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Key’s ‘sell, sell, sell’ mantra out of touch with NZ

Written By: - Date published: 7:47 am, February 16th, 2012 - 77 comments
Categories: farming, overseas investment, privatisation - Tags:

The Crafar Farms decision is sensible and a correct interpretation of the law. Foreign buyers must add something that a local buyer can’t, other than a higher purchase price. Otherwise, our farmers will continue to be out-bid for our land by foreign government-backed companies that can afford a lower rate of return, and NZ will gain nothing. So, why is National rushing to change the law?

As with John Key’s refusal to state a bottom price below which he would not sell our energy companies, National’s determination to sell our farmland come hell or highwater has nothing to do with economic logic and everything to do with neoliberal ideology. The neoliberal bible says overseas investment is good, so they will support foreigners buying any and everything they want in our country.

Of course, on both asset sales and overseas investment, National isn’t just out of step with reality, it is massively out of step with public opinion. A lot of people are looking at Key, who was sold to them as a financial genius, making decisions that a 4 year old could see don’t add up, and wondering if he’s really as smart as they say, and in whose interests he is really working.

By the way, someone book Key into a Laws 101 course. He claimed in Parliament yesterday that the judgment establishes a new legal test. No, it doesn’t. It states what the law has always been since Parliament passed it. That others, such as the OIO, have been using the wrong test doesn’t change that. And, Key repeatedly fobbed off the Judge’s ruling as just an “opinion” – the same way he tried to fob off scientific findings on the dire state of our rivers. Perhaps Key ought to spend a little time studying the separation of powers and why it is that members of the legislature and executive such as himself are not meant to denigrate the decisions of the judiciary, which are not mere ‘opinions’ but statements of the law of the land.

77 comments on “Key’s ‘sell, sell, sell’ mantra out of touch with NZ”

  1. higherstandard 1

    Surely if someone challenged the decision regarding James Cameron’s recent purchase that would now also be overturned.

    • Zetetic 1.1

      maybe. why don’t you?

    • lprent 1.2

      …challenged the decision regarding James Cameron…

      One of the strongest criteria for granting leave to purchase under the OIO act is the question of residency. James Cameron is moving here to live on that property. He isn’t an undesireable person due to a previous record (which appears to be why dotcom was refused).

      What grounds would you think he should be challenged on?

      • aerobubble 1.2.1

        Yes, its is undesireable to sell assets to people who don’t sell their land assets.

        Also, the ‘substantive and identifiable’ addition benefit clause must be considered.

        Cameron just by being in the country, meeting with other film creators, means we get considerable talent and skill introduced to NZ.

        And then there is the other end of the slippery stick that Key seems not to understand, that free trade does not immediately kick in, there is a substantive threshold also to be met by the Chinese is they were to pursue the case (if they fail to buy the farms). Because obviously if the OIA has taken so long to decide, courts have had to deliberate and cause the OIA to back track, nobody but a rather stupid government would say there was no contention when it came to the sale. By there being meaningful criticizism ther free trade agreement remedy route for the Chinese becomes harder to make. Basically just because a foriegn investor gets a bum ticket does not mean they immediately win a remedy from the free trade arbitrator.

        As for the crap about Chinese thinking we are racists for not wanting to sell our land any more, just remember what Hong Kong was, even a lease for a 100 years got thier goat up – of their own land!!!

      • Fortran 1.2.2

        Cameron admits he knows nothing about farming.

        • lprent 1.2.2.1

          He will do something like the first and second “farmers” that I worked for back in the 70’s.

          He has a nice big house in a peaceful environment where he works on the things that he is skilled at while also injecting capital in upgrading the farm. His kids have a safe environment to grow up in. A farm manager and workers run the farm.

          But the point is that his ownership of the land is to a resident, ie someone who is living on the land. His other economic value is that he is effectively running his business from there in a site with a lot of space and quiet for sound studios, editing suites, and the other other space creeping paraphernalia of a film director and producer.

          I wish Lyn had that space.. Then I wouldn’t have to put up with the film producers office with the loud phone calls, editing discussions, and the like next to my office.

