Buyer beware

Written By: - Date published: 7:26 am, July 11th, 2012 - 70 comments
Categories: energy, Maori Issues, privatisation, water - Tags:

While the energy companies are profitable for the government to own – thanks to its 3.5% cost of capital – they’re not for ‘mum and dad’ because the dividend return is going to be 4% pre-tax and ‘mum and dad’ have a mortgage, or an overdraft, or credit card debt – and putting their shares savings (if they have any, considering 50% of families have less than $1,700 in the bank) paying off any of those gives a better rate of return, tax-free.

But say you’re foolhardy, or say you believe there’s going to be big equity gain (like 4% per year, every year). Are you still so keen when the company you want to buy, Mighty River, is at risk of losing the rights to its main input, water, or paying unknown fees for its use to the true owners?

If you are, you’re mad.

Nobody is going to be stupid enough to buy shares with the Waitangi water claim hanging over them.

Which means Key will have to delay the sale until the issue is settled.

If Key had been a bit smarter, he would have seen past the opportunity for a bit of racial wedging of the opponents of asset sales. He would have seen that the water issue needs to be settled ASAP or the entire asset sales programme will either be a flop or delayed indefinitely.

Rather than play the race card, he would have played smart – like he would have back before his political instincts deserted him – and played the conciliator. He would have pulled the iwi together and given them some shares or set up a system of fee payments from the dam and geothermal plant owners.

It could all have been sorted with time to spare. But, now, this thing is going to drag on forever. There’ll be court cases, injunctions, appeals, maybe legislation. You can’t sell amongst all that and get a good price.

Oh, and here’s another couple of things prospective buyers need to factor in.

Taupo Council wants Mighty River’s consent for raising the level of Lake Taupo to be reduced or mitigated because its eroding the lakeshore – but an extra metre of lake level is, by my calculation, half a billion extra kilowatt/hours of gravitational potential energy sitting there, worth over $50 million dollars to Mighty River, and it’s ready to be sent down the dams for even greater profits when the spot price spikes. If that gets curtailed, there goes a big chunk of Mighty River’s profits.

And there’s the question of the legality of National’s prospective bonus share issue. There’s no appropriation for that give-away. National may face legal challenges if it tries to give away shares to ‘loyal’ shareholders without getting Parliamentary consent first. More costs, more delays, more risk for the investor.

I’ve got a few grand sitting in the bank right now. Given the choice between leaving it there and punting on Mighty River, I reckon I’ll leave it in the bank.

70 comments on “Buyer beware”

  1. Key is the one who has effectively wedged himself on this issue.  His comments about the Government ignoring recommendations of the Waitangi Tribunal are starting to hurt big time.

    He is technically correct that the Government can ignore WT recommendations, in the same way that it can ignore the Treaty itself.  The only problem is that the matter then ends up in Court and the Judiciary has shown that they are sympathetic to Treaty claims and insist on the Government acting in good faith.

    Key has effectively trashed any suggestion that the Government are engaging in good faith.

    I agree James that this situation is currently wide open and any investor worth their salt would discount the price severely because of risk.

    A comment I heard on National Radio yesterday really struck a chord.  A Maori chap said that Maori had always considered themselves to be owners of the rivers and water but had been willing for the Crown to use them free of charge.  This decent stance will change however if the country’s power generating assets are partially owned by corporate interests. 

  2. Afewknowthetruth 2

    I’ve got a few grand sitting in the bank right now. Given the choice between leaving it there and punting on Mighty River, I reckon I’ll leave it in the bank.

    Neither would be a good particularly choice. The enire globalised banksters’ Ponzi scheme is unravelling right now and will go up ‘in a puff of smoke’ over the next few years (or months).

  3. Craig Glen Eden 3

    This is one of those situations where Key should have said nothing or at least been minimal, but as you have said Mickey even though he is Technically right it was not the right thing to say given his position as PM.

    While I dont for a moment feel sorry for the guy, it is a tough job being a PM, you certainly have to choose your words carefully.

    • ad 3.1

      All he needed to do was say something graceful like: “You know they’ve put the effort into putting submissions together, let’s all grow up and hear what they have to say.”

      To which a reporter would have gone: “So are you saying you will do what the Waitangi Tribunal wants?”

      “No, I am saying breath through your nose and stop trying to predict the outcome of a process.”

