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A correction

Written By: - Date published: 8:29 pm, April 21st, 2011 - 54 comments
Categories: labour, privatisation - Tags:

I’ve long held to the principle of owning your mistakes and as such I’ve gotta say I was wrong about one aspect of the “stop asset sales” campaign – the signs are authorised.

That said they still risk running across transport laws. Which means, to quote Trevor Mallard:

[We’re] asking activists to take care when using them to keep away from intersections and not to attach them to things like lamp-posts at usual stop sign height.

That is all.

54 comments on “A correction ”

  1. Anne 1

    captcha: noted 😀

    • seeker 1.1

      Also noted. Thanks Irishbill.

    • J Mex 1.2

      The sign in th picture for this post shows no authorization. Neither do any of the ones I have seen in the media. Where is the authorisation? On the back of the sign?

  2. Monty 2

    If I see any of these signs near a road I will be laying a complaint with the police. The VRWC, have scored a major victory destabilizing this campaign. Their actions must be very demoralizing to Labour, but from our side of the fence we have had great fun and entertainment.

    • IrishBill 2.1

      You’ve got quite a rich fantasy life going on there Monty. Well done.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.1

        Its called wasting police time, as  road side signs are a council ‘problem’.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      but from our side of the fence we have had great fun and entertainment.

      Likewise mate, and this is only a start! 😀

  3. Sam 3

    I hear the signs have been pulled.  Another fiasco by the Goff labour team.. Oh sorry, Goff knew “nothing” about it.

    • IrishBill 3.1

      I guess you shouldn’t believe everything you hear you poor wee naive thing.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      I hear the signs have been pulled.

      Please mate, remember to take your meds tonight

  4. Jim Nald 4

    Onward and upward, folks!
    John Key wanna sell our assets,
    We wanna kick his ass!

    • Monty 4.1

      Yeah like this is going to be Labour’s year, currently polling at 27% against the Nats 56%. Seems to me the country is quite happy about asset sales.

      [lprent: In this post that qualifies as straight trolling. The first sentence bears no relationship to the subject of the post. The second is an assertion that you haven’t backed with anything, and as far as I’m aware the available poll data says the exact opposite.

      Looks like deliberate flame starting…

      Your last few comments have been teetering on the edge. Would have been better in either OpenMike or the Irishs earlier post. One week ban. ]

      • Jim Nald 4.1.1

        Fine. Looking forward to National campaigning hard on asset sales.
        Go on. We know you want to.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.2

        Seems to me the country is quite happy about asset sales.

        They must also be quite happy about Key wanting to bang Liz Hurley. And making money off NZ getting into more debt. And lying about the rail shares he held.
         
        You know, following your ‘logic’.

      • mickysavage 4.1.3

        It is funny when those who were most vociferous in complaining about “nanny state” and “rampant bureaucracy” rise up defending rules and regulations and asking that the public service does its job.

        • higherstandard 4.1.3.1

          It’s because everyone’s out to get you MS.

        • PeteG 4.1.3.2

          A simple question MS, do you think political parties should be seen to abide by current laws or is it ok for them to be selective?

          • mickysavage 4.1.3.2.1

            Ideally they should abide by all laws PeteG even the most trivial of them.  Have a read of “the Hollow Men” and then ask me that question again.

            • PeteG 4.1.3.2.1.1

              I don’t feel like reading that MS, it seems like a diversionary delay tactic from you. I think all political parties should be seen to be making all efforts to abide by laws.
               
              Do you think the Land Transport Rule: Traffic Control Devices 2004 – 2004, a Labour law? – should apply to Labour electioneers as much as anyone else?

              • The Voice of Reason

                Jeez, you must really hate the NACT government then, Pete, what with all the liars, rorters, troughers and dead baby abusers. If you won’t (or can’t) read the Hollow Men, at least take the time to watch the film. It’s most illuminating.

  5. Irascible 5

    I gather the Party have taken delivery of several thousand more of these highly effective signs as the demand has out stripped the initial run of signs.
    So much for the Farrar and 9th Floor induced hysteria over a campaign that is cutting into the teflon image of the scuttling, running, smiling & waving emptiness that is posing as a prime Mincer of NZ.
     

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Tell you what mate, it may be that Labour has found some serious moral fortitude after all. And not a millisecond too late.

  6. Jilly Bee 6

    Yep, I’ve just contributed to a couple more signs.  Go Guys.

  7. PeteG 7

    Barely a mistake by Bill, but there have been a few far more significant mistakes made.

    – The sign authorisations that can barely be seen, and then only if you search for them, is either a printers mistake or deliberately trying to disguise it.
    – Putting the signs on a roadside is a mistake with possible legal consequences.
    – Goff’s response yesterday, apparently supporting continued illegal signage and certainly not admitting it was a mistake, was dumb.
    – Mallard’s advice “to take care when using them to keep away from intersections” is dumber – anywhere on a roadside is illegal. Where Labour think it shouldn’t be a problem is a poor look.

    The biggest mistake is the campaign itself, for a number of reasons.

