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The Standard

The Meridian flop

Written By: - Date published: 7:29 am, October 24th, 2013 - 143 comments
Categories: privatisation - Tags:

What a disaster. Meridian has attracted only a quarter of a the so-called ‘mum and dad’ investors expected (and these ‘ordinary Kiwis’ put in $18,000 each on average). The sale raised a $1.2 billion less than National thought it would. And the cost, which was meant to be $100-$120m for the entire sales process, is now over quarter of a billion after just two sales. You’ve got to tell National to stop.

National’s trying to blame it on Labour and the Greens because they did the right thing and informed the public of their plans for cheaper power before the asset sales started. But let’s just get this straight: the decision to sell was National’s. If they don’t think they’re getting the price that they should for the sales, then they should stop them.

NZ Power has been public for six months (and the public love it), blaming it and other market conditions for the terrible result of the Meridian sale is illogical. If things are that bad, don’t sell the bloody thing and save the taxpayer a pile of cash.

Speaking of cost, the Greens’ Costwatch puts the total cost of the sales process before Meridian at $173m. The ‘buy now, pay later’ scheme will add another $50m in what is basically an interest-free loan to the rich and institutions. On top of that, the middlemen will gobble up another $40m. That takes the total cost so far to over quarter of a billion dollars. The sales were meant to cost 2% of revenue – it’s 7%. And it will just get worse and worse as dividends get paid out that should have gone into the public coffers. Already, we’ve lost $49m on Mighty River’s first dividend.

You’re going to get your chance to send National a message in the coming referendum. Make sure they hear it loud and clear.

143 comments on “The Meridian flop”

  1. vto 1

    Clayton Cosgrove hit the nail on the head with his comment;

    “If John Key was working for a bank like Merrill Lynch and the taxpayers were his client then he would have advised them not to do it”

    John Key is selling us out.

    • Ray 1.1

      One thing you can divine from this is that the movers and shakers in NZ (ie the people with money and influence) can see a government change coming

      And they don’t like it!

      “Cause it means that it is going to be difficult to be such a mover and shaker, even if they can make more money

      • King Kong 1.1.1

        One thing you can be pretty sure of is that Governments in New Zealand always change.

        The fact that you seem surprised by this just shows what terrible regard you had for the political left.

        p.s. It might not be next term though

    • Tat Loo 1.2

      Actually Clayton is misguided in this regard. These big investment banks do not act in their clients interests. They 100% always act in their own interests.

      The advice to the client would have been “of course” proceed, as there is no way that Merrill Lynch would have given up on tens of millions of commission by advising them not to.

      Some stupid and illusory rational like the need to “maintain confidence” would have been used.

      That’s how this game works, that’s how these banks continue to make billions in profits even as the global economy is running aground.

      • BLiP 1.2.1

        “If John Key was working for a bank like Merrill Lynch and the taxpayers were his client then he would have advised them not to do it”

        More to the point, if John Key was working for Merrill Lynch and carried out an IPO like this on its behalf, he would be sacked on the spot and possibly made personally liable for the losses because of the cavalier disregard of his fiduciary obligations to those he worked for.

        • Tat Loo

          Fiduciary obligations? Boy those old fashioned concepts went out the window a long time ago at these investment banks…

    • King Kong 1.3

      If NZ was Merrill Lynch and JK was running it, Cosgrove would have had the security guard with the black bin bag clean out his desk and confiscate his building entry cards, a long time ago.

      • Hanswurst 1.3.1

        So you consider Key to be an authoritarian at heart?

      • Pascal's bookie 1.3.2

        What ever happened to Merrill Lynch anyway? Oh same thing as what happened to pretty much company Key worked for.

        • King Kong

          Wildly successful when he was with them and didn’t fair well when he wasn’t there.

          I guess this could be spun a different way.

          • thatguynz

            Bullshit. They weren’t “wildly successful” at all. They were pulling the same shit when he was there, as what finally caught up with them and broke the company. To suggest otherwise is either naive or deliberately disingenuous.

            • Draco T Bastard

              KK is just another authoritarian follower defending his leader against all charges no matter what the evidence shows.

              • Akldnut

                “Wildly successful when he was with them and didn’t fair well when he wasn’t there.
                I guess this could be spun a different way.”

                Rubbish – That’s “he was the Messiah spin ”

                I see it like “He bailed like a RAT on a sinking ship”

      • georgecom 1.3.3

        Kong. It wouldn’t just be Cosgrove accompanying the security guard as Key cleans out his desk and hands over his swipe card, they’d be a massive queue tagging along. Fortunately Keys desk will be cleared next year and the PM swipe card taken away from him. One big worry, how much damage he can do to NZ before then

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      John Key is selling us out.

      That was his job from the get go.

  2. Steve 2

    Since becoming PM John Key has been working tirelessly for his “clients”. The problem is that you, me and the majority of kiwis are not his “clients”. To find those you need to be mixing with the kleptocrats of the international investment banking world. Once you understand that it all begins to make sense.

    P.S. Perhaps Tony Ryall could solve Auckland’s housing shortage by building a new suburb out of all those unused MRP & Meridian share float docs. Could put it between Manurewa & Papakura and call it “Prospectus South”.

    • bad12 2.1

      Yes your onto it, the ‘part-sales’, designed in such a manner so as to placate Ma and Pa in the middle class have only failed in that sense alone,

      The long term goal of these people is to have all of such assets in the hands of the international Banking Cartels, moving the assets slowly over a decadal time-scale so as not to scare the horses with the cynical knowledge from these people that the young will quickly grow to be tomorrow’s adults viewing the private foreign ownership of such assets as ‘normal’,

      The unfortunate tragedy here is that while remaining locked into today’s primitive means of supplying money to the Government the current political parties of the left are unlikely to ‘buy’ back these assets which simply sets the stage for at some future point in time the other 50% of these assets disappearing from public ownership…

  3. Te Reo Putake 3

    I’d love to see Labour go to the polls on a policy of buying the looted shares back at cost or market rate, whichever is the lower figure. The payment to be made in installments over 10 years. No interest payable.

    That would effectively mean those that have opted to rip off NZ have, instead, loaned the state their money at 0%. That should take privatisation off the political agenda for a generation or more.

    • King Kong 3.1

      Of course hate and revenge are your main drivers when suggesting policy.

      Never mind the devastating repercussions this kind of thing would have. Nobody could ever enter a commercial transaction again without fear of the Government shitting on them. Nice.

      • Te Reo Putake 3.1.1

        It’s far from hate and revenge, KK, it’s restorative justice. If I wanted to really send the looters a message, I’d be suggesting criminal charges, but hitting them in the hip pocket should be punishment enough.

        • the pigman

          That’s a great idea, retrospectively legislate to make participating in a government asset sales program a crime, and lock those buggers up. (Think KK may be leading you down the garden path?)

          Although its suggestion that “Nobody could ever enter a commercial transaction again without fear of the Government shitting on them” is rubbish, because you can’t keep those capitalists from trying to capitalize.

        • David H

          More like Demanding Criminal Charges. And a going over of the crowns books by a forensic accountant, to expose for once and for all the shenanigans.

      • adam 3.1.2

        Wow KK you do understand that economics is politics by another name. And yes if your still embeded in zombie economics, it’s going to look bad – that is the politics of self interest – dressed as economics. But, we need a economy that works – zombie economics needs to be gone,if only because it’s stupid and outcomes become hellish – it can not be flexable and relies of a mythical idea of the “unseen hand” which is akin to fairy dust and gnomes at the end of the garden.

        • King Kong

          Let’s talk again when you have left high school, got a job and experienced the real world.

        • SpaceMonkey

          By “zombie economics” you mean neo-liberialism and crony capitalism?

          • King Kong

            No he means zombie economics. Things like scarcity equals the brain supply over infection rates and the elasticity of demand for canned goods when cannibalism is introduced in the supply chain and its knock on effects on increased infections.

            • Naturesong

              He was talking about neo-liberalism.

              Though you are partly right, bovine spongiform encephalopathy outbreaks are a direct result of placing profit above all else.

      • Murray Olsen 3.1.3

        The Koch family made a fortune dealing with Stalin’s Soviet Union, which had violated the sanctity of private property many, many times. It seems that capitalists, just like scabs, are prepared to let other considerations overwhelm their class solidarity. As usual with KKK, the shouting is at variance with historical fact.

    • Enough is Enough 3.2

      You say that like it is an unlikely dream.

      We should be demanding that from Labour as a central policy that they will implement within the first 100 days in office. Anything less is a sell out.

      Your suggestion is more than affordable so there is no reason not to do it.

      Please Labour. Talk is cheap. It is easy to oppose everything through bluster. But will you actually now have the conviction to reverse this disaster of a policy????

      Do not repeat the mistakes of the past two Labour Governments.

      • King Kong 3.2.1

        My God. Your inability to think through the consequences is frightening. Ask one of the “non crazy” left kids on here, who are conspicuous by their silence, what they think about this.

        • bad12

          What consequences are these???…

          • felix

            The consequences are that King Kong won’t vote for Labour O MY FUCKING GOD!!!!

          • King Kong

            I said one of the “non crazies”

            • mikesh

              King Kong
              You still haven’t answered Bad12’s question. What consequences?

              • bad12

                Don’t waste too much energy on KK that one has no intention of entering into any debate requiring anything more intelligent than a dribble of drivel,

                More fun can be extracted from other ‘wing-nuts’ although the numbers of them appearing here at the Standard seems to have plummeted much in line with National’s recent poll results…

                • King Kong

                  Honestly, I am wasting my time. It is like explaining a sunset to a blind man.

                  But here’s one to mull over. What do you think might happen if the Government was to take an action that would crash the value of all NZ’s listed and unlisted companies.

                  Now I know this is where the envy and vindictiveness gets the better of you but ask yourself this…

                  Would it only be the hated rich guys that would suffer or might there be horrible consequences for the other 99% (according to the popular myth).

                  • dv

                    OH I get it, Like the US banks did in 2008.

                    • King Kong


                      And of course no one at the lower end of the socio economic scale lost their jobs or homes because of that, did they.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    In that case, KK, I’d take the approach Bob Jones used in the 87 stockmarket crash. He bought back the shares in his own company dirt cheap and walked away laughing. Nationalise the lot, I say. When the dust settles, sell off the non-core businesses and bank the profits.

                  • McFlock

                    What do you think might happen if the Government was to take an action that would crash the value of all NZ’s listed and unlisted companies.

                    All that would happen is that the next time tories try to sell the family silver, they’d make an even bigger fuckup of it than they did this time.

                  • mikesh

                    “But here’s one to mull over. What do you think might happen if the Government was to take an action that would crash the value of all NZ’s listed and unlisted companies.”

                    A company’s value depends on its earning capacity. This would not change just because the government renationalized the electricity companies.

                    • King Kong

                      What do you think happens to the value of a company if there is a risk (and this is the key word) of it being nicked off you at some stage with no or low reimbursement.

                      And you can’t tell me it doesn’t apply because the precedent will have been set.

                    • King Kong

                      Lets follow that up with a real world example. Lets say that Shell and PDVSA (state owned Venezuelan oil company and victim of nationalization) are the same size and get the same return on the same amount of oil sold.

                      The Venezuelan govt decide that they would like to sell this company back into private ownership and PDVSA is listed on the same exchange as Shell.

                      Which company is valued significantly higher and why?

                    • McFlock

                      Lets follow that up with a real world example. Lets say that Shell and PDVSA (state owned Venezuelan oil company and victim of nationalization) are the same size and get the same return on the same amount of oil sold.

                      The Venezuelan govt decide that they would like to sell this company back into private ownership and PDVSA is listed on the same exchange as Shell.

                      Are you saying that renationalisation is a bad idea because it would lower the income that might be gained via future re-privatisation?

                      A hidden bonus to renationalisation, from my point of view.

                    • King Kong

                      No I’m not. But of course you knew that.

                    • McFlock

                      then why the comparison value between two companies that are identical apart from one being privatised, renationalised, and is then on the privatisation block again?

                    • King Kong

                      To show what effect the spectre of nationalisation has on the value of a company.

                    • lprent []

                      Actually no. It is the spectre of the government regulating an infrastructure industry in a semi-monopolistic position in the economy. All of sudden the scavengers found the prospects for easy monopolistic profits diminished.

                      Nationalisation is all in your delusional fantasies.

                    • McFlock

                      Lowers the value of the company, do you reckon?

                    • King Kong

                      I know. We just saw it with the Meridian float.

                      $1.2bn in destroyed value as the Greens so gleefully confirm.

                    • lprent []

                      Yeah, National destroyed it by being a pack of moronic fools. The Greens are quite correct on that.

                    • McFlock

                      So lower expected value means a lower return to the government from reprivatisation?

                    • King Kong

                      I think you have gone a bit chicken and egg on me.

                      Why not remove the threat of Nationalisation and bank another yard.

                    • McFlock

                      Why not remove the threat of Nationalisation and bank another yard.

                      because privatisation is a bloody stupid course of action that costs us billions over the medium and longer terms. The country gains a “yard” of beach space that is quickly eroded by lost income and lost governance.

                      Lowering the short term returns of privatisation makes it less likely.

                      That’s another reason why renationalisation is a good idea. Another nail in the coffin of me-ist neoliberalism.

                  • bad12

                    So for ‘consequences’ we can only take it that as you have made ‘stupid shit up’* as a reply to what these consequences supposedly are then your original view of said consequences was also stupid shit you had just made up,

                    * Stupid made up shit by you= ”what do you think might happen if the Government was to take action that would crash the value of all NZ’s listed and unlisted companies”,

                    Simply put, having no answer to your original stupidity you change the subject by doubling the stupidity…

                    • King Kong

                      I guess that is the closest thing to a concession that I can expect.

                    • bad12

                      Yes KK, i concede, that you are stupidly and with the actions of a simpleton attempting to divert the Post off into the fantasy realm in which you reside…

                  • But here’s one to mull over. What do you think might happen if the Government was to take an action that would crash the value of all NZ’s listed and unlisted companies.

                    That’s actually an interesting point, but perhaps not in the way you meant.

                    Of course, it would be unlikely that investors would assume from a ‘buy back’ of state assets that there would be wholesale government purchase of companies that were listed on the exchange and which had arisen from the private sector.

                    That’s because a Labour/Green ‘buy back’ is just that – a buy back of assets the state recently owned. It is not a buy out of firms on the stock exchange that arose from the private sector. So investors would be irrational if they pulled out of listed companies.

                    But the odd thing about New Zealand’s stock exchange is that it is dominated by ex-state sector assets rather than private sector entities. So, maybe there’s something in what you say.

                    The ‘kicker’ in that insight, however, is only because the stock exchange (and, presumably, the private sector as a whole) does not seem to be able to generate or nurture private sector entities as viable and profitable as ones that originated in the public sector.

                    Not a good look from the point of view of supporters of private enterprise, I would have thought.

                    Oh, and why would unlisted companies suffer?

                  • felix

                    Oh KK.

                    You had me at “sunset”.

              • halfcrown

                “What consequences?”

                Like when in 89 Air New Zealand was “privatised” and the major share holding was bought by Briely Investments. We were told that it had to be privatised otherwise in a decade it would be a third rate operator with debts of 500 million. After a decade of privatisation, and bungy jumping by the spivs in 2001 the then Clark government had to re nationalise Air New Zealand as it was a third rate operator with debts of 880 million

            • Draco T Bastard

              Yep, I’m keen to know what these consequences will be too.

            • Naturesong

              I tend toward the left, and am considered by my family, friends and work colleague to be not-crazy.

              a policy of buying the looted shares back at cost or market rate, whichever is the lower figure

              … is not going to work, mainly because the fault does not lie with those who bought shares, but with the idiots running the government. Just as you would not blame vultures for the murder of the corpse they were feeding upon.

              Much better to have the Cullen fund slowly buy back all the shares at market price, when that market price is at or below the initial ipo price.
              Then have the Cullen fund sell them back to the government at cost, at which point they can be changed back to being a public utility (cost plus pricing model) instead of a SOE which must return a profit based on the valuation of the assets.

              I’d like to see that with all similar infrastructure (critical to the nation, natural monopoly).
              Chorus is an obvious choice as well.
              As is removing the infrastructure (track mainly) from NZ Rail so the planning focus changes from what is profitable to NZ Rails books to what profits New Zealand as a whole; the closure of the Napier – Gisborne line being a good example of what is good for NZ Rails books is definately not in the public interest.

              • Tat Loo

                You can take steps to gradually depress the share price as well. Like capping the profits that the generators can make.

                • Naturesong


                  I would suggest the market not be depressed too much though, lest the Labour / Green govt be seen to be vindictive.
                  Keeping it at ipo level is fine.
                  Investors come away with their dividends and no loss of capital, and focus is rightly kept on the wankers that sold them off in the first place.

              • Draco T Bastard

                None of that make sense. All you’re saying is that the Cullen fund should buy the shares back slowly over time which would cost us more in lost dividends.

                Much better to have the Cullen fund slowly buy back all the shares at market price, when that market price is at or below the initial ipo price.

                The shares are already below IPO and the government can legislate the entire buyback at the current share price.

                • Naturesong

                  I’d agree with simply buying back the lot if they remained at below ipo level.
                  I’m not concerned about lost revenues for a year or two. Remember that NZ Power is designed to keep them from getting out of hand.
                  And all blame for lost revenues can be rightly placed at the feet of the National Party

        • Enough is Enough

          I will admit I have this inabilty you speak of.

          Please advise us of these consequences, other than some rich pricks being left a little bit out of pocket, and the nations wealth being returned to its rightful owners!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Rogue Trooper

          “crazy” is in da house!

    • Chooky 3.3

      Te Reo Putake….+100

    • Draco T Bastard 3.4


    • Murray Olsen 3.5

      I’d nationalise the generation companies without compensation, with the following observations:

      1. Anyone caught buying stolen goods has them confiscated. Whether they are bought on the stock exchange or out the back of the pub should not make a difference.

      2. Anyone who wants to get richer from increased prices so that they make a few bucks every time a poor kid catches rheumatic fever deserves nothing.

    • dave 3.6

      far better to introduce nz power destroy the share price then buy them back

  4. Philgwellington Wellington 4

    Like your thinking Te Reo. That would stir the pot! Just read some nonsense from a Jamie
    White, in The Herald, proposing
    economic mumbo jumbo. The
    tory’s must be getting desperate to seek out this economic tripe from a Cambridge, I think the appropriate term is educated(?) economist RWNJ. Have a read and a good laugh.

  5. Will@Welly 5

    I signed up to buy shares in Mighty River Power just to get the Tories all enthusiastic, but with no intention of buying. With Meridian, I didn’t even bother. Publicly they will never admit defeat, but gee, talk about the proverbial hitting the fan – this is real egg on the face. First, the mum’s and dad’s don’t really show up – how can they, they don’t have the dosh – then the share prices plummet, and in the second float, no one turns up. What mugs – creditability lost. Let’s hope the people remember.

  6. lez howard 6

    The problem is the People have said NO to Asset sales But National is not listening. When was the last time National had three terms?

    • Tat Loo 6.1

      1990-1999 Bolger and Shipley

      National has always had at least 3 terms in power, since it’s formation.

      If Key takes the Blue ship down in 2014, it will be a historic, record breaking 2 term defeat for National.

      • Richard Christie 6.1.1

        2 terms only … of course, the MMP environment would also to have considerable bearing on such a result, would it not?

        • Rogue Trooper

          pleasantly so

        • Puddleglum

          Yes, since Muldoon would have probably been only one term if MMP had been around then (depending on who Social Credit would have gone with).

          • Puddleglum

            In fact, if both Social Credit and Values had coalesced with Labour in 1975, Muldoon would never have been in government. Probably unlikely given the public – and media – mood, though.

        • Tat Loo

          Yes it would have a bearing. However both the Clark govt and the Bolger/Shipley gov were both 3 term governments under MMP (although the latter was only partly under MMP).

          So 3 terms is very do-able on the MMP environment.

          • BrucetheMoose

            The only thing I remember from that era was Bolger’s anesthetising personality and Jenny’s grand pastel suits, that for some odd reason, always gave me the impression they were made with cardboard backing.

        • felix

          “2 terms only … of course, the MMP environment would also to have considerable bearing on such a result, would it not?”

          Indeed Richard, if Key fails in 2014 his will be the first ever MMP govt of either stripe to not win a third term.

  7. lez howard 7

    Thanks for that, Lets hope its with all hands

  8. Natwest 8

    Hang on! – they got the float away, $1.9bn – so where is the flop? They were probably looking around $1.55 to $1.60 per share, but with all the political threats from the left, $1.50 was a very good result under the circumstances.

    • Te Reo Putake 8.1

      Read the post, the answers are there. In summary, sold for less than value, to very few kiwis, and sales costs higher than budget.

    • framu 8.2

      “The sale raised a $1.2 billion less than National thought it would.”

      theres the flop you idiot

      • Richard Christie 8.2.1

        No, the object wasn’t to raise capital, that was merely the excuse given. The object was, and always has been, to transfer control away from the commons.

        Nats consider it a success because it is concluded. Considerable success.

        The rest of us can scream as much as we like, they will just smirk.

        • Puddleglum

          Sadly, I think that’s true.

          This is not about the fiscal management of the government’s books; it’s about ideology – or, better, it’s about undermining the presence of the public sector as a buffer against private profit for major players from essential public infrastructure.

    • QoT 8.3

      “political threats”

      You mean “being open about their policies”? It’s not Labour and the Greens’ fault that investors know they’re going to win in 2014.

