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Air New Zealand sale starts tomorrow

Written By: - Date published: 4:40 pm, November 17th, 2013 - 293 comments
Categories: assets, bill english, national, privatisation, same old national - Tags:

air nz lotr planes

From the Herald:

The Government has confirmed plans to sell down its stake in Air New Zealand, with 20 per cent of the shares on sale from tomorrow.

The state owns 73 per cent of the national carrier, and plans to reduce that were tipped last week.

Finance Minister Bill English and State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall confirmed today the Government had started the process to sell 20 per cent of the shares, reducing its shareholding to about 53 per cent.

Mr English said the sale to New Zealand and some offshore institutions would start tomorrow via a bookbuild process.

“We expect the transaction to be completed by Tuesday evening.”

Twenty percent of Air New Zealand, worth $363 million at Friday’s price is being sold at a price per share of $1.65.

The timing of the announcement is interesting.  There will be no chance for Parliament to debate the matter until Tuesday afternoon and by then it should be too late.

You also have to wonder at the pace of the sale, occurring shortly after the Meridian Float.  It appears that the Government is in a real hurry to divest itself of the identified shares as soon as possible.  Three possible reasons spring to mind:

  1. The Government wants this done and dusted before the referendum is held.
  2. The country’s budget has a rather huge hole in it that needs to be funded by the selldown.
  3. The Government realises that defeat is likely next election and wants to sell as much of the country’s silverware as it can by then.

One thing is for sure.  There will be no ordinary mums and dads benefitting from this.  The shares are being offered via a book build to institutions and investors.

293 comments on “Air New Zealand sale starts tomorrow”

  1. Ad 1

    Five good reasons not to sell the public holding in Air New Zealand down to 51%:

    1. Selling any amount of a state-controlled asset is wrong

    2. The state is sending precisely the wrong message to a state-controlled company that has sought to exemplify sustainability companies more than any other state-controlled company

    3. We need more control over a service over which New Zealand is utterly reliant – not less; selling down to a bare majority provides only a bare minimum of control over a network without which we can’t operate in the world

    4. Because National will fuck up this asset sale and throw away our taxpayer value as it has all the others

    and;
    5. Because a large majority of directors on a board can actually sustain or change a corporate culture; a bare majority largely can’t.

  2. TheContrarian 2

    Yeah, what the fuck eh.

  3. gobsmacked 3

    More lies by Jonathan Coleman.

    He said 3 times on Thursday that no decision had been made. Now, it is of course possible that Key phoned English and Ryall on Friday/Saturday and said “you know them shares, let’s just flog ’em off now”. If so, we have a government that acts on a weekend whim, ignores Cabinet, doesn’t do due diligence, etc. Scary.

    But of course, that’s not what happened. They had already decided to sell, and Coleman was told to lie to Parliament – sorry, was “kept out of the loop.” That’s why National used a stand-in, not the Ministers themselves, who would be caught lying. OIA request time, you’d think.

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/business/qoa/50HansQ_20131114_00000002/2-air-new-zealand%E2%80%94potential-partial-sale

    • mickysavage 3.1

      Good point. I am sure that the OIAs are going to be checked really carefully to see if Coleman was telling the truth or not.

      • Hanswurst 3.1.1

        I don’t think it even needs to come down to whether Coleman was telling the truth. None of the scenarios in which this issue is examined can possibly look good for National. Either Coleman was misleading the house, Key and co. failed to prepare him properly for question time and thus (deliberately or indeliberately) hung him out to dry, or they made a hasty decision on the schedule for selling Air NZ. All of these look varying shades of shifty and stupid.

  4. millsy 4

    I really dont see the point of this. Private investors already have a stake in Air NZ, it is a very profitable company, etc and so on, the only real reason of this sale is to roll back public ownership of transport services and infrastructure.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      The only reason for state asset sales at all is to move control of the country into the hands of the rich and the corporations thereby making everybody else serfs.

      • Red Rosa 4.1.1

        +1

      • TightyRighty 4.1.2

        you only owed a days service to your lord as a serf. thanks to “progressive taxation” tax free day is what, late april now?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1.2.1

          Stop whining about having to obey the law, ingrate.

          • TightyRighty 4.1.2.1.1

            stop whining about National exercising their democratic mandate then.

            I wouldn’t mind so much, as long as everybody paid the same rate of tax. Rich, poor, all.

            • you_fool 4.1.2.1.1.1

              That could be considered if everyone paid their tax, rich poor, all

            • vto 4.1.2.1.1.2

              oh you mean like introduction of a capital gains tax for example? so that everyone who makes money, whether by way of income or capital, contributes? rather than just income?

              sounds good to me.

              • TightyRighty

                I’m cool with that. flat income tax, gst, capital gains tax. No loopholes, no disparity. just one rate of tax for all income and consumption. no family trust loopholes, no laqc’s.

                • Macro

                  “no disparity”
                  Bullshit!! The disparity lies in the ability to pay… But you would not understand that.

                  • TightyRighty

                    No it doesn’t.

                    • Lanthanide

                      You’re right, the disparity doesn’t lie in the ability to pay. After all, if you’ve earnt $1, there’s no reason you can’t pay 25c of it to the government in tax – you’ll still have 75c left. There’s no problem with the ability to pay.

                      The disparity lies in the ability to live a dignified life after having paid your tax.

                      Someone earning $500k per year paying 25% tax will have a much easier time of it than someone earning $10k a year paying 25% tax.

                      Of course you already know this and you just have some mental block that prevents you from understanding that regressive taxation is unfair.

                    • Macro

                      If you have only $1 and need to feed yourself – your ability to pay a quarter of that in tax is certainly a factor – as you correctly pointed out. Those on high incomes have little comprehension of this fact. In fact with 15% GST on food as well, the person receiving $1.00 income and paying 25c of that in income tax would end up paying 36.25% of their income in tax. Whereas the person earning $500k would pay a lot less proportionately.

                    • you_fool

                      Since we are a nation of caring people, after we have everyone paying a flat tax incl. CGT and no loopholes, of course we can have tax rebates for those who are unable to afford everyday things, like rent and food.

                      Let us say it is like this

                      35% flat tax, $0-$15k gets 100% in rebate, $15-$50k 50% rebate, 50k-75k 25% rebate, no rebate for income over $75k

                    • McFlock

                      How is a tiered rebate system different from a progressive taxation system?

                      Or is it just putting the cart before the horse?

                    • Lanthanide

                      McFlock – as far as implementation goes, it would appear to be worse than progressive taxation, because being a rebate by definition means you get the money back at a later point, rather than never having being charged it in the first place.

                      you_fool’s intentions are sound, but technically flawed.

                      The single best system is a flat tax system, so there’s no gaming involved, coupled with a flat government distribution to everyone, such that those earning no or little money end up with a negative tax rate (receive more back than they put in) and those earning the most pay effectively the full marginal rate.

                    • wtl

                      In order to work, a flat tax simply needs to be accompanied with a universal basic income. No need any complicated rebate systems or whatnot.

                    • Francis

                      Flat tax rate of 50% on all income, then a UBI for all citizens. That could work. And it’d cost much less in administration.

            • framu 4.1.2.1.1.3

              “stop whining about National exercising their democratic mandate then. ”

              what are you talking about?

              the mandate to govern or the “mandate” to shove policy through without debate, voting, select commitee input, referenda… you know all the usual steps that a policy has to go through in a democratic state

              If simply by winning the election you get this magic mandate to enact every policy you announced during the campaign then why do the exact same policies have to go through the democratic process and exactly why are we paying for an opposition?

              please explain

              • TightyRighty

                people “vote” for you based on their personal preference for how they think your policies will affect the country. if you get enough of these “votes” you get to form, either by yourself or with other people who received enough “votes”, a government. This gives you the right to govern and control of the treasury benches. there are these things called state assets that are in effect controlled by those people who control the treasury benches. as they are their by popular acclaim, and if selling the assets is an explicit policy, then they can choose to accept “offers” of “money” for the assets.

                geddit?

                • framu

                  Yeah i know how people get voted in – that wasnt the question was it

                  “This gives you the right to govern and control of the treasury benches” – thats right, but that doesnt answer the question does it. (And its actually supporting my viewpoint)

                  The policy still had to be debated, public input sought (if were lucky), voted on, made open to referenda etc etc doesnt it

                  so this time actually answer the question – if an electoral mandate means that the policy gets enacted regardless (which is what the “but they won the election” argument is pushing) then why is it subject to standard democratic process?

                  it cant be both enacted due to election result AND debated and voted on

                  which is it?!

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                How does this wingnut mini-mandate work again?

                1. If you are the largest minority you get to dictate to everyone else.
                2. If you say you won’t raise GST you still have a mandate to raise GST.
                3. You also have a mandate for anything you said you’d do and,
                4. Anything you didn’t say anything about at all, like illegal spying or cancelling elections.\
                \
                In the spirit of this approach to democracy, I suggest that all New Zealand’s property be returned to its rightful owners without compensation. Actually that seems quite lenient, I’ll try and think of something a bit more punitive. Time to get tough.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1.2.1.1.4

              Me whining? [citation needed]

              I’m not whining about it, I’m suggesting an appropriate and proportional response to right wing extremism.

            • greywarbler 4.1.2.1.1.5

              TiRade
              Everybody does pay a whack of tax all the same rich poor, GST @ 15%.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.2

          You obviously failed to understand why we need to work so hard today despite the massive productivity increases over the last couple of centuries.

          HINT: It’s not because we pay taxes.

    • ropata 4.2

      @millsy
      The point of the sale is nothing to do with the people of NZ. National Inc.™© is acting like an institutional investor that only cares about the dollars, not the social impacts.

      The shares will probably fetch a good price as AirNZ has been one of the best performing airlines in the world recently. The company is consistently rated as one of the best employers in NZ, and the brand image has been rehabilitated since the Ansett debacle. Also since their big outage 5 years ago (unfairly blamed on IBM) the company has invested a lot more in IT infrastructure and is now reaping the benefits.

