Whose interests are the Nats working for?

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, April 22nd, 2013 - 82 comments
Categories: capitalism, energy - Tags:

If Labour and the Greens were talking about nationalising the dairies or taking over the factories, I could understand their cries of ‘protect property rights’ but, actually, Labour and the Greens aren’t nationalising anything, they’re just changing the system that National invented in the 1990s. And the companies that will lose profits are government creations.

Now, take a gander at the current ownership of the electricity companies and what it would look like post-asset sales (assuming National’s projection of 33% to foreign institutions, 33% to local institutions, and 33% to ‘mum and dad’)

Current ownership:

current ownership of the electricity gentailers

Two-thirds of the companies are currently government-owned, a further 15%+ is foreign-owned. Only 1% is owned by small ‘mum and dad’ retail investors.

Post asset sales projected ownership:

post asset sales ownership of the electricity gentailers

If the asset sales go the way National expects, the gentailers will still 35%+ government-owned, with foreign ownership making up a further 25%. Only 10% will be owned by ‘mum and dad’.

So, why are National and the Right pitching a fit at the prospect of the Crown and foreign institutions losing superprofits when that’s the price of households and businesses getting lower power prices? Real businesses are looking forward to paying less for power but National says ‘stuff them, we’re looking out for the Crown’s stealth tax and Origin Energy’s profits’.

It’s mad. Well, it would be mad if the Right actually believed in helping business. If the Right was about helping business it would be against all rent-seeking in the non-tradable sector, whether it’s the Crown and Origin exploiting the electricity market for super-profits or ‘investors’ riding the housing and rural property markets for tax-free capital gains, because this rent-seeking is vampirism that sucks the life out of the economy, increases our foreign debt, drives up our exchange rates, kills jobs.

But National’s not against these things, are they? No. Because they don’t stand for a more efficient, wealthier economy. They stand for protecting the interests of the elite, protecting the status quo, no matter how stuffed the status quo might be, no matter how much it hurts businesses and Kiwi families.

Update: Now, the Right’s line is becoming ‘first they came for the electricity companies’ superprofits…’ and insinuating that next Labour and the Greens will nationalise the foreign-owned supermarket duopoly. (Because sorting out that broken market would be so awful). Of course, it means no such thing. The electricity market needs fixing. Families and businesses oughtn’t be paying superprofits to the Crown and foreign investors. NZ Power will deliver that. And the market and the Right know it. That’s why they’re trying to scare up the ‘threat’ that other broken markets will be fixed.

82 comments on “Whose interests are the Nats working for?”

  1. One Anonymous Knucklehead 1

    “…other broken markets will be fixed…”

    A knucklehead can dream…

  2. Paul 2

    I think a pledge to break the supermarkets’ duopoly would be very popular.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Exactly. And this is the line:

      “Labour/Greens would support a referendum which asks if NZ’s supermarket duopoly needs to be restructured to provide consumers, suppliers and employees a better deal”

      • Jim Nald 2.1.1

        That, or by building in greater competition (to benefit the consumer citizen, not the richest NZers or foreigners) as per the suggestion below.

        Basic, common household consumables can be purchased more affordably from a government-initiated nationwide cooperative … and higher-end, specialist, imported or luxury foods and products can be the preserve of the duopolies.

        This makes it more competitive in NZ and enriches the ‘market’ options for consumers.

        Still well within the existing paradigm, quite neo-liberal and nothing radical or socialist haw haw.


        • ghostrider888

          groovy Jim

        • Foreign Waka

          Bit too much control of basics by the government. Looks like Russia to me before Glasnost and Perestroika. I used to live in Europe and we had a good lough about the buying power of the Russian Government. One week you could get Toilet paper, but the rest of the shelves were empty. The next week it was soap, cheep stuff – the kind that was used to hand wash laundry. Week after that it was fish in tins, etc… I really doubt that anyone likes to have this happening. However, all that is needed is approval to let competition settle. Aldi, and international chain is already in Australia. The same principle could apply in the furniture sector. Ikea comes to mind. Wonder why they have not settled here, hmmm……. It is from my perspective a perverse twist of corporate using Stalinist strategy that is being strongly advocated by vested interest.

