A vote for Key is a vote for asset sales

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 pm, November 25th, 2011 - 66 comments
Categories: election 2011, privatisation - Tags:

76% of Kiwis are against National’s plan for selling our assets. We know it just doesn’t make sense. We know privatisation leads to higher prices, under-investment, asset-stripping, and profits going overseas rather than into public services. Make no mistake: the only way to stop asset sales is to vote Green, Mana, Labour, or New Zealand First.

The Nats will abandon asset sales if they lose (another) election over them. This is our chance to win this battle once and for all.

66 comments on “A vote for Key is a vote for asset sales”

  1. Scott 1

    Let’s just hope Kiwis in 2011 are smarter than the were Yanks in 2004!

    The wage earners shouldn’t be frightened into voting against their own self interests.

  2. ianmac 2

    As John Key says. ” I wouldn’t go along with that. You see it depends on the question. Do you want to see that Assets sold is the wrong question. The question should be do you want us to get 7 billion dollars to spend on schools, hospitals, roads, irrigation for dairy farmers babies, railways and better coffee. Then the answer would be quite different don’t you see?”
    Key has actually said this when confronted with the 70-80% against sales.

    • Scott 2.1

      I still remember what a balls up the privatizations of NZ Rail and Air NZ were.

      The asset stripped companies had to be purchased by the long suffering taxpayer and at the tax payer’s expense rehabilitated. A 4 million dollar golden handshake went to the corrupt so-and-so that flew Air NZ into the deck. Most incompetent employees just get the sack.

      And you torries wonder why 67% are against privatization?

      Maybe people are just tired of being screwed.

      The best outcome for this election would be a complete rebuke of Rogernomics with the burying of the party he spawned and his neo-liberal methodology (i.e. – asset sales).

    • Tom Gould 2.2

      Bumped into one of the big Tories in Glengarry. He was buying boxes of Bollinger. Already counting the money a Tory win will make him. There was certainly an air of ‘aspiration’ about him.

  3. Treetop 3

    Key rescued SCF for his own reasons:
    To possibly sell it off.
    To pacify Nact voters.
    To make Nact a sole creditor.

    All of the above, but in particular when it came to being a sole creditor this was about having the full control over the assets.

    Key maintains that without making itself the sole creditor to SCF, the Government “would be in a posistion of being the 800 – pound gorilla who would have to take marching orders from a mouse.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/rural-property/news/article.cfm?c_id=81&objectid=10676751

    Selling 49% of four energy companies and Air NZ shares will put a 800 pound gorilla into four energy companies and Air NZ.

    What exactly is Nacts true intention from day one concerning SCF?

    Had Key not got away with bailing out SCF (I think he was too hasty and Hubbard knew this) would Key have been so bold to propose selling off profitable energy shares and Air NZ shares?

    • anne 3.1

      What is interesting with scf,english and key took 6 companies, just recently, off the recievers(who were surprised by this action) and put them into crown ownership,English also changed the terms and conditions of the retail guarantee scheme to allow scf investors in,had a meeting just before the collapse and told them they now had the benefit of a crown guarantee,a rush of deposits and english sat on his hands,corruption,YES.

  4. queenstfarmer 4

    76% of Kiwis are against National’s plan for selling our assets

    Source? From what I’ve seen, polls show most Kiwis are against privatising assets, which neither National nor Labour will do.

      • queenstfarmer 4.1.1

        I guess that is the source for Eddie’s comment. However the article says:

        “The New Zealand Study of Values Survey 2011 showed 75.9 per cent of respondents were against “the Government selling off major assets”.

        Which is not the same as Eddie’s assertion that “76% of Kiwis are against National’s plan for selling our assets”.

        Is there a link to the survey itself, so we can see whether there is fuller wording that may make Eddie’s claim correct?

        • Dean 4.1.1.1

          Sorry, what are you saying is materially different between:

          “75.9 per cent of respondents were against “the Government selling off major assets”

          “76% of Kiwis are against National’s plan for selling our assets”

          ?