      The new CEO Luxon is really focused on the bottom line and so all the gains they have made in the last 5-10 years can now be monetized (read: assets sold off, cuts in wages and conditions, and minimal maintenance). I think the company has tough times ahead so investors will just try to squeeze out as much as possible before dumping shares to the next sucker.

      • Sacha 4.2.1

        “unfairly blamed on IBM”

        Nice try. IBM did not deny liability at the time.

        • ropata 4.2.1.1

          Nor did they admit it.
          AirNZ learned a valuable lesson about taking responsibility for their own IT assets.

          • Tim 4.2.1.1.1

            I wish to Christ the government would also “take responsibility” for not only their IT assets, but for its suitability for purpose.

            ….. dangerous enthusiasms ….
            What’s more, they’re dangerous enthusiasms that are becoming increasingly dangerous.

            It seems to me to be a post-Rogernomics phenomenon now I come to think about it.
            DESPITE some of the ills and morality associated with things like the Wanganui Computer Centre, (Police/Justice/MOT) by and large we did have various systems that both coped, and processed a gubbamints needs with some degree of integrity.

            We USED to worry about Wanganui FFS!
            We USED to have people like Privacy Commissioners worrying about the downsides of information sharing between departments – e.g. Police getting access to medical records.
            Now that seems to be seen as a benefit – not only between departments, but between departments and the private sector (obtained and used for commercial benefit).

            Subsequently, we’ve had nothing BUT cockups ….
            Health
            ACC
            Social Development
            IRD
            Here a leak, there a leak, everywhere a leak leak,
            INCIS.
            Education/Nova NOVA

            In fact if someone could name me a success, I’d love to know.

            The only things I can think of are Te Ara/History, maybe former NatLib systems and so on – and only because they were left in the hands of people that knew what was needed and knew what they were doing – NOT politicians, or corporatised gubbamint department snr mgrs unqualified in the technical, but making technical decisions.

            NOW (post Roger), those most likely to be able to provide decent sort of solutions, or at least begin to resurrect the sort of reliability and integrity we had in the late 70’s/early 80’s are prevented from doing so – on the basis of what their various operations are worth.

            Incredible waste, back-handers, systems not fit for purpose, systems breaking under the weight of basic change, …… geeeez (the usual)

        • infused 4.2.1.2

          They couldn’t deny it, to save face. They have the money to sit on the fence. You will find it wasn’t them to blame, however. The same issue as the police software roll out that was canned. IBM was not the faulting party despite what happened.

          • Tim 4.2.1.2.1

            Jeez infused
            …. probably the only time i’ll agree with you, i.e
            “IBM was not the faulting party despite what happened”.

            Basically the same shit though but with a different stink I’m sure you’ll agree
            (such as requirements being changed, add-ons being requested, functionality changing mid-flight AND dip sticks actually agreeing to it)

            …… again – Dangerous Enthusiasms …..

            INCIS, IBIS (aka ABYSS), name a project, clip a ticket on your way through

      • Sacha 4.2.2

        This govt has very limited vision. AirNZ’s future (recognised in their Airline of the Year win) lies not in cheapness but in great service and properly-protected innovation that can be sold to other airlines – like their seat designs.

        • ropata 4.2.2.1

          Exactly Sacha, AirNZ is a high-tech, smart and customer focused company (SOE) operating profitably in a cut-throat market. Their point of difference is innovation and excellent service. It is a model for NZ businesses to emulate.

          So of course we should get rid of it and let vulture capitalists pick it apart.

          • Muzza 4.2.2.1.1

            Anyone had the misfortune of using the ANZ check in at Akl airport recently?
            What a terrible experience, it looks like the human aspect is being removed from what is the first interaction of a journey.

            While not in agreement with the lies the govt has told, process flaunting etc, how long do people anticipate the airline industry has left in it, seriously!

            • Macro 4.2.2.1.1.1

              Well then — You won’t be buying shares then will you!
              then of course there is jet star…….

            • Lanthanide 4.2.2.1.1.2

              You mean the automated kiosks? They’ve been around for years. They’re actually much better for customers because they can provide many more kiosks than they can humans for the same price. Ultimately this means better level of service with lower ticket prices.

            • Muzza 4.2.2.1.1.3

              @ macro, no, I won’t be.

              @ Lanth – yeah, we need more automation, less human interaction and cheaper air fares. Sheesh bro, think it through !
              Automation does not mean better service to many people, you have not thought through the processes and permeatations involved in checking in for a flight, your comment reflects this.

              • McFlock

                It does sort 90% or more of the “processes and permeatations involved in checking in for a flight”, though – more quickly than a check-in counter, too.

                I want to get on a plane, not have a relationship. But if you really want to speak to someone, there’s generally a check-in counter, too (probably to catch the <10% of atypical cases).

              • Lanthanide

                Personally I’ve had much better service from the kiosks, because I haven’t had to queue in line before getting my ticket handled.

                YMMV.

                Automation does not mean better service to many people, you have not thought through the processes and permeatations involved in checking in for a flight, your comment reflects this.

                I’m pretty sure Air NZ has gone through the vast bulk of common processes and permutations for someone checking in to a flight and designed the kiosks to cover this bulk of permutations. If they hadn’t they would have wasted a huge amount of money on a system that wouldn’t actually save them any money and would frustrate customers, thus losing them business.

                • ropata

                  Yep the kiosks do ID matching against flight bookings, complex baggage calculations, accept various credit cards and Airpoints cards, print out boarding passes and bag tags. There are a dozen or so web services hooking into several databases. The user interface could probably be improved a bit but it’s pretty damn smart.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 4.2.2.1.2

            So of course we should get rid of it and let vulture capitalists pick it apart.

            You understand the government will still own 53%, right?

      • Dumrse 4.2.3

        … (read: assets sold off, cuts in wages and conditions, and minimal maintenance)…
        Links, or you’re full of shit.

        • North 4.2.3.1

          Dumbarse’s dumb arse’s gettin’ angry. The zealot’s nightmare. Cognitive dissonance ain’t workin’ no more.

        • ropata 4.2.3.2

          You were probably wearing nappies in the days of Rogernomics and Ruthanasia. Suggest you do your own research.

  5. ropata 5

    National’s on a campaign of shock and awe straight from the playbook of Roger Douglas.

    Now watch as a once proud company gets strip mined yet again, and has to be bailed out by the next Government (again)

  6. Ad 6

    Each of those planes featured has Lord of the Rings imagery on them.

    As with the All Blacks-liveried planes, New Zealand’s brand values on the international stage will now increasingly be in the control of the share market. The market will only ever be able to sort ownership, not value.

    We should not let our collective brand be in private control. We need brand leadership more than ever right now, and I think we need it to be led by the state and state companies.

  7. Ad 7

    Clearing the decks of the main hard decisions this year means National go into Budget 2014 (election year budget) with an almighty chest of goodies to dispense in the form of new assets to buy and build. Smart political management.

    If their polls remain in the 40s despite the sales (as they are currently), they go into election year in a very strong position.

  8. numba 8

    You’re delusional. The groundswell of hatred of this government hasn’t been effectively measured yet. I’m afraid you’ll suck it and see at the next election.

  9. greywarbler 9

    Draco has probably said what the minimum shareholding is to get control of a company. It certainly has little to do with having 51% of the shares. There are other pressures that can be of importance to sway the vote towards the minority viewpoint.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      There’s laws preventing the majority shareholder from doing anything that would decrease the return to the minority shareholders. I don’t know if this could be used to force asset stripping but it wouldn’t surprise me if it could.

  10. greywarbler 10

    Could we if enoughjt were of the mind get an injunction on any point, to stop the government selling this in this casual manner? In future could something be inserted into whatever Rules we go by, to stop this. Having referendums about selling things off for instance.

  11. ghostwhowalksnz 11

    Come 15 to 20 years time , the taxpayer will be bailing it out AGAIN, and once again we will have 80-90% control , at a cost of some billions.

    Airlines just dont thrive in private ownership. Its funny when you think about it

    • Ad 11.1

      At least small airlines with globally tiny airport hubs with small states and miniscule domestic markets need regular bailing out – whether they are in public control or not.

    • millsy 11.2

      Singapore Airlines is owned by the Singapore government and Emirates is owned by the UAE government, Both of those airlines are well thought of worldwide.

  12. Buy More 12

    I do not see why Labour were happy leaving the remaining 27% in private ownership (is it a magic number?) Either 27% private ownership is bad or good but it can’t really be worse or better than 49%. Can it?

    • Francis 12.1

      From what I understand, the remaining 27% was due to shareholders not wanting to hand over their shares. They should have just passed a law forcing them to hand over ownership, but what’s done is done.

  13. Jared 13

    Once again, scaremongering. A sell down of this scale can’t be done legally any other way.

    • ropata 13.1

      wot u talkin about jared?

      u mean lying to the public of NZ is now a legal prerequisite to selling assets?

      • Jared 13.1.1

        Who said anything about lying? The government made it clear they would be selling down Air New Zealand as a part of its Asset Sales agenda.

          • Jared 13.1.1.1.1

            As the majority shareholder there are certain rules and laws the government has to abide by when its selling down, public consultation is not one of them. But, there was public consultation, it was a general election.
            Proper process around selling down a shareholding is however legislated, and part of that is to make sure other shareholders aren’t negatively impacted by the sell down. Due process is – Notifying the NZX of a Material Event, asking for a Trading Halt, selling the shareholding.
            And before you say this is “rare” or “rushed” Fairfax did the same thing with Trademe, Summerset, Sky TV, GPG with Tower, its common practice.

            • ropata 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Fishy and widely hated asset sales are certainly becoming “common practice” for this shonkey government. I guess you have conveniently forgotten about the referendum on this matter.

              • Jared

                I haven’t forgotten that its a non binding referendum.

                • ropata

                  In other words, National and their chums can ignore the will of the people. I guess democracy is a waste of time and money eh. Typical.

                  • Jared

                    No, the process has been entirely democratic. It’s not undemocratic only when it doesn’t go your way.

                    • RedLogix

                      No… National’s actions are pre-empting the democratic process.

                      By selling an important asset like this before the referendum, they are in essence rendering one of it’s possible outcomes impotent …

                      It directly analogous to what happens when an organisation advertises a job, and lots of people apply in good faith …. when in fact they already have selected an internal applicant. The word for that is ‘farce’.

                    • Jared

                      You know if it was a binding referendum I might have believed you, but it isn’t. And it isn’t going to change their position, that isn’t a probable outcome.

                    • RedLogix

                      1. While a non-binding referendum may have no technical force, it does have a certain moral one. Ignoring this never comes without a cost to political legitimacy.

                      By dismissing the referendum as non-binding you are essentially dismissing the whole point of democracy .. that the people have the means to hold their rulers to account.

                      While this process is far from perfect in practise, we demean the fundamental idea at our peril.

                      2. Your second point is a silly quibble. The referendum refers to all state-owned assets; therefore Air NZ as a state-owned asset is encompassed by it.

                    • Jared

                      So how did you feel about the anti smacking bill referendum, where the bill was passed into law before the referendum could take place and then ignored by the Labour Party, sounds so undemocratic right? Or is it only different when you don’t get your own way?

                      [You have an annoying habit of running National spin lines. National became Government when the pro smacking referendum was passed AND voted for the anti smacking bill. Please base your arguments on reality or you will be regarded as a troll – MS]

                    • RedLogix

                      Well at one level you have a point. You could argue that Labour’s loss in 2008 was part of the political price they paid.

                      At another level you overlook the political reality of that the anti-beating legislation had been voted for by every party in Parliament. Besides it wasn’t Labour who in the event overturned the result of the referendum in 2009 …

                    • ropata

                      Not a good comparison. S59 was a conscience vote (since upheld by the Nats anyway) and debated in Parliament.

                      AirNZ has not been the subject of any vote or select committee. Just treated like a used car.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      “AirNZ has not been the subject of any vote or select committee. Just treated like a used car.”

                      Ballocks.

                      The 2011 election was a referendum on assets sales. Phil Goff and Russel Norman said so.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The 2011 election was a referendum on assets sales. Phil Goff and Russel Norman said so.

                      And more people voted for parties against selling them than for parties selling them. It’s only the vagaries of the system that allowed a pro-selling government in. Under these conditions the government should have accepted that the people didn’t actually want to sell them despite them being in government.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “And more people voted for parties against selling them than for parties selling them. It’s only the vagaries of the system that allowed a pro-selling government in. Under these conditions the government should have accepted that the people didn’t actually want to sell them despite them being in government.”

                      I’ll try to remember this comment after next years election. I think it’ll be a labour/left victory but if it is “only the vagaries of the system” that allow them to govern and more people actually voting for parties against their policies I wonder if you’ll be singing the same tune….I think not but lets see eh.

                    • greywarbler

                      Jared
                      No its undemocratic when it goes your way. Because you don’t give a fig for the things we are concerned about. What is our way is what we are sure will keep the airline in good hands and able to handle future shocks for a good amount of time, affordable and covering its costs with some extra for profit.

            • Arfamo 13.1.1.1.1.2

              “But, there was public consultation, it was a general election.”

              A general election does not equal public consultation.

              • Jared

                Thats right. After selling down Meridian and Mighty River Power, the government was clearly going to consult the public on the agenda they have held for a number of years, campaigned on, and elected on, when they sold down an asset already listed, and with an existing private shareholding.
                Year that makes total sense.

                • ropata

                  Why the f*ck not. Is this country a democracy or just a plaything for the wealthy elite?

                  • Jared

                    So campaigning on a policy, being elected wearing it on your sleeve is now in democratic because a vocal minority who have always and will always disagree with national party policies think it’s undemocratic? What do you think public consultation will achieve?

                    • ropata

                      Who knows, public consultation might actually get National to listen to the electorate and stop flogging off our stuff on the cheap. But we all know that they are mainly working for the interests of the NZX and giant corporations.

                    • Jared

                      National campaigned on asset sales, national was elected on that policy. National subsequently implement said policy. And you have the gall to call that undemocratic?

                    • ropata

                      No they weren’t, they were elected on a bunch of woolly platitudes and John Key’s excellent dental work. Remember they promised no asset sales in their first term … but now the hollow men are showing their true nature and relying on the apathy and naivete of the NZ public to cling to power.

                    • framu

                      ” national was elected on that policy”

                      no – they were fucking not!

                      im getting damn sick of you little turds who are ignorant of both basic maths and electoral process

                      did national win the election – no they fucking didnt!
                      are elections single issue events – no they fucking arent!
                      does forming a ruling coalition mean that anything you publicly stated during the campaign gets enacted with no debate or no vote – no it fucking doesnt!

                    • ropata

                      National proceed with asset sales despite public opposition on a scale of around 85%.
                      And you have the temerity to pretend they have a mandate. For whatever reason, voters placed their trust in John Key not his policies. Trust which has been betrayed numerous times.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    According to Jared and the National Party – it’s a plaything for the rich.

  14. Wayne 14

    Ropata,

    As you well know, assets sales were a centerpiece of the last election. It was the main issue that Labour campaigned against.

    Now I appreciate that elections cover many things, but everyone who voted for National and its support parties in 2011 knew that a consequence of their vote is that there would be asset sales.

    Unless of course you consider NZ should be governed, in part, by compulsory referenda. But that would have meant that NZ’ers would not be subject to the anti-smaking law. Is that what you want?

    • Paul 14.1

      It really worked the last time you Tories sold the airline, didn’t it?
      Countries folk like you admire don’t sell their airlines… Singapore UAE

      • Wayne 14.1.1

        Actually it was Labour that sold ANZ in 1989, and a number of the Labour MP’s of 1989 are still in Parliament. And of course Labour sold 100%. Under the Nats the airline will still be majority govt owned.

        • JK 14.1.1.1

          Wayne @14. And then Labour under Helen Clark bought AirNZ back again. The mistakes of 1989 are being repeated, Wayne. Not a good look, obviously your government hasn’t learned from history !

          • Ake ake ake 14.1.1.1.1

            A country of increasingly too many sheeple.

            Stupid decision in the national and economic interest. But much needed to play with the books, to pay for National’s political bribes next year while trying to engineer a small budget surplus.

            Was back visiting friends recently as many immediate family members have left Aotearoa. From this side of the ditch as an occasional visitor these days, the land of the long white cloud has gone backwards even more.

        • greywarbler 14.1.1.2

          Wayne
          Labour’s government in the 1980’s became infected by the notion of neo liberalism which could be called a triumph of propaganda. They were affected and did things once considered wrong, then made to seem right under neo liberalism. Now they are seen again to be wrong. That these old politicians are not now mental patients, or put out to grass, is that the infection of the system is still partly masked by the propaganda.

          This about Edward Bernays and propaganda from Noam Chomsky.
          http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/bernprop.html

    • framu 14.2

      you of all people know this line is bullshit wayne

      your arguing for a three year elected dictatorship when you damn well know that any single policy, announced or otherwise still has to go through the democratic process of debate, input, vote and appeal (referenda).

      Forming the ruling coalition only ever gives you a mandate to govern – if it gave you anything more we wouldnt bother with debate, input, vote and appeal would we

      Its actually rather pathetic that an experienced politician would peddle such a deliberately shallow an incorrect precis of how policy passes through parliament

      • ropata 14.2.1

        Also the major reason why we switched to MMP was to stop these f*cking tinpot dictators gerrymandering the electorate and pulling the rug out of the NZ economy.

        God / FSM / Cthulhu willing, by 2014, New Zealand will end 30 years of neoliberal exploitation and injustice.

    • ropata 14.3

      “everyone who voted for National and its support parties in 2011 knew that a consequence of their vote is that there would be asset sales.”

      Everyone? I think that (regrettably,) most people vote tribally or on personality and treat the election like a rugby game. I suggest you watch this documentary of ‘The Hollow Men‘ where the Natz are advised *not* to campaign on facts but to appeal to *emotions* (like bigotry and fear). That’s a huge basis of a political campaign nowadays.

    • Tim 14.4

      ….. “but everyone who voted for National and its support parties in 2011 knew that a consequence of their vote is that there would be asset sales”

      That’s quite a bold statement Wayne.
      You concede that elections cover many things (many issues).
      You’ll also be aware that asset sales are unpopular.

      Those voting for National and it’s support parties more likely deluded themselves that “nice Mr krismetic Key” (your average bloke that knew all about what it was to do it tough, and who was apparently so in touch with the people) had some integrity, and someone who might take account of that majority opposed to asset sales.
      Instead, what they got was someone, aided and abetted by a load of over-ambitious careerist arse-lickers more concerned with propping up a false image and with a belief that all democracy was about was electing a dictatorship for a 3 year term.

      Rest assured there’ll be a few of them (as there currenlty ARE) that can’t even look some of their acquaintances/friends/past colleagues in the face.

      Give it time though…… 2014, or even if it’s 2017, the sound of squealing pigs will be deafening.

  15. Phil 15

    It’s an elected dictatorship, every 3 years. Sir Geoffrey Palmer wrote the book “Unbridled Power”. When Labgren gets in they will be blamed for the dire situation that they inherited. It’s becoming all too silly to be taken seriously by reasonable folks.

    • Paul 15.1

      Our unicameral system was the perfect laboratory to test the neoliberal experiment as a result.
      The only slip up was the accidental inclusion of MMP in the 1990s. That ( and the Treaty of Waitangi) have been the only roadblocks to the 1%’s seizure of power in New Zealand.

      • Aspasia 15.1.1

        Which is why one of the subsequent books by Geoffrey Palmer (and son) was called “Bridled Power”. MMP was not the total answer but it did provide some check on dictatorship.

        • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1

          Therefore expect yet another referendum on MMP at the 2020 or 2023 election, as they try and get rid of it again.

    • Tim 15.2

      Ae! Had there been ANY respect for the democratic process by this gubbamint (and its band of over-ambitious careerist arse-lickers ), we would not have seen, just for example, urgency abused.

      The only excuse the elected dictators seem to be able to come up with is that “Labour did it too”.
      Hopefully they’ll also realise that Labour’s hijack by the neo-liberal and the over-ambitious careerist arseholes has caused it to nearly be torn apart.