          The first farmer was a Queen Street lawyer who prepared for cases at his property in Alfriston. The second was Keith Holyoake who by that time was more of a property developer. Neither were active farmers but were resident for considerable periods, and both brought capital to the farm from their other business endeavours.

        • Carol 1.2.2.2

          Really? When?

          Here he says he does know something about farming:
          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10783115

          In a statement, Cameron said the family was thrilled to be making a new home in New Zealand.

          “I grew up working on my grandfather’s farm in Canada, and my wife Suzy’s family owns a farm in Oklahoma. We want to raise our kids with the values we had when we were growing up, close to the land and with a strong work ethic.”

        • Colonial Viper 1.2.2.3

          I’m too slow.

    • DH 1.3

      I think it would. Cameron didn’t appear to offer anything that a local buyer wouldn’t also do so there’s no apparent benefits to NZ from the sale let alone “substantial and identifiable” benefits. That he intends to live here is not that relevant to the law, that in itself does not necessarily constitute a benefit to NZ.

      I also think the judge interpreted the law correctly, it’s common sense really and how the OIO saw it differently is beyond me.

      The Govt have gotten themselves in a mess with this one IMO. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer govt.

      • Jum 1.3.1

        DH said: “I also think the judge interpreted the law correctly, it’s common sense really and how the OIO saw it differently is beyond me.”

        Easy; the lawyers advising the OIO are the same lawyers working on behalf of the foreign investors.

      • Wayne 1.3.2

        Couldn’t have happened to a nicer govt.

        Yes. But the same ‘misinterpretation’ was applied under Labour, and signed off by Labour ministers to the tune of something like several hundred thousands of hectares of land….hypocrite.

        • Colonial Viper 1.3.2.1

          Well its good the High Court finally ruled on it then, so neither Labour nor National can continue making asses of us, right?

  2. Interestingly the High Court decision may make New Zealand quite a bit richer.  My reasoning is as follows:

    1.   Westpac is owed in the vicinity of $200m.
    2.  The Pengxin offer was $210m.
    3.  The Fay consortium are offering $170m.

    If Fay succeeds:

    1.  Westpac takes a $40m haircut.  Their shareholders will not be happy.
    2.  Pengxin will have to buy milk off Kiwi producers.
    3.  A bunch of kiwis pick up a number of farms at a $40m discount.

    And the problem is?
     

    • mikesh 2.1

      Item 3 is probably not correct. I think Fay will just make a extra $40m per farm.

      • mickysavage 2.1.1

        I am sure that Fay will be richly rewarded if this succeeds.  Hopefully the benefit will be spread around.

        • Jimmi 2.1.1.1

          LOL. You are a funny guy, Micky. Fay… sharing…. ha ha ha.

          Fay will pump and dump and take the profits back to his Swiss homeland. Nice to see you supporting our foreign investment banking heros.

          • lprent 2.1.1.1.1

            But he isn’t buying the land for himself – he is just some kind of deal maker. As far as I am aware the purchasers are kiwi farmers.

      • Bored 2.1.2

        Interesting question is the real valuation and the methodology used to reach it. An old rule of thumb for the purchase of farms was annual revenue X 8.

        This was under some assumptions that did not include profitability. The revenue was always assumed to go up because of inflation and tax rights off (subsidized by you and me), which meant if you maintained the revenue at the gate (on bad years cost cutting etc was needed) the value of your farm went up profit was a bonus, the real money came when you sold. To get an idea of the capital gains (that are not taxed) you only need to look at the cumulative inflation of the last 15 years to realise where the money is.

        The interesting thing from my perspective is that a lot of banks are deeply invested in dairying, a large number of dairy farms are corporate concerns and heavily financed. Larger trends are afoot that will challenge any profitability using current farm valuations. Our markets are about to suffer economic turmoil so there will be volume and price pressure, our internal costs for the delivery of energy so vital for transporting and processing milk are set to increase dramatically (as will fertilisers). The government will also sell off energy companies making the electricity price go up, meaning pumping water (another restricted resource) will become more costly. It would seem that the over expansion of dairying and the recent high export receipts have placed this industry on a knife edge.

