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Asset sales delayed

Written By: - Date published: 4:28 pm, September 3rd, 2012 - 49 comments
Categories: energy, national, Privatisation - Tags: , ,

Breaking news – here’s the 3 News version:

Govt delays asset sales

The Government has officially delayed its asset sales programme until next year. … It was due to sell Mighty River Power by November this year – but it has officially pulled the plug. It hopes to sell the power generator in March next year.

… After receiving legal advice, the Government has decided to hold a month of “talks” with Maori about how best to proceed with the sales.

… For many Maori, this will be seen as a significant victory and a major backdown from the Government, which had initially stated it could ignore the Tribunal’s findings and push ahead. The Government says it’s not a backdown and it’s the right thing to do in the face of huge uncertainty. Cabinet sources have told 3 News that the Maori Council may still decide to go to court in the New Year anyway to seek an injunction to the sales – no matter if a deal with Iwi is successfully completed.


49 comments on “Asset sales delayed”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    That’s not storm clouds … it’s steam rising from Kiwiblog, ShonKey really showed those ‘marreeees’ eh boys …

  2. Carol 2

    Definitely a significant back down by Shonkey Inc – and he/they officially confirmed the withdrawal of NZ troops from Afghanistan a little before this announcement – presumably to draw some heat from the back-down.

    And setting the final date of withdrawal at around the same time as the first power company will be up for auction – April next year.

    And the petition for the referendum rolls on!!!

  3. Peter 3

    I was wrong, and am pleased to be wrong. I honestly thought Key would drive the wedge between Maori and Pakeha and proceed with the sale.

    • tc 3.1

      Wait till next year, when they go through with it after the CT boys have refocused the spin.

      • Peter 3.1.1

        I wonder. Some iwi may settle for a cash deal, but I think the Maori Council wants case law defining Maori interests in water, very similar to the lands case in 1987. It may be that the thing gets further delayed, because “share plus” isn’t the defining judgement that they want.

        • Carol

          From the report on RNZ Checkpoint, it sounds like Key has indicated he has ruled out talking to the Maori Council and will just write to them. He aims to try to negotiate with Iwi separately. But the report indicated Key is also positioning himself to look good in any court case, because he can say he tried to negotiate.

          • Mary

            Mary Wilson stuffed the interview with Joyce up by focusing on future discussions over the share plus recommendation. Government’s entitled to say it doesn’t agree with it but easily batted it away by saying they’re prepared to discuss it further before deciding. Wilson flogged a dead horse when she could’ve cleaned up focusing on government refusing a joint hui. That should’ve been her angle. “But Mr Joyce, don’t you think this looks like the government is out to rule and divide Maori so it can get what it wants?” If government’s being so ‘reasonable’ and receptive to Treaty concerns why isn’t it prepared to discuss via joint hui? Slime.

            • deuto

              Excellent point, Mary. I didn’t have the time to concentrate on the interview, and must go back and relisten, but I also thought that Mary stuffed that up, unlike her. So thanks for your comment.

        • joe90

          Sleazy change manager shit, one by one……..just him and a trusty sidekick will visit and it’ll be all reason and promise.

  4. So proud of all of those who went to battle on this one and now we have to be careful they don’t just make a sneaky deal with the “Iwi”: 

    “However, after careful consideration ministers have decided to undertake a short period of consultation with iwi on the ‘shares plus’ concept raised in the Waitangi Tribunal’s interm report.

    but take all of us into account!!!

    • Enough is Enough 4.1


      Now watch the consultation process as Shonkey passes Iwi a brown paper envelope under the table.

      The war is far from over

    • Anne 4.2

      we have to be careful they don’t just make a sneaky deal with the “Iwi”:

      That is exactly what they intend to do, and with the Maori Party’s approval.

    • felix 4.3

      Agree with all 3 of you, that’s exactly what they’re up to.

      Unfortunately for wee Johnny we’ll be having a referendum before he gets to sell squat and he’ll have to explicitly and openly act against the wishes of the public.

  5. infused 5

    It’s not a back down.. actually read about it. It will go ahead.

    • Lightly 5.1

      every day they don’t drop this policy, it bleeds them votes – they’re done 12% this past year.

      and the sales will be held up forever in the courts.

      delay without cancellation is great news for the Left. It means we still have a stick to whack them AND we don’t lose our assets.

  6. fisiani 6

    Great statesmanlike decision from John Key. Flexible and firm. The coalition with the Maori Party is not one of necessity but one of longevity. JK does not call them wreckers and haters and he seeks compromise where possible. A truly great leader.

    [It’s a bit late to do much about this one now .. but some months ago I warned fisi about repeating this creepy sycophancy of his. I haven’t been moderating much lately; but I’m quite keen to make an exception in this case…RL]

    • gobsmacked 6.1

      Ha ha ha!

      Fisiani had two comments ready, one for Go, one for Stop.

      Here’s the other one …

      “Great statesmanlike decision from John Key. Strong and decisive. Doing what’s best for the economy. JK has a mandate to go ahead with the sale immediately, as planned. He is not willing to pander to a vocal minority. A truly great leader.”

    • Rusty Hellback 6.2

      hurr hurr hurr…

  7. Dr Terry 7

    fisiani – I never realised you were capable of such preposterous irony! Only the biggest idiot could take this seriously – without raucous laughter.

  8. I was pleasantly surprised.  To be honest Key is done either way.  If he had rammed it through he would have really hurt race relations and the rule of law.  If he delayed then as TM suggested the Kiwiblog/Whaleoil hourdes would have been aporplectic.  And a delay hurts the Government’s accounts as those asset sale proceeds do not materalise.
    This does not let the Government off the hook.  It only allows them to wriggle a bit more and really get themselves trapped.
    I stand by an earlier comment however.  National’s basic problem is that if they do not proceed with the share sale then they have nothing to show for their attempts to “jump start” the economy.

    Mining national parks was cancelled, tax cuts for the wealthy has not worked.  There is nothing left, apart from the dream that the cycleway will somehow achieve miracles and get the country back on its feet.
    National really looks like it has no clue on what to do.
    Time for Paula and Judith to come out with some more bene bashing …

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    More detailed analysis will no doubt appear in the next week or two on this decision. It is finely balanced which ever way you look at the Nats caucus tactics vs the ‘heartland’ mob’s true desires, the Māori Party furiously weaseling away in the background and the positions of the various top level stakeholders in the power companies.

    My suspicion is that the PM has temporarily put down the mega wedge of Māori vs pākehā and will be using the surgical version instead on the various iwi, hapu, business people, Māori Council, Iwi leaders, and Māori Party members seeking to split off this or that vital section or even individual.

    So for the rest of us the job is to complete the referendum petition successfully to try and put the ‘mandate fallacy’ to rest, keep agitating (including in the ranks of the Labour Party for those who are members) to reinforce that NZ Aotearoa is NOT for sale.

    • Tiger Mountain 9.1

      Further to my comment above, well know activist Mike Smith just said on Facebook…

      “So whats just happened? …. The government has suspended the sale of assets until March …. and now it will stage whirlwind series of “consultation” hui over the next five weeks … iwi by iwi ….there will be no national hui … no consultation with the New Zealand Maori Council …. there will be no “share’s plus” deal …. So what does the government want? …. to divide and rule … and buy off a small group of selected iwi interest groups …. ”

      Mike goes on to suggest rejecting the government approach, and convening “our own national Hui”.

  10. Grumpy 10

    Wonderful result, I have already got onto ECAN and told them to shove their irrigation consent. If it’s under my land, it’s my water.

  11. Ianmac from Vietnam 11

    Perhaps the real reason for delay is based on Economics and the Waitangi decision just a convenient foil.

    • often puzzled 11.1

      well could be we have been told Mighty River profits down

    • Aye Ianmac.  Rio Tinto had way more influence on the decision than Tainui.

      But the Government will blame Maori rather than the multinationals.

      BTW it looks like you enjoyed Vietnam.  It is a fascinating place and it reinforces faith in ordinary humans … 

    • tracey 11.3

      Perhaps the lack of plan b has meant they are now totally driven by their polling on asset sales. Blame the maori for them having to do what their electorate wants… Could opposition and media now start asking two questions,

      What is plan b for our economy if sales cant happen,

      What do they have planned for our prosperity after the asset sales

  12. irascible 12

    When I described the KeY government’s drive to sell off the State Assets to people in Europe the reaction was one of horror and disgust. In every case, from the Irish farmers to the English businessmen, the reaction was “How damn stupid!! To sell off the country’s power generation assets to foreign corporates and lose the income from the assets is ecomonic stupidity!!”

    KeY’s decision to partially delay the sell off of the state assets is an admission that his economic vision is faulty and based on unreasoned logic.

    • xtasy 12.1

      iracible: You may have been talking with “informed” and educated persons, there, but the problem is:This is not the case in NZ!!! Much brain washing , misinformation and bull crap, yet most fall for it! That is the reality in the most brainwashed supposed “1st world” country on this planet, which is NZ!

  13. F*#k Off 13

    Now all we have to do is convince the nation that we need an election before then or at the same time. Vote PinoKeyo in if you want Our Assets sold or vote him out because we don’t want him! Easy really aye?

  14. xtasy 14

    Good news of sorts, but nothing to celebrate too soon, and certainly still a bit of a worry, what Key and NatACT are planning.

    It is clear now, as I totally expected, Key and his government, representing “the Crown”, wants to engage in more divide and rule.