    • Lanthanide 4.2

      Here we go again, with your weird sophistry that selling shares in a public company to private individuals is somehow not privatisation.

      • queenstfarmer 4.2.1

        I think it is important to be precise and correct on this matter, especially given the extreme level of ignorance and wild inaccuracy made by many people on this site about asset sales / share sales / privatisation. Even Phil Goff routinely makes false and contradictory claims about the partial sales, although that may be for reasons other than ignorance or simple error. So perhaps some people prefer to avoid precision and accuracy.

        • Ben 4.2.1.1

          John Key is the master of avoiding precision and accuracy.

        • Lanthanide 4.2.1.2

          It is precise and accurate to say that when something goes from public ownership, to private ownership, it has been privitised.

          Whether that “something” is 49% or 100% of a company, that “something” has been privatised.

          • queenstfarmer 4.2.1.2.1

            Right, and in this case the “something” going into private ownership is the 49% of shares being sold down. So, as I have said before, 49% of shares could be said to be privatised (although that would be an unusual way to describe such a process). 51% of shares, representing the majority stake in the assets, are not. Which means that the company has not been privatised – it has been partially privatised, which is of course in this case very different from if it had been privatised, because here the Govt retains control of the company and the majority of the dividends.

            • Lanthanide 4.2.1.2.1.1

              “Partial privatisation” is “privatisation”. You can tell by the way it has the word “privatisation” in it.

              Just like a “death sentence” is a “sentence”.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.3

          No, you think it is important to confuse people over this issue.

          The government is promising to sell our assets which the majority don’t want to happen. Simple.

    • Bazar 4.3

      I think you need to take a more objective view of what’s happening, sounds like you’re living in denial.

      The government wants to start selling assets, and denying that fact is being stupid.
      I’d prefer it not be called selling assets as that’s too simple a term, but i rather like it called something along the lines of entering in to a public-private partnership.

      But that’s just not as catchy as “Selling assets”, even if it does represent the issue at hand better.

      There are pros and cons of a ppp, but most of that information has been glossed over with rhetoric and inaccurate figures by labour, and potentially withheld by national. I think its an issue poorly understood by the vast bulk of voters, and even if it is well understood, its not a clear case of being a wise choice for the future.

      All that said, i’m willing to go along with the asset sales, i think in whole they are a benefit to NZ, but the real test is where NZ will be in 15-20 years later as a result.

      And while i’m here, i’ll be looking forward to this site posting an article about how “A vote for Goff is a vote for no retirement”, explaining how 62.2% are opposed to working longer under labours increased retirement age.
      Because this site is such a bastion of unbiased and factually accurate reporting, i’m sure it’ll be up here any minute now…

      • Draco T Bastard 4.3.1

        All that said, i’m willing to go along with the asset sales, i think in whole they are a benefit to NZ, but the real test is where NZ will be in 15-20 years later as a result.

        Oh, that’s easy, as a result of the asset sales that National has planned, in 15-20 years we’ll be worse off. Same as we’re worse off after all the other asset sales took place.

      • Reality Bytes 4.3.2

        Selling assets is a pretty accurate assessment of it, PPP is just a different way of saying the same thing.

        It’s just jargon and spin either way, the reality of what happens does not change in spite of how you choose to illustrate it.

        Asset sales/PPP have a real effect. It’s that effect that deserves consideration when we pick our sides and what long-term goals we support.

      • mik e 4.3.3

        zar the retirement age will go up to seventy with lost dividends all four energy co’s are expected to return nearly $1.2 billion next year because of one off losses this year with pike river and CHCH quake cutting their profit in half and then Merdian energy had a $103 million derivative loss future trade loss to Tiwai smelter effectively giving away power to Tiwai.Genises was forced to give up $ 700 million in capital to National govt so it could make its books look better.

