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Assets sales make Crown a billion poorer

Written By: - Date published: 9:22 am, November 29th, 2013 - 122 comments
Categories: class war, privatisation - Tags:

In the Budget, the Government said asset sales would increase the net worth of the Crown by half a billion dollars because eager mums and dads were going to snap the shares up for more than they were worth on the government books. As we know, it didn’t quite work out that way. The Greens have updated the Budget and found the impact is $1.5 billion worse than expected.

The Greens have plugged the real sales proceeds figures into the Budget table and added in the sales costs that National mysteriously forgot to include.

The results:

The sales that were meant to pocket $6b have only netted $3.9b.

Rather than ‘only’ increasing the deficit by $180m by 2017, as the Budget projected, the asset sales so far will actually make it $650m worse. Mainly because the government is saving far less on borrowing than it thought it would, because it has been pocketing less money from the sales.

Rather than increasing the net worth of the Crown by $520m, they’ve decreased it by $959m. Whoops. That’s down to a combination of the bigger deficit hit and getting less for the companies than they were valued at on the Crown’s books, not more as they hoped.

If the sale of Genesis goes ahead, then it will get $120m worse.

Remember, that’s just by 2017. Because we keep on losing the dividends forever, it just gets worse the further you go into the future.

Key, as is his wont, has dissed the Green figures without any real reason. I don’t see him putting up his own numbers either. Because one thing is for sure – the asset sales have earned the Government a hell of a lot less money than they thought it would, and the sales have cost more, yet we’re still losing just as much in dividends. How Key can claim that’s a success and keep a straight face, I don’t know.

122 comments on “Assets sales make Crown a billion poorer”

  1. Peter 1

    Would Helen Clark have got away with Key’s “I have not looked at the figures ….. but they are rubbish”.

    Shonkey as always!

  2. wtl 2

    The bottom line is National sold MRP and Meridian for ~30% less than their valuations, netting only $3.6B for 49% of both when valuations had 49% of the companies at $5.1B. This is before sale costs are subtracted. The asset sales have been a complete joke.

    • Sisko 2.1

      Maybe they were worth $5.1 billion before NZ Power was announced. It’s pretty stupid to argue that they were sold too cheap when all there companies are trading at or below their listing price. You can complain about the fees, but not the listing price.

    • Sisko 2.2

      Maybe they were worth $5.1 billion before NZ Power was announced. It’s pretty stupid to argue that they were sold too cheap when all there companies are trading at or below their listing price. You can complain about the fees, but not the listing price.

    • Sisko 2.3

      Maybe they were worth $5.1 billion before NZ power was announced. It is hard to argue that the price of the sale was too low when all three companies are currently trading at or below their sale price on the share market . You can complain about the fees, but with hindsight the sale prices look to have been decent for the government.

      • wtl 2.3.1

        If you are in charge of selling some assets for your company, good luck explaining to your boss/shareholders that you just sold $5.1B of assets for 30% less than their valuation. The obvious thing to do if you are not going to get a good return is TO NOT SELL THEM.

        • Bazar 2.3.1.1

          “good luck explaining to your boss/shareholders that you just sold $5.1B of assets for 30% less than their valuation.”

          Thats just it, you seem to think that because something is valued high in the books, that makes it true.

          We could of had the power companies valued at 10 billion if we so pleased. That doesn’t mean they were actually worth 10 billion, it was only a guess.

          But i’ll concede that it was probably worth more than the price given, but NOT after Labour’s share price vandalism.

          Then again i’m not surprised that people here would rather build an economy based on lies and pretend wealth.

          • wtl 2.3.1.1.1

            See 8.1.1 below.

            The valuation is a key part of the sale process – you need to know how much you expect to get before you can decide to sell. If you are getting anywhere near what you expect, you shouldn’t just go ahead and sell – that’s just stupid.

            I have no idea how all you RWNJs can claim to be ‘business-savvy’, you don’t even know the first thing about how to sell something.

      • Sisko 2.3.2

        Sorry – page crashed with first two posts – I thought they weren’t submitted

        • framu 2.3.2.1

          yes – the site is being seriously weird

          [Akismet is playing up and throwing lots of comments into moderation - MS]

    • infused 2.4

      Yeah, thank Labours asset sale sabotage for this one. Bunch of fucking idiots.

      • wtl 2.4.1

        LOL. Let’s see Nokia was trying to sell their phone business to Microsoft. And then Apple said, “We will aggressively compete against all phones sold by Microsoft”. So should Nokia do?

        1) Sell the phone business to Microsoft for a rock bottom price and whine that Apple is being mean?
        2) Deal with it, doing what is necessary to ensure the sale price is reasonable (or stop proceeding with the sale). It’s just part of doing business.

        How the f**k do anyone of you think you can run a business?

        • Draco T Bastard 2.4.1.1

          How the f**k do anyone of you think you can run a business?

          They’re too ignorant to know better and when they or their leaders fuck up they’ll make excuses that invariably blame someone else.

      • framu 2.4.2

        so your saying the shouldve kept their policy ideas secret?

        its a fucking political issue you fool, national knows it, labour knows it, everyone knows it – going around blaming the opposition is a bullshit weak excuse. Especially when theres a whole lot more affecting the price here.

        I guess you also blame the opposition for bills shit accounting as well?

        If you were going to invest in asset sales without asking “hmm what might happen if the govt changes at some point in the future?” your an idiot

      • dave 2.4.3

        blame labour that is rich it is up to the government and john key to provide the political management the labour/ greens are only doing there job thats why there called the oposition

        • Dumrse 2.4.3.1

          Doing their job is right, being a bunch o f sabotaging cunts.

          • Jesus Wept 2.4.3.1.1

            Dear boy. Medication.

          • felix 2.4.3.1.2

            Sabotage? My dear boy you must be joking.

            The sabotage began in the 80s when the neoliberals in labour decided that the electricity network built by generations of kiwis to provide ourselves with essential energy could instead be operated as a business to make money off kiwis, and thus the boring old NZED became the shiny new Electricorp.

            The sabotage continued in the 90s when the neoliberals in national decided that having just one electricity company was still too boring, so they split it into a bunch of new ones. They had some to make the electricity, and some to get it to your house, and even some pretend ones that don’t really do anything except charge money for sending out bills.

            The next bit of sabotage was to take those companies and sell them overseas. The neoliberals in national made a start in the 90s but they were briefly interrupted for 9 years. The program of sabotage continues today.

            Regulating against price-gouging isn’t sabotage, and neither is saying what you’ll do after you’re elected.

            NZ Power is the first step in undoing the sabotage of the last 30 years.

  3. Chooky 3

    What a disgrace for John Key’s and Bill English’s National Party (mis)management of New Zealanders assets and money!!!

    …..I hope this is sheeted home in a thousand different ways leading up to the next election.

    Good on the Greens for calling this National financial mismanagement disaster out !

    ….where is the pincer action from the other opposition parties?….especially Labour ….they should be making hay out of this!