    He wants to resolutely stop from addressing Maori water right issues on a national scale, and instead he, and his smart alec lawyer minister Finlayson (in charge of treaty negotiations) want to engage iwi and hapu on a case by case approach!

    Worrying also is now the role and position of the Maori Party, who prove yet again, they are on their last legs and cling to power no matter what. They even dare to present the government’s position as a positive one.

    “Maori are not homegenous in their views”, Pita Sharples just said on ‘Native Affairs’, yet then he speculated on some more general way of addressing Maori grievances and interests, when it comes to water rights.

    How does it feel to be Maori lackeys to a NatACT government, I ask Pita Sharpless and his two buddies in parliament?

    As an individual I did some years back also experience the often used claim by government and the Crown to “act in good faith”. That is far from the truth as I and others ever experienced it. So once I hear any reference to that, I shudder in fear and disgust.

    “Good faith” since 1840? Show it then! I see little of it in regards to rights to tangata whenua and NZers in general. It has ALWAYS been compromised and betrayed!

    • F*#k Off 14.1

      Pita Sharples doesn’t speak for Maori. They only have a voice for less than 1.5% of the voting population so his words don’t carry much weight with or for Maori. The Maori Council is way ahead of PinoKeyo in law & Waitangi Treaty and process. Kinda showing PinoKeyo up for the Muppet he is!
      In less than 4 years PinoKeyo has run up more than $143b of defict(s)/debt so $5b aint going to do nothing, a bit like PinoKeyos government track record to date. Japan after the tsunami built 60,000 temporary homes in less than 18 months, Brownlee,Fletchers 120 in 2 years at a cost of more than $9b dollars & created only 26 new jobs for some apprentices while 12500 accredited contractors are still waiting for work!

      SO BUGGA HAVING A REFERENDUMB LETS HAVE AN ELECTION! – Now all we have to do is convince the nation that we need an election before then or around about the same time. Vote PinoKeyo in if you want Our Assets sold or vote him out because we don’t want him! Easy really aye?

      So I think the stupid middle class need to give themselves an upper cut for this mess! 

  15. Just watched native affairs,the maori council’s manu paul isn’t happy with regards
    to good faith,john tamahere as well,so its not going to be plain sailing for shonkey.

    • xtasy 15.1

      “good faith” is the NZ governments supposed “persil” phrase, washing all clean so to say. But in reality it is the most abused legal terminology in this country. There is NO good faith in most government actions and policy, as Tamihere said, whether it is welfare or other law, it is abused beyond recognition!

      They are all a pack of gold plated, legally registered liars, who engage in this talk. Throw the whole Crown crap out and redefine NZ with a new constitution, not made up with bits of acts and common law, but with a new set of principles that apply to Maori and the rest of NZ society, once and for all! Te Tiriti o Waitangi can easily be incorporated.

      By the way this website seems to have some serious access issues as of recent. SIS for any suspicion?

    • OneTrack 15.2

      Shonkey wont get out of it anyway. When the Greens get in, they can pay out as much koha as Maori want. Silly Key.

  16. xtasy 16

    So where do Shearer and Labour stand on all this by the way?

    • Fortran 16.1


      Very Good Question – still no Umms and Aaas – yet.
      Don’t suppose we will get an answer – or at least an intelligent one.
      Not consulted New York yet as Labor Day holiday in USA.

  17. AmaKiwi 17

    The global market downturn has killed the NZ asset sales.

    The Facebook share offering in May was a disaster. The initial offering price was $38. It is now $18 a share. That’s a 52% LOSS.

    In August, Manchester United wanted to sell shares at $20 (USD) but the market was so weak they dropped the offering price to $14. The owners took a 30% LOSS in order to sell the shares.

    In August there were only 9 initial public offerings (IPO) on the US markets. That is miniscule. Cash is moving OUT of shares into fixed income. IPO’s are dead. They will not recover anytime soon.

    Once were warriors? Still warriors! But this time in the courts.

    Maori have fought a critical holding action that will delay the sales until they are no longer feasible.

    Well done. I owe you a debt of gratitude. I hope others appreciate what you have done for the country.

  18. F*#k Off 18

    We can blame the middle class for this mess. Putting PinoKeyo back in has cost the country hugely. $143b more debt in less than 4 years, a dead economy, 9.1% real unemployment and they still blame the GFC & the earth quake?? Japan built more than 60,000 temporary homes in less than 18 months, Brownlee & Fletchers, $9b & 120 houses, 26 jobs for apprentices while 12500 accredited contractors are still waiting for work. And trying on the biggest swindle, sell off Assets that will barely get $5b to knock a dent in the $143b deficit debt for the last 4 years! Maybe that expensive education the middle class received is worthless? Why? They were stupid enough to vote him in again!

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