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Meridian on the block

Written By: - Date published: 7:24 am, September 30th, 2013 - 40 comments
Categories: Privatisation - Tags:

If you weren’t paying attention you could easily miss the fact that Meridian shares are opening today. that’s because there’s been a lot less mainstream hoopla about it than there was with the sale of MRP. Despite the face there’s been a whole host of taxpayer funded sweetners attached to the deal.

According to TVNZ half of the shares in Meridian have already been subscribed to by “retail investors” after brokers were invited to registers for clients.

Unlike the MRP sale which was touted as getting new investors into the market, this sale seems to be focused on transferring taxpayer wealth to the usual suspects as quickly and quietly as possible. I imagine this free-money float will also further harm the value of the MRP shares a few “mum and dad investors” did actually purchase.

My guess is we’ll see a further accelerated asset sales programme, along with rapid implementation of other unpopular National party policy as the government’s backers start to realise that a third term is increasingly unlikely and the push comes on to get as much through as they can. The referendum will be adding to the heat.

National’s problem is they’ll be relying on Peter Dunne to do it, but he’ll be looking to distance himself from them as he senses the mood changing and looks for a space in the next government (as he has already shown with his RMA push-back).

40 comments on “Meridian on the block”

  1. amirite 1

    So English and a guy from Goldman Sachs say there has been strong early demand for Meridian shares but some brokers and financial advisers say that interest is lower than for Mighty Power shares. And of course, the Herald is quick to lay blame onto the Labour/Green power policy proposal as well as the eventual Tiwai smelter closure.
    Of course, the spin we’ll be hearing from this Government in the next few weeks will be how the fire sale was an unprecedented success.

  2. wyndham 2

    “National’s problem is they’ll be relying on Peter Dunne to do it, but he’ll be looking to distance himself from them as he senses the mood changing and looks for a space in the next government (as he has already shown with his RMA push-back).”

    Absolutely right, Eddie. In order to save what’s left of our ownership of this country, more and more pressure needs to be kept on Dunne, the great chameleon of NZ politics.

  3. vto 3

    I still don’t understand…

    Key and English say they want as many kiwis as possible to own Meridian, yet it is already owned by 100% of kiwis and this process will only bring that percentage down, there is no other possibility.

    Why do Key and English say that when it is clearly an impossibility?

  4. srylands 4

    “Why do Key and English say that when it is clearly an impossibility?”

    Easy. Because it is owned by the Crown. When did you last get invited to a shareholders meeting?

    This hysteria about the partial sell down of a couple of power cos is mad. The privatisation programmes in Australia over the last 25 years have been a great success. Which OECD countries in the last decade have championed a model of state ownership? France. Which is now a socialist paradise (sic) with a stagnant economy and enormous youth unemployment.

    The only mistake the Government is making is not selling 100% of the companies. That will need to await the next National Government in 2017.

    The “sweetners” are just part of doing business.

    • vto 4.1

      “Because it is owned by the Crown”.

      But Key and English count ownership by Kiwisaver as ownership by kiwis, which owns such on behalf. As does the crown. Inconsistent horse shit and pinhead dancing there srylands. Fail.

      As for “hysteria”, it is interesting that the rich like to own assets like this yet Key and English say it is better not to own these assets. How does that work? Sounds like yet more horse shit.

      But srylands, your base understanding of society and how its resulting economy should work is nuts, as has been continually pointed out to you. You think people are tradeable commodities and you think people should not be allowed to have children unless they earn a certain amount of money….
      …. off the planet nutty

      Until you get to first base you are a waste of time

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      This hysteria about the partial sell down of a couple of power cos is mad.

      No, selling them is mad. Completely fucken insane in fact which is why the majority of Kiwis don’t want to sell them.

      The privatisation programmes in Australia over the last 25 years have been a great success.

      Only for the people who got to buy the once state assets as they become owners of the general populace.

      Which OECD countries in the last decade have championed a model of state ownership? France. Which is now a socialist paradise (sic) with a stagnant economy and enormous youth unemployment.

      Your question, answer and statement have no relevance to each other or even to privatisation. Europe itself is collapsing.