  9. dv 9

    Just a point about the NATS excuse that the proposed NZPower caused the problems.

    All that really highlighted was the political risk in the market, what the Nats didn’t do very well is manage that risk.
    The drop in the MR share price will not have helped.

    It will be interesting to see if the Meridian price shows the same trend.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    The sale raised a $1.2 billion less than National thought it would.

    Well, there goes the 2014 surplus that National was banking on.

  11. AmaKiwi 11

    A digression, but perhaps helpful.

    I was in Turkey. Petrol was $8 a liter. Why so expensive, especially since Turkey borders on two of the world’s largest oil producers, Iraq and Iran?

    Turkey has a growing middle class whose standard of living is comparable to NZ. But it also has a significant number of rural subsistence farmers who have no power, no indoor plumbing, no cars, and probably no bank accounts.

    The petrol tax is a Turkish alternative to income taxes. If you are rich enough to own a car you should pay to support all public services.

    When our government owned all the power companies, it also effectively set the power prices. It could have increased power prices ten fold and done away with other major forms of taxation. Or it could have cut power prices to virtually nil and upped other taxes. Power prices were a source of government revenue similar to taxes.

    For Key and others to think we would turn over pricing of this essential monopoly to private owners so they could make huge profits for themselves was wishful thinking. For them to complain is the height of arrogance.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      For Key and others to think we would turn over pricing of this essential monopoly to private owners so they could make huge profits for themselves was wishful thinking.

      Key and co don’t care about what we want, they only care about themselves and their rich mates making government guaranteed profits.

  12. vto 12

    Dontcha get the feeling that John Key is walking around with embarrassment today at such a flop?

    You see, he aint gonna get there is he. He is going to stall and fart just before he reaches the peak and tumble in full view al the way back to the valley floor of the commoners… It has already started.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Dontcha get the feeling that John Key is walking around with embarrassment today at such a flop?

      Psychopaths don’t feel embarrassment or guilt.

      • Naturesong 12.1.1

        If you plug in answers to this levinson test that are consistant with John Keys public persona he rates higher for primary pschopathy than 98% who have taken the test.

        • King Kong

          I started plugging in details about what is publicly known about Cunliffe into this one Narcissist test

          Unfortunately the internet blew up before I got to the end

          He scored scarily high in this one too Are you a pedophile?

          [lprent: More likely you were projecting your own character on to the screen since you don't know actually know him personally. That is usually what happens under those circumstances. The screen becomes your mirror as you project the worst of your own nature on to your enemies.

          It wouldn't surprise me at all. ]

          • vto

            missed… you need to sharpen your aim and improve your humour

          • King Kong

            So you would have the same opinion of those on here that call John Key a psychopath using the same method?

            [lprent: Mere opinion doesn't interest me. But I tend to notice linked pseudo-science crap like that when I'm doing moderation sweeps. But yes the same principle applies. Why I'm interested as a moderator is because it falls under the flamewar starter where people start claiming pseudo-authority from their subjective entering of characteristics. ]

            • Chooky

              @ King Kong….I think John Key is going to buy up all the power companies and stuff them into his own private blind trust handbag

              ….he is really an octopus who has got his finger suckers into everything and he is going to gobble NZ up

  13. captain hook 13

    check the share register and see who got paid off.

  14. Nick 14

    “National’s trying to blame it on Labour and the Greens because they did the right thing and informed the public of their plans for cheaper power before the asset sales started. But let’s just get this straight: the decision to sell was National’s. If they don’t think they’re getting the price that they should for the sales, then they should stop them.”

    Let’s change the context of the Green Party talking points

    Democracts are trying to blame it on House Republicans because they did the right thing and informed the public of their plans to defund Obamacare before the government shutdown started. But let’s just get this straight: the decision to vote against spending bills was Senate Democrats. If they don’t think the government should have shut down, then they should have voted for the Republicans spending bills.

    In other words, it doesn’t matter who makes the final decision. National ran on a platform of partial privitisation. Labour stuck the knife in knowing full well that National wouldn’t change its mind. And this policy was all about the sabotage. I don’t believe that Labour/Greens genuinely thought think this policy is a good idea, no one with any credibility takes it seriously http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1308/S00083/labour-greens-power-policy-is-bass-ackwards-wolak-says.htm

    • richard 14.1

      Try to do some research before going off half cocked and repeating half truths.

      Frank Wolak was on the Market Surveillance Committee of the California Independent System Operator which bought about the conditions for Enron to grossly overcharge for California’s electricity. So he is hardly a credible analyst of NZ’s electricity market –

      As NZ has a fetish for overseas experts, no matter how flawed they are, The Commerce Commission asked him to look at NZ’s power setup. In 2009 he did this report report for the Commerce Commission. I know, there’s a lot of reading there, so here’s a bit from the Commission’s press release:

      By comparing the actual wholesale prices with hypothetical competitive benchmark prices, Professor Wolak estimated that the wholesale prices charged over the period 2001 to mid-2007 resulted in an extra $4.3 billion in earnings to all generators over those that they would have earned under competitive conditions. This suggests that wholesale prices were, on average, 18 per cent higher than they would have been if the wholesale market had been more competitive, and the gentailers had not been able to exert market power. Less competition was especially evident in the wholesale market during the dry years of 2001 and 2003, when additional earnings attributable to the exercise of market power are estimated at $1.5 billion in each of those years.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      I don’t believe that Labour/Greens genuinely thought think this policy is a good idea, no one with any credibility takes it seriously

      Actually, it’s only the sociopathic types that don’t take it seriously. The people who believe in Randian Super-Heroes.

      • McFlock 14.2.1

        The sort of people who blame the other side for calling their bluff, rather than taking responsibility for the game of brinkmanship that they themselves started.

        Especially when they go through all of that and still give the other side it’s initial asking position for lack of an understanding of the word “negotiation”.

    • Murray Olsen 14.3

      Please take your TeaBagger type rubbish elsewhere. Your scenario suggests that the opposition’s only responsibility is to cheer the government on.

    • Pascal's bookie 14.4

      In other words, it doesn’t matter who makes the final decision. National ran on a platform of partial privitisation. Labour stuck the knife in knowing full well that National wouldn’t change its mind.


      Once again, the classic right wing version of personal responsibility, where it’s all every one else’s fault. National simply had no choices. Oh Noes, they lost the ability to make decisions! They turned into mechanical beasties!

      there was nothing, repeat, nothing, stopping John key making a speech along the lines of::

      “Ok this L/G policy changes things. We don’t like it and we think it is stupid, but the polls say a lot of you like it.

      And they show that a L/G govt is quite possible by the end of next year. Now that creates uncertainty about the future value of these companies. The responsible thing to do therefore, as we see it, is to go to the country and let you make your choice.

      We were elected on a policy of partially selling these companies. That is what we think the best thing is to do. We stand by that belief still.

      However, given the uncertainty, the price the Crown gets for these assets would be diminished.

      We are not prepared to waste that money. We think L/G are not serious about this policy and that it is aimed at sabotaging the price for political reasons. We find that abhorrent, and irresponsible, and that’s why we are giving you the choice. Vote for us again, to do what we said we would do, or vote for them and their wacky stalinist devilbeast.”

      It’s not the Greens or Labour’s fault he didn’t say that. It’s his fault. His choice.

      But he didn’t make that choice. Coz the MOM policy is a dog and everyone knows it. It’s a half arsed privatisation riddled with political considerations that reduce the price the Crown gets and dilute whatever slim benefits there are to be gained from moving away from an SOE model. He knows what would happen if he went to the country, and wants to makes sure he at least gets these sales done before he gets thrown out. It’s the stupidest sort of ideology driven process imaginable.

      And it is nothing like the US situation. There are no legislative roadblocks here. there is just a policy that a lot of voters apparently like and is quite possibly going to become the law.

  15. chris73 15

    At worst Labour will buy back the shares at the price they were sold at which means I’ll lose 2/5 of f all plus I’ll get some dividends in the bargain and it’ll take some time for them to work out to do it so its all good

    At best Cunliffe will use his previous weasle words to say why the buy back won’t happen and then the share prices go up because there’ll be certainty

    Of course this can only come to pass if Labour manage to form the next govt

    So all in all its going to be exciting for the next wee while :)

    • ScottGN 15.1

      Except that Labour and the Greens will most likely just enact the NZ power policy they’ve already outlined which, if Mr English is to be believed will further depress the share prices the energy companies can command. Interesting too to see that former British Conservative PM John Major has urged current PM Cameron to regulate and tax the super profits being generated by energy companies in the UK. Maybe we should look at that here as well.

      • chris73 15.1.1

        “Except that Labour and the Greens will most likely just enact the NZ power policy they’ve already outlined”

        – I’m not disagreeing with you (unless Cunliffe realises he can’t do it but thats a different issue) just that I don’t think it’ll happen as quickly as people on here would like it to

        • Tat Loo

          Agreed; I can’t see NZ Power coming into consumer affect until Q4 2015 or Q1 2016, at the earliest. There would

    • BM 15.2

      If Cunners ruled that the shares will be repatriated,I’d actually say you’d do quite well

      He may utter the words of some deranged mad man but the fork tonged rich prick from Herne bay knows how the game works.

      Repatriate the shares with no compensation and money will flee the country faster than water going down a plug hole, so to placate the foreign investors the shares will be brought back at something like $3.00 a piece.

      Sucks for the tax payer but great for the share holder, you’d be mad not to buy as many shares as you can.

      • chris73 15.2.1

        I don’t know it’ll be that generous (it’d be nice) but I imagine that the quickest way to make sure that foreign capital doesn’t invest here is to take overseas share holders shares without fair recompense I mean if Labour did that why would an overseas company invest here…

      • Murray Olsen 15.2.2

        But weren’t they all sold to Kiwi mum and dad investors? Where did all these foreign investors come from, and why do they have other money hard at work exploiting us? Did Key tell porkies?

  16. Dumrse 16

    Treasonous talk of nationalisation has cost the country billions. Cuntliffe won’t repatriate shares, he’s not that stupid.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      It’s actually selling the assets against the will of the country that is treasonous.

      • Dumrse 16.2.1

        So it’s just a pissing competition to see who was treasonous first. Let’s start here… Something that’s not hard to find.

        Labour sold a total of 15 assets…….

        What this shows is that National have acted entirely properly with their partial asset sales, and in fact it was Labour that did everything they accuse National of doing.

        There’s politicking and there’s just fucking dribble…..

        • richard


        • Draco T Bastard

          And the RWNJ comes back with the <Labour did it toooo whinge. Yes, Labour did it too and they were just as wrong.

          What this shows is that National have acted entirely properly with their partial asset sales, and in fact it was Labour that did everything they accuse National of doing.

          Didn’t you teachers ever teach you that two wrongs don’t make a right?

          BTW, I’m not a Labour supporter.

        • thatguynz

          You’re a fucking muppet, in fact – clearly you picked your nom de plume well.. I challenge you to find one post on this site indicating support for Rogernomics (which is precisely the basis for your argument).. Shouldn’t be too hard right?

  17. Gruntie 17

    John Key is a cunt

  18. finbar 18

    Understand capitalism.Dump cash on that for the next while get a few bucks,look they are selling for 6 50,look how much business has been around them,got to get some of them,short term profit there.Who!s this 1 60,be dead by the time they pay me a return.No like the 6 50 one its playing and might return a buck.

    Ain!t the capitalist mind a conundrum of profit, never mind the cost on the producer.

  19. Outofbed 19

    The Brits sold of power cos they said it would be cheap competitive power for all
    what happened?
    Seems like old people freeze in the winter unable to afford heating whilst profits soar

  20. Ross 20

    +1 Dracos right
    Tory treason alright. Sale irrationally driven by greed and pig headed mess. Selling an asset that should never have been fir sale, and at far below its true market value is the real destruction of value here. Basically reckless trading. Hmm That’s familiar.

    The people said no ,were ignored, and did a no show for the ipo. And thats on the back of the MRP epic fail many months earlier.

    Watch out for a desperate early election call as it all turns to shit for Quiche and the Nats….actually it already has.

    Bring on 2014

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      Watch out for a desperate early election call as it all turns to shit for Quiche and the Nats

      Nope, won’t get one. The Nats will hold the election on the last possible date so that they can continue to give our wealth to their rich mates.

  21. Bruce 21

    And yet again we have another Dumb and Dumber moment. Right wing: We have done it your way for at least the last twenty-three years. Stop selling our assets. You’re selfish just admit it.
    Your policies send Kiwis to Australia, and worse you campaign to stem the flow or bring them back.

    • Tat Loo 21.1

      1984 to 2013…29 years now…lots of young adults have only known a NZ post-Rogernomics, post-Ruthanasia.

      The gift to our young from today’s middle aged voters.

  22. Ad 22

    God this last sale makes me really angry.

    So many decades of tax gone into that asset from millions of people, to be sold to a crowd that would hardly fill the stand of the Gisborne Rugby ground.

    I simply want a competent government.