    • wtl 3.1

      If you are in charge of selling some assets for your company, good luck explaining to your boss/shareholders that you just sold $5.1B of assets for 30% less than their valuation. The obvious thing to do if you are not going to get a good return is TO NOT SELL THEM.

  4. thatguynz 4

    “How Key can claim that’s a success and keep a straight face, I don’t know.”

    Of course you know James – because the success wasn’t about gaining a big return for the people of New Zealand… It was twofold – a naive doctrinaire neo-liberal belief (or commitment to the IMF/WB) that productive assets are best held in private rather than public hands, and a nice chunk of fees to a sector that our “dear leader” is all too fond of.

    • Murray Olsen 4.1

      And that is all that needs to be said about the asset thefts. From the Tory point of view, they are an incredible success, because more of the common wealth has been shifted into the hands of the right people. Whether there is a case to be made in terms of sensible business is irrelevant. This is not business. It is class war. Why do we keep arguing on their terms?

  5. Disraeli Gladstone 5

    I do think it’s a tad unfair to use the $5-7 billion figure as something to hit National over the head with. That’s was meant to be the final figure after all sales. Genesis hasn’t been sold yet. Solid Energy can’t be sold now. Their figure was probably actually in the right ball park.

    There’s so many other things that are genuinely and horribly wrong about the sale to hit National over the head with instead.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      “Solid Energy can’t be sold now.”

      As a result of National’s own incompetence. You don’t get to say “it isn’t National’s fault the money didn’t add up, they couldn’t sell Solid Energy” when the reason they can’t sell Solid Energy is entirely their own making.

      • dave 5.1.1

        blame labour that is rich it is up to the government and john key to provide the political management the labour/ greens are only doing there job thats why there called the oposition

  6. emergency mike 6

    Surely it’s time for the opposition to ressurect Key’s own “Show us the money” line and use it against him.

    National, a constant stream of failure to deliver on promises.

  7. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7

    You know that “getting less for the companies than they were valued at on the Crown’s books” just means that the value in the books was over-inflated, right?

    I have valued the drawing of a crocodile I have just made at a million dollars. Therefore, I am a millionaire.

    • Pascal's bookie 7.1

      Reckon the government’s way of going about this sale had no effect whatsoever on the price it recieved gormless?

      For examples.

      If the Crown had sold these assets when people had moar money floating about?

      If they spaced them out so they weren’t dumping very similar stocks into the market over a short time period?

      basically, efficient market hypothesis is pretty much nonsense. It one sense it’s a useless tautolgy, but that’s it’s good side.

      • Plan B 7.1.1

        Why create in your head a comparison that is simply not comparable to make a point that is pointless. Your crocodile drawing does not provide a return except when sold, therefore in your invented world, yes the sale price determines the value. If however people paid to view the crocodile drawing you could determine the value of the crocodile to you by way of how much money you earn per day less expenses. I guess in the end it would all depend on how good your crocodile drawing was. But crocodile drawings are not a useful way of helping us all understand the value of hydro dams to New Zealanders.

    • Lanthanide 7.2

      “You know that “getting less for the companies than they were valued at on the Crown’s books” just means that the value in the books was over-inflated, right?”

      Yes, so it means you shouldn’t go around making policy on dodgy figures, and when it becomes obvious the figures won’t pan out, you should change your policy to reflect reality, not blindly charge onwards.

      • Bazar 7.2.1

        “Yes, so it means you shouldn’t go around making policy on dodgy figures, and when it becomes obvious the figures won’t pan out, you should change your policy to reflect reality, not blindly charge onwards.”

        In a way they did. They lowered the share price of the company to better reflect reality, rather than blindly selling them at what the books listed them at.

        Oh i’m sorry, did you mean they should of kept the companies listed at unrealistic prices and stopped the sale midway.
        Should of made that clear.

        “Once the government realized the assets were overpriced, they should of stopped the sale process.”
        There, fixed it for you.

        • Lanthanide 7.2.1.1

          Um, Bazar, the purpose of the sale, and why we were told it was good, is because it would bring in heaps of money for the government.

          When that was no longer true, the appropriate response, given the stated aim of the plan (to raise $5-7bn) is not “oh, sell them cheaper then”, which is what you are suggesting, and what the government did. The appropriate response is to change the policy, eg stop the sales until such time as they could generate the promised $5-7bn in returns.

          • Tracey 7.2.1.1.1

            Well said. Need a Panadol for that pounding from the banging against the brick wall? Everything is always labour’s fault even when it isn’t

          • Bazar 7.2.1.1.2

            This will be the last time i say this, but national never said anything about making lots of money.

            It wasn’t about selling the assets for profit.
            It was about financing.

            I have never seen a national MP, and certainly not john key or bill english state they were selling the assets just to make money.
            Money raised has been mentioned, but usually as an estimate of how much would be raised, not as some target goal post to be met. The estimate was 5-7 billion, which was before labour and Tiwai Point pulled their stunts. So perhaps they would of made 5 billion+ otherwise.

            Its always people who never understood the asset sales, that keep thinking that its about making money. Or perhaps its because its an easier concept to rally against profits, then it is to rally against financing.

            This’ll be the 3rd and last time i point out that the asset sales were not about making cash on this topic.

            • ghostrider888 7.2.1.1.2.1

              Excellent, cos’ like, 88 is a number of comments we are quite partial to round these here parts, pilgrim.

            • Tat Loo (CV) 7.2.1.1.2.2

              Of course the asset sales were not about making cash. They were about transferring valuable assets to foreign investors at low cost to them, and major loss to us.

            • Lloyd 7.2.1.1.2.3

              I am aware of several people who have told me they voted National not only because of that nice man, John Key, but also because the Nats were going to square the books by selling off the power companies.

              They believed that the government would get squillions from selling those companies, and obviously they would get tax cuts because of the sell off of these companies that had cost the government a lot of money.

              Reality doesn’t count, its what the voters believe that counts.

              They believed the Nats said they would make lots of money selling those companies.

              • Tat Loo (CV)

                “Reality doesn’t count, its what the voters believe that counts.”

                That’s good electoral common sense. Not always in ample supply.

            • Lanthanide 7.2.1.1.2.4

              I’m glad it’s the last time you’ll say that, because it isn’t actually true.

  8. Appleboy 8

    What a pathetic analogy. your personal valuation of your crocodile drawing is a little different to the independent valuation of power companies by financial institutions. Moronic.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 8.1

      Appleboy, I cannot see anyone else talking about crocodile drawings, so I will assume that your comment is directed at me. The software has an helpful reply feature which you may find useful to avoid confusion like that I have momentarily experienced.

      1. Can we agree that if the Crown got the market value of the assets it has sold, it has lost nothing?
      2. What is it that the financial institutions were doing when they valued the power companies?
      3. Was it trying to establish their market value?
      4. Of actual sale price and valuation, which is a truer indication of market value?