          • Colonial Viper

            FW sorry you got it wrong, the govt sponsored groceries co-op would simply be another player in the space. You want increased competition, here it is.

            PS if a government can keep troops at the front line supplied daily with toilet paper, bullets and meals, I’m sure they’ll do ok.

            • Foreign Waka

              CV – all I am saying is that I have seen the actual living model of a governmental agency running distribution of the basics to the folks (not military, they got meat!) What I have written is not a joke, it is based on FACTS. Humans will be the same and greed is not a prerogative of the wealthy, belief you me.
              Competition is still a functioning tool to control prices spiraling out of control. Don’t forget, the “free” (yeah right) market will price what the market can bear. Perhaps even until it breaks. By then there is mayhem and another lot makes bundles of money. I could go on about this but being a European makes me very weary of too much government.

              • Colonial Viper

                Sorry FW I don’t accept the idea for one second that the public sector cannot run an effective and efficient logistics and supply operation.

                What I have written is not a joke, it is based on FACTS

                No one is talking about replicating 1980’s Soviet Style Bureaucracy in the southern seas.

                • Foreign Waka

                  I accept your views but disagree with the idea of a public sector running a business of food supply. It does not appeal to me at all, sorry.

    • Jim Nald 2.2

      Bloody good idea!!!

      Singapore has a chain of supermarkets that provides affordable prices for basic vegetables and fruit, cleaning items and other common household items.

      The supermarket chain is called NTUC. Guess what that stands for?


      And all that coming from a socialist, oops, capitalist market like Singapore .. haahhh.

      For us, establishing a key supermarket chain throughout NZ (NZ Supermarket? Kiwi Supermarket?) with primarily or largely locally-sourced vegetables, fruit and common household items that are at fair, affordable cheaper prices would be great. There may not be a totally blank slate to start from as a number of existing locally owned cooperatives can be joined up to kickstart such a nationwide supermarket coalition.

      This policy proposal, which still fits within the competitive free-market model, can be strategically used to embrace, or in some way adapt in some way, Labour’s policy on GST-free fruit and vegetables.

      Come on, Greens, Winston and Mana, come on board and you know you can all do this!

      • Ad 2.2.1

        Why do we need to go there with supermarket regulation and buy into their Dancing Cossacks mythology? In any given weekend there is a farmers market in your town or neighbourhood. You don’t have to pay GST, cash is king, bargaining is fine if you feel inclined, organic is quite possible. It supports local growers, decreases duopolistic power, and its a whole lot more fun than the malled mechanised shopping experience. Unless you’re really that into flourescent lighting, rude trolley driving, and Val Doonican and the Mancini Strings over and over again.

        • karol

          No farmers market near New Lynn, Auckland as far as I’m aware. I have only come across them in rural or urban fringe areas.

          • Ad

            Your best ones are Avondale market, Titirangi, Blockhouse Bay.

            • karol

              Thanks. Yes, Avondale is close to New Lynn – and Titirangi and Blockhouse Bay – I’ll try to swing by one of them on a weekend when I’m not working.

              As I work most weekends, I tend to miss a lot of such things.

          • chris

            Is Avondale not close to New Lynn anymore?

          • Ad

            If you want to payer significantly for higher quality, I would also recommend the Grey Lynn one. But get there before 10.30am as it sells out.

          • infused

            They are everywhere in the lower north island.

        • ghostrider888

          Ad -Supermarkets provide a one-stop-shop regarding commuting concerns

          • karol

            Yes, that’s another problem. I try to walk and use public transport as much as possible.

            However, I have started growing some of my own veges – still got my L Plates on, and have limitations in being in rental accommodation.

