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Asset sales: No Dunne deal

Written By: - Date published: 7:37 am, February 22nd, 2012 - 71 comments
Categories: democratic participation, privatisation - Tags:

Asset sales will only happen if Peter Dunne votes for them. It is his choice whether we keep our strategic assets, or lose control of them forever. So, constituents in Dunne’s electorate of Ohariu have established the Citizens’ Select Committee to hear the arguments that the Government will not and a report to Parliament. Make your submission.
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Here’s the Citizens’ Select Committee press release

People’s Power in Ohariu: ‘tying up’ the four state-owned power companies and an Ohariu Citizens’ Select Committee – a challenge to MP Peter Dunne on state asset sales

On Saturday the 18th protesters tied ribbons and balloons to every power pole between Ohariu MP Peter Dunne’s Johnsonville electorate office and Parliament. This was the first step in a ‘People’s Power’ campaign in the Ohariu electorate to challenge Peter Dunne’s support of the National Government’s partial state asset sales by setting up a Citizens’ Select Committee. Since Peter Dunne’s single vote may decide the outcome of the asset sales debate his constituency, and other members of the public, need to be given a forum through which they can have their voices heard.

A youtube video is available on this link,

On the 1st of March a public meeting at the Johnsonville Community Centre, at 7:45pm. NZ Council of Trade Unions economist Bill Rosenberg will be making a presentation on the sale of state assets and the implications of free trade and investment agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). Peter Dunne will be invited to attend the public meeting. This public meeting will appoint the committee members, who will then be calling for public submissions on asset sales and the TPPA. Last year the Government refused a request to hold a Parliamentary Select Committee on the TPPA.

Written submissions will be invited, and oral submissions will be heard at the Johnsonville Community Centre on Thursday 22 March.

“We have heard the strong opposition to asset sales in the Ohariu electorate”, says John Maynard. “Democracy is not just voting every three years and ours is only one example of the campaigns building in opposition to the selling off of state assets. We are encouraging local voters to support any of the campaigns and we will also be assisting those who may want to make written or oral submissions to the Ohariu Citizens’ Select Committee”.

Written submissions of only a few sentences or up to 1000 words can be made anytime before 22 March to:

The Ohariu Citizens’ Select Committee
P O Box 13 367
Johnsonville
Wellington 6037

People’s Power Ohariu time line

Saturday 18 February 1pm:
• Outside Johnsonville shopping mall, Johnsonville Road.
• People’s Power supporters gather for short speeches and music from the Brass Razoo Solidarity Band.
• Move to MP Peter Dunne’s electorate office for squads to begin the tying of ribbons and balloons to every power pole between the Johnsonville electorate office and Parliament Buildings.
• Facebook event avaliable here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/357211707630879/

Thursday 1 March 7.45pm:
• Public Meeting 7.45pm at the Johnsonville Community Centre, corner Frankmoore Ave and Moorefield Road. Presentation by Bill Rosenberg, economist, New Zealand Council of Trade Unions.
• Settling up the Ohariu Citizens’ Select Committee.

Thursday 22 March 7.30pm:
• Hearing of oral submissions. Ohariu Citizens’ Select Committee Johnsonville Community Centre.

April:
• Public release of the report of the Ohariu Citizens’ Select Committee
• Presentation of the report at Parliament

Peoples’ Power Ohariu – further information

In the run-up to last year’s general election Ohariu voters expressed strong opposition to state asset sales. Polling throughout the country in the year up to November’s election consistently showed strong majority opposition to state asset sales. Between 65% and 80% of those polled nation-wide during last year were opposed to any sale of state assets.

In its partial privatisation programme, the Government wants to sell 49% of four electric power companies. However the Government’s stated policy of keeping 51% of the power company shares in Government ownership may be severely undermined by the current secret negotiations of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and possibly the provisions of future free trade and investment agreements.

Both Auckland Law Professor Jane Kelsey and New Zealand Council of Trade Unions economist Bill Rosenberg have written and spoken widely about the problems of the sale of state assets and TPPA and its provisons. One provision of particular concern is the proposed investor/government disputes process – the ability of foreign corporations to sue the New Zealand Government about any New Zealand government action such as a law or administrative decision which may affect their profitability or asset values. Any challenge to New Zealand’s law- making sovereignty will take place in a secretive international tribunal and not in a New Zealand Court.

The United States push for the TPPA to have greater control over State Owned Enterprises may hamstring the activities of SOEs and reduce the benefits New Zealanders receive from state assets.

Any decision among the nine countries which are party to the secret negotiations to settle a TPPA does not require a vote in the New Zealand Parliament or even a Parliamentary Select Committee hearing to become binding on the citizens of New Zealand. It is a Cabinet decision.