      • wtl 8.1.1

        Irrelevant. When you decide to sell something, the valuation is an important part of that decision to sell. For your crocodile drawing example, if you really thought your crocodile drawing was worth a million dollars and but the highest offer was 30% less i.e. $700K, you could:

        A) Accept the price the buyer is offering regardless.
        B) Refuse to accept the offer and instead re-evaluate the sale process. e.g. Was my valuation correct? Is there something I can do to make the drawing more attractive to a buyer? Should I be selling the drawing in a different way? Were all prospective buyers aware of the sale? Should I hold on to the drawing for a longer time and sell it later?

        Option A might make sense if you was desperate for cash or if the asset (the crocodile drawing) was losing money. However, if the drawing was providing a good return (e.g. people paying to see it), you would be utterly incompetent if you immediately chose to go for A without some re-
        evaluation. After all, the decision to sell the asset would have been made with the valuation in mind. If you are going to sell the asset regardless of price, why even bother getting a valuation?

        • Bazar 8.1.1.1

          But the painting was sold at $700
          It was well advertised, it was packaged as best possible, even sitching up a deal with the smelter to make buying easy.

          Instead you still couldn’t get the 1 million you wanted, so after all this effort sold it to the highest bidder for $700k

          Did the bidder get the $1 million dollar paining for cheap?
          He doesn’t tihnk so, hes offering to sell the paining to anyone for just $599k (Based on current share price of $2.14)

          Not a single person believes that painting is worth $1 million dollars.
          Holding onto that painting doesn’t make it more valuable.
          “Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it” Publilius Syrus – 1 Century BC

          Even back then they could understand that basic concept.
          Believing something is worth more then what anyone will pay for it is what we call naive.
          Otherwise i do have a painting i value worth 1 million dollars, and i’ll sell it to you for $10k, this week only.

          • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1.1.1

            “it was packaged as best possible”

            No it wasn’t. The whole design of the policy has been about how to get sales made without damaging the government’s popularity too much. Maximising the Crown’s return from the sales has been a secondary consideration at best.

          • wtl 8.1.1.1.2

            You are missing the point of my post. Regardless of what the painting is ‘really worth’, the decision to sell the drawing was made assuming the sale would net around ~$1 million. If you aren’t going to get ~$1 million, then you don’t just proceed with the sale, you re-evaluate whether it is worthwhile to sell, especially since the drawing is still giving me a healthy return.

            Of course, National did nothing of the sort.

            • Bazar 8.1.1.1.2.1

              You’re under the assumption that the sole goal of selling the painting was to raise money.

              Its been explained serveral times that the goal wasn’t just about raising money, its more of a lowering of debt/trasnfer of finances

              Selling these power generating assets to kiwi’s, and using those funds to build new things

              To quote from http://www.national.org.nz/mixed-ownership.aspx

              “This will broaden the pool of investments for New Zealand savers and deepen capital markets, helping Kiwi companies access the funds they need to grow.

              Listing on the stock exchange will also provide stronger commercial discipline, transparency, and greater external oversight for these companies. And it will give each company access to an alternative pool of capital for growth, other than the Government.”

              Now if the painting is $1 million, $700k, or even $1.4m, that doesn’t change the goals of the asset sale scheme.

              But again, if you’ve only ever seen the asset sales, as assets for cash, you’ve only been looking at 1 part of the economy, a single transaction.

              As key pointed out during the debates of the election (When the public were voting on the future government), he pointed out that we currently have kiwisaver and retirement funds investing in Australia because there is nothing for them to invest in here.

              This just created a 3.9 billion dollar investment in nz with funds that could quite easily have be invested in promoting the australian economy instead.

              The government has now 3.9 billion they can spend on other things, or just keep debt low.
              Personally if it was about making money, or reducing debt, i’d of thought it a stupid idea. Because anyone can see you can’t make money long term selling assets, and the rate of return is greater then international borrowing rates.

              What this can do is increase the investment in NZ, while forging the public assets to conform to public scrutiny. The latter is also very important because state owned assets have a tendency to underperform, fall victim to political goals, or worse, fall apart (See solid state energy, New Zealand Rail Limited).

              • Pascal's bookie

                Think it through.

                They used to be 100% NZ owned. They are now around 15% foreign owned with returns going off shore. Few people think that number isn’t going to get bigger as time goes on.

                The ‘investment’ in NZ is being done where? By the govt doing shit with the money it raised from the sale, on things it would have done anyway. There has been no investment into the MOMs.

                The money paid for the MOM shares would have otherwise been doing what? Sitting under a mattress perhaps? Earning money from overseas investments? Going into companies maybe?

                What this does is takes investment money, and spends it on things the government would be doing anyway. It is saying that the private sector in NZ is so woeful that investors have nothing better to do with their money than swap it for some govt stock so that the govt can spend that money on schools and stuff.

                So the govt loses out on the returns and saves on the interest. Treasury reckons that it loses on that swap, certainly in the medium term.

                The idea that the MOM policy would stimulate people towards the NZX and away from property seems to have been a complete fizzer, unsurprisingly.

                The hodge podge of reasons National gave for the policy don;t really add up. they remind me of the reasons the Bush admin trotted out for invading Iraq. Oh it’s this, and that, and this other thing! None of which really seem to be worth the candle.

                At the end of the day, they sold some stakes in some companies, in a rush and structured in away that didn’t maximise the return to the Crown for those assets.

                All else is fluff.

              • Pascal's bookie

                The latter is also very important because state owned assets have a tendency to underperform, fall victim to political goals, or worse, fall apart (See solid state energy, New Zealand Rail Limited).

                Missed this part, which is just hilarious.

                Why is it then, that the only things that can tempt private investors to do all this miraculous ‘deepening of the capital markets’ and bliggedy blah blah, are things the state built and will retain a 51% stake in?

                Please explain this to me.

                • Bazar

                  You could of phrased that 2nd half a lot better, i can only guess its meaning.

                  Because you can’t deepen the market by having investors shift money from one NZ company to another NZ company.
                  The depth remains the same.

                  If the government sells its assets, and then uses that money to produce more, that in effect creates more assets and thus more capital has been sunk into nz.

                  Your stance is that the government won’t use that money on assets, or that it won’t be spending a dime more than it was going to regardless.
                  And so on that stance, there isn’t anything further to be said. Time will tell.

                  Also if your question was asking why stop at 51% (and again, your question wasn’t easy to understand)…
                  The government has made a call to sell its assets and use the funds elsewhere.
                  As for the government holding 51%, it means it still retains control of the assets, but now has public accountability, feedback, and more independence from political motives.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Because you can’t deepen the market by having investors shift money from one NZ company to another NZ company.

                    Well no. The question is why is it that state built companies that can attract capital into the market, if we believe that state is such a poor builder of companies?

                    Why isn’t the private sector using that capital to build things, given it does a better job of doing that?

                    And why is it that the best thing we can think of to do with that capital is have the govt direct it to things via the Future Investment Fund?

                    This capital that the state is sinking onto the FIF didn’t come from nowhere. What is the opportunity cost?