            • ghostrider888

              Excellent having a few greens, even Silver beet or salad greens, out the back to cut as required; a fruit tree / vine or two, broccoli grows quite fast.That is the unfortunate fact of Auckland; cycling difficulties; however, the mechanic in me used to bike from Pap. to East Tamaki (40 mins) work 12 hours, bike home. (yet I was so much younger then, and consumed kegs of fluid) 😉

      • Jim Nald 2.2.2

        By the way –

        Shopping at the Singapore NTUC supermarkets for pensioners (hello, NZ First!) and low income individuals allow them a discount or a redeemable points system of some sort. They can apply for a discounted membership card or something like that.

        Will find out more from contacts there or Google.

        • Jim Nald

          Here ya go:

          “2 % Discount To Elderly on Tuesdays
          Since 2002, FairPrice has been extending a 2% discount to senior shoppers aged 60 years and above when they shop on Tuesdays*. This is to provide financial relief for seniors who are no longer working and earning an income. It also serves to encourage active seniors to shop for the family and promotes an active lifestyle for seniors as well as family bonding. On average, about 80,000 seniors enjoy the 2% discount every Tuesday at FairPrice stores.
          *Valid for purchases up to $200 per customer per day”

          “LinkPoints and Rebates
          LinkPoints loyalty programme was rolled out in 1999 to provide greater value and savings to customers. Customers can use their accumulated LinkPoints to offset their purchases instantly at FairPrice stores. Every year, more than 500,000 FairPrice members will also get attractive rebates for their purchases.”

          “Yellow Dot Items
          To help customers stretch their dollar further, FairPrice introduced a range of “Yellow Dot” basic items that are 20 to 25 percent cheaper than comparable top national brands. The lowest-priced in their respective product categories, these basic items can be identified by a yellow dot on point-of-sales materials at FairPrice stores.”

          Source: http://www.fairprice.com.sg/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/FerretAbtUsView?langId=-1&storeId=90001&catalogId=10051&content=Community_Cost_Of_Living&Corporate=Y

          And some info on Wikipedia:

          A NZ-like NTUC supermarket chain can also be a vehicle to rejuvenate Rod Donald’s “Buy New Zealand” campaign.

          • DrStoat

            NTUC works in Singapore for a number of reasons not applicable to high-cost New Zealand. First, there is no minimum wage legislation. The workers in NTUC are paid very little by Singapore standards (of course, they also therefore pay no tax and are recipients of certain Singapore government grants and assistance, such as HDB (public) housing and Medisave benefits from their CPF (compulsory superannuation). Company tax is much lower. Health and safety requirements are less onerous. NTUC also benefits from its close links to the government, making it easier to get the necessary permits to employ foreign workers (since by and large the salaries that NTUC pays would be too low for highly educated Singaporeans.) Most of the workers are Chinese nationals. I know this because I shop at NTUC. There’s one just around the corner.

            Next, the produce that NTUC sells is mostly imported, with a few exceptions, from regional economies, primarily Malaysia and Thailand. Singapore does not have much primary produce, mainly some poultry and vegetables. The cost of importing such produce is lower than it would be for a New Zealand equivalent because of distance (land border between Malaysia and Singapore and Thailand and Malaysia makes trucking viable) and again wages (since neither Thailand nor Malaysia have minimum wages or other social welfare schemes; though there are policies in place to prefer the bumiputra (native Malays) in Malaysia). There are much less rigorous controls on such things as the length of working day, commercial driving hours, health, safety and the environment than there are in New Zealand.

            In short, an attempt to replicate NTUC in New Zealand would be unlikely to provide the same level of price differentiation that NTUC can offer in deregulated Singapore because the cost basis is quite different.