      The only mistake the Government is making is not selling 100% of the companies.

      Only authoritarian dictators would be saying that.

      The “sweetners” are just part of doing business.

      Business that the majority of Kiwis didn’t want doing at all.

    • Colonial Viper 4.3

      Ahhhh shitlands, the paid mouthpiece for the top 1%. Of course they would think that it is great, they are the ones receiving the transfer of low risk wealth from the state.

      The “sweetners” are just part of doing business.

      It seems that you are a proponent of socialism (for the wealthy) after all?

    • framu 4.4

      yes yes shitlands – but your the kind of functional moron who thinks making all roads private is a sensible idea

      As youve been told before – you and your society trashing ilk are in the minority on this one

      yes – france – whoopdee friggin doo – because comparing how two countries are doing by looking at one single policy is a completely valid and honest way of evaluating things

      also – im still keen to hear how under a fully privatised road ownership scheme your going to get you car to work in… kapiti? or was it some where in australia? if you dont like the roading supplier who owns the road outside your house

      but still – you can always ignore reality when you champion anti democratic corporate welfare like your doing

      morally bankrupt waste of space

    • Murray Olsen 4.5

      Yes SSlands, the privatisation of road tunnels in Australia has been a huge success. First the state government pays some private business to build them, then they go broke, so the government bails them out, then sells them off cheap to their rich mates, then buys them back at a high price with public money. Your definition of a great success makes as much sense as your slavish support of the boss who pays you minimum wage.

  5. Bill 5

    Not too sure about your take on Dunne. The so-called politics of compromise or whatever can only work in an environment dominated by a managerial mind set where there is scant difference between the two main managerial blocs.

    That environment (I believe) is gone now and with it (I’d argue) the possibility for fence sitters to jump down, first this side then that, whoring themselves for baubles.

    Dunne is done now, no matter what. He has 400 days to whore for what he can get and to set up what he can for his post parliamentary life.

  6. Rosie 6

    “National’s problem is they’ll be relying on Peter Dunne to do it, but he’ll be looking to distance himself from them as he senses the mood changing and looks for a space in the next government (as he has already shown with his RMA push-back)”.

    Re Peter Dunne: I’ve heard it suggested that Dunne potentially got his 1000 odd members to bring back UF from the grave, from the outdoors and conservation lobby. Maybe they are so concerned about our environment and the further threat to it under proposed RMA changes (with good and valid reason) that they will pay up a membership fee to the one who claims to champion their cause? If this theory is true then it is another case if “Willing Buyer, Willing Seller”.

    I’m sorry I don’t have a link for the next bit, an article that I read a few weeks ago in the local paper. The Independent Herald which Dunne frequently appears in, said that Dunne hasn’t ruled out running for Ohariu next year, saying “National need me”. I don’t think he has any intention of back tracking on his commitment to asset sales. He recently refused to attend a public meeting on this matter in his own electorate.

    Dunne can’t be trusted to gauge the public mood, imo, and do the right thing. He will always put himself first. That he said “National need me” perhaps indicates that he has no feeling for a Labour Greens govt being elected in 2014. Maybe his tune will change as time goes on, and he needs to adjust to power shifts but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    • Rosie 6.1

      PS. At this point in time he is sticking with National and makes that clear in his recent post on the UF website, where he is dismissive of the new Labour leadership.

      “So, despite the hype, the reality remains the same. The left-wing axis is most unlikely to be able to form coherent, stable government. All of which shifts the onus back to John Key and the National party”

      http://www.unitedfuture.org.nz/new-labour-leadership-same-old/

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Dunne is one of the people who, for ideological reasons, will never be in the same government as the Greens. As such, the only option he has of staying in government is to go with National.

      EDIT:
      PS, don’t suppose you remember which date?

      http://independentherald.co.nz/

      • Rosie 6.2.1

        Hi DTB

        http://issuu.com/the.star/docs/213233ih?viewMode=magazine&mode=embed&layout=http%3A%2F%2Fskin.issuu.com%2Fv%2Fsoftlight%2Flayout.xml&backgroundColor=dddddd&showFlipBtn=true&proShowSidebar=false&logo=http://starnews.co.nz/images/MagicBox7.gif&logoOffsetX=0&logoOffsetY=0&CTI=27101

        Found it! Crazy long link here to the article.Apologies, I don’t know how to over write the link as you have done above. If that doesn’t work, it’s page 4 of the 21st August edition with the title “Amazing win for Marae”.

        “National needs me”. A close enough approximation of what he actually said I reckon :-)

        • Rosie 6.2.1.1

          Incidentally, I have on loan issue 349, August 2013 of Forest & Bird. The mag is full of articles that express disappointment and distrust of this govt’s handling of environmental stewardship and conservation:

          p.8 “Undermining Northland” about a 2011 aerial mineral survey of almost the entire region of Northland that was done without the consent of landowners, and the subsequent granting of 5 new exploration permits.

          p.10 “Long wait for Maui’s dolphins” about slack arse inaction over the threat to the Maui’s dolphin.

          p.14 “RMA reform opponents rally”

          p.40 – 42 “Conflict of Values” about the granting of permits to Bathurst to mine the Denniston Plateau and the environment court case. (A strongly and clearly worded article)

          p.43 “Forest & Bird acting to save the RMA”

          p.48 “Environment rights and wrongs” Considers the need to recognise a healthy environment as an essential human right and for it to protected under the Bill of Rights Act, similar to what other countries are doing. (e.g, The French Environment Charter).

          p.54 “Scary statistics” Climate change campaigner Bill McKibben criticises plans to mine Denniston Plateau.

          Ok. So there would be a number of Forest & Bird members who are Green voters I’m assuming, they’re not Nat voters, however, these members are maybe running short of funds to fight the govt in the environment court. So if they have an MP they can turn to, already within govt who has a lot of influence, ie, one vote that can an drastically alter the outcome then maybe it pays to get him onside with membership to his dying party and he can then be their saviour. It The willing buyer willing seller routine again. Bring along outdoor recreation groups such as fish and game whose members would be affected by the erosion of the RMA, and you add to the group who NEED you. Just a theory, but if it were true it would prove again that Dunne’s motivation isn’t the will of the people, it’s the drive of his own self preservation.

          I don’t think he’s looking for a space in the next govt. He’s looking to see how he can survive in the short term, and the RMA stance is just part of that plan.

  7. Chooky 7

    Electricity pricing is a National and Act Party disgrace!

    ….ever since I was a child I can remember New Zealanders paying for hydro power generation on the promise that there would be low electricity pricing and plenty for all….it never seemed to eventuate and now National is privatising and selling off the power generation assets(built on generations of NZ tax payers money) to those with the surplus dollars (Trust Accounts) for investment ,who are least dependent on affordable power.

    It is a betrayal , especially as most New Zealanders don’t want asset sales!

    … Beneficiaries, the low salary earners and Grey Power are extremely angry….If nothing else this will be a huge Election issue !!!!….

    The Greens are right on the button with this …imo Gareth Hughes , despite his youth , is very able and should get a cabinet position in the new Labour/Green coalition 2014 government.

    • Puckish Rogue 7.1

      I would party vote Labour if it meant keeping the Greens out of power

    • srylands 7.2

      “….ever since I was a child I can remember New Zealanders paying for hydro power generation on the promise that there would be low electricity pricing and plenty for all…”

      Well sorry. The economy grew, the gas ran out, it became unfashionable to build dams, and someone forgot to invest in the transmission network for 20 years. OOps. It has nothing to do with who owns the bloody companies. Oh and the massive cross subsidy (scam) to retail consumers was ended.

      You could have mentiioned those things.

      There is NO way the Greens are going to deliver cheap power without direct subsidies, or ratioing or blackouts. They are advocating MUCH more stringent pricing of carbon. That will rise power prices because gas generated power determines the marginal cost.

      • framu 7.2.1

        ” it became unfashionable to build dams” – on the remaining un dammed rivers

        and other renewable energy sources became more cost effective

        “and someone forgot to invest in the transmission network for 20 years”

        yes – a govt captured by the very ideology you subscribe too – your super smart

        but hey, dont let reality get in you way or anything

        You could have mentiioned those things.

      • Chooky 7.2.2

        @srylands…..actually I think the cheap power ( from dams built with tax payers money) was given to Comalco….while old age pensioners, the unemployed and those on low incomes scrimped and scraped to pay for their meager power ……..and went cold…and for them power prices keep going up!

        Shame on you!…and your impoverished soul

        This is going to be a BIG BIG Election issue !

    • srylands 7.3

      “imo Gareth Hughes , despite his youth , is very able and should get a cabinet position in the new Labour/Green coalition 2014 government.”

      imo he is frightening, ill informed, and would do immense damage to New Zealand and its economy.

      Given that Labour and the Greens are likely to win in 2014, part of me would like to see Gareth in charge of the energy sector – in fact the Greens in charge of key economic portfolios. It is now clear that it will take the implementation of these policies to demonstrate to the voters what they will actually do. So lets bring them on in force. We can then limit them to a one term government, and it will be back to business as usual with National coming back in 2017 to clean up the mess.

      • Chooky 7.3.1

        I am pleased Gareth and the Greens frighten you!….because nothing else seems to.

        …You should be grateful that they are proposing solutions for a way out of the nasty impasse you and your Nact friends seem to have gotten many low income New Zealanders into.

  8. Puckish Rogue 8

    When I get home I’ll be signing up for some more shares with the balance to pay in 18 months…its all good :)

    • vto 8.1

      i’m sure it is all good for you that is most of the problem

    • srylands 8.2

      Me too. Plus my partner and my mum. I’d sign my cat up given the nice free loan on offer :-)

      For those who are opposed to the partial floats, how are you going to deal with your Kiwisaver fund buying shares? Are you going to switch to a fund that is restricted to fixed interest securities? Or do you just wear it?

      • Paul 8.2.1

        You own these assets already.
        Now you’re prepared to steal them from people who haven’t got the same amount of money as you.

        • chris73 8.2.1.1

          No you don’t, just another lie fed to you by the left.

          • Paul 8.2.1.1.1

            Like the lies your mate Hooton identified?

            • chris73 8.2.1.1.1.1

              Just because your taxes helped pay for the upkeep doesn’t mean you own them, however if you can provide a link that states we own them then I’ll admit I’m wrong…

              • framu

                just because you dont have a share certificate doesnt mean you dont own something

                theres more forms of ownership than a bit of paper

                just because you cant conceive of these other forms of ownership doesnt mean they dont exist. In fact theyve existed for centuries before share certificates and other “single person” legal documents

                really chris73 – weve all been through this before – why do we have to keep going back?

                The wider NZ populace owns these things via the state – we are the shareholders of all state owned assets, they are managed by a board – parliament, we get to influence the board, we get dividends via services provided from the state

                what proves this ownership? citizenship! Thats all you need to prove ownership of a state owned asset

                Are you really going to sit here and say you dont get that?

      • Chooky 8.2.2

        @ srysland …it may come as a surprise to you ….but for many New Zealanders , Kiwisaver is something they cant afford…and their share portfolios are non existent…so they wont know what the Dickens you are talking about…..

        By the way….I bet your pussy cat is really a bulldog

      • Pasupial 8.2.3

        Srylands

        That’s three more international investors who’ll get burned out when our assets are re-claimed under the next government then.

    • Chooky 8.3

      Pukish Rogue…you little cutey…many played that game in 1987 and got burnt…..your shares may go through the floor once we all get little windmills on our roofs and solar panels….then your asset /shares may be undesirably priced out of everyone’s reach…and we may not want your power no more..no more…HIT the Road Jack

      Unless of course the Greens get in and fix the pricing….but that still wont be good for your shares…

      • Puckish Rogue 8.3.1

        your shares may go through the floor once we all get little windmills on our roofs and solar panels

        – it may but not likely as the costs to set it up for people would be prohibitive also theres nothing to stop me investing in solar energy companies :)

  9. Chooky 9

    @Puckish Rogue ….well there is always the Greens ….and they are doing pretty well in the polls

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     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago

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