                    The argument behind the MOM policy is that the government knows what to do with that money better than the private sector does. That it is worth not only forgoing the dividends in a time when interest rates are globally low for govt borrowing, but that it is also a better use of investment capital to spend it on the things the FIF spends it on than it would be to spend it on whatever else private sector investors would have been doing with it.

                    This may be true.

                    But it is ironic, given the idea that the govt is wasteful and prone to all these political risks and so on and so forth.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Because you can’t deepen the market by having investors shift money from one NZ company to another NZ company.

                    The question is why is it that it is state built companies that can attract capital into the market, if we believe that state is such a poor builder of companies?

                    Why isn’t the private sector using that capital to build things, if we believe it does a better job of doing that?

                    And why is it that the best thing we can think of to do with that capital is have the govt direct it to things via the Future Investment Fund?

                    This capital that the state is sinking onto the FIF didn’t come from nowhere. What is the opportunity cost?

                    The argument behind the MOM policy is that the government knows what to do with that money better than the private sector does. That it is worth not only forgoing the dividends in a time when interest rates are globally low for govt borrowing, but that it is also a better use of investment capital to spend it on the things the FIF spends it on than it would be to spend it on whatever else private sector investors would have been doing with it.

                    This may be true.

                    But it is ironic, given the idea that the govt is wasteful and prone to all these political risks and so on and so forth.

                    And I am most certainly not saying that govt won’t be spending the money it gets. Of course it will. You have been saying throughout this thread that this isn’t about the govt raising new money, it’s a swap between debt and equity in these assets. That only makes sense if the government would have spent the money anyway. If they didn’t, then there wouldn’t be the extra debt.

      • adam 8.1.2

        Oh my The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell, let the unseen hand rule the day – any other fantasies you want to embrace – how about dialectic materialism or the fairies at the end of the garden. Market or reaching for the market to explain things is pure fantasy at work, and quite frankly – lazy thinking at it’s worst. I don’t believe in fairies at the end of the garden nor do I believe in the unseen hand of the market – what I do believe in was that the economics of this issue are ideological led – This current government are ideological and can’t have a rational debate based on logic or reason – even if there was a gun held to there head.

        I’m sick of people reaching for irrational mythical explanations to justify there position – at the end of the day, ask these questions – are people better off with this programme of sale – nope. Is the sale a positive for freedom – nope. Is this sale programme run by idiots in love with Anna Rand and living in a fantasy la la land – probably.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 8.1.2.1

          I don’t remember mentioning Anna Rand.

          The point of the post is that by selling the shares at less than what they were valued at, the Crown has somehow lost money.

          You can think something has a certain value all you like but it doesn’t make it so. Selling it it tells you what it is really worth. If you sell and asset for less than you have told yourself it is worth (rather than what it is actually worth), you have not lost anything.

          • adam 8.1.2.1.1

            But that was not the logic that was presented at the point of sale. They themselves said this was an asset worth selling and they would make loads of money for the crown. They haven’t, and appealing to the market to justify this failure – is lazy thinking. It’s the fantasy, dreamy logic I have seen by many woollies of the left – but to tell you the truth, those who call them self right wing are more in this fluffy dream state these days.

            The argument is really quite simple – they said (the crown) we will make loads of money from this sale – they have not = fail.

            Any justification at this point is wrapped up in ideology – your arguments point in case. Lost of an asset which makes you money for a short term gain, seem irrational to me. And appealing to the market to find it’s value is another irrational argument – if you don’t know it’s value – why sell it? Is that not like cutting off your nose, despite it being part of your face. Your arguments are a post fubar justification for irrational behaviour.

            Bugger either left or right spin, this is a government who is ideological to the extreme and using ideology to justify irrational decisions.

            I didn’t say you were an Rand worshipper – are you? Key has quote Rand a few times, so I feel I can bring her up. Do you really think fairies live at the end of the garden?

            • Bazar 8.1.2.1.1.1

              Thats something the left has repeatedly said, about the government doing this to make money.

              National has never said selling assets was about making money. Its just something the Left keep repeating because then they have something uninformed citizens can join to rally against.

              It has always been about financing. About covering the cost of new infrastructure, and creating a massive capital injection into NZ’s economy.
              And on those grounds, i still see it being a success.

              How it will affect the budget will be interesting to see. But this trash report of $1.5 billion loss is nothing short of propaganda. But coming from the greens, i’m surprised they managed to count that high.

              The real cost will be the loss of dividends and cost of sale (not made up valuation loss) vs reduced borrowing costs

            • greywarbler 8.1.2.1.1.2

              Ayn Rand I think. We don”t want any more Rands of her ilk, one was more than enough.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 8.1.2.1.1.3

              The argument is really quite simple – they said (the crown) we will make loads of money from this sale – they have not = fail.

              That may be your argument. It is not the argument of the post. That is: Assets sales make Crown a billion poorer.

              And they don’t. The assets are worth the same as they were worth when the government owned them. They are worth less than they were valued at, but that’s not the same as they are worth.

              I am unfamiliar with Anna Rand. What is her field of expertise?

              • Appleboy

                My god. You are saying that selling for less than valued is not a loss? They chose to sell now out of blind ideology – and to sell pre the referendum, and well ahead of the 2014 election in the hope it would be yesterday’s news cost that this scam cost US a billion.

                So, if i sell my car right before Xmas when it’s not a good time to sell and get $7,000 instead of $10,000 (normal valuation) I’ve lost nothing.

                Moronic.

                • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                  Found the reply button. Clap clap.

                  You want to have an argument about when the state should be selling assets? OK.

                  When do you think they should have sold them?

                  • Appleboy

                    You’re giving moronic a bloody good go. They should not have sold them, strange concept that seems to have escaped you. Now answer my question – which was a far better analogy than yours. It was very simple :

                    So, if i sell my car right before Xmas when it’s not a good time to sell and get $7,000 instead of $10,000 (normal valuation) I’ve lost nothing.

                    And your answer is?

                    Clap clap for the avoidance in advance

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      You understand that your question aims to get to the bottom of the best time to sell your car not whether it should be sold ?

                      Accepting that your car should be sold (I feel like I am winning already) after you sold the car, if there was some real time market establishing the value of your car on a minute-by-minute basis, you would know whether the time you sold it was a better time to sell than subsequent periods.

                      If only there were such a market for the assets the government sold. We could look at it and see if the price had gone up or down since they were sold.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 8.1.2.1.1.4

              The argument is really quite simple – they said (the crown) we will make loads of money from this sale – they have not = fail.

              That may be your argument. It is not the argument of the post. That is: Assets sales make Crown a billion poorer.

              And they don’t. The assets are worth the same as they were worth when the government owned them. They are worth less than they were valued at, but that’s not the same as they are worth.

              I am unfamiliar with Anna Rand. What is her field of expertise?

        • Bazar 8.1.2.2

          Well played
          You managed to write 2 large paragraphs full of banter, without actually answering even a single question of his.

          I also like the irony of how you rant about your ideology and ignore the debate, and instead turn to attack the government for being ideological and not having a debate.

          I’m left looking forward to reading many more of your subtle troll jokes.

