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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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    Protest at Paremoremo in 2012 over what lawyer Peter Williams described as ‘inhumane’ conditions by Val Morse I want to acknowledge all the people who have done time inside, been arrested or assaulted by the police, whether here or elsewhere....
    Redline | 20-10
  • Members of the public stop donating to the SPCA over position on 1080
    Steve Atwood that posted this letter to the SPCA on Facebook the other day. Steve is a great guy and takes some brilliant wildlife photos. We have republished Steve’s letter to the SPCA with his permission. Dear SPCA, I write...
    Gareth’s World | 20-10
  • The struggles of everyday life
    A photo of Asher (right) face-to-face with a cop, taken at a protest outside the Labour Party Conference in 2007, following the so-called “terror raids”, taken by Simon Oosterman. (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think...
    On the Left | 20-10
  • West Auckland new network consultation
    Consultation for the West Auckland portion of the new network is now underway. This follows the consultations for Pukekohe/Waiuku, Warkworth, Hibiscus Coast and South Auckland. The consultation runs from today till Monday 1st December. It’s a consultation I’ll be following...
    Transport Blog | 20-10
  • The gerrymanders and National’s 2017 constraints
    Parliament is back in business with National in charge to a degree not seen since first-past-the-post “parliamentary dictatorship” days — thanks to three successful gerrymanders and one failed one. Two of the successful gerrymanders were National’s contrivances to get its...
    Colin James | 20-10
  • Ocean heat storage: a particularly lousy policy target
    The New York Times, 12 December 2027: After 12 years of debate and negotiation, kicked off in Paris in 2015, world leaders have finally agreed to ditch the goal of limiting global warming to below 2 °C. Instead, they have...
    Real Climate | 20-10
  • Sanctions and bombs: how the UN and western powers committed mass murder in...
    This article first appeared in revolution magazine’s Middle East bulletin MidEast Solidarity, issue #1, Spring 2001. It looks at the division of labour between the United Nations and western imperialist powers in committing mass murder in Iraq in the 1990s;...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Sanctions and bombs: how the UN and western powers committed mass murder in...
    This article first appeared in revolution magazine’s Middle East bulletin MidEast Solidarity, issue #1, Spring 2001. It looks at the division of labour between the United Nations and western imperialist powers in committing mass murder in Iraq in the 1990s;...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Luke Harding and the spy as editor
    Originally published at Overland I was writing a chapter on the NSA’s close, and largely hidden, relationship with Silicon Valley. I wrote that Snowden’s revelations had damaged US tech companies and their bottom line. Something odd happened. The paragraph I...
    Bat bean beam | 20-10
  • I quite like beer, the rugby no so much
    Phil Quin put a post up yesterday chiding Grant Robertson for what he sees as an overly cautious approach to political messaging and urging him to be more warlike in his phraseology because New Zealanders clearly have a deep, deep...
    Pundit | 20-10
  • Speech from the Throne: State Opening of Parliament, 21 Oct
    Speech – Governor General Following the General Election, a National-led Government has been formed with a majority in the House on confidence and supply. Confidence and supply agreements have been signed between the National Party and, respectively, the ACT Party...
    Its our future | 20-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the latest TPP leaks
    Column – Gordon Campbell The release by Julian Assange on Wikileaks of the draft Trands Pacific Partnership chapter on intellectual property including drug patents – contains some pretty disturbing evidence about whats still on the table.Gordon Campbell on the latest...
    Its our future | 20-10
  • United Nations: friend or foe?
    Many well-intentioned people still see the United Nations as some kind of alternative to imperialism. Below we’re reprinting an article that first appeared in issue #2 of MidEast Solidarity (Autumn 2002), the Middle East bulletin of revolution magazine. The anti-imperialist...
    Redline | 20-10
  • United Nations: friend or foe?
    Many well-intentioned people still see the United Nations as some kind of alternative to imperialism. Below we’re reprinting an article that first appeared in issue #2 of MidEast Solidarity (Autumn 2002), the Middle East bulletin of revolution magazine. The anti-imperialist...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Every day’s a rainy day
    Sarah’s cat, Carina *nb* This is a repost from Sarah’s site writehanded.org. This week, my best friend – otherwise known as a slightly rotund adopted moggy called Carina – decided that she would enjoy no less than three visits to...
    On the Left | 20-10
  • 10 Key Facts about Labour’s Leadership Election
    Plans are proceeding for the Leadership Election, and at this stage I thought it might be useful to have a heads-up on some of the key aspects from the perspective of members:...
    Labour campaign | 20-10
  • SellShed shedding money?
    This is not how you are meant to do it: Online seller SellShed starts up The seven-person firm has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars building a website and free iPhone app and was now on the hunt for “smart...
    Lance Wiggs | 20-10
  • John Key on Iraq: A timeline
    No New Zealand forces to Iraq, says Key. Stuff, 18 June 2014: Prime Minister John Key has ruled out sending special forces soldiers to Iraq as the United States mulls options in response to the unfolding crisis there. Speaking in...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • New Fisk
    With US-led strikes on Isis intensifying, it’s a good time to be a shareholder in the merchants of death...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Carbon News 20/10/14: Chile’s carbon tax, soil SOS and more pressure on d...
