web analytics
The Standard

Asset sales: still bad

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 am, May 27th, 2012 - 16 comments
Categories: International, Privatisation, treasury - Tags:

Adding to the canon of reasons and commentators on why you don’t sell your assets (particularly to pay for your maintenance) is an excellent article on The Guardian.

It is an article exhorting the countries of the Arab Spring to resist Western countries pressure to implement neo-liberal economics in the name of ‘freedom’.

It cites sociologists from the universities of Cambridge and Harvard (the world’s top 2 universities) who:

claim to have established a “direct link” between the mass privatisation programmes followed by around half the countries of the region – enthusiastically urged upon them by western economists and western financial institutions – and the “economic failure and corruption that followed”. The more closely the countries followed western advice, and the more they privatised, the worse things became.

As those countries suffered an average 30% GDP slump and mass unemployment in the early 90s following western advice, their governments faced bankruptcy as they no longer had the income from their state assets.  State assets that were by then making a handful of oligarchs very rich and powerful at the expense of the rest of the citizens.  Corruption quickly worsened.

While coming from a world away from our position freedom-wise, it shows the fallacy of asset sales being the solution to pretty much anything.

I say our country is much more democratic, but worryingly Treasury had prepared their report on the “Mixed Ownership Model Bill” before the Select Committee had finished hearing submissions.  Apparently those citizens who took time to present their evidence on why asset sales weren’t a good idea weren’t going to affect the pre-ordained result.

Which hardly seems very democratic.

Best we get on with gathering signatures for the asset sales referendum to make sure we get our say.

16 comments on “Asset sales: still bad”

  1. bbfloyd 1

    “Which hardly seems democratic”… i generally agree with the thrust of your posts ben… and i agree with this one, but please, don’t waste time being polite about the national pseudo governments blatant abuse of democratic systems for their own ends….

    This was the failing of the labour party in the last term…. being far too polite in their criticism of what will prove to be the actions of criminals and charlatans….

    It leaves an impression of a lack of certainty… there can be no uncertainty when it comes to exposing nationals fascist tendencies, which form part of their basic political philosophy(if stealing from the poor to give to the rich can be called philosophy)….

  2. Johnm 2

    You can keep on talking and explaining ad infinitum to National why Asset Sales are crazy until you’re blue in the face but it makes no difference to their ideological Business is everything approach. They aren’t democratic and for the people only for their business mates.

    Basically a waste of breath, Apathetic self interested wealthier ,So long as I am alright, NZers voted this shower in! For them poorer kiwis are a nuisance best swept under the carpet

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Which hardly seems very democratic.

    We live in an elected dictatorship where the people who are supposed to work for us tell us to go get fucked instead. We need binding referendums so that shit like this can be stopped.

    • cin77 3.1

      There’s the problem with the referendum, its non-binding. The entire country could sign it and the assets would still be sold because of Keys mandate

      • tc 3.1.1

        Key has been very clear that election wins equals mandate for asset sales.

        He’s got less than 2 years to deliver on this so he can be rewarded by the business connections for the rest of his life….this is what they are driving towards, fuck the rest of nz and the long tern consequences.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        Yes, which is why I specifically said that we need binding referendums.

        • darkhorse 3.1.2.1

          Draco we don’t need referendums we need labour politicians to say no more than “If they are sold we will buy them back”.

          It is easy simple and it would cost less than the borrowing would have done anyway.

          And labour would finally be seen as having some spine and some vision.

          Referendums are just no-hoping wastes of time – everyone knows what the majority of NZer’s want and what all need – good governance and public ownership of public infrastructure

          I am off to my first labour party branch meeting tomorrow, I intend to make it interesting.

          We need to re-energise democracy – people need to start going to political party branch meetings.

  4. Herodotus 4

    Given that there is only 2 years to go until the next election, that IMO selling only one class of assets that it will get progressively more difficult to sell power stations we will face come 2014 the fact that only 2 of the 4 companies will be able to have been sold. So it will reduce the damage caused by such a poor policy.

  5. lefty 5

    The food market won’t deliver food to those with no money.

    The housing market won’t deliver housing to the poor.

    The vote every three years democracy market won’t deliver power to the people.

    Real democracy would be much deeper and broader.