      He just looks like he learnt nothing from Helen Clark’s handling of the Foreshore and Seabed Court ruling. Which in my mind was Cullen’s worst mistake – simply banning the Nelson Maori from taking court action to the next legal level.

      If I were him I would drive over to the Waitangi hearing and just be int he audience to hear some of it. Take the heat and respect the process. Who knows he could learn something.

      • Pete George 3.1.1

        To an extent I think you’re right, but I also think it’s been blown up by people with an interest in making as big an issue of it as possible.

        Both Pita Sharples (on Firstline) and Donna Hall (on National Radio) seemed to be trying moderating the rhetoric.

        • mickysavage 3.1.1.1

          You are joking about Pita Sharples arn’t you Petey? This is from Radio New Zealand this morning:

          “The Maori Party says Mr Key is making a mockery of the tribunal and it is seriously considering the future of its support relationship.”

          The link is at http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/110392/ownership-of-water-bigger-than-foreshore-debate-harawira

          If that is “moderating the rhetoric” then I would hate to see the original statements.

          Also you are showing your bias. Calling legitimate Maori concerns “rhetoric” is insulting in the extreme.

          • Pete George 3.1.1.1.1

            I didn’t call legitimate Maori concerns “rhetoric”. There have been legitimate concerns expressed, and there has over the top rhetoric, and not just from Maori, I’ve seen it as bad from the opposing side as well.

            On Sharples, see Maori Party won’t sever ties over asset sales.
            – I suggest watching video of the whole interview.

            Donna Hall:

            Maori Council lawyer Donna Hall told the programme the Crown agreed in the 1890s that the ownership of water rests with Maori and New Zealand has to face up to this.

            She said the Prime Minister is correct in his interpretation that the Government does not have to take up the recommendations of the Waitangi Tribunal.

            But she said the tribunal is an important part of race relations in New Zealand, and the danger is that Maori may start ignoring the Prime Minister.

            http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2524716/maori-council-lawyer-speaks-on-tribunal-case.asx

            I don’t think that’s rhetoric, Hall sounded like she was reasonably stating her views.

            • mickysavage 3.1.1.1.1.1

              So what are “legitimate Maori concerns” Pete.
               
              You are using a semantic technique to brand the “more extreme” views as “rhetoric” but more “reasonable” concerns as “legitimate” without once touching on the merits of the argument.  This adds exactly, precisely nothing to the discussion. 
               
              And Sharples may not sever ties on the matter but this will mark the beginning of the end for the Maori Party.

              EDIT: You have just put up Donna Hall’s comments. Read them again. She is saying essentially that Key is lying and that water does belong to Maori. It looks like you are agreeing with her by your comment that she “seemed to be moderating the rhetoric”. Good to have you on side Petey. Can you persuade the coiffured one to do the same?

              • “She said the Prime Minister is correct in his interpretation” doesn’t sound like accusing him of lying to me.

                You’re the one getting twisted on semantics.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  When you said: “I’ve seen it as bad from the opposing side as well.”, where do you see your talk about extortion fitting in?

                  Care to retract that yet?

                • mike e

                  Eddie Dury her ex former judge disagrees with that opinion

                • Um Duh

                  Key said that no one owns water.  Hall said the Crown agreed in the 1890s that the ownership of water rests with Maori and New Zealand has to face up to this.  

                  One of them is wrong.  I know which one I believe this to be. 

                  • Populuxe1

                    “the Crown agreed in the 1890s that the ownership of water rests with Maori and New Zealand”
                    Where in constitutional law does it say that. exactly, chapter and verse?
                    I really hope there’s a better justification for this than taht the Treaty says all taonga belongs to Maori but doesn’t set any limits or distinctions on what taonga can mean. I have my doubts the Crown intended it that way.
                    Basically taonga seems to work like papal infallibility. If the Pope were to say ex cathedra “God is a purple water mellon and I am his blue banana on Earth” it becomes a fact of faith provided it is declared solemnly proposed as dogma to be professed by the whole Church.
                    Taonga is a weasel word in the context of the Treaty, it can mean anything anyone wants it to mean – it is therefore an unrelable justification.

            • marty mars 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Your quote from Donna Hall says,”the Crown agreed in the 1890s that the ownership of water rests with Maori and New Zealand has to face up to this.” – thats seems pretty straight to me – do you agree with that part of her statement pete or do you still have some facing up to do?

    • Dr Terry 3.2

      Craig, I agree, except to say that Key thought HE WAS being “minimal” – so much for his self-assessment!

  4. Tom Gould 4

    Sound advice on paying down debit, but where does the 4% pre-tax come from?

  5. If I was a rich foreigner knowing that I would be protected by the TPP fascist takeover, Hell yeah! Bring it on! Fuck Treaties, local government and if need be a bomb here and there with the predator drones paid for by the local populations brought to their knees with the derivatives they were stupid enough to buy into. What’s to fear?

  6. Jim Nald 6

    So John Key will go ahead with asset sales regardless of what the Waitangi tribunal finds.
    Well well, this is one of the rare and valuable occasions when John Key reveals his real thoughts and intention that will dictate the ultimate outcome.

    • How much should National abide by the recommendations of the Waitangi Tribunal?

      How much should the Maori Council abide by the recommendations of the Waitangi Tribunal?

      • ad 6.1.1

        The system does not need to change.

        If there is a case to answer then it will go the High Court and from there probably upwards.

        There is already, and MickeySavage has pointed out, some recent and relevant Supreme Court rulings on this kind of thing.

        The Government should abide by decisions of the Courts, and not abrogate process like (IMHO)Cullen did. Key needs to learn this.

      • mike e 6.1.2

        Peter’s Groupie How did Maori television come about everybody said Maori didn’t have rights to the air waves but the privy council disagreed .
        You will find the same principal applies with water.
        You give no credence to Maori revival.
        With Maori in charge now we might have some Clear water.
        This might stop Nactuf’s reign poor petey

      • marty mars 6.1.3

        If the Government had any integrity it would 100% abide by Waitangi Tribunal recommendations – why do you think they make them? They are trying to create a better country for all of us but that won’t happen while dishonor, lies, privilege and racism sit as guests at the Government table.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.4

        How much NACT arse licking will UF do?

  7. ghostwhowalksnz 7

    Your discussion of the top metre of the lake level of Taupo is a bit confused.
    The extra energy comes from the volume of water it contains, of course it can only be used when the lake fills to this level, which is not often.
    With the independent power companies maximising their assets MRP is more likely to draw down the lake as often as possible , ie keep the control gates open wider more often than that required for the normal river flow.

  8. prism 8

    Transferred to Key’s fight with Maori.

  9. Glg 9

    I am pretty sure Ngati Tuwharetoa in the gifting of Lake Taupo and it’s water gave it for the use and benefit of all New Zealanders (not actual wording). And I think there was an obligation on the Crown to manage the Lake. I think Tuwharetoa would have grounds for action against the Crown just on that basis. If MRP is only half bound by principles of the Treaty, will it only half manage lake levels to benefit the Lake? I cannot believe the Maori Party are still ‘inside the tent’.

    • Dr Terry 9.1

      Glg, why oh why has it taken the Maori Party so long to discern the truth about this “coalescence”?

      • Rich 9.1.1

        If you want to know what National really think of Maori, check this ad out (warning, offensive).

        Only the language has changed.

  10. Sam Hall 10

    A Riot is at bottom, the language of the unheard.” King.

  11. mike e 11

    With all this ongoing wrangling the govt will be lucky if it gets any where near what it wants for these assets

  12. Adrian 12

    The retention of water behind a dam on a flowing river is a form of ownership of that water, why on earth should that be given to private interests inevitably foriegn to make money denied to NZers?

  13. Fortran 13

    This stouch has nothing really to do with water. They could have raised this prior to the last election when the policy was laid out – why wait until now.
    Maori want some of the SOE shares in lieu of of agreement .
    Kiwisaver Managers will still go for all the shares they can as they believe they are a good long term investment for their members, whatever the price.
    In addition according to the Reserve Bank there is $114billion sitting in term deposits with banks in New Zealand giving a very low return (approx 4% gross). Also it should be considered that only 31% of houses in New Zealand (say 700,000) have mortgages so there is surplus money around.
    Some people will still consider moving some of that into the SOEs.

    • GregJ 13.1

      Who is the “they” you are referring to? If you mean Iwi/Hapu then why would they – they are not political parties contesting an election? Historic Iwi claims to water rights/usage/guardianship are of long standing (for example there are specific historical claims on rivers filed with the Tribunal going back to the beginning of the claims process in the late 1970’s/early 1980’s).

      If by “they’ you mean the Maori Party – they don’t speak for all Maori, the Maori Council or the Iwi/Hapu (even if they sometimes act like they do) and asset sales were not part of their policy mix at the election so why would they negotiate about something they didn’t campaign for before the result of the election was known? Even subsequently their opposition to the sales has been pretty clear.

