web analytics

Buying back the assets

Written By: - Date published: 9:26 am, December 5th, 2011 - 216 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, energy, privatisation - Tags:

David Cunliffe has said that, if he is Labour leader, he will look to buy back any assets National sells once he is PM. Under the existing Takeovers Code, that wouldn’t be too hard. But why not go a step further and make it clear to any potential investor that our energy sector won’t be their cash cow? A bit of regulatory reform would sink the assets’ share value.

Labour’s energy policy says

National created a pretend market, with monopoly profits reaped at the expense of consumers…
The four main generators – Contact, Genesis, Meridian and Mighty River Power –exercised their substantial market power to earn market rents estimated to be $4.3 billion. This averaged 18 per cent of the total wholesale market revenues received by all generators over the entire period.
The report also found that the excess profits which resulted from the exercise of market power were passed through entirely in the form of higher retail prices. Since then, prices have increased further.
Another measure of the ineffectiveness of the market is the failure of our hedge market. Even after recent attempts by the Electricity Authority to reform this it remains a mere fraction of the size targeted.
The sale of parts of the electricity SOEs will drive prices even higher. Our experience in New Zealand has clearly shown that sale of publicly owned infrastructure assets reinforces the incentive to maximise price, rather than tempers it. The willingness to invest in additional capacity is reduced, in part because tighter supply margins put upward pressure on prices and improve profitability.
This should surprise no-one and will no doubt occur if shares in the SOE companies are sold. It is undeniable that the business motive to maximise shareholder returns is reinforced and political accountability for power prices is reduced.
Market participants should be on notice that Labour believes there is ample evidence to conclude that there is insufficient competition in the retail and wholesale electricity markets.
We are not convinced that the recent changes to market rules will cure the problem. After more than 10 years at attempts to create adequate competition, we are losing patience.

Labour’s Energy spokesperson, David Parker, hasn’t got into detail publicly on how to contain the power companies’ market power but I’m guessing there are a number of regulatory options from the crude (‘all electricity generators shall be run on a not-for-profit basis’ – I support this because our energy system drives our economy, it shouldn’t be tapped as a source of profit itself) to more sophisticated ways of reducing their monopolistic prices.

If Labour goes into the next election with policies like that, the prices of any partially privatised electricity companies will plummet. Making it that much cheaper to launch a compulsory takeover. To do that, seeing as National will retain a 51% share, all Labour has to do is buy a further 5% within a 12 month period and then it can launch a takeover of the rest of the shares at the market price.

If I was looking at buying shares in the SOEs (ha, if I could afford to be looking at buying shares in the companies I already own, I mean), I would be mindful that both National and Labour-led governments would be loath to let me get decent dividends by hiking power prices, I’m not likely to have the shares for long, and when I lose them, they could be worth a lot less than when I bought them.

216 comments on “Buying back the assets”

  1. Gosman 1

    Why not go the whole hog and just say that the concept of profit is ‘evil’ and that the next Labour led government will outlaw it and lock up any business men as profiteers? Much more honest and would have the same effect as what you are suggesting on investor confidence.

    • Uturn 1.1

      I guess it depends on the definition you use of what an “investor” really is and whether his “confidence”and “profit” has obligations to the environment to which, and in which, he applies them.

      Depending on your outlook, an immigrant with manual skills can be an investor, who profits from his labour, as does the community he lives in – socially and materially. He gains his confidence from his work and outcomes of his actions as long as he acts in a sustainable way.

      Or an investor can be someone who sends money via electronic register to factories he never sees or works, removing his profit the same way, with no care, liability or larger benefit to the community in which the factory exists. It may remove the confidence of the workers and community – causing an overall negetive confidence – while momentarily boosting his own financial confidence, if laws permit his unsustainable actions. You called it evil, it could also be opportunist, neglectful, selfish or stupid.

      • Gosman 1.1.1

        Yeah thats right I meant the first definition 8)

        Be interesting if the Labour party agrees with your view on investment.

        • Uturn

          I very much doubt it, though some of both new and old will hold that view personally. Too far left for a party position. One of Labour’s many future problems is how they will accomodate attitudes that are contradictory to their philosophical basis for existence.

    • seeker 1.2

      @ Gosman 9.41am.

      Depends what you profit from Gosman.

    • mik e 1.3

      You mean like Singapore or China

  2. vto 2

    I was surprised when I heard Cunliffe say that. But then again not so surprised. Brilliant move – throw the cat amongst the pigeons. It will certainly take the gloss off the “investment” as buyers will load a discount to what they are prepared to pay for an investment that politicians have said they will interfere with at a later date.

    Play the capitalists game straight back at them. Brilliant.

    • Macro 2.1

      I wasn’t surprised at all! If Labour we sincere about No Asset sales then this is exactly what they, and the other parties on the left, should be saying now LOUD AND CLEAR. Once we are returned to government, and it will be a matter of when not if, we will compulsively acquire those Assets sold off under the previous government, and at a price we choose.

      • Bob Stanforth 2.1.1

        Yes, thats right, thats how sovriegn states work. Not. Nicely displayed lack of understanding there BTW.

    • queenstfarmer 2.2

      Who says it will lead to a discount? It is actually more likely to inflate the price, if the market knows that a future incoming Labour Govt has committed itself to launch a takeover bid.

      There will only be a discount if the expectation is that the “takover” would be a forced below-market takeover (ie confiscation). That would be, I believe, unprecedented in NZ and is simply not going to happen. In particular I doubt that Mr Cunliffe would wish to place himself in the same league as Robert Mugabe. Of course, Cunliffe knows this which is why he conciously made a non-commital statement only.

      • vto 2.2.1

        Well that’ a possibility too if the buyers think they have something like a train set and a Cullen ….

        • McFlock

          Although I suggest the likelihood of either “below market rate” confiscation and/or windfall taxes would increase in proportion to price gouging / maintenance halts in any of the sold assets. The implied will to do this would by itself lower the attraction for the robber barons, and thus the sale price.
          Personally I have no problem with giving speculators the occasional kick in the nuts to keep them in line, but then I’m a bastard from way back.

      • mikesh 2.2.2

        They would in all probability confiscate and pay compensation, and of course there would be no guarantee that the owners would not take a haircut. There would be nothing unethical about this if they announced their intentions in advance; and, if elected, they would have what John Key would call “a mandate”.

  3. Sounds a bit like the National Standards approach – attempted sabotage. Not a great way to look like government-in-waiting.

