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1.2 million people have voted in the no asset sales referendum so far

Written By: - Date published: 7:59 pm, December 10th, 2013 - 175 comments
Categories: privatisation - Tags:

Asset sales John Key

But we need more.  So persuade your family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances or people that you have a passing relationship to send in their voting papers.  Time is running out …


175 comments on “1.2 million people have voted in the no asset sales referendum so far”

  1. Dumrse 1

    There is no need to vote. The assets are gone just like JK said they would during the election campaign. Jobs done. Finito. Find another cause.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1

      …provide a mandate for compulsory reacquisition of our stuff on our terms. Drive a stake into the heart of Tory maggots.

      • infused 1.1.1


      • SWYD 1.1.2

        yes because that makes prefect sense to put the country back into debt, when they are trying to get the country out of debt, Perhaps if Dr Cullen hadnt lied about the state of the government finances for so long and had actually done his job there would be no need for asset sales. Oh wait and how about the greens and labour crashing the price of the shares then gloating about it. Yes your name says it all mate get a clue.

        • Paul

          Maybe you should check the facts before you make nonsensical statements.
          This government has got into so much debt it’s not true. See article below.


          “Government debt has reached $60 billion, having climbed $27 million a day since John Key became prime minister – and forecasts show it will rise for years to come.

          It already equates to 28 per cent of New Zealand’s economic output, is more than $13,000 for every person in New Zealand and is forecast to climb by another $10b by 2017.

          When National took control of the Beehive in 2008, debt was just over $10b, but Finance Minister Bill English said it inherited an expanding public sector at a time when the economy was shrinking.”

          Educate yourself.

    • Arfamo 1.2

      Not strictly true. The result should answer the question of whether National did have a mandate for state asset sales. If the answer is no, the next election will be much more interesting.

      • Disraeli Gladstone 1.2.1

        They did. They had the policy in their manifesto. They ran on it. They formed a government with a majority made from support parties that also publicly said they would vote for it (contrary to urban folklore, United Dunne did say they would support limited asset sales).

        They had a mandate.

        And you know what? When Labour + Greens have a majority in 2014 (which they probably will) campaigning on reversing the asset sales (… which I’m not sure Labour will to be honest) then they will have a mandate to take the assets back.

        All this talk of mandates is just odd. The only argument for National not having a mandate was if they had sprung the policy out after the 2011 election. That would have been not having a mandate. That would have been worthy of protests, referendums and genuine anger.

        • Arfamo

          What stops me from agreeing with you is that 30% of electors didn’t vote at all, and National was elected by a minority of eligible voters. So no, I don’t see that they did have a mandate.

          • Dumrse

            30% don’t vote so don’t now have a say and you, need to stop fucking claiming that 30%.

            • Arfamo

              No mate, you need to wonder how many of those 30% will vote next time. And they won’t be voting National, will they?

            • Mary

              Can Afamo claim some of the 30%? How about the percentage of voters in the referendum who said no to the sales? Extrapolate that, Dumrse.

            • TightyRighty

              but the picture above says if you don’t vote, JK will claim it. now the lefties are claiming it? i’m fairly certain they can share it. oh look, mandate. much math, many votes. so wow

              • framu

                so youve established that the argument works both ways

                which is kind of the point isnt it?

                aint mandate claiming a bitch?

                • TightyRighty

                  it does, but given that national got elected with asset sales a key plank of their election manifesto, the intellectual argument comes down heavily in their favour. same with the philosophical argument about the democratic process involved.

                  i’m guessing the deciding factor would be actually having the authority to sell the assets. that’s a mandate.

                  • framu

                    considering that the result of a single issue referendum has more bearing on that issue than an election result, and that an election result only gives you the mandate to govern, and that were an MMP democracy – i dont see how that even works

                    see my comment below

                    • TightyRighty

                      so no policies campaigned on can then be enacted without an actual majority for a single party in parliament. great grasp of mmp there.

                      governing is more than just being a caretaker. when you win an election, and under mmp, cobble together the winning coalition to govern, you get three years to shape the countries future with the policy mix you think is best.

                      national clearly signalled their policy intentions in their first term of government, labour, greens and nzf clearly opposed them. labour and the greens made it a major election campaign policy. an election was fought, national got enough votes to control the treasury benches and enact policy. the other didn’t get enough votes to prevent this in parliament. this is fact.

                      it’s how a parliamentary democracy works. deal with it. your broken record rantings are looking more and more idiotic by the day.

                    • framu

                      yeah im actually saying pretty much the same thing pissy britches.

                      no policy campaigned on can be enacted without first winning all stages of the democratic process

                      the mandate for a policy comes from the result of the democratic process and not from winning an election.

                      agree or disagree?

                      “national clearly signalled their policy intentions in their first term of government, labour, greens and nzf clearly opposed them. labour and the greens made it a major election campaign policy. an election was fought, national got enough votes to control the treasury benches and enact policy. the other didn’t get enough votes to prevent this in parliament. this is fact.”

                      yes of course thats a fact – but thats not whats being claimed when people say “the election gave us a mandate to do this” – all it gave them was a mandate to govern and some certainty of having the numbers

                      agree or disagree?

                      If the ref gives a strong result against sales this is a mandate from the people that bothered to vote against selling them and runs counter to, and nullifies all previous mandate claims on this issue

                      agree or disagree?

