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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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    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    frogblog | 21-11
  • CTU disappointed by poor government advice to workers on petrol station dri...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (‘MBIE’) regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue. Photo:  ...
    CTU | 21-11
  • Charging petrol station workers for drive-offs
    So workers at Masterton’s Night ‘n Day store have had their pay docked when criminals drive off without paying. From the flood of complaints coming from around the country, it’s not a practice that is confined only to Masterton, nor is it...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-11
  • Tearing up Westminster
    The central bargain of Westminster democracy is that the monarch stays out of politics, and in exchange they get to stay in the role, both legally and literally. Prince Charles - already famous for his undemocratic interventions in politics -...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Journalism is not terrorism
    What happens if you're a UK journalist and you campaign for press freedom or report on police misconduct? The police database you as a terrorist:A group of journalists has launched a legal action against Scotland Yard after discovering that the...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • A century of changing transport spending
    Via Donal Curtin, I got wind of a fantastic Statistics NZ visualisation of changes to the Consumer Price Index over the last century. The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, is a tool that statistics agencies use to track inflation over...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Boycott thieving employers
    In the past few days, we've learned of a new employer horror: petrol-station workers, often on th eminimum wage, being forced to pay for the crimes of their customers. Its unfair, immoral, and possibly illegal. So what can we do...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Whiteboard Friday. How NZ’s welfare system traps people in poverty
    This Whiteboard Friday looks at how our current benefit system traps people in poverty, which is another reason we need to replace it with an Unconditional Basic Income. This week has been a big week for the Unconditional Basic Income....
    Gareth’s World | 20-11
  • Income mobility
    Recently Treasury has published a paper showing that most people do not stay at the same point on the income scale for an extended period. That is assuredly true, and is also a good thing in as far as it...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Read out, Xi in, as Hansen makes late change to All Blacks team
    All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has sprung a surprise by picking Chinese President Xi Jinping to start in this weekend’s test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium....
    Imperator Fish | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    The chainsaws stopped in native forest on public land in 1999 after a strong campaign by non-governmental organisations such as Forest and Bird and Native Forest Action (NFA), supported by the Green Party. Immediately after the 1999 election, the incoming...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • Persuasion experiment
    Michael LaCour, a PhD student at the excellent UCLA Political Science Department, along with Yale's Don Green, have a fascinating new paper on what causes people to change their mind on gay marriage. Many people know that a doorstep conversation...
    Polity | 20-11
  • $4.8 billion gone
    As readers know, the NZ Super Fund now contributes around $27 billion to our net position as a country, It will help us pay for the wave of baby boom retirements. Sadly, it is now clear that National's decision to...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Secondary teachers vote IES into collective
    21 November 2014 PPTA members have voted to include two teaching roles central to Investing in Educational Success (IES) in their collective agreement.At paid union meetings held throughout the country over the past two weeks 80.3% voted to include the...
    PPTA | 20-11
  • Labour’s Hercules?
    Hero? Saint? Both? Neither? In making Labour an electable proposition by 2017, Andrew Little faces a challenge of Herculean proportions. Then again, Hercules was presented with twelve impossible tasks. Little can succeed by successfully completing a more modest (but equally...
    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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