    • Blighty 3.1

      “attempted sabotage”

      that would be selling the energy system that powers our economy to people whose only interest in it is making a profit, eh?

    • Lanthanide 3.2

      National are sabotaging our future with asset sales, National Standards and Roads of Notional Significance.

    • vto 3.3

      Sabotage? Is there some rule which says that certain things are off limits to the people of New Zealand? I don’t think so. Bad luck investors – it’s a free market so suck it up.

  4. Carol 4

    And Key has taken up the challenge…. interesting:


    Prime Minister John Key has scoffed at Labour leadership hopeful David Cunliffe’s suggestions he would buy back partial-sold state-owned assets, saying ”he won’t”.

    If Key didn’t fear Cunliffe and his pitch, why comment?

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      “If Key didn’t fear Cunliffe and his pitch, why comment?”

      Key comments on everything.

      • Carol 4.1.1

        Actually he doesn’t. He is quite selective about what he comments on.

        • mik e


          • Carol

            Key didn’t make much of a comment on the guy almost jumping from the gallery into the parliament debating chamber (except for his rewording of his throat-slittling outburst.

            Many negative things, he leaves other Nat minsiters to comment on.

    • In Vino Veritas 4.2

      He doesnt fear it, since Labour had nine years of opportunity to buy back assets (try Contact, Air NZ, Auckland and Wellington International Airports, Forestry cutting rights, State Insurance, BNZ just to name a few) and they didn’t. And let’s not forget, those nine years included the best economic conditions of a generation, so, if they couldn’t or wouldn’t then, the chances of them acting on this in the future, are remote indeed.

      In fact, does this mean Cunliffe will buy back all the assets sold by previous governments?

      • ropata 4.2.1

        “Labour had nine years of opportunity to buy back assets”

        They *did* buy back assets. AirNZ had collapsed remember?? Toll Rail was being asset stripped remember? Labour even *built* assets: KiwiBank, KiwiSaver

        The LP of Clark and Cullen did their best in a strange historical bubble after Reagan/Thatcher supply side economics was considered the new normal, oil was cheap, communism had collapsed, the ACT party had subverted Labour’s core values, and Rogernomics/Ruthanasia turned the country upside down. Clark tried to be moderate in a time of right wing insanity

        Now the lunatics have taken over

        • In Vino Veritas

          Ah ropata. Another name caller. You may recall ropata, that they only bought back 70% or so of Air NZ – does this mean you therefore agree witht the partial privatisation model? They then overpaid to buy back NZ Rail, a business that was losing money. Brilliant!

          I’d remind you that Rob Muldoon “built” far more assets than the last Labour Government, and he is roundly condemned by most of them (and for that matter, a good few contributors here).

          Clark\Cullen tried to be moderate? Hmm, you consider their 50% public sector spending increase to be moderate? That’s real lunacy. Interesting your comments on Thatcher. The current abject failure of Socialism in Europe must have escaped your attention – perhaps if Thatcher hadn’t done what she did, the UK may well be in the same situation as the other cot cases in Europe.

          • pollywog

            does this mean you therefore agree witht the partial privatisation model?

            On new projects and on a case by case basis theres nothing wrong with accepting private sector funds to offset taxes towards certain projects.

            But selling power companies when we don’t have to is just dumb…though not if you’re a self serving scumbag only looking out for number one.

          • ropata

            So you do admit your previous statement about Labour buying assets was false.

            Muldoon is condemned for being an authoritarian bastard and facilitating unprecedented strikes, freezes, and riots. Also loading up taxpayers with debt and wrecking retirement savings seems to be a National Party speciality. Building assets was a worthy goal (with acknowledged flaws). Flicking them off under a dishonest pretext is a despicable goal.

            Europe isn’t a failure of socialism it’s a demonstration of idiotic (putting it mildly) banking practices enabling fiscal irresponsibility and widespread corruption.

            • mikesh

              Muldoon was faced with the problem on an over valued dollar and rampant inflation, a problem he was not able to solve, though it was not of his making. Reducing the value of the dollar would have exacerbated the inflation situation, and the only way he could maintain the value of the dollar was to borrow overseas. Unfortunately he was caught between a rock and a hard place. Douglas and Richardson eventually solved the problem by applying methods that were probably too brutal for Muldoon to contemplate. Despite his bullying manner I find that I have a lot of time for Muldoon, and not much time for what John A Lee referred to as the “gangster unions”.

          • Draco T Bastard

            They then overpaid to buy back NZ Rail, a business that was losing money.

            Well, I would have preferred if they just re-appropriated rail without compensation but that’s generally considered immoral.

            Muldoon’s Think Big was a Good Idea but carried out with, as can be expected from National, pure incompetence.

            Hmm, you consider their 50% public sector spending increase to be moderate?

            What 50% increase? Don’t link to Kiwiblog and state the difference in ratio to GDP so that it’s actually accurate.

            The current abject failure of Socialism in Europe must have escaped your attention…

            What we’re seeing in the EU and around the world ATM is the failure of capitalism. The free-market policies that resulted in a huge transfer of wealth to the few and the speculation and outright fraud that accompanied it.

            • McFlock

              50% over 9 years sounds suspiciously close to the rate of inflation, i.e. no increase in real $$. I wouldn’t put it past the humourously misnamed veritas to be lying in this way.

          • seeker

            Thanks to Thatcher and her ‘ism’, the French own British water and I hear the Germans own the electricity and some are finding it too expensive to boil water or turn on the lights. My dad will be turning in his grave, having fought for Britain’s freedom for five horrible years. You appear to be so supercilious In Vino Veritas, that in veritas I wish you would try and get a complete mindset transplant and give my irritation- at -your – eternal -ignorance a welcome break.

          • mik e

            Ivvy leaguer they originally bought 85% with it lowering down with loan raising. But because airlines are fickle but essential for New Zealands high value exports Air NZ has a larger export cargo capacity than any other airline servicing NZ
            Michael Cullen decided it would be in NZ best interests to keep it going as well as not wiping out other share holders value completely as you have to form relationships with successful airlines to survive.
            NZ Rail was a similar story but Toll [In your case economically naive troll] didn’t want to play with the govt until rail got the same road user subsidies As trucking which always has a former high ranking national party MP cabinet minister lobbying 24/7 at the cost of the rest of us.ie our ‘petroll’ tax + more out of our payroll tax. from the less tax party yeah right.
            IF NAct had their way the unsubsidised rail would have been ripped up for landscaping and steel scrap.
            Nationals economic plans for NZ borrow and hope Austerity MULDOOM REVISITED ,
            Afew bandiad policies here and there to keep the peasants happy!