    Chile’s new tax could open carbon doors for NZ Chile’s new carbon tax potentially offers New Zealand an opportunity to offset some of its own agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, says economist Dr Suzi Kerr. The $US5-a-tonne carbon tax slipped into...
    Hot Topic | 20-10
  • National doesn’t care about crime by the rich
    National likes to make a lot of noise about benefit fraud. Meanwhile, they've buried a report into the social costs of economic crime:At the beginning of last year the then Minister for the SFO, Anne Tolley, was reported as saying...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • New kiwi blog
    On The Left - a collective of lefties....
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Habemus Parliament
    So, a month after the election, we finally have a Parliament. Good. meanwhile, people seem to be noticing that the associated ceremony - white wigs, fancy dress, oaths of allegiance to a foreign monarch - isn't very kiwi (and tomorrow,...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    frogblog | 20-10
  • NZ elite win seat at UN Security Council – don’t celebrate, organise!
    Among its past services at the top table of the UN, New Zealand chaired the sanctions committee on Iraq; their sanctions killed at least a million Iraqis, half of them children by Philip Ferguson The New Zealand elite is slapping...
    Redline | 20-10
  • NZ elite win seat at UN Security Council – don’t celebrate, organise!
    Among its past services at the top table of the UN, New Zealand chaired the sanctions committee on Iraq; their sanctions killed at least a million Iraqis, half of them children by Philip Ferguson The New Zealand elite is slapping...
    Redline | 20-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Fran O’Sullivan’s extraordinary column
    Note how the carefully constructed flow chart above ignores the mainstream media’s complicity with Slater and Dirty Politics    I am no fan of Fran O’Sullivan’s politics and would argue long into the day against her on many of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Final salute to Cunliffe
    Final salute to Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • David Cunliffe’s statement
    I am today announcing that I have decided not to nominate for the 2014 Labour Party leadership contest. It has been a hard decision to make but it is one that I believe is in the best interests of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Cunliffe to quit leadership race – the losers are the Labour Party member...
    That’s all folks   And so ends the first ever Labour Party member/affiliates choice for leadership. David Cunliffe is standing down at 2pm and is supporting Andrew Little instead. What a perverse turn of events. Cunliffe was punished by an angry Labour leadership forced...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Want to see new Nu Zilind? Read the comments section of Andrea Vance’s co...
    Andrea Vance is no stooge. She is one of the few mainstream media voices who has challenged power and authority, her latest column on the outrageous attempts by Key to use fear mongering to  spook the sleepy hobbits into war...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Humanity calling Government – anyone with empathy home?
    On Friday night groups of Invercargill activists and plain ole people who care took part in the 14 Hours Homeless event – sleeping out in the balmy southern climate on cardboard and couches at our Salvation Army Citadel. It’s a...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Labour, leadership and White blokes
    David Shearer said on TV3’s The Nation this weekend that he appreciated the support Labour’s received from Maori and Pacific communities over the last few elections, but that it was important to again, secure the votes of ordinary white blokes...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Wrong priorities in media coverage of Ebola crisis
    The experts have told us that there is very little likelihood of a serious Ebola outbreak in any Western nation – unless the virus changes so that it can be spread through the air rather than just via bodily fluids....
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • John Key uses the same old warmongering recipe
    Less than three weeks after the election Prime Minister John Key wants New Zealand to join a war in the Middle East and extend the powers of our US-focused spy agencies the SIS (Security Intelligence Service) and the GCSB (Government...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Kellogg cereal donations help the Sallies feed those in need
    Kellogg New Zealand commits 64,000 serves of breakfast cereal during World Food Day Coinciding with World Food Day this year, Kellogg New Zealand and The Salvation Army are reaching out to less fortunate Kiwis with the donation of 64,000 serves...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • National Slips, Labour Hits Lows
    National fail to get post-election bounce but leaderless Labour Party crash to lowest ever support...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZ parents hope for more than just happy and healthy babies
    Auckland, 16 October 2014 – What do expectant mums and dads hope for their children? According to new research from Growing Up in New Zealand , a baby’s health and happiness may be high up on the list, but today’s...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance
    NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance NZPI is supportive of Hon. Dr Nick Smith’s, efforts to use the RMA as a mechanism for taking the heat out of the housing affordability challenge in New Zealand. “As Minister for Environment...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Prime Minister’s OIA Admision Disturbing
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling for answers after it was revealed on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report that the Prime Minister’s office routinely flouts its obligations under the Official Information Act. Taxpayers’ Union spokesman, Ben...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZDIA forum press release
    NZDIA forum press release Wellington - The New Zealand Defence Industry Association, with the support of the NZ Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence, will be holding a two-day international forum on October 21-22 at the Michael Fowler Centre...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • BPW NZ calls fashion industry to account
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) joins the call for action on the use of skinny models and mannequins as it is directly affecting the self-esteem and health of many of our young people....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Electoral Commission introduces Extra Touch for Blind NZers
    The Electoral Commission was presented with the Extra Touch Award by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand (Blind Citizens NZ), in recognition of its successful implementation of Telephone Dictation Voting ahead of its commitment to do so by...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
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