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Asset sales: Key’s scorched earth tactics will backfire

Written By: - Date published: 9:14 am, October 25th, 2013 - 60 comments
Categories: election 2014, privatisation - Tags:

Granny supported little Johnny’s plan to go off to market and sell the family’s cash cow. But even she’s furious that what he’s come back with amounts to nothing more than a hill of beans. If Key and co couldn’t get a good price for Meridian, they shouldn’t have sold the bloody thing.

As Granny Herald notes, that they’re pushing ahead with the remaining sales regardless is all about ideology, and the knowledge that they’re going to lose the next election.

It’s the political equivalent of scorched earth tactics: if National can’t have the government any more, they’ll steal everything they can and leave as little as possible to the victors.

Of course, this is just going to make their slaughter at the next election even worse. The complete failure of their asset sales and their heedless, reckless determination to keep on going in the face of overwhelming public opposition, including the coming referendum, is going to rip a huge hole in their support. I reckon we’ll see a poll with Labour ahead of National within 6 months.

And then, as a strongly mandated Labour-Greens government pushes through NZ Power, the tory elite who are buying these electricity companies will get a shock as they find that cheaper power means their shares aren’t worth half what they think they are.

60 comments on “Asset sales: Key’s scorched earth tactics will backfire”

  1. Ad 1

    From David Cunliffe when asked about whether Labour would buy back shares in sold companies:
    “All options are on the table”
    That’s all he would say – and all that’s appropriate at this point.

    A political question is whether this will turn into general unease as within the “Right Direction/Wrong Direction” polling. If unemployment stays around where it is or gets worse, it will be harder for them to win power back. But at the moment, National remnain perceived as the superior economic managers.

    Very surprised Parker isn’t attacking harder. Cosgrove is solid but not yet making the public feel emotion at a visceral and popular level. There’s still too much nationalist space being left for Winston to fill.

    Can Labour translate asset sale chaos into tilting public mood about economic management competence? It appears their to lose, but it’s been lost before as in 1996.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      Since the majority owner of Mighty River Power , has Ok ed the buyback of its shares, we can see that the ‘unthinkable’ option has occured much sooner.

      Look at what else has been ‘bought back’

      Air New Zealand

      Kiwirail

      Chorus ( in a round about way its getting a government mandated subsidy)

      I think the BNZ was a part sale, got into difficulties, required a bailout but was onsold immediately

      • Dumrse 1.1.1

        Who bought back Kiwi Rail? And whilst you’re at it how about expanding your Chorus buy back comment. Tell us about the subsidy?

        • richard 1.1.1.1

          Why don’t you look it up yourself?

          In this 2008 television news footage, Finance Minister Michael Cullen talks about the government’s buying back of the rail network. In 1993 New Zealand’s rail system (including the track network) and inter-island ferries were sold for $328 million. Renamed Tranz Rail, the organisation performed poorly, and in 2003 was bought out by the Melbourne-based Toll Holdings. In 2004 the government repurchased the rail infrastructure, by then very run-down, for $1, vesting it in a new state-owned enterprise, Ontrack. The government also spent $75.8 million buying a stake in the rail operator, and provided it with a $44-million cash injection. On 1 July 2008 the government spent $665 million buying Toll’s rail and ferry operations outright, renaming the company KiwiRail.

          http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/video/32685/buying-back-kiwirail

    • dave 1.2

      we can not announce any buy back or these torys will think they have a bailout point NO far better to bring in power nz force the power companies to average there costs at which point the shares will be worth around a $1.35 mrp .then buy them back. but no bailout for these wankers !

    • poem 1.3

      “National remnain perceived as the superior economic managers”

      What gives you that idea Ad? the reality of national’s unsustainable line of policy shows national up as abject failures and the majority of kiwis now see that.

    • rangelife 1.4

      “National remain perceived as the superior economic managers”

      hmmmmm I’d say there’s an overwhelming recognition that National’s economic management is based on maintaining low-wages for the majority, with the management/asset owning classes profiteering nicely. The crony capitalism charges are beginning to resonate more & more. And the assets sales debacle is an own goal for this government in so many ways …

  2. Lanthanide 2

    You know, there’s no reason the government can’t force the Superannuation Fund to buy the shares back.