      • Puddleglum 4.2.2

        Given that Cunliffe’s comments referred to “some” assets I don’t see why you would jump to that conclusion.

        ‘Some’ sounds like ‘some’ to me.

      • lprent 4.2.3

        I believe that they did buy back most of Air NZ. It was called a bailout, but effectively it was a buyout.

        I really have few issues with putting in a severe regulatory environment for natural monopolies, nor did Labour. They were bloody sluggish about it but large chunks either got put in or were enforced. For instance the electricity “market” (as pitiful a market as you’d ever see). The overseas ownership for Auckland International Airport.

        Labour had other priorities last time. They cleaned up the frigging debt mountain that the wastrels of National failed to do much about in the 90’s. That was largely because they preferred cutting taxes rather than taking the opportunity to cleaning up Muldoon’s debts from the 70’s and 80’s.

        Next time I think that raising taxes to clear the debt that National is accumulating because of their tax cuts is the first priority. The second is to get control back of the critical infrastructure. Clearly the market and dividend regime is not working. Just look at the lack of capacity in the electricity system. We’re paying very high prices for power, but it goes into providing profits rather than capacity – price gouging a captive market.

        Right now we’d be stuffed if a disaster took out any major part of the system. Running a country on good luck isn’t acceptable.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Next time I think that raising taxes to clear the debt that National is accumulating because of their tax cuts is the first priority.

          Agreed and to state loudly and clearly that it only has to be done because of the Nationals profligate spending.

          Clearly the market and dividend regime is not working.

          We need a law that states that Natural Monopolies will be state owned. Throw in some definitions (Physical (networks – telecommunications, electricity), ubiquitous (necessary service that everyone needs like banking), etc) and then nationalise what fit’s those definitions.

          • Super Guest

            If “natural monopolies” means I’ll be forced to now use Telecom as my phone company, despite it being completey terrible. That I’ll be forced to use Kiwibank, despite being very happy with my current bank, then you can go fuck yourself, comrade.

            I prefer my tax cut, I have much more money than before.

            [lprent: Damn. I should have believed the auto-spam. I just need to clean it up a bit so I can find people and IP’s ]

          • mikesh

            Include also schools, hospitals and public broadcasting.

        • In Vino Veritas

          Tax cuts. There is a counter argument that the money raised from tax hikes was redistributed to give other people a standard of living that they did not deserve (rather than borrowing it as Greece and Spain have done). These people now believe they are “owed” a standard of living without having to contribute to it (see Greece and Spain).

          It becomes self defeating when the top 10% of earners are paying 80% of income tax collected, since sooner or later, they will make a decision to either (a) take their earning capacity to another jurisdiction or (b) earn nothing and have someone else pay for them (then what does a government do? earners have gone, net beneficiaries have risen).

          It always makes me laugh when Labour and their supporters bleat about “paying their fair share”. Currently, a small percentage of NZ’rs are paying for everything, and a large percentage, for nothing. As I have repeated often, Socialism is great, until you run out of other peoples money.

          • lprent

            Complete twaddle and a dumbarse myth. It takes a very selective reading of the theoretical taxes to come up with that bullshit. It then gets repeated so often by the RWNJ’s that it becomes ‘fact’ to that strange tale telling group.

            Look at what people actually pay in all their taxes by income groups rather than what they could in theory pay if they weren’t running money through tax exemptions. You come up with quite a different story.

            Make sure that you remove the rates from landlords and allocate them to tenants.
            Look only at GST at the final payer (not the intermediates – because a business should be run at a profit right?)

            The bulk of the tax take comes from middle income groups because they are least placed to change their circumstances to avoid PAYE, GST, rates, vehicle registrations, fuel taxes, etc.

            When you start looking at individuals with incomes over $100k you find a ever diminishing proportion of their income actually goes into taxation

            There are some tables around at the IRD and treasury that give the true picture. Look them up some time and learn reality.

            • In Vino Veritas

              “There are some tables around at the IRD and treasury that give the true picture. Look them up some time and learn reality.”

              Since you clearly privy to the links, I’d appreciate you directing me if you would be so kind.

              Just because you say it is so, doesn’t make it so. Are you proposing that there should be no deductions for expenses incurred in generating taxable incomes for business’s?

              And I guess you are therefore not including any benefits given to the middle income earners by the government, which, in some instances makes them net beneficiaries.

            • In Vino Veritas

              “Complete twaddle and a dumbarse myth”

              As requested, I have had a very quick dig. Try this:


              There is a 3.11mb word document. Go to page 45, second para from the bottom. 10% of taxpayers pay 76% of net income tax. Only in the top 5 deciles is tax paid greater than transfers received.

              Your retraction will be received with humility.

              • lprent

                This is what I mean about twaddle – you said income tax. What I pointed out was that you have to look at all taxes. Taxes mostly are individual rather than household.  

                So you try to prove your assertions with links for household income. Give me a break from a posturing fool. It is a pretty typical response from a wingnut when challenged – they throw some irrelevant crap links out.

                As I said you have as an article of faith – some mythological twaddle. It is your assertion that the bulk of income tax is paid by just a few people in the wealthiest tax groups. Prove it from the actual tax collection data because that simply isn’t the case. Then look up the total tax take including GST and other indirect taxes to get the true picture.

                I already told you where to get the sources – obviously IRD and treasury have them. They are the ministries that are concerned with revenue gathering.

                Quite why you thought that the ministry of social development would put out material on tax takes really just says a lot of about how much of a munter you are.

                • In Vino Veritas

                  1prent, as I say, I did a quick and dirty search and this is what came up. My bad if it doesnt come up to your exacting standards, I apologise, since by your tone, its an ideological sore point (or a personal sore point). I will endeavour, when I have a bit more time to come up with something more concrete. However, I will look for raw tax figures since this is what all taxpayers pay. Whether or not some taxpayers have the benefit of exemptions and deductions is irrelevant.

                  I would point out that in my original post my comment was: “It becomes self defeating when the top 10% of earners are paying 80% of income tax collected, since sooner or later, they will make a decision to either (a) take their earning capacity to another jurisdiction or (b) earn nothing and have someone else pay for them (then what does a government do? earners have gone, net beneficiaries have risen).”

                  that still stands. “when” being to operative word since if it isnt now, under any socialist regime, sooner or later it will be since people making money seem never to be paying their “fair share”.

                  In terms of the data from the household survey, it also stands. 10% of households (the wealthiest) already pay 76% of net income tax. It is what it is.

