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You pays your money & you takes your chances

Written By: - Date published: 10:53 am, March 9th, 2013 - 96 comments
Categories: capitalism, energy, privatisation - Tags:

Some analysts are talking about risks of investing in Mighty River Power in the media today. Weather, electricity demand, overseas expansion. I’ll tell you what would make me think twice if I was contemplating buying shares (like most Kiwis I couldn’t afford to even if I wanted to).

Everyone acknowledges the power companies over charge because of the way National set up the system with the Bradford reforms. Right now, the government has 400m reasons a year not to do anything about it. After the sales, that will be $200m in dividends.

Any reforms to lower power prices will fall mainly* on a relatively small number of (often overseas) private shareholders and much less on the government books. That rather reduces the government’s incentive to protect the over-charging status quo, doesn’t it? Lots of votes in being the government to bring down power prices, especially when a lot of the profits are otherwise going to foreign corporates.

You would essentially be buying into an industry

  • that has a history of strong government regulatory intervention,
  • that is making super-profits at the moment because the government made it that way,
  • that continues to do so with the government’s tacit consent because it earns the government a lot of money,
  • at the same time as the incentive for the government to let that situation continue will be reduced by half,
  • and at the same the political argument to do something to power prices will become much stronger.

Good luck with that.

*with 30% of the market already private, it’ll be 65% after the sales

96 comments on “You pays your money & you takes your chances”

  1. pollywog 1

    Oh but as long as Key is relaxed about it, we should be too…

    The wolf isn’t concerned with the opinions of sheep!

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Come on Labour. Get off the mediocrity of the political centre, and announce that you will reacquire the shares at cost, compulsarily over time, with no interest or costs paid.

    And that you will fund the move by a special levy on the top 5%.

    • Alanz 2.1

      If the Centre is a delightfully comfortable place for political slumber, then David Snorer and his deafening silence is occupying very very good space.

    • tc 2.2

      Go all the way and renationalise the entire system, the lines businesses are just as bloated and inefficient, transpower also and all the retailers would get nationalised as the generators already own them.

      Power for the people, novel concept.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        Shit dude, you aren’t you scared of coming across all “hard left” and “heterodox”??? :twisted:

        The banking and financial transaction system is another area to look at.

      • Tim 2.2.2

        … and protect water before its commodified/commoditised.
        Oh, while we’re about it the oil cartel need a kick in the guts; ports/airports are effectively monopolies within a region, so they should all be/remain in public hands; and then the situation with supermarkets. The truly free-maketeer could hardly object could they!
        I can recall the Max Bradford reforms – all supposedly designed to bring us “fishinsies n fectibniss n grater comtishun – all equalling lower prices for the kinsooma”.
        How long will that take do you reckon? All this neo-lib agenda has had a fair suck of the sav AND IT HASN’T/WILL NOT work. The 1/4 century experiment has failed. Unfortunately that 1/4 century coincides with a slippery dick’s educashun and working life and so he knows nothing else.
        Double up ………. roll the dice! Scream like squealing piglets and shout “wasn’t me, wasn’t me!’ when it all starts turning to shit.

      • Don't worry be happy 2.2.3

        We, the people paid for it, the whole lot…lines, dams everything…. It’s ours. We don’t want to sell. What’s happening now is theft. Call the cops!

        What’s more, these thieves are ‘repeat offenders’.

        They have no remorse and no mercy. If they get away with this theft they’ll be back for more.

        I don’t see any hope of rehabilitation until they are in recovery from their addiction to money.

        In the meantime, for the good of our society and our democracy, the only thing to do is to throw the book at them and lock them up.

  3. geoff 3

    James H, are you saying that you think power prices could fall as a consequence of the sale of MRP?

    [no. the say of MRP is neither necessary nor sufficient to cause power prices to fall. In fact, without reform, it'll cause prices to rise. But it does make reform more likely if and when there's a new government. JH]

    • Jimmy 3.1

      Sounds great let the capatilists take all the risk and we can have lower prices.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Smart capitalists take no risks

        They get tax payer bailouts if things go wrong or they are incompetent

    • Wayne 3.2

      Zero evidence of this. How can changing the share ownership in a company increase prices in a market where there are 7 serious players. It is just an assertion.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        I thought company directors have a responsibility maximise profits. Surely the way to do that with a captive market is to increase prices as far as you are able to.

        It is just an assertion.

        lolwut

        do you even pay your own powerbill?

        • infused 3.2.1.1

          And you wont be able to if there are 7 players. That’s the point.

          • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.1.1

            Why not? Each board of directors is looking to maximise their profits. Do you deny that? And the easiest way with a captive market is to inch up effective power prices month by month.

          • Murray Olsen 3.2.1.1.2

            I wonder how many slightly less than magnificient Tories will be on the boards of more than one of these seven. They don’t mind collectivism at all when it’s them collecting their forces to stiff us all. There might be seven players, but they’re all on the same team and play to the same rules. We just pay more.

      • Tim 3.2.2

        Now I know where the expression “Geeez Wayne!” comes from.

  4. Jimmie 4

    Two little problems with this doomsday scenario.

    1 As the government will still own 51% of MRP (and presumably will continue to receive 51% of all dividend payments) they would still be cutting off their nose to spite their faces if they enforced a lower profit regime on the power industry.

    2 It is looking likely that with MRP there will be close to 4-500,000 IPO investors who will take up the government’s offer to purchase shares in MRP. These 4-500,000 folk are also voters.