    My BF reckons that Cullen should have shifted ownership of these SoEs into the superfund at the time it was started, instead of putting cash in for the first few years.

    • Pete 2.1

      It’s better public policy to allow the fund managers of the Super Fund and ACC to make the most prudent investment decisions they can rather than raid these funds for money under the figleaf of an SOE transfer.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        Yeah, it’s not such a good position now. But at the creation of the fund, it would have been pretty easy to justify moving these strategic, long-term assets with good dividend returns into the fund. Then National wouldn’t have had any chance to sell them, for risk of looking like they were plundering the pension.

        A government could still move the remaining 51% stake in.

        • Matthew Hooton 2.1.1.1

          But the purpose of the Cullen Fund is to one day sell down all its assets to help pay for superannuation, so the shares in the companies would eventually go back on the share market, which I don’t think is what you would support long term.

          • dv 2.1.1.1.1

            But doesnt the Cullen fund get income from its investments?
            If it is big enough then a selldown won’t be needed will it.

          • Tat Loo 2.1.1.1.2

            which I don’t think is what you would support long term.

            A sell down 40-50 years down the track is no problem.

            • Matthew Hooton 2.1.1.1.2.1

              I thought the selldown would be more like around 20 years from now – certainly not 50 years; the baby boomers will all be well dead by then.

              • Tat Loo

                Hey Matthew. Cool icon.

                Why would you sell down high earning assets?

                Anyhows Stephen Joyce said that the retirement age could stay at 65 through to 2060 no problem. And I trust him on that.

          • felix 2.1.1.1.3

            “But the purpose of the Cullen Fund is to one day sell down all its assets”

            Cough (bullshit) cough.

            • greywarbler 2.1.1.1.3.1

              felix
              I thought that it was to particularly provide for a projected demographic bulge
              not far off so that the shock to the economy wouldn’t be great. It was to be a smoothing out of the spike of oldies’ super and ageing costs.

              That’s how I remember it and too, does Hooters.

          • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1.4

            Pretty simple, Hoots.

            When the fund was set up, the power companies should have had nominal ownership transferred to the fund.

            The dividends would be paid to the fund. The NZ Government would then have topped up the fund by $1B – dividends each year, instead of $1B.

            At the time the fund is wound up, nominal ownership is simply transferred back to the government. No need to sells shares anywhere.

            This has two benefits:
            1. National would have looked like they were plundering the pension fund if they sold the assets.
            2. National made the political decision to stop contributing money to the fund, but if it owned the power companies then at least the dividend stream would still be available for re-investment, again unless National wanted to look like they were plundering the pension.

            • Tat Loo 2.1.1.1.4.1

              Bloody impressive, Lanth.

            • RedBaronCV 2.1.1.1.4.2

              And when Labour are back in with a 51% shareholding they can rearrange the actual power producing assets between the companies at the cheapest prices they can manage leaving the partly privatised ones with zip or coal fired plants, and company that is wholly owed with the dams etc.
              Then bring in controls on non renewable energy and drop the bottom out of the partly privatised coys. Go Lanth

          • tricledrown 2.1.1.1.5

            MH logically we could have a no tax economy if we had enough investments but national are purely ideologically driven.
            Tis is all about looking after those who are already well off and keeping those who aren’t well off poor and disenfranchised grovelling to to likes of you and your ilk for the crumbs!
            This is not the kiwi way ,kiwis like sharing and caring.
            Nactional is about making Kiwis selfish snobby and narcissistic like yourself Hooten!

      • Tat Loo 2.1.2

        it’s only an accounting fiction. No actual cash need be transferred out of those funds in order for the SOE assets to go in.

  3. phil 3

    xox
    Why don’t we all change power companies to support the Government owned one? Why don’t we all join Kiwibank? All the profits would stay in NZ and not go to Australia?

  4. Jokerman 4

    raise the jolly roger.

  5. BM 5

    I didn’t have an issue with partial assets sales.

    I think the main reason they haven’t been as successful as hoped is that people just don’t think the share market is particularly sexy.
    Labour and the Greens undermining them didn’t help either.