                  • lprent

                    It isn’t an ideological sore point in the sense that you mean. Ideologically I just don’t tolerate fools that well – ask anyone who gets the edge of my irritation…

                    Waffling about something based on “wot I heard from someone else who heard it from a mate at the pub/ a fool on a blog / some I met at my second cousins birthday” and treating it as fact is just dumb. Treating it as fact without ever bothering to look up the data themselves is just idiotic.

                    Needless to say we have been through this particular discussion here quite a few times and quite simply you are wrong at several levels. Hell I even know where the myth originated from – which is clearly more than you do.

                    Firstly it was based on theoretical income tax – ie if people paid their full whack and didn’t avoid it. Anyone with an accountant always tries to minimize their income tax. The more you earn the better the accountants you can afford, and usually the less income tax you pay. 

                    Secondly it completely ignored indirect taxes like GST. Since GST is unavoidable on most things for middle income levels and completely avoidable for anyone with a company shell, then there is a major differential there.

                    Thirdly taxes are paid individually. Sure households are made up of individuals. But that means a household of 5 friends flatting, a household with adult kids working, a rest home of 40 people, as well as what you’re evidently thinking of. It is a meaningless distinction which is why the IRD doesn’t do taxes on a household basis.


                    The basic problem was that the idiot who compiled the report you’re looking for was trying to get a predefined result. So they rammed together statistics that are only a partial picture to get the result that they wanted. The particular interest that they had was to reduce top rates on income tax. So the picture that they presented reflected that.

                    But no doubt we will get another idiot mindlessly sprouting the same garbage without actually understanding what lies behind the signature slogan of a fool next week.

                    I just like stomping on them when I have time by asking them to prove it. They are virtually never capable of even finding the source of the myth, let alone understand why it was wrong.

                    • In Vino Veritas

                      A more thoughtful post. Excellent. I have again had a brief trawl about, and prima facie, I concede to date that you are correct with regard to raw income tax, though as I said in my response to your original post, this doesnt take into account transfers that are in effect tax refunds. In my brief trawl, I note treasury use household income, net of transfers, and whilst they have not defined the parameters of this household income, I’d be surprised if they used rest homes for instance. Even if they used students, adult kids at home etc, the figures logically, wouldnt be distorted in a meaninful way?

                      Oh, and by the way, I am an accountant. You seem to think that the best accountants can create loopholes. Unfortunately this is not the case. Everyone is constrained by legislation, the penalties for non-compliance are exceedingly harsh. The worst possible thing that an accountant could do, is advise a client to take certain steps to minimize his taxable income and find that the IRD reassess with penalties. Many on this site seem to believe that the rich “are not paying their full whack”, which from my point of view is a nonsense. Those people that have income that is not subject to the source deduction regime, are generally able to deduct expenses that have been incurred in earning their taxable income. Those allowable deductions are spelt out in the Income Tax Act. And of course, any sensible businessman will take advantage of all allowable deductions, just as a lower decile earner will take advantage of all allowable transfers from the government to themselves.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      IVV is right the rich use mostly longstanding and legal loop holes to avoid paying tax.

                      Which is why Labour sought to introduce a CGT and an FTT should be part of the mix too.

          • joe90

            Perhaps taxing the rich isn’t such a bad idea IVV.

            I can’t buy enough of anything to make up for the fact that millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans can’t buy any new clothes or enjoy any meals out. Or to make up for the decreasing consumption of the tens of millions of middle-class families that are barely squeaking by, buried by spiraling costs and trapped by stagnant or declining wages


            So let’s give a break to the true job creators. Let’s tax the rich like we once did and use that money to spur growth by putting purchasing power back in the hands of the middle class. And let’s remember that capitalists without customers are out of business.

          • Draco T Bastard

            they will make a decision to either (a) take their earning capacity to another jurisdiction

            We can always hope but unfortunately the thieves keep hanging around like a bad smell.

          • mikesh

            I once came across, in a book, a table of tax rates for five quintiles of income when indirect taxes are added in. The tax rates over the five quintiles were approximately the same at about 35%. The table concerned the UK situation and may of course not apply in NZ. Still, it makes one wonder.

            ps the book was Ricardo’s Law by Fred Harrison.

    • Peter 4.3

      Who said anything about a “buy-back” 🙂

      It’s quite simple, renationalise them without compensation, and promise it in advance. That will at least reduce the price for selling them now.

      • Brokenback 4.3.1
        Its a definite positive at the end of a bleak week , to have David Cunliffe the front runner in the race for Labour leadership , raise the concept  posted last week about a positive, radical response to the Nats machinations over asset sales despite their lack of mandate to sell.
        Desperate times  , which proposed sales of renewable hydro-electric generators definitely qualify as, require desperate or bold solutions.
        Its vital that the opposition to Asset sales is vocal, physical and ceaseless and to achieve this requires leadership, planning & resources.
        Its quite obvious that the Greens have strayed to close to the Tory crotch under the Norman/Turei cabal and the aroma that accompanies such  association precludes any leadership or direction from that quarter.
        The street protests smoldering all over the globe are indication enough that the tide is turning against the market capitalist ethos that has dominated global politics for 25 years .
        What better opportunity is there for the shell -shocked Labour party than now to napalm the last remanants of Rogernomics , shift measurably to the Left and show the leadership required  whilst re-building its electoral stock.
        So once again , I call on the opposition parties to adopt the following
        Caveat Emptor
        To the prospective purchasers of New Zealand’s assets , be advised that when  we inevitably gain the Treasury benches we will immediately, without debate or hesitation , Nationalise the said assets.
        No compensation will be rendered in lieu of Nationalisation.
        That should disrupt the reef fish & sharks circling OUR assets.
  5. queenstfarmer 5

    Under the existing Takeovers Code, that wouldn’t be too hard.

    So it has taken just over a week since the election for this admission that Labour’s key campaign message on asset sales – “once they are sold, they will be gone forever” – was false. Better late than never I suppose.

    • Uturn 5.1

      Change of leadership, change of direction, increase in possibilities. It’s only National who have chosen to dig in on barren exposed ideological terrain.

    • mikesh 5.2

      Possibly true with Goff as leader. But that is no longer the case.

    • In Vino Veritas 5.3

      Good point queenst. I note from Uturn that new leadership means that the party can change it’s mind (imagine what he’d say if it was Key\National changing his mind). The bottom line on this is Cunliffe and co. were never really behind Goff, didn’t believe in the message and basically hung him out to dry. The infighting in Labour for the next year or so will be entertaining.