            • ghostrider888

              well, lets see, for a start;
              -labour costs are being wound down by NAct
              – more public housing sounds like an Excellent idea
              -along with compulsory super / KiwiSave
              -Health and Safety is fairly odorous here too
              -and supplise, supplise, cheap migrant labour is on it’s way. 🙂

            • Jim Nald

              Mixed analysis there DrStoat. Some are reasonable comments but others are off mark. Will find time to address some of them. Enjoy Singapore. I’ll be passing through there in a few months.
              Btw, I know a few feng shui masters and mian xiang readers there and they have been giving very accurate accounts of liar key and predicting how he will fall. Not long now. It will be swift when it happens.

        • veutoviper

          Hi Jim

          That is very interesting re the special Singapore supermarkets.

          Here in NZ, thanks to Winnie’s Super Goldcard, superannuatants can get some discounts on various services including free public transport – and also from time to time, a 5% discount at Countdown on specified days from time to time. These Countdown discounts only appear to be available about three or four times a year.


          • Foreign Waka

            We should not deny the elderly people some relief as they do not get much in the first place and inflation is driving most of them to the poor house. I really find it disgusting that every time things get tough the elderly bashing starts.

            • ghostrider888

              sorta’ like the bashing of the bennies and the young?

              • Foreign Waka

                Yep, same thing. It’s a very wicket mind that focuses right away on the weakest in society.

  3. Ad 3

    I know that ACC and Fonterra and Zespri and Pharmac are only mildly related, but there’s something too when a thousand farmers can turn up in Gore and say “we need more purchasing power, we need more unity”. That’s a strong economic nationalist message. Almost everything we consume is formed by oligopolies whose prices are set globally, and greater unity is good.

    But is state intervention as proposed under Kiwipower the only way to get such aggregate autonomy back? Probably for 80% of New Zealand yes. But for 20% – those who own a disproportinate amount of New Zealand’s wealth – they need to be persuaded to reverse the great hollowing out of capital.

    The sale is happening, whether we agree with it or not. Who knows, maybe the share register will tilt more local after this, and more democratically distributed. But for myself Labour-Greens are sending the investor signal that they are not to be trusted, that they are a fickle majority shareholder who are also regulator and will not fully renationalise. At the moment their policy drives of “No Asset Sales” and “Regulate electricity generation hard” are attacking each other. Will more Infratils form after this? Not under this policy mess.

    • weka 3.1

      “I know that ACC and Fonterra and Zespri and Pharmac are only mildly related, but there’s something too when a thousand farmers can turn up in Gore and say “we need more purchasing power, we need more unity”. That’s a strong economic nationalist message.”

      Yes, and farmers have used that power to inflict some of the worst environmental degradation I’ve seen in my life time. Fonterra has NOT been good for NZ, and ultimately it won’t be good for farmers either. We shouldn’t be using Fonterra as an example unless we want to train another generation of kiwis that greed is good and hey here is another tool with which to practice it.

      • weka 3.1.1

        Thinking about it, it’s not a nationalist message. A nationalist message would have had the govt setting up a Fonterra like structure, alongside measures that protected the environment and brought us cheap milk and cheese. Where do you think the profits are going?

        • Ad

          You are confusing nationalism with consumer protection, which is precisely my point. There is currently no distinction between nationalist control of corporations, and a policy that seeks to benefit consumers through price. Labour now has two flagship and separate policies that are in conflict: one seeking to achieve lower prices, one seeking to sustain existing levels of sovereign ownership.

          If Labour cannot clarify this quandary fast, it will feed into a National narrative in which everything is seen to be up for state control. It’s the Dancing Cossacks narrative all over again.

          • Colonial Viper

            NZ Power is a classic social democracy approach to the capitalist marketplace. There is, as you imply, no philosophical critique or control of foreign corporate ownership there. Just mild limitations on how much profits they can draw out if the country.

          • Foreign Waka

            Labour has explained how the price will be “regulated” due to buying in a similar fashion like Pharmac. Most western democracies do use this type of model to control what is essentially a monopoly. Unless power can be generated in each household to cover all usage, none of that would be necessary. Who knows, this might one day be a possibility. (Solar panels?)

  4. The nats conveniently forget that there are existing institutions such as the Commerce Commission that has the power to regulate on excessive profits and market dominance. The only problem is that the system clearly does not work. The Labour Green proposal will increase compliance and reduce super profits and if overseas shareholders take a haircut then so be it.

    The most annoying aspect of all of this is that we, the people of New Zealand have constructed the infrastructure such as dams and power lines to generate and transport the electricity and we have paid the debt for doing so. Running costs are minimal. Yet this Government thinks it has the right to sell shareholding in our assets off to private entities who will then charge us for electricity which our assets are producing. They will profit whereas we should be the ones who profit.

    If this “creeping socialism” works then of course we should try it in other areas.

    Finally here is a West Wing Clip featuring Matt Santos picking up the mantle of “liberal” during a presidential debate. Change “liberal” for “socialist” and I think he has it about right.

  5. tc 5

    Regulating those Ozzie banks would be popular FFS we’re less than the size of melbourne on the butt end of the world where competition isn’t keenly sought in many markets as we’re too small for the global players to be bothered.

    This actually plays into the oppositions hands as they don’t have the logic to defend their position on merit they’ve gone for the reds under the bed scare tactics….note to Joyce and co, that’s over 30 years ago things have moved on if you bothered to look outside your insular limo driven leafy suburban troughing world

    • But that’s *splutter* socialism. Better to have a foreign bank rip the guts out of our country than be socialist.

      Isn’t it?

      • karol 5.1.1

        Heh. The whole red scare tactic could backfire – people may begin to realise the scare tactic is a sham, then begin to wonder why the NActs have been using “socialism” as a scare tactic. And then begin to think it can’t be that bad after all.

        When I went to the UK in the late 70s, many there saw socialism as a positive thing. Thatcher set out to change that. She starting spitting out the word “socialism” as if it was the work of the devil hirself.

  6. Paul 6

    I think, as long as the leaders of the left parties are strong, united,coherent, courageous in the face of right wing vitriole from the media, then it would be easy to explain to New Zealanders at the moment why a country with more regulations would be a good place to be.
    There are so many real life examples that kiwis can identify with.
    It was a lack of regulation that caused Pike River
    It was a lack of regulation that caused the CTV building
    It was a lack of regulation that caused leaky homes
    It is a lack of regulation that means insurance companies don’t pay up in Christchurch
    It is a lack of regulation that causes the supermarkets to rort the price of food
    It is a lack of regulation that causes the energy companies to gauge the price of power

    So what exactly is wrong with regulation?

    To most people this argument would be clear.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      “A solid framework of regulations and standards creates a safer more predictable economy for employees and small businesses to succeed in without being taken advantage of by powerful players”

      • aerobubble 6.1.1

        We have little public service corruption because all the money is in deregulating and empowering a few to control local markets. Why bribe a public servant when a politician will write up your market stranglehold of choice and pass it without a whimper from a upper chamber.

        Labour and Greens are planning to release a huge amount of built up value and hand it over to small companies and individuals by lowering energy prices, National say no! how absurd Key suggests, the money invested in new energy infrastructure is for a few to hold on to. Just like
        GST, taxpayers are heavily taxed, investment is made, but at the end of the game when the
        music has stopped the value ownership is privately held by a few.

    • Tim 6.2

      Don’t ask me for links after a quarter of a century, but its also the LACK of regulation that the disciples of the neo-L espoused (the doddering Douglas, the LambBurger, later – the RRL enterprise et al) that assured us all the opposite would occur. Waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting…… Here’s an idea: what say some investigative journalist looks at what was promised under the TINA ideology, and what has been delivered over the past quater Century plus!.
      Won’t happen, I know – if only because the MSM is predominantly post-4th Estate ‘journalists’ (and I use the term loosely) whose life’s experience began around the time this round all began, and for whom any historical context is – well – boring (as well as job threatening).

      • Paul 6.2.1

        I prefer the term corporate media more as it clearly describes the media as being owned.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.2

        Here’s an idea: what say some investigative journalist looks at what was promised under the TINA ideology, and what has been delivered over the past quater Century plus!.

        Good job for Nicky Hager or someone like him.

    • ghostrider888 6.3

      bring in The Regulators, Paul

  7. vto 7

    Collectivism is something that the business world embraces with a fervour. They are in fact more socialist and cooperativist than most lefties. e.g. Fonterra, Foodstuffs, fertiliser, most all limited liability companies, it goes on and on.

    But their blinkers are on so tight that their faces have grown around the leather straps and they now think it is quite normal to have blinkers. They can’t see nuffink.

    • Ad 7.1

      When industry asks for it, New Zealand governments often do act to collectivise, and those in the industry are are stronger for it.

      But that makes regulators that are fully independent of Government or industry absolutely vital, because the more an industry collectivises, the more price control they can exercise.

  8. Matthew Hooton 8

    Do you include ACC, the Cullen Fund and KiwiSaver funds in “other institutional”?

    • Why bother spending money on Aussie merchant bankers so that shares owned by the Crown can be transferred to other Crown entities. Bit of a straw man argument doncha think?

    • Ad 8.2

      Are you really sure that they are buying? They appear to be offloading generator shares not acquiring. Your faith in local ownership is misplaced.

      In fact looking at either National or Labour as majority shareholders rtight now, coldly, would you invest in this policy train wreck?

      And do you include those institutions as “Mum and Dad investors”?

    • Paul 8.3

      I think I can guess Matthew’s spin on Nine to Noon today….
      Wonder if Kathryn Ryan will challenge him for a change

    • Poission 8.4

      Do you include ACC, the Cullen Fund and KiwiSaver funds in “other institutional”?

      the same argument applies to the idelogical constraints by the NATS on CGT and debt asset loading which has forced the price of the NZ dollar up.

      This has in effect depreciated the value of the overseas holdings ,greater then the losses by the GFC.

    • Lightly 8.5

      the first two are clearly under ‘govt agencies’.

  9. muzza 9

    Nice work Eddie!

    So, why are National and the Right pitching a fit at the prospect of the Crown and foreign institutions losing superprofits

    1: Because *The Crown*, and *foreign institutions*, are one and the same!

    2: Those entities sole ambition is control, to ensure that nations do not become self sufficient, do not have control over their natural resources, and do not have control over their monetary policies, hence creating *scarcity* in key life supporting sectors, and to remove the ability to govern in the best interest of the nations peoples!

    3: The government of NZ is owned/controlled by the entities in #1 – Which is why the country is broken!

    If there was a credible opposition leader, *the right* would be dead a buried by now, as it turns out they all work for the entities referred to at #1, which is why Shearer is in the position he is.

    Quiet reservation over this NZ Power situation, because until such time as it comes to fruition, its little more than a sales pitch!

  10. Prime Minister John Key, as an ex-Wall Street bank$ter, and former Head of Derivatives for Merrill Lynch, is looking after the interests of investors and his bank$ter/ corporate mates.

    (Remember – he is still a shareholder in the Bank of America.
    This would be unlawful if he were the Prime Minister of Australia.)

    Coming from a private sector/ corporate background, where he is used to making deals over dinner and over the phone, he appears to still have little idea about his statutory duties arising from the PUBLIC sector legislation which covers his job as Prime Minister of New Zealand.

    I am still awaiting an official acknowledgment for the following:

    ‘Open Letter’ / OIA request to New Zealand Prime Minister John Key :”How are you ‘inducted / familiarised’ with your statutory duties arising from the Public Records Act 2005?”

    5 April 2013

    ‘Open Letter’ / OIA request to New Zealand Prime Minister John Key :

    “How are you ‘inducted / familiarised’ with your statutory duties arising from the Public Records Act 2005?”

