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Another asset sale lie

Written By: - Date published: 8:10 am, April 14th, 2012 - 99 comments
Categories: assets, john key, national, privatisation - Tags: , ,

Recall the Nats’ promises on the tests for proceeding with asset sales (“mixed ownership model”):

The Government’s five tests for proceeding

The Government has decided to pursue extending the mixed ownership model after being assured the following five tests can be met:

  • The Government will maintain a majority shareholding stake by owning more than 51 per cent of each company.
  • New Zealand investors will be at the front of the queue for shareholdings, and the Government is confident of widespread and substantial New Zealand share ownership.
  • The companies involved will provide good opportunities for investors.
  • The capital freed up will be used on behalf of taxpayers to fund new public assets and thereby reducing the pressure on the Government to borrow.
  • The Government is satisfied that industry-specific regulations will adequately protect New Zealand consumers.

Surprise surprise, they’re now trying to break the first bullet point promise:

Loophole allows sale of over 49pc

A loophole in the law covering partially privatised state assets will allow much more than 49 per cent of the value of the companies to be privatised, providing the extra shares do not carry voting rights.

The Government has pledged to retain 51 per cent of the four energy companies it has put on the block, starting with Mighty River Power later this year.

But a “minor policy decision” by ministers, revealed in a Cabinet paper released last week, shows that the 51 per cent limit, as well as the 10 per cent cap on individual shareholdings, will apply only to voting shares.

The Cabinet has agreed “the 10 per cent and 51 per cent restrictions should be calculated on the basis of voting rights rather than the total percentage of all securities held (including those with non-voting rights)”.

The wording in the Mixed Ownership Model Bill, which has had its first reading in Parliament, would ensure control of the companies remains with the Government.

But it would not prevent the companies – with shareholding ministers’ approval – issuing or selling non-voting shares, diluting the taxpayers’ slice of the dividends and profits the companies generate.

It isn’t a “loophole”, it’s simple a lie. The distinction between voting and non-voting shares is just a smokescreen. National clearly promised to retain 51% of the income from these public assets. Here’s a Treasury document quoting Bill English on mixed ownership:

“Government will maintain 51% of companies, retaining control and getting dividends”

And here’s a Nat press release:

Under mixed ownership, the Government is foregoing up to 49 per cent of the future income from the companies involved.

I’m sure there are many other sources – all the promises were about retaining 51% of ownership and income. So add this latest move to the long list of Nat broken promises, withheld information, and sheer incompetence over asset sales.

Winston Peters sets out further concerns about this latest development, and Labour are planning a new campaign for a Citizens Initiated Referendum on asset sales. Hey Peter Dunne – are you going to vote for this latest lie?

99 comments on “Another asset sale lie”

  1. RedBaron 1

    And when Peter Dunne finally retires and walks down any street in this country he calls “home”, eight out of ten of all the people walking towards him will really, really dislike him.

    Some legacy from a lifetime in parliament.

    Has he thought of retiring now so his electorate can have another vote?

    • dunne is a sellout who has been to more parties than paris hilton. at least with national m.p.’s you know what you are getting with them, but dunne flip-flops to whichever way the power is. his legacy(?) of good governance could be written in crayon, on the back of a stamp. Im sure the good people of ohariu are putting real pressure on him to finally do the right thing in this, his last term in parliament.

  2. Treetop 2

    Sadly it is beginning to pan out that 100% of any dividend share will be forfeited. Talk about playing Russian roulette with money making SOEs.

  3. captain hook 3

    awwwwww be nice to them.
    they will complain if you tell the truth.
    they need the money for their overseas trips and hotel bills so they can complete themselves.

  4. jack 4

    Key is showing his true colours. I can see why he has earned his reputation as the smiling assassin. I can see him smiling and waving to kiwis as he leaves this country in total ruin heading off to Hawaii or back to Merryil Lynch in New York.

  5. Matt 5

    Hairdo Dunne keeps saying he’s been consistent in his support for asset sales, but the terms of the asset sales are now revealed to have nothing to do with how they were portrayed. So, Petey, how’s that consistency?

    • This seems to be a clear commitment:

      The National-led government has agreed during this term of Parliament to adopt and implement the following broad principles, policies and priorities advanced by United Future:

      - Introduce statutory limits on the sale of public assets to no more than 49% of shareholding to private interests including limits on the extent of single entity ownership

      http://www.unitedfuture.org.nz/confidence-and-supply-agreement/

      That should mean any type of shareholding, so I think the “loophole” needs some clarification as to whether it complies with this or not. If it doesn’t comply then it would seem to be a breach of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

      • Herodotus 5.1.1

        Pete2 – here is a great opportunity for the other Pete1 (& allow UF to (perhaps) live beyond 2014) to save face regarding the asset sales, and to clearly display fortitiude, character and to be seen acting on principles.
        If this statement is true, that Nationals policy at the election was intended to sell more than 49% of the dividend attributing shares (and voting) then we the voter (those who were apathetic or passive topwards Asset Sales) were misled. Some of us who were totally opposed to the plan fortunately were not. As all infomation released showed that the intention was 49% of shares attributed to receiving dividends.
        Such weasling out with a loophole (that does not exist) is about as bad as politics can be and should be opposed by all. UF maybe the only one that can make a real difference. Please be seen to do so.

        • Pete George 5.1.1.1

          I’ll find out what I can and if it does breach the 49% agreement I’ll see what I might be able to do about it.

          • r0b 5.1.1.1.1

            Good for you Pete. Let us know what happens.

          • bbfloyd 5.1.1.1.2

            you;re gonna have to step up the waffle rather heavily to get out of this one….. as if you have any say at all peter pan……

            or should i say, big pete is gonna have to do some serious waffling over this latest revelation…. what sort of waffle will it take to convince us that he had no idea this “loophole” was in the legislation from the start??

            starting to look veeery smelly old bean…..

          • mickysavage 5.1.1.1.3

            Introduce statutory limits on the sale of public assets to no more than 49% of shareholding to private interests including limits on the extent of single entity ownership

            Looks pretty clear Petey. So will you get into Pete1′s ear about it?

            • Reagan Cline 5.1.1.1.3.1

              More information required.
              A shareholder owns 51% of the shares in a company, this means if they vote against a resolution at the annual meeting or a special meeting the resolution does not pass – correct ?
              So the directors decide to raise capital by issuing new ordinary shares (not preference shares, which do not carry voting rights) does this require shareholder approval ?
              If it does the 51% shareholder could vote against this, or can it insist that 51% percent of the new shares be bought by it ? Surely not !!
              So the directors propose raising capital by issuance of preference shares (no voting rights) why would the 51% shareholder vote against this ?
              The other options would be to issue bonds – could be attractive if the Government was a 51% shareholder – right ?
              Or the directors could sell an asset and reinvest ot they could borrrow without issuing bonds.
              How do State Owned Assets raise capital now ? Can they get the favourable terms available to the NZ government ?
              Some really smart and on-to-it outfit might like a big slice of Mighty River in exchange for bringing expertise to the company that would enable it to grow and become even more profitable.
              At the moment such an outfit would not even consider coming to the party.

              • Pascal's bookie

                I don’t really see how any more info is required.

                The coalition agreement says that there will be a statutory requirement that no more the 49% of the co’s will be sold.

                Whether or not they have voting rights, a statutory loophole that allows sale of equity in the co’s above 49% is a breach.

                • Reagan Cline

                  It’s about possible sceanarios after they are sold.
                  How will Mighty River raise further capital without weakening the governments’s 51% shareholding ?
                  Mighty River raises capital now by issuing bonds, but because the bondholders have no voting rights they have no say in how the company is run.

                • Reagan Cline

                  It is about the options for raising capital AFTER part of Mighty River is sold (if it is sold).
                  How is the government’s 51% shareholding preserved if new ordinary shares are issued ?
                  Investors receiving income from bonds and preference shares have no voting rights – so how can they threaten the government’s 51% voting right ?