        Kiwisaver still kicks in at 65 allowing those who have saved encouraging those who aren’t and under labour will be compulsory so when I retire i won’t have rely on you to pay my super.

  5. randal 5

    okay then so if they dont sell the assets kweewee has promised 170,000 new jobs by next year.
    are we about to see the first of the modern miracles?

    • Rob 5.1

      Not that you would actually care but we are trying to find five. Finally after almost 4 years our sales velocity is getting stronger, there is pressure on our manufacturing and our retailers are slightly more positive.

      So how do we feel, better than we did a few months ago which is something we havn’t felt in long while.

      So Randal, how do you influence job growth and employ young people or do you just sit on your erse and bitch.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    Lets accept the premise of this article, that 76% don’t want asset sales.

    Then, given that National is still polling 50% and Labour are in the mid 20’s, if people hate asset sales as much as you say, don’t the polls indicate that they must hate Labour more?

    • anne 6.1

      It aint over til its over,even a boxer doesn’t give up after the first hit.

    • Lanthanide 6.2

      Because a lot of people are idiots and think that Key will back down on his asset sales agenda, like they backed down on mining schedule 4 land.

  7. anne 7

    Goff has said on his bus tour this morning that key has said that if key gets a majority and can govern alone then the whole of the assets will be sold and not the 49%,this is serious,and cannot be allowed to happen,we have to make sure that every labour voter gets out to vote tomorrow,all hands to the tiller,so to speak.

    • alwyn 7.1

      All that shows is that Phil will say anything. Whatever else you may care to say about Key he has stuck to his word that there would be no asset sales without a mandate. He is now going for a mandate to sell a minority of the shares and retain a controlling, majority, interest.
      Given his record, and comparing it with PG’s, I prefer to believe Key. Phil has had far to many times been caught out in outright lies.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Whatever else you may care to say about Key he has stuck to his word that there would be no asset sales without a mandate

        LOL that’s yet to be proven.

        I prefer to believe Key. Phil has had far to many times been caught out in outright lies.

        Repeat after John Key.

        There will be no GST increase.
        There will be no GST increase.
        There will be no GST increase.

        Also Key saying the ratings agency said a Labour Govt would be more likely to get downgraded and they said publicly “nah, never said anything like it”.

        • alwyn 7.1.1.1

          Come on. Key said it before the last election and he stuck to it. Will it always be so? God knows and God isn’t talking.
          You cannot predict the future and you know it. One can only go on the past record and Key’s is a lot better than Phils.
          Phil is pretty well discredited. He claimed that Brash said that the nuclear ships policy would be gone by lunchtime. The Wikileaks cables showed that nobody else heard that. He also claimed that he had never been briefed by the head of the SIS on the Israeli agent issue. That was shown to be a lie. He then claimed that there would be no Police intakes in 2012. That was also shown to be false.
          Why should I believe anything he says now?

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2

        Given his record, and comparing it with PG’s, I prefer to believe Key.

        I’ll point you to this video again.

        If you still choose to believe Key it’s because you’re being wilfully blind.

  8. Craig Glen Eden 8

    You raise a interesting point ts their is a definite disconnect, I have been out this morning talking to voters. Labours policies are defiantly more popular than Nationals eg people dont want any assets sales but having said that they still dont know who they are going to vote for some think Key is a nice guy others are saying we realize we cant trust him but its difficult for some people to say they will vote Labour. I think many voters will stay at home, some will literally make the decision in the booth.

  9. gingercrush 9

    Can I ask an opinion of left-wing voters. Do you think Labour has focused its campaign too much on Asset Sales at the expense of other left-wing policy?

    • anne 9.1

      Every political party has a benchmark policy, a non negotiable policy,no asset sales are labours,other policies are branches and in coalition deals can be tweeked within labours
      ideals and expectations.That is in the realms of a democracy.

    • Enough is Enough 9.2

      Ginger

      Yes. I have thought that for a long time. Labour had their Stop signs out at least six months ago. The sale policy is unpopular but it was clear a long time ago that voters were not going to swing in behind Labour because of it.