          • adam 8.1.2.2.1

            No I was not being subtle about the rash of woolly thinking – I see your another one – what debate – which is being side tracked by you and yours for ideological reasons. The crown said, these were assets we should sell – these assets would make them lots of money and be good for the country. That has not happened, purely and simple – the maths does not add up.

            They didn’t make the money they said, and your all rushing to sure up a bankrupt ideology to justify bad management, poor decision making and the end of rational and logical economic debate. Excuse me for cutting to the heart of the matter – And not getting bagged down in your fluff and misdirection. 30 years of irrational debate and arrogant tards like you Bazar, wanna come out from behind your avatar?

            If I’m a troll for standing up to irrationality, then I’m a troll.

            • Bazar 8.1.2.2.1.1

              You keep spouting the word “Ideological”. Does it give you pleasure to use it so much?

              But to correct your assumptions.
              I’m not sidetracking any debate, although i am ridiculing posts which are nothing but fluff (and thats putting it nicely).

              If you want to have a debate, by all means go ahead.
              Spouting crap like the invisible hand of the free market, fairies, and ad hominem attacks against those with differing views isn’t a debate.

              Oleolebiscuitbarrell even made it easy for you, and gave 4 points of the same topic, and you completely ignored them, so you could rant about the government. Thats not arguing, that’s just someone who enjoys the sound of their own voice.

              Moving on.
              You claim that the government said selling these assets would make them lots of money. Please provide a citation.
              Never, not once, have i said the government would make a profit from this. It was always about financing and debt management.
              I’ll even dig up a page direct from national.
              http://www.national.org.nz/mixed-ownership.aspx

              Its the leftwing who keep insisting that the government is doing this to make money, its an easy strawman arguement to make afterall.

              “Excuse me for cutting to the heart of the matter”
              YOU ARE NOT EXCUSED.
              You skipped the argument, provided no workings, and are now giving the celebration speech.
              Thats just poor sportsmanship at best, the rantings of an idiot who doesn’t know what they are talking about at worst.

              Did you ever sit high school exams?
              You always have to show your workings, otherwise we can only assume you’re guessing. Its also just good habit to allow someone to review your findings, so any faulty assumptions can be pointed out.

              “30 years of irrational debate and arrogant tards like you Bazar, wanna come out from behind your avatar?”

              Ah yes, attacking the messenger. A tried and tested approach for when you don’t want to debate the issue. Bonus points for coming from a person calling themselves “adam”.

              In that case, you can call me Mr Smith. So does knowing my name make my points any more meaningful “adam”?

              • Rogue Trooper

                I found no need to “show workings” for learning high school math; merely the pedagogues required it for standardization.
                “Go on my son, ‘ave a go.”

    • Melb 8.2

      And this valuation of the power companies, was it done before or after NZ Power was announced?

      • Pascal's bookie 8.2.1

        If the NZ Power announcement was so damaging, then the Crown should have held off on the sale until after the election.

        At the end of the day though, the government wanted to sell these assets fro ideological reasons, so it went ahead anyway, with a number of factors built into the sale process that reduced the return the crown got.

        For example, why the restriction on sales to off shore investors? That probably reduced the price as much as the risk of NZ Power.

      • wtl 8.2.2

        Before, but it is irrelevant. The decision to sell was made with the original valuations in mind. If something happened that meant that the return from selling wouldn’t be as high as initially expected, National should have re-evaluated whether or not to proceed with the sale.

      • framu 8.2.3

        yeah – its funny isnt it how the opposition announce their idea on policy ahead of time so voters know what might be on the cards. They should just keep it secret and spring it on people aye?

        fucks sake, what a bunch of pathetic cry babies

        honest question – are you seriously saying that the idea of NZ power is the ONLY thing that affected the result?

        • Melb 8.2.3.1

          “its funny isnt it how the opposition announce their idea on policy ahead of time so voters know what might be on the cards.”

          Just like how selling 49% of these assets was announced months before the election.

          NZ Power is a major thing because it introduces so much uncertainty.

          • Lanthanide 8.2.3.1.1

            Just like how the referendum was announced months before the sales started, too. Yet the government pressed on anyway.

          • Naturesong 8.2.3.1.2

            Actually, NZPower introduced certainty to the market.

            Specifically, that wholesale prices would be managed in a way to ensure reasonable profits, but restrict price gouging.

            If you want to argue that the share price has fallen because Labour and Greens floated a policy to restrict price gouging, go for it.

  9. Will@Welly 9

    Key, if he gets back in, will use this as justification for selling the remaining shareholding.
    The opposition now cannot afford any more stuff ups. No more skeletons in the closet. Time to hammer and hammer the bastards like an old record, be relentless in Parliament and around the traps, embarrass the buggers time and again.
    Key, if he was in opposition, would not take his foot off the throttle. Labour/Greens need to do the same – Russel Norman has provided good cannon fodder, Chorus is another stuff up

  10. Will@Welly 10

    Key, if he gets back in, will use this as justification for selling the remaining shareholding.
    The opposition now cannot afford any more stuff ups. No more skeletons in the closet. Time to hammer and hammer the bastards like an old record, be relentless in Parliament and around the traps, embarrass the buggers time and again.
    Key, if he was in opposition, would not take his foot off the throttle. Labour/Greens need to do the same – Russel Norman has provided good cannon fodder, Chorus is another stuff up

  11. captain hook 11

    when are some of the wiseacres round here going to understand that the price of the assets had nothing to do with it.
    Its the long term value and paying off of political debts by looting the treasury that is operating here.
    the sooner National is turned out the better.

  12. Rogue Trooper 12

    National, “the party of better economic management”!

    • infused 12.1

      Damm right.

      • Rogue Trooper 12.1.1

        now, I understand how typos occur, transposing letters and words myself today, and I can see you meant ‘Damn the right’. No probs, happy to be of assistance at road-side breakdowns.

  13. Tracey 13

    nomination for most accidentally ironic post of the month

    “Then again i’m not surprised that people here would rather build an economy based on lies and pretend wealth.” Bazar

    ” “

  14. Tracey 14

    since when has an opposition party been not allowed to announce a future policy just cos it doesnt make things smooth fir the govt.

    the nats and their supporters are deliberately obtuse over this nz power thing.

    dont sell if price drops. dont point and go wah wah wah

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 14.1

      But the point Tracey, is that once the shares have lost value (for whatever reason) that is their value whether you own them or sell them. You cannot make them still worth the valuation price by not selling them. You get that, right?

      • framu 14.1.1

        so your saying the nats didnt think that the announcement of NZ power would affect the price?

        really?

        NZ power was announced before the sales – the price went down after didnt it

    • Bazar 14.2

      The opposition government wasn’t forbidden. Not once has anyone said they couldn’t do what they did.

      Doesn’t mean they should of.

      What person would create a policy that was :
      1. Badly thought out
      2. Very little chance of actually being implemented
      3. Timed to inflict maximum damage to the sale process
      Just to spite the government in power.
      4. Going to have collateral damage that hurt every single kiwi. Or did you think that wiping hundreds of millions of the share price is a victimless act?