    Pissing off 500,000 voters by essentially devaluing their investment is akin to political suicide and would never happen.

    Also if the government wants to make its next MOM share offers to be successful then it won’t rock the investment boat at all.

    I think the left need to face up to the fact that the boat has sailed on opposition to partial asset sales.
    It was fought in 2011 and the left lost. All the time, money, and energy spent on this wasted cause should have been spent on attacking the government on more vulnerable areas.

    All the CIR and msm campaign has done is give free publicity to the partial floats and remind folks to save up for the shares.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      All Labour need to do is to make a statement that it will renationalise the assets over time, at cost, using a levy on the wealthy, and you will find that the boat will come back real quick.

      Pissing off 500,000 voters by essentially devaluing their investment is akin to political suicide and would never happen.

      Meh.

      If investors want to take the risk/benefit gamble, knowing what might happen, it’s up to them. That’s capitalism for you.

      • infused 4.1.1

        Not going to happen.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          Oh I agree it’s unlikely. Labour would have to give up being a centrist party and get a left wing backbone.

          • infused 4.1.1.1.1

            NZ wouldn’t have the money for another 10+ years to do something like this anyway.

            • millsy 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Probably right there. But that’s what happen when you cut taxes for the wealthy by almost 50%.

    • uke 4.2

      Yes, but high power prices – with 49% profits going to private interests – are also going to piss off a large proportion of the electrorate (i.e. those too poor to become investors).

      So the issue will become political both ways.

    • Murray Olsen 4.3

      I doubt very much if there would be anywhere near half a million Kiwi voters with shares in MRP three years after the theft, or even one year. The shares will become concentrated in fewer hands, as is almost always the case. At a quick guess, I’d say 50k would be closer.
      My question is why it is seen as political suicide to piss of these people, but good management to piss of most of the population with increased power prices? Or even why letting a beneficiary paint their own roof is seen as political suicide?
      Something has gone very wrong with our country.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.3.1

        +1

        And, IMO, what’s gone wrong is the hard capitalism that’s been forced upon us over the last few decades and the kowtowing to the rich that the government (Labour and National led) do.

      • Colonial Viper 4.3.2

        You ain’t wrong there buddy.

    • Young Blood 4.4

      Jimmie nailed it

  5. Rogue Trooper 5

    “throw another Bill on the barbie”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/8393529/Drought-could-cost-economy-1b
    (two economic commentators in The Dominion this week, Brian and Lyon; this economy is charcoal).

  6. Lanthanide 6

    It’s a pity the referendum still hasn’t been held. If it had been, the Left would have a good basis as to why it would run with this policy.

    At the moment, running this policy would get the left tarred as “sore losers” by National, and probably lots of other good sound-bites that the public lap up and the media would repeat ad-nauseum.

    So I guess they could couch it in those terms: if 67% or more of people reject asset sales in the referendum, then they will run with this policy. This would give everyone a reason to vote in the referendum, increasing the turn out and giving National a hard time in ignoring it, while also tanking the share price in the short term.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      An interesting quirk in this is that National might try to argue that the referendum was just about whether you agreed with asset sales or not and not whether the Left should implement this policy. But that would directly mirror the election that National like to claim as a “mandate” for why they should sell assets.

  7. Poission 7

    The problematic issue is that the entrenched oligopolies,are using book accounting to force (upwards ) the price returns ie ROI.

    This is the return not on that actual investment, but on the revalued assets returns a problematic area in natural monopolies such has airports,hydro stations etc.

    Here the monopolies such as airports get to screw the consumers and users, and use their investment diversification to not pay tax for example wellington airport has not paid any tax since 2007.

    Here is a good example for an assets tax

  8. RedBaron 8

    Well I think future governments should look at some bankster tricks.

    Firstly – indicate that there is an intent to take power back into full government ownership
    Then when the time comes:
    Issue perpetual bonds to the shareholders secured against the power company – make them totally subordinated so that any paying them back goes to the total end of the queue – just as shareholders are. Also means that you are not issuing govt stock.

    Make repayment conditional on all other debt having been repayed first
    Make the interest rate tied to the profit of the current year or the average of the previous six years whichever is the lessor. Leaves a ticking time bomb should a government be voted out.

    Drop the power prices and make no profit , therefore value of bonds drop substantially.

    Plan A Buy the bonds back – the nice approach at least a holder gets some money.

    Plan B Borrow up large from banks against the remaining assets, give money to the government by way of dividend. Then strip the assets out of the company paying back the banks as this is done. Leave for a bit then wind up the company and oh shucks sorry nothing left for the bondholders. Pleanty of templates for this.

  9. erentz 9

    Once sold I don’t think it will make sense to buy back. The focus first and foremost has to be on preventing sales and winning next year. If labour/greens don’t win next year NZ its all moot because there wont be much of a country worth saving after a third national term. If they do win and we get away with national only selling MRP before the next election I will be happy. The course of action to take then is merge the remaining generation assets. Start regulating the market more strictly. And not buy back the existing generators, but instead build new generating assets. The government generators will be able to out-compete the private ones, overtime it’s share of the generating capacity will increase and the private generators will be marinalised and less able to control the market (which we will have more tightly regulated anyway). In the future we can consider picking the bones off the private generators. Fleece them for their good assets like the dams.

    • Murray Olsen 9.1

      An interesting idea, but can new generating stations be built without significant environmental damage? I suspect that the dams already in existence are in the most efficient places, and other generating methods are still not totally mature. It’d be great if a government could build solar or wind generating capacity and undercut the present companies, but I don’t think we have the technology yet.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        An interesting idea, but can new generating stations be built without significant environmental damage?