                  • They can by jumping up and down and saying that as non voting shareholders the directors have to respect their rights and cannot act in a way that discriminates against them.

                    Quite easy.  It is a whole can of worms which the legal profession can feast on for years to come.  Better not to have them at all and retain the assets in public ownership.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Yes, the MOM model is a dog, put together purely to make an ideological desire for privatisation politically possible.

                  The fact that the political promises they have made, have stupid consequences, is a problem for the government.

                  But the MOMs can still issue bonds without giving up equity. It’s more costly in the short to medium term perhaps, but equity isn’t lost.

                  • Reagan Cline

                    Yes I get that it is a dog. So why would private shares in a MOM company be more attractive than shares in a wholly private company ?

                    The governemnt majority shareholder will stop it going bust maybe) ? How have MOM companies overseas performed ?

                    I agree wIth you that the biggest issue in NZ is private versus public.

                    None of the big poliitcal parties have a black and white attitude to this.

                    The thought of privatising evrything scares me shitless, but at the same time, I believe there is room for improved service and efficiency in hospitals and maybe in other publically owned organisations..

                    How do you get publically owned organisations to be more customer friendly ? Firms that fail to deliver in private go bust – unless they are a monopoly.

                    The old publice service ethic and a lifetime career with a good super package at the end might make for more efficiency – or it could have the opposite effect I suppose

                    Hard to embed an ethic of working efficiently and effectively for the public good when people are coming and going from private to public sector jobs and back again.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh please – that’s the lie that tories have used for decades, and you’ve swallowed it.
                                
                      The main factor in customer service levels isn’t public vs private ownership, it’s the priority list managers are given from their bosses (be they directors or ministers).
                           
                       

                    • RedLogix

                      Agreed McF.

                      I’ve strong experience in both the private and public sector. The idea that the private sector is somehow more efficient is a complete and utter myth.

                      The two sectors are better at different things. The private sector for instance would run a lousy police force, while the state has no business in corner dairies.

                      The difference between success and failure in both cases is exactly the same; the quality of leadership.

                    • Vicky32

                      I believe there is room for improved service and efficiency in hospitals

                      In what way particularly? I’ve had the dubious pleasure of having been misdiagnosed this year, and spending some time in Auckland Hospital, and my son is a cardiothoracic nurse at Welly Hospital. I have found no deficits and deficiencies in either place! Aside from one grumpy receptionist, everyone I met was helpful, efficient and pleasant.

                • rosy

                  Does this mean that theoretically a company can buy 10 percent of voting rights shares + 100% the non-voting rights shares? Is there anything to stop that sort of scenario?

                  • Lanthanide

                    “Does this mean that theoretically a company can buy 10 percent of voting rights shares + 100% the non-voting rights shares? Is there anything to stop that sort of scenario?”

                    Theoretically there would be nothing stopping that, under this proposal.

                    However if there was some company that was dead-set on getting 100% of non-voting shares, then the price to buy the shares could (potentially) keep going up and up and up until they were no longer willing to buy 100% of them. Therefore it should be understood that it’s not just a desire to buy shares, but a desire to buy shares at a certain price. I’m sure if they sold 100% of non-voting shares for $1, then everyone would want to buy them; so because of the excess demand the price would go up.

                    • rosy

                      Thanks… although difficult there is the option of a share buy from a 10 percent holder of voting rights. The more that shareholder gets the less relevant the government voting rights in the face of that shareholder’s insistence for a particular path the company should take. Not much of a guarantee there.

              • The directors are under an imperative to act responsibly (read commercially).  This will mean that more often than not they probably would decide to issue shares presuming the numbers were right.

                But the income gradually disappears overseas as more and more shares are issued.  Control is actually not that important because of the commercial imperatives imposed on the directors. 

                • I don’t agree with the “disappears overseas” conjecture. Some shares will end in foreign ownership, but it is not an inevitable one way shift. There’s good reason to have confidence that many shares will remain in New Zealand ownership, a mix of private investors, the NZ Super fund and the many KiwiSaver investment schemes.

                  But I have a problem with the possibility that non-voting shares may dilute government ownership and break the 49% maximum pledges.

                  • Dividend income disappearing overseas has happened with every other privatization and I do not see why the current proposal will result in anything different.

                    But Petey issuing non voting shares will not “possibly” break the Government’s pledge, it will definitely break it.

                    Time for UF to man up.
                     

  6. Nick 6

    The legislatation also doesn’t contain any preferential options for New Zealander shareholders so there is another ‘loop hole’ there that will see the second bullet point on their list in danger.

    Not that it matters to them, I wish it mattered to Peter Dunne though.

  7. Foreign Waka 7

    Mr Key argued that Kiwis voted for asset sales via the last election. Kind of a first past the post thing he was clinging onto. However, these reports clearly show that this is NOT what kiwis voted for and would this not be question of an inquiry under constitutional law? I think that, given the changed circumstances a binding referendum should be held. When are all these people who proclaim to represent the public and take their money – thank you very much – going to stand up and be counted? Or would that break the ranks and we have been hoodwinked in many areas just not so “transparent”?

  8. Jim Nald 8

    It isn’t a “loophole”, it’s simple a lie.

    The first thing that came to mind when reading this is it is not a “loophole” but a “truth-hole” !

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      It’s the difference between what NACT want to do (sell off everything ASAP) and what they think they can get away with doing (selling off 49%).

  9. North 9

    This is standard, heights of cynicism, contemptible National tactics.

    Announce…….handle the fallout more or less……..announce or get caught going higher………acknowledge the extra fallout……..blame someone, anyone………back off to first position.

    “See how we listen, see how we consult. We always said we will not allow New Zealanders to become tenants in their own land !”

    All is well……..smile and wave.

    Next chapter, a bit further down the track: pull the shelved coup-de-grace on a public by then terrorised with threats of imminent national collapse. Bingo…….cracked it. The already rich are very, very much richer. We…….you got it, are demonstrably poorer.

    That said there is this possibility…….unrest not seen in New Zealand for well over 50 years. Remote ? Probably, but who knows how far treasonous Greed may be prepared to go ?

    • Anne 9.1

      there is this possibility…….unrest not seen in New Zealand for well over 50 years. Remote ?

      Not remote at all. Much more of the current NAct machinations aided and abetted by their business friends/acolytes and sooner or later it’s going to be a certainty.

  10. bbfloyd 10

    what i find most disturbing about this is not that united future has been exposed as complicit and dishonest… most knew that from the start…. and that the national party has been shown, once again, to be utterly untrustworthy……

    it is that it seems to have taken so many by complete surprise to find out just how untrustworthy the national party is…..

    where is this huge sandpit that people are burying their heads in??

  11. Well, there’s no surprises there that key and english are playing with policy,hoping no one
    will notice their tirany towards the tax payers of nz.
    Ombusdman please, these assets are strategic assets owned by the tax payers of nz
    and these clowns have no right to hock them off to overseas interests and their
    corporate mates,surely there should be a halt on these prepartations for sell off
    until a ruling on the full legality of a sale.

  12. Akldnut 12

    Smoke and mirrors again perhaps?

    “If we can move the focus off the initiale proposal of 49% sales onto selling an increased portion while still retaining control, the backlash of the latter will make the former more palitable.”

  13. Johnm 13

    John Key: paraphrase, I want to give New Zealanders more choice. Yeh! Like having no choice in their strategic energy assets being flogged off to make foreign wealth wealthier. He’s so on ideological auto pilot you can tell by that blank look in his eyes! Eventual objective a completely privatized state.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      That’s always been the goal of the rich and psychopathic and it fails every time resulting in bloody revolution.

  14. Tangled up in blue 14

    Loophole allows sale of over 49pc

    Is this being reported by any media outlet other than Stuff? Surely this can’t go under the radar?