  16. RedBaronCV 16

    Well I hope some of the Nation’s business folk are on the phone this morning shouting at the Nact’s .

    From memory one of the problems back in 2001 when the government bought back in was that the airline had become such a shambles that there was difficulty in getting high value airfreight exports out of the country – not enough cargo space and what there was highly overpriced.

    Benefit NZ – I don’t think so. Benfit NZ business no

  17. Sanctuary 17

    This Air New Zealand fire sale offers an excellent political opportunity for Labour. National are trying a Roger Douglas style blitzkrieg sale, the nature of which utterly destroys the authority of this government to conduct it.

    Labour ought to send a clear signal that it will, in this case, compulsorily repurchase without compensation the shares privatised.

    The message it will send would be unequivocal and it would torpedo the float. And anyone who buys the shares will be on clear notice of what will happen to their money when Labour wins next year – they WILL lose it. For once, we’ll socialise the profit and let the fat cats hold the loss.

    • felix 17.1

      +1

      The govt is behaving unbelievably irresponsibly. How can this sale be conducted properly with less than one week of planning?

      Non-compensated acquisition is not only justified, it’s the only responsible course.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 17.1.1

        Even they are not that mental.

        How would this work, practically? The shares I bought from someone else on Friday, I get to keep. Those I bought from the government on Wednesday, I lose without compensation. And if I had sold that second parcel to some third party between Wednesday and Labour getting elected, what? That third part loses them without compensation?

        You guys are really going to have to get used to being disappointed when Labour comes into power.

        • fappity 17.1.1.1

          No you’re wrong, Dear Cunners is the reincarnation of Che Guevara and will lead us into a glorious new world.

        • felix 17.1.1.2

          Nah Ole, parliament is sovereign.

          If you buy these shares knowing that some or all of them can be taken back without compensation, that’s your lookout.

          You think you can get to keep them by selling them to your cat and buying them back tomorrow?

          Cool. Take a punt.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 17.1.1.2.1

            It won’t be a punt. Cunliffe is not stupid enough to renationalise without compensation.

            • felix 17.1.1.2.1.1

              Note the word “if”.

              As far as I am aware no announcement has been made. My comment was about the position you would be in if you were to buy shares after such a hypothetical announcement.

              Whether you believe such a hypothetical promise would be followed through is a matter for you to consider, not me. That’s the punt.

              If you’re as confident as you say, then you ought to be able to pick up a bargain. (Not actually you obviously, you won’t be buying any of these shares)

              • photonz

                Why would the Air NZ shares be a bargain?

                Air NZ shares have been on the market every day for more than a decade – plenty of time for the market to figure out if the current price is a bargain, or fair market value.

            • Colonial Viper 17.1.1.2.1.2

              It won’t be a punt. Cunliffe is not stupid enough to renationalise without compensation.

              90 cents in the dollar, less costs = generous “compensation.”

      • Akldnut 17.1.2

        Labour needs to immediately announce instant renationalisation of any SOE sales that happen before the election, stating National are committing economic sabotage for future years.

        If they do this no one is going to buy any, and if you do you would wouldn’t get any third party buyers for fear of losing their investment. You really would be a Gormless fool

        • alwyn 17.1.2.1

          You realise the closest that the Labour leadership will come to that is a Cunliffe pronouncment along the lines of “Yeah Nah” don’t you.

        • greywarbler 17.1.2.2

          Akldnut
          +1

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 17.1.2.3

          It is economic sabotage to own 53% of an airline, rather than 73%. Are you sure?

        • photonz 17.1.2.4

          You really think Labour campaining on a slogan of ….”If you invest in NZ, we’re going to screw you”…. will work for them?

          • Akldnut 17.1.2.4.1

            Where did I say that?
            For that matter why not? It worked for National

            They got in and are screwing us

            • photonz 17.1.2.4.1.1

              Labour have already shown their intention to screw investors in Meridian, Mighty River Power, Contact Energy, Vector, Trustpower, and by extention, their 51% shareholder Infratil.

              They’ve signaled the same for anyone whose put their saving into building NZ a new fibre optic network via Chorus.

              And they’ve signaled the the same with investors Sky City Entertainment, who are putting in $400m to build NZ an national conference centre.

              There’s 8 of the country’s largest companies – just under half of our ten largest companies, and just under half of our twenty largest companies, that have all been given notice by Labour that they’re happy for shareholders to be screwed.

              We haven’t even heard what they intending to do to our other biggest companies – but it certainly sounds like a campaign slogan of ….

              ”If you invest in NZ, we’re going to screw you”

              • lprent

                Are you suggesting that Labour should not warn investors about the risk that they are taking in participating in National’s selling of taxpayer owned assets and laws?

                Clear and transparent information is crucial for any free market to operate in.

                Dickhead…

                • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                  Has Labour come out and said it’d renationalise Ai New Zealand shares without compensation?

                  Got a link?

                • photonz

                  lprent says “Are you suggesting that Labour should not warn investors about the risk that they are taking in participating in National’s selling of taxpayer owned assets and laws?”

                  They didn’t with Mighty River.

                  They didn’t with Meridian.

                  They haven’t with Air NZ

                  They didn’t when they reduced their shareholding of Air NZ under Helen Clarke.

                  And despite nearly a decade in power, they didn’t forcably buy back the likes of Contact, or Telecom etc.

                  You really think they’re going to suddenly jump somewhere to the left extreme of communism, AND get into power?

                  • framu

                    was the green/lab power policy announced before or after the first asset share float?

                    it was before wasnt it – so yes they warned everyone

                    this isnt the first post where youve completely fucked up when things actually happened is it

                • Akldnut

                  If you invest in NZ”(sarc) FIFY

                  Even you aren’t stupid enough to believe that bullshit you’re typing.

                  They invested in these companies to make money – not to pull anyone out of the shit (unless they were in personal strife at the time themselves)

                  OR and that’s a big “OR”

                  They were investing to raise funds to pull Bill and his buddies out of the big black hole they’re falling into.

              • Colonial Viper

                ”If you thieve from NZ, we’re going to screw you”

                I think this is a perfectly fair position.

                And notice how the “investors” and “shareholders” being royally screwed over by these privatisations is actually the NZ public who used to own 100% of these assets, putting their tax payer dollars at risk to build them and operate them successfully?

                Yet you shill for the 1% who just want to ticket clip off these public assets. How remarkable.

                • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                  ”If you thieve from NZ, we’re going to screw you”

                  You know they’re paying for them, right?

              • millsy

                Well, those investors you go on about have screwed us by making pay through the nose for power.

                They demand higher dividends, higher rents higher this and higher that. And when us workers want more money so they can pay the bills to pay these nasty people those dividends that they greedilly want, they scream blue bloody murder.

                Well I am going to say NO. You are not going to get a single cent. Not while you demand that people go hungry and cold so you can get your filthy dividend and go without health care so you can get your tax cut and go without libaries so you can get your rates cut.

      • greywarbler 17.1.3

        Financial matters like this don’t need even one week of planning. The financier in Key notes that the market is ripe because of some sort of comfort in the USA from their bride-to-be Yellen or Shoutin, and the time is ripe says Key. Let’s pick the low-hanging fruit. You know you want to, is his slogan. Don’t let pragmatic and ethical considerations spoil a good deal with excellent prospects of either money or positioning for advantage for the boys and girls who are pledged to the Cumulative Accretions Club.

  18. Tracey 18

    Signalled.

    is it fair to say the sales of the energy companies were signalled for sale before air new zealand, or not.

    Presumably one reason is to make people think there is no point in voting in the ref and then they can say
    ” double mandate “

  19. Tracey 19

    Felix

    and brand key is overseas, pretending to spend 15 minutes talking to the sri lankan pm… transcript release needed.

    • greywarbler 19.1

      It has come to Our Notice that certain NZ Government members have been infected by a serious and infectious disease. The symptoms begin in a myopic loss of vision, and worsen with noticeable loss of ability to comprehend outcomes, and to learn from mistakes, resulting in a peculiar, convulsive gait, in which they walk in circles wearing an ever deeper rut in their pathway.

      The disease takes a chronic form resulting in increasingly irrational, unethical and unprincipled decisions.. These impact negatively on the subject and all of those affected by the decisions. But because of the deterioration of their mental processes, they are unable to act in a rational and responsible manner.

      Shortly a white van will be dispatched to transport all of those under Notice to a place of security, convalescence and re-education.

  20. David H 20

    One other thought by the time the Referendum is all done the Nats would have sold everything so will show a fait accompli

    ˌfeɪt əˈkɒmpli,French fɛt akɔ̃pli/
    noun
    1.
    a thing that has already happened or been decided before those affected hear about it, leaving them with no option but to accept it.
    “the results were presented to shareholders as a fait accompli”

    Or in plain English. Fuck you we’ve already done it.

    • Mary 20.1

      And watch the opposition continue to throw opportunities like this away leading up to the election. We will vote Key and his mates back in for another three years of destruction of what ever social goods happen to be left. We are to blame. We deserve everything our apathy gives us.

  21. greywarbler 21

    I have an interesting border around the comment window top and bottom, of a small open book with a brown base, repeated across the column. I have just successfully posted a comment. Has anyone else got this or is it my computer adding hitherto unknown features.
    edit – Gone now. Someone throwing the book at me?

  22. photonz 22

    So much ignorance in one set of comments –

    1/ A 51% shareholder loses control of a company. Rubbish.

    Contact Energy is an example that with 51% ownership (and therefore 51% of votes) you can do pretty much anything you want short of regulations that stop you completely ripping off the minority shareholders.

    Claims of loss of control or control going overseas are based on ignorance.

    2/ Some say AIR NZ is planning to sell down it’s assets.

    More ignorant nonsense. They’re currently spending a huge amount buying a significant number of new planes – Orders ALREADY placed for new planes in over the next several years include 9x Airbus A320s, 6x Boeing 787 Dreamliners, and 2x Boeing 777s.

    3/ Some say the lack of consultation is appalling. This sale was signalled BEFORE the last election.

    Unlike Labour, who sold off around $100 million of Air NZ shares – were the public even told after it happened ? (let alone told about it beforehand).