Last year the Government refused a request from a number of national organisations for a Parliamentary Select Committee hearing on the TPPA.

The Ohariu Citizens’ Select Commiittee will give a voice to those who wish to make submissions on either or both the sale of state assets and the TPPA. To encourage submissions and to assist the Select Committee’s deliberations written submissions will be invited to be anything from one or two paragraphs up to 1,000 words.

The Ohariu Citizens’ Select Committee is also a process to try to bring a democratic decision making process closer to the people.

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I can only assume that Charles Chauvel will help to pile the pressure on Dunne by sending a letter to everyone in the electorate with a freepost return address of Peter Dunne’s office, inviting his voters to tell him what they think of asset sales.

A billboard like this might help too;

71 comments on “Asset sales: No Dunne deal”

  1. Uturn 1

    If he goes with National, he may lose his job, but can retire comfortably anyway – no real loss to him. He might even get a cushy posting in some partially owned State enterprise, as reward from National.

    If he goes with everyone else, he might get another chance at parliment, but possibly not, so he’ll retire comfortably anyway.

    Convenient acts of redemption only happen in Hollywood movies. The last thing he’ll be doing is listening to constituents. But make a submission anyway; good reasoning educates people.

    Prediction: He’ll side with National, retire from parliament next election, forceably or not.

    • Mike 1.1

      Yeah I think this one issue is make or break for Dunne. If he supports the asset sales he’s gone next election. If he doesn’t then I think Ohariu voters, who have been very good to Dunne, will reward him with an increased majority next election.

      I’ve been thinking that Ohariu voters (including National voters who don’t support asset sales) should be piling the pressure on Dunne, it’s great to see they are starting to do so.

  2. Maybe Petey George’s suspension should be lifted so that he can shed some light on UF’s thinking on the issue and what principles it is applying in considering the matter.

    OTOH maybe not … 

  3. Ben 3

    I’m so very torn on this.

    On the one hand, I find the idea of asset sales abhorrent. On the other, I find the idea of Peter Dunne getting another term in Parliament abhorrent.

    If he votes for asset sales he’ll likely be sacked. If he doesn’t, he’ll probably get another term.

    I’ll be at the public meeting, that’s for sure. I just wish all my Christmases would come at once.

    • muzza 3.1

      Big picture Ben – Play the ball, not the man. In this case though put as big a hit on, as possible, take the man and the ball!

      Smashed em bro!

  4. Gosman 4

    Denigrating people and then expecting them to come around to your way of thinking doesn’t tend to work very well as a strategy I would suggest. Good luck to you in trying to convince Peter Dunne to side with a group of people that don’t support him or his party’s policies. Maybe you could target some National party MP’s as well and try to get them to come on over to the opposition. It is likely to be as effective as this hair brained scheme.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Maybe you could target some National party MP’s as well and try to get them to come on over to the opposition.

      Marilyn Waring.

      • Gosman 4.1.1

        I don’t think she is in Parliament, or even the country possibly, any more.

      • yeshe 4.1.2

        +1 and smiling to Colonel Viper….. but a -10 and sad face to Gosman who really doesn’t understand the nuance involved !

    • Deano 4.2

      It’s not about trying to convince Dunne.

      It’s about generating enough heat about his support of asset sales in his electorate to put him in fear that 700 of his voters will go to Chauvel – all that’s needed for him to be out of Parliament.

      That’s clearly the message of the ‘billboard’

    • Matt 4.3

      “Hair brained” scheme? If you were clever one might construe that as a bit of Dunne humor. Where are those [sic]s when you need them.

    • Mike 4.4

      So you think that none of the 13,000 United Future voters disagree with asset sales? I would say that easily more than half of them would disagree with the sales. (based upon general polls of all voters having a high percentage of people not wanting asset sales you would have to say the numbers are similar for just the UF voters). So rather than “side with a group of people that don’t support him or his parties policies” (They have policies??) he would be siding with voters who voted for his party.

      It’s not about coming on over to the opposition, it’s simply about telling your MP that on this particular issue you want him to take this particular stance. That’s one of the resons we have electorate MP’s. He does work for them after all.

    • mik e 4.5

      Well goose its no better than pushing a failed ideology onto the Majority of people using lies and propaganda.
      You of course don’t mind selling down our assets at 40% to 50%below true market value just because your leader told you so .
      Most likely you are one of the few mums and dad investors that will be happy to buy some of these under valued shares and flog them off for a tidy tax free capital gain to a foreign buyer!

  5. Bored 5

    Dunne represents the very epitome of the self serving behind the throne technocrat. As a student he learnt early that to get elected to office he had merely to buy votes from sectoral interests with promises (bribing the clubs), and moved seemlessly from there to running ALAC on the basis of being a “good political operator” (and known “wowser”). Given a safe seat (to the eternal shame of the party he shitted on) he has won the electoral love of the soon to be ex middle classes of Karori by turning up to support every event ever.

    In Parliament Peter has shown an aptitude for being a grey operator behind the throne, it does not matter who sits on the throne, Helen or John, (or Joe Blow for that matter). Peter can be relied upon, pay the price of a ministery and he will not merely bend over, he will give sound effects too.

    What we are observing is the ultimate grey chameleon. To expect Peter to see the common good before his is not going to happen.

    • Gosman 5.1

      No, certainly not with that attitude anyway. So essentially you agree with me that this whole exercise is a waste of time. Unless that is you just want a forum to vent your frustrations at not being able to stop the policy proceeding. I suppose you could see it as a variation of primal scream therapy for the politically impotent.

      • Bored 5.1.1

        Gos, despite being a total pillock you do did read me right “To expect Peter to see the common good before his is not going to happen.”….however that’s where in your thick headed dulled brained troll way your comprehension misses the point completely. Just to spell it out I too believe that this approach wont work!

        As to primal screams I am absolutely certain you have generated enough of these in your time through your mere existence.

    • Hayden 5.2

      In defence of Karori, it’s in Wellington Central Electorate.

  6. randal 6

    you mean nashnil when the oio chucked it out. It was primal allright but not therapeutic.

  7. ianmac 7

    Mr Dunne would not betray National. Too much to lose and little if anything to gain. Pragmatic decision would be to support the Government.

  8. vto 8

    The asset sales aint going to happen – too much opposition from all over the whole place.

    my 2c says that it will be watered down in some form and only some done this time and the rest pencilled for later terms (read never). A good excuse will be found for this (euro situation perhaps) and they will move on.

    Dunne will follow along and continue to be Mr Malleable Hair.

    • Ross 8.1

      I disagree, the asset sales will most definitely happen.

      Peter Dunne isn’t going to give up his ministerial perks and suddenly grow a conscience. He will support asset sales.

      • vto 8.1.1

        The backdown won’t come through Dunne, it will come through the nats. Bill English is already softening the ground.

        Dunne will keep his perks and baubles and continue on being Mr Nothing.

        The damage to the nats, during this term and future ones, will be too great if they continue. I dont think they will want that sort of damage, particularly given their reduced and falling majority.

  9. just saying 9

    I doubt he will budge, but if he did, the rewards to himself (which are what matter to him) could be much greater, but only if his was a casting vote.

    He could retire a hero – the man who saved our essential, strategic assets etc.. And he could finally, just once, live up to supposed reason for the existence of his party: to act as a brake against egregious government breaches of “common sense”. Acccording to the polls,’common’ sense is strongly opposed to this sale and that opposition is only getting stronger and more organised.

    But could he stand up to Key? Risk what he has for a shot at 15 seconds of glory?

    Either way this issue will define his legacy. If his is the casting vote, he will henceforth and forever be the man who stopped or allowed our power comapanies to be sold.

  10. Brokenback 10

    “In Parliament Peter has shown an aptitude for being a grey operator behind the throne, it does not matter who sits on the throne, Helen or John, (or Joe Blow for that matter). Peter can be relied upon, pay the price of a ministery and he will not merely bend over, he will give sound effects too.

    What we are observing is the ultimate grey chameleon. To expect Peter to see the common good before his is not going to happen.”

    Agreed, the only perceptible characteristic he has is vanity , and therein lies the key to his manipulation.

    In all likely hood this will be his last term as the retirement trough is now to full to ignore, so the best strategy to use against him is the threat of humiliation and perpetual public condemnation.
    I’ll also give him the benefit of the doubt that as he approaches his mortality he may actually be taking count on what his life has amounted to instead of being compelled daily by his lizard brain

    A concerted campaign , & I’ve got a $100 to start it, is to publicise his legacy , should he continue to support the idiotic sale of Hydro generators.

    Peter Dunne , remember me as the man who sold us down the river.
    Peter Dunne , the man who facilitated 50,100,200 % rises in electricity charges.

    etc ,etc ,etc

    • coolas 10.1

      If vanity is Dunne’s ‘only perceptible characteristic’ then maybe he will go for the legacy of being remembered as the hero who crossed the floor and stopped the sale of our power generation.

      • Gosman 10.1.1

        “…the legacy of being remembered as the hero who crossed the floor and stopped the partial sale of a non-controlling interest in New Zealand’s power supply companies.”

        Doesn’t have the same sort of historical ring to it as say ‘ Churchill – Saviour of the British Empire’ would you agree?

        • Deano 10.1.1.1

          has a better ring to it than ‘drummed out of Parliament after being the man who made asset sales happen’

          • Gosman 10.1.1.1.1

            Unlikely to happen I would suggest. The voters of Ohariru had the opportunity to do this at the last election. Why didn’t they take it Deano?

            • Deano 10.1.1.1.1.1

              because, back then, there hadn’t been a concerted campaign in Ohariu on how asset sales stand or fall on Dunne’s vote.

              There is going to be such a campaign, and with most Kiwis opposed to asset sales and Dunne only 700 switched voters from defeat, he would be an idiot to think that his seat wouldn’t be at major risk if he votes for asset sales.

        • coolas 10.1.1.2

          Nah, you’re right. I’m just talking it up to appeal to Dunne’s narcissism and how it might read in Wikipedia for him, legacy and all.

        • mik e 10.1.1.3

          The British Empire fell to bits during and after Churchill’s reign .
          Like your argument is falling to pieces 85% of New Zealand is against asset sales.
          When the assets sales fail to get the price they want it will be over for National if they Don’t change their policy and Peter Dumbe will see the writing on the wall.

    • Gosman 10.2

      “…threat of humiliation and perpetual public condemnation”

      Classic!

      Yeah because that works so well for Politician’s doesn’t it. I’m sure he will be horrified at the thought of a few thousand hard left people harrassing him in future for some policy that most of the population will likely forget about in a few years.

      Hey, maybe you could try this with all politicians who are involved with policies you don’t agree with. I mean if you don’t like National Standards then just harrass Anne Tolley for the rest of her life once she retires. That will teach her.

      • Jackal 10.2.1

        A few thousand hard left people? Try 62% + of the population… that’s 2.8 million people. In a few years if our assets are sold we will start seeing the negative impact from not having their revenue streams. People wont be able to forget it.

        Perhaps you should ask David Garrett vis`-a-vis´ about whether public humiliation and condemnation works well or not?

        Depending on your religious beliefs, it’s not just in this life that people like Peter Dunne will be “harassed” Gosman.

        • muzza 10.2.1.1

          How high the percentage would be against anything the government is trying to do, if they were given a balanced honest view picture in the press, if they read any current affairs all.

          • Gosman 10.2.1.1.1

            Yeah it is all the ‘evil’ media’s fault. They should be forced to tell the truth, (as you see it). That will fix ’em.

            • Draco T Bastard 10.2.1.1.1.1

              The truth can only be one way and no difference in opinion can change that. It’s what makes it the truth.

              • Jackal

                John Key, May 2011: “He’s one academic, and like lawyers, I can provide you with another one that will give you a counter-view”.

                John Key, Feb 2012: “only the judge’s opinion”, and “Yesterday the judge changed that interpretation of the law. You can’t put the blame for that on government ministers.”

                It would appear that for investment bankers, the truth is a very subjective thing.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  That seems to be true of all libertarians – probably because the actual truth always proves them wrong.

        • Gosman 10.2.1.2

          That is so funny!

          So now selling minority stakes in State own enterprises is a sin punishable in Hell is it?

          Well there goes the members of the last Labour led Government who sold off bits of Air NZ.

          Have fun in the eternal fire pits of Hades guy’s.

          • Jackal 10.2.1.2.1

            Little wonder then that John Key is an atheist… no divine retribution to worry about.

            • the pink postman 10.2.1.2.1.1

              My understanding is that he is not an atheist , Like the turncoat he is he deserted his Jewish religion and background and became a Christian.
              His true religion is money ,money , money. i would not trust him for one moment.

            • Mike 10.2.1.2.1.2

              If he is an atheist it’s his one good trait.

          • Draco T Bastard 10.2.1.2.2

            I’m pretty sure that the last Labour led Government bought pieces of AirNZ after the private owners fucked it.

            And Hades doesn’t appear to have any eternal fire pits.

          • mik e 10.2.1.2.3

            Goose manure Air New Zealand wouldn’t exist if it were not for Michael Cullen.

          • mik e 10.2.1.2.4

            G old
            o f
            s achs
            m
            a
            n
            Corrupt goldman sachs advisors helped Greece defraud European banks
            and world economies including NZ $88 million towards bailout.
            Gooseman you weren’t working for them were you.
            It all makes sense now why you are defending the indefensible

      • mik e 10.2.2

        Hopefully the same fate awaits you groseman and you will be ever reminded of your defence of corrupt investment bankers ie bbc world goldman sachs re Greece!

    • Treetop 10.3

      I would like to know who intially came up with the hair brained idea to destroy power assets which generate guaranteed income and give some stability in what people pay for power when 100% government owned?

      For all I know it could have been Dunne.

      • muzza 10.3.1

        It comes from the receivers who own the supposed foreign debt!

        We need to give them all the middle finger, and issue our own bonds to
        build infrastructure of this country!

        • Colonial Viper 10.3.1.1

          No need to issue our own bonds, the Government can just issue our own money, no debt no interest to pay back.

          • Blue 10.3.1.1.1

            Social Credit policies now, CV?

            • Colonial Viper 10.3.1.1.1.1

              Yes, at least in part.

            • Mike 10.3.1.1.1.2

              Beats exponentially increasing debt. Give me one good, valid reason why the government (hence taxpayers) should borrow say for example 100 million New Zealand dollars at interest from a foreign bank and spend it on infrastructure, rather than create 100 million New Zealand dollars themselves at no interest and spend it into the economy on infrastructure ?

          • muzza 10.3.1.1.2

            Thats what I meant….we are are supposedly a sovereign nation with rights to print out own currency, unless that has been signed away! Russel Norman made mention of the possibility, but otherwise I’ve not heard it mentioned in public. Andrew little gets it, but has not spoken publically and you won’t hear the question from the media!

            Gosmans Weimar Republic comments or someother BS remark, in . . . . !

  11. millsy 11

    Peter Dunne has always supported some privatisation of assets.

    UnitedFuture had a policy in 2005 of selling 20% of our SOE’s. The party policy on health is more right than National’s, proposing a sort of voucher system.

    The good news is, that UnitedFuture’s days of when it had 6 MP’s in the House and the balance of power, and Dunne could take advantage of things like the Worm, and the Greens toy throwing, to wheedle himself into a position of power and then arrest any drift by Labour to the left (the right have given him *no* credit for this), are over, and is almost certain to die when their leader leaves Parliament, which will probably be by 2017 at least. Tempting as it may be, I think he will win his seat in 2014, but he will probably retire mid term if National lose.

    • Ben 11.1

      He won’t win his seat in 2014 if the Greens get crafty and don’t stand a candidate in Ohariu.

      I’ll be speaking with my contacts about doing just that.

      • Lanthanide 11.1.1

        The Greens shouldn’t have to “get” crafty by 2014 to realise this. I don’t care about the bellyaching of letting people vote for whom they want and a party being represented in all electorates, the simple fact of the matter is that this government with the support of Dunne are going to put through policies that everyone on the left strongly disagrees with. Refusing even countenance the idea of tactical electoral battles is madness when this is the sort of outcome we get.

      • mik e 11.1.2

        you’d have thought the greens would have already come to that conclsion given the way dunne flushed them down the dunny in2003 and 2005

    • Mike 11.2

      He definitely won’t win his seat if he supports the asset sales.

  12. johnm 12

    One of my friends describes Dunne as “Dunny paper” I agree this self-serving miserable creature will continue to sell this country down the toilet! With the Privatize I Must Privatize man :Shonkey

  13. Treetop 13

    Saying yes to asset sales by Dunne is the final act before United Future implodes. Do me a favour Mr Dunne and resign tomorrow so there can be a by election. Then I will see if those who voted for asset sales have woken up.

    I was not asleep/dreaming when I voted against asset sales on 26 November 2011.

    Do I think that Key and English will wake up and realise how against asset sales their voters are?

    NO & NO

  14. i think dunne is a weak link for nact…(for his own selfish reasons..)

    ..i also think tau henare is an even weaker link…

    ..reasons:..

    ..he gets no respect from national…ignored up on the back row of the backbench..no ministerial role..

    ..he has walked from political parties before…he has ‘form’ in this area..

    ..he would love the drama of it all….it’d be wall to wall tau..he’d be in hog-heaven..

    ..and ..definitely not least..a chance to grab the mana of the person who stopped the asset-sales…

    ..(especially amongst maori….)

    ..and a chance to be written up large in the history-books/posterity…

    ..and should he not do this heroic-act..?..and vote to sell those energy-assets

    ..the direct opposite will happen..

    he will be reviled forever…

    ..(especially amongst maori..)

    ..they are some powerful reasons..i reckon..

    phil-at-whoar.

  15. Santi 15

    The sale is inevitable, The government won the election last November. Enough said.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      I always heard that Death and Taxes are inevitable.

      Asset sell offs – they’ve never been on the list.

    • mik e 15.2

      santi there is one Clause and that is if the world share market goes into another bear market as is highly likely given the worlds turmoil at the moment its more likely than not!

    • Mike 15.3

      Not inevitable at all. All it would take other than Dunne changing his stance, would be a by-election in a low National Party majority electorate like Waitakere, Christchurch Central, Waimakariri, Auckland Central, etc.

      But yes 100% going ahead at this moment.

  16. Future Mp 16

    My mum and dad can hardly afford GP visits, let alone invest in assets they already own… So, isn’t this reverse ‘robyn hoodism?’ Taking the poor’s share off them and giving to the rich???

    · So the status quo is that we, the people of New Zealand, all own a share of the assets. The power companies are answerable to us. If 49% of our assets are sold, won’t the power companies then be answerable to their shareholders? How will they ensure that they get a return? Charge the rest of us extra for power! The poor will get poor, the rich will get richer.

    o John Key has already shown that he finds making the value (cost) of the 49% of investments very high, more important than upholding the crown’s obligation to the treaty.

    · At the moment, living costs are getting higher and higher, how can the National led government ensure that our assets won’t go overseas. We are already in the midst of the second wave of colonisation. Our land is already being permanently taken away from us. As soon as an overseas investor offers 2x the amount that someone invested, their gone. AND WE WILL NEVER GET THEM BACK.

    · So, if this asset sales idea is such a good one & is going to fix our schools… Why the talk about potentially devastating education policies such as increasing teacher:student ratios & charter schools. Would these policies be implemented then reversed once the economy became better?

  17. Dunne is too much in the pocket of key and co,to stand up and be counted after he told
    the public he was against asset sales,words mean nothing to leeches of the tax payers’
    once they get in the beehive,it also looks like the maori party have also joined dunne
    in the same cowardace camp of ‘shame’.
    These are strategic assets,assets that are the heart and soul of every community,every
    tax payer of nz,they are tax payer owned and not some individuals property that has
    come back to nz with the intention of destroying nz’ers way of life,their livelihood,
    their security,however we are seeing at the moment that all of those needs are
    being eroded by this goldman sachs man who is ultimetly here with a plan
    perputued long before his arrival.
    There is excellent evidence that supports my concerns and just typing
    in john key’s name and aotearoa,will present valid information.
    The path that key and co have us on cannot support growth,cannot support
    jobs,cannot support any financial state independance at all,its a path to
    oblivion and once again the population has not learned from many
    lessons of previous national govts that have destroyed the fabric,thrown people
    out of jobs,run up enormous debts while taking income off those who can least
    afford it,when the hell will kiwis learn? key has managed to ‘con’ the public
    with a smile and this is just not good enough for those that recognise his
    other mask.

  18. richardc 18

    Sadly, I think the asset sales agenda is nothing to do with politics or economics. It is simply an opportunity to shift public wealth into a few private pockets. So the National Party will push this as far as they can this term and not care about being voted out in two years time. The money will be in the bank and continue to flow in for the forseeable future.
    I do hope that there are a few National MPs who find the idea a little troublesome and who will create some discomfort in caucus.
    It is important that we keep the pressure on and keep the discussion going as widely as possible.

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    John Key’s position on his lawyer’s offshore trusts lobbying has changed yet again with the Prime Minister admitting he told Todd McClay that Ken Whitney had approached him, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Yet again information has to be… ...
    6 hours ago
  • Key needs to stop shifting and come clean
    John Key’s position on his lawyer’s offshore trusts lobbying has changed yet again with the Prime Minister admitting he told Todd McClay that Ken Whitney had approached him, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Yet again information has to be… ...
    6 hours ago
  • Revolutionary art in Palmerston North
    Last night I was a judge at the May Day Cup, an annual theatrical event which celebrates International Workers Day. The event was organised by stalwart unionist Dion Martin and included a range of performers competing for the Cup. This year… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day ago
  • Revolutionary art in Palmerston North
    Last night I was a judge at the May Day Cup, an annual theatrical event which celebrates International Workers Day. The event was organised by stalwart unionist Dion Martin and included a range of performers competing for the Cup. This year… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day ago
  • Andrew Little visits Zaatari refugee camp
    Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Little, has visited the largest Syrian refugee camp in the world, Zaatari in Jordan, a day after seeing New Zealand troops at Camp Taji in Iraq. Mr Little spent several hours in the camp, meeting… ...
    2 days ago
  • Com Com’s Z Energy decision anti-competitive
    The Commerce Commission’s decision to allow Z Energy to buy Caltex can only undermine the competition in the fuel industry that is needed to ensure New Zealanders pay the lowest price for petrol, Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Com Com’s Z Energy decision anti-competitive
    The Commerce Commission’s decision to allow Z Energy to buy Caltex can only undermine the competition in the fuel industry that is needed to ensure New Zealanders pay the lowest price for petrol, Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.… ...
    2 days ago
  • OAG raps Govt over the knuckles on HNZ contracts
    The Government has been rapped over the knuckles by the Auditor General over its failure to properly manage $2.3m of contracts and conflicts of interest in relation to a merchant banker advising them on the state house sell-off, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • OAG raps Govt over the knuckles on HNZ contracts
    The Government has been rapped over the knuckles by the Auditor General over its failure to properly manage $2.3m of contracts and conflicts of interest in relation to a merchant banker advising them on the state house sell-off, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Brownlee must step in as EQC spin exposed
    Gerry Brownlee needs to step in after EQC’s desperate spin in the wake of yesterday’s landmark settlement has been exposed by its own documents, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Yesterday’s settlement showed that thousands of homes may not have… ...
    3 days ago
  • Brownlee must step in as EQC spin exposed
    Gerry Brownlee needs to step in after EQC’s desperate spin in the wake of yesterday’s landmark settlement has been exposed by its own documents, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Yesterday’s settlement showed that thousands of homes may not have… ...
    3 days ago
  • OIO must explain Argentine pollution prosecutions
    The Overseas Investment Office (OIO)has questions to answer about how it safeguarded our sensitive land by allowing foreign investors with criminal prosecutions to purchase Onetai Station in Taranaki, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe.   “Rafael and Federico Grozovsky… ...
    3 days ago
  • Aussie banks in NZ should ban lending to offshore buyers
    ASB, Westpac and ANZ must confirm whether or not they will continue to fund the over-heated property market by lending to non-resident offshore home buyers, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This issue has arisen because their parent banks have… ...
    3 days ago
  • Aussie banks in NZ should ban lending to offshore buyers
    ASB, Westpac and ANZ must confirm whether or not they will continue to fund the over-heated property market by lending to non-resident offshore home buyers, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This issue has arisen because their parent banks have… ...
    3 days ago
  • Murray McCully needs to come clean over Tokelau ferry debacle
    Foreign Minister Murray McCully needs to come clean on why a New Zealand aid-funded vessel intended to service the Tokelau Islands is delayed, over budget and failed its sea trials, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “The new ship… ...
    3 days ago
  • Full independent inquiry needed to save New Zealand’s reputation
    Revelations that John Key's personal lawyer and trust advisor led a lobbying campaign to shut down a review of New Zealand's foreign trust regime makes the case for a full scale independent inquiry a matter of urgency, Labour's Finance spokesperson… ...
    3 days ago
  • Full independent inquiry needed to save New Zealand’s reputation
    Revelations that John Key's personal lawyer and trust advisor led a lobbying campaign to shut down a review of New Zealand's foreign trust regime makes the case for a full scale independent inquiry a matter of urgency, Labour's Finance spokesperson… ...
    3 days ago
  • Andrew Little visits NZ troops in Iraq and refugees in Jordan
    Opposition Leader Andrew Little has visited New Zealand troops at Camp Taji, Iraq. Mr Little also met with Iraqi Defence Minister Khaled Al-Obedih and senior military officials from the Coalition forces in Iraq. He now heads to Jordan to see… ...
    4 days ago
  • Workplace death toll still too high
    It’s a damning indictment on the Government that as workers gather to remember their lost workmates on Worker’s Memorial Day, New Zealand’s workplace death toll is still far too high, Labour’s Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “At… ...
    4 days ago
  • Workplace death toll still too high
    It’s a damning indictment on the Government that as workers gather to remember their lost workmates on Worker’s Memorial Day, New Zealand’s workplace death toll is still far too high, Labour’s Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “At… ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister must come clean on implications of landmark settlement
    Gerry Brownlee has urgent and serious questions to answer in the wake of today’s landmark EQC settlement, which potentially has major implications for thousands of Cantabrians, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. ...
    4 days ago
  • Mossack Fonseca links to OIO approvals must be investigated
    The Minister for Land Information must investigate and disclose how many applications to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) have links to Mossack Fonseca, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe. “Labour can now reveal the OIO approved an application from… ...
    4 days ago
  • Mossack Fonseca links to OIO approvals must be investigated
    The Minister for Land Information must investigate and disclose how many applications to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) have links to Mossack Fonseca, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe. “Labour can now reveal the OIO approved an application from… ...
    4 days ago
  • Govt complacency leaves RB no room to cut
    The Government has put the economy in a holding pattern, leaving the Reserve Bank Governor with little room to manoeuvre as he tries to balance a rampant housing market with non-existent inflation, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler… ...
    4 days ago
  • Govt complacency leaves RB no room to cut
    The Government has put the economy in a holding pattern, leaving the Reserve Bank Governor with little room to manoeuvre as he tries to balance a rampant housing market with non-existent inflation, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler… ...
    4 days ago
  • Dam not out of doldrums yet
    Ruataniwha Dam promoters Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) still has hurdles to clear and a lot of work to do before ratepayers and taxpayers will have confidence in the scheme, says Labour’s MP for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti Meka Whaitiri.“We need sustainable… ...
    4 days ago
  • New study shows Smith’s insulation fails Kiwi kids
    A new Otago University study shows Nick Smith’s inadequate insulation standards will see hundreds of children unnecessarily hospitalised for housing-related illnesses every year, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. ...
    5 days ago
  • Government out of touch on foreign trusts
    John Key’s poor handling of the foreign trusts issue is starkly revealed in a poll today which shows the majority of Kiwis are worried about the country being a tax haven and almost half think the issue has been badly… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government out of touch on foreign trusts
    John Key’s poor handling of the foreign trusts issue is starkly revealed in a poll today which shows the majority of Kiwis are worried about the country being a tax haven and almost half think the issue has been badly… ...
    5 days ago
  • Biggest trade deficit for 7 years a warning for Govt
    The biggest trade deficit for seven years shows the Government can’t be so complacent about the economy and must take action to diversify and encourage exports, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The biggest driver has been the fall in… ...
    5 days ago
  • Biggest trade deficit for 7 years a warning for Govt
    The biggest trade deficit for seven years shows the Government can’t be so complacent about the economy and must take action to diversify and encourage exports, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The biggest driver has been the fall in… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government’s record on climate change under fire
      The Royal Society’s latest report on climate change has made it clear that it believes the Government’s current approach to climate change is inadequate, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Megan Woods.  “The report, ‘Transition to a low-carbon economy… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government’s record on climate change under fire
      The Royal Society’s latest report on climate change has made it clear that it believes the Government’s current approach to climate change is inadequate, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Megan Woods.  “The report, ‘Transition to a low-carbon economy… ...
    5 days ago
  • Mainfreight director agrees with Labour on rail funding
    Richard Prebble – in the past accused of ruining rail and now a director of Mainfreight – agrees with Labour that secure funding for KiwiRail is the best way to minimise congestion in our major cities, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson… ...
    5 days ago
  • Mainfreight director agrees with Labour on rail funding
    Richard Prebble – in the past accused of ruining rail and now a director of Mainfreight – agrees with Labour that secure funding for KiwiRail is the best way to minimise congestion in our major cities, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government to Reserve Bank – Rock or Hard Place?
    The Government’s complacency on the housing crisis and the economy has put the Reserve Bank Governor in a no-win position as he contemplates the OCR tomorrow, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler is stuck between a rock and… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government to Reserve Bank – Rock or Hard Place?
    The Government’s complacency on the housing crisis and the economy has put the Reserve Bank Governor in a no-win position as he contemplates the OCR tomorrow, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler is stuck between a rock and… ...
    5 days ago
  • John Key’s land tax could push up rents
    A land tax proposed by John Key as the answer to the housing crisis could push up rents and risks having no effect on skyrocketing prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Government needs to explain why the thousands… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government should ban foreign speculators
    The Prime Minister’s musings about a land tax on non-resident buyers is just more tinkering, and the Government should just ban foreign speculators as the Australian Government has done, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This is classic John Key.… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government must protect Pharmac as promised
    John Key must tell New Zealanders that he will not bow to pressure from wealthy drug companies or their US negotiators and put Kiwi lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.   “News reports today have the drug… ...
    6 days ago
  • Action not words, needed on housing speculation
    John Key should be taking action to crack down on speculation in our overheated housing market, instead of random musings on land tax, Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said.  "John Key suggested today on TVNZ's Q and A programme that… ...
    1 week ago
  • Tertiary education cost rising 7x faster than inflation
    New figures show the cost of tertiary education is rising seven times faster than inflation, putting post-school education out of the reach of many, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.  “Figures release this week show how much more students or their… ...
    1 week ago
  • Buying Lotto is not an arts funding strategy
    The Government must rethink the way the arts are funded after falling Lotto sales has left the sector with declining resources and increasingly vulnerable, Labour’s Arts, Culture and Heritage spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.  “Our arts sector is in a sorry… ...
    1 week ago
  • Parents hit in pocket by Government under-funding
    Parents and families are left forking out more and more for their kids’ education as a direct result of Government under-funding, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “The latest data shows that the cost to families of primary and secondary… ...
    1 week ago
  • Scientists ‘gasping for oxygen’ under National
     Steven Joyce's claims to be creating a science and innovation hub in New Zealand are a sham based on PR fluff, says Labour's Science and Innovation Spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “A damning critique of the science funding model by the New… ...
    1 week ago

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