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National Party economics: make $2 billion, spend 5

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 pm, June 29th, 2013 - 89 comments
Categories: accountability, assets, bill english, debt / deficit, economy, john key, national - Tags:

Today, R0b asked a question that many people have been posing: just how many times does the National Government think it can spend the “profits” it’s “made” by selling off viable money-making New Zealand assets?

So I had a wee dig. Bear in mind, I’m not an economist; I’m just a citizen trying to find out where her money’s being spent.

On the other hand, I help run a household, so apparently this makes me just as qualified as the next person to determine whether the Nats are good economic managers.

Let’s start with the income. 2012 Treasury forecasts suggested a price of $6 billion for selling off 49% of Mighty River Power, Meridian, Genesis Energy and Solid Energy, and part of the publicly-owned chunk of Air New Zealand.

The proceeds of these sales go towards the “Future Investment Fund” – which isn’t really a fund, more a guideline.

Now that’s just a Treasury forecast, so put what faith in that that you wish.

What we have in hand is $1.7 billion from the sale of Mighty River Power. (And this was at the low end of the initial $1.6-1.9b estimate of its value, so let’s add that fact to any niggles we feel about Treasury’s forecasts while we’re at it.)

Somewhere along the line this has become $2.1 billion added to the Future Investment Fund.

Now, to the spending.

National has committed from the Future Investment Fund:

Phew, that’s a mighty list of stuff!

A mighty list of stuff costing $5.26 billion dollars. Out of $6 billion dollars we don’t even have yet.

And that’s ignoring the Government’s earlier statements about reducing our debt by $6 billion. That’s ignoring the fact that the Future Investment Fund only funds capital expenditure, not operating expenditure.

That’s ignoring the millions in the cost of consultants and advertising already spent trying to hike up the price of Mighty River Power.

If we were a household, we’d be sticking a fancy new fridge on hire purchase while promising to put the Xbox on Trademe some time next month, honest, I reckon it’ll pull in $600, and doing nothing about the credit card debt we racked up taking the lads out for Friday night Jagerbombs. Oh, and that new fridge? Uses three times as much electricity, but we haven’t put aside any extra cash for the power bill.

Does this look like good economic management to you?

89 comments on “National Party economics: make $2 billion, spend 5”

  1. karol 1

    Looks like satisfactory figures to me, QoT.

    The Nats over-spenders are also probably already spending the money they think rate payers will get from the sale of the Ports of Auckland and other Auckland and Christchurch assets.

  2. Yes 2

    Ummm you have got this sooo wrong…you’re right you’re not an economist.. Look at the future income revenue budgets…they are included in the long term forecast.

    Before you even respond think about the is..where was labour going to fund 100,000 homes..greens QE was going to cost 3.5 B and now the dollar has dropped we just lost double based on this stupid monetary policy.

    Then wait for it Labour wanted to squander ACC reserves…hmmm that’s my taxpayers funds..

    Can you please write balanced reports

    • Pascal's bookie 2.1

      Can you please write in something resembling coherent thought?

    • QoT 2.2

      Look at the future income revenue budgets…they are included in the long term forecast.

      But Yes, my ladybrain is all befuddled! Future income revenue would seem to have fuck-all to do with asset sales, except insofar as they reduce future income.

      But as PB said, if you’d like to write a coherent comment which actually addresses the post in concrete terms I’m sure we’d all love to see it.

    • Colonial Viper 2.3

      Ummm you have got this sooo wrong…you’re right you’re not an economist.. Look at the future income revenue budgets…they are included in the long term forecast.

      Most trained economists don’t understand either money or debt. Their forecasts are also usually worth as much as an equivalent weight of toilet paper.

      What are you talking about?

  3. BM 3

    Maybe they’ll do a Russell and just print a pile of money?

    • QoT 3.1

      This has nothing to do with this post. Just like Yes, above, you are welcome to make comments which address the facts of the post. Any other derailing shit from you will be deleted.

    • tracey 3.2

      you mean like Mr Cameron (UK) and Mr Obama (USA)?

      You have to admit BM, that if this was the Labour Govt it would be called a lolly scramble or fuzzy economics. The two phrases greens and labour need to start throwing back at Nats around this nonsense.

      I recall when the asset sales were were schools and health (oh, the good old days… just 2 years ago actually).

  4. chris73 4

    National Party economics: make $2 billion, spend 5 should actually be National Party economics: make $2 billion, spend 5 and win re-election

    • Zorr 4.1

      “make $2 billion, spend 5 and win re-election while all the time complaining that any issues are due to the economic mismanagement of Clark and Cullen

      fify

      • chris73 4.1.1

        Problem?

        • QoT 4.1.1.1

          So let’s be clear, chris: you have no problem with National fiddling the books and lying about it as long as they win in 2014?

          Gosh, you’re a person of strong character.

          • chris73 4.1.1.1.1

            What you all need to understand is that what you say National are doing is what the right said Labour did when they were in power

            So while two wrongs may not make a right this will probably ensure National regains power (aided by Labours piss-weak management) which means we’ll have another three years of good, sound management before the left get a chance to undo all the good work

            So in this instance the end justifies the means, which I’m guessing is probably how a few labour supporters felt when Labour were upto their shenanigans (retrospective legislation anyone?)

            • QoT 4.1.1.1.1.1

              What I do love, chris, is how your argument literally boils down to:

              “Your side just hates it when my side does exactly what your side does, because you disagree with them, which means it’s ok when my side does it because I agree with them.”

              It also comforts me because I doubt someone with your level of critical thinking can so much as find his way to a polling booth every three years.

              • chris73

                Never fear, I always do my duty and perform my democratic right: two ticks National (unless Act ever sort themselves out)

        • muzza 4.1.1.2

          Nice of you to illustrate the mindset of those who, endorse the decline of this country.

          C73, if your posts are serious, you are foolish, if they are not serious, you are foolish!

          Must be a proud sensation, either way!

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1.1.2.1

            +1

          • chris73 4.1.1.2.2

            Fortunately more people in this country agree with my views than yours (or hadn’t you noticed the rights in charge?) and it looks like its going to continue for another three years

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1.1.2.2.1

              Yeah, about that, a couple of questions: which polling company got closest to the last two election results? What are their latest results?

              Doing sums 101?

              • chris73

                The worst result that can happen is National going in with WinstonFirst, Labour are doing such a good job of shooting themselves in the foot (again) that they won’t mount much of a challenge

                The media have already decided its a National win

                [QoT: If you are incapable of addressing the post directly, I must at least insist you stick to the topic of the comment you are responding to. This incessant jumping around is boring.]

  5. tc 5

    Nice one QOT I was wondering how many times over the Nats have spent asset sales proceeds they haven’t got yet also.

    Shows what a feckless under the thumb bunch the MSM are, yiuve laid out a golden rainbow of many many lines of questioning govt ministers should be getting Gerry McGuire styles ‘show us the money ‘ .

    Watch out for the old classification switch, where operational becomes capex and hey presto it can be funded by asset sales and distort some numbers to boot, a classic accounting technique to make loss turn into profit.

    A good graph would be time on the x axis and all these promises stacked along it, a line for declining income stream as assets get sold off and gov’t debt to show sheeple the ongoing con the banskta is perpetrating

  6. Gosman 6

    I’m not sure I see the point of this post other than QOT seems to have come out as a fiscal conservative. If so, then welcome to the dark side QOT. Good to see you care that Government spending should be kept in check.

    • QoT 6.1

      You’re absolutely right, Gosman, you haven’t seen the point of this post. Refrain from further trollish speculations about my political leanings or you’re out.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      The one big difference I see between the right and the left is that the right say that they’re concerned about government spending but always blow the budget and the left don’t but almost always stay within budget.

      • Yes 6.2.1

        You serious.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.2.1.1

          Are you able to mount a reality based (ie: based on actual behaviour/outcomes when in government) rebuttal?

          Doubt it.

          • Yes 6.2.1.1.1

            Ok here’s a balance.. Micheal cullens hidden ACC blow out. When national gets in back in order..national decrease levies and Andrew little wanted to use it. Now I pay ACC for ACC matters..my fund.

            What about that great police IT program that spent 100M’s and had to be scrapped.

            Oh and didn’t Chris Hipkins sign off nova pay?

            Shall I carry on?

            • QoT 6.2.1.1.1.1

              And what the hell does any of this have to do with either my post or Draco’s comment?

              • Yes

                it was a reply to knucklehead

                • QoT

                  And it wasn’t relevant then, either. You were asked to “mount a reality based rebuttal” by OAK to DTB’s comment about the difference between right and left governments.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.2.1.1.1.2

              If you carry on, will you mount a reality-based rebuttal to Draco’s comment, or will you just keep on blithering like a twit?

              PS: the ACC “blow-out” was a lie. Did Nick Smith dupe you? Either he did, or you’re a deceitful prick. Which is it?

              • Yes

                extract NZ herald

                Former ACC minister Maryan Street, who received her first official advice of the shortfall on August 14, said the Treasury was closely involved and Dr Cullen would have got a “heads-up” from officials.

                Ms Street provided the official papers to the Herald, including the August 14 report from ACC that detailed an estimated shortfall of over $900 million over the next three years. The figures were actually estimated out for five years, taking the shortfall to $1.5 billion.

                Ms Street said Treasury, ACC and the Department of Labour were all recommending that no decision be made until after the election.

                She said that, like her, Dr Cullen was relying on the early estimates, which were not “good figures” and he would have been waiting until she officially wrote to him on October 22 when the figures had been checked out properly.

                [QoT: If you cannot provide a link this is worth fuck-all, you do realise.]

                  • You_Fool

                    from that link:
                    “A Treasury spokeswoman said the ACC shortfall was not included as it was not deemed to be under active consideration.”

                    So it was a change in expectations and no-one had decided which numbers were right, and were investigating when the PREFU was released – maybe not best that it wasn’t included, however that said, no evidence to say that once it was determined that Labour wouldn’t have dealt with it worse than National.

          • joe90 6.2.1.1.2

            What about that great police IT program that spent 100M’s and had to be scrapped.

            Oh, the one that IBM ditched in August 1999. Idiot.

            The Inquiry has had difficulty obtaining the relevant figures for the cost of the Contract. The following table based on the Project Director’s reports, shows forecast expenditure for those items to be supplied by IBM. The table does not show internal Police costs.

            http://www.justice.govt.nz/publications/global-publications/m/ministerial-inquiry-into-incis/historical-outline-of-incis

            • Yes 6.2.1.1.2.1

              agree – now that is a National blowout

              If you read my first line – now for some balance.

              There are lots of blowout projects by both governments – accusations was made that national always blow budgets.

              i never called you an idiot or anyone on here once a foul name – so please apologise

              • QoT

                “The Budget” is not the same as individual projects, most of which are big enough to cover multiple governments.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Exactly.

                  So, Yes, now your red herrings have been given a decent burial, do you give up and concede the point, or are you going to attempt that rebuttal?

                • Yes

                  Im going to finish commenting on this post QoT – I have read all your moderations – if you are going to write a post and then moderate everyones response then your posts are a waste of time.

                  You made a list of projects – nothing wrong with that – I just suggested you should list all the Labour/greens etc policies as well for a balanced report.

                  Moderate this response if you like but if you cant handle peoples responses don’t write posts.

                  • QoT

                    Except for all those comments I didn’t moderate, including – shocking, I know – one which completely disagreed with the post!