    4/ A claim that Air NZ will got to the dogs and never be a well run and respected government owned airline like Singapore Airlines.

    Singapore is 55% govt owned. Air NZ will be 53% govt owned.

    5/ Some claim it transfers our assets to the institutions owned by the rich.

    The largest institutional shareholders in NZ companies are ACC, NZ govt Superannuation Fund, and all the retirement institutions like those representing 2 MILLION Kiwis with Kiwisaver accounts. The whole reason they are large shareholders, is because they represent thousands of small shareholders.

    If you have a Kiwisaver balanced or growth account, there’s a good chance you’re already a shareholder in Air NZ, Chorus, Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power etc.

    • greywarbler 22.1

      photonz
      Singapore is 55% govt owned. Air NZ will be 53% govt owned.
      Only 2%. A little percentage of a great big amount. In that case Little Things Mean a Lot.


      The Platters have a message for you –
      ‘Blow me a kiss from across the room..
      Little things mean a lot.’
      Why don’t you take a break from telling everyone how wrong they are and listen to some fine minds and voices producing something worth listening to.

      • photonz 22.1.1

        Greywarbler says ” In that case Little Things Mean a Lot.”

        Only to the financially ignorant.

        • fender 22.1.1.1

          Meanwhile photonz has spent days throwing around financially deceitful bullshit like hotpotatoes…

          • photonz 22.1.1.1.1

            If that were the case, you might be able to specify something that is wrong.

            But since you can’t, you chicken out with a meaningless generalisation.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 22.2

      “…you can do pretty much anything you want short of regulations that stop you completely ripping off the minority shareholders.”

      So, you can announce lower power prices funded by reduced dividends, and explain that the majority shareholders (the original owners) are sick of being ripped off?

      National has its list of things to flog off, the Left needs its own list: assets that are classed as “strategic” that will simply be returned to their rightful owners without compensation if they are ever sold. The fact that Parliament is sovereign will just have to be factored into investment decisions, and after all, there are plenty of non-strategic assets to choose from, or better still, actually go and create something.

      • photonz 22.2.1

        Knuckwelhead says “as “strategic” that will simply be returned to their rightful owners without compensation if they are ever sold. ”

        As I said – You want to campaign with a slogan

        ”If you invest in NZ, we’re going to screw you”.

        And if you want to place yourself somewhere on the extreme left of communism – go for it.

        • Colonial Viper 22.2.1.1

          ”If you thieve from NZ, we’re going to screw you”.

          fify

          These people aren’t “investing” in NZ. They are simply picking up on the cheap the valuable assets that we built up as a nation, and which they are only interested in after tax payers took all the risk.

          Try and get with the programme. Stop shilling for the investment banks and billion dollar hedge funds.

          • photonz 22.2.1.1.1

            Trustpower have been investing in building power stations in NZ for a hundred years.

            Over the last 14 years Contact has also invested billions of new money on capital projects.

            Colonial Viper says “These people aren’t “investing” in NZ”

            Maybe not on whatever planet you are on, but back here in the real world they are.

            Colonial Viper says “They are simply picking up on the cheap the valuable assets that we built up as a nation,”

            What – “cheap” assets like Mighty River Shares which are worth LESS than the govt got for them”

            Or cheap assets like Meridian which are are up a whopping 4%?

            • Colonial Viper 22.2.1.1.1.1

              Are you saying that these private investors are making bad buying decisions then, photonz?

              Because I think they are creaming it and extracting billions in excess profits out of NZ every year.

              Over the last 14 years Contact has also invested billions of new money on capital projects.

              And taken billions more out, billions which should have stayed in NZ.

            • framu 22.2.1.1.1.2

              you really are a quite transparent paid shill arent you

              so many posts riddled with dodgy claims and outright fabrications

              • photonz

                Someone else without the ability to debate at a higher level than “lair liar liar lair liar lair”

                Do you have anything intelligent to debate?

                • greywarbler

                  photonz
                  No. I myself, don’t have anything intelligent to say about you. You are beyond words. But I take it you are a retired solicitor or accountant with a penchant for thinking that you have made money, so are now an expert on the country’s business. So you have words to spare, and time, and how nice to be able to spend it here telling everyone what fools we are. I’ll send you another youtube music video when I think of something appropriate so you can maunder to music.

                  • Tim

                    I’d have thought more like a poor little rich boy whose solicitor or accountant daddy arranged a nice little number in a bank, or similar occupation that doesn’t actually produce anything usefull (appointed STRICTLY on merit, of course)

                • framu

                  to you? no.

                  your not interested in debate – you cant even admit when you get things wrong on simple matters of who was in power during what year

                  your yet another of these pathetic fucking shouters that think by saying stuff then refusing to back down on anything, even when evidence of your errors is presented to you, that your engaging in debate

                  case in point – youve used a single comment of mine to try and create the idea that i have nothing else to say – which is bollocks

                  thats not debate

                  and if you dont want to be accused of being a paid shill – stop acting like one

                  • photonz

                    Framu – thanks – you just 100% proved my previous post.

                    greywarbler – your perception and reality couldn’t be further apart.

                    Anything intelligent to say about Air NZ?

                    No?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Cut price gift of public assets to the corporates and investment bankers

                    • greywarbler

                      photonz
                      You say that I’m wrong to suggest that you are a solicitor or accountant who has come to this site to blind us with your wisdom? If you are not you have no right to be here. We only allow the most well-connected, highly-trained RW trolls to come here and make facetious comments about our efforts to go past the portcullis of the ‘ole guard’ and find systems that work for all people. So fuck off back to your hovel and your crayons.

                    • framu

                      how? – if were going to look at comments in isolation and use that as a benchmark for whether a person has something to say or not, youve failed your own test several times in this thread alone!

                      So, anytime you’d care to retract and apologise for making a dick of yourself then im all ears.

                      However if your going to continue your rather predictable MO of saying things, ignoring the substance of answers, refusal to admit mistakes to the point that people tell you to get fucked – what do you think people are going to say?

                      “get fucked” would be my guess. How about you?

            • halfcrown 22.2.1.1.1.3

              “Trustpower have been investing in building power stations in NZ for a hundred years.”

              Thats news to me, or are you refering to the residue of the old MOW NZECD combined construction company that employed some of the worlds finest construction engineers, some who were highly pissed off and left the country when Douglas started to Bungy Jump with this outfit. If so Trust Power has not been around for 100 years and certainly was not responsible for the building of the likes of Ben More, Karapiro, Arapuni etc., All I can see Trust Power responsible for building is a few Windmills,

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 22.2.1.2

          The hypocritical whining from Chicken Little Photonz sounds reasonable, except that NZ tax-payers did invest in NZ, and now the National Party and its clients are screwing us.

          Photonz loves the sovereignty of Parliament when the National Party invokes it. but not for “communists”, but there’s a simple way to avoid this situation in future: stop voting for a corrupt extremist political party that sells the laws of the country to its campaign donors.

        • millsy 22.2.1.3

          THE SHAREHOLDERS OF THIS COUNTRY SCREWED THIS COUNTRY BY DEMANDING HIGHER AND HIGHER AND HIGHER DIVIDENDS.

          You want to know how they got their higher dividends?

          Higher prices
          cutting services
          cutting wages and conditions

          Screwing the poor.

          Fuck you and the horse you came in on.

    • ropata 22.3

      1/ minority shareholders (especially 47 or 49%) have rights and boards of directors can be stacked in favour of certain groups to the detriment of the public.

      2/ Investors always demand a ROI and seek ways to increase it

      3/ Yes a Sunday afternoon announcement with no public consultation is fine for your own stuff. But not for a publicly owned and valued strategic asset FFS. Of course it is great for the NZX and money men.

      4/ Lessons of history

      5/ Yes, just part of National Inc.’s ongoing programme to liquidate NZ and prepare it for transnational takeover. Brought to you on behalf of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and HSBC

    • Tracey 22.4

      Could you address the minority shareholder rights clauses in your comments. I think you must have accidentally left it out of your “factual” analysis.

      50-52% is NOT enough to prevent minority shareholder rights AND Key doesnt believe in interfering with the Board so effectively power is shifted big time in these sales.

    • Tracey 22.5

      Oh dear you forgot minority shareholder tights? Must have slipped your razor-sharp intellect… Pot, Kettle. Black.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 22.5.1

        Minority shareholders famously have very few rights. They have the right to have their shares bought from them at fair value if they have voted against a major transaction.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 22.5.1.1

          Oh, so the majority shareholder can do whatever they like then? That’s great. I think the next government should have the companies offer discounted prices to New Zealand citizens and residents.

          Great to know we can do that no probs at all, Gormy.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 22.5.1.1.1

            That is such a conceptual jumble, I do not know where to begin. You know the company is not selling anything, right?

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 22.5.1.1.1.1

              Meridian and MRP don’t sell anything? I’m starting to doubt your reliability as a source of information on this matter.

              Can we trust your assurances that the majority shareholder, or Labour/Green if you prefer, can do as they please? Like for example, return ninety percent of dividends to customers before shareholders on the grounds that the dead weight of profit is better off in Mums’ and Dads’ back pocket ‘cos it’s all about Mums and Dads, right?

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                They sell power. Is that what you meant?

                • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                  You did, it seems. The shareholders do not run the company. The directors do. They cannot do what they like. They have to run it in the best interests of the company.

                  See, you’re learning stuff. This will make you a better person.

                  • Rogue Trooper

                    who can reply to themselves 😀

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    I see.

                    In summation:

                    1. This comment is transparent bullshit.

                    The majority shareholder has decided that the best interests of the company coincide with the interests of the majority shareholder. The SOE model has not delivered the promised outcomes. Far from it.

                    Caveat emptor.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      You need to learn the difference between:

                      1. A company
                      2.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      You need to learn the difference between:

                      1. A company
                      2. Its shareholders
                      3. Its directors

                      I stand by my comment that minority shareholders have very few rights. This is quite uncontroversial.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      The legal niceties of company structure are irrelevant: the SOE model is not best practice, and I am advocating a return to best practice.

                      What’s the point of worrying about shareholder rights in a public utility that has no shareholders?