    It would be present be in the decisions made by the workers determing how things were run in our workplaces, it would be reflected in how our communities functioned in facilitating the day to day interactions with each other, in the decisions that allocated resources, in an education system designed by us all to serve us all and deliver a society that valued thinking and ethics, in our health system that was designed by us to create a healthy environment as its starting point, in a justice system that started with equitable distribution of material goods ,equal access to opportunity and the rejection of privilige, in an agricultural system where the land was owned in common and farmed to produce healthy food for feeding us all rather than pay off bank loans for land transfers, in a foreign policy based on valuing the cultures and needs of our trading partner while carrying out mutually beneficial trading, and in our relationships with each other, especially those who have been colonised and ill treated in the past.

    We won’t get there by voting in the elaborate farce we go through every three years.

    • fascist-anti-fascist. 5.1

      Don’t you think that sounds a bit like communism or some other kind of fantasy-based rubbish? You’d probably achieve more if you focussed on one or two points rather than empty rhetoric about all these changes be made at once. That just won’t happen.

      Everyone gets it – times are tough. But focus on particular examples at least. Your whole point just reads like a boring rant from a self-entitled sloganist.

  6. Dr Terry 6

    Keep this going! I am encouraged by these lines of thinking.(At last, I find that some New Zealanders still do think!)

  7. Why doesn’t labour just come and say sell them and we will buy them back at what ever they were sold for or the current market value – which ever is the lesser.

    This will cost nothing as one way or another the government is going to rack up the cost of the buy back in debt if it doesn’t sell the assets.  And debt will be cheaper for the taxpayer to service than the increase in electricity costs caused by the assets sales.

    Promising a buy back will also kill the market for these assets.  It will spike JK’s guns on this issue and make him look (more) stupid. 

    It will also show that Labour has some grit in its guts – and not before time!

    we don’t need referendums or petitions we just need some politicians in the labour party to develop sufficient stamina to state that anything national does labour will undo – simple cheap effective – and a vote winner

    http://howdaft.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/subsidising-capital-markets-though.html 

    • Roy 7.1

      Excellent idea!

    • fascist-anti-fascist. 7.2

      Well, to start with, your link doesn’t work.

      Secondly, Labour can’t guarantee that they will be able to force people to sell land: that is what the Crown used to do back in the days when it confiscated all that land illegally and were forced to apologize and give it back to Maori, but we would become a banana republic if we tried to run a country with stupid destructive policies like that in the 21st Century.

      Better to get out there and go Greek, like Bill English said to. Right after John Key asked a bunch of wealthy business men why they wouldn’t want to purchase his “smart people”.

      [Change your handle or all your comments will drop into moderation. – B.]

  8. fascist-anti-fascist. 8

    Europe is collapsing into debt crisis because of the kind of big government that steps in to intervene and subsidize everything, frequently using borrowed money to fund unprofitable ventures like buying and selling assets to jostle for political power.

    Democracy is in crisis because young people are convinced they can just demand money without being productive themselves. You can’t expect the government to give you a job or a free university education, without you paying more money as tax. The government of a small nation like NZ has limited capital and it is currently going to pensions and benefits in unsustainable numbers.

    A glut created by excess mortgage debt from baby boomers is behind the economic stagnation that explains why you will struggle to find a job with a sufficient salary to pay off your student debt.

    Stimulating the economy will not work the way it used to during the Clark years and that is why Labour can’t front a strong opposition without some new ideas.

