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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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    The National Government’s failure to address the housing crisis is leading to dire warnings from ratings agency Standard and Poor’s about the impact on the strength of the economy and New Zealand banks, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Standard ...
    19 hours ago
  • Ihumatao needs action not sympathy
    The Petition of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) calling on Parliament to revoke Special Housing Area 62 in order to protect the Ihumatao Peninsula and Stonefields, has fallen on deaf ears, says the Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio.  ...
    21 hours ago
  • Student visa fraud & exploitation must stop
    The Government must act immediately to end fraud and exploitation of international students that threatens to damage New Zealand’s reputation, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. ...
    2 days ago
  • Government needs to show leadership in reviewing monetary policy
    The Reserve Bank’s struggles to meet its inflation target, the rising exchange rate and the continued housing crisis shows current monetary policy needs to be reviewed - with amendments to the policy targets agreement a bare minimum, says Labour’s Finance ...
    2 days ago
  • Slash and burn of special education support
    Slashing the support for school age children with special needs is no way to fund earlier intervention, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “National’s latest plan to slash funding for children with special needs over the age of 7 in ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s Pasifika MPs must have free vote
      Pacific people will not take kindly to the Government whipping their Pacific MPs to vote in favour of a  Bill that will allow Sunday trading  at Easter, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “We are seeing ...
    5 days ago
  • Maritime Crimes Bill – balancing security and free speech
    Parliament is currently considering the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill, which would bring New Zealand up to date with current international rules about maritime security. The debate around the Bill reflects two valid issues: legitimate counter-terrorism measures and the right to ...
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    6 days ago
  • Teachers’ low wages at the centre of shortages
      Figures that show teachers’ wages have grown the slowest of all occupations is at the heart of the current teacher shortage, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  In the latest Labour Cost Index, education professionals saw their wages grow ...
    6 days ago
  • Government’s Tax Law undermines common law principles
    A tax amendment being snuck in under the radar allows changes to tax issues to be driven through by the Government without Parliamentary scrutiny, says Labour’s Revenue spokesman Stuart Nash. “The amendment allows any part of the Tax Administration Act ...
    6 days ago
  • Government slippery about caption funding
      The Government has refused to apologise for taking the credit for funding Olympic Games captioning when the National Foundation for the Deaf  was responsible, says Labour’s spokesperson on Disability Issues Poto Williams.  “This shameful act of grandstanding by Ministers ...
    7 days ago
  • Default KiwiSaver investments should be reviewed
    The investments of the default KiwiSaver providers should be reviewed to make sure they are in line with New Zealanders’ values and expectations, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Most New Zealanders would be appalled that their KiwiSaver funds are ...
    7 days ago
  • New ministry should look after all children
    The Government has today shunned well founded pleas by experts not to call its new agency the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern says.  “Well respected organisations and individuals such as Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft ...
    7 days ago
  • Ratification okay but we need action
    Today’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement on Climate Change by the end of the year is all well and good but where is the plan, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Government’s failure to plan is planning ...
    1 week ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    1 week ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    1 week ago
  • Auckland’s affordable homes plummet 72% under National
    Comprehensive new data from CoreLogic has found the number of homes in Auckland valued at under $600,000 has plummeted by 72 per cent since National took office, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This data tracks the changes in ...
    1 week ago
  • Govt should face the facts not skew the facts
    National appears to be actively massaging official unemployment statistics by changing the measure for joblessness to exclude those looking online, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Household Labour Force Survey, released tomorrow, no longer regards people job hunting on ...
    1 week ago
  • More voices call for review of immigration policy
    The Auckland Chamber of Commerce is the latest credible voice to call for a review of immigration and skills policy, leaving John Key increasingly isolated, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister is rapidly becoming a man alone. He ...
    1 week ago
  • Better balance needed in Intelligence Bill
    Labour will support the NZ Intelligence and Security Bill to select committee so the issues can be debated nationwide and important amendments can be made, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco circus has no place in NZ
    A High Court judgment proves National’s private prison agenda has failed and the Serco circus has no place in New Zealand correctional facilities, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • State house sell-off a kick in the guts for Tauranga’s homeless
    The Government’s sale of 1124 state houses in Tauranga won’t house a single extra homeless person in the city, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Tauranga, like the rest of New Zealand, has a crisis of housing affordability and homelessness. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Axing Auckland’s affordable quota disappointing
    Auckland Council has given away a useful tool for delivering more affordable housing by voting to accept the Independent Hearing Panel’s recommendation to abolish affordable quotas for new developments, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ae Marika! Māori Party Oath Bill fails
    The Māori Party must reconsider its relationship with National after they failed to support Marama Fox’s Treaty of Waitangi Oath bill, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Police Minister all platitudes no detail
    The Police Minister must explain where the budget for new police officers is coming from after continuously obfuscating, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lost luggage law shows National’s lost the plot
    The Government has proven it can’t address the big issues facing the tourism industry by allowing a Members Bill on lost luggage to be a priority, Labour’s Tourism spokesman Kris Faafoi said. “Nuk Korako’s Bill drawn from the Members’ Ballot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hiding behind the law – but can’t say which law
    National is refusing to come clean on what caused the potential trade dispute with China by hiding behind laws and trade rules they can’t even name, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark. “National admitted today that an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Work visas issued for jobs workless Kiwis want
    Thousands of work visas for low-skilled jobs were issued by the Government in the past year despite tens of thousands of unemployed Kiwis looking for work in those exact occupations, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “A comparison of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis nationwide now paying for housing crisis
    The Government’s failure to tackle the housing crisis is now affecting the entire country with nationwide house price inflation in the past year hitting 26 per cent, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “None of National’s tinkering or half-baked, piecemeal ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR cut piles pressure on Government
    Today’s OCR cut must be backed by Government action on housing and economic growth, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler’s monetary policy statement underlines the limits of Bill English’s economic management. He says growth is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must explain the McClay delay
    Todd McClay must explain why it took two months for him to properly inform the Prime Minister about China’s potential trade retaliation, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark. “This may be one of the most serious trade ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR cut would be vote of no confidence in economy
    If Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler cuts the OCR tomorrow it would show that, despite his loudly-voiced concerns about fuelling the housing market, the stuttering economy is now a bigger concern, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Leading medical experts back Healthy Homes Bill
    Leading medical experts have today thrown their weight behind my Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, saying it will improve the health of Kiwi kids, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “The Bill sets minimum standards for heating, insulation and ventilation ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister, it’s time to listen to the Auditor General
    Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman needs to listen to the independent advice of the Auditor General and review the capital charge system imposed on District Health Boards, says Labour’ Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “The capital charge on DHBs has been ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Peas explain, Minister
    The Minister of Primary Industries needs to explain how the failure of its biosecurity systems led to the Pea Weevil incursion in the Wairarapa, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says “The decision to ban the growing of peas in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PM’s police numbers wrong
    The Prime Minister has said that police numbers will increase in-line with population growth, however, the Police’s own four year strategy clearly states there are no plans to increase police numbers for the next four years, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministerial double speak on GP Fees
      The Associate Health Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga was simply making it up when he claimed today that General Practitioners had been given money in the Budget to lower fees, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “In a reply to a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must close loophole in LVR rules
    The Government must urgently close a loophole in loan to value ratio mortgage restrictions which are stopping homeowners from buying new houses before they sell their old one, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank was forced to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bulk funding means bigger classes
    National’s plan to bulk fund schools can only result in bigger class sizes and a reduced range of subject choices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for John Key to sack his Housing Minister
    It is time for the Prime Minister to take serious and meaningful steps to address the housing crisis – and start by sacking Nick Smith as Housing Minister, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Clearly whatever it is National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coleman puts skids under cheaper GP visits
      Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders with high health needs are missing out on cheaper GP fees as the cost of going to the doctor hits $70, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “The number of practices subsidised to ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Police indifference over dine-and-dash appalling
      The fact that the police couldn’t be bothered investigating a dine–and-dash in Auckland is appalling and shows an indifference that is unacceptable, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “The way it stands these men have got away scot free ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Covenant promises new deal for our children
    A covenant drawn up by Judge Carolyn Henwood  promises an important new deal for New Zealand’s children, says Labour’s spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern.  “It’s important that this covenant is a pledge to all children in this country. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Flagship fund more housing policy on the fly
    The Government’s flagship $1 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund was so rushed it wasn’t considered until after the Budget and announced just a month later, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Documents obtained by Labour through Written Parliamentary Questions show ...
    3 weeks ago

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