    – It looks amateurish.
    – It reinforces the “Labour is the anti party” perception.
    – Jumping in with “NONONONONO ASSET SALES!” is childish. Specific asset sales may or may not be advisable, but there should be nothing wrong with examining the pros and cons and not just jumping to a slogan.
    – It is vague. Are Labour against all asset sales ever (except in the past)? Or against all asset sales related to the 2008 election? What about selling minority shares in some SOEs?
    – The campaign is against bugger all concrete, while at the same time there has been hardly a whimper when it actually looks like majority shares of our largest agricultural services company may be sold to Chinese interests II guess that will be a done deal by the election so isn’t any use building a protest campaign around).
    – It’s a minor sideshow – fiddling while Labour burns.

    I’m not necessarily keen on asset sales, but I think any ideas should be properly examined. If the proposed part sale of a handful of SOEs does go ahead it may or may not have overall benefits or down sides, but it would most likely have a minor effect in the whole scheme of things.

    New Zealand has many far more pressing, more important issues than this. I guess they mustn’t be deemed useful as vehicles for strategic campaigns.

    • felix 7.1

      Hey Pete.
       
      No Fucking Asset Sales.
       
      That’s that. And that’s why you hate it.
       
      I urge everyone to pay attention to how much energy PeteG (and his others) are putting into trying to shut down, talk down the value of, and minimise the impact of this campaign at every turn. Every. Fucking. Day.
       
      Think about why that is.
       
      Now carry on.

      • Carol 7.1.1

        Righties are focusing on signs, because they don’t want the real facts about the impact of state asset sales getting air.  Gordon Campbell had a good idea of what national were planning in his article of May last year.  In the last election campaign, Key signalled that asset sales would be on the agenda for a second term in government.

        Even the promise not to sell such assets in the first term implied that all bets would be off during the second term. Moreover, English was secretly taped in 2008 stating National’s intentions to sell Kiwibank “eventually”. A more recent rationale for state asset sales came late last year when the Capital Markets Development Task Force urged the government to sell off minority stakes in a range of state assets. Among the Task Force’s reported recommendations :

        They have been trying to soften up the elctorate for this ever since.  While Campbell wasn’t sure back then if Labour, based on past performance, would have a similar line on this to National, we have since seen Labour go out aggressively against asset sales.  This is a whole different campaign, and, David Cunliffe is providing some of the rationale behind the reasons to oppose more sales of NZ state assets:
         

        “The agency is also blunt in terms of asset sales, and gives the lie to National’s approach.
        “John Key and Bill English have used Standard & Poor’s as a bogeyman to press their ideological approach, which sees the partial sale of our remaining assets as some sort of salvation.

        “But the agency says the sort of state-owned businesses left in New Zealand are quite minimal compared to other countries.
        “The irony is, of course, that the impact won’t be minimal once these assets eventually find their way into foreign ownership, and the dividends from businesses that all New Zealanders currently own head overseas,” David Cunliffe said.

        “You simply can’t have partial private sales that protect Kiwi ownership. Either you are exposing them to foreign ownership or you aren’t.

        “The agency has previously made it clear that our structural problems are rooted in our lack of export diversification and our terrible private savings record. Neither will be solved by flogging off the best of our remaining public commercial assets.

        “Labour is developing policy that will tackle the vexed issue of private debt in a way that National is refusing to do, and it is focused on policies that create growth, jobs and savings as the sure way to prosperity.

        “Standard & Poor’s reject National’s claim that the state sector is bloated and inefficient, but that view sits unhappily alongside National’s blinkered convictions.”

      • MrSmith 7.1.2

        Well pete like felix says it has certainly got your attention, or are your masters paying you by the word now.

        • PeteG 7.1.2.1

          I doubt Penny’s masters pay her by the word.
           
          Seven months is a looonnnngggg time to try and keep this as a fresh election issue.

          • MrSmith 7.1.2.1.1

            You’re certainly giving us plenty of incentive, keep it up mate, and seven months is a very long time in politics. NO ASSET SALES

      • Deadly_NZ 7.1.3

        I just ignore him most times.