                    • TightyRighty

                      disagree on all points. the policy doesn’t have to be popular to be right. the national government has proven, despite the unpopularity of one policy, the same policy which was also the single biggest campaign plank of the opposition, that it is the best pair of hands to govern.

                      it was the total mix of policy which gave national the mandate to govern and enact policy. they don’t need to acquiesce to cherry picking arguments now.

                      enough voters got over their dislike of asset sales to vote for national when it counted. that’s all that really matters.

                    • framu

                      how does policy get passed tighty – by debate and vote in parliament or by winning an election?

                      its a really entry level easy question

                      you call me idiotic but cant seem to grasp this one really simple concept – prove me wrong

                      also – you did spot that disagreeing on my first point sort of marks you as some what anti democratic?

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Ah, electorates can be such fickle things. Next they’ll be voting to drive the share price down to firesale prices so we can reacquire the lot at a tidy profit.

                    • TightyRighty

                      it’s a two step process framu. you’ve got the steps in the wrong order, but i think you are starting to get it

                    • framu

                      now your just being stupid – its an either/or question dimwit

                      how does policy get passed tighty – by debate and vote in parliament or by winning an election?

                      pick one

                  • Kaplan

                    You are right, national being elected is a reality that allowed them to implement their policies.

                    The referendum getting enough support to run and looking like it is heading for a great turn out is also a reality.

                    If you are going to claim one is a mandate given by the people, Tighty, then you need to accept the other.

                    Deal with it.

                    • TightyRighty

                      nope. ones binding, the other isn’t. it’s an unpopular policy, but that doesn’t make it wrong. it takes a brave man to stand in front of the mob and tell them something they don’t like.

                    • framu

                      tighty – what would you be saying if the MOM policy didnt get enough votes to pass even though the nats campaigned on it?

                      unlikely yes – but its a hypothetical

                      ” it’s an unpopular policy,” – umm – mandate?

            • adam

              So your saying the 30% who see the system as completely corrupt are wrong? The 30% and growing – who know there vote don’t mean shit because politicians, the corporations and the super rich make sure the system is rigged in their favour. This means that an election is binding?

              The right in this country and sections of the left are deluded – the majority know the place is corrupt, the system is corrupt and that the average person who participates in this system will just get shafted like they have for the last 30 years.

            • Corey

              @dumrse – That is pure BS mate, I didn’t vote for a party because not one of them represents me or my political views. So why the hell would I vote for one of them? “lesser of two evils” is also a BS argument because it gives support (mandate) for something you still don’t believe in. So, I say – add the “vote no confidence” box to the election paper and I’ll be ticking that. You do not support a system you do not agree with and that does not remove your right to complain, protest or even get bloody angry at what’s happening in Wellington. Not that is matters once the TPPA is signed wellington will become a slave to its real masters.

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                Hi Corey,

                Good point and good to hear from someone who didn’t vote.

                The thing is you can’t not vote and not effect the outcome of a general election. By not voting you fairly much allow the status quo to occur.

                Sure, one vote isn’t going to make a difference, however if everyone who feels the way you do (I’m sure there are many because I’ve met a fair few) chose the party that is the closest to your views, then this would effect the politics in NZ.

                There are many parties in the system we have in NZ and we are actually in a better position to effect the outcome than Americans or Brits due to our having MMP

                This system works by pressure and by not voting no one knows why you haven’t voted.

                This is why your suggestion re ‘vote of no confidence’ is a good one, however until that option is included you continue to effect the outcome of elections – most likely in a way that goes right against your own wishes for NZ – whether you vote or not.

          • alwyn

            That is a very dangerous position to take. By saying this you are, in effect, agreeing with the poster across Key’s photo at the head of this post.
            If you say that “National was elected by a minority of eligible voters” and therefore “I don’t see that they did have a mandate” then to be consistent you have to allow the claim, assuming that the NO votes in this referendum are less than half the roll, that “Less than half the electorate voted no on asset sales so there is no mandate to buy them back”.
            Of course you could follow the Cunliffe method and go “Yeah Nah”. Consistency is not, of course, his strong point.

            • Arfamo

              My position is hardly “dangerous”. It’s simply fact. I have no opinion on whether another government has a mandate to buy them back. That is not a question in the referendum. I merely observe that Key has cunningly got what he wanted, and the majority of voters in New Zealand have not. They’ve got shafted and have seen no benefits whatsoever from these dodgy deals.

              • alwyn

                By “dangerous” I mean that it leaves you open to the argument that, if less than 50% of the roll vote no, you cannot, while being consistent, argue that the people were really opposed to the asset sales. Of course if you don’t care about being consistent in your arguments you can claim anything

                • Arfamo

                  I don’t see any inconsistency in what I have said. I don’t buy into your paradigm. It’s too limited in scope to pay attention to.

        • Colonial Viper

          The NATs “mandate” is going to cost them the next election. Think about that for a sec.

          • TightyRighty

            Care to make a bet? nats lose the election due to asset sales, i’ll piss off for good from here. national win, despite your assertions about the impact of asset sales, you have to write a post titled “TightyRighty was right all along, about everything” and take a year off from here.

            • TightyRighty

              and the content of the post can’t be sarcastic.

              I’ll specify a list of things you are wrong about and I am right about, you’ll publish it agreeing that i was right all along.

              i’ll also write a post about how the left fought the good fight and won if national lose too to even things up.

              • you_fool

                I will admit you are right about Nat winning if they do? Since that is the one fact that will be proven one way or the other.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yeah. Nope.

                • Melb

                  Big claims, but unwilling to put anything on it.