      “dont sell if price drops. dont point and go wah wah wah”
      We right wings aren’t the ones crying. You seem to be thinking of another group…

      • bad12 14.2.1

        Little pig, little pig…

      • Naturesong 14.2.2

        1. Partly Disagree. The Greens had run the numbers, but Labour under Shearer were pretty luke warm. I don’t think it was badly thought out, they were undecided on the politics – which was the whole problem with Shearer anyway.
        2. Disagree: Election is 50/50. … and this model has been implemented in several countries around the world to great effect, so grabbing the best parts of those models should not be a problem. No links cause I’m lazy, but if you really insist I’ll google them.
        3. Disagree: The timing was to ensure that peoiple would be making an informed decision. Givin that polls have consistantly shown 70% – 75% opposition to the sale of these public utilities, announcing this policy before any sales went ahead was the responsible thing to do.
        4. Disagree: The treasury outlined in March 2011 the main reasons why the National would not be able to meet their targets. Basically, dumping a shitload of power companies onto the sharemarket at a time when most folks don’t have spare cash is a dumb idea. Their recomendation was that the domestic market would only be able to absorb $2B per year.

  15. Puckish Rogue 15

    Well done to the NZ govt, they got more money for the partial sale of shares then they were worth…thats a good thing for NZ

    What would the left be saying if the value of the shares had gone up after they’d been sold…

    • Rogue Trooper 15.1

      the ‘left’ were saying “do not sell strategic Asset shares”. On ya go now.

    • framu 15.2

      so they got more than they turned out to be worth and its still going to leave a huge hole in the finances

      well fucking done national – champion stuff there

  16. Tracey 16

    bazar

    if it has no chance of being implemented and this is apparently self evident it shouldnt affect the sale price?

  17. Tracey 17

    gormless

    does the value of the shares on the market affect tge dividend

  18. joe90 18

    A text book wealth grab – gain control, sell assets, extract millions in fees and load the corpse with debt.

    • Will@Welly 18.1

      Then unload it back onto the unsuspecting “moms and dads” – where have we seen this before? Sound familiar.

  19. Tracey 19

    For bazar to whom the truth is so important

    http://thestandard.org.nz/an-honest-man/

  20. bad12 20

    What tho is being ignored here tho is the ‘real’ reason for the sale of these assets, forget highways, schools, hospitals and the zillion other false reasons put up by Slippery the PM and the rest of his tawdry bunch of used car salesmen that was simply a trail of LIES,

    This Government would have by the time it is kicked from the Treasury Benches borrowed some 70-80 billion dollars, like any entity the ability to borrow and the interest rates charged for that borrowing are judged on assets and the earnings ability of the entity borrowing the monies,

    What Slippery’s Government is intending to achieve via the part sales of the assets is the knee-capping of any incoming Government after this one is given the kick,

    Selling off parts of the assets against which they have previously borrowed 70-80 billion dollars is (a) intended to have the lenders balk at the lending of more and (b) have the ‘ratings agencies’ downgrade the New Zealand Governments credit rating on a future call,

    You might ask are not Slippery and His Government worried that the lenders and/or the ratings agencies might move ‘now’ to restrict the Government’s borrowing,

    They thought of that, this Government has borrowed ‘forward’ the amounts of money needed to run the Governments accounts for the next couple of years,(remember Bill English a couple of years ago boasting how they were borrowing more than needed as money was ‘cheap’),

    Off of that ability to ‘borrow forward’ Slippery and Bill(not from Dipton),are going to claim a balancing of the Government books next year saying they have not borrowed in that year which while technically correct is absolute bullshit as the monies propping up the Government accounts will have been borrowed in years 11-12,

    This is a smoke and mirrors Government, cynical but hardly stupid, the sell down of the State assets was for a reason all right just not the one Slippery and Co gave to the public…

    • Tracey 20.1

      For those who say ho does this benefit Key’s rich mates if th eprice has dropped I say;

      1. How much have brokers/traders made?

      2. How many bought and then sold on opening to a slight spike in price (particularly in MRP)

      Both or the first of these scenarios benefitted those of whom Key formally was one

  21. Mr Interest 21

    BERLIN REVERSES PRIVATIZATION

    3 November 2013: German call to ‘undo’ energy privatisation amid Berlin vote

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24763311

    Is the tide now turning against privatisation? In the 1990s, a wave of sell-offs swept away countless publicly owned enterprises (though privatisation’s fans would say that “enterprise” was the wrong word to describe them).

    AND THE RESULT:

    BERLIN REVERSES PRIVATIZATION

    http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2013/11/19/berlin-reverses-privatisation

    This is only 150,000 less than the combined vote of the Social Democrat and conservative Christian Democrat parties (who run the federal state of Berlin) in the last regional elections. The referendum was held after around 230,000 signatures had been collected by the “Berliner Energietisch” campaign, calling for democratic control over and public ownership of the energy supply (and of other basic necessities), 100% green energy, any profits going into public services, and full transparency in the running of the new municipal utility and grid company.

    Berlin’s regional government sold off their remaining 51% majority in the local electricity supplier and producer, Bewag, in 1997. Eventually the Swedish state-owned power company Vattenfall took over. Its name means ‘waterfall’ but mainly produces power from coal, as well as nuclear energy (and a not insignificant number of serious accidents, in Germany at least). Vattenfall had also bought the local electricity works in Hamburg, the HEW from the regional government.

    Two years later, Berlin sold 49.9% of its water board, BWB, to Vivendi (today Veolia), power firm RWE and insurance company Allianz as part of a public-private-partnership deal. PPP was, as usual, to be particularly expensive for service users, and the citizens of Berlin got the most expensive water supply in Germany as a result. The PPP deal, however, which guaranteed profits to Vivendi & Co. was kept secret by the government and was only released after a long political campaign by the “Wassertisch” and a successful referendum (in the process of which the treaties were leaked to the media, and only then released by the government — before the vote was held, incidentally). By September this year, the government had bought back the 51.1% from Vivendi and RWE — at ‘market price’, meaning that the company will be run as before and that water and sewage charges are not expected to fall.

    The campaign to take (or, as happened, to buy) back the water authority inspired a number of similar campaigns. The suburban rail service, the Berlin S-Bahn, is, since 1994, a division of the state-owned, though explicitly run according to the logic of profit, railway company Deutsche Bahn AG. Berlin’s suburban services are paid for by regional government, yet these subsidies have not been used to improve services or even to maintain them.

  22. Mr Interest 22

    BERLIN REVERSES ELECTRICITY PRIVATIZATION

    3 November 2013: German call to ‘undo’ energy privatization amid Berlin vote

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24763311
    Is the tide now turning against privatization? In the 1990s, a wave of sell-offs swept away countless publicly owned enterprises (though privatization’s fans would say that “enterprise” was the wrong word to describe them).