      I think you are wrong – it is not just about shares – there are many more long standing issues at play. A competent government would have taken those issues into consideration when formulating its policy, not deciding to ignore it and then getting into a slanging match over it when the stoush they have created by their own incompetence comes back to bite them.

      I think it is pretty clear that there has been a tacit understanding with most of the settlements reached (such as with Tuwharetoa) that as long as kaitiaki is acknowledged Iwi have been content for the state to use these “assets” for the “public good”. However if the “asset” it is going to be subject to use for profit by private commercial concerns (even through partial privatization) Iwi have been pretty consistent that they should receive their fair share of that profit (hence the Fisheries settlement and the essence of the Foreshore and Seabed claim) – based on their historic use, control, guardianship (“ownership”) of the resource.

      Anyway, aside from preferable option of retaining the “asset” in full state ownership, if the sale goes ahead Iwi would be better off having its kaitiaki acknowledged & receiving rights payments/royalties for use of the resource rather than taking shares in a company they will end up having little influence or control over.

      • mickysavage 13.1.1

        Thanks GregJ.  Very measured comments based on understanding.  A pleasant surprise.  I hole Fortran and Pete George et all reflect on them.

        I would add Tainui who settled their claim for Waikato and were still happy for MRP to continue to generate power.  I would also prefer Iwi to profit than the corporates. 

  14. Bored 14

    Back to the premise of the post: dividend return is going to be 4% pre-tax BUT Nobody is going to be stupid enough to buy shares with the Waitangi water claim hanging over them…….

    I suspect the people trying to lay their hands on our assets are far more rational than you might think. Consider that cheap oil is running out and has a finite supply curve, alternative energies dont scale BUT demand will on average exceed supply. We are talking years here, long enough if you sit on the ownership of production to strike a deal with iwi or whoever. And 10 – 20 years down the track you can really coin it. Why wouldn’t you buy?

  15. irascible 15

    Key really wants to get the asset stripping underway before the Greek, Spanish and Italian assets get dropped onto the international firesale market. He’s gambling that the asset strippers will prefer to strip NZ before really getting down and dirty in the eurozone. That’s the way he played as a money speculator with Merril Lynch.. rapaciousness at its naked worst.

  16. Treetop 16

    Key needs to attend the Waitangi Tribunal and have it explained to him how in Britain the ownership of the water way works. Key then needs to get it that there was no confusion when the treaty was signed, over Maori having claim to the water way.

    Key must be smiling that Maori can no longer go to the Privy Council as I think the sale of energy assets would not go ahead as Key’s government would lose having control over the hydro resorces.

  17. Carol 17

    So Mighty River Power and Iwi are likely to be on a collision course over rights to water in the Waikato River…. so what is the Herald headlining online about said river right now?…. a Waikato River travelogue with homage to expensive housing along the banks:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/news/article.cfm?c_id=7&objectid=10818382

    Over by the east bank, the occasional fish leaps clear of the current. It’s so peaceful it’s easy to forget that traffic roars by constantly overhead.

    History lies around every bend of the Waikato River. Stretching for 425km from Mt Ruapehu to Port Waikato, it’s New Zealand’s longest and was a key source of food for early Maori.

    Today it’s more commonly used as a playground for water skiers, anglers, swimmers brave enough to tackle the strong current, and rowers.

    A couple of boats pass on their way upstream, their occupants no doubt practising for one of Hamilton’s many river events.

    Stately homes begin to appear as we near St Andrews. All are immaculately kept with stunning gardens. Strategically placed public benches offer good views of these gardens and the river.

    There’s no need for a guide on this walk. Take your time, stop as often as you like to feed ducks, marvel at the city’s bridges and imposing homes, do a spot of birdwatching or enjoy a picnic lunch.

    Compare that with some of Turia’s recent statements:

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Iwi-should-claim-ownership-of-riverbeds–Turia/tabid/1607/articleID/259865/Default.aspx

    The water from them is critical to the power companies that the Government is putting up for sale, and Ms Turia says Maori should particularly consider claiming ownership of the riverbed along the Waikato and Whanganui Rivers.

    A major disconnect by Granny? Or is it just part of an attitude of some Pakeha, that they can’t conceive that their comfortable lifestyle has been built on the back of Iwi dislocation from their ancestral lands?

    • joe90 17.1

      Ilya Yefimovich Repin: Burlaki

    • prism 17.2

      ” some Pakeha, that they can’t conceive that their comfortable lifestyle has been built on the back of Iwi dislocation from their ancestral lands?”

      Actually some pakeha can’t conceive that their comfortable lifestyle should be threatened by any sort of uncomfortable questions of rightness or fairness from any contender.

  18. What about all the land owners with pylons on their properties? ‘We’ tolerate the ‘trespass’ while the electricity is flowing for the public good etc, but should ‘we’ allow people who do not live in NZ to make money out of our tolerance?
    I think fed farmers are looking into this? The fee for transporting electricity could wipe out the 4% profit?

  19. Snadfly 19

    Aren’t geothermal plants a mining operation?
    I wonder what the life of that resource is?

  20. phil 20

    Wonder if the OP will back his analysis and short sell…? (all profits going to charity to cancel any ‘evil banker’ rep gained).

    • jsrret 20.1

      suspect OP would be completely unaware of the concept of short selling… he even seems to be unaware of the concept of retained profits… and just by the way, his calculation of the gravitational potential energy of the extra water in lake taupo went horribly wrong somewhere…

      • Colonial Viper 20.1.1

        I wouldn’t short this; a short squeeze is quite likely soon after going public and margin calls are a bitch.

        • jsrret 20.1.1.1

          you think your “short squeeze” would be enough to generate a margin call? either way if he’s right then he can just meet the margin requirement and then take his profits after the shares fall… point is, would he put his money where his mouth is?… this lot were all going on about what a great asset these companies were for the government, and that they must not be sold since all the massive future profits would go out of nz… then right after the asset sales bill passed they all say these companies aren’t worth holding after all… starting to wonder if these guys actually believe what they say anymore

          • Colonial Viper 20.1.1.1.1

            Margin calls are a bitch. Why put good money in and increase both your risk and your leverage, unnecessarily? That is not the hallmark of professional investing mate, and you are pretending to be a professional, right?

            And you’re sorta missing the big picture here.

            If you want to leverage short the markets, you wouldn’t do it with these power company shares.

            You’d pick the Euro, Japanese government bonds, financial sector shares or any number of better opportunities.

            • jsrret 20.1.1.1.1.1

              i’m a labourer… i have no interest in playing with money for a living and not pretending to be a professional anything… btw i think when you said “increase both your risk and your leverage” you misunderstand the effect of making a margin payment.. it will decrease your leverage and have no effect on risk… thanks for showing us your “big picture” anyway… amazing how you lefties are able to predict the future but are always too principled to make profits by trading on their knowledge of future events

  21. marcus 21

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/best-of-business-analysis/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501241&objectid=10679838

    This is news from a company whom the PM John Key owned/owns shares in.Kinda speaks for itself really as to his real intentions.The water will become privatised and owned by the rich few who own the power companies.And to think this is what messrs Key,Luxton,Creech & the Talley family think this is where NZ should be heading.
    Shame on you all

  22. marcus 22

    as per my previoius post it came from the dairy investment fund website.

  23. Populuxe1 23

    Nobody is going to be stupid enough to buy shares with the Waitangi water claim hanging over them.

    Nobody would be stupid enough to drill for oil in war zones either… Oh wait!

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      Crude oil extraction out of a country like Iraq or Libya is worth 500x the financial returns, and 1000x the strategic returns, when compared to hydrodams stuck in situ in faraway NZ.

      • Populuxe1 23.1.1

        Yes, but one might also say that it would be foolish to make a movie in New Zealand given all the difficulties involved and the complexities of the employment law…
        Oh wait.
        Never underestimate the cunning of a parliament of whores – we have one, and the likely purchasers know it.

        • Colonial Viper 23.1.1.1

          Yes, but one might also say that it would be foolish to make a movie in New Zealand given all the difficulties involved and the complexities of the employment law…

          I daresay that half a billion dollars worth of profit is worth weathering a few “difficulties” and “complexities”.

          • Populuxe1 23.1.1.1.1

            Except that they didn’t have to because the Government intervened, as they will almost certainly do reassure potential buyers that Waitangi claims will not impact their investment. Another Foreshore and Seabed Act would probably suffice.