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    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will make renting a better option
    Labour will provide greater security of tenure for renters, and build more state and social housing, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour believes every kid deserves a decent start in life. That means a warm, dry and secure home....
    Labour | 03-09
  • At least 15 new taxes under National
    John Key is the last person to talk about creating taxes, presiding over a Government that has imposed at least 15 new taxes, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “John Key tried a novel line in the debate last night claiming...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will strengthen New Zealand’s democracy
    A Labour Government will act quickly to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as one of the most open and least corrupt countries in the world, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The health of any democracy is improved by greater...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement says tax cut on GST must be first priority – Minto
    “If Prime Minister John Key has money available for tax cuts then cutting GST must be the first priority”,  said MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson John Minto. GST is a nasty tax on low-income families”, said Minto. “People in the...
    Mana | 02-09
  • The Maori Party’s Mana-Enhancing Relationship with National – Minto
    “First we had Cameron Slater and David Farrar backing Labour’s Kelvin Davis bid to unseat MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.  Now we have Slater writing a pro-Te Ururoa Flavell article on his website, Whale...
    Mana | 02-09
  • There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Local communities critical to Civil Defence
    Labour will focus on empowering New Zealand communities to be resilient in Civil Defence disasters, says Labour’s Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran. Announcing Labour’s Civil Defence policy, she says that Labour will work with schools, voluntary agencies and community groups...
    Labour | 02-09
  • Labour looks to long-life passports, gambling harm review
    A return to 10 year passports and a review of gambling laws are highlights of Labour’s Internal Affairs policy released today. “More than 15,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling on the Government to revert to the 10 year system...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority...
    Mana | 01-09
  • Rebuilding the New Zealand Defence Force
    A Labour Government will make it a priority to rebuild the capacity of the Defence Force to carry out the tasks expected of it, says Labour’s Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff. Releasing Labour’s Defence Policy today he said the NZDF has...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Voting turnout affected by bad weather?
    . . NZ, Upper Hutt, 20 September –  Cold, wet weather in the Hutt Valley, north of Wellington may be impacting on voter turn-out. A head-count of people visiting the Trentham School Voting Station in Moonshine Rd, Upper Hutt, indicated...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Final total of advance voting
    And the final total for the advance voting was a staggering 717,579 advance votes against 334,558 in 2011       Tonight, I’ll be watching the TV3 election coverage because I could bare Paul Henry’s smugness one inch more than Mike Hosking’s...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Vice article on NZ election
    Here is my Vice article on the NZ election....
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • The attempt to kill off Internet MANA
    It’s the last day of campaigning today and the long list of those attacking Internet MANA got longer yesterday with Winston Peters backing Labour candidate Kelvin Davis against the MANA Movement’s Hone Harawira. Davis is now supported by Labour, National,...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • A final word on the election – it’s now all up to you
    Brothers & Sisters, the fate of Aotearoa is now all in your hands. We here at the Daily Blog have thrown everything we can at this bloody Government and have spent every waking hour of this campaign trying to highlight...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – ...
    I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – but then again, I never could...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why Nati...
    TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why National Party is great...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • REVIEW: Royals of Kihikihi
    What an absolutely stunning show.  I had to ask twice to check I’d heard right that this is the first staged production for Samuel Christopher, who also played a raw, real, but vulnerable, Wolf Royal, home from London for his...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • 800 Cops to detain 15 ‘terrorists’ – why Australia’s hysterical Isl...
    I’m sorry but I can’t take this current Australian terror threat seriously. 800 cops to detain 15 people and arrest one of them? A week after Abbot decides to send in Australian forces to the cluster fuck of Iraq, suddenly...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Unbelievable corruption inside Government to attack Kim Dotcom
    The corruption inside this Government just more and more filthy – we now have an ex-Customs Lawyer quitting  after being told to bury information that could embarrass the Government, specifically to do with Kim Dotcom… Curtis Gregorash said he was told...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Everyone Loves A Win-Win That Keeps G...
      Permit me to quote some figures at you… -68% of New Zealanders think political news on television focuses too much on politicians’ personalities and not enough on real issues. This is the key result of a recent UMR survey commissioned by...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of ...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of being the most in demand broadcaster in the country...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: Te Tai Tokerau independent poll (44% Hone-27% Kelvin) vs Maori T...
    The Te Tai Tokerau Maori TV poll on Monday this week painted a bleak picture for Internet MANA supporters, and it’s results have been seized upon by Labour, NZ First and even the Maori Party (who seem set once again...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The time for TPPA weasel words is over
    Almost every day of the election campaign there has been a policy announcement that would potentially run foul of what I understand is currently in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA):  more constraints on foreign investment or investors … regulation of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • MELTDOWN – Maori Party turns on their own Te Tai Tokerau candidate – ag...
    The tensions are building in Te Tai Tokerau with the Maori Party on the verge of meltdown. Days out from the election, the Maori Party Executive has tried to heavy their own Te Tai Tokerau Electoral Committee and their own candidate, Te Hira Paenga,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • We Can Change this Government
    We Can Change this Government – Mike Treen at the First Union stop work election meeting...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Election 2014: For and Against
    With the general election tomorrow, we have had a very noisy campaign but little sign that the electorate wishes for a fundamental change of governmental direction. This reflects in part the fact that the economic cycle is close to its decadal...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eye To Eye Uploaded: Martyn ‘Bomber’ Bradbury
    This interview was filmed a couple of weeks ago between Willie Jackson and myself, I was a tad off with my prediction of NZ First....
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The Donghua Liu Affair – The Players Revealed
      . . – Special investigation by Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules‘ Speculation that the Beehive office of Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, was behind the release of a letter linking Labour leader, David Cunliffe, with controversial Chinese businessman, Donghua Liu, is...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold NZ d...
    It should read ‘never stop spying’. As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold us down the river to the US by allowing the Southern Cross cable to be tapped… The ability for US intelligence agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work
    The final days of the campaign are ticking down and Labour and NZ First are manoeuvring to kill off the Internet MANA Party by both backing Kelvin Davis for Te Tai Tokerau. It’s a risky gambit that they better pray to Christ...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Bill English’s latest insult to beneficiaries – apparently they are lik...
    National’s hatred towards the poor continues unabated as National desperately try to throw raw meat to their reactionary voter base in the hope to inspire enough hate and loathing to win back their redneck voters from the Conservative Party and from...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eminem ain’t happy with John Key
    Eminem ain’t happy with John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Key claims he did not inhale
    Key claims he did not inhale...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Final prediction on election result 2014
    What an election campaign. The character assassination of David Cunliffe kicked things off with the Herald on Sunday falsely claiming $100 00 bottles of wine, $15 000 books and $150 000 in donations  from a donor that turned out to be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Live blog: Bainamarama takes commanding lead in Fiji elections
      Interview with Repúblika editor Ricardo Morris and Pacific Scoop’s Mads Anneberg. PACIFIC SCOOP TEAM By Ricardo Morris, Mads Anneberg, Alistar Kata and Biutoka Kacimaiwai in Suva WHILE the results are provisional at this stage, it is clear today that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 5AA Australia: NZ Elections Two Days To Go! + Edward Snowden + Julian Assan...
    Recorded live on 18/09/14 – Captured Live on Ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/multimedia-investments-ltd 5AA Australia’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning deliver their weekly bulletin: Across The Ditch. This week, they discuss the latest news as New Zealanders go to the polls on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What has Colin Craig done for his Press Secretary to quit 2 days before ele...
    This is VERY strange.  Colin Craig’s Press Secretary Rachel McGregor, has quit 2 days before the election, allegedly telling ZB that Colin Craig was a “very manipulative man”. I’ve met Rachel many times in the past as Colin’s Press Secretary, she is...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” – A brief w...