      I commented yesterday that I thought Labour needed a better message that connected. Something that is personal to middle New Zealand voters. A message like “Are you better off than you were three years ago”. Something personal and directed at each voter that would make them realise that National has made things worse for them.

      It is too late. I waved the white flag about two weeks ago. I will be ticking the Green party vote box tomorrow as I believe in their policies and feel they have run are more rounded campaign over all.

      A strong Green party in opposition will be a good thing. It will really force Labours arm as well.

    • I think they have focussed far too much on one negative policy ie stopping something, especially when mixed model part sales are only a small part of the whole economy – and it was the ecnomoy and the running of it that concerned most people.

      The problem was their other main policies didn’t help promote their fiscal aptitude:
      – less income tax = less revenue
      – less GST = less revenue
      – CGT is far to slow to bring in revenue, our economic problems are right now

    • Lanthanide 9.4

      I think there are 2 policies that have done Labour in:
      1. Borrowing to invest in the Cullen Fund
      2. Extending WFF to beneficiaries

      I can’t understand why Labour advocated both of these, especially the 2nd one (PR nightmare right there) given the campaign National has been running about Labour being fiscally irresponsible.

      I think if they hadn’t run those policies, they’d probably still be over 30% in the polls (they were for a while, but declined after these announcements) and the No Asset Sales would be getting more traction.

      Right now we’re in a position where so many people don’t want asset sales, but Labour’s other policies are a serious turn off also.

      • mik e 9.4.1

        labour aren’t borrowing to invest in the Cullen fund they are not going to start funding the Cullen fund till 2014 when the budget is supposed to return to surplus

    • Fermionic Interference 9.5

      I don’t think so GC, as the poll states 76% of NZers are against asset sales surely this move on behalf of Labour is to target getting onside (again) with the greatest number of NZers possible.
      Labour doesn’t have a smiley celebrity fronting their campaign and they don’t really have such a feature in their stocks (personally I think this is a good thing presidential vote for the face politics would be path for NZ to fall into).
      In the rare occasion I have talked to people outside family about politics this year the avowed National supporters I’ve spoken to said that they liked Key but really didn’t like asset sales and then followed media attack lines toward Goff regarding how he wasn’t prominent enough basically straight from the headline and that was the depth of it.

      In return can I ask how you feel about the lack of detail in the National and Act policies and this years budget. (although Act tends to have a touch more detail than National currently surprisingly enough)
      Is it enough to have aspirations for the country but no plan to get there? other than a continued leveling of the market playing field? and huge goals for dairy export increases?

      • gingercrush 9.5.1

        [quote]In return can I ask how you feel about the lack of detail in the National and Act policies and this years budget. (although Act tends to have a touch more detail than National currently surprisingly enough)
        Is it enough to have aspirations for the country but no plan to get there? other than a continued leveling of the market playing field? and huge goals for dairy export increases?[/quote]

        I hate it to be honest. I found it frustrating in 2008 and thought they would have done something about it after the election. I think its one of their biggest problems. Its so easy to attack National because of how lacking in details they really are. This site has done it all the time and its one of the points Goff has been strong on as well. National is simply too conservative and been too scared. If Labour wins this year or 2014 or even 2018. What is the legacy National has left the country. At the moment there is nothing like what Labour achieved. They’ve still got WFF, Kiwisaver, Interest Free Student Loans and the Cullen Fund. Long lasting legacies that National essentially cannot remove. They may tinker but they can’t remove it. I guess National can point to GST. But that tax switch will only be effective in great economic times. At the moment it really does nothing. If they win 2014. They might have Asset Sales. Not sure that is an astounding legacy to leave.

        • Fermionic Interference 9.5.1.1

          So would you prefer to see a rise in the conservatives GC and have the current Nats head to become more of an act type party unless they get some new ideas and the ability to have and make a plan for the future of NZ.