  24. Bob 24

    “While the energy companies are profitable for the government to own – thanks to its 3.5% cost of capital – they’re not for ‘mum and dad’ because the dividend return is going to be 4% pre-tax and ‘mum and dad’ have a mortgage, or an overdraft, or credit card debt – and putting their shares savings (if they have any, considering 50% of families have less than $1,700 in the bank) paying off any of those gives a better rate of return, tax-free”

    Haha, nice work James, in the opening sentence of your blog you have effectively said the Government should sell 100% of Mighty River Power and invest this money in alternative higher rate investments, and that NZ in effect already has a CGT for the sharemarket. Talk about blowing the entire arguement of the ‘Left’ out of the water on two seperate topics in one hit!

    I bet Eddie can’t even look at you right now after such a ‘Right Wing’ statement of fact.

    Thank you James, for having an open view on the situation. It’s quite refreshing from The Standard.

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      Wow the usual useless financialised outlook on the real economy.

      One which completely overlooks the strategic nature of power generation to NZ.

      Also, how the fuck do you expect to convince investors to want to invest in “low earning” NZ power generators, if you are right, Bob??? Eh?

    • JH 24.2

      No, I didn’t say the govt should sell all of MRP. Because it is already a profitable investment for the Crown plus we get indirect benefits from public ownership that are worth a lot.

      I’m saying that, for them to be profitable for private investors, you need a higher rate of return – ie a lower sale price or higher power prices.

      You pay tax on dividends, not on capital gain from shares.

  25. “I hope I’ve established that Infratil are the type of company that will invest in the sale of assets under the MOM Act. So how much money do Infratil expect to make?

    What blows the 4% suggestion out of the water is the first sentence in the About Us section of the Infratil website. They are quite explicit in saying:

    Infratil’s primary goal is to provide its shareholders with a consistent return of 20% per annum over the long term.

    20%. OMG, that’s massive.
    Trustpower customers are paying enough for Infratil to return 20% to its investors. 20%! Does that mean their prices could be reduced by 20%? And why shouldn’t we expect the privatised electricity generators to do pretty much the same?

    Which only leaves the question of how the 20% will be achieved. The usual suspects are price rises, deferring maintenance and asset stripping. I’m picking a mix of all three will occur.”

    Armchair Critic @ Every Tiny Straw makes an excellent observation.

    http://everytinystraw.blogspot.co.nz/2012/07/never-enough.html

  26. Anon 26

    The dividend return on investment depends upon future profitability and the dividend policy set by the Board set against the share price. None of those three factors has yet been established which means that to claim a 4% return is pure speculation.

    No doubt much of the demand for these shares will be based on the assumption of an immediate capital gain – the Govt. will want to avoid a Facebook-type fiasco and so will sell at an undervalue to ensure that all shares are ‘snapped up’ without recriminations.

    Even money in the bank is hardly safe today. Insolvent banks in Spain have been twisting depositor’s arms to covert their deposits into bonds which pay a higher rate, but allow for involuntary conversion into equity in a few years. If the banks go under under the new EU banking scheme, there goes their money – a small fact hidden in the small print if there at all.

    And of course MFGlobal has been found to have been using – and losing – depositor’s money for its gambling in breach of all the rules. Given the stench of corruption and cavalier disregard for the rules now issuing from Barclays et al it’s probably only a matter of time before it is discovered that traders have been using the hard-earned savings of customers to gamble on the future price of pig’s bellys.

    • Colonial Viper 26.1

      Exactly. We are approaching the time when money is going to be worthless. Real resources, land and energy is going to be the gold of the future.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 26.1.1

        I note there have been several previous occasions in various countries where money has indeed become virtually worthless. Curiously, money can still be found in use in these countries.

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    . . Just when you thought Simon Bridges couldn’t sink any lower – he has. After the March 15th  Christchurch terror attack, the (current) Leader of the National Party issued strong committments to support urgently needed gun law reform; “We will be ready and prepared to be constructive and to ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Only the least intelligent students, with bad parents, will attend the nonsense climate strike
    We all know that bad parents simply don’t care about their children’s education. Most truants have loser parents, and grow up to be involved with crime, or in low paid employment usually like their parents. The nonsense so-called “climate strike” coming up will be attended mostly by the least intelligent ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • Professional Internet Trolls being used to push manmade climate change lies
    Is the terrorist Organisation Greenpeace and the loony Green parties around the World hiring professional internet trolls? I have noticed a trend lately where if you post research, news articles or even comments that show the manmade climate change scam to be just that, you are immediately attacked, often within ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    5 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    7 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    7 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    1 week ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago

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