                • TightyRighty

                  all talk. what a surprise. no wonder clare wanted to gag you. you’re just a …

                  [CV has said nothing to justify you making that claim. This is a pointless personal attack. How about you address the subject matter TR? – MS]

                  • TightyRighty

                    he’s said a lot actually MS. He talks constantly. I offered him a wager as he is so certain of his predictions, he declined. CV loves to talk a massive game but won’t put up the currency to back himself.

                    throwing comments about what needs to be done, what will happen etc etc endlessly.

                    at least now we know CV is all talk and no substance

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      @ TightyRighty

                      “throwing comments about what needs to be done, what will happen etc etc endlessly. “

                      ….yeah this might come as a shock to you but some view CV’s activities as very important facets of a functioning society (along with others’ on this site) – that of thinking about things – being informed and informing others.

                      Your comment displays the culture of anti-intellectualism that I abhor in this country.

                      How do you go about doing something intelligently with positive consequences if no one is thinking about the wider issues?

                      How do you vote for an effective government if you don’t understand what their policies are or the consequences of them?

                      Whether one chooses to make a bet or not should not be the defining factor in whether a person’s activities are worthy or not – I suggest you revise your views on the matter.

                    • TightyRighty

                      anti-intellectualism? to what level are you qualified blue leopard? What non-fiction titles have you read in the last twelve months? do you hold more than a passing interest in the classical arts?

                      I don’t think CV doesn’t think about things, i think he thinks he thinks because he talks so much and such conviction he must be right. I’m just inviting him to put his money where his mouth is.

                      Those that can do, those that can’t……

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      @ Tighty Righty

                      It is clear that you’ve missed my point.

                      CV (and others’) activity here is about thinking things out how are things best done – what is the most likely way we can move forward together creating the best circumstances for the most people?

                      CV and others can continue to do that and others who are ‘at the coal face’ of these issues (i.e. in this context: politician) may read and follow through with the ideas rising out of the brainstorming going on here. Not everyone is required to act – some can play the role of thinking this is what I am referring to ‘intellectualism’.

                      As it stands you make an assumption that CV does nothing other than write or ‘think’ on this site. Having released his identity a few weeks/months back I think you’d be sorely mistaken on that assumption.

                      What has my qualifications or interests in the arts got to do with what I’ve commented about anothers’ ability to think? I guess you equate ‘intellectualism’ with a formal qualification or interest in the arts (?). These are wrong-minded assumptions to make. And whatever way you are attacking you are assuming things that are incorrect about me too.

          • Enough is Enough


            It won’t matter if they lose the election.

            They have done what they set out to do.

            They will prefer to be in power for ever but in terms of internal goals set in 2008, it will be mission accomplished.

        • Kaplan

          I would like to see someone put this to Key:
          “As a national supporter that did not want any assets sold but would prefer National over Labour to form the government, are you telling me the only way I could say NO to asset sales was to vote for Labour at the last election?”

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

            Very good point Kaplan

            • grumpy

              No, not really. It was clear hat a lot of National supporters did not want “assets sold” but would go with “partial sales”, ie a minority stake sold.
              The term “asset sales” is misleading as the taxpayer still owns the controlling interest.

              • you_fool

                Your statement is misleading, as there are laws which stop the 51% majority owner from acting against the wishes of the 49% so really it hasn’t helped that much – I might have been more comfortable with a sell down to 60-75%, then this argument would have held water…

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                @ Grumpy

                Rubbish! You are quibbling over words. ‘Asset sales’ refers to the partial sale of assets.

                By quibbling over words you omit to address Kaplan’s good point.
                Kaplan’s comment raises an issue over presenting a general election as being an endorsement over every single policy a party puts forward. What choice did a person have if they didn’t agree with partial asset sales yet still supported a National government. It is pretty clear that some voted for National whilst still being against partial asset sales.

                You do not address this point

                If the National party had wanted to honour people’s wishes they needed to revise their plan. They had every opportunity to do this.

                They didn’t because they have their own agenda over and above the interests of the majority of New Zealanders.

                + what you_fool says.

        • Te Reo Putake

          “(contrary to urban folklore, United Dunne did say they would support limited asset sales). ”

          Yeah, the last bloke to make that claim took the best part of a week to find a single obscure occasion where Dunne kinda said he’d be voting for it. It wasn’t in the literature, it wasn’t in the ads and it appears that Dunne lucked his way through the campaign grateful that nobody pressed him on the matter.

          • Steve Wrathall

            If the people of Ohariu didn’t want asset sales they had the opportunity to elect Charles Chauvel as their MP.

            • you_fool

              Despite the fact they almost did, and that the haired one isn’t an automatic Nat toadie, thus may have been against asset sales all along if Lab had been more organised. I would almost think that votes for United Future shouldn’t count either way as Peter Dunne would go both ways depending on which would give him the most comfortable chair.

        • Frank Macskasy

          Actually, Gladstone, when you take into account the Conservative Party vote at the last election, more people voted for parties OPPOSED to asset sales than in favour.

          The Conservatives won more votes than ACT, but it was ACT that got a seat in Parliament because of the manipulation of MMP by the Nats.(See figures here: http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/mandates-majorities/)

          • Steve Wrathall

            That’s not how our system of democracy works

            • Frank Macskasy

              Indeed, Steve. But the numbers don’t lie;

              Votes for Parties in favour of asset sales: 1,095,968

              Votes for Parties opposed to asset sales: 1,125,240

              Perhaps the current system of democracy is flawed when a majority voter result is ignored?

              After all, that is why we moved from FPP to MMP in 1993.

        • framu

          “They had a mandate.”

          the only mandate you get from an election result is the mandate to govern!

          for fucks sake – if what your saying is true why the hell did the MOM policy go through a democratic process, if the mandate is from the election result it wouldnt go down this route

          you cant have it both ways because one cancels out the other

          what would you be saying if the MOM policy didnt get enough votes to pass even though the nats campaigned on it?

          C’mon – theres a massive logic problem that everyone who uses the electoral mandate argument fails to answer, every single time

          question – where does any particular policy get its mandate form? The election result or as a result of going through a democratic process? – pick one or the other because you cant have both

        • felix

          “They had a mandate.

          And you know what? When Labour + Greens have a majority in 2014 (which they probably will) campaigning on reversing the asset sales (… which I’m not sure Labour will to be honest) then they will have a mandate to take the assets back.”

          Not just a mandate on reversing asset sales, according to your logic they’ll have a mandate for everything in the Labour and Green manifestos.


          All mandated.

          And not a peep from any of you lot, alright?


    • mickysavage 1.3

      Um Dumrse heard about Genesis Energy?

    • Colonial Viper 1.4

      The votes are about a much bigger point than stopping what’s already been sold, just so you get it.

    • emergency mike 1.5

      Getting rid of NAct is the cause dumbarse.

    • poem 1.6

      Because if john key gets the chance he will sell off the remaining 51% of the assets Dumrse, your name is so appropriate.

  2. BM 2

    All yeses in this household.

    I for one, welcome our new asset owning overlords.

    • Arfamo 2.1

      Well, of course, I expect even your dog voted yes, but I’m interested in the final numbers, not the numbers in your household.

      • BM 2.1.1

        I’m picking a 45% -55% split in favor of the anti sales group.

        Key will be happy with the result.

        • Kaplan

          I’m picking 78% vote NO. From a total vote of around 1,350,000.
          Key will be relaxed about the result, despite more people saying NO to asset sales than voted for them at the last election.

          • Arfamo

            No, in that case Key will say he’s relaxed about the result, but in reality he’ll be shitting himself and planning his departure back to the world of big money.

          • Colonial Viper

            Pretty sure that it will cross 1.5M votes, actually. At least 75% no seems reasonable.

            Edit – and I think that there is an outside chance it will hit 1.6M.

            • Lanthanide

              I think that’s very unlikely. The official closing time is this Friday at 7pm. Only internationally sent votes received by next Tuesday before noon will be counted after this Friday.

              So there are 3 days left. To get to 1.5m we’d need ~100k on each of those days. It’s more likely to be around 30-45k + a handful of internationals.

              • miravox

                We only got our voting papers today. Can’t see them getting back to NZ by next Tuesday…

              • swordfish

                Yeah I have to agree. Can’t see it hitting 1.5 let alone 1.6. Already slowing to a trickle over recent days – hence the present post. Hoping for at least two-thirds “No”, but pref 70+ (and it’s a very rare day that I find myself disagreeing with CV. Once in a blue moon).

                • Ake ake ake

                  Last night, I spoke with a NZ friend of mine who still had not received the voting paper! Gave him the toll free number and he found out he was too late by a few hours to sort things out.

                  Just wondering: do people have to confirm and re-register or confirm enrolment on the roll? Just having been on the roll for the 2011 general election did not mean the voting paper would be automatically sent out?

                  • alwyn

                    He shouldn’t have had to provided he really was on the roll at the last election and is still at the same address. If he has changed address and didn’t advise them he wouldn’t receive any papers of course.

          • Lanthanide

            I think it’ll be more around 70-73%.

        • Conquestored

          Funny shit, sorry, but it’ll never happen, throw those lost hopes of scamming money of the poorer and tax payers in the drain. Continue the spree of poverty you endorse on another world.

    • gobsmacked 2.2

      Your Yes vote is much appreciated.

      Voting 101 … 60% is a big win, but 95% is too big. It’s much better to get 1.5 million votes with a meaningful minority, than 1 million votes with no opposition. “Elected unopposed” means nobody else bothered to turn up for the meeting.

      So thanks again. You’ve done well to boost our cause.

  3. Naki Man 3

    What a great idea wasting $9million on a non binding referendum. Brilliant
    Guess we can just print another $9 million, that will fix it aye Wussell. Dick head

    • Arfamo 3.1

      Great idea signing off your comments with your real name. You need to do something about your speech impediment, Mr Head.

    • mickysavage 3.2

      What an even greater idea wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on Australian Merchant Bankers, sweeteners and forgone dividends. Spending $9 million to try and stop the last couple of companies being trashed seems to be a really good idea.

      • Clemgeopin 3.2.1

        Spending 6B in five years as tax cuts to mostly help the wealthy and increase GST to 15% to affect the poor and the ordinary people the most is another BRILLIANT idea of this stupid government and hopeless money managers who have managed to turn a 10B debt inherited in 2,009 to 70B in just five years! A government run by a set of spinning nincompoops!

        • Naki Man

          How does increasing GST to 15% affect the poor the most
          People with high incomes are spending more money and paying more GST
          and much higher income tax rates also.Thanks to WWF if you have 2 kids, you don’t even
          pay income tax until you earn about $55k.Now you don’t have to be poor to get welfare

          • Will@Welly

            Naki – poor people spend all their money because they have too – they don’t have dosh left over at the end of the week to pirate away.
            Not everyone has kids or gets WWF – some of us are white trash – we just pay our taxes.
            The rest, mate, its what we get by on. No hand outs or hand ups from John Key. Just screwed.

          • Crunchtime

            If you’re rich enough you pay zero GST – because you can afford to get GST registered, and hire an accountant to write off everything as “expenses” so you get your GST back.

            Aside from that, the richer you are the more you can afford to:
            – buy overseas (pay no GST, mostly)
            – buy a house (no GST on those)
            – make investments (nope, no GST on that either)

            There’s so many ways that GST impacts the poor that the rich can avoid.

      • Naki Man 3.2.2

        Everyone knows the partial sale will continue. The referendum is just to wind people up.
        Waste of tax payers money. Find a real issue.

        • gobsmacked

          So, do you think the citizens’ referendum law should be scrapped?

          Or do you only want citizens to vote on subjects YOU support?

          The law is there, so it is used by the voters. Scrap it or keep it, which?

          • Naki Man

            I think this was organised by politians not citizens just as a wind up
            I don’t support the anti smacking law but that referendum was a waste of money also.
            Scrap it.

            • Colonial Viper

              It’s citizens rights in a democracy to voice their opinion. Many take that privilege very seriously in order to let the power elite know their displeasure. Apparently 1.2M New Zealanders agree (with more to come).

            • McFlock

              350k signatories and 1.2mil voters think you’re wrong on this one.

            • gobsmacked

              Well I hope National (who brought in the referendum law in the 1990’s, remember) do promise to scrap it, in the 2014 election.

              Then we can find out what the voters think. The next election would be a referendum on a referendum.

              Which is, of course, why National won’t go anywhere near such a promise.

        • Colonial Viper

          Naki Man. Why are you so afraid of the people voicing their opinion, en masse? If the rulers do not represent the people, that fact should be made plain and clear to all.

    • McFlock 3.3

      but Key will respect and obey the wishes of the nation regardless of the voting outcome, so the referendum doesn’t need to be “binding”. /sarc

  4. Clemgeopin 4

    This government had a Clayton’s mandate to sell assets, because obviously there would be many National voters too that would be opposed to asset sales, but would have still voted for National based on other policies. An election is NOT a referendum on a single important issue. In any case MOST people voted AGAINST this government than for!

    The mandate was for GOVERNING the country, but NOT necessarily for selling off of the assets.
    If the people really are for asset sales or not can ONLY be known by a specific referendum as is taking place right now. The result will answer the question beyond any doubt.

    • Clemgeopin 4.1

      [Fixed – MS]

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 4.2

      Well said Clemgeopin.

      It was possible to get an indication of how voters felt about asset sales by counting the numbers who voted for parties that did not support asset sales. Were they really interested in following policies supported by the voters they would have acknowledged more voted for parties against asset sales and revised their plan. The whole thing about gaining a mandate on asset sales via the general election is just utter bull.

    • LynWiper 4.3

      Excellent points Clemgeopin and bl.

      • swordfish 4.3.1

        Yep, spot-on, Clem and Blue. The idea that an election win means a broad mandate and endorsement of every single policy adopted by the winning party(ies) is tosh. As every poll on asset sales has shown, a significant majority of people oppose, including a large minority of 2011 Nat voters. Which is why, of course, Key/English conceded the No-vote will win by a hefty majority. They know full well they won DESPITE rather than BECAUSE OF.

    • alwyn 4.4

      Obviously, of course, there were a lot of Labour and Green voters who were in favour of asset sales but held their breath and voted for Labour or the Greens anyway because they were in favour of other left policies.
      There: I have just as much proof for this claim as you do for your one about National voters in the first paragraph you wrote. Given that National, Labour (Phill Goff) and the Green Party (Norman) all said that the election was a referendum on asset sales perhaps we should just believe them.

      • Tangled_up 4.4.1

        National and Act voters will support the sales by 61.9% and 73.5% respectively. 37.1% of National voters are against the sales.

        Labour (93.2%) and Green (94.4%) voters are firmly against the sales, along with 92.7% of New Zealand First voters, 71.7% of Conservative party and 54.8% of United Future voters.


        • McFlock

          Extrapolating to 1.3mil referendum votes (pls check my working)

          So if there are 1.3mil ballots in the referendum, going by those numbers (if the R/L response rate is pretty even), 241k of the 650k tories vote no, but 604k left voters vote no.

          845k against vs 455k for sales.

          If the turnout is 2/3 left, that’s around 930k against from 1.3mil ballots.
          Getting close to that 1.05mil national vote in 2011, ain’t it.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

          @ Tangled-Up

          Very nice refutation of Alwyn’s misguided comment there.

          • alwyn

            There are a few things wrong with this argument of course.
            One is that Horizon use a self selecting internet panel. That of course immediately introduces severe polling bias,
            A second one is that the poll being quoted was published on 23 October 2013, that is to say it was two years after the election. Clemgeopin was giving a hypothesis on how people were thinking when they cast their votes in the 2011 election. How can you possibly say that, even if they are from a valid poll, they reflect what people thought two years earliar?
            You may also choose to read what I said about the hypothesis I proposed.
            I said “I have just as much proof for my claim as you do for your one about National voters”
            I have fulfilled that. There is absoltely no evidence for how National voters thought at the 2011 election. There is of course, equally, no evidence for how Green and Labour voters thought in 2011 because I don’t believe there was ever a non-selecting poll, and possibly no poll at all, taken at that time.
            People may, and probably will vote against the asset sales in the referendum. That has nothing at all to do with how they thought two years ago.

            • Colonial Viper

              What they think now has a pretty good bearing on 2014 however.