          The disingenuous nature (from how I see it) of how the facade of policy shown by National they have used rhetoric and fear to attempt and in many cases succeed in swaying the voters of NZ.
          For example their education platform and policy has been probably their best in terms of planning but the way it has been pushed through is with fear for parents that their kids will fail and all this despite the evidence of other countries experience with similar policy having a negative effect on education.

          Surely they could have created some policy in 9 years of opposition, that would make it’s own case on the strength of the benefits of the policy for NZ.

          On a simple economic basis how can asset sales stack up? If the asset is profitable enough for someone to want to invest in it why on earth would you sell it? if the asset is not profitable who the hell would buy it?

          Then to push for the asset sale because it expands the NZX and you will pay off debt.
          But no this is followed by plans to use the money to pay for running costs of other sectors of the government’s role is just daft. This is ignoring the fact that a number of NZ entrepreneurs cannot get access to investment or enough investment to get their product/invention off the ground.

  10. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10

    Phil Goff voted to sell state assets in 2002.

    • alwyn 10.1

      That is being a bit too general. He, in a Cabinet committee, voted to sell 25% of Air New Zealand to Qantas. Luckily the Commerce Commision refused to allow it. I don’t think that in 2002 he voted to sell any other state owned shares in businesses. That was earlier in his career.

    • mik e 10.2

      bullshit Air New Zealand was a private company in 2002 not a state owned asset

      • alwyn 10.2.1

        Technically you are correct, if you regard the Government owning 80+ percent as not being an SOE The Government did not own ALL the shares. However in 2001 the Government had bought new shares in the airline which gave it, if memory serves me correctly, about 83% of the shares. This was later reduced to about 76% which it is today. It was, surprise, surprise, a controling interest owned by the Government with a minority private shareholding. Doesn’t that sound like what John Key is proposing?
        Phil was willing to allow Qantas to buy new shares which would give them a 25% stake in the airline and, obviously, reduce the Government stake.

  11. joe90 11

    Once bitten…..

    Powerco is the poster child for how things turn out when a public asset is flogged off.

    11 years from formation through to compulsory acquisition by offshore owners.

    April 1993: New Plymouth Energy (the electricity division of the New Plymouth District Council) merges with Taranaki Electricity (former Taranaki Electric Power Board) to become Taranaki Energy Limited

    November 2004: It is now moving to compulsorily acquire the remaining shares and remove Powerco from the New Zealand stock exchange

    .

    p

  12. Karl Sinclair 12

    I’VE BEEN INTERNALISING A REALLY REALLY COMPLICATED SITUATION IN MY HEAD

    I wonder what the life expectancy for the quintile income distribution of NZ for 2011 might look like if I extrapolate data (fudged) from the UK income v life expectancy study then creatively display it in terms of life years lost compared to the top 20% on income earners….

    After much philosophising and deliberation I have come to the insurmountable conclusion that:

    Being Poor Raaleee Raaaaleeee SUCKS the BIG KUMARA….

    Income per week Population Lives years lost
    Under $190 683,800 5,675,540
    $190 to $389 667,300 4,203,990
    $390 to $699 700,500 3,012,150
    $700 to $1,079 689,600 1,586,080
    $1,080 & over 690,100 N/A

    Note: no attempt has been made to conceal how cxxxp this data anaylsis may have been, unlike the Asset Sale Analysis by the Nats….

  13. sdm 13

    Ill be voting National because I have a child, who I dont want to saddle with debt for labour promises wee cant afford.

    • Lanthanide 13.1

      What promises would they be, sdm?

      If you look at Labour’s long-term projections, when we own our assets we’ll be in a better financial position in 10 years time, and still own the assets!

      If you’re talking about the cullen fund – superannuation has to be paid in the future. If you don’t want to invest now, you’ll just have to pay in the future.

    • Rodel 13.2

      To sdm It’s actually the opposite to what you think..but don’t let facts get n your way.

