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NZ Herald watch – history repeats

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, February 7th, 2014 - 146 comments
Categories: business, colonialism, economy, greens, labour, newspapers, Privatisation, same old national, slippery, spin, sustainability - Tags:

The NZ Herald has a long history of opposing Maori resistance to the theft of their lands and suppression of their culture.  It began in 1863 with a policy to oppose Maori resistance to British occupation and colonisation.  Yesterday the NZ Herald hardcopy used a white supremacist symbol to announce it wouldn’t be reporting on protests on Waitangi Day.

Among the Tweets criticising the NZ Herad‘s latest outrage, NRT linked to a page on papers past, showing the founding policy for the NZ Herald:

In 1863, William Chisholm Wilson, [...] to start a rival daily, the New Zealand Herald. The new daily had a clear editorial policy – a more constructive relationship between the North and South Islands and a combative response to what it termed ‘the native rebellion’ – but Wilson’s main motivation was commercial, seeing a business opportunity as Auckland’s population grew rapidly.

Yesterday, the print edition had a front page image of a white fist announcing it was protest free, as shown on Twitter by An(i)archy.  Dylan Horrocks improved on the image.

NZ Herald news free fist

Yeterday, Morgan Godfery explained why protest is an important part of Waitangi Day. Today, Stuff (also a news site with right leaning tendencies), showed a better way to cover Waitangi Day, protests and all.  It reported an the diverse positive activities that marked the Day.  And it said this about the protests:

A hikoi that started in Cape Reinga with 70 people had grown to about 300 as it peacefully made its way through the grounds.The hikoi was promoting the need to protect the environment and Maori’s special relationship with it.

A Christchurch couple were impressed by the hikoi’s approach and message.

Gaynor Duff and Terry Reid are on a North Island road trip, and timed their visit to Waitangi to coincide with the national day.

“People were protesting but in a dignified manner.

“If Maori can’t have a voice here where can they,” Duff said.

“It’s a special place to be today,” said Reid.

The right wing editorial position of the NZ Herald has been well known throughout its history.  Back to the Papers Past article linked above:

For decades the New Zealand Herald changed little in its appearance and sober, right-of-centre editorial stance…

Today The NZ Herald continues with its right wing editorial stance, in support of the Key government’s asset sale programme, ‘Editorial: Good reasons for the Govt to push on with Genesis float‘.

The editorial takes a tip from John Key’s MO, in putting forward a very slippery line.  It promotes the asset sales failure to achieve the government’s stated goals as a positive thing:

In purely financial terms another float makes no sense. Unfortunately those are the terms the Government has mainly used to justify the unpopular programme. It has also cited benefits for the sharemarket in what were supposedly gilt-edged offerings. The weakness of the stocks are undermining that argument too. The Government is left now with no choice but to explain the real reason for the asset sales all along: economic efficiency.

So Key and his ministers lied! Why didn’t the government explain the “real reason” from the beginning, rather than lying about their reasons?  Laughably, the editorial says that if the real reasons were generally understood the asset sales would not be so unpopular. Well, is that not an admission that the government has failed with this policy?!

If all it took to be popular was to explain the real reasons, why didn’t the government do it?  Oh, but maybe that would make their budget pronouncements of the financial benefits look weak.

It then uses the old (dodgy) free market line that all business competition is good, especially if it has a “level playing field” as its basis – as if such playing fields are ever really that level.  They are skewed towards the profits of the most powerful.

The editorial then goes on to slam the Labour and Green parties for hindering this (allegedly) “noble” process.  And then tries to argue that profit making by businesses contributes to a more efficient economy.

However, as in Mike Smith’s latest post on The Standard, Geoff Bertram has produced evidence that the competition introduced by the deregulation of the electric power sector has resulted in increased power prices for the consumer. Rather than attack the evidence, Bertram has been personally slammed by the spokesperson for the Government’s Electricity Authority

Meanwhile, the sophistry and dodgy reasoning of the Electricity Authority’s latest report has been exposed in this analysis:  aiming to justify the huge price rises and discredit the Labour-Green single-     buyer policy.

It’s good that there are other sources to counter the NZ Herald‘s right wing spin. And the Herald’s primary goal remains the same as in the 1860s – to be a commercial enterprise.  In spite of its great claims about economic efficiencies, the Herald does not even operate within the kind of competitive market it argues for: it is THE major daily paper with a wide circulation, in a MSM playing field that is dominated by right wing corporate-supporting media.

 

 

 

 

 

146 comments on “NZ Herald watch – history repeats”

  1. Wayne 1

    Karol,

    I know the Left has a meme out now that John Key et al are all liars on everything they do. I presume this is part of the Left’s electoral strategy.

    But your proposition that they lied about this is not tenable. They always been clear that boosting the local share market and getting private sector disciplines into the companies was one of the reasons to partially privatize. And I see that as part of the economic efficiency argument.

    The Ports of Tauranga has been continually cited as a good example of this, which it is. A pity that Mayor Len does not also see it.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      It isn’t Karol’s proposition: it’s The Herald’s.

      “…no choice but to explain the real reason for the asset sales…”

    • karol 1.2

      Wayne. I have no responsibility for the “left’s” electoral strategy. I am not a member of any party, nor do I have any role in their campaigns. I am a left wing commentator, and call it as I see it.

      And what OAB said above.

    • adam 1.3

      Oh the same ports of Tauranga, that they now road freight stuff to Auckland from? The same ports of Tauranga that had what ship break up on it’s door step? The same port of Tauranga which is always dragged out by some anti union wanker to show workers are better off being kicked in the teeth with a smile, rather than just being kicked in the teeth.