    AND THE RESULT:

    BERLIN REVERSES PRIVATIZATION

    http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2013/11/19/berlin-reverses-privatisation
    This is only 150,000 less than the combined vote of the Social Democrat and conservative Christian Democrat parties (who run the federal state of Berlin) in the last regional elections. The referendum was held after around 230,000 signatures had been collected by the “Berliner Energietisch” campaign, calling for democratic control over and public ownership of the energy supply (and of other basic necessities), 100% green energy, any profits going into public services, and full transparency in the running of the new municipal utility and grid company.

    Berlin’s regional government sold off their remaining 51% majority in the local electricity supplier and producer, Bewag, in 1997. Eventually the Swedish state-owned power company Vattenfall took over. Its name means ‘waterfall’ but mainly produces power from coal, as well as nuclear energy (and a not insignificant number of serious accidents, in Germany at least). Vattenfall had also bought the local electricity works in Hamburg, the HEW from the regional government.

    Two years later, Berlin sold 49.9% of its water board, BWB, to Vivendi (today Veolia), power firm RWE and insurance company Allianz as part of a public-private-partnership deal. PPP was, as usual, to be particularly expensive for service users, and the citizens of Berlin got the most expensive water supply in Germany as a result. The PPP deal, however, which guaranteed profits to Vivendi & Co. was kept secret by the government and was only released after a long political campaign by the “Wassertisch” and a successful referendum (in the process of which the treaties were leaked to the media, and only then released by the government — before the vote was held, incidentally). By September this year, the government had bought back the 51.1% from Vivendi and RWE — at ‘market price’, meaning that the company will be run as before and that water and sewage charges are not expected to fall.

    The campaign to take (or, as happened, to buy) back the water authority inspired a number of similar campaigns. The suburban rail service, the Berlin S-Bahn, is, since 1994, a division of the state-owned, though explicitly run according to the logic of profit, railway company Deutsche Bahn AG. Berlin’s suburban services are paid for by regional government, yet these subsidies have not been used to improve services or even to maintain them.

  23. Pascal's bookie 23

    Ok righties.

    It’s a fairly simple question you’re all avoiding.

    Has the timing and structure of these MOM sales maximised the return the Crown has received,, or would another structure for sale have returned more?

    Specifically, to help you out with just one aspect, (there are more), has the government’s policy to maintain 85% NZ ownership meant that the crown has received a lower price than it would have by selling selling it on an open market?

    If the answer to that question is ‘Yes’, then how can it be the case that the price reflects any sort of ‘objective value’ for the company?

    The prices of things are determined by all sorts of factors. Just saying ‘OMG the market said it was this, therefore the valuations were wrong’ is just childish nonsense.

    But the main point is that the government said they were worth x in the budget. That’s what they budgeted for. They failed to get x. Blaming ‘NZ Power’ is irrelevant to that. And even if NZ Power lowered the price, that’s only an argument for delaying the sale until after the election. If protecting the Crown’s accounts is a factor of course.

    • Lanthanide 23.1

      I suspect we’re not going to get any better answer than Bazar’s weird take on reality that the government didn’t actually want to get lots of money when it sold the assets, it was just doing it for shits and giggles. Or something.

  24. Macro 24

    “How Key can claim that’s a success and keep a straight face, I don’t know.”

    In his former job he would be down the road by now…

    We will have to wait until next year :(

  25. Macro 25

    “How Key can claim that’s a success and keep a straight face, I don’t know.”

    In his former job he would be down the road by now…

    We will have to wait until next year :(

  26. Murray Olsen 26

    I suspect the government got advice from John Banks on these sales. Archie would have taught him at an early age that you never get the full price for stolen goods. In fact the rule of thumb was one third, so they probably think they’ve done well.

  27. Steve (North Shore) 27

    Now James you know why the arse dropped out of this. Someone high up in Labour said that when Labour is Government they will buy back all of the shares. Now I can’t be bothered finding/proving this. Not mentioning any names but you know who it is.
    I was thinking of investing but I decided the Labour policy was more like a scam, they would borrow to buy back – but how much they would borrow to prove a point worried me.
    My wallet gets emptied by someone who just can’t help themselves

  28. Steve (North Shore) 28

    Now James you know why the arse dropped out of this. Someone high up in Labour said that when Labour is Government they will buy back all of the shares. Now I can’t be bothered finding/proving this. Not mentioning any names but you know who it is.
    I was thinking of investing but I decided the Labour policy was more like a scam, they would borrow to buy back – but how much they would borrow to prove a point worried me.
    My wallet gets emptied by someone who just can’t help themselves in the Tax and spend game

  29. tricledrown 29

    That’s why you follow Keys beg borrow ,steal and lie program.
    Steve.

  30. Marcus 30

    @ Steve, Yet you can support Nationals top earner tax cuts that Bill English has admitted $220 million pw.
    Do the math on that & then tell me why we’re borrowing so much.
    The assets should never have been sold, full stop, as the revenue derived from them provided government with a steady income stream.
    A short term gain to fund their tax cuts with long term losses in terms of future revenue streams.

  31. Naturesong 31

    @Marcus – Post 31

    I don’t think $220M per week for tax cuts is correct.

    The net tax cuts (including tax increases, GST et al.) are estimated at $1.6-$2.2 billion per year.

    Weekly, that comes to a shortfall of $30M to $42M per week. And as the Government is currently running a deficit, that shortfall must be borrowed.

    I think your figure of $220M per week is the average weekly budget deficit for this government so far.
    It comes to $11B annually, or $55B over the last five years.

  32. Ian 32

    I work big days and coming into this debate without reading any of the previous posts. I also bought Mighty River Shares and a heap more Meridian shares. I will receive dividends over the next few years and the share price is of no concern to me whatever (Don’t you hate that word ]
    My focus is on what Bill English does with the money. The assets are not lost forever. New assets are bought with the money. If Norman and Cunliffe manage to get the numbers next November , The negotiations over their compulsory buy back of private assets won’t be easy .