    • Some ESSENTIAL background Easter reading folks – backed with FACTS and EVIDENCE!
      TOTALLY disagree ‘Pete G’.
      In my considered opinion, ASSET SALES are THE election issue, in which the differences in stated policy between National and Labour are most clearly defined.
      It appears that corporate interests, represented by National, were really hopeful that masterfully-packaged ‘Mr Popular’ corporate raider John Key, would be able to pull it off.
      That somehow, masterfully-packaged ‘Mr Popular’ corporate raider John Key, would be able to invoke some form of collective frontal lobotomy in the voting public en masse, who would forget that while the ‘Rogernomic$ reforms’ were GREAT for big business, they weren’t quite so great for the public majority.
      Especially when it comes to monthly power bills.
      Somehow – masterfully-packaged ‘Mr Popular’ corporate raider John Key, would  enable the public majority to forget the ‘bad old days’ when under the ‘inefficient’ Electricity Department and Power Boards – you could afford to have your heater on in winter, and a soak your tired, aching  bodies in a lovely hot bath?  🙁
      Somehow – masterfully-packaged ‘Mr Popular’ corporate raider John Key, would be able to persuade the same ‘Mums and Dads’ who are struggling every month to pay their crippling  – ‘more efficient’ power bills, that they would be able to invest in these  ‘partially privatised’ power companies.
      Unfortunately – the Botany by-election, proved that ‘partial privatisation’ /asset sales appears NOT to be a vote winner for National.
      SO!
      Eeeek!
      ‘What to do?’ cried the ‘spin doctors’.
      Plan “B” – just as happened with the (successful) corporate media campaign against Winston Peters and NZ First before the 2008 election, to discredit and undermine them in order to help ensure they did not reach the 5% party vote threshold.
      Plan “B” 2011 – a concerted and unrelenting corporate media campaign, to undermine the main political party (Labour) which has stated policy of opposing ‘partial privatisation’ /asset sales, and potentially could stop this corporate agenda.
      What corporate media campaigns to undermine Labour have we seen since the Botany by-election?
      The Darren Hughes matter.
      Phil Goff’s handling of the Darren Hughes matter.
      Damian O’Connor’s undisciplined comments over the Labour list selection process.
      The National Party PNth candidate’s ‘beat up’ over the Labour party intersection picket opposing asset sales.
      Use of ‘opinion polls’ to help steer public opinion away from Labour/ Phil Goff.
      The current ‘beat up’ over the VERY effective Labour Party  ‘STOP ASSET SALES’ signs campaign.
      Whatever next?!
      MARK MY WORDS!
      There will be more!
      I’d actually take right wing opposition and ‘pickiness’ over the ‘STOP ASSET SALES’ signs campaign, as a cack-handed compliment.
      If it wasn’t being effective – why would they bother?
      Don’t buy into it folks!
      🙂
      BACKGROUND FACTS AND EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT WHAT I’M SAYING!:
      On 26 January 2011, in his ‘State of the Nation’ speech – John announced National’s policy of support for ‘partial privatisation’ of some SOE’s particularly electricity.
      (‘Partial privatisation’ is like ‘partial pregnancy’ – there is no such thing).
      Read John Key’s full speech.

      Be part of the news. Send pics, video and tips to nzherald.
      _________________________________________________________________________________________________http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10702066
      PM: Nats to sell parts of state assets
      By Claire Trevett

      2:36 PM Wednesday Jan 26, 2011

      Expand
      Prime Minister John Key before his state-of-the-nation speech in Auckland today. Photo / Greg Bowker

      Prime Minister John Key has announced plans to sell off parts of state assets and cut back on the rate of Government spending.
      Mr Key delivered his state-of-the nation address at Henderson’s Trust Stadium this morning to a group of about 380 people, mostly from the business community.
      Click here for the full text of Mr Key’s speech.
      He said National was looking to sell off parts of major power companies Mighty River Power, Meridian Energy and Genesis Energy along with coal company Solid Energy using the mixed-ownership model under which Air New Zealand operated.
      “In each case, the government would retain majority ownership and control, and the freed-up capital would be used to purchase other public assets, thereby reducing the government’s need to borrow,” Mr Key said.
      “I am convinced that Air New Zealand would not be run as well nor provide as good a service to customers if it was owned 100 per cent by the Government.”
      National had also asked Treasury to look into reducing Government shareholding in the national carrier, Mr Key said.
      “No other SOEs are being considered and no decisions have been made,” Mr Key said.
      “Our final policy will be decided prior to this year’s election and we will seeking a mandate from the electorate before proceeding with any change,” he said.
      Any sell-off would be subject to conditions including Government retaining a 50 per cent stake in the company, New Zealand investors claiming a place at the “front of the queue” when it comes to shareholding and any freed capital going back into public assets, said Mr Key.
      New Zealand State Owned Entities (SOEs) not caught up in today’s proposal include Metservice, New Zealand Post, Kiwirail and Ontrack, Landcorp and Crown Fibre Holdings.
      SOEs are directed to operate successfully as a business and earn profit on par with private commercial companies.
      Many former SOEs were privatised by Labour and National through the 1980s and 1990s, including Telecom and State Insurance.
      Opportunities for ‘mum and dad’ investors
      Speaking to media after his speech, Mr Key said he was confident there would be significant interest in buying shares in currently state owned companies, by New Zealand “mums and dads” as well as institutions with investment portfolios such as the Super Fund and ACC.
      “There is a lot of New Zealand investment that’s looking for a home. I don’t think the issue is about whether we can find New Zealand-based capital.”
      He said foreign investors would be able to buy in, but he had sought Treasury advice to make sure the first opportunity to buy in was directed at New Zealanders.
      There were various ways of ensuring New Zealanders did get the best opportunity to buy, including a discount for “mum and dad” investors. Another possibility was collecting interest in the shares, which he expected would be oversubscribed, allowing greater flexibility to decide who bought the shares.
      New Zealand was “severely at risk” that foreign lenders would stop lending to New Zealand or charge higher interest rates.
      “We can’t underestimate what Standard and Poors are saying. They are saying they would downgrade New Zealand, putting up the price of interest rates, unless we get on top of debt.”
      He said if New Zealand was borrowing less, it meant there was more to invest in other areas.
      ‘Hocking off the family silver’
      The announcement of planned asset sales was met with condemnation by Labour SOEs spokesman Clayton Cosgrove.
      He accused National of planning to “hock off the family silver to foreign pixies”.
      “They’ve done it before. It didn’t work then though we were promised we would be better off. And it won’t work now. It’s a dumb idea.”
      “These enterprises have a combined value of $11.75 billion, and earn Kiwis $700 million a year.
      “If John Key’s economic plan consists of hocking off the family silver to the foreign pixies from whom he’s also borrowing $120 million a week to give tax cuts to the rich, then he’s living in a fantasy land.”
      Labour Party Finance spokesman David Cunliffe said the mixed ownership model favoured by National would relinquish Government control of state assets while giving little in return.
      Minority shareholder rights would dilute public influence in running the companies, while compliance costs of public listing would still be incurred, he said.
      “Arguably ‘mixed ownership’ is the worst of both worlds, and certainly not the best.”
      Putting the proposal to sell off parts of SOEs in a speech themed around saving and investing was misleading, said Mr Cunliffe.
      “Dressing it up as a savings plan is at best a bad joke. Since when did flogging off assets amount to saving and investing?
      “John Key says he is singing the saving song today, but the substance is the same old agenda of irresponsible tax cuts for the wealthy and flogging the family silver to pay for them.”
      Cuts in Government spending
      Mr Key said the asset sales would come alongside an up-to-$300 million cut in new spending assigned to this year’s budget – from $1.1 billion to $800 to $900m.
      Mr Key said both moves were necessary to boost New Zealand’s economic performance and deliver jobs, higher incomes and better living standards.
      “The way for New Zealand to get ahead is to sell more to the rest of the world. That means making some changes.”
      Mr Key said the reduced spending would allow New Zealand to record a meaningful surplus one year earlier than projected, in the 2014-2015 financial year.
      “The government simply has to get its finances in order if New Zealand is to achieve a long term improvement in its economic prospects.
      “I have therefore challenged my Ministers to balance the books more quickly.
      “Government spending will continue to increase each year in dollar terms but at a slower pace than the rest of the economy.”
      $300m a week borrowing
      Mr Key said the Government was still having to borrow an average of $300 million a week “to pay the bills”.
      That has raised the national debt level to 85 percent of GDP, putting New Zealand on par with Ireland, Portugal, Greece and Spain, he said.
      “That is very uneasy company indeed.
      “We recognise that New Zealand’s level of foreign debt is our biggest vulnerability,” he said.
      “In the worst of the recession, running a budget deficit was the right thing to do, as it gave much-needed support to the economy.
      “Now, as the economy recovers, borrowing $300 million a week is unaffordable and is holding the economy back.
      If debt remained at those levels, Standard and Poor’s would downgrade New Zealand’s credit rating, Mr Key said.
      “This year the theme of the Budget will be savings and investment.”
      Electricity prices won’t rise, says Key
      Mr Key said he did not believe New Zealanders would face higher electricity prices as a result of private shareholders demanding greater profits from electricity companies.
      He said the government had reformed the electricity industry and put controls on, including reducing cost increases of electricity generation.
      He believed the companies would be more successful with some private capital. The government was “cash strapped” and could not invest in them to the same extent, restricting their growth.
      He said while his critics would claim he was selling off the family silver, he believed the most important thing for New Zealanders was making sure the country didn’t go broke.
      “I think the public will respect us for taking the tough decisions, but the right decisions for New Zealand. We’re really saying to New Zealanders, look, sometimes mum and dad change the mix of their assets. The car might be too big and they get a smaller thing. We’re looking to do a similar thing, but overall growing the size of New Zealand’s balance sheet.”
      Labour’s promises were too extravagant and would mean they had to borrow, taking New Zealand down the same road as Ireland and Spain.
      – with NZHERALD STAFF
      By Claire Trevett | Email Claire
      ________________________________________________________________________
      On the SAME day 26 January 2011- our dear friend (not) Roger Kerr from the NZ Business Round Table, (whose members did SO well out of the ‘Rogernomic$ reforms) – came out in support of ‘partial privatisation’, as did other business leaders.
      _______________________________________________________________________
      Business leaders support partial privatisation of state assets

      3:15 PM Wednesday Jan 26, 2011
      Share
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      Expand
      Business Roundtable executive director Roger Kerr File photo

      Business leaders are optimistic that a government signal of plans to sell shares in several state-owned enterprises, while keeping a control of them, will be acceptable to voters.
      Prime Minister John Key said the Government has asked Treasury for advice on extending Air New Zealand’s mixed ownership model to Mighty River Power, Meridian, Genesis and Solid Energy.
      Advice has also been sought on reducing the Crown’s 74.69 percent shareholding in Air New Zealand, while still maintaining a majority stake.
      Business leaders today talked about the difference between partial privatisations and the privatisation of state business in the 1980s and 1990s. Mr Key said his Government was “interested in what works, not in following any particular ideology”.
      With broad public support and constructive participation by other political parties the policy had the potential to achieve widespread acceptance, Business New Zealand chief executive Phil O’Reilly said.
      Business Roundtable executive director Roger Kerr said New Zealand governments were spooked by the issue of privatisation.
      The roundtable has argued that there are myths about the 30 or so privatisations in the 1980s and 1990s and the country has moved in an opposite policy direction by buying back rail and Air NZ and starting Kiwibank.
      He said the Government move was a step in the right direction but there were issues with partial ownership.
      “All the economic research indicates that privately owned business on average outperform publicly owned ones. But partially owned state-owned enterprises can still be subject to political interference and the results are not as clear,” he said.
      Employment and Manufacturers Association chief executive Alasdair Thompson said it was the opposite of selling the family silver.
      “This is about realising the value from part of certain state assets and using the funds released to invest in even more valuable state assets.”
      O’Reilly said that allowing New Zealanders to invest directly in a changed mix of state-owned assets was a policy that was both progressive and moderate.
      “Broadening the pool of investment opportunities for New Zealand families is a key step towards a more vibrant economy.
      “Greater involvement by more stakeholders also fosters accountability and better performance.”
      Meridian Energy today noted the Prime Minister’s speech in a note to the NZX under the code for listed debt instruments.
      “As with any company Meridian will continue to be guided by its shareholders expectations for the company,” Meridian said.
      Solid Energy chairman John Palmer last year raised the issue of partial privatisation but was criticised by Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee for over-stepping the mark.
      Palmer, who is also chairman of Air NZ, argued that Solid Energy’s situation was vastly different to the emotional discussion surrounding Kiwibank, and he talked about the merits of Air NZ’s ownership structure. The airline is listed on the sharemarket.
      The National government has made it clear that it will not sell state assets in its first term and will signal any intention in election policy.
      Palmer said there should be majority ownership of Solid Energy because it had some key national assets. The sale of new shares in the coal miner did not require the sale of the Government’s existing stake but would dilute it.
      The Crown’s commercial portfolio contains almost $95 billion of assets, of which $55b is in commercially focused companies and $40b in investment funds, according to Treasury.
      ________________________________________________________________________

