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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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    A quick shot of Lorne St in front of the library. It appears Brobdingnagian gardeners have dropped by with some seriously big pot plants. I love them! About the only criticism I every heard about the shared space in Lorne...
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • National: American lickspittles
    Yesterday we learned that America had murdered a New Zealand citizen in a drone strike in Yemen. Today, the government was closely quizzed about its views on this in Parliament. Steven Joyce (standing in for the PM) was very clear:...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • A $130 million gift to the rich
    When the government announced that it was selling off Genesis Energy, it deliberately underpriced it, with a discounted price, generous bonus scheme, and huge dividend. And today that has had the expected result, with Genesis shares leaping almost 20% on...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Defamation via Facebook and ‘a private website’
    This defamation case should be a shot across the bows of various internet wide-boys who think ‘defence of truth’ or ‘opinion honestly held’ is some kind of magic elixir or Get Out of Jail Free card. It’s worth noting the...
    The Paepae | 17-04
  • Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink
    It is three years and one day since Danyl wrote this blog post about South Canterbury Finance. I was re-reading it today, and something stuck out like a sore thumb: December 2008: SCF undertakes a high risk loan strategy, losing...
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 17-04
  • Access: I Can’t See You, But You Should See Me
    Being lost for words when you’re a talkback host could hardly be considered ideal. But back in September of 1992, I was hosting an evening talkback show on a fledgling radio station in what was then a newly deregulated, highly...
    Public Address | 17-04
  • Judith Collins: guess who’s coming to dinner?
    Judith Collins, Justice Minister, is playing dumb in parliament at question time and avoiding media. Her patronising responses, or non-responses, to allegations of corrupt influence is not becoming of a Cabinet Minister.  Her abuse of the House by criticising questions...
    Tumeke | 17-04
  • Can fracking save the climate?
    Blogging is a great way MPs can communicate and engage with citizens about the issues facing us. I have joined The Daily Blog blogging team and have so far posted on Anadarko’s failure to find oil and a piece outlining...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • New Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Labour’s manufacturing plan
    David Cunliffe has launched Labour's policy to get more manufacturing jobs back in New Zealand: Labour leader David Cunliffe launched the policy to an Auckland business audience this morning, adding the depreciation and procurement policies to the known suite of...
    Polity | 17-04
  • Easter PT shutdown
    It’s Easter weekend and that invariably means the rail network is shut down for works. Auckland Transport advises the rail network will be closed for Easter and there are changes to timetables for buses and ferries during the holiday break....
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • Another perspective on the postgraduate allowance cuts
    I have already shared two stories from psychology students about how the postgraduate allowance cuts have affected them. These stories demonstrate the widespread impact the changes are having. Here is yet another story I have received, this one giving the...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • Against secret "justice" in NZ
    Last year, in response to a series of court cases challenging its control orders or claiming compensation for human rights abuses by its intelligence services, the UK passed the Justice and Security Act 2013. The Act introduces a "Closed Material...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Massey chancellor sets up company in opposition to university
    Massey Chancellor Chris Kelly will chair the board of a company that intends to be New Zealand’s largest private training provider (PTE)...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Gibbs, Hayek, Canterbury and the free market for degrees
    The New Zealand Herald notes that philanthropist Alan Gibbs is about to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Canterbury today. One of the many institutions Alan Gibbs has donated his money to...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Record Store Day
    As readers will know, I have long embraced the internet music revolution. The ability to discover and download new things pretty much as they're being made has reinvented and refreshed my lifelong relationship with popular music. But I still really...
    Public Address | 16-04
  • Great Sorkin Parody
    Aaron Sorkin (SportsNight, The West Wing, The Newsroom) makes a very particular style of TV. Some good parts to that, some really silly parts. Amy Schumer' Comedy Central parody of Sorkin is pitch-prefect and hilarious. Enjoy: Inside Amy SchumerGet More:...
    Polity | 16-04
  • Photographic proof
    Deborah asked for a picture of my bicycle, after I wrote about it, and there is now one in existence which even includes me riding it along Mt Albert Rd, thanks to a dear friend who drove past me and...
    The Hand Mirror | 16-04
  • Our future lies in science
    This is not a column on global warming, climate change or whether humans are or aren’t having an impact....
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Gordon Campbell on drone strikes and Judith Collins‘ last stand
    Reportedly, US drone operators refer to their kills as “bug splat” – mainly because when the carnage is viewed on their screens thousands of kilometres away at home, it looks like an insect strike on a windscreen. The name has...
    Gordon Campbell | 16-04
  • Revealed: Steven Joyce’s select committee submission
    Dear Education Select Committee, Well, there are less than two weeks for people to get their submissions in to you on my proposals to remove staff and students from university and wānanga councils. You...
    TEU | 16-04
  • World News Brief, Thursday April 17
    Top of the AgendaTensions Rise in Ukraine’s East Ahead of Talks...
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Northern Europe looks to end fixed-term agreements for academics
    Long strings of fixed term employment agreements are not just a problem here in New Zealand but Sweden too, according to Education International. But the Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) has a plan to solve this. It is turning...
    TEU | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 17, 2014Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today.The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company, Christchurch Yarns, go into...
    First Union Media | 16-04
  • Collins: More contemptible lying
    Yesterday, Judith Collins treated New Zealand's media and people as if we were all complete fools. Here is what she said (via this morning's Herald): Ms Collins said she was unaware Oravida was having any problems getting its products into...
    Polity | 16-04
  • MP to attend progressive politics conference
    Labour MP Grant Robertson will attend the Progressive Governance conference in Amsterdam later this week. “This conference brings together Social Democratic parties from around the world to discuss how progressive politics should work in the post global financial crisis environment....
    Labour | 20-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Why Easter holidays should always be mandatory and retail free
    The moaning from retailers that they can’t open the cash registers and worship the consumer culture of consumption over Easter bores me immensely because I’ve always believed that public holidays should be mandatory. It’s not that I really care about...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Why punish the parents of the disabled?
    Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Family Court Consumers Group appalled at legal rort
    Family Court Consumers Group appalled at Lawyer for Child's "1 meeting in 10 years" taxpayer funded legal rort...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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