    Prime Minister of New Zealand
    John Key

    Dear Prime Minister,

    Given your previous background at the highest levels of the private sector/ banking and finance corporate world (being the former Head of Derivatives for Merrill Lynch, and a former Foreign Exchange Advisor for the New York Federal Reserve), it may have been your custom and practice to ‘do’ internationally significant deals over dinner or over the phone?

    However, you are now Prime Minister of New Zealand, ‘perceived’ to be ‘the least corrupt country in the world’ (according to the 2012 Transparency International ‘Corruption Perception Index’, along with Denmark and Finland).


    As New Zealand is ‘perceived’ to be ‘the least corrupt country in the world’ – we should arguably be the most ‘transparent’?

    Arguably, the laws, regulations and culture which apply in the private, corporate world – are NOT the same which should and do apply to the public sector, of which you are now in charge, as Prime Minister of New Zealand.

    May I respectfully remind you of the pivotal legislation which covers the public sector / public service, as outlined on the NZ State Services Commission website:


    · Title page
    · Crown Entities Act 2004
    · Human Rights Act 1993
    · NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990
    · Official Information Act 1982
    · Protected Disclosures Act 2000
    · Public Finance Act 1989
    · Public Records Act 2005
    · State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986
    · State Sector Act 1988

    In particular – may I draw your attention specifically to the Public Records Act 2005:


    3 Purposes of Act
    (a) to provide for the continuation of the repository of public archives called the National
    Archives with the name Archives New Zealand (Te Rua Mahara o te K?anatanga); and

    (b) to provide for the role of the Chief Archivist in developing and supporting government
    recordkeeping, including making independent determinations on the disposal of public
    records and certain local authority archives; and

    (c) to enable the Government to be held accountable by

    (i) ensuring that full and accurate records of the affairs of central and local government
    are created and maintained; and

    (ii) providing for the preservation of, and public access to, records of long-term value;

    (d) to enhance public confidence in the integrity of public records and local authority records;

    (e) to provide an appropriate framework within which public offices and local authorities
    create and maintain public records and local authority records, as the case may be; and

    (f) through the systematic creation and preservation of public archives and local authority
    archives, to enhance the accessibility of records that are relevant to the historical and
    cultural heritage of New Zealand and to New Zealanders? sense of their national identity;

    (g) to encourage the spirit of partnership and goodwill envisaged by the Treaty of Waitangi
    (Te Tiriti o Waitangi), as provided for by section 7; and

    (h) to support the safekeeping of private records.

    (My underlining)

    Please provide the following information:

    1) What is / was the process by which you were ‘inducted / familiarised’ with this above-mentioned key legislation which now covers your statutory duties as the Prime Minister of New Zealand?

    2) What was / is the role of the NZ State Services Commission, in ensuring that you were ‘inducted / familiarised’ with this above-mentioned key legislation, which now covers your statutory duties as the Prime Minister of New Zealand?

    3) What is / was the process by which you were ‘inducted / familiarised’ with the above-mentioned Public Records Act 2005, which now covers your statutory duties as the Prime Minister of New Zealand to:

    “enable the Government to be held accountable by?

    · (i)ensuring that full and accurate records of the affairs of central and local government are created and maintained ”

    4) What was / is the role of the NZ State Services Commission, in ensuring that you were ‘inducted / familiarised’ with the above-mentioned Public Records Act 2005, which now covers your statutory duties as the Prime Minister of New Zealand to:

    “enable the Government to be held accountable by?

    · (i)ensuring that full and accurate records of the affairs of central and local government are
    created and maintained”

    5) How many staff are employed in your ‘Prime Minister’s Department’?

    6) Please confirm that you have staff in your ‘Prime Minister’s Department’, who have the responsibility for ‘diary notes’ / memos / minutes (and the like), of affairs of State, in order to ensure that your above-mentioned statutory duties as Prime Minister of New Zealand, under the Public Records Act 2005, are carried out in a proper way.