                      Current shareholders will be more than adequately compensated by lower power prices and no longer having to live in a neo-liberal fantasy land.

  23. Arfamo 23

    I think Local Bodies’ article “National’s Position Desperate” linked here today http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2013/11/nationals-position-desperate.html

    pretty much hits the nail on the head regarding National’s approach to the economy, and everything really.

    I think by the time the next election rolls around the fact that the majority of NZers don’t agree with asset sales, nor with many of National’s failed strategies and policies, will see a return to voting of that missing 30% of voters from the last election, to get rid of these bastards as soon as possible and try to recover some dignity and sovereignty as a proud country again.

    One can hope. In fact, one has to. Even in the MSM the blinkers seem to be falling away at last. They will also turn on these arsoles when they smell their fear.

  24. Natwest 24

    “National’s Position Desperate” – source localbodies- bsprout.blogspot.

    Written by lefties for ignorant lefties – the more it’s said the more the “great unwashed”believe it.

    What’s desperate? the Government have said they were going to sell down these assets at the last election – and guess what they got elected – well buggar me.

    Mandate: yeah, nah – yeah actually Mr Cunliffe, so go find something else to whine about.

    • Te Reo Putake 24.1

      Except National didn’t get a mandate. They not only failed to get an outright win, they couldn’t even get unanimous support from their coalition partners. Poll after poll has said the vast majority of Kiwis don’t want these assets squandered, which suggests people voted National despite the sales program, not for it.

    • framu 24.2

      “and guess what they got elected”

      no they didnt – the formed the biggest coalition – which then gets the mandate to govern. Its MMP isnt it – not FPP

      how much % do you need for a majority, govern alone result? ie: a win

      how much % did national get?

      put those two numbers side by side and tell me again how national won the election

      and once again – does wining an election (which national didnt do) then give you the right to pass each and every policy you announced or do those policies still have to go through the democratic process?

      and you call people ignorant?

      • Natwest 24.2.1

        They won the election, because Labour couldn’t cobble together a majority coalition Government, but they could.

        You know, win means win – you are in the “winners circle”.

        Which means, the election planks you stood on have been endorsed by the public – if they didn’t like what National had proposed and were so oppossed – they would have voted against them, but they didn’t = mandate.

        To suggest we should go to a referendum every time legislation is proposed, is lunacy. Why have a Government in the first place?

        And what of all the historical legislation, are you suggesting this likewise be unraveled, because to be consistent none has been passed by a majority Government.

        • framu 24.2.1.1

          FFS – the coalition won the election NOT the national party

          how much % do you need for a majority, govern alone result? ie: a win

          how much % did national get?

          its a really simple set of questions

          and you make the rest of this too easy

          if a govt has an electoral mandate why does EVERY SINGLE POLICY go through at the very least several debates and a vote in parliament? Is it just for show? Good manners? Maybe its because wining an election only gives you a mandate to form the govt and govern?

          I never suggested we go to referenda on everything – i said that because each policy goes through a democratic process, then that means that any policy isnt pushed through because party “A” won an election. The two concepts contradict each other so it cant be both can it.

          And by claiming a mandate via election we wouldnt bother with debate, voting referenda, select committies etc etc – shit, we wouldnt even have an opposition using that method

          And as for historical legislation – well DUH! – It got debated, voted on etc etc – in short it went through the democratic process didnt it. That where a policy gets its mandate and authority – because the party promoting it won every stage of the democratic process for that particular ploicy – not because they won the election!

          For gods sake – think about it. Apply some entry level logic. Your arguing for elected 3 year dictatorships

          The electoral result gives you a mandate to govern – nothing more
          Winning the debate and vote on a policy gives the govt the mandate to enact it

          two distinct and completely separate things

          its not rocket science and its been debated before – why do people such as yourself cling to claiming something that isnt true and doesnt make any logical sense?

  25. greywarbler 25

    Looking for info on the JetStar/AirNZ matter the PPTa raised in open mike I came on news about the latest shift in the airline market in Oz. I wonder what effect the selling of some of our shareholding in ouw own airline would have on ours in Virgin Oz? It could dilute out importance and effect over there.

    Virgin Australia’s surprise trading halt and $350 million equity raising – which represents more than a third of its market value – will allow the airline the luxury to continue the bloody air fare battle with Qantas, Adele Ferguson writes:
    The raising will bolster the airline’s stretched balance sheet and improve its liquidity as it faces one of the most fierce price war environments since 2004 when Qantas launched Jetstar.

    It will also accelerate the likely privatisation of the airline within the next 12 months and make for an interesting year for Virgin boss John Borghetti as he weaves his way around a board that will soon include the CEOs of its three key shareholders, Singapore Airlines, Etihad and Air New Zealand.

    The $350 million equity raising is fully underwritten and has been supported by the three key shareholders as well as Richard Branson, who holds a 10 per cent stake in the airline. Together they hold 73 per cent of the airline.
    When Borghetti picked up the phone to the three key shareholders to ask for their support he sugar-coated it with an offer of a board seat to each of them.

  26. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 26

    Why didn’t Labour buy (or nationalise) the 27% of shares the government did not own in the period 2002-2008?

    Why is 73% the exact right percentage of shares to own?

    • ropata 26.1

      Would you prefer to hold 53%, 73% or 100% equity in your house?

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 26.1.1

        Depends. Depends what I am being offered for the part I am selling. Depends what other use I have for that money. Depends if I am going to be required money on it in the next while. Depends whether I think it is going to increase or decrease in value. Depends if the person I am selling it to has the ability to increase its value over what I can.

        And, if my house were an airline I’d get rid of it as soon as possible.

        • felix 26.1.1.1

          Yes, you probably wouldn’t want to hang onto an energy-guzzling piece of transport infrastructure in a world where the cost of that energy is likely to continue to increase.

          Now what if your house were a highly energy-efficient piece of transport infrastructure?

          Or what if your house were a piece of energy-producing infrastructure?

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 26.1.1.1.1

            Don’t be stupid Felix. Thinking strategically is for wankers. Whatever the government owns now is exactly what it should own for ever and ever and ever and is not negotiable. Even if the government can retain control by owning less than 100% and has a better use for the sale proceeds.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 26.1.1.1.1.1

              You’re missing the point. The main purpose of the compulsory acquisition will be punitive, a direct response to the ongoing practice of National MPs “trading on their time as MPs to build a lucrative business career”(sic).

              It seems the police and courts have no power to prevent the corrupt practice of the sale of legislation for political donations, so Parliament will have to act.

            • felix 26.1.1.1.1.2

              Ole, I’m getting confused between the layers of sarcasm.

              Straight up. Do you think (as I think you’ve been implying) that the govt should sell AirNZ on the basis that airlines are becoming less viable in an energy-strapped world?

              If so, why on earth would the govt simultaneously sell off our energy-producing assets?

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                I do not think the govt should sell AirNZ on the basis that airlines are becoming less viable in an energy-strapped world.

                Airlines have shown themselves to be unviable in all sorts of worlds. Whoever you are, owning one is something you shouldn’t do unless you absolutely have to. And if you absolutely have to (which will be for reasons unconnected to the return you will get on your investment), own as little as you can to secure the outcome you are after.

                In this case, that would be 51%. Minority shareholders have certain rights at 75% and above so, once you have less than 74%, you might as well own 51%, unless you are confident you are going to get a better dividend return than you could get putting the money elsewhere. And anyone who tells you that owning an airline is a certain path to riches is an idiot (or trying to sell you an airline).

                • felix

                  You seem to be under the impression that the govt is supposed to be acting as a business with the citizens of nz as its customer base.

                  Perhaps this is why your comments don’t make any sense.

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                    No. I think the government should do any dumb shit it wants no matter how nonsensical so long as it keep Felix happy.

    • photonz 26.2

      When Labour took over Air NZ, they owned 82%. But by around 2007 that dropped to 76% and sometime between 2007 and now has dropped a further 3% to 73%.

      • tricledrown 26.2.1

        photonz borrowing to buy new more efficient aircraft was the reason sharing holding was lowered.
        selling off to use the money for nationals slush fund election bribes not.

    • Arfamo 26.3

      It really doesn’t matter what Labour did not do, or did wrong, under Helen Clark. Helen Clark lacked a clear vision for Labour and was concerned mainly with her personal agenda. It matters what Labour does right under David Cunliffe. John Key and his acolytes in the MSM, blogosphere, and the voters who benefit from his rule, are handing the election to people who care about what sort of society we have. But also who don’t want a return to the gross misuse of the welfare system that was happening under Clark.

      If Labour and the electorate don’t wake up and get this robber baron shithead government voted out, then they are doomed to more misery and ripoffs for decades longer until they do.

      • greywarbler 26.3.1

        Arfamo
        That’s a bit mean on Helen Clark. And her agenda wasn’t just a personal one. She was able to do her job getting some stuffing into Labour and holding the country together after the depredations of National and was it Alamein Kopu, then. She did well.
        We want better now but don’t diss her in such a cavalier way.

      • Arfamo 26.3.2

        Greywarbler – I’m being mean on Helen Clark? FFS. The woman was as ruthless in pursuit of her own personally-biased agenda, and every bit as shifty and cunning as a kiore, as this lot when it suited her. If I had my way we’d sweep the whole effing lot out of the House of Reprehensibles and start all over again.

        I just had one of the blue rinse brigade attempt to tell me nothing National isn’t doing is anything Labour didn’t do and that David Cunliffe is a bad man because she heard him say on National Radio recently that John Key should “get off his arse” and do something about some issue she can’t even remember, and that that is appallingly bad manners. This thick as pigshit National acolyte had to be reminded they’re all rorting the taxpayer every legal way they can. Ethics are needed from our representatives. Christ alone knows if we’ll ever see such a thing in politics.

        • ropata 26.3.2.1

          “Gross misuse of the welfare system”
          Ahh that’s not actually something Labour stood for. It’s a right wing fantasy used to bash beneficiaries.

          Unless by the welfare system you refer to Aussie banks skimming billions off their tax bill

          • Arfamo 26.3.2.1.1

            I’ll accept that, and replace it with “creeping misuse” of the welfare system. One of my own nieces who likes having babies to men she uses as sperm donors as she can’t be bothered doing anything else was an expert at it.