    You don’t see big gains happen in the share market or hear of people making their fortune compared to property, so people think investing in stocks is a waste of time.

    Lack of leverage and volatility is a big negative against investing in NZ stocks.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.1

      You don’t have an issue with partial asset sales, and lack of leverage and volatility is a big negative against investing in NZ stocks.

      That seems perfectly clear. No, wait…

      • BM 5.1.1

        No, I don’t have an issue with the idea of selling state “assets”,I don’t think they’re some amazing jewel in New Zealands crown.

        What I was trying to point out was that one of the reason the take up was so poor was because of other factors such as the way stocks are perceived in NZ.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.1.1.1

          What I was trying to point out was that I doubt very much you would have sold shares in these companies if you owned them yourself, given the historical dividend performance and the local market volatility etc.

          To put it another way, there are inherent contradictions between your ideology and your ethics.

          • BM 5.1.1.1.1

            I would have sold them some where else.

            It’s a bit like selling your wares in Gore, you’re not going to get as good a price as you would if you sold them in Auckland.

            • Rogue Trooper 5.1.1.1.1.1

              likely to experience some dampness in the smalls

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.1.1.1.1.2

              That actually makes a kind of sense: bring capital into the country by floating in one of the offshore exchanges. Assuming the capital raised was worth more than the existing dividend flow (I’m picking there’s some sort of way to calculate that) and assuming you reinvested the capital.

              Kind of a hard sell politically, though. Good luck.

              • McFlock

                if the capital raised exceeded the dividend flow, they wouldn’t buy it anywhere.

                New owners expect to get more money out than they put in.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.1

      Yes, little Bretty.

      • Brett Dale 6.1.1

        Knucklehead:

        What are the ages of the people who write these pieces?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.1.1.1

          How old do you have to be to use the diminutive as a gesture of ridicule or contempt?

          Is the analogy of Granny (she’s 150 this year) and little Johnny (100 years her junior) apt?

          Is your affected disapproval of any consequence?

  6. Jokerman 7

    20:21 An inheritance quickly gained at the beginning will not be blessed at the end.
    A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge but the simple keep going and suffer for it. 22:3

  7. Tracey 8

    Yes brett how old they are is more importAnt than what they write. How many shares did you sign up for in meridian?

    • Tracy:

      Does the op think calling Prime Minister, John Key, “little johnny” is funny or clever or making a great satirical point?

      Its almost as cliche as David Cunliffe, saying. Labour cares about the little New Zealander and not the Wall street bankers”

      • Sable 8.1.1

        More to do with the fact Keys is small minded, mean spirited, selfish. He chooses to make himself a “little” man.

    • Tracey:

      I stopped buying shares in NZ companies after the former labour government decided who i could sell my shares too.

  8. Tracey 9

    Jokerman

    to be is to do satre
    to do is to be descartes
    do be do be do sanatra

  9. greywarbler 10

    tracey
    :lol:

  10. Sable 11

    Even the Tory birdcage liner has turned against the little Emperor. Of course rats always flee from a sinking ship….

    • Naturesong 11.1

      Not completely. After recognising that the sales are driven by ideology the editorial finishes with:

      It also does little to inspire confidence in the part-float of the final power company, Genesis Energy. The Government, however, has no choice but to push ahead. It would make no sense to pause now, leaving Genesis with a different ownership structure.

      The reasoning appears to be “Hey, in the against all economic sense and overwhelming public opposition we’ve sold two public utilities, and fucked up the selling of those utilities therefore we must continue … ” to fuck the rest up?

  11. newsense 12

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/9327829/Len-Brown-would-go-if-he-was-CEO-say-lawyers

    can’t wait for these can’ts to do a feature on what would happen to CEO who flogged off the company’s revenue stream for several billion less than what they had budgeted for. Or stopped investement in a fund that returned substantial benefits. Or lost production entirely to an industry through lack of investment.