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    On the Left | 24-10
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    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date: Thu, Oct 23, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Dominion Post . On Radio NZ, on 23 October, I was gobsmacked to hear this from  our...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-10
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #43A
    Amazon deforestation picking up pace, satellite data reveals An in-depth look at the oceans, climate change and the hiatus Citing rising seas, Florida officials vote to cut state in half Climate records are breaking so often now, we’ve stopped paying...
    Skeptical Science | 24-10
  • The state of the working class in New Zealand today
    Redline’s readership has, since we began, grown consistently and substantially. At the same time, it can be quite daunting going to a website for the first time and reading a few things on the home-page and then wondering what to...
    Redline | 24-10
  • The state of the working class in New Zealand today
    Redline’s readership has, since we began, grown consistently and substantially. At the same time, it can be quite daunting going to a website for the first time and reading a few things on the home-page and then wondering what to...
    Redline | 24-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings
    Press Release – The Nation Fonterra boss worried about the spread of Ebola in West Africa and potential big consequences for the company, saying it doesnt feel to me like that it is under control at the momentLisa Owen interviews...
    Its our future | 24-10
  • We can be heroes
    (Trigger warnings apply on this post for assault, misogyny, domestic violence, and bitter sarcasm/flippancy about male perpetrators of violence against women.) This is written for cis-gendered straight guys. I have nothing to say to women on the subject of male...
    On the Left | 24-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #47: Water in Public Spaces
    47: Water in Public Spaces What if we made more of water in our public spaces? Sometimes it is the simple things. People flock to water in public spaces. We need more of it in this city. And in more...
    Transport Blog | 24-10
  • Freedom of information: A good idea from India
    One of the better ideas for freedom of information implemented overseas is disclosure logs - agencies posting requests and responses publicly, allowing performance to be monitored and reducing repeat requests. This is widespread in Australia and the UK, but poorly...
    No Right Turn | 24-10
  • The Age of Cupidity
    I've been trying to publish a post for the past couple of weeks.  Although I have several in draft form, when I try to finish them I find myself overwhelmed by a deep lassitude - an uncharacteristic gloom which is only relieved...
    Te Whare Whero | 24-10
  • De-industrialisation and the prospects for socialism
    Is the world really de-industrialising? by Michael Roberts Last week I spoke on a panel that debated De-industrialisation and socialism.  The panel was organised by Spring, a Manchester-based group in England that has become a forum for the discussion of...
    Redline | 24-10
  • De-industrialisation and the prospects for socialism
    Is the world really de-industrialising? by Michael Roberts Last week I spoke on a panel that debated De-industrialisation and socialism.  The panel was organised by Spring, a Manchester-based group in England that has become a forum for the discussion of...
    Redline | 24-10
  • Looking back with pride – Maryan Street
    Maryan Street joined the Labour Party in 1984, was President from 1995-1997 and became an MP in 2005. She talked to Labour Voices about her Labour journey and the people, events and achievements she recalls with the greatest pride....
    Labour campaign | 24-10
  • Strong and comprehensive
    DEVELOPING “a very strong and comprehensive” Women’s Affairs policy going into the 2014 election is one of the achievements Carol Beaumont is most proud of. And being unable to implement it one of her regrets....
    Labour campaign | 24-10
  • Christchurch’s rebuild should be decided by Christchurch, not Welling...
    Radio New Zealand has an appalling story this morning about the government's interference in the Christchurch rebuild over the new District Plan. Normally district plans are decided by elected local councils accountable to the voters who will live under them....
    No Right Turn | 24-10
  • Turning a blind eye to corruption
    As we are constantly reminded, New Zealand consistently leads the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index as the "least corrupt country in the world". And as we are increasingly becoming aware, that reputation may be undeserved. Today there's another nail in...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • Police Association off target with call to arm Police
    Arming our Police will lead to more crime, more violence, and more killings – by criminals, and potentially even by police. The Police Commissioner is correct in pointing out that the Police Association’s recent call to arm all officers is...
    frogblog | 23-10
  • Political interference at Maori Television
    A government-owned television channel arranges an interview with a former opposition MP, but the government-appointed CEO spikes it. Something from Russia or Cuba maybe? No - according to Hone Harawira its happening right here in New Zealand:“[Maori TV CEO Paora]...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • September 14 Patronage
    Auckland’s Transport’s patronage results for September are now out and they show that the city is experiencing spectacular PT growth, growth which is also setting a number of records. The big news was earlier in the week was that when it was announced...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • Maiden speech – Jenny Salesa
    Jenny Salesa, Labour MP for Manukau East, has given her Maiden Speech in Parliament....
    Labour campaign | 23-10
  • Maiden speech – Adrian Rurawhe
    Adrian Rurawhe, Labour MP for Te Tai Hauāuru, has given his Maiden Speech in Parliament....
    Labour campaign | 23-10
  • Roastbusters, one year on (almost)
    March in Wellington against rape culture, from Stuff.co.nz Content warning: contains discussion of rape and sexual assault You can literally get away with rape in this country. You can be a serial rapist, with photographic and video evidence you willingly...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Labour Needs To Stop Saying What People DON”T want to hear.
    A Freight Train called Key: On election night 1975 Bill Rowling said Muldoon's landslide victory felt like being hit by a bus. Oh what David Cunliffe would have given for that bus on 20 September 2014!THE ANGUISH of Labour supporters...
    Bowalley Road | 23-10
  • And if you have to carry a gun to keep your fragile seat at number one R...
    What happened at Canada's war memorial and parliamentary buildings is a pretty bad thing. It should, however, be kept in some sort of perspective. ...
    Pundit | 23-10
  • Beware the sucker ploy.
    A few years back I wrote about the strategic utility of terrorism. One thing I did not mention in that post was the use of a tried and true guerrilla tactic as part of the terrorist arsenal: the sucker ploy....
    Kiwipolitico | 23-10
  • Hard News: Friday Music: An accompanied korero
    I'm chairing the LATE at the Museum event next month, under the title The Age of Slacktivism. We've picked a strong lineup -- Nicky Hager, Matthew Hooton, Marianne Elliot, Laura O'Connell Rapira -- and it should be a rousing hour's...
    Public Address | 23-10
  • 6 amazing renewable energy projects that we love
    Here's a few renewable energy projects from around the world -- ones that we totally love.1. Germany has invested big in solar and wind. And in the first six months of 2012, the amount of electricity produced using renewables jumped from...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • China’s coal use actually falling now (for the first time this centur...
    Coal use in China is falling this year - according to official data reported in the Chinese press.It is the first time this century that China has seen year on year quarterly falls in coal use. The Chinese economy continues to grow...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Can new roads pay for themselves?
    It’s common to hear people say that because roads are paid for by their users (fn 1), we should build more roads. After all, the new roads will fund themselves! At first glance, this seems convincing. But a closer look...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • As a nation drowned in the PM’s lies, sons & daughters were sent to d...
      As a nation drowned in the PM’s lies Sons & daughters were sent to die Meanwhile at home democracy cried But his government crowed Everything’s fine.   Other peoples’ children signed up for his war While at home in comfort...
    Politically Corrected | 23-10
  • Why I am on the left
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) Post by Jem I am left first and...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Minister to attend TPP Ministers’ Meeting
    Press Release – New Zealand Government Trade Minister Tim Groser will depart today for Sydney to join Ministers from countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) for the next round of negotiations.Hon Tim Groser Minister of Trade 24 October 2014...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    Press Release – The Nation This weekend on The Nation with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health about Katherine Rich’s c...
    KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister of Health : Is he satisfied that there is no conflict of interest in the head of the Food and Grocery Council, Katherine Rich, being a board member of the Health Promotion Agency; if so,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Kennedy Graham to the Prime Minister on the Deployment of New Zealand Speci...
    Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that the risks to New Zealand from any commitment of military assistance to counter Islamic State militants in Iraq would be "no greater than I think the...
    Greens | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Kevin Hague speaks in the 2014 Address and Reply debate
    Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker, and, like others, can I begin my contribution by congratulating you and the others in the Speaker's team: the Rt Hon David Carter, Lindsay Tisch, and the Hon Trevor Mallard. I also want...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
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