              • alwyn

                Oh yes. It isn’t that I was commenting on, but it is very interesting for the election. As the Roy Morgan poll shows, there is absolutely nothing in it at the moment.
                What is that, possibly apochryphal, Chinese curse?
                “May you live in interesting times”

            • swordfish

              Just for starters, here’s a 3 News Reid Research Poll on asset sales in the immediate aftermath of the 2011 Election, my thoroughly, thoroughly confused one. (AKA alwyn)

              It’s Feb 2012 (so what’s that ? – 3 months after the election ?) and you’ll notice it’s on the specific question of the Key Government’s planned partial privatisations . You’ll also notice:
              (1) 62% of NZers opposed
              (2) A third of Nat voters oppose (very similar to Tangled_up’s later 2013 figure)
              (3) A year earlier (Feb 2011), the 3 News Reid Research Poll found 60% of all NZers opposed.


              • alwyn

                Thank you. I was looking for polls on the subject around the time of the election but didn’t find this, or indeed any of them.
                My God. It shows what the public thought of Goff personally, and the Labour party in general, if they thought this about what Goff defined the election to be and then Labour got the lowest percentage party vote in about 80 years.
                Luckily for Labour they have got rid of all their no-hoper MPs from 2011 and have a fresh new visage isn’t it?
                Oh wait, what new people? Still, 30.5 in the Roy Morgan poll is just a little better than the 27.5 they got in the election isn’t it?

                • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                  Hmm…it appears, Alwyn, that you are attempting to change the subject so as to try and cover how thoroughly incorrect you’ve been proven….

                • swordfish

                  You were relatively gracious in the first sentence, alwyn – so much so that I was beginning to feel just a little tinge of guilt about my sarkie tone, but then you changed tack in the rest of the comment so, you know, not feeling quite so ashamed of myself now. Mind you, I don’t entirely disagree with your comments on Goff. On almost all of the substantive issues, a majority of voters favoured Labour’s policies over National’s and yet look what happened….

                  …..Then again, there’s a good argument to be made that the FPP-style reporting of the MSM grossly misled voters on Lab-Green/Left-Bloc chances, thus playing a part – possibly a decisive part – in Labour voters staying at home.

              • swordfish

                And one or two more:

                (1) A January 2012 DigiPoll report mentions that “a Herald-Digipoll last year (ie early 2011) found 62.6 per cent ” opposed National’s partial privatisation plans and “polls taken closer to the election suggested opinion had not changed”. The report further suggests that “not even the most ardent National supporter would claim the party had convinced a majority of the public of the merits of flogging off our assets…” and “Clearly a crucial number of those uncomfortable with the idea of floating even a minority stake in state companies supported National despite the policy.” (you see, DESPITE, not BECAUSE OF).

                Here: http://www.digipoll.com/library/surveys-in-the-media/item/96-editorial-port-row-gives-clue-to-asset-sales-solution

                (2) Here’s Massey University’s 2011 NZ Study of Values Survey – in which 76% oppose asset sales (47% strongly against, 29% more or less against, 15% neutral, 8% more or less in favour, 1% strongly in favour). Political Scientist Stephen Levine commented at the time (late 2011) that it was only Key’s personal popularity that was “preventing opposition to asset sales from hurting National in the polls.” Levine further suggested that other polls in 2011 had also shown voters were “not enthusiastic about the idea of selling assets.”

                Here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/polls/5993822/Voters-turned-off-by-SOE-retirement-policies

  5. McGrath 5

    Is Labour/Green going to buy back the sold assets if they form the next government?

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Depress the share value first via NZ Power, placing a few statutory voting members on the various Boards, and investing big $ in needed infrastructure. Then reacquire at leisure.

      No rush.

      • Lanthanide 5.1.1

        I still haven’t seen any cogent argument for why NZ Power will destroy the electricity industry and result in blackouts.

        Similarly I can’t see any cogent argument why lowering the company tax rate leads to more investment in companies.

        If companies choose to re-invest their profits in order to expand, or hire more workers, then it becomes an expense in their accounts and they don’t pay tax on it anyway. I would have thought, for example, that a company that was paying a 95% tax rate, would say to themselves “we could either use 100% of this money to expand our business / hire new staff, or we could give 95% of it to the government and keep 5% for ourselves”. It seems like lowering the company tax rate is an incentive *not* to expand or hire staff – better to take the cream today rather than wait for butter in the future.

        • Colonial Viper

          I think your analysis is pretty much spot on Lanth. Lowering corporate taxes = more earnings per share for corproate investors for zero extra work.

          In other words, it also disincentivises innovation and hard work, while rewarding corporate lobbying.


          • Lanthanide

            Actually thinking about it more, I think the argument is “why would someone start a company if they could only receive 5% of the profits after paying 95% tax?”.

            So there’s two obvious flaws in that approach:
            1. If you pay yourself a salary, it doesn’t count as profit to the company so would be taxed as personal income, not company profit, so the 95% tax rate wouldn’t apply.

            2. In practice we’re not talking about 95% tax rates. We’re talking about 33% vs 30% vs 28%. I don’t think a 5% change in tax is any sort of significant incentive for someone to say “damn yes, I need to stop working for the man and start my own company!”.

        • grumpy

          “I still haven’t seen any cogent argument for why NZ Power will destroy the electricity industry and result in blackouts.”
          Thats because it won’t.

      • KJT 5.1.2

        Just let National put their mates in as Directors and Managers, then wait for the share price to plummet.

        On second thoughts, maybe not,. Like Air New Zealand and rail it will cost us too much to rebuild them after the “party of business” and their supporters, have shown they cannot develop or run businesses. Again!

    • Fisiani 5.2

      Of course not McGrath that would require them to actually believe their current spin.

      • felix 5.2.1

        No, all that is required is to ignore your spin.