        Wind power situated offshore. They’re built in existing infrastructure on land and then floated out to location. Environmental damage will be minimal and, on top of that, the area where they’re placed will act as an artificial reef and thus a breeding ground for fish. One that can’t be fished because trawlers and submarine cables just don’t mix.

        It’d be great if a government could build solar or wind generating capacity and undercut the present companies, but I don’t think we have the technology yet.

        I really don’t think that’s a problem

        • infused 9.1.1.1

          Wind power doesn’t work.

          Dams are expensive and fuck the environment.

          • millsy 9.1.1.1.1

            Thought you enjoyed fucking the environment, infused.

          • The Al1en 9.1.1.1.2

            “Wind power doesn’t work.”

            Don’t be stupid, of course it works.
            The only objection are from nimbys like that ex rugby head from the south island and retards.

            Give me a thousand wind turbines over a coal fired or nuke power station any day.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1.2.1

              And considering that I said to build them offshore even nimbyism doesn’t apply (although I’m sure that some of the fishing fleets will complain).

          • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1.3

            Wind power doesn’t work.

            [citation needed]

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.3.1

              Given that wind power provides NZ with roughly 170,000 MWhrs of electricity a month, infused has a weird concept of “doesn’t work”

    • AsleepWhileWalking 9.2

      I so want that to be the reality…but since when could SOE’s successfully outperform private interests?

      The best outcome will always be if it were never sold in the first place.

      Good to see Mai Chen talk about there possibly being more challenges to asset sales http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10869635

      If, in putting the next SOE on the block, whether Genesis or Meridian Energy, the Crown confuses the specific approval with its general obligations, and fails to properly consult or otherwise have regard to Treaty principles in each particular case, then there is a real risk of each of the further share offers being open to similar challenges. This is particularly so if the next SOE had significantly different interests from Mighty River Power and the Crown’s promises regarding water reform do not apply. Hopefully, that analysis is being done now for Genesis and Meridian Energy.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1

        I so want that to be the reality…but since when could SOE’s successfully outperform private interests?

        Since forever. It’s only an hypothesis that private does better and one that’s not backed up by the evidence.

          • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1.1

            I dunno, was the USSR an SOE of some kind?

          • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1.1.2

            No. Totalitarian states generally do badly because of the amount of graft and nepotism. Exactly with what’s wrong with dictatorial entities such as a capitalist business.

          • Poission 9.2.1.1.3

            Following privatization of strategic assets such as energy Russia went broke,following renationalisation of majority stakes,the strategic energy assets have allowed Russia to become the least indebted of the G8 nations.

            • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1.3.1

              Funny how stopping foreign owned wealth pumps sucking a country dry can be helpful for the economy.

              have allowed Russia to become the least indebted of the G8 nations.

              Russia is also 4th in the world in terms of foreign currency reserves: over half a trillion USD worth.

              Putin’s nationalisation of oil assets has also allowed Russia to acquire an additional 570 tonnes of gold reserves in the last 14 years.

              • Poission

                It would be interesting to find out what difference to the NZ economy there would have been if a lesser portion of the nz super fund had been used in portfolios and the investment had been into Kiwibank

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yep. And it wouldn’t take much to bring tens of thousands of very talented Kiwis with global networks and international experience back home to work on it.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1.1.3.2

              And NZ didn’t do much better:

              Impact on debt (assuming 6% cumulative interest on government debt) ( nominal millions)
              Net increase in debt: 25557

              Losing ~$25b isn’t doing the country any favours.

          • millsy 9.2.1.1.4

            I get tired of the right constantly using the USSR as a stick to beat the left with. Especially seeing as a) the left (except perhaps for John Minto and Hone H) have never advocated whole sale nationalization and b) Western capitalist nations have had a very high level of public ownership of utilities (Google “Tennesee Valley Authority” and “LA Water and Power” and “US Army Corps of Engineers”).

            • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1.4.1

              Bank of North Dakota

            • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1.1.4.2

              It shows their ignorance in numerous ways:
              1.) The USSR wasn’t communist but totalitarian and run on a hierarchical model which benefitted a few and thus is closely related to capitalism
              2.) Most of the great achievements by the “capitalist” countries such as landing on the moon was done by government and not private enterprise
              3.) The environmental damage done in the “communist” countries is pretty much the same as that done in the capitalist ones and for the same reason – unaccountable management looking for a cheap way to get rid of the waste.

              • Draco T Bastard

                3a.) Unaccountable management looking for a cheap way to get at resources.

  10. Nick K 10

    I am just trying to recall the percentage amount power prices rose in the 9 years of Helengrad…..70% I think. And I’m also trying to recall how much in dividends Michael Cullen banked from excessive profits of said state owned companies during the same period…..> $1Billion I think.

    • saarbo 10.1

      Yes, Cullen, Helen and Hodgson were comfortable letting Max Bradfords screwy market based electricity model lead to increases in electricity prices. In the early 2000′s when there were droughts in the south island we saw wholesale electricity prices at times increase by 1000%.

      If low lake levels are combined with a maintenance shut on particular power stations, wholesale prices can rocket, it was bloody difficult to understand how electricity prices were determined….their didnt seem to be any logic.

      But this isnt going to change if these assets are sold, in fact it will make the situation a lot worse as the government wont have the power to fix the pricing issues.

      I agree with CV on comment 2, Labour need to show some courage and announce a brave policy to buy back any shares in electricity companies (at cost). Make the announcement now.