  12. newsense 13

    And while I’m getting pissy with journalists we had this great headline from the Herald’s Business editor:

    Liam Dann: Cunliffe’s Labour smart to play dumb

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/liam-dann/news/article.cfm?a_id=106&objectid=11139587

    “A lot of these issues are complex and Labour seems happy to grab headlines with half-baked ideas that don’t bear serious scrutiny”

    Still waiting to see how smart he thinks the Meridian float is…That’s not all a half-baked idea…

    • QoT 13.1

      You have to have a laugh at our media suddenly giving a crap about the complex economic details of policy when it’s Labour announcing them. Not a whisper about John Key’s ever-changing rationale for asset sales – it’s to reduce debt! It’ll pay for schools! It’ll pay for schools and reduce debt!

  13. Lloyd 14

    You don’t sell what you can’t afford to live without. Can New Zealand afford to live without these electricity companies?

  14. tricledrown 15

    Blind monetarist people are not as silly as you make out except those like your self who believe your own shallow propaganda!
    Like Meridian selling power at a $476 million discount to Tiwae point just to help National get the sale through before the next election.
    $30 million bribe to tiwae on top of that plus a $60 million bribe for the new share buyers!
    $30 million to Goldman Sachs (Robber Barron’s) $30 million in advertising.
    $200 to $300 million in lost dividends.
    It doesn’t make economic sense!
    That”s ideology over economic sense and long term planning!

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  • Media Advisory – Interview availability
    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • I feel sorry for Labour Party members and supporters
    I feel really sorry for the members and supporters of the Labour Party as they watch their caucus tear itself to shreds. And no matter what the outcome of the coming leadership race Labour members and supporters will be the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Ummmm, why is Auckland Transport spying on Aucklanders?
    Ummm. What? Sophisticated surveillance coming to Auckland Surveillance technology that uses high definition cameras and software that can put names to faces and owners to cars is coming to Auckland. The surveillance has the capability to also scan social media...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • It. Is. About. The. Economy. Stupid.
    Liam Dann does a good job of explaining the positive and negative issues looming for the NZ economy and as dairy prices plunge again overnight alongside a large Wall st sell off  and China Bank rumours begin, his case for the negative...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Don’t think of it as reinvading Iraq, think of it as redecorating Iraq
    I think some NZers view Iraq like an episode of The Block. Yes Iraq is the worst country on the street, but with a bit of elbow grease by our SAS and some great deals down at Bunnings, hey presto we...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Mana Maori alliance
    Most Maori you speak to on the street can’t understand why Mana movement and  Maori Party don’t combine it confuses them why Maori are divided cross benches in Parliament instead of a unified political power that represents 15% of the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Party members and affiliates – the real losers in Labour’s leadership f...
    Hey, wanna do a back room deal that cuts the members and affiliates out? Cunliffe must be reeling. He has lost failed Ilam candidate James Dann. It must cut as deep as the loss of Steve Gibson. Apart from providing Claire...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election res...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election result...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • The rich get richer
    Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman highlights the growing inequality in this article in the New York Times. The left wing slogan that the “the rich get richer” is a fact of almost perverse power. The most recent period of expansion in the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • A brief word on reinvading Iraq
    So after telling the country before the election that NZ would not send forces to Iraq, lo and behold now he’s won the election with a full spectrum dominance political majority, Key is suddenly now looking to join the re-invasion of...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • A brief word on the importance of ACT, Maori Party and United Future to Nat...
    I’m a far right wing clown who attacks tax money going on anything collective, gimmie some cash and privilege.  One of the great successes of National has been to implement hard right policy but have it sold as moderate. For some NZers,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Labour’s Angst
    Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage? My analysis of the numbers suggests that, as uncertain voters made up their minds, there was a late...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Information wars: Gaza as “the last taboo”, the threat of mass surveill...
    “When the truth is replaced with silence” wrote the soviet dissident Yevgeni Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.” There has been a silence these past months full of noise, static and sound bites of those in power justifying their violence,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • When the media say they covered Dirty Politics – did they?
    I was watching The Nation in the weekend, and watched the defenders of NZ media up against Minto telling him he was wrong in his claims of media bias and that the media covered Dirty Politics. I laughed. When the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG – P Campbell – To the Left with love
    A week after the general election results I feel wrung out emotionally, having been through the disappointment, depression and anger of seeing  another right wing government elected overwhelmingly by winning support from the parts of NZ that will never benefit...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – I will be the new Labour Leader!
    One week after the election, while I was still waiting to be consulted about contributing to the review on what went wrong, what do you know? There is a leadership challenge. So instead of opting for a united, thoughtful and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – A Prescient Post
    A very prescient pre-election post by Martyn Bradbury tells us why the Labour Party are at war now. “The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work” Despite Martyn Bradbury warning them this Right Wing strategy “Better Work”...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – W(h)ither Labour (!/?)
    There’s an old saying that success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Not so in the Labour Party, wherein soul-crushing defeat on a scale unseen since 1925 definitely has many fathers (and more than a few mothers and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • At the end of the day…
    At the end of the day…...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty
    Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Internet MANA the election and the media
    I’ve been very critical of media reporting of Internet MANA during the election campaign and not surprised at the predictable response from representatives of the corporate media establishment. I wasn’t going to carry this further but was asked at the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Rachel Jones – A superficial discourse analysis of a superfic...
    On Sunday there was a story about Paddy Gower and his detached retina in the Herald on Sunday. Really? I hear you ask. Really? Yes, really. Pam Corkery will have sprayed toast crumbs over her dressing gown. The reporter has become...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Terrorising Australia’s Muslim population
    We should be suspicious when 800 police conduct “terror” raids across Australia, but only one person is charged with a relevant terrorism offence (of which we know few details). We should be suspicious of the lurid tales of terrorists planning...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its min...
    Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its mind. I know the Labour party has its problems and I’m not even going to try to prescribe what should be done about it. But what I...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Loyalty, Leadership and the Labour Party
    My first after the election and I can only say I’m feeling pretty sad.  It was a terrible result, and feels even more so knowing the number of volunteers hours, hard work & sacrifice made by so many people who...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • A Study in Party Stability
    . In terms of long-term stability, one party above stands above all others, with the exception of personality-driven groups such as NZ First and United Future. That party is the Greens. If the Labour Party wants to look elsewhere for...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Cunliffe vs Robertson – Round 2
    Much to the disappointment of the NZ Herald and other right wing pundits who have decided they would like to appoint the next Labour leader, Cunliffe has surprised by deciding to damn the Caucus and appeal directly to the members...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The tasks before the left and labour movement
    Anyone on the left would have been disappointed at the result of the election. There was an opportunity to win, but that got lost through a combination of factors. There were tactical decisions made by Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • From Fiji’s dictatorship to ‘democracy’ – the AUT student team on t...
    Mads Anneberg’s profile on Ricardo Morris and Repúblika. David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. THREE STUDENTS from AUT University covered Fiji’s historic “from dictatorship to democracy” general election this month. While the election arguably legitimised Voreqe Bainimarama’s so-called 2006...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • David Cunliffe Resigns As Labour Leader – Forces Robertson Out of the Bel...
    David Cunliffe has made a smart move, resigning as the leader of the Labour Party so as to force a leadership primary campaign. The move draws rival Grant Robertson out of the beltway to parts of the country where he...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The NZ National voters elected
    The NZ National voters elected...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The post election postmortem is giving me post p...
    I feel the need to contribute to the discourse. This is a new experience for me. Not having an opinion, but expressing it on a popular forum in a public sphere. That’s why I have waited till now and put...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A dictionary of education terms and definitions, brought to you by the let...
    Free to all TDB readers, please enjoy your very own cut-out-and-keep handy primer of terms that I predict you will need to know over the next three years… Achievement Gap (noun) Synonym for wealth gap. ACT (abstract noun) Intangible. Reported to exist in...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A Mines Rescue brigadesman’s perspective on the Pike River Mine
    My husband and I lived in Greymouth in 2010, we were a coal mining family.  The day Pike River Mine blew up and the days following changed us profoundly, as it did for so many.  This is a Mines Rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • The Left Triumphant! A Counterfactual History of the Last Twelve Months.
    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • Documenting historic Māori land law cases for the first time
    A new book from Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Law will continue to put the spotlight on Māori Land Law judgments which have never before been published....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • ‘Oily’ people greet Petroleum Summit diners
    Greenpeace activists smeared in fake oil have greeted guests arriving at the part-Statoil sponsored Petroleum Summit dinner this evening....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Key Decisions Made About Labour’s Leadership Election
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has made the key decisions about the timetable and process around the election of Labour’s Party Leader. The result will be announced on Tuesday 18th November, following a comprehensive and extensive process unique...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Suspected $6 Million Dollar Wananga Fraud Alarming
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on on the Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi to front up over claims the Wananga has pocketed government overpayments amounting to $6 million of taxpayers' money. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Submissions sought on herbicide for weed control in maize
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on a herbicide to improve broadleaf weed control in maize. The substance CADET contains 100g fluthiacet-methyl in the form of an emulsifiable concentrate and would contain a new active ingredient...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line
    Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line TV personality Jesse Mulligan will live on the equivalent of the extreme poverty line this October in order to raise awareness of sex trafficking. Mulligan will survive on $2.25 for his food from October...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn?
    Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn? - Sue Bradford, Russell Brown & Kirk Serpes discuss....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change
    Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change at launch of Pacific environment report...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages
    The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management advises that while changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages come into effect from today (Wednesday 1 October), the Ministry has been, and remains, the authoritative voice for tsunami...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Police remove banner at Statoil Offices in Wellington
    Oil Free Wellington hung a banner at 9:30 this morning at the Statoil office headquarters in Wellington as the Petroleum Summit opened in Auckland. The banner, which read 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil', has now been removed...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Mixed massages raise concerns
    Mixed massages raise concerns for Te Taumata Kaumatua Ngapuhi nui tonu, and Te Wakaminenga O nga Hapu Ngapuhi....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Union Slams Port Boss’s Pay Rise
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says Lyttelton Port CEO Peter Davie’s 18% wage rise, taking his pay packet to $1.24m, is unjustified and inflammatory. ‘Lyttelton port has an appalling health and safety record, with three deaths on...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Prisons expert Ron Nikkel to speak in Auckland October 15
    Prison Fellowship NZ and JustSpeak have the privilege of hosting the former president of Prison Fellowship International, Ron Nikkel....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Hundreds of educators protest IES in Rotorua
    Four hundred educators from around the country took their opposition to the Government's controversial Investing in Educational Success policy to the public today....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Crime drops by 3.2 % in the 2013 / 2014 financial year
    Criminal offences dropped by 3.2 % in the last financial year according to figures released today through Statistics New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: what do we learn?
    I would like to invite you to a Fabians Reflection on "Dirty Politics, Dotcom and Labour’s worst result" with Colin James, Keith Ng, Stephanie Rodgers and Richard Harman. They will provide a debrief of analysis and lessons from the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Oil Free Wellington drops banner from Statoil headquarters
    Today members of Oil Free Wellington have targeted the offices of Statoil, by attaching a banner reading 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil' to the entrance of Vodafone on the Quay Midland Park, where Statoil's New Zealand office...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Media Statement from Karen Price
    “After a period of intense media attention and scrutiny of our family, I set up and used an anonymous Twitter account over the weekend and made a number of comments that I deeply regret....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Greenpeace disrupts Simon Bridges’ speech to oil industry
    Greenpeace activists have disrupted the opening speech by Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges at the Petroleum Summit in Auckland this morning....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • An open letter to the Prime Minister
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    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Paula Bennett ‘great work’ acknowledged – McVicar
    “Paula Bennett, as Minister of Social Development, has contributed significantly in lowering our crime rate and preventing further victims.” - McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Key’s Restraint in Propping up ACT Welcomed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the announcement that ACT MP David Seymour will not be appointed as a Minister....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Only Concession is from the Taxpayer
    Responding to the confidence and supply agreement reached between John Key and Peter Dunne’s United Future Party, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A Tent for Any Tenant
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    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report Seeks Comments
    The Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report and Recommendations was published on 25th September 2014 and the panel are inviting comments. Lucinda Rees from NZ School Speeds, the organisation campaigning for consistent speed limits outside schools, is encouraged...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour’s Review – Terms of Reference Agreed
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    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • The final countdown for Kiwi smokers
    There are just two days left until many smokers stubb out their cigarettes for the last time and embark on Stoptober – New Zealand’s first national quit-smoking month....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose”
    “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose” – Chris Hipkins Labour Senior Whip I would say to all of the caucus and all of the members let's actually hear the arguments from the people who want to be leader,...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
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