      • Uturn 5.3.1

        More whine veritas?

        The point you ingenuinely overlook is that new regimes are different. Gosh, what space aged thinking that is. I mean are you really saying Clark’s regime wasn’t any different to Lange, Kirk or Nash? Or that Key’s regime is no different to Bolger’s, Muldoon’s or Holyoake’s?

        But since you’re out in that wilderness, when is Key going to follow Sidney Holland’s example and keep Labour’s approach to welfare instead of changing them? He has to be consistent… right?

        No? Key must be going in a different direction, eh?

        Bar keeepp! MOre whine!

    • Draco T Bastard 5.4

      Yeah, that bugged me as well. Of course it was possible to get them back. I suspect that what they meant was that it would be expensive ie, buying back Tranzrail.

      • mikesh 5.4.1

        I think that when one sells one does not expect to get them back. To sell with the intention of renationalizing at a later date would be unethical.

      • Colonial Viper 5.4.2

        Everyone knew it was possible to get them back as we did with Tranzrail, and as we largely did with Air NZ.

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6

    The global economic system will have imploded long before Labour ever forms another government.

    There are far more pressing issues to be dealt with right now, such as the future of the food supply. After all, people who have starved to death don’t use electricity.

    Labour is ‘stuck in tram lines’ and seems totaly incapable of extracting itself.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      The food situation in NZ is not going to be significantly different in 3 years time.

      • uke 6.1.1

        But modern NZ man cannot live by bread alone. Needs iPod, iPad, SUV, gym membership, flat-screen, heat pump, jet ski, etc. Probably be willing to open cast the NZ wilderness to keep them. Has just voted for this to happen more and more. Good: get to keep cool toys.

      • Afewknowthetruth 6.1.2


        What evidence do you have to support your contention? (bearing in mind that fiat currencies will have largely collapsed by 2014, peak oil will be biting hard by 2014 and climate chaos will be hitting harder by 2014).

        The starvation apsect probably won’t commence in NZ till around 2018 or 2020, but the window of opportunity to prevent it has almost vanished, bearing in mind the time it takes to change systems.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          I have a question. When you’re looking in the mirror, do you prefer oil or water-based lubricant?

        • Lanthanide

          The fact that people need food to live. We’re not going to see starvation in NZ by 2020 either.

          This country produces enough to feed itself many many times over. We may potentially have to drastically change the distribution models (again I’d suggest not by 2014) so instead of going to the supermarket everyone is given a basic ration etc, but we’re not suddenly going to have a lack of productive capacity.

          Your assertion that fiat currencies are going to collapse only bolsters this point: where are all the kiwifruit, apples and milk going to go if international trade has collapsed? The orchards and cows aren’t suddenly going to die, not in 3 years. Not in 10 years. 20-40, maybe.

        • uke

          The starvation apsect probably won’t commence in NZ till around 2018 or 2020…

          This would be the mass starvation aspect. There will be small enclaves of heavily-armed survivors I am guessing. But by then we will also be having trouble with hordes of well-offish Americans arriving enmasse with full military kit.

          • Draco T Bastard

            But by then we will also be having trouble with hordes of well-offish Americans arriving enmasse with full military kit.

            That’s the bit that most people don’t get. When the shit hits the fan NZ is going to become a destination for millions that we can’t afford to let in – and it won’t just be USians.

            • vto

              I always wondered if that was one of the reasons the Rothschilds bought themselves a bolthole on Banks Peninsula – one of the most difficult to access bays, open to the sea for entry and exit, easily defended, last place settled (not even Maori lived there).

              Imagine havng one of them in our midst – bleeargh. The family at the heart of the worlds biggest ponzi scheme ever – the money printing fraud called the Federal Reserve. I wonder why these people are not contributing to the current debate going on in the eurozone, the US and pretty much everywhere else about this? It is their system after all.

            • Vicky32

              When the shit hits the fan NZ is going to become a destination for millions that we can’t afford to let in – and it won’t just be USians

              It’s them we need to keep out!

  7. King Kong 7

    I keep hearing how smart David “Chavez” Cunliffe is yet I wouldn’t have thought that crashing investor confidence in NZ is a thing that a clever person would do.

    30% mortgage rates anyone?

    • insider 7.1

      One of his proudest moments was wiping a billion or so off the value of Telecom so it’s not surprising. He did leave himself an awful lot of wiggle room though, so much that you can’t really take his ‘threat’ as anything more than a piece of wool to tease the left wing kittens.

      • mikesh 7.1.1

        Do mean the real value, or do you mean the stock market’s monopoly-driven, inflated value.

        • felix

          These mental midgets only have one definition of value: that which can be extracted for private gain.

          The value of the collective ownership of our strategic energy generating assets is totally lost on them. They need to carve things into small pieces and claim them as personal possessions before they can identify value, clutching the precious treasures to their Golem-like breasts.

          Such is the shallow, selfish, and small-minded nature of our friends on the right.

    • mikesh 7.2

      Smarter probably than John “Yeltsin” Key.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      No, the smart thing to do would be to tell the “investors” to fuck off. We shouldn’t have to pay rent to live in our own land.

  8. insider 8

    David Parker as energy minister oversaw a GPS for the electricity sector that had something like 32 pages of govt interventions. He cannot with a straight face claim ‘the market’ didn’t work when he had his sticky fingers all through it, nor can he claim the consequences of the market are National’s fault. He had the power to make change and didn’t exercise it.

    If Labour do want to buy the powercos back it will mean a lot more borrrowing. Are they also going to buy the lines companies back too? They are just as important as retailers.

    And are you really advocating giving electricity away to capitalists at cost so that they can soak it up and make profit from it? So long energy efficiency and welcome to more gas and coal plants.

    • mikesh 8.1

      “And are you really advocating giving electricity away to capitalists at cost so that they can soak it up and make profit from it? So long energy efficiency and welcome to more gas and coal plants.”

      Why not? Providing businesses pay taxes on any profits they make. Labour, as far as I know, is not anti-business. And whether we have more gas and coal plants is a matter for government to decide.

      • insider 8.1.1

        Why not give away free oil and gas and coal and food and office space and metal and water and telecommunications and wood?

        Why do major electricity users get a free ride and not other forms of business?

        More gas and coal will be the consequence of underpricing power. they will be the fastest and cheapest and most reliable way to get electricity generation going that you’ll need to meet the increasing demand you will be creating by giving away cheap electricity.