      • Lanthanide 10.1.1

        “But this isnt going to change if these assets are sold, in fact it will make the situation a lot worse as the government wont have the power to fix the pricing issues.”

        Not really. As 51% owner, the government can still ‘call the shots’ if they want to. Or they can just legislate, which would equally affect all power businesses including the already privitised ones.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1

          Except for the part where the National Government has reassured investors that it will be a ‘silent’ partner ceeding effective control of the Board to the minority shareholders.

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      9 years of Helengrad

      As opposed to 5 years Keystone Cops?

  11. Dv 11

    Interesting comments by Bernard Hickey

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10870242

    He compares the ‘whiff of greed and intoxication’ to the 1986 share market frenzy

    He is also critical of the use of Forsyth Barr in light of their ‘misleading and deceptive’ marketing of the Credit Sailles scam.

    He makes the point that if the Mixed Ownership model is to win back the confidence of older generation then Govt should remove Forsyth Barr and Neil Parvour-Smith should resign as a director of the NZX.

    ADD to the relevation that Mighty River has a loss making investment in Chile

    Mighty River admits risk
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10870276

    ADD that the principals of MR are playing silly buggers with the select committee.

    AND there is a bunch of fine print on the bottom of the MR add that I cant read.

    Feels like a scam??

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      It’s always been a scam. Privatisation always leaves the community worse off.

    • Nick K 11.2

      Good articles. All grist for the informed choice mill. Many of those who have pre-registered won’t but any.

    • Poission 11.3

      Partying like it is 2006 or 1986 or 1999 will just give us another hangover.

      Hmm abit of Kipling perhaps

      Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
      And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
      That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
      And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

      As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
      There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
      That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
      And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

  12. RedBaronCV 12

    Anybody investing should also remember how efficent private companies are at getting rid of customers.
    The row over directors fees at Contact Energy cost it some 47,000 customers who voted with their feet.

  13. I think Shearer’s failure to pick up the challenge to buy back MRP at cost tells us where he and the current Caucus majority will go.
    He’s more interested in sucking up to the mum and dad gold diggers who are flocking to clip the ticked of monopoly profits.
    This is like queue jumpers who abandon any social ethics to put No 1 first. It reminds me of the Holland Govt selling state housing to tout private property ownership to Labour voters.
    He is saying its better for Labour to appeal to greedy parasites who want to get windfall profits from undervalued monopolies in renewable energy at the expense of consumers and the sustainability of the economy than to put up a fight for public ownership.
    These assets only exist because the state build them. The private sector has benefited from generations of cheap energy. Not content with that it wants to strip the life out of them.
    A Labour Govt that cannot take a stand on this if fucked. Better it didnt exist and cleared the decks now for a new workers party that makes no bones about ‘taking’ MRP back.
    If Shearer can’t see that this is a ‘make or break’ principle for the left then he’s ideologically right by default and the sooner he is made to resign and go back to pimping mercenaries in Africa the better.

    • RedBaronCV 13.1

      I agree Red Rattler. The dead silence from Labour is demoralising. I know that the Nacts are going to leave nothing in the purse to spend and massive borrowings for the next government.

      Still a buy back is possible if shares are changed for totally subordinated debt issued by MRP.Any interest or retiring of that debt would only be after everything else had been paid – tough if that is worthless.

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        I know that the Nacts are going to leave nothing in the purse to spend and massive borrowings for the next government.

        Then expect Labour, after winning, to come out with a rather orthodox “socially balanced and fiscally responsible” budget in 2015 i.e. austerity light.

    • Colonial Viper 13.2

      Yes, Labour is a centrist party, sympathetic to free market approaches and leaning towards the upper middle class.

      nb in terms of future options, it can’t just be a new “workers” party ie it must represent and mobilise the underclasses and otherwise disenfranchised, but you know this. I just raise it for clarity.

  14. Wayne 14

    Labour is not the Alliance, which many of the posters on this site used to be members or supporters of. The inheritors of the Alliance in Parliament today are the Greens. From what I can see that is where most posters on this site are more ideologically attuned to.

    So you are wasting your time if you think you can change Labour to be the equivalent of the Alliance.

    The Labour Caucus did not choose David Shearer to be the inheritor of Jim Anderton’s mantle, so stop wasting your time railing against Labour not being left enough. There is another Party in Parliament that meets this need.

    By the way as Gaynor’s article in the Saturday Herald showed, Labor in Queensland sold a partial stake in Queensland Rail, so MOM seems to sit OK with many Labor Govts.

    The left has now lost this debate, even if the referendum goes through. Better to focus on things that could be future policy. For instance what about a more creative approach for the Super Fund to drive new economic initiatives for New Zealand. And no, using it to buy back the MOM investors does not count. That will not create nothing new.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      “Labour is not the Alliance”

      Labour never was the Alliance, and currently it’s not Labour either.

      Wow Labor Queensland ignored not only their own election policies, but also massive union and popular opinion against selling state assets and you see that as some kind of justification?

      All you are pointing out is that Labour has lost it’s historical mandate and mission, and is now a centrist party sympathetic to free market approaches, and leaning towards the interests of the upper middle class.

    • millsy 14.2

      So you thnk Labour should be ‘National-lite’ then?

      I dont know about you, but I reckon that’s bullshit.

      And the Labor parties in Aus stopped being left about 20-30 years ago.

    • Colonial Viper 14.3

      a more creative approach for the Super Fund to drive new economic initiatives for New Zealand. And no, using it to buy back the MOM investors does not count. That will not create nothing new.

      But that’s not the point is it? The Govt (not the super fund) reacquiring the shares at cost returns the assets to public ownership.

      IE it nationalises the assets.

      • burt 14.3.1

        Muldoon would have been proud of you CV

        • Colonial Viper 14.3.1.1

          Muldoon built assets

          Key is selling them off for cheap as chips.

          No similarities there.

          • burt 14.3.1.1.1

            Nationalise, regulate, confiscate… You’re political compass is perfectly aligned with the socialist (dictatorship) of lefty Muldoon.

            • Colonial Viper 14.3.1.1.1.1

              But how else can you reverse asset theft from the nation by privateers?

            • felixviper 14.3.1.1.1.2

              Hi burt. Last time you trotted out this slogan I asked you what Muldoon nationalised.

              You never answered. Care to this time?

    • Draco T Bastard 14.4

      Amazingly enough, I actually agree with Wayne on most of that.

      That will not create nothing new.

      Neither will selling them. In fact, the only thing that selling them does is increase the number of ticket clippers and dead weight loss.

  15. burt 15

    Right people lets be clear: Don’t think about investing your own money in these companies as the only thing that makes them viable is that they over charge…..

    OK, lets have them publically owned using other peoples money so that we don’t need to be concerned that the the only thing that makes them viable is that they over charge ….

    Mega fail James ….

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      It’s not “other peoples money”…all NZ legal tender is Government authorised. There is no other kind.

      If you followed your reasoning, you have to accept that these power generators were built with many other NZ’ers monies.

      So hands off!!!!

  16. Ad 16

    Any future progressive government after Key’s government will have to figure out that in the whole electricity and infrastructure space, regulators will have more power than shareholders about the direction of companies.

    My current suggestions:
    1. Aggregate remaining public capital:
    -The EQC, ACC, and NZSuper funds into a single fund with specific funding targets and profiles.

    2. Pull scrutiny into power:
    – Shift COMU from Treasury into DPMC, and
    – Enable direct shareholder representation on the Boards of the entities eg Ministers (who are not Energy portfolio holders) can go on Boards.
    – Chairs only appointed by Cabinet as a whole, and must front to Select Committee
    – Minimum % of women and Maori on the Board
    – Must hold full Shareholder meeting for any ‘significant’ asset or share sale

    3. Cap Pay
    - The Majority shareholder says: no bonuses, public sector and SOE CEO’s get no more than a Minister’s salary

    4. Regulate them hard
    - Electricity Commission must hold Board meetings in public and publish minutes
    - Electricity Commission requires all company Asset Management Plans to be supplied for scrutiny, and made public
    - Commission required to rule on any price rice 5% above inflation p.a.

    5. Climate Mitigation
    - All electricity generators must show how they will ameliorate climate change, and be given 5% corporate tax cut for achieving targets.. Could be more dams for irrigation and co-generation, or more wind farms versus thermal, over to them to prove it

    6. Adopt the Greenpeace 100% Renewable Generation target
    - Set annual milestones to achieve it

    None of the above would require buying back any shares at all.

    All would help Labour and Greens govern in a world in which the governing force of the state has been drastically weakened.

    A progressive coalition would need to be a whip-smart investor if that investor is to claw back some of the agency it has lost through asset sales, and form policy now to make the tools to do it.

    • Rogue Trooper 16.1

      some “wish-ful” thinking

    • Colonial Viper 16.2

      Any particular reason why you wouldn’t reacquire shares in the assets, in addition to the above?

      By the way, you don’t even really have to reacquire shares. Just get MRP to issue 1,000,000 new shares p.a. to the government and dilute the sons of bitches down.

      No cost to the tax payer.

      • Ad 16.2.1

        I was trying to think through the kinds of options available to Labour and the Greens since they have largely ruled out buying the shares back. The point is to think about the first Cabinet meeting December 2014: from their published policy prescriptions, what options are left to them.

        Don’t think a responsible majority shareholder would be so stupid as to spite itself let alone its own citizens doing what you proposed.

        • Colonial Viper 16.2.1.1

          Don’t think a responsible majority shareholder would be so stupid as to spite itself let alone its own citizens doing what you proposed.

          How would it spite itself? By degrading the market value and financial rating of the shares?

          That my friend, is the bloody point!!!

          • Ad 16.2.1.1.1

            I can see that you are not thinking fro the point of view of a shareholder but rather as one who wishes to see the capitalist system destroyed. Fair enough, if you are not the Government.

            But neither Labour nor the Greens propose to do that. Why not take us through the steps you see would happen to achieve your goal with MRP, and what the steps the media, rating agencies, stock exchange, and the citizen shareholders might take as a result.

            And then take us through what the Government – made up of who you have in those parties now – would do.

            And then rack that mess up with what I propose, which taken together would do the same thing. At zero cost.

            • Colonial Viper 16.2.1.1.1.1

              But neither Labour nor the Greens propose to do what you suggest either? Note: I’m not trying to “destroy” the capitalist system, I’m merely suggesting the use of common capitalist mechanisms perfected by hostile leveraged buy out firms (like KKR) in the 1980′s and 1990′s.

              But this time, in favour of the government and the citizens, as opposed to on behalf of a corporate raider on hedge fund.

              Remember, the name of the game is to attempt to stop the sales from proceeding.

              And then rack that mess up with what I propose, which taken together would do the same thing. At zero cost.

              No, your method is good, but it won’t stop the privatisation of the assets.

              A lighter method which might achieve the same result would be to harden up, and then announce some of your steps in advance. Pay caps, super profit taxes, and active Government representation on the boards for instance. Making the firms subject to OIA and Select Committee inquiry.

              and what the steps the media, rating agencies, stock exchange, and the citizen shareholders might take as a result.

              Yes, the classes with the most power in our capitalist society are going to push back. Without being too cynical, that might suggest that you are doing something correct.

              • Ad

                Proposing some of my list beforehand was my point: that Government now needs to think like a shareholder rather than as a sovereign government. As we have seen, the corporatised model has enabled Solid Energy to proceed unchecked to its own near-destruction despite 100% public ownership. This model is staying in New Zealand according to every current parliamentary party bar ACT.

                What a new progressive government would want to achieve in its first term is the greatest policy gains for the least political “goodwill” expenditure. So no, I would not recommend anything like Government behaving like a “corporate raider or hedge fund”.

                CV you have to be careful that your solutions are not simply a hard Left mirrored inverse of capitalisms’ creative destruction that got the world into the mess we are in after 2007. And prior crises.

                What the state now needs to get its head into is behaving like the most effective shareholder it can. That means not screwing its own share price and those of its citizen investors.

                I wish it were not so, but renationalistaion is never going to happen. Full sovereignty is gone. As under Labour a generation ago, when those shares are gone they are gone.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Ad, the capitalism model is going to fail in the next 10-15 years regardless of what we do or don’t do. For many many people in the developed world it has already failed. And this will accelerate once we get a renewed round of currency failures and debt defaults.

                  The task this nation has in front of it IMO is to ensure that when it fails, we are buffered from the neo-feudalism and other nasty things which are likely to arise.

                  That means not screwing its own share price and those of its citizen investors.

                  Sure, being a long-time operator in capitalist environments I get what you are saying here.

                  The larger context however is that the only real important thing from those assets is electricity. Not their nominal market cap.

  17. Ed 17

    The court found that there is a legitimate treaty claim relating to loss of rights to be involved in the management of the water being used by Mighty River. It would be unfair for this not to be paid for by all shareholders – if met only by the crown this would be a windfall profit to private shareholders in comparison to the government shareholder. All Labour needs do is indicate that it would look to treaty claims being paid for by any companies involved in gaining profits from management of water . . .