  15. TJ 15

    *Sigh*

    One day this website will include an inkling of balance and have stories other than sensationalist drivel.

    The amendment is clearly to allow the companies to issue Preference shares or other non-voting shares to raise capital without having to go back to parliament. These are essentially debt instruments, can be issued by SOE’s currently and can have advantages over a traditional bond in that the ‘dividend’ (essentially just interest) can be in theory paid at the directors discretion.

    Kiwibank have $150m of these issued currently. If you follow the logic that these count towards the 51%, Kiwibank is only 77% ‘owned’ by the Government. That logic is just rubbish.

    • TJ 15.1

      *That should read 67%. 

    • Pascal's bookie 15.2

      You’d be better off arguing that they are ‘effectively debt instruments’, because the actual ‘essential’ nature of the transaction is a sale of equity, albiet with slighly fewer sticks in the bundle of ownership rights.

    • So what TJ.  National promised to retain majority ownership as a sop so they could try and mitigate the damage chat would be caused by a deeply unpopular policy.  The fact they are now resiling from this is their problem.

      If this was such a mundane issue as you describe they should not have promised not to do it. 

      • TJ 15.3.1

        So why, based on that logic, is there not an uproar that Kiwibank is only 67% government owned? There isn’t, because the logic is stupid.

        There will be effective majority ownership, but just as SOE’s can already do, the potential for the companies to issue preference shares (or other non-voting shares) will remain. 

        • Nick 15.3.1.1

          Why don’t National currently raise money from these energy assets this way instead of selling off voting shares? No legislation change needed, income if they need it and retain 100% control with all the pesky limitations and regulations of having shareholders?

          • TJ 15.3.1.1.1

            Because the idea is to release equity and ‘keep’ the funds for other investment or spending. Non-voting shares like preference shares are almost always callable at particular dates and therefore essentially ‘repaid’, like a bond. They also require continued servicing, with dividend rates usually fixed. 

            For the Government to do that via proxy through SOE’s would be silly – they might as well just issue Government bonds in their own name and at a lower rate. But that of course increases debt.

            It is simply another way of obtaining capital which an entity like Kiwibank desperately needs and the Energy companies once listed may also need.

            As I have noted, if you have a look at Kiwibank’s Balance sheet it has $460m of capital. $310m of that is (ultimately) owned by the Government. $150m is owned by Preference Share holders. These scary blighters could be from anywhere! And they are getting some of that ‘income’ from the SOE we all own! No – they are being compensated for providing much needed capital which I have no doubt is being put to good use, and allowing the bank to expand and make more money.

            Everyone is New Zealand is under the impression Kiwibank is wholly owned by the Government despite this. The reason is because implying non-voting shares infer “ownership” is ridiculous.

            • Draco T Bastard 15.3.1.1.1.1

              It is simply another way of obtaining capital which an entity like Kiwibank desperately needs and the Energy companies once listed may also need.

              It’s also a rather stupid one. Far better for the government just print the money that the SOEs need for expansion off set by increase in relevant taxes. Essentially, the people of NZ supplying the capital themselves with no interest charges on it.

              • TJ

                That was not the point of my comment. The merits of various funding alternatives is a whole different kettle of fish. If printing money were the answer life would be a whole lot more simple.

                The point I am trying to make is in relation to the actual post. Non-voting shares DO NOT equal ownership and Kiwibank is a perfect example of that.   

                • Draco T Bastard

                  If printing money were the answer life would be a whole lot more simple.

                  The printing of money happens every day – it’s just done by the private banks instead of the government. For some reason we’ve come to believe that private banks printing money is fine but not governments. Of course, if the government printed money they wouldn’t have to pay interest to the capitalists and the capitalists would actually have to produce value rather than being parasites on the community.

                  Non-voting shares DO NOT equal ownership…

                  They represent a claim that is not needed nor justified.

                  • TJ

                    Private banks can increase the circulation of money – but they can’t create it. But again – that’s an aside.

                    Obviously Kiwibank determined that the ‘claim’ was needed and justified. I guess we need to ensure these SOE’s don’t issue bonds once they are listed either then? They have a greater claim than any equity holder ever will. Just get the Government to print off a few million whenever they need it instead I suppose? 

                    Ownership is not all it’s cracked up to be, and doubly so if you can’t sell the equity, like the government in the case of SOE’s. Any unrealised gain is meaningless - it isn’t going to be able to pay debt. Dividends are the last thing to be paid, and dependant on various factors including profitability, cash position, expansion plans etc. 

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Private banks can increase the circulation of money – but they can’t create it.

                      They do it all the time – that’s the basic result of fractional reserve banking.

                      Obviously Kiwibank determined that the ‘claim’ was needed and justified.

                      It wasn’t if the government had acted correctly which it didn’t.

                      Ownership is not all it’s cracked up to be…

                      If it wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be then the capitalists wouldn’t be doing their damndest to buy out every hard state asset they can.

            • David 15.3.1.1.1.2

              “Everyone is New Zealand is under the impression Kiwibank is wholly owned by the Government despite this”.

              Thanks for the heads up, TJ: we thought we understood these things: now we see there are lots of ways of stripping private profits out of “public ownership”, under the radar. You create vast obligations to private sector actors, through debt (knew that) and various forms of equity (smartening up on that). Looking forward to the public education campaign you and yours will be mounting to tell the public this is is all good for them still owning their future, and benefitting from its profits!

    • David 15.4

      “These are essentially debt instruments”

      No, TJ, these are essentially equity instruments. The kind of duplicitous, ‘rubbish’ logic that can say black is white like this is EXACTLY what we are learning to expect from you guys.

      “In theory” the dividend can be paid at directors’ discretion’. Yeah right. That’s why people buy these shares, on the off chance the directors might pay a dividend. ^&*! NZ shares pay Huge dividends compared to anywhere else. Tell me a time when a major NZ utility has not paid a dividend to these kinds of equity holders?

      “essentially just interest” . To quote Ronald Reagan, “there he goes again”. The essence of something is what it really is. If it was interest, it would be essentially interest. If it is a dividend on an equity holding, it is essentially a share of the profits being paid to the entity investing in the company. DONT BS us like this, TJ, it only makes us respect you less. And know where to look next time you try it.

  16. Aesop 16

    What’s hilarious is that the media are only catching onto this now.

    Do they not read the Hansard of important speeches in the House?

    Winston spoke out about this loophole in the legislation on the 8th of March.

    Why the hell does everyone just denounce what he has to say as drivel – he’s the one truly leading the charge on this.

    Goes to show what a shambles Labour are in if they can’t even thoroughly read through bills before speaking about them.

  17. captain hook 17

    they cant lie straight in bed.

  18. rod 18

    Will Blind Trusts be allowed to buy shares in SOE’s? just asking

  19. Reagan Cline 19

    Mc Flock. Yes, I can see that.

    At the same time, my personal experience in private and public (I work part time in both) has lead me to the opinion that they operate in very different ways.

    I have talked to others in my situation and we independantly agree that we get more done in private. The IT system is faster, there ar fewer steps in the process of getting work to us and from us to the the user, there are fewer staff, the staff can each do more and have more initiative, the clients react more often to poor service in private, there are fewer meetings and in private I know exactly the manager to see if I have an issue and it is usually sorted quicker and better.

    In public it is a matter of working around the system to get things done. In private I don’t have to do this.

    The other thing I have noticed is that in public, the work is allocated and rosters are drawn up so that each person gets exactly the same amount of work – this does not happen to the same extent in public and means that those who are happiest with a big workload are underemployed and those who prefer a lighter workload are stressed {the public sector manager told me that the basis for this was “fairness”).

    Maybe those tories are on to something.

    • McFlock 19.1

      Nope, they’re not.
            
      Don’t go confusing the quality of the manager with the type of the employer. And don’t confuse “not being able to see the reason for the procedure” with “the procedure is unneeded”.