        I suspect that the real value of farms might soon readjust, $40mlln might not be such a bad bath.

        • Fortran 2.1.2.1

          Surely the price for any property is willing seller (Westpac) and willing buyer (Pengxin).
          Westpac will still lose a lot of money in this deal.

          • Te Reo Putake 2.1.2.1.1

            Speaking of money changing hands, Fortran, I must have missed your reply detailing which charity the PM gifts his salary to. Would you mind repeating the answer?

    • Lanthanide 2.2

      Because Westpac will just go “oh well, we lost out on $40m there, lets not try extra hard to make up the money elsewhere by offering slightly worse interest rates in our savings accounts”, right?

      Surely the receivers are going to take a big cut of the proceeds anyway, so even if it sold for $210m Westpac is still likely to be out by several tens of millions.

    • Brilliant, Micky!!

      (Damn, I wish I’d’ve thought of that…)

  3. vto 3

    You are entirely correct, Key shows a shameful understanding of the law, the separation of powers and, in fact, the actual powers.

    To call a judgment an opinion is evidence of this.

    It really is quite shameful. I wonder what the judiciary think of him and his understandings?

    Though we do tend to see this characteristic often in people who have been immersed in the false world of money money money for too long. In evidence, see Gosman and his consistently shallow arguments.

    ……….

    And on top of all that, still nobody has put out a comprehensive outline of why having foreign landlords is good for New Zealand. But the public are onto it. They see or sense the glaring holes. Hence English coming out today and beginning to soften the asset sales stance. They are like foreign possums caught in the headlights.

    • There is a doozie of a provision in the Overseas Investment Act 2005.   

      Section 17(1)(c) says that the Ministers “may, in [assessing all of the factors set out in section 17], determine the relative importance to be given to each relevant factor“.  

      This provides an extremely wide discretion.  By the judicious apportioning of weight amongst the different factors any decision is possible.  John Key’s claim that the Ministers’ hands were tied by the law is disingenuous in the extreme.

      • vto 3.1.1

        Good. But, on Key’s part, is that ignorance or deceit to say something which is the complete opposite of what is stated in the Act about which he opines?

        your guess is as good as mine…. wouldn’t put either past him and it sure aint nothing else.

        • Jackal 3.1.1.1

          I think in this case it is most definitely deceit to manipulate people who will take them on face value. Key often delivers such things with an air of ignorance, so he can appear nonchalant if caught out, but there is no doubt that National knew their initial decision was flawed. The real question is why would they make a decision not based on good economics and lawful requirements in the first place?

          • vto 3.1.1.1.1

            I’m not so sure. Most all politicians, especially at the top of the game, are not ignorant at all and merely deceitful at times like this (e.g. Cullen at various times), however with Key I do sincerely wonder whether he is ignorant and that those around him who do know the situation let him plough on for those advantages you describe. Which is contemptibly cynical and dishonest of them of course.

  4. Carol 4

    As with John Key’s refusal to state a bottom price below which he would not sell our energy companies, National’s determination to sell our farmland come hell or highwater has nothing to do with economic logic and everything to do with neoliberal ideology. The neoliberal bible says overseas investment is good, so they will support foreigners buying any and everything they want in our country.

    Yes, it was very irritating to hear Joyce lecturing the opposition about “orthodox economics” in question time yesterday:

    http://parliamenttoday.co.nz/2012/02/questions-and-answers-feb-15/

    We have kept a lid on the costs of doing business, by getting on top of fast-rising costs like ACC costs, which are due to reduce in the next couple of months, and we are providing investment opportunities through the mixed-ownership model, which will help Kiwi investors diversify their growing pool of savings away from property and finance companies. It is just a pity that Opposition members do not sometimes listen to orthodox economic policies that balance the—

    It’s only considered “orthodox economics” because the neoliberals have been successful in getting their shonkey economics accepted as TINA in the media, politics, and many university departments.

    PS: is this cost cutting why ACC has rejected further physio for me, even though my specialists have reported that I require it, and why they have replaced one (now discounted) reason with another… meanwhile time goes by and I’m left to cope on my own.