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  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Read our full regional development policy Download Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept Kare Kare beach with Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey. We talked...
    Labour | 21-07
  • Stop Israeli State Terror – Rally and March this Saturday 26th July, Aote...
     The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is getting much worse and the world is marching in unprecedented numbers. New Zealanders spoke out strongly last Saturday with a march of 5,000 people in Auckland (see picture below) – the biggest march ever...
    Mana | 21-07
  • NZ needs to assist UN with aid for Gaza
    The New Zealand Government should support the United Nation's efforts to raise money to assist humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, the Green Party said today.The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has made a...
    Greens | 21-07
  • INTERNET MANA ROAD TRIP- LEG 2
      WAIKATO / TARANAKI / MANAWATU-WANGANUI  Tuesday July 29th, 6pm | RotoruaDistinction Hotel, Fenton Ballroom, 390 Fenton Street, Rotorua  Wednesday July 30th 6pm | HamiltonWaikato University, Price Waterhouse Coopers Lecture Theatre, Gate 7, Hillcrest Rd Hamilton  Thursday July 31st, 6pm |...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Road fix needed now, not later
    Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.  “According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of Northland has had a decrease in NZTA funding since 2008...
    Labour | 20-07
  • KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth
    The innovative changes to KiwiSaver suggested by the Financial Services Council today will be seriously considered by Labour as part of plans to make KiwiSaver universal, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Universal KiwiSaver is an essential part of Labour’s...
    Labour | 20-07
  • Greens announce 20 hours free ECE for two year olds
    The Green Party today announced that its key social platform for this election will be to tackle child poverty and inequality by ensuring every child in New Zealand has enough to thrive.The Green Party will make a series of policy...
    Greens | 20-07
  • MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination
    Vice Chairperson of MANA Pasifika James Papali’i  feels for Ms Tupou and her children after they were served with trespass orders from their  local swimming pool in new market. With no warning or explanation from the pool staff Police ordered...
    Mana | 20-07
  • MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto
    Address notes from Mana Economic Justice Spokesperson and co-vice President John Minto to Economic policy launch in Kelston – 2pm, Sunday 20 July 2014. Reducing inequality and giving everyone a fair go MANA Movement’s policy prescription for a rich man’s...
    Mana | 20-07
  • One-sided reporting on the Middle East Conflict
    The following was sent to New Zealand Herald, Fairfax Media, Radio New Zealand, Television New Zealand, TV3, Radio Live and ZB Network. We are writing to all of you because there are well established patterns of reporting which seem to have been adopted by New Zealand...
    Mana | 20-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Selfies: Labour’s Electorate MPs are at it again
    IT’S A LITTLE TRIANGLE of grass at the corner of Rewa Street and Mt Eden Road, ideal for election hoardings. Wandering along Mt Eden Road last Saturday morning to our weekly appointment with the brunch menu at Orvieto, my family and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Well, well, well – Jonathan Coleman did know about FBI interest into Kim ...
    Last years GCSB Town Hall meeting in Auckland Oh dear, the cover up and lies are starting to fall over now aren’t they… Coleman knew of FBI interest in Dotcom pre-residency decisionGovernment minister Jonathan Coleman knew the FBI was interested...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Why You Must March Against Factory Farming This Saturday, 12pm
    The rally this Saturday is critical because this is the FIRST TIME IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY that a major party has agreed to ban all intensive factory farming practices. The Labour party, the Greens, Internet-Mana, the SPCA, SAFE and other...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Astronaut tweets photo of explosions over Israel and Gaza from space
      This is what a war zone looks like from space: From aboard the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this image as the station passed over Israel and Gaza in what he called ‘his saddest photo yet’....
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When Firstline are focusing on flag burning rather than dead Palestinian ch...
    The IDF are butchering children in UN schools this morning and what’s the big issue on TV3s Firstline? Flag burning. How pathetic, and what a slap in the face to Mike McRoberts who is currently risking his life in Gaza...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’
    ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Petition asking TVNZ to stand Hosking down as election moderator jumps to o...
    In just a day the petition calling on TVNZ to replace Hosking as the election moderator has jumped to over 2500, you can sign it here. The defence that the Right are trying to run here is that John Campbell...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: MIKE HOSKING FOR PM?
    Yes indeed. Mike Hosking is for the PM. And now he’s able to do even more as moderator (or should that be immoderator) of TVNZ’s election debates. Here at the Coalition for Better Broadcasting we feel it’s pretty safe to say that...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • The lie that “There is no alternative” to neo-liberal economic policies
    Supporters of President Maduro in Venezuela rally   Since the 1980s we have had drubbed into our heads that there was no alternative to the economic and social policies unleashed at that time. It even had it’s own acronym – TINA. The...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Come on TV3 News – you are better than regurgitating Israeli propaganda
    Say it isn’t true TV3 News, you are seriously bitching about this???? The leader of the Mana Party, Hone Harawira, has supported flag burning at a pro-Palestinian march in Auckland at the weekend. Mana Party flags can be seen in...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The brutal siege of Palestine
    70 years ago the Jews of Europe suffered as much as any people can suffer. The Nazis set about ethnic cleansing and sent 6 million to their death. Today we watch in horror as Israel, the Jewish homeland created after...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Canterbury housing crisis a moral, economic, health, education, and social ...
    Can they build it? No they can’t.  Occasionally I come across people who don’t believe me when I say there is a housing crisis in Christchurch.  Despite all the evidence to the contrary.  Even when I tell them that every...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel
    Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • From Here To There: How did Labour become so hopelessly lost?
    WRITING ABOUT the Labour Party these days puts me in mind of the joke about the American tourist and the Irish farmer. Seems there was this American tourist driving down a narrow lane in the heart of Ireland. He needed...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Oh NOW everyone thinks the ABCs are up to no good?
    Goodness last months June seems like years away doesn’t it? In June I pointed out a move by the ABCs to destabilise Cunliffe was under way. For pointing this out, Labour Party bloggers Rob Salmond and Lynn Prentice rushed to put...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – I have little interest in appearing on your show so th...
    After savagely critiquing Seven Sharp for trying to whitewash the repulsive history of a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater yesterday, Seven Sharp have contacted me and offered to do a profile on me. Here is their email…...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have undermined the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • CPAG Newsletter July 2014
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: CPAG Newsletter July 2014 22 July 2014 New child poverty data nothing to celebrate New data released by the Ministry of Social Development  indicates people living below the poverty line are worse...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages An Auckland hotel has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay nearly $80,000 in outstanding wages to two employees. Filipino couple Abraham...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Globa...
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Global Financial Crisis levels The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates on Thursday. “Another...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime a...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime allegations The continuing bombardment of civilian homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as the Israeli shelling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties fo...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties for war crimes Amnesty International called on delegates to the Central African Republic (CAR) National Reconciliation talks due to take place...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign agents’ The Russian Ministry of Justice today registered four more Russian human rights organizations and one environmental group as “foreign...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community The decision by a World Bank Inspection Panel to refuse to investigate a complaint about forced evictions linked to a...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: National out of touch with the regions John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • ALCP challenges parties to support Charlotte’s Web
    The leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Julian Crawford is calling on all other political parties to state their position on using cannabis oil to treat pediatric epilepsy....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Oxfam accepts cheque from Pacific Corporation Foundation
    Oxfam New Zealand has accepted a cheque for almost $1000 today from the Pacific Corporation Foundation toward recovery efforts in the Solomon Islands, following April’s flash flooding that left thousands homeless....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Draft report and decision – Pūhoi to Warkworth proposal