    • Blue 19.2

      My experience is that the private sector simply penny-pinches on everything that would improve the business, and wastes money on everything that won’t.

      I can’t imagine which companies you have found so wonderful. It’s usually a case of old, slow computers (for everyone except the managers, who always have new ones), overly complex IT systems (bought off the shelf and not modified much), undertrained staff (training costs money) and problems going unsolved for years because fixing them would (you guessed it) cost money, so everyone just finds ways to work around them.

      On the other hand, there is always plenty of money to waste on things that management deem to be important. Such as their salaries. And their ‘leadership’ conferences (which always require travel and fancy locations). And paying people to dream up ‘corporate vision and values’ and dragging their hapless staff to meetings to indoctrinate them.

      Whenever someone raves about how wonderfully efficient the private sector is I always wonder what they’re smoking.

      • Draco T Bastard 19.2.1

        +1

        Matches my experience in private corporations as well. Funnily enough, my experience in public service is the exact opposite of Reagan Cline’s as well.

    • David 19.3

      “we get more done in private. The IT system is faster, there ar fewer steps in the process of getting work to us and from us to the the user, there are fewer staff, the staff can each do more and have more initiative, the clients react more often to poor service in private, there are fewer meetings and in private”

      One of the essential elements of market oriented governance in any organisation is that you basically have fewer (but sharper) accountabilities to fewer people. You have more executive freedom, and you take executive shortcuts, hide behind commercial secrecy, manage public input via expensive spin marketeers, and dont have things scrutinised via anything much democratic. You bs shareholders, give top executives powers and huge rewards and incentives sucked straight from profits to get things done and empower them vs boards and shareholders. Public stakeholders you have a whole division of managers and fancy paid lawyers and lobbyists to ‘manage relations’ with. And you do little PR gimic things, like sponsoring the local rugby team or parents accommodation at hospital, while your net contribution to children’s wellbeing is often negative. You manage accountabilities by restricting them, via narrow output objectives and KPIs: wider issues including social impact or labour relations dont get a seat at the top table.

      I can see the possible gains, in terms of getting what you think is right today done tomorrow. But lets come clean on the losses: as these modes of governance have permeated public sector management too (via NPM etc), we have lost a lot too. And private management of privatised assets in NZ, on past form?? hmm.

    • tc 19.4

      My experiences, as a 25 year IT veteran is private industry is just as bad as public. cost cutting, outsourcing and complex off the self systems such as SAP are universal. Before they modify them and multiply the cost of ownership to staggering levels.

      What a pointless diversion, focus on the core issue, ownership of strategic assets, dividend income and return on investment. IT systems are unnecessarily complex and poorly managed all in the name of ITIL and governance, a couple of consulting gravy trains across private and public before people and politics get to them and F them up some more.

  20. Balanced View 20

    You can only talk about your own experiences Flocky. My experience has been the same as Reagans.

    • McFlock 20.1

      Colour me giving a shit. 
           
      All I’m saying is that the quality of individual managers is not determined by who signs their paycheques. I have encountered very able public servants, and idiot private sector customer relations / managers. You guys are the ones damning the entire public service because of your own anecdotal experience (no doubt subjectively coloured by your imbalance).
        
      I’m saying look at the wider context of policies and don’t just pick Business Roundtable propaganda as a basis for recommending ownership models of nationally-essential public services and infrastructure.

      • Balanced View 20.1.1

        Apologies Flocky, my comment related to Reagans last comment only, and wasn’t a comment on individuals found in either operation, just general observations in regards to the overall running of the businesses.
        I also agree with you, I’ve come across far more “muppet” managers in private enterprise.

        • McFlock 20.1.1.1

          Now tell me how you can make general comments criticising the “overall running” of an organisation but in no way malign the reputations of the individuals in it. 
                
           

          • Balanced View 20.1.1.1.1

            Must you find a reason to disagree with everything?
            I have found that public offices are over resourced, so as a result, inefficient. Not really anything to do with anyone in particular, except perhaps those at the top that willingly provide the funding for it.

            • felix 20.1.1.1.1.1

              Awww, did someone compare two of your statements and ask you to explain the disparity?

              There there. Poor little troll.

            • McFlock 20.1.1.1.1.2

              Basically, non-committal or self-contradictory waffle really pisses me off.
                         
              That sort of United Future habit of leaving people with the idea of what one said, but if we actually read the specific words it means nothing.

              • Balanced View

                And this relates to……..?

                • McFlock

                  Most of your comments.

                • fender

                  Firestone can fix both your alignment and ballance problems mate. But see a specialist for the stuck in first gear problem. And the windscreens filthy.

                • Balanced View

                  Very clever, both of you. But I guess you had nothing else to come back with seeing as my comment was neither non-committal or self-contradictory.

                  • fender

                    non-committal: “Not really anything to do with anyone in particular”
                    Wof’s expired.

                  • felix

                    I’m delighted to learn that your comment was neither non-committal or self-contradictory.

                    Because that means this time, instead of diverting and deflecting, you’ll have no trouble answering McFlock’s question.

                  • McFlock
                     
                     

                    BV, you said your experience with the public service was the same as Reagan’s “last comment only” (comment 19 at that stage). Reagan complained of (among other things) slow IT systems, cumbersome procedures, and staff who took ages to respond. I.e. not just the public service in general.
                       
                    Within a couple of comments you’re saying these problems are caused by the public service being “over resourced”. But then you needed to make that slide because even you could see that any other interpretation of “wasn’t a comment on individuals found in either operation, just general observations in regards to the overall running of the businesses” reads as self-contradictory waffle.
                        
                    You’re a joke.
                        
                     

                    • Balanced View

                      On it’s own perhaps, but I thought you might have applied the context of Reagan’s comment that it had applied to.
                      Don’t beat yourself up over it, I made the same error earlier in not reading back to the beginning of your thread with Reagan.

                    • felix

                      Pathetic.

                      “Apologies Flocky, my comment related to Reagans last comment only”

                      You’re so transparent BV. You’re not fooling anyone.

                    • McFlock

                      “My experience has been the same as Reagans.”
                        is qualified to
                      “my comment related to Reagans last comment only”
                       and now becomes
                      “I thought you might have applied the context of Reagan’s comment that it had applied to”
                                    
                      Got that – you were referring “only” to comment 19 when I address the broader issue,  but includes probably the entire thread as “context” when I criticise what you specifically wrote.

                    • Balanced View

                      Nope, only applies to Reagan’s comment at 19. I hadn’t, and still haven’t read anything between the two of you before then.

                    • McFlock

                      So your experience of individual staff who are slow returning calls was the result of them being over resourced and you in no way would caste aspertions on their individual performance?

                    • Balanced View

                      “Slow at returning calls” I didn’t agree to that statement.

                    • McFlock

                      Just following the “context” of the comment, dude. 
                          
                      So these benefits of the private sector from comment 19 are because the public sector is overresourced, and doesn’t involve implied criticism of individuals:

                      the staff can each have more initiative,
                      the clients react more often to poor service in private,
                      if I have an issue it is usually sorted quicker and better.

                       

                    • felix

                      Instead of denying one phrase at a time for the rest of the night, how about you make an unequivocal statement of exactly what you do mean.

                      Any reason you can’t?

                    • Balanced View

                      I think that any reasonable person reading this thread would have no problem in understanding my position.
                      It’s only when bored individuals beginning nit picking and attempting to find discrepancies on minor points of difference that the original message becomes a bit lost.

                    • felix

                      Then state it for the record.

                      If it’s so straightforward and so easily understood, just state it. Won’t take you a moment so what’s stopping you?

                    • McFlock

                      or a bored person wondering if you’ll type a straight sentence.
                            
                       

                    • Balanced View

                      Already made in comments 20 (referring to 19), 20.11, and 20.1111

                    • felix

                      I agree BV, anyone reading this thread will have no trouble seeing exactly what you’re up to.