        Or you could start power rationing.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Selling power at cost is a little different than giving it away.

          What I’d like to see is a block pricing plan. You pre-purchase a block of power for the month, if you go over that amount the charges are extortionate (incentive not to go over the pre-purchased amount), the bigger block you purchase the more it costs per unit (incentive to use less) and no refund for using less than that purchased (incentive to buy the correct block size). Basic supply and demand – demand more, pay more.

          • Enough is Enough

            What a way to fuck the poor

          • insider

            You’re talking about a take or pay type system that operates in gas markets or like in telecoms with data or mobile plans. That’s a bit like power shop’s model. It’s also the way hedges and the spot market can interoperate. But the penalties are not fixed there is just a price risk. I’m not sure the punitive approach would work -ie the risk seems all downside to be attractive. The block discount would have to be huge to compensate but the market doesn’t seem to give such discounts because margins are not that great.

        • mikesh

          No one is suggesting a free ride. Users should pay enough to cover the production cost of what they use. And what makes you think that charging at cost is “underpricing”?

          • insider

            Because it doesn’t necessarily cover future cost of new plant, the cost of the money already allocated to the asset. It also distorts by favouring one form of energy over other legitimate and socially useful forms of spending. Why not oil? why not food? why not shoes? All really important for modern economies. Why are you being selective on electricity?

  9. daveo 9

    Heard Trotter talking about this on morning report. Faced with a real left idea from Cunliffe he could only scoff – I guess that’s because he’s backing Shearer. What a hypocritical mealy mouthed tosser.

    • pollywog 9.1

      It’s a generational thing.

      All them boomers got to stick together for protection now.

      That’s why Grant Robertson needs to watch his back.

      • Carol 9.1.1

        More male boomers, and especially quite a few white male boomers backing the retro Shearer option. I’m a white female boomer for Cunliffe.

        • mikesh

          I’m pre-boomer, and also for Cunliffe, especially since his renationalization comment. But even Shearer made the comment that state owned assets should used to benefit NZers.

        • seeker

          et moi Carol.

      • Uturn 9.1.2

        As a white male Gen X, it’s all very interesting, but only the beginning of larger changes. Whoever wins, they can’t stand alone.

    • I heard that interview too.

      I also got the sense that Trotter was struggling over how to characterise this.

      He called it “bold” – a compromise evaluation because it’s the sort of thing he might advocate, but he didn’t want to support Cunliffe so he had to give it a backhanded (amused/bemused) compliment and cast it in the same mould as a CGT, etc..

      He did, however, pick up on “Mr Shearer” saying that it probably wasn’t possible. Trotter mentioned the various ways it could be done – including making the share price go down so that it could be bought back at a bargain basement price. Trotter did say, in Shearer’s defence, however, that it would be difficult in a global environment dominated by the WTO, IMF, etc..

      I assume it is not in the interests of those to Labour’s left to have Labour move to the left. It looks to me that Shearer would ensure that wouldn’t happen. There could even be a move back to a ‘centre’ which has shifted rightwards over the past three decades.

      The leadership tussle could be shaping up into a more traditional contest over ideological direction rather than personality and presentational styles, as has so far been emphasised. 

      • pollywog 9.2.1

        The leadership tussle could be shaping up into a more traditional contest over ideological direction rather than personality and presentational styles, as has so far been emphasised.

        The generation game.

        Nice to see ya, to see ya…

      • fatty 9.2.2

        why do people still listen to trotter…useless fat sack of shit, he should be on radio live

  10. Tiger Mountain 10

    Heh, nothing like a ‘nationalise’ threat to get the righties bedwetting, “the horror…” or ‘nationalisation without compensation’ “the horror, double the horror…”

    Wake up actoids; many people give as much of a stuff about investor confidence as a justification for anything as the banksters give about us. 1%–99%.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1

      Do people who commit global economic fraud even deserve to have property rights?

    • Gosman 10.2

      Zanu-PF thought the same in Zimbabwe and followed through with expropriation without compensation. Then their economy imploded and they blamed it on ‘Sanctions’ because they couldn’t access Balance of Payments support from overseas. Lefties don’t tend to think through the implications of their policies.

      • Puddleglum 10.2.1

        Hi Gosman,

        I think international investors are probably savvy enough to distinguish between a New Zealand government ‘re-nationalising’ recently privatised government assets (however that might be achieved) and Zimbabwe’s very complicated historical and economic circumstances. Especially given the clear public disquiet over the privatisation process before it was implemented.

        I don’t think, therefore, that this would put in danger all overseas investment in New Zealand. 

        • Gosman

          You have no idea of the international capital markets if you think that. All you need to do is look at how the contagion is spreading in Europe to see how investors rely heavily on gut feeling and instinct rather than thinking about consequences too much. Germany of all places failed to fill a bond offering. That would have been unthinkable 6 months ago. Capital markets are drying up. Once that happens the cost of getting Capital becomes very expensive. If NZ is renationalising without fair compensation why would investors lend the billions necessary for spending that Labour wants? Do you think Labour would be able to borrow to invest on Wall Street after that?

          • Puddleglum

            So are you saying that any government that does anything at all that any investor feels remotely negative about won’t receive any international capital?

            As you have pointed out, almost every country in the world now falls into that category – so will international capital just be kept under one very big mattress? 

            • Draco T Bastard

              so will international capital just be kept under one very big mattress?

              I hope so as that will show just how useless it is.

          • Draco T Bastard

            If NZ is renationalising without fair compensation why would investors lend the billions necessary for spending that Labour wants?

            We don’t need their money. Never have done. If we’d been rational we would never have bought into the globalised capitalism thing that has brought the world “economy” down – again.

          • Vicky32

            is look at how the contagion is spreading in Europe to see how investors rely heavily on gut feeling and instinct rather than thinking about consequences too much

            Yes, to me it all seems like some kind of weird hysteria! Calling it ‘contagion’ makes it seem as if it is a real thing, but it’s just some kind of bizarre superstition. 
            How did the world ever get to this point? People matter, and you can’t eat money.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 10.2.2

        A good test of right-wing delusions is whether they are consistent.

        • Gosman

          ???What has that rather bizarre linkage got to do with anything in this thread???

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Gosman, baby steps? Words of one syllable? I asked whether “people who commit global economic fraud even deserve to have property rights”. Does the penny start to drop? Fraud? Proceeds of crime… please try and keep up.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I’ve been thinking that that bill is the perfect one for re-nationalising Telecom. After all, the CEO (Gattung) did admit that they were acting in a criminal manner.