                    (Probably a leftwing sockpuppet, right?)

                    You and all the other commenters whom I have had to moderate keep wanting to pretend that you think your bullshit is relevant to the post. It’s not.

                    There is nothing relevant about projects which may or may not have blown their budgets under Labour, to a post about National’s ambitious/casual/bullshit commitment of funds raised by selling assets.

                    Please, do fuck off. You haven’t exactly made a contribution anyone will miss.

                  • You_Fool

                    I didn’t realise that an opinion piece had to be balanced? Esp one written on a left leaning blog and detailing personal opinion, esp when that opinion is based on fact…

  7. Rogue Trooper 7

    Well, from what I can gather, reading between the lines on Key and Brownlee’s foreheads is while Len has staked some of his mayoralty on not selling the Port shares, Key has hinted at that possibility. Gerry’s preference is NOT for further charges to the tax-payer for using state-owned assets -roads, tunnels and rail-lines- through additional regional taxes.
    The lovely Rachel sneaked in a suggestion that pressure by the Nats on Len to sell assets is an underhand shove against him FROM being re-elected mayor.

    Yep, they got their roading projects attached to that “loopy” CRL “that would do so very little”. hmm.

  8. Iron myself 8

    After years of lurking here, I can see why so many former proponents of government tax and spend to “fix” the economy have jumped on the rather poor meme “national are fiscally irresponsible”. I’ve seen CV, DTB et al change their latest slogan at a heartbeat to oppose anything that national do when it used to be exactly what they were clamouring for so many times now its not even funny. Just sad now. Like watching Rodney dangerfield stand up. Partisan and out of date. I bet if national raised the top tax rate one of regulars here will scream it will increase capital flight and scare away all the NZ Australian returnees. Without ever seeing the irony.

    [QoT: Like Gosman, you have deliberately missed the point of this post. No further warnings.]

    • muzza 8.1

      Iron myself, cheers for the giggle, appreciate it.

      Possibly giving you too much credit, but why not, its Sunday.

      If you’re trying to say that, it matters not who controls the purse strings, the outcomes are more or less the same trajectory, then you would be correct!

      Still doesn’t negate the validity, of pointing out the blindingly obvious hypocrisy of the MSM, and the political motivations.

      • Iron Myself 8.1.1

        The blinding hypocrisy of the MSM. Political arguments need a new Godwin’s law regarding the media. Both sides blame it vociferously. Which means on aggregate it is doing its job and being neutral. Critical where it needs to be critical based on fact and supportive if required using the same facts. ” It’s all the MSM’s fault” is the most pathetic argument. If the media call parties out for shit behaviour and policy, that’s because it’s probably deserved.

        That’s NZ anyway. You can say what you like about the herald, but it is far more balanced than the government funded radio outlets and their presenters unswerving allegiance to left wing values.

  9. infused 9

    [QoT: There is a very clear difference between accepting disagreement and tolerating trolling douchebags. Guess which side of the line you just chose to stand on?]

    • infused 9.1

      [QoT: The reason this comment was put in moderation is because you used the word “trolling”; I have no control over that process, more’s the pity. And I’m not going to apologise for labelling something as trolling when it serves no purpose but derailing or personally attacking a post author. I’m really not going to explain this again.]

      • infused 9.1.1

        You opened yourself up for attack by saying “Bear in mind, I’m not an economist”

        I mean “That’s ignoring the millions in the cost of consultants and advertising already spent trying to hike up the price of Mighty River Power.”

        Why are you even posting that if you aren’t going to list the figures? It’s just filler.

        Not taking in to account the household/trademe rubbish you have posted.

        You wonder why you’re not getting any decent replies?

        [QoT: Oh, I get it – you’ve completely missed the point! The point where this is just a top-of-my-head post based on half an hour’s googling. Where I do not pretend to have every single fact and figure – much less access to it. You’ll note a lot of the links are to media sources, because it’s very difficult to track down actual governmental documentation of a lot of this stuff.

        Which might have something to do with the fact that the whole point is to illustrate the casual relationship National’s promises have to do with reality.

        The “household/trademe rubbish” is there to highlight the bullshit idea, put about by rightwingers since the dawn of time, that government budgets work like household budgets.

        And I know why I’m not getting decent replies, sweetie. Because I’ve made a post chock-ful of facts and figures which dipshits like you don’t actually have a good response for.

        You are not welcome to comment further on this post.]

        • Gosman 9.1.1.1

          If that was your point it wasn’t very clear. Certainly I didn’t see many people commenting that picked up on that. AlsonI’m not sure many people are seriously making the case that Government is exactly like a household. I have seen some people make this case but noone doing any serious economic analysis.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.1.1.1.1

            So, your defence to the accusation that your misunderstanding is a pretence is that you lack the cognitive ability to understand the post?

        • Gosman 9.1.1.2

          If that was your point it wasn’t very clear. Certainly I didn’t see many people commenting that picked up on that. I’m not sure many people are seriously making the case that Government is exactly like a household. I have seen some people make this case but noone doing any serious economic analysis.

          • felix 9.1.1.2.1

            It’s so weird how the only people who found the point unclear are the same people who set out daily and determinedly to deliberately disrupt and derail every thread on this site.

            So weird.

  10. Nordy 10

    I like your style QoT…pithy and to the point….

    A good post with real questions, unlike those we see asked by the MSM.

    It’s no wonder the Auckland rail link is scheduled for after the demise of this NACT govt – they have no idea about planning for the future. As has been stated succintly many times on TS, it is one of the defining features of right wing parties – it’s all about the short term, in other words, it’s about ‘me’.

  11. Wayne 11

    Well QoT, you seem to have ignored the fact that this expenditure takes place over a 10 year period. The money does not have to be in the bank right now. In any event 40+% of Meridian will be sold within 6 to 8 months.

    But actually the Left needs to work out where they stand on all of this (and this has been pointed out by most of the influential MSM commentators). You can’t blame National for not doing enough, then complain that when they do so, by asking where is the money, and by the way Phil Twyford complains that in any event it is not happening fast enough.

    What exactly is Labour’s message?

    • QoT 11.1

      Okay, but this raises a lot more questions:

      1) If they’re sticking to the initial plan for selling the power assets off over five years, how can they know right now where it’s best to spend $5.26 billion of it?

      2) But if they’re NOT sticking to that plan and are selling off Meridian quickly (coincidentally, pre-election) then they won’t get the “best price” for them and thus will have less money to spend on the things they’ve already committed to.

      3) I am not the Labour Party. This is not a Labour Party blog. The message of the Labour Party has fuck-all to do with my post.

      • Rogue Trooper 11.1.1

        having to wave a lot of nightstick policing this post Queen. (I regularly watch Wayne Mapp’s punditry on the box; wouldn’t bear it no mind, no how). Although, he and Susan Wood do make a lovely couple. “Middle New Zealand”, we despair.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 11.2

      I missed the part where QoT speaks for Labour.

      • weka 11.2.1

        More’s the pity though, they could do worse than having QoT as spokesperson :-)

        • QoT 11.2.1.1

          On the plus side: can speak in full, clear sentences. On the minus side: full, clear sentences usually involve unladylike cusswords.

  12. irascible 12

    Key is doing the big offer spend up combined with a concerted social media advertising campaign and MSM conspiracies based on what happened in Australia with Gillard can be manipulated to happen in NZ to soften the country up for an early election once the GCSB bill fails to get endorsement.
    The spending promises all come with hooks – mainly more asset sales and then the sale of the infra structure (PPP schemes) to enrich the right wing profit taking asset strippers Key enjoys gambolling with.

  13. Disraeli Gladstone 13

    I’m not if this has been covered in the heaps of comments, but this post isn’t entirely accurate. Mainly because while it’s true that National don’t have the alleged $6bn from asset sales (I doubt it’ll get that high), National also isn’t looking to spend $5bn right now. The spending is staggered. For instance, the CRL isn’t going to be funded until 2020 by the government. Therefore that $1.4bn isn’t being spent now; it’ll be spent once the full proceeds from the asset sales have been collected.

    If you want to make the point that National is trying to have its cake and eat it too by announcing big spending projects that are popular and trying to hide that they’re not coming into effect straight away, that’s a damn good point. But to say that the spending out versus the revenue in from asset sales isn’t quite right, because it does seem like the spending is being staggered to match the staggered asset sales.

    • QoT 13.1

      This is true to a point – but on the other hand, they are committing to spend money they don’t have yet.

      What if the sale of Meridian is a complete flop? What if it’s so bad they literally can’t put Genesis up for sale? Does anyone believe Solid Energy’s going to be a viable product any time soon? Then what happens to the $1 billion for education, or the $1 billion for health? Sure, they haven’t yet spelled out exactly how those figures are going to get broken up, but there’s still a specific scale of upgrades and renovations they’ve promised.

      And this ignores the fact that National may not be in power after 2014 – so if a Labour-led government stops further asset sales, do they also get the blame for leaving schools/hospitals/Christchurch in the lurch and “breaking” the promises of the previous administration? Even if you think National will win in 2014, they’re not going to stick around another two terms after that to see the CRL kick off.

      Yes, at the moment they’re staggering the actual spending to the assets sales. But they’re not staggering their promises.

      (And I would bet money which I already actually have in my pocket that the promises are just going to keep on coming.)

      • Wayne 13.1.1

        QoT, To a much greater extent that an individual or a family, Govt’s plan their spending track out to 10 years or beyond. It less about the timing of the announcement (which will be chosen for best political advantage), and more about the timing of the actual expenditure – but I am sure you know all of this.

        And of course, every Govt plans as if they are the govt beyond the next election.

        In any event what is your actual complaint. Every thing that has been announced has bipartisan support, though I guess the two sides of politics have different ways of funding them. For the Left, increased taxes for every sector (personal, corporate and CGT). For the Right, same taxes as at present, but asset sales to make up the shortfall in the LTA account.

        Commenters here seem to have lost sight of the fact that over the next 10 years the LTA account will generate $15 billion. Much of it is already committed, but a fair bit is always available for large capital projects, such as the existing electrification project.

        I imagine both sides would borrow for these long term projects, although the Right is also keener on tolling.

        And unlike you, I believe when Govts make promises of the magnitude they stick by them.

        And it is likely that CRL will start before 2020. There is a huge amount of work in design and planning and tendering which will take at 2 to 3 years before construction starts. So even on the Nats 2020 timeframe serious work will start around 2017. And of course, if the City can get early funding, it could be before then,. In any event the PM has signaled the timing can be bought forward. My bet – Mayor Len will get things started in his next term, i.e. 2016.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 13.1.1.1

          Yeah that all sounds very plausible. Does it mean six equals twelve?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 13.2

      Wow! A cogent counter-argument!

      DG, They’re going to spend $12bn ($6bn in debt reduction, and $6bn in spending, give or take).

      No matter how long you take to spend it, 6 ≠ 12.

      • Chris 13.2.1

        It can be reasonably argued that they are the same thing so 6 doesn’t need to equal 12.

        I think most here would agree that the list of expenditure that QoT has set out is pretty necessary and should occur regardless of asset sales. By using the money from asset sales they have effectively eliminated $6bn of debt that the government would have needed to take on to fund these projects.

        In other words if the government has a debt level of $100 they can now fund more projects for that $100. So the money from the asset sales will be used to repay debt thereby allowing futher expenditure to occur.

        Also, I’m not a fan of the argument that they shouldn’t be planning to use the asset sales money because they don’t have it yet. The same could be said for all future government revenues, so does that mean they should have no plans as they do not have the tax revenue yet?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 13.2.1.1

          “…would have needed to take on…”

          That’s a lovely assumption you’ve got there. Did you make it yourself?

          GDP is always higher under Labour led governments, because they run the economy better, and that increases the tax take (not to mention that the biggest beneficiaries of society pay more tax).

          So, no, there is nothing to say that borrowing is the only solution. The National Party always has to borrow, as a consequence of its fiscal incompetence, but other parties are not as handicapped.

          • Chris 13.2.1.1.1

            Fair enough, however the fact remains that National is currently in power so they will take on debt rather than hiking taxes. You can compare it to what Labour would have done but that is rather academic. The fact remains they will take on debt and the asset sales can be used to pay down debt and fund projects at the same time as I just explained.

            For the record I also think taxes should be higher rather than borrowing more, however that’s not really the point here.

  14. Yes 14

    QOt you moderated or commented on 20 of the 66 posts on here..talk about controlling. And you abused people who posted as well.

    [QoT: And now it’s 21 out of 76.

    To give it a different spin, I only moderated the comments of 6 individuals – including yourself – and many of these moderations only involved adding mod comments, not deleting or editing the text.

    It’s not my fault that you six all lack home-training, and to be frank, you, BM, chris73 and Gosman are hardly the posterboys for constructive, genuine commenters at The Standard.]

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 14.1

      Perhaps, like me, she has little tolerance for deceitful shills.

    • weka 14.2

      Yep, she’s got a trigger finger when it comes to tr*lling and derailing. I for one appreciate the tight moderation, because it means we don’t have endless sub-threads of drivel and abuse (from both sides I might add). Where someone has commented responding to the content of the actual post (as opposed to having a go at her politics, or making inflammatory remarks unrelated to the post content), she has engaged thoughtfully. It’s not hard to tell the difference. QoT has some rules about commenting on her posts, they’re not hard to learn.

      • QoT 14.2.1

        Thank you, weka. But unfortunately it seems that some people don’t find my rules all that clear, they just keep doing the same thing over and over and then complaining when it always delivers the identical results …

  15. quicksilver 15

    [QoT: Goodbye.]

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 15.1

      Yeah, because Disraeli Gladstone disagreed and got insulted and banned. So did Wayne. No, wait…

    • weka 15.2

      qs, you do realise that intentionally misrepresenting the rules, is against the rules.

  16. Jon L 16

    The difference between “left” and right, as I see it, is that the
    right blow the budget on helping themselves, and the left tend to blow it on trying to help the community.
    I know which way I’d rather it be blown…….

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    John Key’s suggestions today that Child Youth and Family could be privatized will be a terrifying thought for New Zealanders already dealing with the mess created in private prisons and plans to sell our state houses to Australians, Opposition Leader… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Govt must make most of Jetstar competition
    Government agencies should pledge to always buy “the best fare of the day” to maximise competition between Jetstar and Air New Zealand and ensure savings for taxpayers while boosting services to regional New Zealand, Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Phil Twyford says.… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Time for inquiry into petrol margins
    It’s time for an inquiry into petrol companies as margins are once again at the high levels that prompted concerns late last year, says Labour's Energy Spokesperson Stuart Nash. "Over the December January holiday period, petrol importer margins jumped to… ...
    4 days ago
  • More talk as Auckland congestion worsens
    The main impact of the Government’s agreement with Auckland Council today will be simply to delay still further decisions needed to relieve the city’s traffic congestion, says Labour’s Auckland Issues Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “Government has been aware for more than… ...
    4 days ago
  • Serco inquiry extended
    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    4 days ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    4 days ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    5 days ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    5 days ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    5 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    5 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    5 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    6 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    6 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    6 days ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    6 days ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    6 days ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    7 days ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    7 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    1 week ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    1 week ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    1 week ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     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
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago

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