    • Matt 20.2

      Great, you can only talk about your experiences. I can talk about mine too, which is that private enterprise is no less likely to be Dilbertesque.

  21. felix 21

    Anyone who says the private sector is intrinsically more efficient has never worked in the world of corporate bullshit.

    Or they have, but they drunk the kool-aid and think all that bullshit is somehow of a higher quality than the bullshit found in large public organisations.

    Or they’re lying.

  22. Balanced View 22

    Im not sure that “lie” is the right description for this. A lie would be if a majority shareholding was not held.
    As far as the earnings from this investment, this will still be commensurate to the level of investment.
    The part I am most uncomfortable about is the potential for a lot of this investment to come from foreign interests. Can someone explain the difference (if any) from NZ’s perspective to paying dividends overseas vs paying interest on the debt that this is meant to pay off?

    • Draco T Bastard 22.1

      This government may pay off debt with the windfall, I doubt it though. They’ll probably find some way to channel it to themselves or their rich mates (ie, irrigation in Canterbury). The actual sale makes us worse off by about $100m/year so that means more borrowing over the long term.

      As for the difference between paying interest and paying dividends – the interest would be less than the dividends.

    • illuminatedtiger 22.2

      Of course it is. And lying is this governments modus operandi too.

  23. Poission 23

    The argument for asset sale based on the risk of net gdp liability,allows for the problematic issue of is it a resonable metric.

    If we observe the cash inflow from reinsurance companies and the subsequent disappearing of the surplus by STATNZ one wonders where the money is hidding,off balance sheets bank reserves etc,

    http://business.scoop.co.nz/2011/06/20/nz-current-account-surplus-to-go-on-treatment-of-reinsurance/

    http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/economic_indicators/balance_of_payments/BalanceOfPayments_HOTPDec2011qtr.aspx

    Where is the money?

    • Poission 23.1

      The money seems to reappear in another document eg

      The Reserve Bank in its November 2011 Financial Stability Report noted that a decline in recent years of the international borrowing requirements of the banking sector had helped moderate New Zealand’s net international debtor position, but that this has been “…partly offset by increased government borrowing”. Between 30 June 2010 and 30 June 2011, the net international debt of banks has fallen by $9,094 million, while the net international debt of general government has risen by $7,321 million (partially offset by an increase in the net offshore reserves of the Reserve Bank of $2,262 million).

      New Zealand’s net international debtor position has improved over the last 12 months as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes. Reinsurance claims on foreign reinsurance companies, are treated as New Zealand investment abroad in the international investment position statement. The total value of these reinsurance claims has been estimated at $12,518 million (the value of which will decline with the settlement of claims).

      http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/ParlSupport/ResearchPapers/3/4/6/00PlibCIP121-New-Zealand-s-International-Investment-Position.htm

      This seems to bring a number of issues

      1) The transfer of accumulated wealth from overseas insurance companies (read profits)
      2) The decrease in overseas borrrowing by Banks
      3) The artificial high rate of the NZ exchange rate due to financial repatriations

      This suggests that the NZ dollar should fall with windfall profits for exporters and increased taxation revenue for the Govt during the rebuild.

      The ideological arguments for asset sales seem poorly constructed,and the economic recovery will have little to do with policy reorganisation,except to postpone it in regions such as Wgtn ,which is most probably contracting due to structural uncertainty.

  24. captain hook 24

    pssssttt…
    chew wanna buy some shares?

  25. Key guarantees 51% majority?

    Speaking to reporters in Jakarta last night, where he is leading a 26-strong trade delegation, Key said he guaranteed the Government would keep a 51 per cent majority.

    “It’s a technical argument but the reality is we want to sell up to 49 per cent of stock and retain the other 51 per cent.

    “We are not going to do anything tricky there.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6748494/Key-affirms-Govt-to-retain-51pc-in-asset-sales

    Here he talks about “majority” – is that voting majority or ownership majority?

    This needs further clarification. I’ve had one response but am waiting for more details.

