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Breaking news on the Keep Our Assets Referendum

Written By: - Date published: 4:39 pm, September 30th, 2013 - 58 comments
Categories: assets, privatisation - Tags: , ,

keep our assets petition boxes

The Government is not going to let the issue drag on any further and wants to have the Keep Our Assets referendum dealt with this year.

It has just been announced that the referendum will be done and dusted this year.  According to the Herald:

Prime Minister John Key has confirmed the Citizens Initiated Referendum over asset sales will take place in late November and early December this year.

Mr Key said the referendum would take by postal ballot, opening on November 22 and closing on December 13.

The referendum would cost $9m he said.

In a couple of other pieces of news the Christchurch by election will occur on November 30.

And in a surprise announcement Napier MP Chris Tremain has announced that he will not seek re election in the 2014 election.

58 comments on “Breaking news on the Keep Our Assets Referendum”

  1. Rogue Trooper 1

    A Surprise advantage to National announced. (they need all the help they can discard).

    • stuart 1.1

      we can really use the referendom to promote the power nz policy and get fixed in the voters mind that they being ripped off on power prices and makeing the bastards average the cost generation instead of chargeing us the coal and gas prices for all generation , funny thing once there forced to average mightey river will only be worth $1.25 a share after the election i couldnt careless if shareholders take a bath i really hope they do.

      • Rogue Trooper 1.1.1

        just watched Brook Sabin, TV3, pimping for the Torys
        -“business people I have talked to are furious about Labours’ power announcements (coinciding with Nationals’ today)”
        -“referendum achieves absolutely nothing”. No ambiguity regarding interests there /sarc

        • amirite

          Brook, son of MP MIke Sabin.

        • David H

          Yeah I saw him doing that too it seems that TV3 does not produce decent Journalists they just pump out sycophants who will say anything. TV news is really unwatchable these days. Oh wrell my 2 year old enjoys laughing at the presenters

  2. Sable 2

    The longer it continues the worse they look leading up to the election not that they need much help in that department. I can not think of an NZ government that has been more mired in corruption and shit.

    • Bunji 2.1

      Don’t want to be losing a referendum in election year.

      And in December turn out will be lower as folk do their Christmas shopping.

      They’ve already got their line sorted – John Key: “We’ll be putting them next to the million people that voted for us and for this policy in the last election.”

      So the task National are setting isn’t the anti-asset sales people to win the referendum, but to get more votes against asset sales than the 1,058,638 votes National got in 2011 (as if somehow every vote for National was a vote for asset sales).

  3. Sanctuary 3

    You’ve gotta fancy Nash’s chances against the Nats in Napier now – Tremain had a 7.58% swing against him last time, and I reckon Labour can take it back.

    • Bunji 3.1

      Can’t have fancied losing…

      Nash has been running a pretty mean operation there, campaigning constantly. The hard work obviously put the frighteners on Tremain.

      • Kevin Welsh 3.1.1

        He is a sharp operator Bunji, great profile and well liked. Even if Tremain was running again I think Stu will win the Napier seat.

    • kenny 3.2

      What’s he know that we don’t know – what’s he done wrong? Take your pick.

    • Skinny 3.3

      Not Nash your kidding right? The guy is too right wing for the new left labour party. We don’t want to stack the deck with Goffs mates!

      • Ad 3.3.1

        Nash will have to get onto his knees and testify Roman-style to his fealty to Cunliffe.

        And promise to be faithful to his current partner forever else his manhood drops off. The man has too many ghosts to defend in the blogs already.

  4. Treetop 4

    Gives the government a way out to not sell all four energy SOE’s. Selling Meridian shares has had to be carefully planned to sell it and is only the second one.

    Will Key accept the mandate from the asset referendum?

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Will Key accept the mandate from the asset referendum?

      Considering that National’s entire purpose is to hand over everything we own as a community to their rich mates – of course not.

      • Hayden 4.1.1

        There’s always the possibility that they were prepared to accept not getting all of them through; this way they can hold the referendum, back down and claim they’ve listened to the people and hope that gets them through 2014, while still having sold the largest and most future-proof (i.e., higher proportion of renewable generation) of the assets.

        • miravox

          “they can hold the referendum, back down and claim they’ve listened to the people”
          Agree, Hayden. Double win there.

          And announcing this now, along with Tremain’s exits, Bennett’s faux 3 billion and Hooton’s apology all on the same day is a political strategy to reset the agenda, tie up lose ends and getting NAct back on the front page and the TV screens.

          Nothing more, nothing less, imo.

          Edit: the faux 3 billion is already off the front page. Replaced by colonial clot?

          • srylands

            ““they can hold the referendum, back down and claim they’ve listened to the people”
            Agree, Hayden. Double win there.”

            That is such crap. Zero chance of any such spin being put on anything that happens.

      • srylands 4.1.2

        Grow up. There are no “rich mates”.

        • Colonial Viper

          Just because you are blind to the truth doesn’t mean the rest of us have suddenly become. Seriously mate, go back and collect your drippings from the manor table and feel proud of being a good manservant to the top 1%.

        • framu

          just like “there is no depression in NZ” aye?

  5. stever 5

    Ah! I see Tremain is citing the “spend more time with my family” option.

    Wonder what the real reason is?

    • Paul 5.1

      Doesn’t nine years in parliament = access to all the benefits?

      • North 5.1.1

        All sorts of benefits for life after 3 terms I understood, not sure about parliamentary pension though. My recall is from long ago and there have been changes. How old is he ? Mid-40s. 50 ? Pension or no would still be significant. Excellent troughing there chap !

        • Tamati

          Nah, they’ve cutback on the pension perks big time. It’s only the old codgers that gain the sweetheart pensions.

    • The Al1en 5.2

      Tending to his 17 rental properties and 5 blocks of land. :jerk:

    • Kevin Welsh 5.3

      Depends on which “rumours” you believe stever…

  6. rich the other 6

    Asset sales or asset transfer ??
    Face it , the money from asset sales is being reinvested in other assets.
    NZ Citizens are losing nothing from asset sales, they still own the controlling share in these company’s and are gaining MORE assets.
    The $60million new hospital to be built in Greymouth will be funded from asset sales.
    The motorway developments around the country are the same.

    The Govt needs to clearly explain this obvious fact, it’s actually just a movement of tax payer funds from one asset into other assets with the added bonus that we the tax payer don’t have pay for these projects with borrowed money.
    When seen in this light the referendum is a complete waste of time and money.

    • Hayden 6.1

      we the tax payer don’t have pay for these projects with borrowed money.

      Except that borrowing the money costs less in interest than the foregone dividends.

      • Tamati 6.1.1

        That’s assuming the government’s cost of capital is the price of treasury bond yields. That aint true though as all government borrowing eventually has to be paid back through taxes.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.2

      Interesting stuff there Rich.

      Are you saying that the best use of people’s savings and investment capital is to hand it to the government to spend on things like hospitals and roads?

  7. Tamati 7

    I had a feeling that Key would pull a sly one and put the referendum up in December. People will be more worried about the Briscoes sale and the year end accounts than a postal referendum.

  8. Dan1 8

    Nash is going to bolt in. It has nothing to do with family!

    • mac1 8.1

      I suspect that Tremain is not fancying “nine long years of Labour” as an opposition list MP and is scurrying over the side of the foreign-registered vessel “SSNational” afore she founders.

  9. gobsmacked 9

    Said it before, I’ll say it again … for Chris, Rich and any dimwit journos out there:

    CIRs were an election campaign promise by National in 1990. They were passed into law by National in 1993.

    If you think this referendum is a waste of time and money, then either you want the law to be broken (so, do you?) or you want National to scrap their own law (so, do you?).

    Either way, take it up with the National government. Not with the law-abiding citizens who follow the law that National gave us.

  10. Clement Pinto 10

    In the CHRIS TREMAIN ‘announcement’ link in your report, it says,

    ” Prime Minister John Key says he’ll be missed.
    Mr Tremain informed me of his decision after cabinet a fortnight ago, and his cabinet colleagues today. I’d like to thank him for the contribution he’s made as a National Employee since he was elected in 2005.”

    EMPLOYEE? I am wondering if it is a transmission error or just another usual ‘Troty’ like booboo from Key!

    • weka 10.1

      lol, but don’t you know that NACT MPs work for Key’s paymasters, not the people who elected them?

  11. mac1 11

    “National MP” becomes “National Employee” when Keyspeak is transcribed?

    • Pasupial 11.1

      Or maybe a stock phrase regurgitated from the Smiling Assassin days:

      “I’d like to thank him for the contribution he’s made as a [insert corporation name] Employee since [insert date]”

  12. Clement Pinto 12

    Is it legitimate and LEGAL for this Government to offer this tax payers’ asset to investors in installments but giving FULL dividends even before the final payment is made? I wonder if this could be tested in a court? Keen to hear your views on this matter.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Of course it is legal, Key and English drew up the necessary documents allowing NZ citizens to be fleeced like sheep by their bankster friends with big gumboots baaaa baaaaa baaaaa

      • Clement Pinto 12.1.1

        Was those specific points such as dividend payment before full payment etc passed in parliament? The point is that the money is the tax payers, not the National party’s!
        I know the house passed the asset sales law, but I don’t believe the house gave them permission to misuse the sale as per my point re ‘dividend payment before full payment’.
        That does not seem right morally, legally or economically. It seems like a fraud and I wonder if that needs to be tested by a political party in a court of law.
        Such a move will also cause the sales to be cancelled or delayed. A good thing!

        • Colonial Viper

          The Government is permitted to enter into many commercial contracts, the specific details of which do not need to be passed in the House, so long as existing legislation and regulation enables the arrangements.

  13. Tracey 13

    IF they have a mandate for selling assets it is for

    Selling Assets AND paying down debt.

    This needs to be hammered more. They sold it as a package… they would sell assets to put the money towards certain things. Key has changed the alleged mandate to use it for things NOT campaigned on.

    “In a speech to an Auckland business audience today Key confirmed National was likely to campaign on partial sales of the three big energy generators and coal company Solid Energy in a bid to pay down Government debt a year earlier…

    Speaking to reporters after the speech, Key said the measures outlined today could potentially slash billions from Government debt.

    “If we could do that with those five entities … if we can make some savings in terms of what were looking at in the budget and maybe a little on the upside you’re talking about somewhere in the order of $7 to $10 billion less borrowing that the Government could undertake.” ” Key Jan 2011

    BUT rather than paying down debt he changed it to not borrowing more…

    However those for ACT WERE voting for pay-down of debt.

    “If re-elected on 26 November, National will proceed with the partial privatisation of state-owned energy companies Genesis Energy, Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power and Solid Energy and reduce the Crown’s shareholding in Air New Zealand.

    National says the $5 billion to $7 billion it expects from the sales will go to an infrastructure fund.

    But ACT’s Epsom candidate John Banks wants any profits to be used to retire debt.” 12 Nov 2011


    ” Tuesday 5 July 2011 Hansard source (external site)

    Goff2. Hon PHIL GOFF (Leader of the Opposition) Link to this
    to the Prime Minister

    Is his proposal to sell shares in public assets like power companies an essential part of his plan to pay off debt and aid economic recovery; if not, what is it intended to do?

    KeyRt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister) Link to this

    Extending the mixed-ownership model, which was pioneered by the previous Government in respect of Air New Zealand, has a number of objectives. They are to free up capital on behalf of taxpayers to fund public assets like schools and hospitals and growth-promoting investments such as infrastructure and broadband; to broaden the pool of investments for New Zealand savers; to sharpen commercial disciplines, increase transparency, and provide greater external oversight of the companies involved, which we still own a majority of; and to provide opportunities for those companies to obtain more capital in order to grow.”

  14. Skinny 14

    +1 DC needs to have a word to muzzle him, becoming a commentator on the leadership challenge was poor form for a former labour MP seeking a comeback to parliament. It’s bad enough Mike Williams, but at least he is no longer Party president & in general promotes the LP & keeps/tries to counter lunatic’s like Hooton having a free rein to waffle crap.

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