      • mikesh 10.2.3

        I think the British originally promised to compensate whites for any land confiscated by the Zimbabwean government, but later welshed on their promise.

  11. I’d further undermine the power companies ability to gouge the consumer by promising to subsidise solar panels, wind turbines and deep cell batteries.

    • insider 11.1

      Funny how you are concerned about price gouging (whatever that is) yet you want the powercos to fund incredibly expensive means of power generation. How are they going to raise the cash do you think?

      • pollywog 11.1.1

        yet you want the powercos to fund incredibly expensive means of power generation.

        Watchutalkinboutwillis ?

        I’m talkin about the gov’t subsidising clean energy for households in much the same way as they are subsidising cheap insulation ?

        Making consumers less reliant on powercos and lowering their power bills in the long term.

        Wouldn’t that be a better return on investing kiwisaver funds than buying into state assets

        • insider

          Not really because the physical and economic fact proven time and time again around the world is that grid power is by far the cheapest and most reliable. You would be loweing power bills only by destroying the value in the superfund by subsidising investment in these expensive home generation methods. So cheap (but unreliable and low drain) power now but poverty in retirement.

          • pollywog

            Not really because the physical and economic fact proven time and time again around the world is that grid power is by far the cheapest and most reliable

            subsidising investment in these expensive home generation methods..

            Cheap and nasty…Fukushima anyone or drill baby drill, mine baby mine ?

            Clean energy is only expensive cos it’s not subsidised or mass produced…yet

            If NZ industry geared up for it we could be world leaders after the Germans of course.

            and if you took the power bills out of the retirement factor the oldies wouldn’t have to worry about surviving harsh winters or eating the house by selling their state asset shares to pay the bills.

            • insider

              “Clean energy is only expensive cos it’s not subsidised or mass produced…yet”

              That’s hilarious. Who pays the subsidies? Do those costs miraculously not count as real because they are ‘hidden’? No matter how mass produced, distributed generation has a way to go to bridge the cost gap with grid power.

              IMO it’s a Green fantasy that we would ever match the Germans or anyone else on modern renewables. It’s a numbers game -we don’t have the population, the market exposure, the industrial backing or supporting technologies, or equity. It’s not that we are stupid, we just suffer from the tyranny of distance and size. We might get success in some technology niches – particularly software as that is more accessible – but unlikely in the heavy engineering or high tech manufacturing stakes. How are we ever going to succeed in say photoelectrics when we don’t do chip design and manufacture in NZ? Look at our own wind power manufacturer to see how hard they are struggling to make an impact locally for what they claim is a game changing technology.

              • pollywog

                Who pays the subsidies?

                We might get success in some technology niches

                Perhaps a public private partnership is in order ?

                and at the very least we could produce deep cell batteries. Then we could look at electric car subsidies as well.

                Any success in clean technology is a win…niche or not.

              • Draco T Bastard

                IMO it’s a Green fantasy that we would ever match the Germans or anyone else on modern renewables.

                We could do it – if we used our resources rather than selling them overseas for a lot of nothing money.

                It’s not that we are stupid, we just suffer from the tyranny of distance and size.

                If we look at the economy rationally rather than irrationally then we would be producing everything that we need here from our own resources and we’d only be producing what we need and doing so within the limits of the Renewable Resource Base.

          • Draco T Bastard

            You would be loweing power bills only by destroying the value in the superfund…

            Money isn’t worth anything, resources are.

      • mikesh 11.1.2

        “How are they going to raise the cash do you think?”

        Ideally they would use Reserve Bank credit. I guess the RB’s fiat money is as good as the trading banks’ fiat money.

      • In Vino Veritas 11.1.3

        Given the fairly respectable returns power companies have been earning, I’d say that consumers have been getting a raw deal for years. Though we didnt hear the Labour party whining about it when they were collecting their inflated dividends, thats for sure. That’d be called “hunting with the hounds and running with the hares”, another Labour Party hypocrisy.

        • pollywog

          Didn’t hear a lot of fatcats complaining about Labour when times were good either.

          What’s your point ?

        • insider

          Respectable but not excessive – about 5.2% ROE compared to the NZX average of about 15%. I’m not sure this raw deal idea stacks up beyond the general consumer perception that they are always being ‘ripped off’ or ‘gouged’ by utilities, no matter what the price or the cost of supply. It’s mostly a grudge purchase.

          • In Vino Veritas

            And therein lies another rebuttle to Labours election lies then. If an NZX company is getting 15% ROE, and the SOE’s are getting only 5.2% ROE, then by definition, the listed company in private hands is more efficient given its ability to get a higher return for a product that exists in a competitive market.

            • pollywog

              Just making sure we’re comparing state powerco apples with private powerco apples and not oranges here eh ?

            • Draco T Bastard

              If an NZX company is getting 15% ROE, and the SOE’s are getting only 5.2% ROE, then by definition, the listed company in private hands is more efficient given its ability to get a higher return for a product that exists in a competitive market.

              I see that you’ve been imbibing a little too much again as this sentence is completely illogical.

              You’d have to compare two companies of the same size and in the same market to be able be able to compare them accurately. Not compare one SOE to the entire damn stock exchange.

        • mik e

          They redistributed that profit to lower income famillies which were treated very badly by National during the nineties as well as upgraded much of the run down network that mad max had buggered.

        • mikesh

          Yes. The LP ought to be ashamed. And of course if the power companies had not been making a profit the party could have been pointing out to the electorate that their sale would inevitably lead to power price increases.

    • Gosman 11.2

      You personally going to subsidise these forms of energy generation? If so I hope you have particularly deep pockets filled with a hell of a lot of cash.

      • pollywog 11.2.1

        NO, but the farmers contributions to the ETS could.

        …kinda has the potential to be fiscally neutral don’t you think ?

        • In Vino Veritas

          Excellent. So lets destroy our biggest export industry by making it globally uncompetitive so we can keep power prices reasonable. The lunatic fringe has spoken.

          • pollywog

            And whos subsidising who again ?

            Farmers are gonna pay sooner or later or was that another election lie and what they meant to say was the agricultural sector wont start paying their dues til 2114 and by then….

            …destroy export industry or destroy the lands and waterways ?

            may as well spend their dues on less environmentally unsound industry NOW !

          • Draco T Bastard

            So lets destroy our biggest export industry by making it globally uncompetitive…

            You’re talking about an “industry” that would be uncompetitive on the global “market” if it paid its full costs rather than being subsidised by us.