    So these “orthodox economics” deliver profits to overseas coporate and government interests and cut back on necessary services for Kiwi tax payers?

    • Macro 4.1

      “PS: is this cost cutting why ACC has rejected further physio for me, even though my specialists have reported that I require it, and why they have replaced one (now discounted) reason with another… ”

      It is. And if you had suffered a head injury you would be in an even more difficult situation. 2008 saw enormous cut backs in the provision of after care for head injury which will put the cost on future injuries. Specialist in this area have now left the country and gone to …… Australia.

      • Carol 4.1.1

        I am thankful I don’t have a head injury, and am sorry to hear people aren’t getting the after care they need.

        So, if those of us recovering from injuries don’t get the after care we need, when we need it, we have Joyce, Key et al to thank if we don’t recover as well as we could have? That’s no comfort.

        And they keep bragging that their free market principles and mantras to sell our assets, plus cut-backs on government spending are putting NZ on the right economic path? Doesn’t seem like they have ordinary Kiwi interests at heart.

  5. TightyRighty 5

    Sell, sell, sell is out of touch? surely not when such an approach has bipartisan support?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/6426149/Mallard-sells-festival-tickets-online-at-profit

    • vto 5.1

      You dopey man. I guess that means nobody can sell anything today without it meaning direct support for Key’s brainlessness.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 5.2

      It’s the rapier-like wit and keen intellectual rigour we’ve come to expect from today’s Tory.

      What is worse, Key’s repeated lies to parliament – on everything from literacy levels (“one in five”) to credit ratings – or the fact that no-one on the right seems to care so long as he’s “winning”? Although after his mendacious performance over the illegal election broadcast he aided and abetted and the display of foolishness over the Crafar Farms decision, I have to wonder how long the complacency can last, and how long Lockwood Smith thinks he can turn a blind eye to perjury.

    • Jum 5.3

      Mallard gets spread over the media for selling off festival tickets at profit.
      Key owns shares that profit him by insider trading and he gets a pat on the back from media.

      Very bad treatment of Mallard over a few dollars and a pat on the back for prime minister Key for ripping off New Zealanders for hundreds of thousands on just one of his hidden shareholdings in this country’s wealth. No doubt key will make millions from his position of prime minister in gaining insider information if he is a corrupt politician.

      He asked a question of rail shares in parliament; he had rail shares. Is that insider trading?

      I still have no answer to my question asked on many occasions of the rightwing apologists for John Key; how much of New Zealand assets, that Key is insisting will be sold whether New Zealanders want them sold or not, will he personally buy with his huge tax cuts given by him to himself every week for 4 years and the millions he already has at his disposal to buy huge shareholdings – e.g. each of his family members can buy up 10% each. That is 40% of each asset gone to the Key family. That situation alongside the business rotundtable purchases of assets will create a cartel effect giving power and control of these energy assets and future asset sales to Key and co.

      • vto 5.3.1

        Mr Jum, “No doubt key will make millions from his position of prime minister in gaining insider information ”

        Is this entire issue not something which should be brought out into the open and regulated? I mean, these are some ex-Ministers who now operate in business and obviously use the knowledge gained as a public servant to enrich themselves;

        1. Simon Power, now in banking or some such… advising on the asset sales ..?
        2. Jenny Shipley and farming.
        3. David Carter and farming.
        4. Wyatt Creech and the dairy industry. He is an owner of Open Country or some such.

        I am sure there are labour ones doing it too…

        Surely this should not be permitted. In any other country this sort of carry-on is openly acknowledged as corruption. In New Zealand it is ignored as if it doesn’t exist. FFS, it is like racism back in the 60’s and 70’s and prior…. nup, NZ doesn’t have a racism problem.

        It is so very blatant. And we dumb-arse naive pollyanna kiwis just go along with it ….. tra-la-la lets all go the beach ….

        • Hami Shearlie 5.3.1.1

          And didn’t John Key have shares in Dairy Investment Fund Limited a while back? Did he sell them or what? That company is connected with Wyatt Creech’s Open Country and Kaimai businesses. And as for Wyatt Creech, how is his court case going? Seems former nats are everywhere there are mega-bucks to be made. The company DIFL has an original investor and governor who used to work for Bankers Trust. So did John Key. What a spooky coincidence!! DIFL also seem to be interested in deregulation of the dairy industry in nz. So how many nats are involved in that little plan I wonder?

  6. Bored 6

    I heard that when Key was the leader of the Forex team at BNZ they lost $650 mlln and this was covered up. It may just be a rumour, can anybody shed any light on this?

  7. Ross 7

    The judge’s decision is an opinion. Judges’ opinions are over-turned from time to time by higher courts. Judges don’t have a monopoly on the facts.

    • Mike 7.1

      …(sigh)…

    • vto 7.2

      Ross, in case you have been asleep for the last several hundred years a Judge’s decision is called a judgment, not an opinion. That is because it is something different than a mere opinion. It is a form of law. Much much much more than an opinion. Sure, judgments can be overturned, but that has little to do with the status of their decisions. You should go do some homework on it, or perhaps enrol in Laws101, as our Prime Minister should (ffs, how can one be in charge of law-making and be so woefully ignorant of the basic legals of our country)

    • Colonial Viper 7.3

      Ross, what do you care about “facts” you happen to disagree with anyway?

  8. Red Rosa 8

    There is something weird about all this.

    The Crafar farms are of mixed quality, but overall need serious capital to bring them up to scratch. This is what the Chinese are proposing, in conjunction with Landcorp.

    Nothing new about this. Time and time again, overseas owners have bought NZ farms, put in fresh management and new capital, and turned them into better operations all round.

    To turn down a much higher Chinese bid, in favour of Fay with his track record on TranzRail (remember that one?) will be justifiably seen in China as racist. If Fay’s past is any guide, he will flick on the rubbish farms to the mugs, into a rising market, and keep the better ones. Laughing almost as loudly as he did with Tranzrail.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/6428609/China-will-see-Crafar-ruling-as-racist

    China is now one of our largest trading partners, with whom (unlike the US) we have an FTA. They were perhaps the biggest factor in dragging the dairy trade (and NZ) out of its hole in 2008/09. And dairy accounts for 20+% of NZ exports, three times meat and wool receipts all put together.

    Hard to imagine a better way of antagonizing one of our biggest customers.

    • Mike 8.1

      …(sigh x 2)…

      • Ross 8.1.1

        Thanks for your erudite and well-thought contribution.

        • Red Rosa 8.1.1.1

          http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/no-more-garage-sale-nz-how-the-crafar-farms-set-aside-ups-the-ante

          Says it better than I.

          Let’s not forget the Harvard Investment Fund, and its purchase of the Maniototo dairy farms – another shambolic, undercapitalized, poorly managed effort by NZ’ers…bought and turned around…

          Is there anyone out there, who knows anything about farming, who is prepared to go in to bat for Fay and his ‘associates’ on this one?

          Embarrassing the government is one thing. Getting some coherent policy together is another.

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1.1

            Landcorp was going to run the farms for the Chinese anyway, it has all the expertise needed to do that. Landcorp can easily run the farms on behalf of NZ owners too.

    • slightlyrighty 8.2

      I’d never thought I’d see this site championing an avowed capitalist (Fay) who is attempting to stop the purchase of farms by those from a socialist country.

      [lprent: The site isn’t – it is a dumb computer. But you appear to be just plain stupid for thinking that computers can think. Read the policy.

      The authors (including me) don’t appear to be championing the Fay led bid at all. What they are saying is that the Pengxin bid doesn’t appear to conform to the criteria set down in the Overseas Investment Act. Only someone quite thick (like yourself) would equate that not supporting one bid means that they are supporting another. So you are trying to tell us what we are saying> That is a darwin award.

      Banned for a week for terminal stupidity. ]

      • ScottGN 8.2.1

        I don’t think anyone in here is championing Fay or anyone particularly. What most want is for the Government to do its job properly and make a decision based on facts and the requirements of the law rather than just rubberstamping the OIO recommendations because it suits them politically.

    • lprent 8.3

      All of that may be the case. However like Fran O’Sullivan you are ignoring the actual requirements of the Overseas Investment Act in favour of irrelevancies.

      The only point in your comment that was relevant was that the bid has to show economic benefits for NZ that would not have otherwise been gained in the actual investment. The Pengxin bid didn’t show that despite what looks like some creative tinkering by the minister. The high court decision essentially said that tinkering was inadequate.

      All of the crap about benefits of trade with China is mere fluff and has nothing much to do with this deal regardless how often people bring it up.

    • In reply to Red Rosa – you make it sound as if we owe something to the Chinese and by not giving them what they want we are being nasty and racist.

      We do not owe the Chinese in fact if the Chinese wished to come here and lease large tracts of our land for their dairy production I would have no objection, just keep the land in NZ ownership.

      How much did the Chinese government really care about NZ and it Dairy Producing business in China, remembering it was because Chinese laws are so lax they were quite prepared to give us a bad reputation re malamine in babies milk.

      • Hami Shearlie 8.4.1

        Why kowtow to China? I would say they need us just as much (if not more) as we need them. They have an enormous population to feed, and with their own people uneasy about food (especially milk) which is produced in China, where else can they get the quantity of milk and dairy products that they need?

    • foreign waka 8.5

      Yes, there is something weirs about this. I just belief we will never know what it really is. Your argument is a good one but it does not tough on the issue of:
      1/ the Chinese company not being in the business of farming as it is lined out as a prerequisite on buying into farming NZ
      2/ National received a donation from the same or affiliated crowd right after the election
      3/ Yes, China is a big trading partner and we are paying dearly with everything Made in China and our manufacturing sector being exported to China (also India).
      4/ If the court finds that the deal is not sufficiently structured according to the law then one has to wonder what else we may find out.

      Indeed, there is something weird about it.It is of cause a face loosing exercise for NZ and this will not bode well internationally albeit I am absolutely certain that such defenses are seen as NZ being once more a force to be recon with with the ordinary folk when it comes to the wire.

  9. Lanthanide 9

    Government now admits that selling SOEs will see us $100m worse off by 2016, that’s assuming they can even sell them for $6b.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6429541/Govt-says-asset-sales-will-cut-debt

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      The Government campaigned at the last election on selling a stake in the SOEs and Finance Minister Bill English today defended not making today’s figures available before the election to inform the debate.

      Yep, that’s our government – working to ensure that the people can’t make an informed decision.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      And Bill English has just admitted that he has NFI WTF he’s talking about.

      The Government has today opened the books in advance of this year’s budget and admitted it is simply guessing as to how much it will reap from the controversial sale of state owned assets.

      Yep, the financially literate, economically sound business managers the National Party are just guessing when it comes the economy.

      • Hami Shearlie 9.2.1

        He sure is acting like a “dwod”! And chuckling and grinning in front of the cameras as only the simple or truly insane can!!

  10. Fortran 10

    Government does not have to partially sell Energy companies to help balance the books.
    It can cancel working for families and
    charge a rate of interest on student loans
    instead
    QED

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      It can rollback the tax cuts that have already cost $1.1B in lost revenue, as well.

      Or it could have done it’s job properly and tossed SCF out of the scheme when it was clear they were in breach of it: cool $1.75B there.

      They could cancel their roads of Notional Significance and save another $10B (a few of them are worth doing).

      Cancelling WFF and interest free student loans will just drive more people to Australia where they can actually get a living wage thanks to their strong labour conditions.

      • Hami Shearlie 10.1.1

        Roll back the tax cuts? Are you mad? The Nats can’t do that, their mates in the 1 percent camp might have to buy smaller super yachts and make do with beach houses with only 10 bedrooms. Bite your tongue Lanthy!

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      Or it could raise taxes. In fact, evidence throughout the last century shows raising taxes, especially on the rich, is better for the economy.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    The neoliberal bible says overseas investment is good…

    Actually, no it doesn’t although it’s then dressed up as if it does. Standard economic theory says that a small economy (NZ) being invested in by a large economy (Pretty much the rest of the world) will be worse off. Once they’ve explained that they then bring in the magic of the market to say that it’ll all be good because the market is always right and balanced (Tui Moment).