    • felix 26.4

      “Why is 73% the exact right percentage of shares to own?”

      It’s not.

      100% would be better.

      But 73% is better than 53%.

  27. Rich 27

    If the left are in power when Air NZ goes bust next time, best plan would be to let it fail, I think. All the National voters in places like Tauranga and Whangerei won’t mind driving 300km to get a flight anywhere, will they?

    • Arfamo 27.1

      Good idea. They won’t mind. They can charter hire their own one or two prop jobs. The next government can just work a deal with an existing airline if they need to. Then there’s no angst about re-starting up our own national carrier.

    • photonz 27.2

      Then the Left will be in charge and the country will be rooted, but it won’t matter because they can go “na na, na na na – told you so”

      • ropata 27.2.1

        We are already being rooted over by vulture capitalists and irresponsible fuckwits making sleazy backroom deals

      • Arfamo 27.2.2

        It’s not really relevant what side of the body you want to call the government that eventually replaces these robber barons. What’s relevant is that the 1%ers are hounded out of office around the world and replaced by decent governments who govern in the interests of all their citizens.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 27.2.3

        Do you expect people to take you seriously, Chicken Little? Perhaps in your fantasy, everyone has forgotten the sky failing to fall on our heads between 1999 and 2008.

        You “act” like you abhor extremism, but you support the ninety day fire at will law, you hate the freedoms of speech and assembly represented by unions, and you are clearly delusional about the Left. Per capita GDP, the statistic you are in denial of. The GINI coefficient, the statistic you wish would just go away. Lowest unemployment rate in NZ history, the fact that doesn’t fit your myopic drivel.

        Research describes the link between right wing politics and stupidity, and then Photonz embodies it. 😆

        • Natwest 27.2.3.1

          Move on you unionist loser – we are’nt living in the 1950’s.

          Life & society has passed on from your backward thinking politics.

          You know, 17% union membership – perhaps says something of how workers feel about repressive union bullying thugs.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 27.2.3.1.1

            Nothing to say about per capita GDP then?

            Union members get higher wages. Why do you hate higher wages? Sounds like the politics of envy to me. That and anti-worker rhetoric from the 1950s.

            As for your hatred and fear of the freedoms of speech and assembly, please choke on them.

          • Paul 27.2.3.1.2

            ‘Loser’..’thugs’….. ‘backward thinking’….’repressive’…’bullying’
            Using inflammatory and defamatory language does not strengthen an argument.
            Please debate the actual issue.
            Or are you intending to provoke?
            Why are you so angry?

          • ropata 27.2.3.1.3

            Nothing to do with 30 years of neoliberal attacks on unions and destruction of entire industries and skilled unionised jobs? Winston Peters singlehandedly destroyed local car manufacture by signing off on cheap jap imports. Muldoon really hammered the boatbuilding industry because he was an asshole. Key and pals have a grudge against rail jobs. Telecom maintenance workers were all kicked onto owner operator contracts with Chorus. Builders desperate to help the Christchurch reconstruction have been waiting for months and going broke while Brownlee twiddles his thumbs.

            We would love to see wages drop” says your bankster hero. His vision is a low wage service economy wiping the arses of the global elite who will be our future lords and masters (because there will be no public loos)

          • ropata 27.2.3.1.4

            Forestry, fisheries, farms, power, telecomms, rail, airlines, ferries, oil, coal, steel.. I am struggling to think of an industry that neoliberal nitwits haven’t sold off in the last few decades

            • photonz 27.2.3.1.4.1

              Sounds like you’re desperately in need of a nice prosperous communist country to call home – is there such a thing?

              • Paul

                Still here derailing and distracting with your puerile nonsense and name calling, I see.
                Time for bed photonz.
                The grown ups need to chat, using reason, logic and evidence.
                You’ll learn about that in school one day.

                • photonz

                  Paul – you write a post complaining about abuse, then claim you want intelligent debate, but instead of that YOU get abusive.

                  Nothing at all about Air NZ, straight after your post telling people off for not staying on topic.

                  You gave two good pieces of advice – shame you didn’t follow either of them.

                  The topic is the Air NZ sale.

                  Do you think there’d be such an outcry if Labour was doing the selling.

                  After all, there wasn’t a squeak when they dropped 6% of Air NZ shares under Helen Clark.

                  • framu

                    “Sounds like you’re desperately in need of a nice prosperous communist country to call home – is there such a thing?”

                    you claim you want intelligent debate, but instead of that YOU get abusive.
                    Nothing at all about Air NZ,?
                    The topic is the Air NZ sale.

                    so your a hypocrite as well as a bullshit artist?

              • mickysavage

                Photonz two questions:

                1. Do you think the world is producing too much carbon dioxide?
                2. Do you think the world is consuming too much of the world’s resources?

                • photonz

                  Very likely.

                  Reduction will come through new technology and an economy that can afford to implement it.

                  In the last two or three years –

                  – I’ve bought a small efficient car that uses less than HALF the fuel of my old car, for the same km.

                  – installed a heat pump that uses a QUARTER to a THIRD of the power of my old heaters, for the same output.

                  – installed lighting that uses just a FIFTH of the power of my old lighting, for the same output.

                  – plus a myriad of other direct and indirect savings on power and fuel use.

              • framu

                obviously nothing intelligent to say.

                how many times have you failed your own test on this thread photonz – 5?6?7? times

                its telling that your arguments deflate incredibly quickly and when faced with something you cant dispute your suddenly somewhere else

                sounds like your longing for some pinochet with your dinner

          • tricledrown 27.2.3.1.5

            Ratfest the only reason the union membership has dropped is because the factories have all closed.
            Neo liberal economics robber barons have a free reign .
            ever since the Berlin wall came down as GH Bush summed it up their is going to be a new world order .
            That means capitalists have usurped Democracy.
            Ratfest your in their nest.

      • tricledrown 27.2.4

        so photo Air NZ wouldn’t exist now if labour hadn’t rescued it.

  28. greywarbler 28

    More on the airlines. Sorry I don’t have a link for the above item.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/aviation/air-nz-shoots-down-talk-of-taking-virgin-private/story-e6frg95x-1226758552494#
    Air NZ shoots down talk of taking Virgin private 13/11/13

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/airline-combatants-take-it-outside-and-qantas-is-weaving/story-e6frg9wx-1226760191553#
    Airline combatants take it outside and Qantas is weaving 15/11/13

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/markets-live/markets-live-banks-bounce-back-20131114-2xhtt.html
    Sydney Morning Herald 14/11/13
    9:51am: Virgin has resorted to a $350 million capital raising amid tough operating conditions in the domestic aviation market where it faces a bitter battle with arch rival Qantas.
    The raising will be fully underwritten by the airline’s three major shareholders – Air New Zealand, Etihad and Singapore – which will give them the chance to boost their stakes further depending on the interest from other investors.
    Australia’s second-largest airline will issue almost 925 million shares at 38 cents a piece, which it says will strengthen its balance sheet significantly.
    The stock was placed in a trading halt this morning ahead of the rights issue.

    15/11/13
    http://nz.finance.yahoo.com/news/business-breakdown–air-new-zealand-drawn-deeper-into-aussie-200731364.html
    Business Breakdown: Air New Zealand drawn deeper into Aussie

    By Pattrick Smellie | BusinessDesk – Fri, Nov 15, 2013 9:07 AM NZDT
    Air New Zealand’s pursuit of a strategic stake in Virgin Australia will cost the national carrier between A$81 million and A$116 million as it prepares to take up its share of a rights issue intended to strengthen the Aussie airline’s balance sheet.

    That’s prompting sharemarket analysts to cast a more wary eye over its Australian strategy, since Virgin is still losing money – A$98 million in the last financial year – and memories of Air New Zealand’s disastrous, forced investment in Ansett in the early 2000’s linger.
    This time round, Air New Zealand is more master of its own destiny. No one is holding a gun to their head, unlike the Ansett situation.

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/aviation/qantas-chief-alan-joyce-slams-virgin-deal-20131118-2xpls.html
    Qantas chief Alan Joyce slams Virgin deal 18/11/13

  29. ropata 29

    Yep, AirNZ has a strategic stake in (and alliance with) VirginAU, which has engaged in a price war against Qantas.
    Qantas-owned Jetstar is also competing against AirNZ in the NZ market, and not doing so well.

    The airline industry is cut throat and airline shares are a risky proposition, not for the faint hearted.

    OTOH the airline performs a critical function in society and shouldn’t be sold off like a second hand car on Trade Me

    • greywarbler 29.1

      I’m very happy to read your comment ropata. There is a lot of trolling going on here which on comment numbers initially appears that there is good discussion, but on a closer check, the codling moth has been in and eaten out the content and left a nasty taste behind. It makes me sigh after I have gone to the trouble to get stuff (then lose it partly, but I had done a backstop on my links thank goodness).

      I was so busy compiling the stuff I haven’t had time to think it through. Will selling part of our airline weaken our position? Is the government selling to provide the money that it would be expected to put into Virgin shares to maintain our position in that partnership? Would it be better to keep the shares within the airlines rather than have sticky fingered institutions especially ones from the US who apparently have money to spend, and the will to spend it now.. That’s where our strategic strength is not with Qantas. So we must work with Virgin as our partner.

      • ropata 29.1.1

        Cashing out of assets in the current global economy is absolute idiocy. When currencies around the world are looking very unstable it makes sense to hold physical wealth not paper.

        F*cking sweet deals for money printing nations … give Kiwis some worthless trinkets, then gain ownership of massive dams, telecomms and anything else the feckless neoliberals are selling to pay down their fictional debts.

    • Rogue Trooper 29.2

      a risky investment indeed, need to be in for the long-haul, and when they plunge…there is no soft landing.

  30. greywarbler 30

    Australian Financial Review has interesting information if can’t find anything from nz.
    http://www.afr.com/tags;jsessionid=C416834C6E911C30117912E863213A32?tag=P_Alan%20Joyce – Stuff on airlines and what’s happening over there.