      On the same day – 26 January 2011, other business leaders come out in support of ‘partial privatisation’ of state assets.
      ___________________________________________________________________________


      http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/business-supports-partial-privatisation-state-assets-nn-84414

      NZPA | Wednesday January 26, 2011 | 10 comments

      Business supports partial privatisation of state assets

      Phil O’Reilly

      Business leaders are optimistic that a government signal of plans to sell shares in several state-owned enterprises, while keeping a control of them, will be acceptable to voters.
      Prime Minister John Key said the Government has asked Treasury for advice on extending Air New Zealand’s mixed ownership model to Mighty River Power, Meridian, Genesis and Solid Energy.
      Advice has also been sought on reducing the Crown’s 74.69 percent shareholding in Air New Zealand, while still maintaining a majority stake.
      Business leaders today talked about the difference between partial privatisations and the privatisation of state business in the 1980s and 1990s. Mr Key said his Government was “interested in what works, not in following any particular ideology”.
      ________________________________________________________________________

       
      In contrast – Phil Goff slammed ‘partial privatisation’ as a ‘dumb idea’.
      ________________________________________________________________________

      Partial asset sales a dumb idea, says Labour
      http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/partial-asset-sales-dumb-idea-says-labour-4007707
      Published: 1:01PM Wednesday January 26, 2011 Source: ONE News
      Source: ONE News

      Watch Video

      Key points to partial asset sales (3:32)

      Related

      Key points to partial asset sales watch
      Key talks asset sales, savings and cost cutting (8:09)
      John Key’s full speech: ‘Our economic challenge’ – video (23:40)

      Labour says hocking off the family silver to “foreign pixies” has been tried before and failed, and “won’t work now”.
      Responding to a speech by Prime Minister John Key today in which he indicated the government is looking at partial asset sales, Labour’s SOE spokesman Clayton Cosgrove said talk of the partial privatisation of New Zealand’s biggest power companies shows Key’s lack of vision.
      “They’ve done it before. It didn’t work then though we were promised we would be better off. And it won’t work now,” said Cosgrove. “It’s a dumb idea.”
      Cosgrove said the enterprises have a combined value of $11.75 billion and earn Kiwis $700 million a year.
      “If John Key’s economic plan consists of hocking off the family silver to the foreign pixies from whom he’s also borrowing $120 million a week to give tax cuts to the rich, then he’s living in a fantasy land.”
      Key said in his State of the Nation speech today that the mixed-ownership model under which Air New Zealand operates – where the government owns most of the company but there is a minority of outside equity – gives the best of both worlds.
      The government has asked Treasury for advice on the viability of extending the mixed ownership model to Mighty River Power, Meridian, Genesis and Solid Energy, Key said.
      But Labour Party leader Phil Goff believes New Zealanders will face higher power prices and cuts to essential services like schools and hospitals under Key’s plan.
      “This isn’t an economic plan. It’s a recipe for disaster. Hocking off our assets to foreign buyers and slashing spending is vintage National,” he said.
      “Mums and dads don’t have spare cash floating around to buy up shares,” Goff said.
      He said low and middle income New Zealanders have been stung by the GST hike and now will face cuts to health and education while “paying through the nose to heat their homes once National sells off our power companies to foreign investors”.
      The Green Party said Key’s announcement indicates a swing to the right which will damage the economy long-term and hurt ordinary New Zealanders.
      “The gloves are coming off. John Key’s speech…signals National’s plan to privatise state assets in the next term,” said co-leader Russel Norman.
      “Selling state assets to foreign corporations, which will inevitably happen under this plan, will drive up the current account deficit, send profits overseas and drive up costs for Kiwis.
      “Our current budget deficit has been created by the government’s tax cuts and poor quality spending. John Key is now using his mismanagement of the economy as an excuse to sell public assets and cut important social and environmental spending,” added Norman.
      Norman said New Zealand needs state assets to drive innovation and investment.
      “If the government wants to create opportunities for Kiwi investors then it should look into State Owned Enterprises issuing investment bonds. This is a much better option than selling off the assets.”
      More problems than answers
      The Council of Trade Unions says partial privatisation plans will do little to address debt problems and will cause more problems than they solve.
      “Inevitably we will see more of the bad behaviour of the private electricity companies and the commercially focussed SOEs intensify, with more price rises, reluctance to invest in new generating capacity, and reluctance to invest in a secure supply,” CTU economist Bill Rosenberg said.
      “The partial sale would hardly dent the government’s debt but at a significant cost to the effectiveness of New Zealand’s infrastructure. Most of the shares will end up overseas owned, increasing New Zealand’s overseas liabilities. It just moves public debt to private debt.”
      And Rosenberg said the announcement of a further cut in the government operating allowance is small in terms of debt levels but will put pressure on government services like health and education.
      “If we want to provide investment opportunities to the public, Kiwi infrastructure bonds could be offered that the government uses for development purposes.”
      Exciting news
      The Employers & Manufacturers Association said trading up state assets “into even more valuable assets” is exciting news.
      “This is the opposite of selling the family silver,” said chief executive, Alasdair Thompson.
      “This is about realising the value from part of certain state assets and using the funds released to invest in even more valuable state assets.”
      Thompson said the association is calling for an Investment Development Fund dedicated to infrastructure into which proceeds from asset sales would be channelled for Kiwis to invest in.
      “This would allow us to develop our country using much more of our own money instead of borrowing it from foreigners,” he said.
      Realistic policy
      BusinessNZ is welcoming the focus on investment in the Prime Minister’s state of the nation speech.
      Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly said allowing New Zealanders to invest directly in a changed mix of state owned assets is a policy that is both progressive and moderate.
      “Broadening the pool of investment opportunities for New Zealand families is a key step towards a more vibrant economy.
      “Greater involvement by more stakeholders also fosters accountability and better performance.”
      O’Reilly said the timeframe for the policy is measured and gives a good amount of time for public discussion.
      “With broad public support and constructive participation by other political parties this policy has the potential to achieve widespread acceptance,” O’Reilly said.
      _________________________________________________________________________
      Campaigning on opposition to asset sales works for Phil Goff and Labour in the Botany by-election, while support for ‘partial privatisation’ / assets sales appeared to be an electoral disaster for John Key / National, as over 9000 (former?) National Party voters stay home.
      Interesting how the NZ Herald’s CHIEF Political Reporter’s analysis of the only poll that really matters – an ELECTION result – in this case the recent Botany by-election, plus the election result itself, somewhat differs from these latest ‘opinion’ polls?
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10710626
      Botany byelection loss holds silver lining for Labour Party
      By John Armstrong
      5:30 AM Monday Mar 7, 2011
      At last, Phil Goff has something to smile about.
      Exactly why the Labour leader is smiling might not seem immediately obvious given that National’s Jami-Lee Ross won Saturday’s Botany byelection in a canter, securing almost double the number of votes of his Labour counterpart.
      The answer is that everything is relative in politics. Labour did better than it hoped. National did not fare as well as it would have expected.
      ……………………..”
      ____________________________________________________________________
      Of course, as arguably proven in the 2008 general election, the way ‘democracy’ works in NZ, is that the public majority get the Government that the majority of big business want us to have – and this is achieved through corporate media manipulation.
      Big business want ‘partial privatisation’ of state assets, especially electricity SOEs.
      John Key /National support  ‘partial privatisation’ of state assets, especially electricity SOEs.
      Phil Goff/Labour think ‘ ‘partial privatisation’ of state assets, especially electricity SOEs.
      is a ‘dumb idea’.
      Arguably the Botany by-election result proves this?
      (Over 9000 former? National party voters – DON’T.
      Did ‘the polls’ predict this?
      DID THEY?
      Corporate media campaign begins to try and undermine Labour and Labour’s leader, Phil Goff……………..
      ‘Polls’ like the one commented on today, arguably are used to keep the anti-Labour Party ‘beat-up’ going.
      I predict a lot more ‘beat ups’ to come.
      (Evidence to back up what I am saying is available on my blog:
      http://waterpressure.wordpress.com
      It seems that asset sales, especially of electricity assets, is HUGELY unpopular, and despite (shonky?) John Key’s best efforts to make this political ‘goat sh*t’ smell like honey – significant numbers of voters haven’t had a collective frontal lobotomy.
      We have learned that what groups like the NZ Business Round Table are advocating, isn’t usually in the best interests of the majority of the NZ public.
      Big business interests support ‘partial privatisation’, John Key/ National supports ‘partial privatisation’ (oops! the ‘mixed ownership’ model’.
      Phil Goff/Labour thinks ‘partial privatisation is a ‘dumb idea’ – apparently so too do significant numbers of the general public.
      Big business /National carry out a concerted corporate media campaign to help undermine Phil Goff/ Labour?
      Darren Hughes / Phil Goff’s ‘handling’ of the Darren Hughes matter / Damien O’Connor’s ‘undisciplined’ comments/ the PNth intersection anti-asset sale picket ‘beat up’ …. etc.
      I confidently predict that there will be constant ‘picking’ / ‘beat ups’ all through this election campaign, to attempt to undermine support for the main political party – Labour – which opposes what the majority of big business openly want – more privatisation of key public assets.
      Where did we see this before?
      Oh yes, before the 2008 election with the campaign to discredit and undermine Winston Peters and NZ First, so that they wouldn’t make the 5% party vote threshold.
      The aim?
      For National to get enough votes to govern alone.
      Want to see the FACTS and EVIDENCE that I have researched to support my considered opinion?
      http://waterpressure.wordpress.com
      DON’T BUY INTO THE CORPORATE MEDIA CAMPAIGN TO UNDERMINE PHIL GOFF AND LABOUR – is my opinion, and you can see by the evidence that I have provided – that it is ‘considered’.

      HAPPY EASTER! 🙂

      Penny
       
       

      • PeteG 7.2.1

        I would take all Easter to read that, and I have other things I’d prefer to do.

        • Penny Bright 7.2.1.1

          Don’t like reading FACTS that don’t support you arguably not-so-considered opinion Pete G?
          Not a good look.
          Presumably you don’t buy newspapers – if it would take you four days to read about four A4 pages?
          Ever considered a remedial reading class – you poor thing?
          Or are you suffering from the affliction known as ‘willful blindness’ perhaps?
          There you go folks!
          Arguably evidence from Pete G that I am right on target with my analysis?
          😉
          Thanks for that Pete G!
          You have a LOVELY Easter!
          You’ve certainly helped make mine!
          🙂
          Penny Bright
          http://waterpressure.wordpress.com
           

        • MrSmith 7.2.1.2

          No thats right pete you would rather waste our time posting right wing propaganda , Piss off pete. NO ASSET SALES

        • Anne 7.2.1.3

          Ok Pete – read this

          NO ASSET SALES

          • PeteG 7.2.1.3.1

            Ok Anne, read this:
            LET THE VOTERS DECIDE ON WHAT’S ON OFFER
            (and polls might give you a wee pointer)

            • Penny Bright 7.2.1.3.1.1

              Ok Anne, read this:
              LET THE VOTERS DECIDE ON WHAT’S ON OFFER
              (and polls might give you a wee pointer)”
              But Pete G – how do the voting public KNOW what National actually have on offer regarding asset sales?
              When are the National Party going to swing into their campaign?
              “SUPPORT ASSET SALES!
              VOTE NATIONAL!”
              (I SO want to see a photo opportunity with Prime Minister John Key standing next to THAT election hoarding!
              I have yet to see ONE sign, ANYWHERE, ‘front-footing’ National’s support for ‘partial privatisation’ oops! ‘mixed ownership’ policy for SOE’s – especially electricity SOEs.
              Why on EARTH is this?
              I’m thinking of getting another  stencil made for my Howick by-election campaign – with a stop sign on it –   with the word “STOP” in the middle of it – then ‘ASSET SALES!’ across the corflute.
              Then getting them up on as many major intersection fences as possible in the Howick Ward.
              RIGHT NEXT TO MAJOR ROADS ALL OVER THE HOWICK WARD
              (if I can! 🙂
              Eeeek!
              I wouldn’t be breaking the law would I???
              (yawn……….. )
              Of course, the LAW that entitled citizens to a binding poll on the Auckland $upercity, was ‘blitzkreiged’ railroaded over, when National lied about consulting with Aucklanders once the findings of the Royal Commission were known.
              But that sort of minor thing pales into insignificance compared with the potential road hazard of election signs saying
              “STOP ASSET SALES – VOTE LABOUR”
              (yawn………………….)
              That’s why another of the stencils I intend to get made is one which says:
              “$UPERCITY = SUPER RIPOFF!”
              Last but not least, will be the stencil which puts forward the solution to the 4.9% rates increase being proposed by the Auckland Council:
              “CUT OUT THE CONTRACTORS!”
              (Anyone living in the Howick Ward who would like any such signs on their fence – preferably on the busier streets – please contact me:
              Penny Bright
              [email deleted]
              http://waterpressure.wordpress.com
               

            • KINTO 7.2.1.3.1.2

              How about National stops lying then?

      • higherstandard 7.2.2

        Fuck and this mad sack of shit is a city councillor…… no longer the city of sails we must rename it the city of moonbats.

        • The Voice of Reason 7.2.2.1

          PeteG is a councillor? Well, I suppose if George Bush can get to be president, it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise that our own comprehension challenged contributor should make it to public office.

        • Penny Bright 7.2.2.2

          higherstandard
          errr……….. think you need to apply a .higher standard to your research (ok – I use the term lightly:) – ‘higherstandard’?
          My name is Penny Bright.
          I am not currently an Auckland Coucillor – or I wouldn’t be standing for election (dork! 🙂
          The Deputy Mayor of the Auckland Council is Penny Hulse, and an Auckland  Councillor from Rodney is Penny Webster.
          So – you appear to have perhaps been a bit confused?
          Imagine THAT!
          If I do get elected to the Auckland Council – there will be THREE ‘Penny’s!
          Of course – I will be the only one leading a ‘partial  RATE$ REVOLT’ against the proposed 4.9% rates increase, calling for the ‘consultants and private contractors’ to be ‘cut out’ and core Council services to be returned to ‘in-house’ Council provision – Council Works Departments – that sort of thing…………..
          I look forward to your vote – if you live in the Howick Ward (Not so) Higher Standard!
          I mean – you don’t want YOUR rates going up 4.9% – do you?
          Penny BRIGHT
          http://waterpressure.wordpress.com



    • Specific asset sales may or may not be advisable, but there should be nothing wrong with examining the pros and cons and not just jumping to a slogan

      So, presumably, you’d agree with the following:

      “Specific re-nationalisations [post 2011 election] may or may not be advisable, but there should be nothing wrong with examining the pros and cons and not just jumping to a slogan” 

      If you disagree, then is that because you are “jumping to a slogan”? 

      If you agree, I’d be interested in hearing the sorts of re-nationalisations you’d quite like to see considered.

      • PeteG 7.3.1

        If it is deemed as possibly in the national interest then yes, why not put it under suitable scrutiny. I can’t think of anything now that would seem necessary, and there aren’t many others that seem to be suggesting anything right now that I can think of.
         
        The re-nationalisation of Air NZ was a reasonable (and successful) exercise, I thought that was fine.
         
        Different but similar – I supported the establishment of KiwiBank, I don’t see any good reason to privatise it, I’d probably speak strongly against any moves to privatise it   – and I do most of my banking with KiwiBank.
         
         

        • Bazar 7.3.1.1

          I believe the argument with kiwibank is that it was growing too quickly and needs more capital or it’ll start running into trouble.

          So the government i think has about the following options:
          1. Invest money into kiwibank, which is simply a case of borrowing more international money to invest in the bank. That won’t be popular as i can just see the smear campaigns over it and the cost-cutting policies they have.
          2. Don’t invest money into KB. The result is that it’ll become less and less stable or be forced to stop accepting customers.
          3. get outside investors in to inject capital. This results in diluting the ownership by the government
          4. sell it off to private investors and get them to inject capital.
           
          At least that’s my understanding. If someone wants to voice an opinion about how it’s a money grab. Back it up with a citation or facts. Don’t just ignore the problems it’ll be facing and answer with “no asset sales” like a stupid child.

  8. ianmac 8

    It was so kind of David Farrar and other righties to give publicity to the Stop the Asset Sales Campaign. Perhaps they are secretly opposed to the sale of assets but can’t be seen to be, so by making a fuss – … Oh you know what I mean.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      There will be many old fashioned true Tory conservatives (not the rabid neolib kind running the party now) who hate the idea of asset sales with a passion.
       
       

      • Penny Bright 8.1.1

        Yep!
        Looks like there were about 9000 of the ‘true Tory conservatives (not the rabid neolib kind running the party now) who hate the idea of asset sales with a passion’ who chose to stay home and not vote during the Botany by-election.
        Despite both ‘Mr Popular’ shonky corporate raider John Key, and young (albeit capable) young National Party hack – Jami-Lee Ross, BEGGING National Party supporters to please get out and vote – more did not than did.
        Former National Party MP Pansy Wong – who left under a cloud of corruption allegations – in 2008 got over 17,000 electorate votes in Botany.
        Her replacement – Jami-Lee Ross – got just over 8000 votes in a 36% turnout.
        Extrapolate THOSE figures over NZ (as the National spin doctors must have done).
        EEEK!
        Oh bugger!
        Despite the masterful packaging of the (current) corporate raider shonky National Prime Minister John Key, into someone who pretends to give a sh*t about ordinary people – he has NOT managed to turn political ‘goat shit’ (asset sale$) into honey.
        In my considered opinion, as a former Botany by-election candidate, campaigning ON THE ISSUES – works.
        I only got 124 votes myself – but the issues I raised – in my opinion, helped with the 9000 (former?) National Party voter  ‘no show’.
        THAT result I was absolutely THRILLED with! 🙂
        PS: To whom will the disaffected (former?) National Party vote go?
        Word on the ground (in Botany anyway) is NZ First.
        EEEEEEEEK!
        cried the National Party  corporate spin doctors, as they racheted up their campaign to discredit the Labour Party and Phil Goff into TURBODRIVE!
        As they continued to pick and snipe at Winston Peters and NZ First while they were at it………..
        Mark my words – there will be LOT more of this ‘pickiness’ and making a huge fuss out of nothing – they are DESPERATE, now they know how the public majority HATES  privatisation /asset sales.
        BEWARE!  Desperate people do desperate things – don’t get sucked into their ‘spin’ machine…………..
        Penny Bright
        http://waterpressure.wordpress.com
         
         

      • Mac1 8.1.2

        Grey Power policy opposes the privatisation of state assets such as energy and the SOEs, by any party.

  9. seeker 9

    Thanks for ‘Easter Reading’ Penny – have been meaning to collate such facts and evidence for a long time now. You have done it for me, for the most part. I now have a well stocked arsenal of info.to draw upon when trying to give sight/insight  to those who have been blind sided by National.
    Thanks too to Carol for the not too widely publicised words of David Cunliffe over the last few days. I can use these as a reference when trying to encourage  those who have lost hope in surviving at all in New Zealand over the last two disasterous years of ‘having no idea except to cut and suppress all so we can have our own way for us and our business mates‘ government.

    This  type of info.is necessary to see that there is real hope  for New Zealand and its people  to flourish and prosper as opposed to the false hope that J.Key, I think, knowingly gave to New Zealand. I think this especially after rewatching the Smiling Assassin video clips and hearing somewhere on them that money traders are told by their banks to get their clients to trust them and then exploit them! Yuck.

  10. burt 10

    Just ignore the warnings that putting up the signs may be illegal and do it anyway. Claim the ref made a bad call and use parliament to kill off any court cases you get involved in. Total contempt for the law – the Labour way!

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