    The Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance: Pūhoi to Warkworth section Board of Inquiry has released its draft report and decision....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealanders willing to pay tax to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Stop Smart Meters
    “The Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) wholeheartedly endorses the Stop Smart Meters campaign for a moratorium on installations of smart meters until the technology is proven not be a risk to health, and until home owners are given a...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Maori Roll Electors Urged to Vote Strategically
    Voters enrolled in the seven Maori electorates must learn to maximize their influence by voting strategically, according to the Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Rev Te Hira Paenga....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Politicians Ignore Families’ Concerns on Street Prostitution
    Family First NZ says that politicians are ignoring the concerns of families, lack the will to take appropriate action, and are happy to drag the ongoing problem of street prostitution into the next parliamentary term....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
    Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Coleman must quit or be sacked over Dotcom case
    Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. Internet Party leader Laila Harré...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Auckland Councillors, Not Emperors
    25 JULY 2014 Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland Councillors have voted to keep their ratepayer-funded business class travel perks, and considered new rules that would have exempted councillors from Auckland City's parking charges, Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Cunliffe Looks Dodgy Lunching with Sex Offender
    Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig says that David Cunliffe's social meeting with a known sex offender while on holiday "looks pretty dodgy."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Back LGNZ Calls For Greater Transparency
    The Taxpayers’ Union is backing Local Government New Zealand’s calls for the Official Information Act to be extended to cover the Local Government Commission. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Lecture series to provide insight into 2014 election
    Could National’s refusal to reform MMP lead to the defeat of the government? Is the media providing voters with the information they require to make an informed electoral decision? What directions might John Key’s leadership take if he secures...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • National Rally Against Factory Farming
    Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will unite for a ‘National Day of Action Against Factory Farming’ Saturday, tomorrow 26 July in response to two recent exposés that showed horrific conditions on pig factory farms....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Women in Politics Finds Support at Conference
    Women in Politics, a brand-new organisation for New Zealand women in political office, was met with overwhelming support at the 2014 Local Government New Zealand Conference held this weekend in Nelson....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – REVISITED
    Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation. They enlisted a group of 16 scientists to help them review the government’s new fresh water policy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Restoration of Post-graduate Allowances to be Key Issue
    As students prepare for the early voting that will take place on all university and many polytechnic campuses next month, the restoration of post-graduate allowances, removed by the current government in 2013, is emerging as a key election issue....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Honesty for Taxpayers
    ACT has a new proposal to make our democracy more accountable. The proposal may seem small but it could be the most significant idea in this election....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking for PM?
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting is adding its voice to the many appalled at TVNZ’s choice of Mike Hosking as moderator for the upcoming political debates....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • ‘Party Party’ Hitting the Right Notes
    The “sold out” sign has gone up at the Internet Party’s concert in Christchurch tonight. A capacity crowd of 1000 will be at The Foundry for the Party Party concert, part of a major national musical tour aimed at getting...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend
    New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend More non-voters than ever before say they don't feel like their vote is worth anything, or that their opinion matters. It's a trend that concerns the Electoral Commission, and the reason for...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Umere says ‘taihoa’ on Māori Language Strategy
    A Maori Language advocacy group, Umere, is calling for a rain check on the Māori Language Strategy Bill, which is being introduced to parliament this week. "The submissions on the MLS have been released by Te Puni Kōkiri and they...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity
    ..:: For immediate release ::.. 24/07/14 David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity - (and in fact enjoy lunch with them)...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • More kids in Southland and Otago are achieving
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay says the Public Achievement Information for 2013 shows New Zealand children are doing better across the whole education system....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Flavell mistaken
    In response to Mr Flavell’s tirade this afternoon Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig advises "Mr Flavell is simply mistaken in his comments."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Lay Complaint with Speaker
    The Taxpayers’ Unio n has written to Parliament's Speaker, the Rt. Hon. David Carter, asking him to step in and investigate the claims on the WhaleOil blog that taxpayers’ money is being improperly used for Mana Party election campaign hoardings....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • MANA launches te reo Māori policy
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, said MANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Candidate welcomes award of platinum exploration permits
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay has welcomed the Government’s decision to award Lynx Platinum Limited two exploration permits in Southland. Mr Barclay said the minerals industry is an important part of New Zealand’s economy...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Pokie spending and numbers continue to drop
    Pub and club gaming machine expenditure in the year ended June 2014 fell 2.4 per cent from $826.3 million to $806.2 million. There were also fewer licence holders, gambling venues and gaming machines compared with 12 months earlier. Licence holders...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Zealand Police to assist in MH17 victim identification
    New Zealand Police is sending three Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) specialists to the Netherlands to assist in the international effort to identify victims from the MH17 tragedy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Oil Spill Response Strategy available for consultation
    Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) is inviting comment on its draft updated New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Police response to IPCA report on Rewa investigation
    Police accept the findings of today's IPCA's report regarding its investigations into offending by Malcolm Rewa in Auckland in the 1980s and 1990s....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Well-known kiwis sign on to stop ivory trade
    Today the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee will consider a complete ban on the ivory trade in response to a petition by Auckland teacher Virginia Woolf and policy analyst Fiona Gordon....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Commonwealth Games are not being captioned in New Zealand
    As members of the Captioning Working Group, The National Foundation for the Deaf and Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand call for broadcast captioning of the 2014 Commonwealth Games...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Majority of Commonwealth countries are already republics
    The Glasgow Commonwealth Games are here and it's a common misbelief that a Kiwi republic would mean that New Zealand would have to leave the Commonwealth. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Although an Independent Police Conduct Authority inquiry has identified some faults with a series of investigations conducted by Police into offending by Malcolm Rewa, there is insufficient evidence that any of these impacted on the ability of Police...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • IPCA findings on Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Good morning everyone. I’d like to begin today by explaining that this is an informational press conference and that I will not be taking questions at its conclusion. The reason for that is the report’s findings are the result of...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Pay It Back Ms Hauiti
    Responding to the Newstalk ZB report that disgraced MP Claudette Hauiti is refusing to confirm whether or not she has reimbursed taxpayers for misuse of her Parliamentary 'P-card', Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: “Ms Hauiti...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • RSA thanks NZ for $1.7m collected during Poppy Appeal
    The RSA today announced that over $1.7 million was donated to the 2014 Poppy Appeal for the support of veterans, ex-service men and women and their families in need....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Students encouraged to be brave and never give up
    Students encouraged to be brave and never give up if they want to 'make it happen'...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • New Zealanders want to pay more to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
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