    7) Please provide the information which explains why you are relying upon your (proven to be unreliable) memory, for matters such as your role in the appointment of Ian Fletcher as Director of the GCSB, when you have a statutory duty as Prime Minister to:

    “..enable the Government to be held accountable by
    · (i)ensuring that full and accurate records of the affairs of central and local government are
    created and maintained”

    Yours sincerely,

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’
    2013 Auckland Mayoral Candidate

  11. Good news!

    I have just received a formal acknowledgment that my above-mentioned OIA to Prime Minister John Key has been received by his office.

    So – I should get a reply within 20 working days – which should be 3 May 2013.


    Should be FASCINATING 🙂

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation’ campaigner’
    2013 Auckland Mayoral Candidate


  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    …and insinuating that next Labour and the Greens will nationalise the foreign-owned supermarket duopoly. (Because sorting out that broken market would be so awful).

    We can only hope that they do look to fixing it at least. Their best bet in doing so would be to make a government distribution system and not a supermarket. Order online a minimum of one week before hand with free delivery.

    Savings would come in the form of less waste especially in fuel use.

  13. fambo 13

    It’s called ratcheting up the “fear factor” and there will probably be plenty more of this as we get closer to the election, much of it targeted at the Greens

    • MrSmith 13.1

      I wouldn’t be worried about the Greens, they seem to getting their messages across loud and clear, it’s the other lot that will fuck things up, hopefully Cunliffe has done his time in purgatory and they let him off his chain soon, please.

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    Rural developments not meeting consents, study shows

    A study has found that 35% of agricultural property developments are not meeting environmental consent requirements.

    So, is National going to prosecute these scum or re-write the laws so that it all becomes legal?

    • ghostrider888 14.1

      with NAct and their current Minister milking the environment, it will be the latter Draco


    The sale of Mighty River Power can still be STOPPED!


    How many folk who are not Dumb or Mad investors are going to now withdraw and get refunds for their shares in Mighty River Power?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation’ campainger

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

    • karol 15.1

      Excellent news!

      • Paul 15.1.1


      • Mary 15.1.2

        Yes, that is good news. But I can’t help thinking that the timing of the Shearer/Norman announcement was a blunder – not because they should’ve sorted out their joint approach sooner, but because Shearer was too slow to act on what Labour’s position would be. That lag allowed for all sorts of speculation, from the Left on Shearer’s inability to commit to a position and that Labour’s right-wing tendencies suggest Labour is secretly supportive of the asset sales. And then this latest announcement, while better late than never, has allowed the accusations from the Right, how ever spin-laden and ridiculously scaremongering, of “economic sabotage” etc, that may sound on the face of things quite plausible to the average punter susceptible to such nonsense. Shearer and his advisers and strategists ought to have predicted this.

    • joe90 15.2

      Link wouldn’t work for me – here’s the google cache.

  16. Mary 16

    “Hey Clint, are we pleased?”

    Proper answer: “It’s not a matter of being pleased or not that people are having to rethink whether they’re going to invest in MRP shares. We’ve said all along that the government should not be selling shares in the power companies, Air NZ or any other assets linked to essential services. The government’s asset sales policy is economic lunacy so if what the government’s now saying means that people are choosing not to buy shares then that’s good, but you can’t say that our announcement is somehow responsible for depriving people of the opportunity to buy shares, because we’ve said all along that those shares should not be sold, so nobody’s missing out on anything.”

    Come on Gareth, is this too difficult to say? Maybe you and Clint should swap jobs?

  17. Help 17

    Unbelievable 300m wiped from my kiwisaver

  18. KJT 18

    Taxpayers only lose from the loss in value if assets sales/theft go ahead.

    This is even more of an indication that infrastructure sales are a daft idea and only intended to benefit the large potential shareholders that fund National. And give National politicians their highly paid board figurehead jobs after they leave parliament.

    The fact that National is still determined to push through the sales at any cost to taxpayers proves it is either ideological or motivated by self interest. Crooks or fools?

    Labour and the Greens should be doing everything possible to stop the theft.

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