    A lot of people are looking at Key, who was sold to them as a financial genius, making decisions that a 4 year old could see don’t add up, and wondering if he’s really as smart as they say, and in whose interests he is really working.

    Well, it should be obvious by now that he’s not working in NZs interest. And that holds for the entire National and Act parties – actually, the entire government.

    • Jum 11.1

      Draco T Bastard,

      This ties in with my long-held view that if Key was so financially literate he would have known in his old jobs in America that the sub prime mortgage merry-go-round would eventually spin off its axis and envelop the world with its toxic debt.

      He would have rushed to advise New Zealand to safeguard itself against America’s poison.

      Instead he travelled to New Zealand, set himself up as some sort of financial guru and kept quiet. I continue to believe that was the arrangement he had with American interests to do.

      Essentially, therefore, he returned to lil’ old NZ to buy up valuable assets for himself and turn over New Zealand and New Zealanders to the scavengers backing him.

      If he was not financially literate he should not have pretended to be so. So many Kiwis voted for him because they genuinely believed he would have magic powers in stopping a recession. Instead he has made it much worse for everyone but the people he is supporting into stealing New Zealand assets.

      Essentially, therefore, he lied about his expertise to gain office as prime minister.

      With Michael Cullen starting New Zealanders on a stable savings regime, reducing to zero government debt Key was able to milk (NZ) that to his advantage and pretend that his govt had helped New Zealanders to survive better than other countries like Ireland (that he had earlier openly advised were countries NZ should be copying!).

      He must have been severely embarrassed to hear English stating how well New Zealand was placed when NAct came into government to face a recession because govt debt was so low – no longer, thanks to key and his masters in America.

  12. Jum 12

    Vote of No Confidence in this government.

    • Jester 12.1

      I believe a vote was carried out quite recently Jum. How did that work out for you?

      • Jum 12.1.1

        Jester,

        Yes, I know the manipulated ‘vote’ you refer to when mammon stole New Zealand – it will of course end in tears for those who don’t deserve it. Also recognising the huge numbers that didn’t bother.

  13. Yes it is becoming more obvious that John Key is desperatly trying to help prop America up to save his precious financial market, he is prepared to sell NZ to Americain Corporations who are having trouble from reduced income at home and need new markets.

    Maybe he believes in what he is doing it’s the old story “he can’t see the wood for the trees” because this financial market is going to fail they cannot continue to borrow more to pay debt, how much debt are the neo concervatives prepared to stack the workers with, how many generations is it going to take to pay off these ever increasing debts.
    But I forgot, John Key has probably protected himself from the worst of it so he will be okay, what else is there to worry about.

    • Lanthanide 13.1

      Key using NZ to prop up America? That’s like using a toothpick to prop up an elephant.

      • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1

        Capitalism is failing yet again and the capitalists are grasping at straws to prop it up. Anything and everything and it doesn’t matter to them how much it will cost everyone else as long as they get to be rich and in control for a bit longer.

      • Hami Shearlie 13.1.2

        Maybe he’s been practising with Gerry?

  14. foreign waka 14

    Judging by Mr Keys comments it is a case of “lets not get the truth into the path of a good story” kind of approach. So by his statement, the judges findings are an opinion? Well, maybe anybody being judged in a court just gets handed an opinion not a verdict? Scientist findings about water – same thing. Oh yes, we can make it entertaining as well – just hand Mr Key a glass of that opinionated fluid for a good wash down with some seafood from the outfall of sewer along the cost. Hmmmm…

  15. Reagan Cline 15

    It’s not your farmland James, it belongs to the landowners. You and your mates probably own a bit of land too – enjoy it while you can. There is plenty of land you can go on without permission, parks and domains in town, school grounds, National Parks etc. Even a few places away from the tourists. It’ll be alright mate, believe me ! They are only interested in a quick buck mate – not like us.

    • The Chairman 15.1

      Allowing offshore investors to partake in local sales and own New Zealand assets is a national decision – not a private one

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    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    5 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    5 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    6 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    6 days ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    6 days ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    7 days ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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