    And your idea to generate this money to pay for spending is? Tax the rich? Um, yeah.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Taxpayer the loser after Government folds
    Steven Joyce today admitted the main exhibition hall at the New Zealand International Convention Centre is 19 per cent smaller than what was described at the time other bidders were edged out of the process, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David… ...
    11 mins ago
  • Govt’s lack of ambition for women
    Yesterday, the Government put out a media release entitled “Number of women leaders continues to grow”. It was to inform us that the percentage of women on state-appointed boards has increased to 41.7%, up from 41.1% in 2013. Well, woo-hoo… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 hours ago
  • Auditor-General exposes Key’s scapegoating of Council
    The National Government's blaming of Auckland Council for the city’s housing crisis has been exposed as scapegoating in the Office of the Auditor-General’s latest report, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Auditor-General says Auckland Council’s part in fixing the… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Reform – not money – needed for meat sector
    The National Government continues to throw good money after bad at the meat industry instead of addressing the fundamental problem of its dysfunctional structure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The latest Primary Growth Partnership grant to the venison… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Government cuts corners on school bus funding
    The safety of children – not cost cutting – should be the main objective behind the Government’s funding of school buses, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Buried in the detail of this year’s Budget are $19 million of funding… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Women the losers under National’s cuts
    National’s poor performance in appointing women to state sector boards is set to get worse with funding cuts to the nomination service provided by the Ministry for Women, Labour’s Woman’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Minister for Women Louise Upston… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Help sought by agencies now asked to help
    The organisation Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has tasked with setting up an emergency hotline for stranded Relationships Aotearoa clients has just lost a bid for a government contract to launch a new national helpline, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Wellington got loud again on climate
    On Monday night, in Wellington, I attended the last of the Government’s climate target consultation meetings. It was quite well attended with maybe 150 people, not bad for a second meeting with very little notice and, as far as I… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 hours ago
  • Final nail in coffin for Solid Energy workers
    Today’s confirmation of job losses at Solid Energy’s Stockton and Spring Creek mines shows the urgent need for new economic opportunities on the West Coast, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our economy can no longer rely on… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Ramadi proves Iraq deployment high risk, low benefit
    The fall of Ramadi and the collapse of the Iraqi Army proves Labour was right to be concerned about the deployment of our troops to Iraq, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “The fall of Ramadi brings IS fighters within… ...
    23 hours ago
  • English admits new taxes on the cards
    Eight months after pledging “no new taxes” at the election Bill English today admitted he would bring in more sneaky taxes along the lines of the border tax, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Not only did National bring in… ...
    1 day ago
  • What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?
    Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping methods. “The Board’s draft 10-year plan document forecasts a cumulative… ...
    1 day ago
  • Teachers turn backs on new professional body
      The fact that just 56 per cent of nominations for the Education Council came from registered teachers shows the profession has turned its back on Hekia Parata’s new professional body, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Answers to written… ...
    1 day ago
  • No spade work done on big building plan
      Only a quarter of the 500 hectares of Crown land the Government wants to use for new homes is understood to be suitable for building on, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This was National’s bold new idea to… ...
    1 day ago
  • National: Seven KiwiSaver cuts in seven years
    National’s campaign of KiwiSaver cuts has reached seven in seven years as it dismantles KiwiSaver block by block, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “KiwiSaver is critical to establishing a savings culture in New Zealand but National has taken a jenga-style… ...
    1 day ago
  • Tolley’s actions contradict reassurances
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has serious questions to answer following the forced closure of Relationships Aotearoa just days after her reassurances she was looking at ways to keep the service operating, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson Annette King says.… ...
    1 day ago
  • SkyCity downsize another broken promise
    The downsized SkyCity Convention Centre does not deliver on the promised iconic world-class centre and shows the true extent of Steven Joyce’s incompetence, Labour Leader Andrew Little said today. “New Zealanders were promised an iconic world-class convention centre that would… ...
    1 day ago
  • Te Arawa partnership model a step closer
    Councils around New Zealand have an opportunity to improve their consultation with Iwi Māori by following Rotorua District Council’s Te Arawa Partnership Model, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Rotorua District Council will today decide whether to adopt… ...
    1 day ago
  • Labour mourns Dame Dorothy Fraser
    Labour Leader Andrew Little said the party is today mourning the loss of the youngest person to join the Labour Party, Dame Dorothy Fraser, who went on to be a stalwart of the Dunedin community and tireless worker for others.… ...
    2 days ago
  • The ultimate scapegoat: PM blames fruit fly for new tax
    The Prime Minister has found the ultimate scapegoat for breaking his promise not to introduce a new tax – the Queensland fruit fly, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “John Key’s first policy upon taking office and assigning himself the… ...
    2 days ago
  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    4 days ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    4 days ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    5 days ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    5 days ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    5 days ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    5 days ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    5 days ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    5 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    5 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    5 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    6 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    6 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    6 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    1 week ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    1 week ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    1 week ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    1 week ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    1 week ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere