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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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    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites Rapists To “Call In and Defend Yourselves...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites #Roastbusters Rapists To “Call In and Defe...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Lower Hutt scientists win right to be academics
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 37 Lower Hutt scientists are joining TEU in large numbers after the union successfully argued that they should be classified as academics in Victoria University of Wellington’s new collective agreement. TEU members at Victoria recently...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Ex-TEU member heads Parliament’s education committee
    Former TEU member Dr Jian Yang will chair parliament’s Education and Science Select Committee. Elected to parliament only three years ago directly from his job in the political science department at the University of Auckland, Yang has risen quickly to...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Cabinet focuses tertiary education on economic growth
    The government has signalled again that it views tertiary education primarily as an economic tool rather than a tool for social opportunity and equity as well. The government has shifted tertiary education out of its Cabinet Social Policy Committee to...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Aged care worker wins historic pay equity case
    Aged Care worker and union member Kristine Bartlett won an historic legal case for pay equity this week. Bartlett’s employer, Terranova Homes & Care Ltd had appealed to the Court of Appeal against an Employment Court ruling that the wages...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    frogblog | 29-10
  • Look to international students for funding says Joyce
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce says universities need to expand overseas and recruit more international students to boost their income. Joyce told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that New Zealand universities are not doing enough to generate income from international students. “If...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s “NoahR...
    An Heretical Work: Darren Aronofsky's Noah is an attempt to reconstruct from the ill-fitting fragments of the much older and more finely textured myth of the Great Flood, a religious homily about human power, human guilt, and human redemption. That he...
    Bowalley Road | 29-10
  • World News Brief, Thursday October 30
    Top of the AgendaIraqi Kurdish Fighters Enter Syria...
    Pundit | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    frogblog | 29-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the links between bad labour laws and poor safety practi...
    By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port...
    Gordon Campbell | 29-10
  • How Labour’s ballot paper works
    Some weeks ago, I promised not to post about the Labour leadership election. I am going to break that promise today, but only because some of the people I have talked with appear a bit confused about Labour’s preferential ballot....
    Polity | 29-10
  • UKIP’s apostrophe fail
    The venerable institution that is the United Kingdom Independence Party wanted a hoodie for young patriots, so they can proudly declare how great Britain remains. For UKIP, the sun has never set on the British Empire of Awesomeness. Until this...
    Polity | 29-10
  • Understanding climate science in 10 easy steps
    The latest United Nations report on climate change is about to be finalised, written by thousands of scientists. The report is VERY important, but also a bit dull.What we really want to know is: How bad is climate change? And what can...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 29-10
  • Random thoughts on the Labour Party leadership contest
    Some thoughts on the leadership contest, and a puzzling mystery at the end....
    Imperator Fish | 29-10
  • Auckland Transport’s 30 Year Project List
    As part of the discussion on Alternative Transport Funding, which was launched yesterday, the Council also released a copy of Auckland Transport’s entire 30 year transport programme which includes the cost of projects and seemingly ranked according to some combination of criteria....
    Transport Blog | 29-10
  • Questions and Answers – October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk EconomyInterest Rates and Inflation 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT (NationalWairarapa) to the Minister of Finance : What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation?QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Storm surge: Hurricane Sandy
    On the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy making landfall, we are running an extract from a new book by Adam Sobel “Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future”. It’s a great read...
    Real Climate | 29-10
  • Questions For Oral Answer October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation? QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT to the...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    Press Release – GE Free NZ The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed.Trade...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • The latest poverty excuses
    Today, the National Government managed to out produce Fonterra in its production of hot air and manure, with their explanations to justify the figures released in the latest (UNICEF) report documenting how little John Key’s administration has done to reduce...
    Closing the Gap | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Press Release – Joint Press Release Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    CTU | 29-10
  • Why my money’s on David Parker. And why Labour’s should be as well!
    OK, eventually you have to put your money where your mouth is. So who, of the four declared contestants – Nanaia Mahuta, Grant Robertson, Andrew Little and David Parker –  should, in my opinion, win the Labour leadership contest? And...
    Brian Edwards | 29-10
  • Arming police: evidence based policy or populist wishlist?
    At a time when people are questioning whether police forces in the United States have become too militarized, the president of New Zealand’s police association (NZPA) is calling for our police to be “fully armed”. He claims that incidents that...
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Flags > Poverty
    Today in parliament we saw both Kelvin Davis and Annette King make important and useful requests, both of which were denied. Annette King drew attention to the UNICEF report that shows that child poverty has not improved in New Zealand,...
    Fundamental | 29-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Bartlett case means Govt must act on equal pay
    The Court of Appeal victory for Lower Hutt caregiver, Kristine Bartlett demonstrates that both the Government and employers have been ignoring and not fully implementing equal pay law, the Green Party said today.The Court of Appeal today upheld earlier rulings...
    Greens | 27-10
  • Rotorua shift for Maori TV a bizarre move
    The bizarre idea to move Maori TV to Rotorua is either poor planning or possible political interference that adds to the perception of a service in crisis, says Labour MP for Tamaki Makaurau Peeni Henare. “Moving Maori TV to Rotorua...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Second rate deal a no go – Goff
    A second rate deal on dairy in the TPP would totally contradict the agreed purpose of the Pacific trade agreement, Labour’s Trade spokesperson, Phil Goff says. “Both the origin of the trade negotiations and leaders’ statements on its objectives emphasise...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Legal victory a boost for all working women
    Today’s legal victory for equal pay is a much-needed boost for working women at a time when the Government is pushing through reforms which will make it harder for them to get pay rises, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney...
    Labour | 27-10
  • 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
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • 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
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Public now needs to have its say over new tolls
    “I welcome the likes of new tolls and fuel taxes going out for public consultation after these matters have been talked about for 20 years. However the timing is not ideal as it comes on top of the likes of...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis to fight back against TPPA ‘corporate trap’
    New Zealanders in at least sixteen different locations around the country are organising for an International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 8 November, co-ordinated by It's Our Future NZ. This is part of an international...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes NZ First MP’s Resignation
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming NZ First MP, Clayton Mitchell’s resignation from the Tauranga City Council, despite Party Leader Winston Peters' public comments in July that Mr Mitchell would do both jobs if elected to Parliament. The Union's...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Stopping unnecessary roading projects solution to transport
    Today Auckland Council released the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report which claims Aucklanders need to choose higher rates, petrol taxes or tolls to pay for future transport projects, when the real issue is the prioritisation of unnecessary...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Fixing Auckland’s transport
    Today marks a critical step in the most important funding debate Auckland has ever had: whether or not Aucklanders are willing to pay for the transport system this city desperately needs to keep it moving, says Mayor Len Brown....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • The New Zealand Gazette Moves into the Digital Age
    On Monday 20 October, the New Zealand Gazette was published completely online bringing to a close 173 years as a purely printed publication. First published in 1841 as the official government newspaper, the Gazette website gazette.govt.nz , replaces...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • International report shows NZ struggling with child poverty
    A report by UNICEF International shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have scarcely changed since 2008 – this stands in contrast to a number of other countries that managed to significantly reduce child poverty in this time, including...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Dunedin
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Dunedin on Thursday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF Report a Waste of Paper
    In response to the hysteria coming from the far left, Josh Forman of slightlyleftofcentre.co.nz writes the following:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Press Council opens doors to digital media
    The New Zealand Press Council, the body which handles complaints against newspapers and magazines and their websites, is offering associate membership status to news and commentary-oriented digital media including bloggers....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Tolls Should Be for New Roads, Not Old Ones
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming Auckland Council for wanting to introduce a motorist tax under the guise of ‘tolls’. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy
    Today, Wednesday 29 October, there will be a peaceful protest at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to call on new Indonesian President Joko Widodo to honour his election promise to ensure greater media freedom in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Lack of leadership blamed for decline in Gender Equity
    BPW NZ challenges NZ’s lack of leadership with the decline in Gender Equity Ranking...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Richard Falk visit to NZ
    Professor Richard Falk, who recently completed a six-year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, will deliver a public lecture in Dunedin on Monday 10 November....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Apprehension for meat workers as employment law bill passes
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill today will send a wave of apprehension through the workers in the NZ meat industry says the Meat Workers Union....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • “Yes to Children, No to Poverty” Says Commissioner
    Children’s Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills will describe impacts of poverty on children, with a focus on local solutions at the Tū Kaha biennial conference for Māori health for the central region DHBs at the Hawke’s Bay Racing Centre in Hastings...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF report card highlights need for action
    Unicef’s child poverty report released today shows that New Zealand needs to be more proactive in pursuing policies to protect our most vulnerable members of society....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Children of the Recession: NZ’s shame
    Children of the Recession : NZ’s shame Media release Wednesday 29 October 2014 “It is to New Zealand’s deepest shame that the latest Unicef report on children living in poverty ranks us 16th out of 41 developed countries. “Every day...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF cautions NZ child poverty rates are “stagnating”
    An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • TPP Too Important for Compromised Finish
    The New Zealand dairy industry is urging Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) partners not to compromise on the quality of the deal to get it done quickly....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Nelson
    Labour leadership candidates in Nelson The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Nelson on Tuesday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • History is made. Equal pay not just legal but possible!
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) congratulates Kristine Bartlett and the Service and Food Workers Union: Ngā Ringa Tota on their historic win. Today the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from Kristine’s employer; opening the way for...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
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