      We have had 30 odd years of efficiency drives in this country, and guess what, efficiency has one real big flaw – it keeps compromising effectiveness for an economic benefit – you can only do this so often till you end up with a soviet style economy – oh wait thats what the right wing have turned NZ into, some sort of open air, low payed, economic basket case. Bugger me, who saw that coming.

      • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 1.3.1

        Yes, the Rena stranding was TOTALLY the fault of the port of Tauranga. It’s so obvious.

      • Ron 1.3.2

        One should look at another great port company Lyttelton. There they manage to run a great port and provide great worker protection especially in the safety area. I note that there are 800 shareholders in Lyttelton port company the majority the City Council but wonder who the rest are.

    • Lanthanide 1.4

      Another one of the claims Key made repeatedly, which I never saw any media commentator pull him up on, was that investing in companies via share offers is good for the companies because it gives them a cash injection they can use for other parts of the business.

      That is of course true, but completely irrelevant to the SoE sales, because the money went straight into the government’s coffers, not any of the companies.

      • Stuart Munro 1.4.1

        This issue goes deep for Key though. It was from asset sales that he made his first large sum of unearned money. He likes to pretend that he wasn’t a crook for doing so. And it underpins his ‘strategy’, he hopes to create another handful of far-right scofflaws to support and perhaps help fund the gnats.

        Until NZ has an asset protection law with teeth and a claw-back provision, thieves like Key will keep on stealing our stuff. Used to be we had leaders honest enough that they understood public property was not just there for them to steal.

        Some of the old medieval punishments would be good for Key, the pillory – he likes to be the centre of attention – or having ‘thief’ branded on his forehead might be a good start. And of course he must make restitution.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1.5

      @ Wayne

      Correction: It is not a meme, nor an ‘electoral strategy’ – simply an observation of the blatantly obvious facts.

      This current National party are the biggest liars out there – I would have hoped that decent conservative types would be ashamed of what is going on in this regards – not writing comments implying that it is not going on.

    • Tautoko Viper 1.6

      Wayne: Does “getting private sector disciplines into the companies” mean “economic efficiencies” such as “Mighty River Power director fees up 73pc” ?
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/8508445/Mighty-River-Power-director-fees-up-73pc

    • thechangeling 1.7

      Port of Tauranga has the worst port accident rate in the country most of which are continually hushed up and covered over because of a culture of fear where no one speaks out about what’s really going on there safety wise among contracted workers on tenuous (flexible) contracts.
      That’s what happens when Trade Unions independent of employers and government are unable to enter and unionise a work site so the employer strives to extract as much profit as possible for shareholders at the expense of the health and safety of the workers who generate the profit in the first place.
      Isn’t neo liberalism great!

    • bad12 1.8

      Wayne, i doubt you are personally ‘dumb’, but, this particular comment smacks of dumbness,

      What you are being an advocate of is simply musical chairs, swapping the Government as the 100% owner of the power Co’s does nothing for the economy,

      Boosting the profits of the ticket clippers who run the share-market is the end result of the ‘sell off’ and no new industry will result from this,

      As the focus of these new privatizations will in the future be on providing dividends from profits the companies will skew all their effort toward this aim and very little monies will be spent providing for extra generation in the future that we as a growing population will need,

      Oh that’s right lets use the Enron model of profit guarantee by ensuring there are shortages thus having a ‘reason’ to rack up the prices…

      • Wayne 1.8.1

        Well, the Right will say the private ownership of the competitive parts of the economy is always better than public ownership. The Left obviously thinks differently.

        However, over the entire world (North Korea excepted) economies essentially operate on free market lines, with large private ownership. That means profits, dividends and competitive pressure. The debate is how much of the economy should be private.

        For the Right it typically means all parts of the economy which are subject to competition and which the user pays a direct and full fee for the service or the goods, should essentially be owned privately. This includes electricity, but it does not include education, roads, hospitals and other such things. In these areas there is typically only a limited amount of private ownership since a large number of citizens do not have the resources to pay at the time they use them.

        But essentially people are able to pay for electricity as they use it.

        • Tracey 1.8.1.1

          “However, over the entire world (North Korea excepted) economies essentially operate on free market lines, with large private ownership. ”

          85 people (men?) have as much money s the bottom 3.5 billion combined.

          What was YOUR point again?.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.8.1.1.1

            That he supports that 85 people have so much wealth and that it’s accumulating at everyone else’s expense.

        • karol 1.8.1.2

          In the light of your comment @ 4.43pm Wayne, interesting that the Key’s government is looking to run the education system more along corporate lines, and to partially privatise it through charter schools.

        • McFlock 1.8.1.3

          But essentially people are able to pay for electricity as they use it.

          But not everyone, which is why power gets disconnected.

          • Tracey 1.8.1.3.1

            and sometimes at the expense of the meal on one weekend, or the water, or the rates, or the *fill in the gap*

            It’s just more political pap from Dr Mapp. Pretending that the economy is doing well and soon the “prosperity” for all will be felt throughout the nation… But it won’t… just like in the 80′s 90′s and 00′s when we had the identical good news.

            It’s not really good news for everyone.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1.8.1.4

          Right Wing Framing Alert

          “However, over the entire world (North Korea excepted) economies essentially operate on free market lines, with large private ownership. That means profits, dividends and competitive pressure. The debate is how much of the economy should be private. “

          No they don’t, they are called market economies (or mixed market economies) – not free market economies.

          Market economies can range from hypothetical laissez-faire and free market variants to regulated markets and interventionist variants. In reality market economies do not exist in pure form, since societies and governments regulate them to varying degrees.[4][5] Most existing market economies include a degree of economic planning or state-directed activity, and are thus classified as mixed economies. The term free-market economy is sometimes used synonymously with market economy, but it may also refer to laissez-faire or Free-market anarchism.[6]

          From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_economy

          [Emphasis added]

          The free-market is an impossibly ideological ideal and an ultruistic framing of what most economies ‘essentially operate on’.

        • lprent 1.8.1.5

          But essentially people are able to pay for electricity as they use it.

          That is a strange comment as I look at my power bill with its rather large “line” charge. This is a fixed charge per day regardless of how much power I use on that day. My bill now consists mostly of this charge as my power requirements keep diminishing (more efficient gear).

          Just changed to a contact with a lower daily charge and a higher unit charge. But I’m expecting the non variable cost to still be built into my per unit charge and the daily charge and to consist of the majority of the charge.

          That is because much of the cost in current power bills is effectively the accounting increases in capital values with no underlying actual increase in actual value made since the split of the electricity sector and since privatization started.

          You comment really doesn’t make sense because we are largely not paying for the cost of generation. We are mostly paying for the already paid for cost of the asset being held in the hands of people revaluing it to justify their unearned “profit” margins.

          It has little to do with the cost of production per unit.

          • Anne 1.8.1.5.1

            Look forward to Wayne’s reply to lprent but not sure there will be one. :twisted:

            • Wayne 1.8.1.5.1.1

              Anne, as you know I do not reply to every challenge to respond, but neither does anyone here. We all have other things to do.

              But as Iprent knows, line charges represent the cost of running the lines, replacing them etc, etc.

              Anyway I enjoyed the jokes on the symbols referred to below.

              • McFlock

                you kind of missed the point that a significant proportion of power charges, i.e. the line charges, have nothing whatsoever to do with how much power one uses.

                That’s actually the thing that bites my balls about the tory programme: you guys always deviate from your rhetoric about “user pays” or privatisation efficiencies or free trade – you always fail to implement your own rhetoric just enough to stop the entie thing collapsing within a few months. This means the bulk of us limp along for decades, listening to your bullshit, while you lot get rich at our expense.

                If you truly implemented the things you proclaim with religious zeal – like user pays in power – you’d be out on your arses by lunchtime. And be a comedic footnote in NZ’s political history.

                That’s probably why you bastards never have the full courage of your own rhetoric, of course.

              • Draco T Bastard

                line charges represent the cost of running the lines, replacing them etc, etc.

                Including the dead-weight loss of profit for the private owners.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.8.1.5.2

            +1

          • Grumpy 1.8.1.5.3

            Absolutely 100% correct.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.8.1.6

          For the Right it typically means all parts of the economy which are subject to competition and which the user pays a direct and full fee for the service or the goods, should essentially be owned privately.

          Which essentially rules out:
          Telecommunications (natural monopoly)
          Power (natural monopoly)
          Water (natural monopoly)
          Roads (natural monopoly)
          Hospitals (natural monopoly)
          Dairies (Yes, they’re effective monopolies as you’ll never find two or more in competition)
          Schools (Same reason as dairies)

          Actually, it pretty much rules out 90% of services.

          But essentially people are able to pay for electricity as they use it.

          Especially since they paid the full amount for the generation capacity in the first place through their taxes eh. The private owners now are just glad that they didn’t have to pay for it and now get to reap the rewards of being bludgers.

          There’s four main reasons why we had state supply of power:
          1.) No private entity was ever going to pay out the huge amounts to provide it
          2.) State supply is far cheaper due to not having to pay out the profit that private owners demand
          3.) As it’s a demand monopoly it’s far cheaper on a per person basis to provide it
          4.) The added complexity of competition pushes the costs up even more (1 public servant as CEO @ ~$200k or five at $2m each)

          • srylands 1.8.1.6.1

            “”Telecommunications (natural monopoly)
            Power (natural monopoly)
            Water (natural monopoly)
            Roads (natural monopoly)
            Hospitals (natural monopoly)””

            What complete bullshit. Hospitals !!

            • felix 1.8.1.6.1.1

              No argument re- telecommunications power water and roads.

              Goodo.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Actually, he didn’t provide an argument at all but that’s normal for free-market zealots. They really haven’t got a clue as to how an economy actually works.

            • gem 1.8.1.6.1.2

              Yes, hospitals!! How would a tiny country like NZ sustain a plethora of increasingly subspecialised surgeons etc otherwise? Expect more consolidation, not less (and devolvement to the community of services that don’t need to be delivered in hospitals).

              • felix

                Oh S. Rylands has no issue with consolidation, as long as ownership is consolidated in the private hands of a tiny elite.

                It’s public ownership under democratic control – consolidated or not – that he takes issue with.

          • srylands 1.8.1.6.2

            “Actually, it pretty much rules out 90% of services.”

            Good grief. So why are you not employed by the World Bank as the savant who saved the world? Unbelievable.

            Luckily no government will ever do what you are suggesting. But of course you are right and the whole world is wong. The whole of The Treasury is wrong. The Electricity Authority is wrong. These open institutions with the brightest people in the country are all wrong. 30 years of paradigm shifts are all wrong.

            All the evidence about the benefits of markets – all wrong. No what we need is state owned monopolies.

            Have people like you always been around or did The Standard breed them?

            • McFlock 1.8.1.6.2.1

              The whole of The Treasury is wrong. The Electricity Authority is wrong. These open institutions with the brightest people in the country are all wrong. 30 years of paradigm shifts are all wrong.

              All the evidence about the benefits of markets – all wrong.

              Actually, yeah. Everything in that section is true.

              Edit: except the line about “brightest people in the country”. They’re fucking morons who can’t see the wood for the bullshit they see on the inside of their own eyelids.

            • felix 1.8.1.6.2.2

              “the whole world is wong. The whole of The Treasury is wrong. The Electricity Authority is wrong. These open institutions with the brightest people in the country are all wrong. 30 years of paradigm shifts are all wrong.”

              Yep, it’s fairly well established that the paradigm you have been pushing for 30 years is a massive scam which has resulted in a huge wealth transfer from the masses to the elite and a giant theft of the commons. You’re not the brightest people in the country, like any religious cult you’re a pack of gullible zealots led by cheap con-men.

              “All the evidence about the benefits of markets – all wrong. No what we need is state owned monopolies.”

              Publicly owned monopolies under democratic control are vastly preferable to the private corporate monopoly you lot are working towards.

              ps it’s interesting that you think “the whole world” is Treasury and the like. Very revealing.

              • veutoviper

                +111111111111…. to your and McFlock’s replies, and the many others, to s rylands blind faith and adherence to the free market ideology.

                He is just like a clam – or other type of Peloris – that live their lives buried in the sand of neo-liberalism.

                If he – and his other ex-Treasury mate Carl Hansen – are so right, then why are they “not employed by the World Bank as the savant who saved the world? Unbelievable.” ?

        • bad12 1.8.1.7

          Wayne, that was a long non-answer, if the Government wanted to boost the share-market as you say simply transferring the Power Co’s from public to private ownership does pretty much nothing, an exercise in swapping round the deck chairs or another ten steps toward New Zealand being subjected to a full on Enron Power Co model,

          No extra employment will be created by the sell off and the fact is obvious even to the dullest that the short term sugar rush of the asset sales monies will soon be gone,(1 billion spending spree this election year), so there will be an ongoing loss not only to Government from a 49% loss of the dividend but as the profit imperative becomes entrenched a loss to the economy as a whole as consumers are forced to pay even more…

  2. rhinocrates 3

    I could say that The H***** using – let’s not mince words, because it’s quite blatant – a White Supremacist logo marks a new low, but we’ve already seen them providing a platform for B** J**** to advocate police attacks on women, excuse rapists and brag about driving a man to suicide.

    There is nothing that is too vile for them now.

    Something very ugly is happening in New Zealand if it is deemed a good marketing strategy to use White Supremacist imagery in the “main stream media”.

    What next, swastikas?

  3. Poission 4

    In purely financial terms another float makes no sense. Unfortunately those are the terms the Government has mainly used to justify the unpopular programme. It has also cited benefits for the sharemarket in what were supposedly gilt-edged offerings. The weakness of the stocks are undermining that argument too. The Government is left now with no choice but to explain the real reason for the asset sales all along: economic efficiency.

    From a financial perspective you would have to be Stupid to promote another sale of assets that produce a higher return then on the reward from debt reduction.

    You would have to be very Stupid to undertake a sale of assets into a falling equity market (the global equity markets loosing 3 trillion dollars in Jan 2014)

    You would have to be exceptionally Stupid to believe that there is any economic benefit to selling assets of national importance into a falling equity market because a money trader,sheep farmer, and failed veterinary candidate suggested it is a good idea.

    The question(s) are

    i) Do you believe what stupid says?
    ii) Would you vote for stupid?
    iii) Are you really that stupid?
    iv) Are you with stupid?

    • srylands 4.1

      You are missing the point. Governments have no business running electricity companies. They should all be sold – 100%.

      • framu 4.1.1

        thats an ideological argument not an economic one

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.1

          It isn’t an argument. It’s an assertion with no evidential basis.

          • McFlock 4.1.1.1.1

            it’s not even an assertion – it’s a dull rote repetition of neolib catechism, with no consideration of its intrinsic meaning.

            • greywarbler 4.1.1.1.1.1

              All you lefties are going to look really silly one of these days when srylands or as I call him Whylands, is revealed to be a random question generator run by a clapped out computer in the basement of a giant glass building previously housing John Clarke’s creative director. You’re a lot of daggs you are!

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2

        No, the shouldn’t be running electricity companies – they should be running a government service that provides electricity to the nation at cost as it’s far more efficient and cost effective than letting it out to the private sector.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.2

      The Herald is too stupid to see the major flaw in its argument about putting all the electricity companies on the same footing.

      The 3 companies will still have a 51% government ownership.

      So much for rational analysis.

      • PapaMike 4.2.1

        The Harold would not even know what rational analysis is.
        Their University BA editors could not even spell it correctly.
        And they are getting worse. I cancelled years ago.

  4. srylands 5

    There were excellent reaosns for the increase in power prices under the 5th Labour Government. There was no alternative. However they could have been moderated had not that Government tried to extract such high dividends from the Powerco SOEs.

    The end of cross subsidies for retail consumers had to end. Again, there was no alternative.

    Price increases are moderating due to the market. The last step in the process should be the sell off of the remaining 49% of the Powercos remaining in state ownership.

    The so called mad “single buyer” model would impede market forces and lead to blackouts. It will NEVER happen.

    Efficient markets are the key to prosperity for everyone.

    • karol 5.1

      citations needed.

      • bad12 5.1.1

        Lolz, Karol, SSLands needs no citation ‘it’ operates solely off of the ‘I thunk it therefor it is school of intellectualism ahem’,

        Think Enron as the SSLands model of efficiency in the electricity industry…

        • srylands 5.1.1.1

          What the fuck is this “it” business? How do you get through life operating like this?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.1.1

            Temper temper, sweet petal.

            We just pointed to your ignorance, that’s all. Ignorance is a condition we all share, S Rylands.

          • bad12 5.1.1.1.2

            Ha-Ha-Ha, SSLands ‘it’ is my new name for you, nice to see you spitting and swearing,(it’s what i do when i read any of your whining crud that is simply repetition of what has been debunked here 10,000 times or more,

            As an educative hint try and make a statement along with (even your) opinion on how the relevant (so called) facts are arrived at, simply dumping ACT Party slogans in the pages here without making a debatable point will get you laughed at as being a 0%er ACT freak…

        • srylands 5.1.1.2

          Also it is “srylands” – I don’t know how many times we have done this…Do you have a tic?

          • McFlock 5.1.1.2.1

            Are these hu-mons confusing you with their illogical comments, sspylands?

            Hopefully your logical inconsistency filter doesn’t overload.

            • Tracey 5.1.1.2.1.1

              the use of fuck suggests the computer is indeed overloading… and getting all agitated

          • bad12 5.1.1.2.2

            SSLands, my my aint ‘it’ just the sensitive wee thing today, did we ingest something which cannot easily be passed through the anal tract…

            • McFlock 5.1.1.2.2.1

              It calculated riots at Waitangi, and is overheating because it is tryng to reconcile the prediction with reality.

      • Tracey 5.1.2

        Like Wayne, he only answers questions that support the rallying cry…

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2

      So, “prosperity for everyone” is the goal, is it? Big mistake on your part, setting that as a benchmark, because you walk smack into reality, and its liberal bias.

      The countries that get closest to your benchmark are not those that embraced your economic dogma.

      Deny deny deny, S Rylands, while I laugh at you.

    • framu 5.3

      “and lead to blackouts. ”

      are you saying that full private would never have black outs?

    • freedom 5.4

      “Efficient markets are the key to prosperity for everyone.”

      everybody got that?

      The thing is though srylands, you are lying through your teeth and you know it
      take money as an example

      Money is the biggest market on the planet, and the money traders have spent quazillions of dollars
      making the trading of and shifting around of the money as efficient as possible so as to extract every little nano-value they can from every nano-transaction. Up to the point where those clumsy human flesh bags that used to make decisions have been largely removed from the very buying and selling of the money and it is now left it to the raw efficiencies of the silicon circuits.

      yet oddly enough with all this efficiency and all the profits these effeiciencies produce,
      wealth disparity continues to globally expand at alarming rates

    • Poission 5.5

      Efficient markets are the key to prosperity for everyone.

      New Zealand outperformed the US in energy intensity prior to 1990,and from 1990-2011.

      The metric (indicator) is the Total Primary Energy Consumption per Dollar of GDP (Btu per Year 2005 U.S. Dollars)

      The US 1990 TPEC was 10,524.99 NZ 10263.93

      2011 US 2011 7328.99 NZ 7102.21

      The US has yet to overtake us,so they are less efficient.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.5.1

        Let’s kick S Rylands while he’s down. Here’s Alan Greenspan:

        “Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholder’s equity – myself especially – are in a state of shocked disbelief… have found a flaw. I don’t know how significant or permanent it is. But I have been very distressed by that fact.”

    • Lee Churchman 5.6

      “Efficient markets are the key to prosperity for everyone.”

      No they aren’t. Well regulated markets that correct for market failures, up to and including publicly owned entities that do the same job are the key to prosperity for everyone. That’s the reason that every single one of the world’s most prosperous countries follows some version of that model.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.7

      The end of cross subsidies for retail consumers had to end.

      /facepalm

      The cross subsidies are the other way. It’s the retail sector that is subsidising the wholesale sector. That’s why the retail sector prices are three times what the wholesale sector is.

      Efficient markets are the key to prosperity for everyone.

      Then why is the exact opposite happening under these so called “Efficient markets”? We see increasing poverty for the many while the rich get exponentially richer.

    • Tracey 5.8

      85 people have as much money s the bottom 3.5bn combined. Now THATs prosperity. Shrillands has wet dreams about being in the 85… an unattainable dream that works perfectly making a dupe of he and his ilk.

  5. Lee Churchman 6

    The Government is left now with no choice but to explain the real reason for the asset sales all along: economic efficiency.

    What’s risible is that the writer of that column doesn’t understand basic economics. This quote demonstrates the error:

    It means the economy is running like a well-tuned engine with all its productive parts receiving the right level of investment – not too much, not too little. Just like an engine an economy depends crucially on its distributor. The most accurate distributor of economic investment is a price for a product in competitive markets.

    Obviously this person never paid attention in class. Otherwise, they would have been familiar with this famous piece of economic theory.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_the_second_best

    You cannot just assume on the basis that a theoretically perfect market is perfectly efficient that extending the market mechanism beyond the current state of affairs will result in increased efficiency.

    Lipsey and Lancaster proved this was not so over 50 years ago. It’s like saying that if you can’t afford a full dose of a drug you need, that you should settle for as much as you can get instead of trying a full dose of some other, less expensive, drug. It’s an elementary logical fallacy to assume that because X is Y that a fraction of X must display the same fraction of Y, yet people who push the Hayekian argument commit the fallacy again and again.

    Now, it is perfectly possible that applying the price mechanism to the power sector may well increase efficiency, but due to existing market failures it might not. You need empirical evidence that this is the case, not some blind faith that applying a market price to something automatically increases efficiency. After all, we know by observation that sometimes it does and sometimes it does not, and there are any number of obvious cases where privatising generates ridiculous market failures (imagine privatising the army, for example).

    Where the hell do the Herald get these illiterates? Is it too much to ask that journalists be required to know something about a topic before pontificating on it?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      Back to school for Granny.

    • Tracey 6.2

      You’re assuming that their motivation is to publish facts and genuine analysis.

      • Lee Churchman 6.2.1

        I’m assuming their motivation is not to be immediately ridiculed by anyone who has read an introductory economics textbook, but I might be mistaken.

  6. Sacha 7

    After changing the story every few months, Bill English finally admitted late last year what the privatisations were all about: showing the same ratings agencies which caused the world economy to tank that NZ was willing to continue playing the neolib game.

    There was a good interview on Radio NZ if anyone feels like digging it out. Here’s a taste of the same from the Harold:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11161461

    “We’ve met the objectives we set three years ago, which have been to reduce our need for debt by getting cash from New Zealand investors buying these assets.”

    The proceeds mean Crown debt will peak at around $70 billion rather than $74 billion and though that doesn’t sound like a huge impact, Mr English says it is as much about demonstrating to ratings agencies “a pretty clear political commitment to getting debt down” as the actual effect.”

    - but it’s the method of getting the debt down they’re most interested in.

  7. Brett Dale 8

    Seriously Karol?

    If they reported the protests, you would be screaming “they’re only showing the negative”

    • Hi Brett Dale,

      That depends on how they reported the protests, doesn’t it? There’s no particular reason to report a protest negatively – though the Herald may well have done that if it had condescended to report them.

      How about the Herald decide to have ‘John Key Free’ election reporting, on the grounds that, of course, no-one wants to be exposed to bad pronunciation? (I’m ok about bad pronunciation, but the Herald appears to have quite a sensibility for uncouth practices).

    • Tracey 8.2

      Is balance too much to ask? I mean they were happen to print all Key’s unsubstantiated pre WD rants weren’t they?

  8. Really interesting post, karol.

    We forget that it was completely accepted, in the past, that newspapers were established partly to push the proprietor’s partisan views, especially political and economic ones.

    It was thought to be a strength of a ‘free press’ that a newspaper was partisan and was therefor free to voice its owner’s ideology.

    Today we live in the ‘politically correct’ conceit that our press is uniformly devoted to non-partisanship. To say otherwise is – in the true meaning of the phrase – politically incorrect, since it defies the constraints of ‘acceptable’ commentary about the media.

    • karol 9.1

      Yes. I think going for “balance” and “objectivity” is dishonest. But these days, that is what the NZ Herald aims to do. I like the situation with the UK dailies, that they each have a pretty well known political position, albeit that the right and centre tend to be the most prevalent. In New Zealand we don’t have the same scope., and the NZ Herald is pretty dominant.

      When there were evening dailies like the Auckland Star there was a little more diversity of perspectives.

      TV news, on the other hand, also tries to pass it self off as having no political bias, when the corporates’ right wing lean is obvious to those who take the time to consider how the news is framed, etc.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 9.1.1

        “But these days, that is what the NZ Herald aims to do.”

        A point corroborated by the NZ Press Council website:

        An independent press plays a vital role in a democracy. The proper fulfilment of that role requires a fundamental responsibility for the press to maintain high standards of accuracy, fairness and balance and public faith in those standards.

        Freedom of expression and freedom of the media are inextricably bound. There is no more important principle in a democracy than freedom of expression. The print media is jealous in guarding freedom of expression, not just for publishers’ sake but, more importantly, in the public interest. In dealing with complaints, the Council will give primary consideration to freedom of expression and the public interest. (See Footnote 3)

        The distinctions between fact, on the one hand, and conjecture, opinions or comment, on the other hand, must be maintained. This does not prevent rigorous analysis. Nor does it interfere with a publication’s right to adopt a forthright stance or to advocate on any issue. Further, the Council acknowledges that the genre or purpose of a publication or article, for example, satire or gossip, calls for special consideration in any complaint.

        The Press Council endorses the principles and spirit of the Treaty of Waitangi and Bill of Rights, without sacrificing the imperative of publishing news and reports that are in the public interest.

        [Don't you just love the mention of the Treaty in that last paragraph?]

        What Puddleglum suggests would be preferable to what we have now

      • ecossemaid 9.1.2

        Karol. I am not sure where your going with this and what you want?
        I don’t know perhaps you can tell me: Who Owns the NZ Herald, an individual a right wing Corporate group or The Narnian Wealth Fund?
        Do you perceive and are stating that the New Zealand Herald is right wing?
        As for the connection for the UK Press, be very careful what you wish for!
        From my experience of the UK press currently has something like 12 daily titles, good eh?
        Yet 9 of them on a Daily basis are owned and run bu either The Murdochian Empire, Barclay Brothers, Lord Rothschild whom steer the the political direction of those papers. i.e Right Wing Mouth Pieces whom spout hatred, drivel and the politics of envy.
        Of the 3 remaining . two are technically neutral The Independent & Guardian yet they are far from perfect. One The Daily Mirror is the traditional Broad Left/Labour Supporting party yet even they have their off days. Ok 12 titles great huh? Many of these Red Tops/Show Us yr Tits Titles have become synonymous with gutter reporting. The Hacking Fiasco more or less tried to get these papers to link in law that they have a public duty of redress as a recommendation of the Chillcott QC Enquiry. Guess what, The Murdochians and Other Press Monsters, just ignored the recommendations and have forged ahead with their own “Press Complaint Commission” which is just ex editors saying problem what problem and dismissing cases against them. Is this the system you hanker for? 12 Titles doesn’t mean more equal coverage….Quantity isn’t Quality! Since my time in NZ have had found the NZ Herald so be pretty balanced yet it has its odd cock up day, who doesn’t? Yet having a go at a Newspaper for the printing of a Black on White Fist Logo and it’s perceived “your interpretations” It’s right wing, is shoddy. What do you want Karol….One semi decent NZ Herald or the 12 Titles of The UK and all the incumbent bile that many of them have?

        • karol 9.1.2.1

          I want a more honest mainstream press. I want more diversity of views in the MSM. Beyond that, blogs can play a role in pointing out bias.

          There is plenty of evidence that the NZ Herald has a right wing editorial bias. The National Library of NZ would not claim that without a fair amount of evidence.

          But it’s there for all to see.

          As others here say, it’s not so much that the NZ Herald editor/s is/are biased, but that they don’t really own up to it these days.

          The bias is very often seen in the editorials. There’s been a long history of that in recent years – eg their whole “Democracy Unde Attack” campaign.

          They do have left wing articles and op Eds. But those tend to be buried away from the front pages. Most people only read headlines, and, possible the first paragraph or so. Often the alternative/left view is buried at the bottom of an article, while the right wing view is in bold, in the headlines.

          Yes, most mainstream news media is skewed to the right these days. It is also so in the UK with the influence of Murdoch, especially. But they do have more left wing papers than in NZ, even if they are the minority. I wouldn’t call the independent and the Guardian “neutral”. The Guardian was originally a left wing paper, and it still can be on occasions. It has had some notable left wing columnists – eg Glenn Greenwald.

          It was the Guardian that broke the news of hacking by the Murdoch press. If not for them it may never have happened. We dont’ have many MSM journalists in NZ that kind of investigative journalism – only the likes of Hagar & Stephenson.

          • ecossemaid 9.1.2.1.1

            Karol, thank you for replying to my queries on yr article/comments & I hope your a little less tired.I acknowledge I misread your posts as coming from wiki only and thank you for pointing that out to me.I look forward as a new comer to looking into the papers past site.

            The point you made in one of your replies that you personally preferred the set up “choice” there was in the UK compared to NZ in respect of the Written Media is where I shall start. (Not the Blob O Sphere or Television/Radio).

            Your premise was and is based upon that there were more safe havens from right wing papers & more choice, in the UK and that is what you “personally” wished for here in NZ.

            The Guardian I concur has done sterling work in initially exposing the disgusting Hacking Practices of mainly the Murdochian Empire, and has assisted Assange tell his story and also helped to break Edward Snowdens story in respect of the wall to wall spying of the NSA. The Guardian does have its dirty linen too, it has agreed with many of the “Welfare Reforms” put forward by the Con Dem Govt in the UK, much too the dismay of many on the ground Lib Dem Activists. It has also turned a blind eye on many of The Torys shredding of environmental policies. The Guardian is a “Neutral” paper, it is run by a trust in perpetuity to ensure neutrality from any “Wannabe Power Monger” yet as you see from above for some of the virtuous stories it has broken it can be held culpable for tacit support of The Con Dems in other policy areas. The Indie was originally given a remit of being neutral and has tried to maintain equal distance from the left and the right. This has become somewhat problematic over the last few years because of financing issues it is now in the hands of a London Based Russian Oligarch, whom also owns a share of The London Evening Standard which is a right wing poison vessel. The editorial staff at the Indie have and continue to try and on the whole project a balanced output and are as Independent as they can be given their circumstances. The Daily Mirror, which is owned by The Trinity House group, is perceived to be a Labour supporting paper. However over the past few years it has distanced itself from The Labour Party a little to the point on occasions it has actually found itself agreeing with some of the bile from the right wing or saying nothing as it is not totally convinced by The Polices or lack of them From The Labour Party Hierarchy under Milli”Bland”. So the only way you could/can get a definitive Socialist/Left Wing Leaning Paper in The UK was to try and get a copy of Socialist Worker or The Morning Star yet due to the pick and choose nature of The UK Distribution Network, seeing a copy of either on a news stand is as rare as dodo droppings.

            Since being resident in NZ, I was/am pleasantly surprised in respect of The Herald.

            Now I come from the backdrop, of seeing the varying degrees of the UK Print Media at work and hope it wasn’t to be the case here, where biase is either right in your face or not far away.

            The Herald does have its faults all media does, nuanced or not. On the front page, page 32 or in the editorial from time to time or the guest contributor. Yet compared with the car crash that is certain parts of the UK media it pretty good. Your article regarding Waitangi Day Protest and the coverage or lack, which was linked to historical biased & the over analysis of a logo seemed to be making a huge deal out of what? It seem to smack of trying to create a story that was larger than the actual article and logo. Isn’t there bigger issues to address?

            For saying you have one Major Daily here and that’s the worst you can hold it to account for, its tenuous to say the least. I must admit since reading your article I have revisited and re read The Herald looking for this in built right biased….yet guess what…nothing of any circumstance. Well nothing that would get me agitated enough to get me to want to right a wrong and write a whole article about it.
            Also only having One Daily it may/should act as stimulus for the paper to be as centrist as possible to attract as many readers & to be as fair and balanced…..
            If it’s that right wing why are the right wingers complaining it’s a Labour mouth piece?
            http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2013/04/labour-greens-unions-and-the-nz-herald-are-peas-in-a-pod/
            Both are complaining which leads me to believe the Herald is indeed reasonably fair and balanced as it equally offends both extremes,therefore by definition they are centralist as they can be. Thank you.

            • karol 9.1.2.1.1.1

              Well, all I can say is that, you can’t have been looking very hard at the NZ Herald and its editorial policy. It isn’t a bias that’s always in totally your face (although it has been on occasions as with the NZ Herald campaign “Democracy under attack” against our last Labour led government). Some of the bias these days comes from the infotainment approach to news, and commercial imperative to make money, as much as anything.

              I have posted about the news media on various occasions on various occasions. This was the last one I posted on infotainment and a specific NZ Herald article.

              I have also made reference to Nicky Hagar’s very important lecture on our news media in several posts. “Not in the public interest”

              Yes, the right wingers claim the Herald is left wing. And in the US, while most of us would say the media there leans more to the right, Republicans say the media is liberal/left.

              You will find that most lefties that comment on this blog, tend to see the NZ Herald as right leaning. And many commenters on this thread agree with the Herald showed a right wing bias in using the white fist. There’s some quite strong arguments been given in support of that.

              And, as I have said, I would expect Papers Past to be politically neutral, and they have described the editorial policy on the Herald as centre right. [Papers Past provides a searchable archive of old NZ newspaper articles - up to about 1940s. An excellent resource.

              I lived in london for 18 years. In my teaching often used aricles on the same topic from a range of London/UK newspapers for students to compare analytically. I have done something similar in classes in NZ with NZ newspapers. The biases aren't always obvious on first reading, and students often need to compare articles from different papers to see how each paper skews it in a slightly different way.

              My left wing/socialist friends in London, when I arrived there in the late 70s, always described The Guardian as the left wing paper. Many times it disappointed lefties, and, I think more so in recent years.

              However, the Guardian did start out as a Liberal newspaper, as the paper itself describes.

              It was later set up as a Trust to ensure it stayed pretty radical:

              In June 1936, JR Scott formally passed ownership of the paper to the trustees of the Scott Trust. As well as pledging to ensure the radical editorial tradition of the paper (that the newspaper "shall be conducted in the future on the same lines and in the same spirit as heretofore", in the words of the founder's legacy), the Scott Trust also has the duty to maintain a secure financial footing for the business:
              [...]
              the quality press was irrevocably altered by the launch of the Independent in 1986. Capturing the centre ground between the Guardian on the left and the Times and Telegraph on the right, the Independent attracted big name writers and readers with a modern design and distribution network that made the most of the post-union market.

              In the 2010 election, the Guardian supported the Liberal Democrats.

              There used to be more diversity of views in the NZ news media. the NZ Listener leaned a little more to the left. RNZ gave more space to left wing views and politcs. These have all slipped towards the right in recent years. Now mainly the blogs, and some minority artcles and reports within the mainstream media that give a fair representation of left wing vews.

              • ecossemaid

                Well we can go on and on about the pros and cons about the uk media..In your past and in your relative experience in the seventies.Mine is more recent memory and I too could quote friends vocational sources and professional organisations back in the UK as well.However coming back to your article I am yet to be convinced that a distant historical wrong and a black and white logo is enough to warrant an article in TS.The last time I checked we are all in New Zealand and the last time I looked the New Zealand herald it is the only daily on offer and compared to other print media its inbuilt biase(as we all have them) is relatively nuanced so we will agree to disagree.
                You can take a horse to water…

      • ecossemaid 9.1.3

        Karol, I am even more perplexed now in respect of my previous post.
        It seems from your article you have sourced “selectively” tracts of wiki to project yr case.
        Yet it is interesting in the extreme what you have chosen to ignore from wiki…

        Your comment..
        In 1863, William Chisholm Wilson, [...] to start a rival daily, the New Zealand Herald. The new daily had a clear editorial policy – a more constructive relationship between the North and South Islands and a combative response to what it termed ‘the native rebellion’ – but Wilson’s main motivation was commercial, seeing a business opportunity as Auckland’s population grew rapidly.

        From wikipeadia,,,,, The New Zealand Herald was founded by William Chisholm Wilson, and first published on 13 November 1863. Wilson had been a partner with John Williamson in the New Zealander, but left to start a rival daily newspaper as he saw a business opportunity with Auckland’s rapidly growing population.[4] He had also split with Williamson because Wilson supported the war against the Māori (which the Herald termed “the native rebellion”) while Williamson opposed it.[5][6] The Herald also promoted a more constructive relationship between the North and South Islands.[5]

        I think you have been very selective there Karol .Yes selectively edited and censoring to suit your own agenda if you are going to use wiki can you please quote the entire paragraph.
        and it might be a good idea to quote your sources.As a fact you selectively use tracts
        to suit your own purpose.. which can make u
        as bad as those your wishing to smear.
        I look forward to your reply

        • karol 9.1.3.1

          The source I used was papers past. I actually rate it as a more sound source than wikipedia, so I just didn’t look at wikipedia. Papers Past is a website of the National Library of NZ, and I would have thought it’s short description of the NZ Herald’s history would be reliable.

          Actually – the wikipedia article you refer to as here:, quotes the Papers Past article that I based by comments on in the post, as evidence for its claims. [Wikipedia notes 5 &6].

          And basically, wikipedia pretty much says what Papers Past said – Wilson and the NZ Herald supported the war against the Maori. How have I quoted it selectively?

    • Jan 9.2

      Partisan views are well and fine if they are acknowledged – the way it’s done now is sneaky and dishonest – it has been explained to me by journalist acquaintances how subtle rewording can deliberately bring political bias to reporting which, to the uninitiated, appears balanced .

  9. fender 10

    $2.20 !!

    There are cheaper toilet paper options than this.. ffs

  10. andrew66 11

    Isn’t that logo you refer to as being a white supremacist one also the same logo as Socialism Aotearoa?

  11. Rhinocrates 12

    They could have chosen any colour – puce, aubergine, ecru… but they chose white.

    The best interpretation is that they’re all idiots – which is not implausible – or that they’re targeting racists as their market because they are racists – which is also not implausible.

    That image is threatening and racist, whatever excuses they will make. Herald=White Power is what it says.

    • freedom 12.1

      Surely they could have used a simple protest placard image with text stating “protest free pages” or similar garbage would have sufficed? A text block with the international circle and bar even.

      Using a fist, of any colour, was a strategic and purposeful act and has certainly been noticed
      just maybe not in the way they might have intended.

      I know of eight people to date who have cancelled subscriptions
      [or have at least stated they intend to]

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 12.2

      They could have chosen any colour of paper to print that issue on… but they chose white. I think that says a lot.

  12. What do they teach them in journalism school these days?

    I’ve heard of ‘If it bleeds it leads’ but not ‘If it offends it trends’.

  13. freedom 14

    The Herald is at least being recognized internationally for doing its bit to erode the reputation of New Zealand, one dickhead decision at a time

    http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/201402062123-0023453

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