The Alternative Budget released by the Green's does not even stack up in the eyes of their chosen auditor – Infometrics” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • New shark finning laws fall short for threatened species
    Environmental groups are welcoming some aspects of a raft of law changes announced today in relation to shark finning, but say that overall the chance for New Zealand to catch up with international efforts in shark conservation is being missed....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Promoting Labour’s Positive Policies
    General Secretary of the New Zealand Labour Party, Tim Barnett, today launched Labour’s television advertisements for the 2014 election. The advertisements help tell Labour’s positive story for a better New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Drug Court: Rare Insight into New Alternative Justice Model
    Māori Television’s latest New Zealand documentary presents a fascinating look inside a new alternative justice model – through the stories of convicted criminals....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Political parties pledge to increase overseas aid
    A survey of political parties looking at how much New Zealand should spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA) shows the overwhelming majority of parties are committed to raising the bar according to the Council for International Development (CID)....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Top Kiwis backing Tip the Scales campaign
    Sir Graham Henry, former All Black Kees Meeuws, singer-song writer Jamie McDell and fishing guru Matt Watson have pledged their support to Tip the Scales, a pre-election campaign generating public support for rebuilding New Zealand’s depleted inshore...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Maritime Union continues to press over dirty politics
    Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says Ports of Auckland management is trying to get off the hook from its involvement with extreme right wing bloggers during the Ports of Auckland dispute....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • No end in sight to overwhelming human cost of conflict
    Two ceasefires have brought some respite to civilians in Gaza and southern Israel, amid hope that a durable cessation of hostilities might occur. In Gaza, these breaks in the fighting have barely given people enough time to seek medical care,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Young Kiwi speakers to represent NZ at Gallipoli 2015
    The RSA is delighted at the announcement made by Veterans' Affairs Minister Michael Woodhouse today, that all eight regional finalists of the 2015 ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition will be included in a group of 25 Youth Ambassadors...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
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