        It’s like I took you car and your wallet and spent all your money and now I’m insisting you obviously didn’t like the car that much if you won’t buy it back.

  6. Fisiani 6

    The referendum will be massively 90%+ against the missed ownership model, 90% of the people will vote for the opposition in 2014 and shares will be confiscated. National are quaking in their boots and leaving the sinking ship in droves.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      You really do see everything in extremes, don’t you?

      Must be a very frightening world you live in.

    • mac1 6.2

      ‘Missed ownership model,’ Fisi? You’re not ‘pixed,’ are you?

      And I hope all those fearful, sheep-like fellow-traveller Nats in your ‘missed metaphor’ have taken off their boots before jumping ship and don’t end up like the people in the first verse of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They are A-Changin'”.

  7. Ron 7

    I understand that only 39% have voted, what the hell are the other 61% of the voting population doing.

    • s y d 7.1

      getting in a 18 pack of cody’s and getting hammered….

    • infused 7.2

      Not giving a shit. It’s done and dusted, this referendum means nothing.

      • Kaplan 7.2.1

        For the foreseeable future history will define John Key and the National party as those responsible for selling of NZs state assets against the will of the people. I think the referendum means quite a bit akshully.

  8. tricledrown 8

    Yeh right wingers Helen Clarks govt didn’t loose the 2008 election becaise she ignored the anti kid bashing referendum.
    80%+ voted against.
    Now Nactional united will pay the same price.
    This bullying govt is dying of a thousand cuts.
    When paddy Gower says Key has fucked up by not taking Minto but hogging the limlight for himself(can’t remember can Now remembe)
    The myth Key is a liar .
    Is Now being exposed as the reality.
    The myth key is just a publicty seeker.
    Is being exposed as truth.
    The myth Key is listening to the people.
    people are waking up to the real shonkey.
    And only few Dumrse Bowel Movents will be left on his stinking ship.

    • Will@Welly 8.1

      Is there any truth to the rumour that Key couldn’t take everyone he should have to the funeral in S.A. because the numbers for the Diplomatic Protection Squad swelled to over 50, instead of the usual 4-5. Mr Key was just a little bit frightful of the “welcome” he might find there waiting for him.

      • Puckish Rogue 8.1.1

        No there isn’t

      • Richard McGrath 8.1.2

        If he did take the DPS with him, it could reflect the breakdown in law and order in South Africa that has occurred under the Mbeki and Zuma administrations. Just sayin’…

        And I don’t suppose Mr Obama would have taken many Secret Service agents with him, would he?

  9. Natwest 9

    Ranting dribble!

  10. tricledrown 10

    Rats leaving a sinking ship

  11. Ake ake ake 11

    The Referendum and History will record that John Key and the National Government are on the wrong side of asset sales.

  12. Tangled_up 12

    I really hope that at least half of all eligible voters participate.

  13. Crunchtime 13


    So going by this trend, hopefully we get over 1.4 million votes in the referendum.

    Even if the no votes are as low as 70% (more likely to be close to 90), that means at least a million no votes. As much or more than voted for National last general election. That will be a pretty damning indictment on this government. Gooberment would be a better word, wouldn’t it.

  14. captain hook 14

    they could have just given everybody an equal share and then let people decide what to do with them.
    You know we already own the assets.
    all the rest is just market speak blather to disguise the fact that National is parcelling up the assets to dispose of them as perpetual earning assets to their pals.
    nice work if you can get it.

    • Lanthanide 14.1

      Er, the point was for the government to sell them and make money. If the government just gave them to citizens, then they wouldn’t be making any money from it.

  15. Richard McGrath 15

    Many tend to overlook the fact that this referendum isn’t about asset sales in general, it’s about whether the voter approves or disapproves of the govt selling less than half the shares in 5 state owned entities. A ‘no’ vote might be cast because the voter thinks more than 50% of the shares in one or all of them should be sold off.

    • Arfamo 15.1

      This referendum asks voters the question: “Do you support the Government selling up to 49% of Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power, Genesis Power, Solid Energy and Air New Zealand?”

      People understand what it means all right. Time for you to blast off from Planet Key and re-enter earth’s atmosphere Richard.

      • Richard McGrath 15.1.1

        But you agree with the my last sentence, Arfamo?

        • Arfamo

          Nope. I can’t think of anyone who would be stupid enough to vote no on that basis. Not even you. Or did you? If you want to, can I please encourage you to do so as soon as possible. Every vote counts Richard.

        • Lanthanide

          Logically someone who supports the government selling more than 49%, should also support the government selling up to 49%.

          It would be a strange position to say “I absolutely reject you selling 49% of the shares. You must sell 51%”.

          To the point that I don’t think any rational person would say that, except for the purposes of being ‘clever’ about the referendum question.

          • Arfamo

            Exactly. Care to make a rational comment now Richard?

            • Arfamo

              Richard? Are you still banging your head on your desk in the corner you painted yourself into?

              • Arfamo

                OMG. Richard? Are you trying to retrieve your referendum vote from a post box after now realising the implications of having voted no because you think National should’ve sold more than 49%? Speak to me, laddie.

                Hurry up man. If you’re much longer I’m going to be forced to watch 3rd Degree.

                • swordfish

                  I fear Richard may be in the middle of a violent emotional breakdown, as we speak. Expect him to very suddenly turn to Zen Buddhism as the only way out.

                  • Arfamo

                    It’s too late. I’ve been forced to watch 3rd Degree where Laurel and Hardy will be featuring a cameo appearance by Colin Craig playing a fool.

