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Kiwis at the front of the queue?

Written By: - Date published: 10:42 am, March 4th, 2013 - 140 comments
Categories: capitalism, national, Privatisation - Tags: , ,

One of the promises that Key made about asset sales was that Kiwis would be “at the front of the queue”. For the past several days, however, there has been speculation that Mighty River Power shares would be listed in Australia:

Mighty River shares to be sold in Australia – reports

Shares in Mighty River Power will be available to investors on the Australian stock exchange, according to reports from across the Tasman.

A leading Australian business newspaper is reporting that shares in the state-owned enterprise will be “dual-listed” in both countries.

The revelation has prompted Labour to hit out at the Government, accusing it of breaking its promise to New Zealanders that they would be the first in line to buy shares.

See also The Herald’s coverage. Apparently an official announcement is due today, but it’s not likely that these media reports are wrong, as pretty much confirmed by Key on RNZ this morning:

The Labour Party says listing the shares on the Australian stock exchange contradicts the promise to prioritise New Zealand investors.

But Mr Key says where the shares are listed is irrelevant as the Government will determine the make-up of the ownership once it has gauged the level of interest from potential investors.

That “make-up of ownership” has previously been described as:

…between 85 per cent and 90 per cent will be held by New Zealanders, including its own 51 per cent stake.

Note that last important caveat. So, up to 30% of the current share offering can be sold off-shore (half the shares are on sale, 30% of that gives us 15% of the total assuming Key goes with 85% “held by New Zealanders”).

According to the overwhelming majority of public opinion, and simple common sense, these assets should not be sold. But if they are, and the demand is there, why not 100% Kiwi owned? Why will up to 30% of the current offering be flogged off overseas? (Note also, of course, that as soon as the shares are sold, there is nothing to stop Kiwis flicking them off to overseas buyers, and the percentage of Kiwi ownership will quickly plummet). So much for Kiwis at the front of the queue indeed.

140 comments on “Kiwis at the front of the queue?”

  1. infused 1

    There is an article I read somewhere in the weeknd that says the Aussie shares would be after NZers bought shares.

    • Tom Gould 1.1

      Key just can’t help himself lying, can he? Now he’s spending a million bucks on a party political broadcast, to cover up. Banana republic, anyone?

    • infused 2.1

      How is that sneaky?

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      The National Party leadership appear at odds tonight over the future sale of Kiwibank.
      English appears to favour a future sale but today party leader John Keysaid a sale was unlikely.
      At a social event as part of the National Party Conferenceon Friday night, deputy leader Bill English was secretly taped talking to two delegates about the possibility of selling the government-owned Kiwibank.

      Kiwibank has always been in Nationals list of assets to be sold but they won’t touch it just yet as it has massive support in the community.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1

        Oops, stuffed up the link :oops:

        English and Key at odds over future sale of Kiwibank

        • alwyn 2.2.1.1

          So, after reading your link I discover that just over four and a half years ago John Key wasn’t going to sell Kiwibank and Bill English was talking about the subject.
          Four and a half years after that surreptitious recording John Key is still not interested in selling it and English hasn’t said anything further.
          Somehow you turn it into “Kiwibank was always on National’s list etc”.
          As for the Government getting some expert opinion on the Kiwibank plans that seems to me to be an excellent idea. I only wish they had done it with Solid Energy.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.1

            And considering that JK lies him saying something different to BE doesn’t fill me with confidence.

          • felixviper 2.2.1.1.2

            It was always on the list, Bill English said so and as you correctly point out he has never reversed that position.

            It doesn’t matter what John Key says, he breaks promises like Gerry breaks wind: Openly and with no concern for those affected.

  2. vto 3

    It will be another one of John Key’s lies.

  3. freedom 4

    What is with the bonus share promises that may or may not be promises or bonuses or even shares? Doesn’t keeping a section of stock aside to service the promise, only cut into the promised return that promises to deliver such promise as we have only dreamed of. I mean it is incredible what a quickly diminishing promised return is going to achieve. At last count 5 billion dollars is going to balance the budget, build not only hospitals but schools too, save CHCH and give every Mum & Dad in NZ a live of prosperity and wonder, hey Key promised !

    as an aside- at work on the weekend ( work which is about to be taken away by a new bean counter of a boss) we had a few Aussie Exchange folk in, and boy oh boy did their mood change when i casually asked if they had any hints about how to go about listing NZ Energy companies on the Ozzie market. must have hit a nerve i reckon. :)

  4. Dv 5

    Contact energy has returned about 5% pa over the 12? years since listing.

  5. emergency mike 6

    “the Government will determine the make-up of the ownership once it has gauged the level of interest from potential investors”

    Gee, I hope all the mums and dads turn out to be as interested as John Key has been saying they are. But I guess things could get dynamic.

  6. Pascal's bookie 7

    Kiwis will be at the front of the queue, it’s just that the bouncer is gonna be all “Sorry, shoes.” and “Not tonight mate, not your sort of thing” and “Private function tonight”.

    • freedom 7.1

      chortles and smirks all day off that one PB ++good

    • tc 7.2

      +1 and once they’re gone that’s it folks.

      Deals done I reckon, Oz and beyond have already been lined up for them.

      • freedom 7.2.1

        gotta wonder what the final holdings of a certain mining magnate will be, why else would she give up so much of Fearfacts if not to be promised something altogether more critical ?

      • SpaceMonkey 7.2.2

        Look for the usual suspects… the likes of National Nominees (NAB), JP Morgan, HSBC, Dexia, Citicorp, Goldman Sachs, etc.

    • Rogue Trooper 7.3

      m-i-c-k-e-y m-o-u-s-e (a deeba deeba, that’s all folks)

    • Tim 7.4

      … yep! and the bouncer will prob be the one that deals ‘P’ on the side to make ends meet.

  7. Lanthanide 8

    Very interesting poll on stuff, with the current results at the time of writing:

    Would the Government’s partial asset sales push cause you to change your vote?

    Yes – I’d now vote for a party opposing asset sales
    285 votes, 36.4%

    Yes – I’d now vote for National
    68 votes, 8.7%

    No
    211 votes, 27.0%

    No – I voted for another party in the election
    218 votes, 27.9%

    Bit of an refutation about the so-called “mandate” they have to sell assets.

  8. Mary 9

    If Shearer is ever going to make a positive impact then asset sales is the issue he needs to take a stand on. He needs to say Labour will buy back what ever Nact sells (and then but them back, of course). The support’s there, especially if Kiwibank’s on the block, even if Kiwibank’s only being being touted now so it can be pulled back on to make the current sales more palatable. All Shearer needs to do is make the move and show he and Labour are in control of the discussion. All he’s doing now is just reacting which just makes him look like an idiot. Why can’t he do that? 70% of people are behind him! It should be easy.

    Answer is that at worst Labour are quite happy for the sales to go ahead, especially Shearer. At best they don’t really care. A man who would privatise the military would surely see no problems getting rid of a bank and a few power companies. That’s what happens when you have a right-wing government and a right-wing opposition.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      He needs to say Labour will buy back what ever Nact sells…

      No, he needs to get together with every other party that opposes these sales and say that they will be renationalised without compensation and then do it the day that they’re in power.

      • felixviper 9.1.1

        +1

      • Mary 9.1.2

        You’re right. I need to learn to be more forceful.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.2.1

          Well, there are more subtle alternatives than Day 1 re-nationalisation without compensation.

          Firstly, you compulsarily acquire 1/2 the Board of Directors seats. Which is the government’s right as a 49% shareholder.

          Secondly, you make it a mandatory requirement that an additional Board seat or two is filled by representatives from the Workers Committee of each power company.

          Thirdly, you apply a super-profits tax on on the earnings of those companies.

          Fourthly, you wait until the private sector owners beg you to take the company fully off their hands so that they can move on with their capital.

      • Tim 9.1.3

        Absolutely! Even if he comes out with some woosey statement such as “…there is no guarantee that [assets on the sale agenda] will remain with 49% private participation as opposed to being PUBLICLY owned.
        That actually might cause me to reconsider the firm decision I’ve made (after a lifteime of voting Labour), to party-vote anything BUT Labour, Nat/Act/Dunne/Conservative.
        They’d have to also make it abundantly clear that neo-liberal policy has clearly failed (the World!); that they will try and progress some sort of constitution that elevates the status of Te T o W, BORA, other legislation such as OIA; AND that whilst we have LIZ, the Guv is REQUIRED to refuse the Royal ascent to piss-poor legislation that breaches those Acts/Constitution. When eventually a republic, a President would effectively impeach himself if he/she legitimised anything that breached those acts/constitution.

        I notice Frank McS has recently written something on the need to entrench various things and provides ideas on the mechanisms available to achieve same. Funnily enough, I’ve asked the Green Party to comment on where they stand and how they would handle the issue. (No reply – After 2 weeks).
        Will it be Green, or will it be Mana I ask myself!

    • SpaceMonkey 9.2

      Why can’t he do that…? Probably because his constiuents don’t want him too.

      • felixviper 9.2.1

        You mean the people of Mt Albert?

      • Tiresias 9.2.2

        He can’t do that – or rather he could but won’t – because fortunately he’s brighter than you lot.

        Read the ‘Sequester USA” thread below. The US political system has become totally disfunctional and the country practically ungovernable because the Republicans – and the Democrats, come to that – are demanding all and giving nothing. Italy is ungovernable at the moment because Beppe Grillo’ M5S ‘party’ are refusing to work with anyone. Greece is in a perilously similar situation. It is axiomatic that in any PR system which doesn’t give one party an unopposable majority there is an opportunity for a minority to dig its heels in and bring government to a standstill.

        There are occasions when that might be justified – when perhaps the majority is seeking to abuse its powers by doing things unannounced and without any mandate much as the fourth Labour Government did under Lange, except that the FPP system then gave them the power – but under the conventions of the Westminster Parliamentary system which make it, and democracy, workable particularly under PR an elected Government has the right to do what it said it would do before it was elected however much you, and Her Majesty’s loyal opposition, might not like it. If Shearer now started making announcements as herein suggested he probably would kill the asset sales programme dead – but if Labour won the next election by anything other than an outright majority he could very easily find himself blocked from doing many of the things he campaigned on and which you’d want him to do because of such blackmailing and undercutting threats by the other side or sides.

        Democracy is a fragile thing – just ask the Greeks, and the Germans of the 1930s come to that – and think before you start a race to the bottom.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.2.2.1

          He can’t do that – or rather he could but won’t – because fortunately he’s brighter than you lot.

          Ah, yes, the traditional not undoing the actions of a previous government to maintain stability despite the fact that the populace wants them to and didn’t want the previous government to do it in the first place.

          That’s not more intelligent, just more sticking to what the rich want.

          • Tiresias 9.2.2.1.1

            No, I was merely responding to your suggestion that the power companies be re-nationalised without compensation.

            You are quite correct to believe such a suggestion from Labour would stop asset sales in their tracks. It would also trigger a capital flight from New Zealand that would make Greece, Iceland and ireland’s recent experiences look like minor financial hiccups. What do you imagine the New Zealand dollar would be worth if the Government started taking what it wanted without compensation? How much oil, how many pharmaceuticals, would we be able to buy if we had to pay cash for it in US$ at 10/c to the NZ$?

            Shearer/Labour would in my view be quite entitled to announce that in Government they would take back ownership of the power companies from private investors at a fair price, and such an announcement would undoubtably depress the sale – perhaps to the point of sinking it. Because they haven’t done so I agree with Mary above – I don’t believe the current Labour leadership is whole-hearted about its objections to the sale process and is quite happy to let National put some black ink on the Govt’s Books while avoiding the approbrium.

            Buying the power companies back would, however, be an expensive exercise and Shearer’s view might be that taxpayer’s money would be better spent on other things. As I haven’t heard anything from him on the point I’ve no idea where he actually stands.

            • Colonial Viper 9.2.2.1.1.1

              Capital flight/capital strike by the wealthiest corporations and individuals remains the single gravest threat to NZ sovereignty.

              Buying the power companies back would, however, be an expensive exercise and Shearer’s view might be that taxpayer’s money would be better spent on other things.

              As you say who on Earth would know what Shearer’s actual views on this are.

              ps it’d be relatively cheap to buy the power companies back; they’ll pay for themselves within 9 or 10 years.

              A great investment for NZ.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.2.2.1.1.2

              It would also trigger a capital flight from New Zealand that would make Greece, Iceland and ireland’s recent experiences look like minor financial hiccups.

              And would allow us to bring our economy back into line just like Iceland did.

              How much oil, how many pharmaceuticals, would we be able to buy if we had to pay cash for it in US$ at 10/c to the NZ$?

              Who cares as all that really means is that we would have to fall back upon our own resources which are quite enough to sustain us.

              Shearer/Labour would in my view be quite entitled to announce that in Government they would take back ownership of the power companies from private investors at a fair price, and such an announcement would undoubtably depress the sale – perhaps to the point of sinking it.

              Actually, it would be likely to push the price up due to the government guaranteed returns that Shearer would be promising.

              Buying the power companies back would, however, be an expensive exercise and Shearer’s view might be that taxpayer’s money would be better spent on other things.

              That’s why the government should also be taking back the power of printing money from the private banks.

              You, like most economists, have NFI WTF the economy is or what it’s for.

              • Colonial Viper

                Who cares as all that really means is that we would have to fall back upon our own resources which are quite enough to sustain us.

                Actually, in addition to the benefits of an import substitution programme, India and China will supply us with all the advanced manufactured products we need in direct exchange for: food and energy.

                Pretty good eh.

        • KJT 9.2.2.2

          You think we have Democracy? What a joke.

          At best we have a three yearly rotating dictatorship. Where the most you can do if you don’t like one lots policies, is to vote back the lot you didn’t like last time.

          Where idiots like Key, Douglas and the ABC’s and total mental vacancies like Parata, Brownlee, Banks, Hipkins can tell us all what to do.

          Where the opposition is , if being generous, out to lunch, if not you could say they are also conniving in the daylight robbery.

          The minimum requirement for democracy is binding referenda, with an achievable minimum trigger petition, like the Swiss.

          • Tiresias 9.2.2.2.1

            And why do we have “idiots like Key, Douglas and the ABC’s and total mental vacancies like Parata, Brownlee, Banks, Hipkins”? I suggest that we have the democracy we deserve, and for as long as 85% of the electorate (at least) regards democracy as a tri-annual tick in a box according to their view of the best act of the ones they were shown, we’ll get what you describe.

            You can vote for whoever you want, so in what way is it the fault of democracy there’s no-one in Parliament representing your views?

            Yes, I broadly agree with the concept of binding referenda. Let’s float one calling for the abolition of taxation and free Rolls-Royces all round.

            • KJT 9.2.2.2.1.1

              Hey.

              All we get is a tri-annual tick in the box, not democracy.

              As for referenda. I am damn sure we would not all vote to reduce taxes on the rich to the extent the country cannot function, sell of income earning assets and give tax payer dollars to crooks.

              • Colonial Viper

                Exactly. Tiresias thinks that putting paper into a ballot box = democracy, when in fact, voting is nothing more than a mechanical process used by democracies.

                • Tiresias

                  No, I’m suggesting we have the democracy we deserve because most of the voting population doesn’t engage any further than ticking the box at tri-anual elections. I do my best by actively supporting the party I think most closely represents my personal political views and doing what I can to get it to represent them even more closely – which is why I gave up on Labour some while back. Flogging dead horses eventually gets wearying.

                  And as for binding referenda I note that in 2009 the Swiss , by a majority of 57.5%, voted in favour of banning the construction of minarets in Switzerland, and by a majority of 68% against a ban on the export of arms and war supplies.

                  When a whole country does a Prosser it’s hard to argue he’s just a dim and lonely redneck.

                  • Tiresias

                    Oh, and the Swiss have just voted by 68 percent to back plans for shareholders to veto executive pay and for a ban on big rewards for new and departing managers.

                    So what do we have?

                    Swiss vote to curb bonuses and obscene executive pay – what a great nation.

                    Swiss vote to ban the building of mosques – what a backward, intolerant nation.

            • Rogue Trooper 9.2.2.2.1.2

              Yep.Merlins please

          • TheContrarian 9.2.2.2.2

            “The minimum requirement for democracy is binding referenda”

            Th minimum requirement for democracy is universal suffrage.

            • Tim 9.2.2.2.2.1

              ….. AND!!!! any ruling government is only as good as its opposition – something Joe Everidge (distant cousin to Edna) can’t seem to grasp when there’s no Public Sphere, no 4th Estate, and an up and coming (ONE Newzzzzzz) cabal of wannabe gliterrati reporters and journalists that can’t even handle the difference between ‘brought’ and ‘bought’ – which most of them – if they had time to sit down and think about it – actually are.
              Bring and Buy
              Brought and Bought

              Aye (Layzy!) you gorgeous creature!

          • TheContrarian 9.2.2.2.3

            No good having binding referenda if only men can vote on it for example

            • KJT 9.2.2.2.3.1

              All the indications are that we would have had universal suffrage a lot sooner in NZ with Swiss style Government.

              It was our parliament that blocked it!

              Their decisions reflect their society.

              Referenda in NZ, would reflect our society.

              • TheContrarian

                “All the indications are that we would have had universal suffrage a lot sooner in NZ with Swiss style Government. ”

                So what you are saying is that if NZ had a Swiss style of government before universal suffrage we would have had universal suffrage earlier?

                Considering NZ gave woman the vote before any other nation, and before the advent of ‘Swiss style of government’ was even a thing, your comment actually doesn’t make any sense.

              • Arfamo

                Everybody seems to like the idea of government by referenda but I doubt any government of New Zealand could make it work effectively. You still get left with many of the day to day business decisions and management of the budget having to be made by an elected govt and implemented or regulated by government departments and institutions. A pity we no longer have such an apolitical public service. I can remember a time when Ministers really were quite often talked out of bad ideas by senior departmental heads who really did think their role was to be apolitical servants of the public. But that’s 30 years ago.

                • TheContrarian

                  “Everybody seems to like the idea of government by referenda”

                  In the last year alone ~250 bills were presented and passed. The idea we could have referenda on all them is absurd. Even you said, lie Draco is want to say, we only have referenda on the ones that matter to the nation or herald major change then who decides which ones go to referenda? All bills effect everyone in some sense. Govt. by referenda isn’t really that feasible.

                  • Arfamo

                    I agree. Imagine how much time would be wasted just on trying to sort out an agreed wording for each item for referendum. I guess if someone wanted to waste the time on it they could try and come up with a really short, shortlist of key matters which ought to be subject to referenda, but those areas tend to reveal themselves when members of the public do CIRs anyway. Leaving us with the problem that governments aren’t bound by them and seem to enjoy thumbing their noses at them anyway. Wonder if the constitutional review will look at that.

                  • felixviper

                    That’s a fair enough point if you’re limiting the discussion to simply governing by referendum but not changing anything else in the system.

                    Which is a bit like saying “Cars can’t possibly run on electricity – they don’t have plugs!”

                    Perhaps another way to look at this is to ask why there are so many bills…

                    • Arfamo

                      Is that a particularly noteworthy number of bills? I dunno I’ve not kept track of how many bills have passed over the years. Maybe more bills now than in the past because of the need to continually fix up poorly considered, rushed legislation, but not sure that’s the case without seeing some numbers over the years.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “Perhaps another way to look at this is to ask why there are so many bills…”

                      Look at how fast the world changes around us.

                    • felixviper

                      And look at how slowly the system reacts.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Is that a particularly noteworthy number of bills?

                      One of the criticisms leveled against NZ parliament is that it’s the fastest lawmakers in the west or words to that effect. The simple fact is that we actually pass laws far too fast.

                    • Arfamo

                      Lol. This debate is becoming more obscure with each new post.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    In the last year alone ~250 bills were presented and passed.

                    Where’s the Natural Law that says that 250 bills have to be passed every year?

                    And, as I’ve also said, we can have the living standard we have today on 10 hours work each week leaving plenty of time for people to engage with government on those major policy decisions where it’s needed.

                    • Arfamo

                      Reducing work hours but not pay and spreading the work to give more jobs to people I’m sure is possible: it’s what futurists were optimistically predicting at the dawn of the computer revolution. But the world headed in the opposite direction, using computers to replace jobs and increase the hours worked by those who still have jobs. We are a very very long way from achieving the futurists’ vision.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      We are a very very long way from achieving the futurists’ vision.

                      And it went that way because of the profit driven free-market. A system that is presently using up resources at a rate that is unsustainable and putting us on course for the first, and possibly the last, Anthropogenic Extinction Level Event.

                      We could do it but some people don’t want us to.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “Where’s the Natural Law that says that 250 bills have to be passed every year?”

                      There is no natural law but the fact is this is how many bills are being passed.

                      “We can have the living standard we have today on 10 hours work each week leaving plenty of time for people to engage with government on those major policy decisions where it’s needed.”

                      I think you’ll probably find the vast majority of people don’t want to spend their free time reading government bills. Even if we lower the amount of bills being passed to 100 per annum that is still a hell of a lot of time taken if every one is going to vote on them. Essentially one every 3 days. Government by referenda is simply far to time consuming and complicated.

                      “We can have the living standard we have today on 10 hours work each week”

                      I put it to you that that’s bullshit. Care to quantify it?

                    • felixviper

                      TC, you’re still wedded to the idea that so many bills are necessary and that they have to be necessarily difficult to understand.

                      You haven’t really demonstrated this though, unless your argument is that the status quo is the best we can ever do.

                    • TheContrarian

                      I am not wedded to any particular idea. The simple fact is there are this many bills. I am open to any idea to reduce the number.

                      How many do you think there should be?

                    • felixviper

                      It’s irrelevant how many I think there should be.

                      If you’re not wedded to the idea that lots of complicated bills need passing then good, let’s move on.

                      Now that we’ve dealt with that, what’s your next objection to referendum?

                    • TheContrarian

                      No I am not wedded to the idea but the current reality is that there are over 200 bills being passed every year so you need to deal with that first because having referenda on all of them is not possible.

                      If there are only 10 bills a year then there is no issue in referenda on them but that is just plucking a number out of the air.

                    • felixviper

                      FFS you’re being dense this morning.

                      If you think ten is a good number then let’s use that for now. Ten bills a year.

                      Happy?

                    • TheContrarian

                      I have no problem with referenda at all if we are only voting an a few bills a year because we’ll have the time to investigate them before being voted on

                      So now, lets look at the problem of how many bills we have. You can’t just wave your hand and say “we’ll just have less” because you need to determine which ones we are going to have and which ones we don’t need.
                      How do we do this? Any ideas?

                    • felixviper

                      Actually we can, we just pass a law that says “no more than ten bills per year”.

                      Or “no more than 2 at a time”.

                      Or “only on tuesdays”.

                      Or whatever.

                      You’re treating the amount of bills like it’s a natural phenomenon when it’s simply a product of the existing rules and systems.

                    • TheContrarian

                      No I am not treating it as a natural phenomena – I am treating as the actual reality we currently have.

                      Of course we can pass those laws – so how do you determine which ones we’ll be voting on?

                    • felixviper

                      How do you think which bills go through the house are determined now?

                    • felixviper

                      ps do you really not understand that the “current reality” or whatever you’re calling it is determined by rules we made up?

                    • TheContrarian

                      OK then we follow the same method as we have now but limit it to ten per annum.

                      So we pass only 10 of these:
                      http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Legislation/Bills/Default.htm

                      Which would mean the last year of parliamentary business would take 23 years.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “do you really not understand that the “current reality” or whatever you’re calling it is determined by rules we made up?”

                      Of course.

                    • felixviper

                      Who says any of last year’s parliamentary business would’ve happened at all?

                      See?

                      You’re totally stuck on the idea that the outcome must not change. This is why you get called conservative btw.

                    • TheContrarian

                      I don’t think things shouldn’t change at all. I like change however I don’t just hand wave and say ‘things should be like this’.

                      It’s all well and good to say we could change the rules and say ‘we only need ten bills a year’ but you need to recognise the effect it would have and that, ironically, would mean things would change very little

                    • TheContrarian

                      We can take this up later though if you’d like – I have meeting to get to.

                      Enjoy your day.

                    • felixviper

                      Now you’re trying to make this about change for change sake. Please.

                      The question was really about why things are necessarily done a certain way and not another. As far as I can read you’re defending the status quo on no grounds at all other than that it happens to be the way things are done currently.

                      You say “I don’t just hand wave and say ‘things should be like this’.

                      I suppose I think that’s exactly what you’re doing.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I think you’ll probably find the vast majority of people don’t want to spend their free time reading government bills.

                      That happens to be the price of freedom.

                      If you do not engage in governing yourself then you will be governed and all the freedom that your ancestors have fought for will be lost.

                      So now, lets look at the problem of how many bills we have. You can’t just wave your hand and say “we’ll just have less” because you need to determine which ones we are going to have and which ones we don’t need.

                      You continually ask the wrong question. It shouldn’t be about how many bills are passed but how many are basic housekeeping and how many are policy. I could be wrong but I think you’ll find that the majority of those 200+ bills fit the former with only a minority in the latter. Referendum only need to apply to the latter with elected representatives and the ministries doing the former as their normal jobs.

                    • TheContrarian

                      See now that’s a bit smarter. Voting on flagship policy but not the tinkering and/or housekeeping.

                      So referendum on policy like asset sales or WFF but not on smaller, housekeeping tasks, like a bill on improving the reporting of food handling by resturanteurs for example.

        • Colonial Viper 9.2.2.3

          Democracy is a fragile thing – just ask the Greeks, and the Germans of the 1930s come to that – and think before you start a race to the bottom.

          What the fuck do either of those situations have in common with NZ today?

          The Greeks: got indebted to bankers within the financialised Eurozone system which destroyed their country, and then had a bunch of pro-capitalist pro banking political leaders screw their country over and over again.

          And you wonder why the Greek populace is restive.

          The Germans of the 1930’s built Germany into a massive industrial and technological power by ignoring conventional economic thinking and investing in nation building infrastructure, so much so that the Germans literally took on the Imperial superpowers of the day.

          You really don’t know shit Tiresas.

          • Tiresias 9.2.2.3.1

            “What the fuck do either of those situations have in common with NZ today?”

            The Greeks, just like the Italians last year and the Germans in the 1930’s are getting anti-democratic governments as a response to financial crises – either foisted on them by their creditors as a price for not having the plug pulled completely or by popular demand. If you don’t think that could happen here you’re wearing rose-tinted specs.

            I certainly hope you’re not suggesting New Zealand the methods the Nazis used to achieve their ‘success’. However it is worth point out that part of Germany’s ignoring of conventional economic thinking was a massive re-armaments programme which benefits who, exactly? Oh, and when the war started in 1939 Germany’s national debt stood at 39 billion marks, and it’s been argued by those who do know their shit that one of the reason’s Hitler kicked-off WW2 was to avoid the economic collapse Germany faced.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Mason#The_.22Flight_into_war.22_theory

            • Rogue Trooper 9.2.2.3.1.1

              just like to say, i know a wee bit about TROTTR

            • Pascal's bookie 9.2.2.3.1.2

              Lol. All sorts of things have ‘been argued’, but that theory isn’t very compelling at all.

            • Colonial Viper 9.2.2.3.1.3

              So the common theme between modern day Greece and pre WWII Germany is the importance of avoiding the dangers of the international banking system and debt based monetary system.

              Nothing you’ve advised helps NZ do that.

              So what the fuck are you on about?

              I certainly hope you’re not suggesting New Zealand the methods the Nazis used to achieve their ‘success’

              Well, lets be much more specific shall we?

              German industrial and engineering technology leapt ahead, as did publicly owned infrastructure designed to boost economic activity and provide a common good to all (ahem, most) citizens.

              After the war Germany kept many of those lessons, becoming a unionised engineering and export powerhouse.

              So why not learn the things we can eh?

            • Arfamo 9.2.2.3.1.4

              Yeah, and it’s not like we have the option of autarky to get started, then taking the resources and lives of a whole heap of their citizens, and then subsequently conquering territories and grabbing their resources to try and balance the books. That economic approach probably looked good on paper, but it didn’t actually work out well as even a short term strategy for Hitler and Speer did it? :)

              • KJT

                Worked fine for Rome, The UK and the USA though.

                • Arfamo

                  The Vandals sorted Rome out. Didn’t do Mussolini a lot of good. The UK doesn’t look quite so great these days, and the US looks likely to take everyone down with it if it falls over.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    And the problem with all of them is that the rulers got too big for their boots and kept demanding more. The economy was fine before the great demands of the few.

                    • Arfamo

                      The rulers always get too big for their boots and demand more. It’s only the rulers who change. Big business owners and financiers are the rulers these days. But they rule by proxy through the democratic governments they control. If we, the voters, let them.

          • QoT 9.2.2.3.2

            In terms of Tiresas’ original comment – “democracy is a fragile thing” – I’m simply dying to know what similarities there are between the political situations of 1930s Germany and 2010s New Zealand. Because I know I personally long for the proud days of the Kaiser and am filled with fervent nationalism due to propagandist spinning of our recent epic military defeat and extortionist reparation agreements to Australia.

        • bad12 9.2.2.4

          Ah too late, the race to the bottom began in 1985…

    • muzza 9.3

      Mary, you’re onto it – Although its really the owners/controllers of the political parties/system, who are directing the theatre.

      The mouth piece politicans, paraded as *our* democractic choices every three years, exist to action the instructions!

  9. Tiresias 10

    I also understand Key was talking about a ‘loyalty bonus’ of extra shares going to Kiwis who hold their shares ‘long-term’ -which to him is apparently three years. I’m still holding the Contact shares I bought in 1999.

    However if this is part of the planning it means that Labour, if by some miracle it wins the next election with Shearer et al, will be bound to issue those loyalty shares to Key and his mates.

    Priceless.

  10. freedom 11

    The announcement on Asset Sales is clear as mud but three things leap into mind
    1: “Kiwis would have to invest at least $1000. They would be guaranteed at least up to $2000 worth of shares. ” of course there was no mention of how that will be fairly apportioned (see #3 )
    2: “Mighty River Power’s 800 New Zealand based employees would be guaranteed up to $5000 worth of shares” what does “nz based” really mean , why should people who simply work for the company get 2.5 X the shares of ordinary people, sure sounds like the governement’s mates getting 2.5 X the option available to you and your mates.
    3: “Ryall declined to say how much of the 49 per cent which had been put up for sale would go to retail investors. ” so basically we all know as much as we did yesterday.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10869016

    notice the immediate discrepancy in the two stories? according to the herald, Mighty river staff get offered 5000 shares not just $5000 dollars of shares. So confusion and diversionary tactics at the outset. This is straight out of the Scam the People playbook.

    • Lanthanide 11.1

      “So confusion and diversionary tactics at the outset. ”
      Don’t ascribe to malice that which can be easily ascribed to incompetence.

    • freedom 11.2

      note: the herald have since edited the story to “$5000″
      (and as expected without a hint of a retraction. It is a small detail but don’t details still matter? )

    • Dv 11.3

      AND they are going to allow up to 40 % of the float to go overseas.

  11. gobsmacked 12

    Shearer to be interviewed on this now (Radio Live, after news).

    • gobsmacked 12.1

      The interview (may be online later) was pretty typical Shearer … the first 2-3 minutes was fine, very clear with his prepared lines. Then Garner pushed further, with 3 predictable questions:

      Will you buy shares? – No.

      Then:
      Will your KiwiSaver provider buy shares?
      Will any of your MPs buy shares?

      Shearer sounded as though he hadn’t expected the questions. Why not?

      The i-view wasn’t a disaster, but it showed (as usual) his inability to cope with anything from left field.

      • QoT 12.1.1

        his inability to cope with anything from left field

        *rimshot*

      • Arfamo 12.1.2

        If this interview is online later – can somebody post a link?

      • infused 12.1.3

        He was on talkback as well, and fumbled when asked “Would Labour buy them back” Dodging the question twice.

        • Arfamo 12.1.3.1

          For chrissake!! How long have they freakin had to by now have worked up a freakin position on this?

  12. No point in pointing out the obvious, I suppose, but we lost this battle, good hiding style.

    No matter how many signatures have been collected, no matter how all single issue polls support keeping our assets, Goff fucked it in ’11 and really, from then on in, it’s been all over, Rover.

    Labour’s failure to oppose has allowed this to happen.
    Already looks like history repeating in ’14.

  13. Arfamo 14

    They’re talking about selling 3 more aren’t they? If they get four power companies flogged off before the next election, we’re stuffed. I can’t see any way a new government can nationalise them all without drying up overseas investment. I’m quite interested in the suggestion someone made earlier though that a new government with a 51% shareholding could maybe effectively take over the board and finesse them back into public ownership over time.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      I can’t see any way a new government can nationalise them all without drying up overseas investment.

      We don’t need overseas investment and never have done. Why would we need foreign money to use resources we already own?

  14. Arfamo 15

    I’m no economist Draco and I wish we could be completely self-reliant, but I imagine if all foreign investment in NZ suddenly dried up we’d be in crisis. I don’t think the NZ-owned capital market is big enough to fund the entire economy, and our government couldn’t do it on taxes alone. But if you’ve got a link to anything produced by anyone showing how we could run a completely internally funded self-sufficient economy I’d love to read them.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      I don’t think the NZ-owned capital market is big enough to fund the entire economy, and our government couldn’t do it on taxes alone.

      The government could do it. It’s the power of being a sovereign nation capable of printing the states money so as to utilise the states assets and resources effectively. The assets and resources that we already own – the infrastructure of a developed nation, the skills of our people and the resources within the borders.

      And I didn’t say anything about trade or self-sufficiency.

      • Arfamo 15.1.1

        Apologies. I must have misinterpreted what you were saying. But I’m quite lost now if you’re saying the government could fund the entire economy. I see no good reason for the Nats to partially privatise the power companies except the obvious one to drag in money to try and plug the hole left by the unaffordable tax cuts and their current borrowing. Just reversing the tax cuts would probably fix the hole faster. But they’ll never do that. So Shearer should say he will. But he won’t. He doesn’t know what he’ll do. Labour’s rooted with him in the front passenger seat pretending to be the driver.

        • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1.1

          But I’m quite lost now if you’re saying the government could fund the entire economy.

          Our entire economy is founded upon the resources we have here in NZ. As we already own these resources it’s just a question of using them. Money is a tool to do that but importing money doesn’t bring about any more ability to use those resources than what we already have. As this is true the only thing the government would need to do to bring about the use of those resources is to print the money and spend it into the economy. In this case taxes become a tool to prevent excess inflation, as well as payment for services rendered, by keeping the total money supply balanced.

          • Arfamo 15.1.1.1.1

            Whoops sorry – posted this in wrong place. Sounds great. What country is using this system? I’ll check them out.

            • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1.1.1

              The entire global economy is filled by sovereigns trapped by this 400 year old banker run debt-based money system.

            • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1.1.1.2

              We did. Worked to but the banks and other capitalists don’t like it as it removes the country’s dependency from them and thus the power they have.

            • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1.1.1.3

              The thing that you don’t seem to comprehend is that money has to come from somewhere. There’s a few options but the one we use is the one where the private banks print money into the economy and charge interest on it. This is a system that, quite simply, doesn’t work as the interest is on top of the principal loaned and thus the only way it can be paid back is if another loan is created which also bears interest.

              This results in an inevitable credit crises when the debt is so high that it can’t be paid back – just like we just saw with the GFC. In fact, paying back the loans will actually cause the economy to collapse as it will remove money from circulation. The only reason why the economy hasn’t collapsed so far is because of a number of nations printing money hand over fist but it’s not bring the world out of recession because it’s all going to the private banks.

              The system I’m describing is one where the nation state prints the money, with no interest, and spends it directly into the economy. It would be spent on necessary services such as electricity, telecommunications and other ubiquitous needs. Generally speaking, the stuff that the society can’t do without.

              Money from that spending would be spent into the private sector which would be small and when it falls over, which it does frequently, it won’t hurt the people or even the economy.

  15. Arfamo 16

    Sounds great. What country is using this system? I’ll check them out.

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    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
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    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
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    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
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    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
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