  31. Paul 31

    Don Donovan on The Panel today labelled the Asset Sale referendum set up by ‘mischief makers.’
    Who is he?

    • Paul 31.1

      Then Mark Lister from Craig’s Investments is asked to discuss the sale of Air New Zealand.
      That’s really fair and balanced Fox News…I mean…Radio New Zealand.

      Donovan sounding like a completely ill informed and bigoted ideologue so far. Who selects these guests?
      Given only 2% of population bought shares, the views heard on RNZ are hardly representative.
      Where is Morrissey when you need him?

    • greywarbler 31.2

      There is something about Don Donovan on Pundit going back to 2009. Not uncomoon name.

  32. greywarbler 32

    Latest Qantas moves – Qantas is lobbying the Australian government to block Air New Zealand and two other government-backed airlines injecting more capital into domestic rival Virgin Australia.
    http://www.3news.co.nz/Qantas-seeks-block-on-Air-NZ-and-others/tabid/421/articleID/321831/Default.aspx

    I wonder if it would pay Qantas to invest in Air New Zealand shares (and it used to have some I think), through some intermediary institution buying some of the 20% that our airline is selling.
    They could then have a bob both ways, make some money of the oppo, and be in close to get the plans for the future, and bolster Qantas which apparently is feeling the pinch after years of protection from the Oz government allowing it to be anti-competitive.

    Qantas has had to restructure with 1,000 jobs gone in 2011 on its previous model.
    From wikipedia –
    Due to high fuel prices, intense competition and industrial disputes, Qantas reported a A$245 million ($257 million) full-year loss to the end of June 2012, which was its first loss since Qantas was fully privatised 17 years previously, in 1995, and led to the airline cancelling its order of 35 new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, to reduce its spending.[27]
    Qantas and Emirates began their historic alliance on 31 March 2013…

    ….. in 1995–96 and 1996–97.[28] Investors outside Australia took a strong interest in the float, securing 20% of the stock which, together with British Airways’ 25% holding,….
    Qantas was 55% Australian-owned and 45% foreign-owned.[29] By law, Qantas must be at least 51% Australian-owned, and the level of foreign ownership is constantly monitored

    The main domestic competitor to Qantas, Ansett Australia, collapsed on 14 September 2001.[33] Market share for Qantas immediately neared 90%, with the relatively new budget airline Virgin Blue holding the remainder..

    • ropata 32.1

      I kind of agree, the situation for NZ and AU airlines is just getting tougher and we could quite possibly be heading for market failure. In which case nationalisation would be the only real solution and making the airlines more of a public service rather than a luxury for the rich.

      • Lanthanide 32.1.1

        I really wouldn’t call domestic airfares or fares to Australia a “luxury for the rich”.

        International ones, sure, but that’s basically because we’re at the arse-end of the world so the fuel cost ramp up.

        • ropata 32.1.1.1

          You’re right but they definitely toady to the well heeled traveller. Once I was upgraded to Business Class (as a surprise) and I sat next to some suit who wouldn’t say hello, he decided to move to a seat away from me. Let the pollies rub shoulders with the great unwashed I say 🙂

          • Murray Olsen 32.1.1.1.1

            I got upgraded to first class once on an Auckland-Papeete flight, subsequently passing through Rapanui to Santiago. Unfortunately, the cabin was full of rich disgusting Chileans going back to celebrate Pinochet’s birthday. I understood enough Spanish to get the gist of what they were saying, but sadly not enough to tell them what disgusting fascist pigs they were. I don’t use the term fascist often, nor lightly.

  33. Francis 33

    Does anyone have any evidence of Labour supposedly selling down the government stake in Air New Zealand?

    From what I understand, it was bailed out in 2001 through the buying of 76% of shares (the remaining 24% was kept by shareholders who were not willing to give up their shares). I’ve found no evidence of Labour selling down the 76% stake following this, even though it has been claimed by people on this page.

    • tricledrown 33.1

      francis share holding was lowered due to Air NZ needing to borrow for new more economical aircraft A320’s to replace older less economical Boeing’s.
      this has benefited AirNZ .

    • lprent 33.2

      Correct. The government brought to 76.5% to prevent the company failing in 2001.

      The illiterates you are referring to (ie the ones that can’t use google) may be confused about an offer from Quantas in 2002 or 2003 to buy a stake in Air NZ – which was turned down.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 33.2.1

        The Labour cabinet approved the sale. The Commerce Commission put a stop to it on anti-competitive grounds.

        • Arfamo 33.2.1.1

          History, biscuitbucket. Painful history. What Labour did in the past is no current guide to what it will do in the future.

          With National, their history pretty much is a roadmap to what they will do in the future.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 33.2.1.1.1

            Only, I do not remember anyone crying about the “destruction of the community” and “theft” when Labour was planning to do it.

            Why is that, do you think?

            And lyn, to say it “was turned down” employs is very misleading. No-one turned it down. The government accepted it. But for the regulator preventing it, the sale would have occurred.

            • Arfamo 33.2.1.1.1.1

              Only, I do not remember anyone crying about the “destruction of the community” and “theft” when Labour was planning to do it.

              Why is that, do you think?

              Who cares? Why do you ask stupid questions that relate to the Clark dictatorship when she is long gone and has now traded up to a better salary at the UN?

            • lprent 33.2.1.1.1.2

              Perhaps you should find a few links. Wikipedia says that the government “refused” the offer

              In October 2001, Air New Zealand was re-nationalised under a New Zealand government NZ$885 million rescue plan (with the government taking a 76.5% stake), and subsequently received new leadership. This act was the only thing that spared Air New Zealand from also going into administration, without which it too would have joined its now bankrupt subsidiary, Ansett, and likely would have been grounded.
              In 2002, Air New Zealand reconfigured its domestic operations under a low-cost airline business plan, and the New Zealand government weighed (and later refused) a proposal from Qantas to purchase a one-fifth stake in the carrier. Air New Zealand returned to profitability in 2003, reporting a net profit of $NZ165.7 million for that year.

              My recollection was that Quantas wanted to buy it. The government wasn’t too happy about forking out a pile of capital to investors when it was short for the things it wanted to do. They also weren’t happy with the private cowboys with messiah fetishes from Act who’d run the crucial tourism/air freight system into the ground. So cabinet “weighed” it and voted to look at the sale. Basically Farrar is lying again in his post – the decision was “in principle”. It would have required cabinet approval for the sale. That (amongst other procedural things) means that it was sent to the commerce commission both here and in aussie and looked at.

              However the main reason that it wasn’t sold was nothing to do with any commerce commission decision. That is a flat out bullshit and as I recall was issued after the offer was refused.

              The main reason was all of the business people (like me) who really didn’t want some more silly arseholes running their ego’s over the airfreight business and getting in the way of our export businesses. After all we’d just had Continental pull out. There was quite a lot of lobbying going on to keep Air NZ away the machinations of airline financiers and to act as crucial infrastructure for exports.

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                I have done as you suggested and looked for links.

                Like this:

                http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/govt-approves-air-nz-qantas-proposal-proceeding-commerce-commission

                Where the government agrees to the proposal going forward to the Commerce Commission.

                The bits in quotes are Michael Cullen’s words.

                “The second perspective from which the government had to judge the proposal was as Kiwi Shareholder and guardian of the national interest. The considerations we used to guide this judgement were:
                ·maintenance of effective control of Air New Zealand by New Zealand nationals;
                ·continuation of Air New Zealand’s ability to exercise New Zealand’s existing and future air rights;
                ·preservation of the unique New Zealand identity of Air New Zealand;
                ·provision of effective channels for international tourism and travel;
                ·provision of a durable domestic air services network; and
                ·preservation of New Zealand based employment.

                “On balance, we considered the proposal cleared these hurdles. The criterion which proved most problematic, and which caused considerable difficulty to the government, was the first one.

                “Only if the proposal gets Commerce Commission and ACCC approval, will we give it final support,” the Ministers said. “If it is significantly altered during the competition processes or if significant new information emerges, the government will need to reappraise it.”

                • ropata

                  Seems pretty reasonable to consider all options for the future of the national carrier that they had just bailed out for a billion dollars

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                    I agree, entirely.

                    So, nothing wrong with selling 5%. Something wrong with selling 20%. What is the magic number?

                    • felix

                      Why are you always going on about magic numbers?

                      I think it’s usually just a tactic to shut down debate – like with minimum wages “Well why not make it $16.25 or $17.30? What’s so special about $15?”

                      It’s a bullshit argument. You’re trying to imply that there is no such thing as “better than” or “worse than”.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      I remember no public outrage of the sort that is quite fashionable here when the Labour government wanted to sell shares in Air New Zealand in 2002.

                      That they wanted to sell an amount below a magic number might be one explanation for that.

                      If not because they were selling fewer shares, how do you account for that lack of outrage, Felix?

                    • felix

                      Nothing to do with “magic numbers” idiot.

                      You’re still trying to imply that objection is invalid unless a magic number is stated.

                      The fact is most of us would prefer 100% to have remained in public ownership, but the more the better.

                      It’s not a difficult concept to grasp except for the terminally thick or (in your case) those deliberately feigning ignorance.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      OK. So nothing to do with the number of shares being sold. Got it.

                      So why were there no campaigns claiming the sale to Qantas was “theft” and that Labour was “destroying everything of value in New Zealand”?

                    • lprent []

                      Actually there was. Probably wasn’t as vocal, but on the other hand they didn’t sell anything in 2002.

                    • Arfamo

                      WTF has this bollocks got to do with what Labour under Cunners is about?
                      Christ, you’re an idiot.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      So, it’s my fault for expecting consistency in your futile outrage?

        • lprent 33.2.1.2

          Wrong. The Cabinet agreed to look at the sale… This is what “in principle” means. After all they’d just forked out a immense amount of money to pay of the idiots who’d just run our main airfreight operation into the ground with really dumb decisions.

          The representations from exporters probably had far more to do with their subsequent decision than a much later commerce commission decision. That sounds like the usual bullshit from Farrar or Slater as they rewrite history.

  34. BevanJS 34

    Why would we own a fossil fuel burning company in a highly volatile industry? Get rid of it and do something else with our money.

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