              • Richard McGrath

                Sorry guys, at the time you were making those comments, I was still at my desk at work. Some of us are still being made to fund those on incomes below $55k who pay no net tax.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Stop whining about having to pay your taxes, you fucking cry-baby.

                  • Arfamo

                    Good on ya, Richard. At least you realise you’re doing what the Nats want you to do. Working your arse off at all hours to help pay for their tax cuts blunder while you still have a job.

                • KJT

                  Someone was out when they handed out the brain cells.

                  Or cannot read.

                  Surprising you actually have a job.
                  Though I am sure it is just one of those jobs were they do not trust you with real work. Just shuffling paper or electronic digits, while the secretary (Probably a woman) or the old guy on the shop floor, does anything important.

                  No, not paying net INCOME tax is not equal to paying no net tax.

                  Half of all tax paid is NOT income tax. And it is mostly paid by those who have to spend all their incomes, the poor.

                  Some of us on here have very likely paid a lot more tax than you have, being successes in their lives, rather than a wannabee, some with earning money, and some with more important things.

                  If you want to know why your taxes are so high have a look at the number of millionaires, who declared taxable incomes last year, of less than 70K.

          • Richard McGrath

            Not so, Lanth. I support privatisation of, not government control over, Meridian Energy et al. Thus 51% is a mile away from 49%. “Up to 49%” is a con job – the pollies still run the companies despite what anyone says.

            • Tat Loo (CV)

              That’s odd you say that, given that the SOE act gives those organisations requirements to operate as independent commercial entities. And full Govt ownership has resulted in massive profitability- the reason the private sector wants to grab these assets in the first place.

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                I don’t think it’s odd – it’s entirely consistent with the rest of his delusional chunder.

        • swordfish

          No, your last sentence is, of course, complete bollocks, Rich.

          Everyone knows implicitly that this referendum has taken on a much broader symbolism (as it was always destined to do) surrounding asset sales in general. To try to argue otherwise is disingenuous. Please don’t insult people’s intelligence with this rather desperate little soundbyte.

          Supporters of privatisation are almost entirely the most dyed-in-the-wool National supporters – (see Tangled_up’s comment 4.4.1 and do the math yourself), along with tiny, tiny raw numbers of Act/UF/Con voters. They know full well that a big win for the “No”-vote will be interpreted by the media as a rejection of asset sales and a major defeat for the National Party. And yet you’d have us all believe that this blue-rinse brigade will happily risk all that damage to their Party simply in order to make a remarkably subtle and nuanced point. Don’t think so, big fella.

          • Arfamo

            He can’t read this until he stops banging his head on the desk and the stars in his eyes go away.

    • Lanthanide 15.2

      Yes, you’re entirely correct, Richard.

      However given that a referendum is allowed to be only a single question with a yes or no answer, that’s not a lot that can be done.

      They couldn’t state the name of a policy, because voters may not know what the policy entails (see American’s who don’t like Obamacare but do like the Affordable Care Act), the government could rename the policy, etc etc.

      The only thing they could really do is ask a question about the specific core actions of the policy and whether voters agree. That’s why we end up with the referendum we got.

      Note however that this is really not the same as the pro-child-abuse referendum, whose question was grammatically incorrect and was logically ambiguous as to what the voter actually intended when answering either yes or no.

      • KJT 15.2.1

        I don’t think that most people voting were confused at all, with either referendum.

        The majority of the public are not that thick. Proven by the lack of votes for ACT.

  16. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 16

    It is really hacking me off big-time that in parliament National repeatedly are being allowed to present the view that the Opposition should buy the shares back…and not being told to STFU by the speaker of the house.

    1. Question-time is a time for the opposition to call the government to account and not the other way around.

    2. The whole issue re selling assets for me is that they tend to be sold off – at a loss – and then bought back – at a loss and I would have preferred if this ineffective trend was stopped in its tracks from the outset.

    This is one of the big reasons I am against the sales of these assets (along with the revenue lost to the country).

    Buying the assets back, while I might agree with a government doing so, is a separate issue to opposing the sale of the asset shares apart from buying them back being exactly what I hoped would be avoided by not selling the bloody things in the first place.

    • Arfamo 16.1

      +1 This speaker needs to be removed from the chair and given a brush and dustpan so he can actually do something useful.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 16.1.1

        lolz, while I like (and am amused by) your comment, I do include a criticism of the Opposition parties here for not objecting to this behaviour in parliament – somewhat surprised that they haven’t.

        I thought Robertson would be a good assistant speaker of the house, however I find him weak at asserting the rules. As unpopular as it may be to say it Mallard was stronger in this role and it appears that Hipkins would be good at the role.

        Am surprised that the Greens and NZ First haven’t picked up on this issue – they are usually pretty good at that type of thing.

        • Arfamo

          I’ve given up expecting anything but childishness from pretty well all involved in the House. It’s a sick joke, the behaviour that’s tolerated. We pay these monkeys a fortune to act like kindy kids.

  17. Liberal Realist 17

    Anyone who thinks this referendum is a waste of time and money places no value in democracy, is either stupid, ignorant or simply talking out of their arse.

    1.2 mil + no votes will give an incoming LAB/GRN/Else government a very strong indicator of public will against asset sales theft. This, in turn, will give the incoming LAB/GRN/Else government a solid start point to mount a reacquisition policy / plan.

    This referendum is the proverbial stick to beat nACT with all the way up to election day (perhaps even and early one).

  18. tricledrown 18

    +1.4 million

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    3 weeks ago
  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    3 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago