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Nats’ ideology: outsourcing NZ

Written By: - Date published: 9:54 am, December 15th, 2010 - 28 comments
Categories: assets, business, capitalism, prisons, privatisation, public transport - Tags: , ,

3 under the radar stories yesterday. All linked by ideology.

Kiwirail to buy 300 wagons from China because its cheaper than building them here. It’s not allowed to consider the wider economic gains.

Collins outsources her newest prison to a multi-national, Serco, with a history of prisoner abuse.

English wants more ‘value’ from public assets. Value for whom? The likes of Serco?

28 comments on “Nats’ ideology: outsourcing NZ”

  1. Tigger 1

    Asset sales. We’re being softened up to believe we ‘need’ them in order to balance the books. Of course, this leaves aside the issue that the tax cuts earlier this year are unaffordable – they won’t come off the table but instead asset sales will be fed to us as a way to make cash.

    Not ‘sold’ of course, just 49%-ed, so effectively they’re still ‘ours’.

    And NZ will swallow it. I swear, I haven’t felt this unpatriotic since…well the 1990s.

    • bbfloyd 1.1

      you’re not alone in feeling unpatriotic tigger… i havn’t heard so much negative, and frankly, quite violently angry talk around the traps for years..

      • Tigger 1.1.1

        That’s how they want us to feel – if we’re not on board then we’re Un-Kiwi. It’s the Bush playbook…

  2. john 2

    We’ll end up a Corporatised shell like the U$ run by the rich for the rich looking up to twice over billionaires like Oprah while ordinary people get poorer and poorer and stupider and stupider:they did vote this mob in!

  3. Bored 3

    This is the area of economics that the Labour party could actually make the most mileage out of presented in the correct emotive terms and imagery. Who (amongst us old enough) can recall the emotional appeal Muldoons “dancing Cossacks” and “reds under the bed” adverts had on the electorate in 1975? They vilified the left by making these terms and images synonymous with communists and union activists, something very visible at the time.

    Today the visible baddies are fat cat financiers, corporate salaried fat cats, polluting farmers, parking building companies and meter men who work for private companies, overseas investors forcing us to pay too high a charge for telephony, the buggers who have taken our cash and gone bust (but hidden their cut) etc etc. I know it is nasty but it may be time to re run the adverts updated. And talk the language, paint the venality of the bastards as it really is.

    More importantly it also positions the left economically as an alternative as it paints privatisers as part of the current corporate fat cat crew. To privatise is to give in to these selfish anti social nasties.

  4. jcuknz 4

    My thoughts on getting quotes is it gives one the opportunity to get the best deal and this is not always the cheapest which those with a narrow outlook on life seem to think is the prime reason for accepting a quote. As a Dunedinite, though with no connection to Hillside apart from an mild interest in railway full size and models, it seems rather foolish that our previous Councils, city and regioinal, blew their doh on a stadium which has ended up being worse than what they had, and still have, and originally justified because ‘The Brook’ was too small for some World Cup match. So we now have two stadiums available for one or two matches, neither being the ‘final’, just run-up sops to the local football union.

    If the council was not so strapped for cash as it is now because of the $350million committed to the stadium they could have let it be known to Kiwirail that any shortfall [ or overfall? ] of the local quote would likely be met by the council for the good of the city.

    So we are left with no increase of jobs for the good of the city economy, two stadiums, which nobody can afford to use because of the incredible running costs.

    The RWNJ’s and the LWNJ’s are running rampant it seems to me with stupidity apart from Clare Curran and a few like her.

    • Bored 4.1

      You know the RWNJ version. So for the LWNJ version (in line perhaps with Adam Smith and other classical economists)…rent taking. When an enterprise is a necessary part of the infrastructure for the delivery of services to the economy and the people it becomes a drag upon the rest of the economy. Particularly so if rentier behavoir becomes evident in the case of monopolies, cartels etc. In which case the enterprise has outlived its usefulness as a private venture and should be regulated or nationalised.

      What does that mean for outsourcing the purchase of goods and services offshore, and return on public assets? Obviously the accounting for non visible costs is the issue. For example, a company in NZ misses out to a Chinese company for a train order, what is the cost to NZ of lost revenue off shore, interest paid on debt, cost of unemployment benefits etc? Losely speaking who funds the invisible transfer costs that the whole economy has to pick up? What is the concurrent gain to be made from this purchase that might also be invisible and can be off set again costs? how does this reflect on the actual value for money from state enterprises?

      None of the questions give obvious answers but what I can tell you is that any current analysis is absent, we are being driven by ideology and recieved wisdom. Doubt is required.

      • Roger 4.1.1

        Not only that but the lost benefit of extra income for those workers which leads to greater consumption and investment locally. The extra money pumped into the economy will have a multiplier effect. The extra turnover will indirectly create more jobs in private business. How much of the money will come back in income tax and GST? Almost 1/5th immediately plus the extra GST from added consumption by the initial workers, and a higher corporate tax take from increased business turnover. Because of the multiplier effect of money the same money being spent multiple times allows for tax collection at multiple sources. It really is a no brainer. I guess that is how the previous Labour government spent their way out of debt and this National government is just robbing the government to give money to their friends.

    • Swampy 4.2

      Caurran is politically naive. The kiwi Rail SOE cannot make a decision like that and the goverment cannot meddle in the running of the SOE.

      And the council would be totally on the wrong foot to get into the business of subsidising an SOE to help the m win contracts as they are a central government agency.

      Before the last election. Mallard and Cullen said they were going to find out if locomtives could be built in NZ. That of couse is all they could do. They couldn’t make NZR give the contract to Hutt or Hillside. But it got them a few votes just by pretending

      Curran I think actually does know that neither the government nor the other MPS can influence Kiwirail to choose their own workshops to build the wagons or units or locos. But the fact is that the shops will get the overhaul contracts for them so they actually do benefit from it after all.

  5. Deadly_NZ 5

    Has anyone thought that maybe, the chinese firm that won the contract has ties to Sammy and Pansy??? Now wouldn’t that put the cat among the pidgeons????

  6. jimmy 6

    Ive never heard of Serco before until I read this post at about 11:50 this morning. Flicked on the midday news and bobs your uncle there was a prison transfer wagon with Serco on the side. They have a distinct Umbrella Corporation (of Resident Evil) sort of vibe to them thats for sure.

  7. Swampy 7

    Kiwirail is an SOE
    It is not the role of an SOE to consider wider economic gain. That is the government’s role, along with the politics. Kiwi rail has acted correctly. They are set up to avoid political meddling by the government and that is how it should be.

    • felix 7.1

      In the current context you’re right, the responsibility lies with the govt.

      It appears that they have no interest in the wider economic gains to NZ.

      • Swampy 7.1.1

        Kiwirail obviously believes that some of the contracts they have awarded are of greater benefit to their overall operation. See comment below

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      They are set up to avoid political meddling by the government and that is how it should be.

      nah, its the end of the neo-liberal model mate.

      Its all hands on from here in.

      The private sector would love to get on with enriching themselves in an unbridled environment. But its govt’s role to ensure that the broadest society benefits from economic activity and that means providing very clear steers.

      The realisation is clear: narrow private sector self interest != common societal good

      • Swampy 7.2.1

        Yes its all hands on to Labour nudge nudge wink wink here’s another backhander to our loyal union supporters.

        How do you suppose that Nurses get a 32% pay rise in an election year which Annette King gave them as Minister of Health. Simple, she just got a vote of increased funding from her colleagues to do it. There’s always plenty of money for political favours. So there would be I expect, contracts for the railway workers staffed by the loyal members of a Labour affiliate union. In real life it’s called corruption and it’s what they do in tinpot countries. Fancy living in a banana republic?

        • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1

          Fancy living in a banana republic?

          $1.77B for SCF bond holders
          $90M in tax breaks for half billionaire Jackson
          Wong gone but still only done $500 wrong
          Govt has an unfunded 5 year $12B debt hole = the tax cuts given to the rich

          So we’re already there. You ask me how does it feel? It frakin sucks.

          How do you suppose that Nurses get a 32% pay rise in an election year which Annette King gave them as Minister of Health.

          Yeah I agree that was a good payrise.

          But consider the context: almost any registered nurse can head over the ditch today and get a 30-50% pay rise without even asking for it.

        • Maynard J 7.2.1.2

          Swampy, you can still put out tenders, but allow them to include wider benefits to New Zealand.

          There’s your wee straw-problem solved.

          • Swampy 7.2.1.2.1

            It is still within the SOE’s jurisdiction to choose the options they want and whether this includes or does not include local content. They chose in this case on more than just the cost of the contract.

    • Marty G 7.3

      “It is not the role of an SOE to consider wider economic gain.”

      But why shouldn’t the govt require an SOE to consider wider economic gain, just as it does of NZTA? They’re different types of government body but they’re all owned by the New Zealand population and should be acting to maximise our interests.

      • Colonial Viper 7.3.1

        should be acting to maximise our interests.

        Yes acting to maximise our collective interests, and the value of our shared citizenry.

        • Swampy 7.3.1.1

          The collective interests of the trade union movement and Labour party affiliates is not of concern to me.

      • Swampy 7.3.2

        There is a lot of room for interpretation of what those interests might be.

        The items cited by Kiwirail which are of benefit to them are:
        * Lower cost of the items
        * Shorter delivery timeframe

        Kiwirail clearly believes that in the short term awarding this contract overseas will have a greater economic benefit to the entire organisation rather than just one part of it. They will look at local assembly of wagons for future contracts.

        Kiwirail has also categorically ruled out local assembly or manufacture of locomotives in the foreseeable future. They believe the cost-capability gap is substantial and not able to be closed realistically.

        It should be pointed out that these arguments have happened up and down the country for at least the last 40 years that I know of. There is nothing new in any of them.

        I do not see the value of turning the railways back into a Railways Department type of operation run as a political kingdom by direct government involvement. It will never happen. Giving Kiwirail the freedom to make their own decisions without political interference is part of the future of the rail system in this country.

        • Bright Red 7.3.2.1

          But Kiwirail is part of the government. Shouldn’t it at least consider the impact of the government’s books as a whole when making decisions?

          What’s the point in making a little more profit to be paid in dividends to the government if the decisions it took to make that extra profit cost the government more in lost tax revenue etc?

  8. Clare Curran 8

    @Swampy If the Govt chose to it could have a policy requiring its SOEs to consider the local economic value of the work being done here. Labour is considering such a policy. Making available the contents of the contract discussions after the deal is done is another way to ensure transparency in decision-making. Instead we have to “believe” Jim Quinn and Kiwirail when they say that the CNR tender was 25% less than the Hillside tender.
    Knowing what I do about the tender process for the Auckland EMUs (electrification of Auckland rail) I don’t have a lot of confidence in Kiwirail\’s tendering processes. And neither should you.

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    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    3 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    4 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    1 week ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

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