    • Colonial Viper 13.3

      Your child won’t have less debt, but it will find a country owned by foreigners busily whipping NZ serfs along in a few minimum wage jobs.

      You must find that appealing.

    • mik e 13.4

      sdm labour will pay down debt quicker and your kid will have a job cheaper education higher wages better health care kiwisaver will gaurantee less debt because he will fund his own retirement the govt won’t have to tax the rest of us to pay for rapidly growing retirement numbers. + Cullen fund will cover blow out. In reality you just like we johnny because he is a nice man.$400million in returns to the govt from asset sales will be going overseas like your child under National 100,000 gone in 3 years that figure will gather pace with National muddle policy program same as last time borrowing bill was in power he has only got 0.1 % per year growth in 5 years and borrowed $ 40 billion.
      Go ahead make my day vote for failed policy you might as well buy that ticket !
      some
      dumb
      mother

  14. Jester 14

    76% against asset sales and 50% supporting key.

    Does that mean that that 24% of people hate Labour more than asset sales?

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      It will be an interesting result tomorrow night.

      National less than 47% and it is stuffed.

  15. CnrJoe 15

    just got it
    he’s off once the hobbits out
    off on his jetski to hawaii

  16. freedom 16

    Jean Hubbard the widow of Alan Hubbard has just declared on TVOne Close Up that she will NOT be voting for John Key, Not voting for National as she admits she would have done.

    The largest gift can sometimes be the smallest gesture.

    • Tom Gould 16.1

      Does anyone have the mobile phone numbers for Rob Fyfe and his fellow Air New Zealand excutives, like Todd and Thompson and Luxton and the rest? We need them on a website somewhere, just in case they cancel any regoinal flights and the stranded passengers need a passing flight to drop by and pick them up. They say it is normal operating procedure for them, so lets make sure people know about it. Only fair really, to hold them to their word? They wouldn’t lie to us, would they?

  17. Rodel 17

    I see on the news that Americans have celebrated Thanksgiving.
    If Turkey loses tomorrow I’ll buy a turkey and throw my own thanksgiving party.
    Cheers

  18. PS 18

    Just watched Labour’s closing address on TV1. Innovative, clever, smart and easy to watch…Grant Duncan is brilliant and great input from Phil, Nanaia, and the three Davids.

    National’s closing address – a re-hash of their opening address!!!!!!!

    Enough said…

    • Reality Bytes 18.1

      Can someone please provide a link if possible?

      Not meaning to be lazy -I will look it up if no-one has it to hand- but just incase one of you has already has a link to it, cheers! 🙂

  19. A point to make about Pita Sharples stating that if National gets back into power, that the Maori Party will vote against asset sales.

    I’m glad to hear that, Mr Sharples.

    But it ain’t that simple.

    If National get back into power, with the Maori Party as their sole coalition partner, then National will assume it has Supply & Confidence.

    National will then ‘tack’ asset sales onto their first budget.

    If the Maori Party votes against asset sales, it will be ipso facto be voting against the government’s budget. This means that a National-led government no longer has Supply – one half of the Supply & Confidence equation required to govern.

    Once a government loses a Confidence vote, or, cannot pass Supply legislation – that usually results in a snap election.

    Think very carefully who you want to go into Coalition with, Mr Sharples and Ms Turia.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      Mp want state power asset shares to be sold to rich iwi.

      So they will vote for asset sales when the white man tells them to.

      • fmacskasy 19.1.1

        Oh, National’s supporters will just ‘love’ that, ‘Viper…

        • Colonial Viper 19.1.1.1

          The Mp would moan and bitch if some precious Maori taonga was being sold in to overseas ownership for cheap.

          Well our energy companies are this nation’s taonga. And the Mp are fine for it to be sold off overseas for cheap as long rich Iwi and the Maori-moneytocracy get a first cut as the shares fly out the door.

          That’s right Mp, just put your thumb print on to the corner of the paper that the white man is indicating to you and all will be well for your people.

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