    “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” said Key in the final leaders debate. Problem of course is that the 250 000 – 285 000 children living in poverty can not afford steak, milk, butter, eggs...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • National’s final bash of beneficiaries before the election
    On cue, whenever National feel threatened, they roll out a little bennie bash just to keep their redneck voter base happy. Nothing like a bit of raw meat policy to keep National voters focused on the evil threat solo parents...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • With All Of This In Mind, I Vote
    This is my last blog before the election and I really just want to speak from the heart. Right now in this country it seems to me that a lot of people consider the “essentials” in life to be simply...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Left has to vote strategically this election
    The dedication, loyalty, and tribalism of party politics means that sometimes the left lets itself down by not voting strategically. We all want our favoured party to get maximum votes, naturally, but the winner-takes-all approach doesn’t always suit multi-party left...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Dear NZ – as you enter the polling booth, stand up for your rights
    The last days before a NZ general election are a busy time as politicians make their pitch and party activists prepare to get out the vote. It is sort of weird watching from the distance of Europe the strangest election...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What is Waihopai, John, if it isn’t a facility for “mass surveillance...
    John Key assured us on RNZ’s Nine to Noon programme yesterday that “In terms of the Fives Eyes data bases… yes New Zealand will contribute some information but not mass wholesale surveillance.” How does this square with the operation of the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Mass Surveillance and the Banality of E...
    Renowned journalist and intellectual Hannah Arendt coined the phrase “the banality of evil” to describe the normalisation of genocide in Nazi Germany. I thought of her phrase when I was listening to Glenn Greenwald and other international whistle-blowers talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Election. Down. To. The. Wire
    Funny how last week it was John Key winning by 50%, now it’s neck and neck. I have always believed this election would be down to the wire and it is proving so. The flawed landline opinion polls the mainstream...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 3rd Degree uses Whaleoil for story ideas as if Dirty Politics never happene...
    TV3s 3rd Degrees smear job on Kim Dotcom last night doesn’t bear much repeating. It was pretty pathetic journalism from a team who have brought us some great journalism in the past. It is sad to see 3rd Degree stooping...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Live blog: Bainimarama takes early lead in Fiji’s election
    Pacific Scoop’s Alistar Kata reports from yesterday’s voting. By Alistar Kata of Pacific Scoop in Suva Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama took an early lead in provisional results in the Fiji general election last night. With provisional results from 170 out...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Has The NSA Constructed The Perfect PPP?
    Former intelligence analyst and whistleblower, Edward Snowden – speaking live to those gathered at the Auckland Town Hall on Monday September 17, 2014. Investigation by Selwyn Manning. THE PRIME MINISTER JOHN KEY’s admission on Wednesday that whistleblower Edward Snowden “may...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • No way – Key admits Snowden is right
    After claiming there was no middle ground. After claiming there was no mass surveillance. After calling Glenn Greenwald a henchman and a loser. After all the mainstream media pundits screamed at Kim’s decision to take his evidence to Parliamentary Privileges...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Bad luck National
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • The incredible changing John Key story on mass spying – why the Moment of...
    While the mainstream media continue to try and make the Moment of Truth about Kim’s last minute decision to prolong his battle against John Key past the election into the Privileges Committee, the reality is that the Moment of Truth...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Themes of the Campaign
    There’s one area of a political campaign that just about everyone, at some point, falls afoul of. The campaign song. I’m not sure quite why it is, but it seems to be almost impossible for political parties to come up...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Denis Tegg – The NSA slides that prove mass surveillance
    The evidence presented by Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden on The Intercept of mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB is undeniable, and can stand on its own. But when you place this fresh evidence in the context of...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland
    The Ukrainian civil war discomforts me. It seems to me the most dangerous political crisis since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. And it’s because of our unwillingness to examine the issues in a holistic way. We innately prefer to...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man – the relationship intensifies
    John Key’s love affair with the straw man is now a fully-committed relationship. It’s now the first love of his life. Sorry Bronagh. Yesterday I pointed to Key’s constant assurances that there is no mass surveillance of New Zealanders by...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • A brief word on why Wendyl Nissen is a hero
    Wendyl Nissen is a hero. The sleazy black ops attack on her by Slater and Odgers on behalf of Grocery Council chief executive Katherine Rich is sick. All Nissen is doing in her column is point out the filth and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • She saw John Key on TV and decided to vote!
    . . NZ, Wellington, 15 September – ‘Tina’* is 50, a close friend,  and one of the “Missing Million” from the last election. In fact, ‘Tina’ has never voted in her life.  Not once. In ‘Tina’s’ own words, politics has...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Eminem sues National Party for unlawful use of ‘Lose yourself’ bhahahah...
    …ahahahahahahahaha. Oh Christ this is hilarious… National Party sued over Eminem copyright infringment US rapper Eminem is suing the National Party for allegedly breaching copyright by using his song Lose Yourself in its campaign advertisements. The Detroit-based publishers of Eminem’s...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Are the Greens about to be snookered by a Labour-NZ First Government?
    I wrote last week that it was smart politics that the Greens pointed out they could work with National, the soft blue vote that’s looking for a home in the wake of Dirty Politics isn’t going to Labour, so the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Daily Election Update #12: NZ First to hold balance of power
    Winston Peters’ NZ First Party will hold the balance of power after tomorrow’s election, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Mr Peters is then expected to back a National-led...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election Day is Time to Refocus on Policies
    Over the course of this election campaign there has been a lot of focus on dirty politics and spying, and not a lot on policy. With election day looming, Gareth Morgan is calling for people to refocus on the issues....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • The Kiwi FM Alternative Election Commentary
    Saturday 20 September from 7pm on 102.2 Auckland, 102.1 Wellington, 102.5 Canterbury, or KiwiFM.co.nz...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Beneficiary Bashing unacceptable
    Kay Brereton of the Beneficiary Advocacy Federation of New Zealand says “ the comment made by Bill English yesterday comparing beneficiaries to crack addicts is shocking and incredibly poorly timed.”...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • UN Experience Beneficial
    Acclaim Otago representatives have just completed their participation at the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability examination of the New Zealand government in Geneva, Switzerland. "It was an interesting two days which we believe has...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Changing face of NZ should be reflected in newsrooms
    With Fairfax Media’s Journalism Intern search closing on Sunday, Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is urging aspiring journalists from Maori, Pacific and ethnic communities to apply. The deadline was recently extended to 10pm, Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • SPCA expresses concern over toxin in waterways
    Ric Odom CEO of Royal NZ SPCA has expressed concern over the toxic poison 1080 entering waterways, but DoC, Council’s and Ministry of Health have colluded to make it legal....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 13-18 September
    Below is iSentia’s final weekly Election Index, covering the period 13-18 September and showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. The methodology used...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Epsom Candidate (Adam Holland) More Liberal Than ACT
    For the past four years I, like 500,000 other New Zealanders, have been illegally smoking cannabis for medicinal purposes and/or even just for the occasional laugh with friends on the weekend. We don't hurt anybody, we don't cause nuisance, we...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Left Coalition Will Save Dolphins
    A left coalition would safeguard both Māui and Hector’s dolphins, as well as revive our inshore ecosystems. Labour, Internet Mana and the Green Party all have strong policies in place for dolphin protection. The Maori Party, and to a certain...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Waihoroi Shortland: Ngāti Hine is not standing alone
    The Chairman of Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi, Sonny Tau is blowing smoke worthy of a Dotcom rally with claims that Ngati Hine is standing alone in its opposition to Tūhoronuku says the Chairman of Te Rūnanga o Ngati...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Oceania voices on environment loud and strong
    While money and energy continues to be spent on global talks about climate change, Pacific islanders are scrambling to build sea walls out of sticks, stones, shells and coral, to protect their lands and homes from erosion and rising sea...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunket – Tonight
    No MPs tonight --- the campaign will be over at 9 30. Instead we will look back --- and possibly forward on what we have learned and what might happen. Listener Political Columnist Jane Clifton Editor in Chief, NZ Herald,...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election fails to address youth financial wellbeing
    Young people don’t feel included in New Zealand’s financial success and believe inequality is a problem, according to a new survey conducted by Westpac’s Fin-Ed Centre at Massey University....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Winston’s Waffle doesn’t hide the facts
    The Conservative Party is celebrating the ASA's finding announced today that rejected all but one of the complaints raised against its controversial “Conservatives or Peters” pamphlet. “Despite pages of complaints from Peters legal team the only...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ Independent Coalition looking forward to tomorrow
    “Our team is looking forward to tomorrow. It is a real opportunity to reclaim politics for the people,” said NZ Independent Coalition leader Brendan Horan....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Insights Issue 35/2014 – 19 September 2014
    Insights Issue 35/2014 - 19 September 2014 In This Issue • RMA reform the golden unicorn of policy | Jenesa Jeram...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Special voting arrangements made for NIWA crew
    One of the most unusual polling stations for this year’s general election is in the middle of the ocean miles from land. NIWA’s flagship research vessel Tangaroa, has been doubling as a polling booth for crew and scientists at sea....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Tourism operators urged to vote strategically
    Tourism operators should make sure they know their local candidates’ view on tourism and use their vote to support the country’s second largest export industry, says Chris Roberts, Chief Executive, Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA)....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • WGTN: March for free education
    We are students, university staff, and members of the community. Whichever parties form a government after September 20th, we are demanding an end to corporatisation of education....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Evidence of Corruption a National Scandal
    Internet Party leader Laila Harré will take evidence of corruption to international forums if there is not a full Royal Commission to investigate the growing evidence of the systematic use and abuse of democratic institutions and processes for political...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Govt continues to throw money at charter school experiment
    Official documents reveal the three primary sector charter schools approved last week will cost $2 million to set up as well as divert another $1.5 million of potential taxpayer investment from local state schools next year....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • ACT Final Election Rally
    Elections campaigns are an opportunity for political parties to put candidates and policy to enable voters to choose what sort of New Zealand we want. In this campaign there have been three tests by which you can assess the electoral...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Taxpayers on Hook Again for Solid Energy
    Responding to the Fairfax article that taxpayers are extending another $103 million to keep Solid Energy afloat, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Invermay Petition Tops 10,000 Signatures
    People across New Zealand continue to express their disgust at the downgrading of Invermay, says Dunedin North MP David Clark, as the Save Invermay petition he instigated earlier this year topped the 10,000 signature mark just days before the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • McVicar vows to continue fight for police
    Garth McVicar stated at a public meeting last week that he would fight to retain a 24/7 Police Station in Napier and no reduction in the number of police staff for the Hawkes Bay region, some said he was simply...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Party Vote Our Weapon in Fight Against Government Corruption
    Internet MANA urges New Zealanders to use their party vote to confront corruption in any new government....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Election day is tomorrow – make sure you’re a part of it!
    Tomorrow, Saturday 20 September, is election day, and New Zealanders’ last chance to have a say on who leads the country for the next three years....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Is the Shape of our Government out of the hands of Voters?
    In the last stuff.co.nz / Ipsos Political Poll before Saturdays election, National is down 5.1% to 47.7% and Labour up 3.7% to 26.15%. These results are remarkably similar to the 2011 election where National received 47.3% of the vote and...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Spirit of Suffrage a Call to Action for All Kiwi Women
    Internet MANA is drawing on the courage and integrity of New Zealand women on Suffrage Day – Friday, September, 19 – to encourage them to pay tribute to the spirit of their foremothers who gained women the vote....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Live Election Night Coverage on TV And Online
    Māori Television’s KOWHIRI 2014 – ELECTION SPECIAL kicks off at 7.00pm this Saturday with a five-hour broadcast focusing on the Māori electorates....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Judge’s Decision Disappoints Fish & Game
    Today’s decision to give a Temuka man 100 hours of community service for selling sports fish to the public has disappointed Fish & Game, which believes the sentence handed down was “too lenient and will not go far enough to...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Cutting-Edge Graphics Fire up TV3’s Election Night Coverage
    TV3’s Election Night coverage, hosted by John Campbell, will be enhanced by cutting-edge graphics that will showcase the night’s results....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Govt rushes to open charter schools in New Year
    The government’s decision to approve four new charter schools last week to open in January next year goes against the Minister of Education’s own advice that the schools ought to have at least a year’s preparation time....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • 7 Days And Jono And Ben at Ten Hijack Election Weekend
    The 7 Days and Jono and Ben at Ten (JABAT) comedians are running their own version of election coverage, with a schedule of entertainment and comedy across TV3, Kiwi FM, the web and social media this Friday and Saturday under...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Fewer Prisoners Equals Less Crime
    In its latest blog, ‘Abolishing Parole and other Crazy Stuff’,’ at http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/09/krill-and-womble-independent-policy.html , Rethinking Crime and Punishment urges government to rethink its approach to releasing prisoners. “The public expectation is that the excellent reductions in the crime...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • McVicar slams his political opponents
    I want a safe and prosperous society and that can only be achieved if we have strong and vi-brant families – McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Falling economic growth – wage rises overdue
    “The lower GDP growth in the three months to June is further evidence that growth has peaked. New Zealand’s economy is on the way down to mediocre growth rates,” says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg. “Yet wage rises are still weak...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Get Out and Vote campaign a success
    Tens of thousands of workers from all around New Zealand have embraced the Get Out and Vote campaign and have created their own personalised voting plan, the CTU said today. “With three days of voting left in the 2014 General...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Animal Research Failing – So Do More Animal Research?
    Victoria University of Wellington is about to host a lecture on why the success rates of pharmaceutical development is so low and what can be done about it. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) welcomes discussion on this important...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • ALCP welcomes Prime Minister’s cannabis comments
    Mr Abbott's comments came on the same day as New South Wales and Victoria states announced they would be doing clinical trials of cannabis....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Conservative Party Press Secretary Resignation
    The Conservative Party is given to understand that this morning Press Secretary, Miss Rachel Macgregor resigned althought no formal advice of this has yet been received....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • By ACT’s logic, Epsom should vote for Conservative Candidate
    “Polling released late in the campaign shows that ACT is a busted flush and that by ACT’s own logic, centre-right Epsom voters should vote for the Conservative candidate”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • New online medical system
    Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is seeking registrations of interest for a new onshore panel physician network to support an online immigration health processing system....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Students, You Have a Choice, Vote!
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) is imploring students to ensure they make their voices heard this election, and join the many thousands who have already heeded the call....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Party vote ACT for three years of stability.
    Voters who are concerned that on the latest polls we may be heading for three years of instability have it in their hands to deliver a decisive result....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Women’s Suffrage Movement – Get Out and Vote!
    Tomorrow, Friday 19th September, MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes, will cast her vote at 12 noon at the Zen’s Building, Rotorua. This will follow a march through Rotorua that will assemble at 10am at City Focus, Rotorua. The...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • iPredict Daily Update
    David Cunliffe and Labour have made gains over the last 24 hours, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict, but John Key’s National is still strongly expected to lead the next...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Conservative’s Proposal to Abolish Parole Fatally Flawed
    The Conservative Party’s proposal to abolish parole doesn't stack up, however which way you look at it, concludes Kim Workman in Rethinking Crime and Punishment latest blog, ‘Abolishing Parole and Other Crazy Stuff’ at http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/09/krill-and-womble-independent-policy.html...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Special Edition : The letter 18 September 2014
    Dr Jamie Whyte has been giving thoughtful speeches largely unreported. So we thought we would put out an edited version on the speech he gave yesterday. The full speech is on the website....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
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