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    Labour | 23-08
  • Labour irons out low income tax issue
    The increasing casualisation of work has led to many New Zealand families being disadvantaged through the tax they pay, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. "Many low paid workers are having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Cornered Government comes out swinging
    The National Government is so desperate to keep its dead-in-the-water expert teachers policy alive, it has refused to rule out forcing schools to participate through legislation, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “John Key today attacked the Educational Institute for...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Pacific people continue to go backwards under National
    A report from Victoria University highlights the fact that Pacific people are continuing to go backwards under a National Government, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The report shows the largest inequality increases were in smoking, obesity, tertiary...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Wellington transport plan needs to keep moving
    The failure of the Transport Agency to properly look at alternatives to the Basin Reserve flyover is not a good reason for further delays to improving transport in Wellington, Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Annette King say. “The Board of...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Labour’s focus on inequality, kids and better job prospects
    Tackling child poverty and removing barriers to people working part time to enhance their prospects of moving into a fulltime job are highlights of Labour’s Social Development policy. Releasing the policy today, spokesperson Sue Moroney said while part-time work was...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Political staff should give answers under oath
    The Inspector General of Security and Intelligence should use her full statutory powers to question witnesses under oath about the leak of SIS information, says Labour MP Phil Goff. “Leakage of confidential information from the SIS for political purposes is...
    Labour | 21-08
  • High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue
    The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale community, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The company’s inability to compete in international markets...
    Labour | 21-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Labour commits to independent Foreign Affairs and Trade
    “Labour is committed to New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade policy being independent and proactive, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “We are a small but respected country. Our voice and actions count in international affairs. Labour will take a...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Key must sack Collins over abhorrent actions
    The latest revelations that Judith Collins sent the contact details of a public servant to WhaleOil in a desperate attempt to divert media attention from a bad story is abhorrent, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key and Judith Collins...
    Labour | 19-08
  • It’s downhill from here under National
    The forecast drop in exports and predicted halving of growth shows that it’s downhill from here with National, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Growth under this Government peaked in June and halves to two per cent in coming years....
    Labour | 19-08
  • John Key loses moral compass over Collins
    John Key has lost his moral compass over Judith Collins’ involvement with Cameron Slater and lost touch with New Zealanders’ sense of right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Whoever is Prime Minister there are expectations they will not...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Mana Movement General Election 2014 List confirmed
    The MANA List is now confirmed with all the candidates as below (the numbers are the respective Internet MANA rankings). Candidate, Electorate, Internet MANA List Position Hone Harawira, Te Tai Tokerau (1) Annette Sykes, Waiariki (3) John Minto, Mt Roskill (4) Te Hamua Nikora, Ikaroa-Rawhiti...
    Mana | 18-08
  • PREFU likely to confirm dropping exports
    National’s economic management will be put under the spotlight in tomorrow’s PREFU given clear signs the so-called rock star economy has fallen off the stage, with plummeting prices for raw commodity exports, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Under National,...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Record profits while Kiwis face a cold winter
    The record profits by two of New Zealand’s largest electricity companies will be a bitter pill for New Zealand households who are paying record amounts for their power, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “No doubt the Key government will...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time for John Key to answer yes or no questions
    John Key’s train-wreck interview on Morning Report shows he is no longer capable of a simple yes or no answer and has lost touch with what’s right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key has become so media...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Key must clarify who signed out SIS OIA
    Yet again John Key is proving incapable of answering a simple question on an extremely important issue – this time who signed off Cameron Slater’s fast-tracked SIS OIA request on Phil Goff, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “John Key’s claim...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time to invest in our tertiary education system
    A Labour Government will fully review the student support system – including allowances, loans, accommodation support and scholarships – with a view to increasing access and making the system fair, transparent and sustainable, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says....
    Labour | 17-08
  • Labour will facilitate regional Māori economic development agencies
    The next Labour Government will facilitate the creation of regional Māori economic development groups lead by iwi and hapū to work in partnership with business and public agencies as part of its Māori Development policy. “Labour is committed to working towards...
    Labour | 16-08
  • PRIME MINISTER’S DENIAL AT ODDS WITH NATIONAL PARTY STATEMENT
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has today released an email from the General Manager of the National Party that directly contradicts recent statements from the Prime Minister in relation to the 2011 breaches of Labour Party website databases. In his stand-up...
    Labour | 16-08
  • Labour committed to a healthier NZ for all
    A Labour Government will shift the focus of the health system from narrow targets and short term thinking to make public health and prevention a priority, Labour’s health spokesperson Annette King says. Releasing Labour’s full Health policy today she said...
    Labour | 15-08
  • Time Key took responsibility for Collins
    It is well past time for John Key to take some responsibility for the misuse of power and information by his Minister Judith Collins, and follow through on his last warning to her, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “The evidence released...
    Labour | 14-08
  • What Is Nicky Hager?
    WHAT WILL HISTORY MAKE of Nicky Hager? That slight, perpetually boyish, journalist who descends periodically, like the admonishing angel in a medieval mystery play, to trouble our consciences and wreak merry havoc with the orderly conduct of our political affairs....
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • Can anyone in msm explain how after Dirty Politics that they all got played...
    Would you not think, that after reading Dirty Politics, that our mainstream media wouldn’t allow themselves to get tricked and played again by the VERY SAME discredited pundits? The best new feature on Radio NZ is their ‘Blog Watch’ and their...
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • Crusher Collins caught out lying about Privacy Commissioner – is this her...
    Crusher angry. Crusher smash own career. Crusher more angry. You would think that after getting outed as such a nasty, vicious piece of work in Dirty Politics, that Crusher would be scrambling to dial back the lies and manipulations. Apparently...
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • Cunliffe vs Key – first leaders debate
    This is your election ‘moderator’ – just one more reason an incoming Government need to sack everyone at TVNZ and reform it into an actual public broadcaster. The first leaders debate happens this Thursday, 7pm on TV One. I have...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – An Old and Honourable Profession
      When Dirty Politics started to reference an ex-prostitute I began to get antsy. My first response was “come on Nicky, we decriminalised in 2003. Its sex worker.” My second response was “Ah oh. Who was it and did they...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • Bought and paid for: the dirty politics of climate denial
    Has climate denial in New Zealand been bought and paid for by corporate interests? We already know that the ACT Party’s routine denial is closely linked to the financial support the party receives from wealthy free market fundamentalist Alan Gibbs,...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • If the msm read The Daily Blog, THIS wouldn’t be a surprise – explainin...
    Yawn. How embarrassing for Hamish Rutherford and Andrea Vance, their breathless article today suggests that the idea of Labour and NZ First cutting a  deal over the buy back of assets  is some how new news. Silly mainstream media  journalists. If...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • How much tax does John Key pay compared to a minimum wage worker??
    Yesterday I did some calculations to find out what tax John Key pays compared to a worker on the minimum wage. And I put out this media release for the Mana Movement: MANA Movement Economic Justice spokesperson John Minto is...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • Hip hop death threats – the selective outrage of our media
    PM death threat in hip hop songAn Auckland hip-hop crew slammed for releasing a song with lyrics that apparently include a threat to kill Prime Minister John Key are urging young people to enrol to vote. Kill The PM, by...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • Watch Slater turn into Key right before your eyes
    Watch Slater turn into Key right before your eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • I don’t always agree with Patrick Gower – but he didn’t deserve this!
    I don’t always agree with Patrick Gower – but he didn’t deserve this weird spear tackle from behind by his own company. I was listening to this interview at the time, and the awkwardness of it must be the worst...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • Is it weird Radio NZ ban me yet still have….
    Is it weird Radio NZ ban me for life because I criticised the Prime Minister yet still have Matthew Hooton, David Farrar and Jordan Williams, 3 of the main protagonists revealed in Dirty Politics as part of their ongoing political...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Christchurch GCSB meeting – why mass surveillance matters in 2014
    This is the video for last weeks GCSB meeting in Christchurch. Don’t forget Nicky Hager’s public meeting Wednesday night in Auckland, TDB will live stream the event in the interests of our democracy. Broadcast starts 7.30pm here on TDB....
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Assange, Greenwald to appear at Town Hall meeting? + KDC is not the hacker ...
    Wikileaks founder and the engineer of revealing some of the largest abuses of power in the modern era, Julian Assange, is rumoured to be appearing at the September 15th Town Hall meeting. Assange would join award winning investigative journalist Glen...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Why Paula Bennett will be the next leader and Hooton throws the Prime Minis...
    I don’t think the public have any idea of the behind the scenes meltdown now occurring within National. There are plenty of decent right wingers who all have ethical standards who have looked at what their leaders have been doing and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – That Awkward Feeling When Your Campaign Goe...
    Urgh. It’s a thankless and nearly impossible task politically firefighting some days. Somebody (who isn’t you, but who’s in your care, or whom you’ve got a close professional relationship with) does or says something stupid; somebody from the Media’s there...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Dirty politics goes viral
    Join the latest social networking craze this election that every Dog Cat and Jabba is putting on their facebook pages.     Joe Trinder – Ngāti Awa Born and born in Ōtepoti Ōtākou, Ex RNZN he is an Information Technology...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Blogwatch: An open letter to David Farrar: Please, be that guy
    Dear David, In light of  Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics, you wrote a blog entitled ‘Some changes on Kiwiblog’ and you suggested it was time to tighten up ship on your website, saying “I want to improve trust in myself,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • What The Hell Was That! Reflections on the media’s coverage of the Intern...
    WHAT, EXACTLY, DO WE KNOW about the confrontation outside Internet-Mana’s campaign launch? Well, we know the news media was there in force. We also know Internet-Mana’s media person, Pam Corkery, blew her stack. We know that Corkery’s outburst led the...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • NZ First candidate – homophobic, bennie bashing anti-intellectual clown
    Oh God, apart from Ron Mark, Tracey Martin, Curwen Rolinson and Winston before midday, the woeful cavalcade of political circus freaks NZ First seem to attract has picked up another hitchhiker. This time Epsom candidate Cliff Lyon who said this about Labour… “If...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Nicky Hager Public Meeting LIVESTREAM on The Daily Blog 7.30pm Wednesday 27...
    As part of our commitment to the 2014 Election debate, The Daily Blog will Livestream the Nicky Hager public meeting in Auckland, 7.30pm live from the Mt Eden War Memorial this Wednesday on this site. Doors open at 7pm. It...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Opening Night. It’s like an opera!
    On Saturday night just gone, we collectively experienced one of the premier panegyrys of political pageantry in our three yearly electoral cycle. For one glorious weekend evening every three years, it’s not the All Blacks or some Super 14 team, or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Unions – what ...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Timor-Leste’s Parliament handed ‘humiliating’ defeat over harsh media...
    East Timorese journalists raise their hands to approve the Timor-Leste JournalistCode of Ethics in October 2013. Photo: Tempo Semanal/Cafe Pacific   David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. PACIFIC SCOOP reported this week that East Timor’s Appeal Court had scrapped...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • THIS is why we need a public broadcaster!
    The richest 20% of us in NZ own 70% of the wealth, with 18% in the hands of the second richest quintile, and 10% in the hands of the middle quintile. Just 2 per cent was owned by people in...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • A vote for Key is a vote for this
    A vote for Key is a vote for this...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • Why the Secret Intelligence Service feeding Cameron Slater information is s...
    Folks, it doesn’t matter if you are Right or Left, the issue of the Secret Intelligence Service being forced to feed a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater with sensitive information is an ‘us’ issue. The SIS are...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • How lost and irrelevant are ACT?
    So ACT had it’s ‘launch’. Well, what passes as an ACT launch these days. Lot’s of anorak’s with that 1000 yard star and dreams of a Milton Friedman Free Market dancing behind their eyelids all crammed into a room small...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • National Party rowing advert aimed at Gen Xers
    Unkind wags such as myself would suggest that if the above were a real representation of National, it would look more like this…   National know they have the rural mob and the angry provincial vote locked in, with their...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • National Housing propaganda – McGehan Close Revisited
    .   . Housing has become a major, defining issue in New Zealand. We have critical shortages and escalating prices in  in the main centres and falling house values in the regions. The National government has addressed the supply &...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • The boldest, most creative and dynamic policy on employment for two generat...
    If you watched TV news last night you could be forgiven for thinking that a circus was on when Internet MANA launched its election campaign today. The reporting was abysmal but I won’t rehash it here because it’s been described...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • Call for Aaron Bhatnagar’s resignation from govt body
    .   . One of the many sordid “bit”-players in Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics“, and one of Cameron Slater’s inner-cabal, is businessman, National Party card-carrying cadre,  and former city councillor, Aaron Bhatnagar; . . In 2008, Bhatnagar was caught...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • Internet MANA announce free tertiary education & full employment – me...
    Internet MANA launch their campaign after an extraordinary road tour and after gaining 4% in the Colmar Brunton Poll, today should have been the start point for a momentous occasion  in progressive political history. It was, but sadly most won’t...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • Privilege denies true representation of disability rights
    The human right of people with disabilities in New Zealand has come back into the spotlight by the Human Rights Commission. The report named ‘Making Disability Rights Real’ highlights some of the main issues as being adequate data collection, accessibility,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • Election TV campaign ads – Opening Night
    . .The infamous National Party ‘Dancing Cossacks’ Attack advert  NZ, 23 August -  The election campaign “kicked off” on Saturday evening, with a one hour “televisual feast”. Party advertisements were broadcast for National, Labour, Greens, NZ First, United Future/Peter Dunne,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • Blogging vs Journalism vs Politics – The 7 latest revolting revelations
    So we now enter the most dangerous phase for National, the phase where the minutia of detail is so great now, the media have all the ammunition to keep asking questions that clearly show Key isn’t being honest in his...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • A positive story of political co-operation!
    .   . Wellington, NZ, 23 August - The following is a true story and shows how the natural inclination of the rank-and-file of our main left-wing parties is to work together… I’ve been in contact with both the Green...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • “Dirty Politics” – the fall-out continues…
    . . As the shock-wave from Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics” continues to engulf everything in it’s path, it’s worthwhile looking at the damage caused by the ever-expanding fallout… Fallout Dispersal Zone: 1oom Farrar wrote on 19 August  (and later...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • #TeamKey’s sinking boat
    #TeamKey’s sinking boat...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • Cat vs Key – I know nuffin
    Cat vs Key – I know nuffin...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • Israel’s sudden fixation with Hamas
    Israel’s sudden fixation with Hamas...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • A Matter of Whether John Key is Credible
    Headline: A Matter of Whether John Key is Credible Analysis by Selwyn Manning. Prime Minister, John Key.WITHIN NATIONAL’S STRATEGY TEAM there is an acceptance that the facts revealed in the book, Dirty Politics, is chewing away at the party’s popular...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • TDB Political Diary for 2014 Election
    Here are the political events TDB will be covering this election. I will be live tweeting these events and  blog reviews will follow the next day. Internet MANA launch – August – Sunday 24th – 1pm, Western Springs School Green...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • One man’s struggle to find a copy of Dirty Politics
    I’m typing this on top of Dirty Politics.  I got the last copy yesterday morning at the local branch of a chain bookshop.  I was really in to get the paper.  I know it sold out – everyone knows - but the first thing...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • From Tucker to Key – while you were out
      From Tucker to Key – while you were out...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Amnesty International – Justice is not Blind in Ferguson
    When a US cop pulls a gun on an unarmed man, he could be acting upon a series of impulses that have been formed since before he or she could talk. What does that police officer see in front of...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Putting an end to zero-hour contracts in 2015
    All around the world attention is being drawn to what have been dubbed in the UK “zero-hour contracts”. These are contracts that don’t have any guaranteed hours even though the worker may be regularly employed. Unite Union has been struggling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • NZ’s Foreign Aid: The Party Policies Compared
    For the past two elections, I’ve cast my vote based on a single question, which party promises to give the most money in foreign aid? I grant that this is a fairly narrow and simplistic lens through which to judge...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter responds to Paul Buchanan
    WHEN ACADEMICS take to blogging the rest of us best be careful. And when they offer comment on the subject of dirty politics we should all pay attention. I will always remember my history lecturer, Dr Michael Cullen’s, confident dismissal...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Interview Between Selwyn Manning & Sean Plunket Over SIS Release of OIA...
    During a RadioLive interview between host Sean Plunket and managing director of Multimedia Investments Ltd, journalist Selwyn Manning, a fiery exchange developed after Plunket attempted to “wet flannel” the issue of whether the Prime Minister has been truthful over what...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Toke the Vote 2014: NORML’s guide to NZ cannabis policies
    NORML’s policy, renewed at our recent national conference , is to encourage supporters to vote for parties and candidates who will work to reform our cannabis laws....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Internet Mana List Embodies Modern Aotearoa
    An impressive mix of personal and professional skills, cultural backgrounds and ages marks the release of Internet MANA’s combined party list. “Our list highlights the calibre of talent woven throughout Internet MANA,” said leader Hone Harawira....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • The Dirty Politics Fallout
    Tonight’s 3News-Reid Research poll shows that the Conservative Party is on the verge of making it into the next Parliament, even without an electorate deal with National. The poll, conducted in the week following the release of Nicky Hager’s...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Te reo Māori trending at New Zealand Fashion Week
    Language and fashion express culture and identity so it’s fitting for the Māori Party to launch its te reo Māori policy at New Zealand’s premiere fashion event in Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Party And Candidate Lists for 2014 Election Released
    The Electoral Commission has released the nominations for the 2014 General Election, with 15 registered political parties and 554 candidates contesting the election....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Take Steps Against Child Poverty with Us!
    TAKE STEPS AGAINST CHILD POVERTY WITH US! Britomart to Aotea Square, Auckland, 11am, Saturday 6 Sept Music * Interactive Art * Stilt Walkers * Great Speakers * Plus more!...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Leading politicians to debate NZ’s role in the world
    Have you ever wondered where New Zealand stands when it comes to issues beyond our borders? Join Amnesty International's North Shore Group on Monday 1 September for a lively cross party debate and the chance to find out the answer...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Political Debate on Family Violence – Livestream
    The Dunedin Collaboration Against Family Violence is happy to announce the upcoming political debate on Family Violence chaired by Professor Nicola Atwool of the University of Otago. Family Violence is a huge problem in our community and we invite representatives...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Politicians ignore 20% of New Zealanders
    Despite 20% of New Zealanders supporting it, none of the parties currently represented in Parliament endorse the legalisation of cannabis....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Company tax rates
    The Op Ed pages of the left-leaning New York Times are full of articles by economists supporting proposals to dramatically lower Company Taxes. These economists are urging the United States to lower company taxes and point to Canada where the...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Stephen Dudley Case: No appeal or review of discharge
    On 8 August 2014 Crown Law received a request from the office of the Auckland Crown Solicitor to consider a Crown appeal against the discharge without conviction entered in respect of M in the High Court at Auckland on 7...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Dudley Family Statement
    “We are utterly devastated at the news regarding the law not allowing for this unjustified discharge without conviction to be appealed....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Chief Judge: Chief Sized Offender Bias
    “Justice by name, not by nature” states Ruth Money Sensible Sentencing Trust National Spokesperson, of Justice Helen Winkelmann’s decision to discharge without conviction the offender charged with the fatal attack on 15 year old schoolboy Stephen...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Confusion over BPS Reducing Crime and Reoffending Results
    A survey has revealed widespread confusion – even amongst professionals in the justice sector – about what the government’s reducing crime and reoffending progress reports actually mean....
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Commission condemns violent attack on Gay Wellingtonians
    The Human Rights Commission has condemned a violent attack on staff and patrons at a gay bar in central Wellington last Friday. GayNZ reported that the alleged attackers were abusive and violent when they realised the bar and the people...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • One down, 12 to go says Community Housing Aotearoa
    The Waimahia Inlet is a step in the right direction for community housing to deliver 20% of New Zealand’s social and affordable housing by 2020, says Community Housing Aotearoa. CHA Director Scott Figenshow says the sector has been set a...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Research considering changes to pedestrian crossing laws
    A University of Canterbury research project has been considering the costs and benefits of a range of potential changes to pedestrian crossing laws that would bring New Zealand in line with the rest of the world....
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Dairy farmers and consumers at risk from unapproved GE Grain
    The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) must immediately test all maize and soy for presence of unapproved GE lines coming from the Americas....
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • NZ on Air Refuse to Condemn “Kill the PM” Song
    New Zealand On Air has refused to condemn @peace’s 'Kill the PM' song, and will not provide any assurance that no further taxpayer money will be used to support groups that promote violence and political hate. Earlier today the Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • iPredict Ltd 2014 Election Update #32
    The combined wisdom of iPredict’s 8000 registered traders suggests National has begun a recovery after its prospects crashed last week following the release of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics . The governing party’s forecast party vote is back...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Juicy carrot for prisoners alarming suggestion – McVicar
    The Conservative Party Justice Spokesman, Garth McVicar says the public will be alarmed to learn that the only tool the Corrections Department has available to get prisoners to behave is to offer them a juicy carrot....
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Panel: Fiji’s Return to Democracy
    Fiji’s post-coup elections and their impact in the Pacific o What is the role of the media in the Elections? o How might New Zealand help Fiji on its return to democracy?...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Cross-party consensus on climate change critical
    Senior NZ health professionals welcome recent policy announcements on climate change by major political parties, saying cross-party consensus is critical to address this leading health issue....
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Minister of Transport to Attend Election Debate Tomorrow
    Organisers of tomorrow night's transport debate in Auckland are delighted that Minister of Transport Hon. Gerry Brownlee will now be attending....
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Society Applauds Proposed NZ-Wide Risk Assessment
    The Wise Response Society is heartened to see that Labour' just released Climate Change policy includes formal support for the Society's call for a New Zealand-wide Risk Assessment. The Green Party has also formally acknowledged support for the Wise...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Iwi Leaders welcome Labour policy on climate change
    Labour’s policy to stamp out price – gouging by big polluters that has cost New Zealand tax-payers $1.4 billion over the last 3 years and especially impacted low – income Maori households has been welcomed by Dr. Apirana Mahuika, Chairman...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Auckland Broadcasting Debate this Sunday
    Auckland Broadcasting Debate 6.30pm, August 31st 2014 (doors open 6.15pm) Pioneer Women's Hall High Street, Auckland City...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • New Zealand First Party List 2014
    New Zealand First is pleased to release the Party list for the 2014 election. We believe the list is a balance of experience, youth, skill and ability. These candidates, many of whom will be in Parliament after the election, will...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Refugee Policy in Election Year
    Leading politicians representing major political parties will be highlighting their policies, answering questions and ebating the issues in the lead-up to the coming election in an event organised by RCNZ this coming Saturday in Auckland. The present...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Intueri shareholders celebrate corporate welfare
    New Zealand's largest tertiary education company Intueri, which announced a $1.6 million profit yesterday, has received an increase in public funding over the last two years of at least $1.8 million....
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Response to “Kill The PM” Song Coverage
    I do not want to literally kill this man. I do not wish to have sexual relations with anybody related to him. Let's not pretend a silly little song ever changed anything. Last I seen famine was still going pretty...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Sarjeant Gallery redevelopment resource consent approved
    Mayor Annette Main has welcomed the granting of resource consent for the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui redevelopment project....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • How much tax does PM pay compared to a minimum wage worker?
    John Minto, MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson Tuesday 26 August, 2014 MANA Movement Economic Justice spokesperson John Minto is calling for a radical overhaul of New Zealand’s taxation system with calculations showing that a minimum wage...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Aucklanders to March in Solidarity with Iraqi Christians
    Hundreds of people are expected at a march this weekend in Auckland's Queen St, calling for solidarity with persecuted minorities in Iraq....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Why not let Robin Hood help our children thrive?
    Why have we been so willing to accept the fact that a quarter of our children live in poverty? And why are we so unwilling to do anything about it when some simple measures would give all New Zealand’s kids...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Te Mana o Te Wai – the quality and vitality of water
    The Māori Party intends introducing legislation that gives the status of taonga to freshwater and will prioritise the improvement of its quality and vitality making it safer for drinking, swimming and gathering food....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • “Kill the PM” Band @Peace with Taxpayers’ Money
    Responding to the Fairfax article that hip-hop group @peace have released a track that threatens to kill the Prime Minister and have sex with his daughter, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • New Zealanders are right to be afraid of burglars
    “A poll in a major morning newspaper shows New Zealanders are afraid they will be burgled. They are definitely right about that,” said Dr. Jamie Whyte ACT Leader. “Official Police statistics report less than half of the burglaries that actually...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • National and Labour to outline economic visions
    The deputy leaders of National and Labour will outline their visions for the New Zealand economy in two upcoming public lectures hosted by Victoria University of Wellington....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Objectionable Hip-Hop Song Offensive to All NZ’ers
    Family First is slamming Auckland hip-hop crew @peace for their new release containing lyrics that threaten to kill Prime Minister John Key and have sex with his daughter....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Maori party Candidates Announced
    Maori Party Candidates Announced The Māori Party has today announced its list of 24 candidates to contest the 2014 General Election. "The list is headed by our co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell, and followed by two brilliant young candidates, number...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Commercial Industry Opposes Recreational Fishing Policy
    Press release from Alan Simmons. United Future Outdoors spokesperson and Candidate for Taupo. United Future Party President....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Statement on William Yan
    The Internet Party has noted published comments from Mega Ltd. about a shareholding in the company being subject to a Restraining Order by police under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act in relation to Mr William Yan....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Conservatives will abolish Parole – McVicar
    The Conservative Party Justice Spokesman says that one of his first tasks when he gets to Parliament will be to overhaul the Parole system. On current polling and the fact he is ranked No 3 on the Conservative Party list...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • ONE News & Facebook – Election Coverage Collaboration
    Auckland - ONE News and Facebook are collaborating to offer an interactive and social experience for the 2014 General Election utilising data insights and trends. This collaboration provides a new way for the electorate and candidates to share their...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Vote Compass Reaches 200,000+ Respondents
    On Friday 22 August the total number of respondents to Vote Compass reached an impressive 200,000 - and that number continues to grow rapidly (the total was more than 204,500 as of 5.00pm Sunday 24th)....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Climate Policies Commit to Single Most Important Reform
    Labour’s response to climate change includes the single most important reform required - a Carbon Budgeting process and a Climate Commission to drive it....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Foodies come out for a CAN DO government
    Wellington culinary celebrities will be joining the call for a “can-do government” and supporting “can-do people getting out to vote” as they help build the beehive out of cans tomorrow....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Nicky Hagar – Auckland Public Meeting
    A public meeting meeting with Jesson Prize winner Nicky Hagar will be held Wednesday 27th August, 7.30pm, at the Mt Eden War Memorial Hall (Cnr Dominion Rd & Balmoral Rd)....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Remote Pacific atoll challenge lures Christchurch planner
    How do you come up with an urban development plan for a city which consists of tiny islets connected by causeways located in a remote Pacific atoll and subject to flooding on the next king tide?...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
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