            • In Vino Veritas

              Farmers would only be subsidised if we go into ETS. If NZ does not, NZ doesnt have to pay, taxpayers dont have to stump up with anything and no one subsidises anything. Instant solution!

              • Draco T Bastard

                They’re subsidised now. The pollution of our rivers and lakes and destruction of our forests, the $400m that this government has promised to build infrastructure that the private sector won’t so that we can have more dairy farms polluting Canterbury is proof of that.

                Farming in NZ has been subsidised since the pakeha arrived here.

                • Brokenback
                  Lets not mention the subsidy we all pay for to the trucking industry.

                  My province , northland , one the largest and hilliest in the land  , has one large milk processing facility and several hundred tankers on the roads  carting 80% water , all subsised by the general fuel tax & excise .

                  • insider

                    According to the recent review of RUCs it is the other way around – trucks pay more than their share and light diesels (cars) will have increased charges.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Got link?

                    • Armchair Critic

                      If it is the same review that was bandied about a year or so back then it is horribly flawed. It relied on a number of assumptions that are incorrect, and was prepared by people with a vested interest in its conclusions.
                      For the sake of your credibility, I hope you are referring to a different report. Link please.

                    • insider

                      Just google ruc review on the mot website

              • pollywog

                I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but at least i’m still a knife

                you my friend are a fork ‘n spoon who takes the cake.

                • In Vino Veritas

                  glad to be of help with the food….

                  • felix

                    Typical right-winger. Thinks stuffing his own face is “helping with the food”.

                    • seeker

                      Rofl – good one felix -so true

                    • In Vino Veritas

                      Typical socialist making uninformed comments when they no nothing of the person they are slagging. I would suggest that my tax receipts would show I have helped with more food in a year than you have in your lifetime to date. Hmm, perhaps you’ve been eating food that I have helped you pay for……, you should be more thankful is thats the case.

      • joe90 11.2.2

        From the IEA.

        In analysis that builds on the IEA’s ongoing work for the G-20, WEO-2010 reveals that fossil-fuel subsidies amounted to $312 billion in 2009. “Getting the prices right, by eliminating fossil-fuel subsidies, is the single most effective measure to cut energy demand in countries where they persist, while bringing other immediate economic benefits”, said Mr Tanaka.

        Subsidies for fossil fuels aren’t a problem but subsides for alternatives are.


  12. Promise to take the assets back without compensation and no-one will buy them. Then promise to undo corporatisation and merge energy assets as Kiwi Energy.

    • uke 12.1

      Not even Mana seem to have the guts to suggest that course of action.

    • Bored 12.2

      We agree at last…its merely a bluff but it achieves the right result.Scare the investors away.

      • dave brown 12.2.1

        But Labour will also have to promise repo without favour. Maori can’t buy strategic assets on some Treaty principle and not have them repo’d. If they have a claim under the Treaty its to get something for nothing to recompense what was stolen in the first place. Yanks can’t use a TPPA to grab assets on threat of a lawsuit. The Latin American ALBA countries baulked at the FTAA as a noose around their necks and formed their own free market. Labour needs to put a halt on the TPPA.
        The loss of international ‘investor’ confidence [a euphemism for the big banks] would be a boon not a burden. NZ’s public debt is low cf other countries and only run up by the NACts tax cuts and bailouts for the rich. That can be taxed back. Most of our private debt is to Aussie banks so I would put big controls on their profiteering and boost the role of Kiwibank as an official state bank to shift the role of commercial financing onto a state bank. That would stop the RWNJs scare tactics about mortgage blowouts.
        NZ could easily trade its commodities in swap deals with lots of countries, for example, Latin America, Asia, esp China and India. Selling its food at a reasonable price would never be a problem. The biggest problem is NZ’s No 1 export – repatriated profits. For big infrastructural financing we would be better off doing swap deals with China than with Goldman Sachs who screws you and then sends in the banker to run the show as in Greece and Italy.
        All in all the ‘suggestion’ to think hard about repossession of state assets takes us in to the territory of reclaiming NZ’s economic sovereignty for its working people and out of the hands of the parasites and they paid lackeys. When that happens NZ can plan its economy sustainably and make the necessary changes to meet climate change requirements.

        • Draco T Bastard

          For big infrastructural financing we would be better off doing swap deals…

          We don’t need infrastructural financing as we can do the whole lot from our own resources. That’s true of damn near everything.

  13. Interesting that former Goff speech writer John Pagani is scaremongering about this.  He says, applying the most possible spin, that Cunliffe has talked about “forced” renationalisation of the power company shares.

    Regrettably this not quite what David said.  He has talked about how he would “look to buy back the assets”.   On Q&A he said the following:

    “SoE partial privatisation no.  I don’t stand for a paler shade of blue.  I want to look down the barrel and say this, if the Government is going to precious state assets then we will not rule out renationalising some of them.

    Espinar:  “You would buy them back?”

    Cunliffe:  “We should look very hard at that.”

    Note that Cunliffe only committed to look to buy the assets back.  And I agree use of regulatory powers could affect return on the assets.

    Good spin by Pagani though.  Cameron must be giving him lessons. 

  14. Damos 14

    Brilliant from Cunliffe… scare the horses from investing if Labour gets in, that’s one way of stopping the sale of assets. He’s the only one from the left talking about what he is going to do, this wishy washy making assets work thing has passed, someone has to take on Key about this and even the Greens aren’t there on that yet.

    If you were clever you say this now because the law will state there is to be control over the purchasing of an asset by offshore interests, meaning the bulk of Key’s Mums and Dads where ever they may be would consider… do I buy shares? If Cunliffe becomes Leader of Labour, you’d think twice about it.

    THAT is clever.

    • In Vino Veritas 14.1

      Moronic more like Damos. How will this work? The share price will only go down when earnings go down, so if Cunliffe regulates and causes an earnings drop, shares go down. In step with that, dividend stream will decrease. Long term holders will hang in there in the expecation that prices will increase to produce an acceptable dividend. The Government of the time will also be budgeting to recieve certain dividends, which if they dont arrive, will have to be borrowed to cover budgeted expenditure. If this is Cunliffes plan, he’s a raving looney.

      Oh, and then there’s the small matter of the Maori. What if, say, the Maori’s pool together and buy large chunks of the power companies on the block? Long term holders, constant dividend stream, unlikely to ever sell. If this happens (and it’s likely), and Cunliffe then tries to sabotage earnings, the Maori might not be his best friends.

      • WTF? 14.1.1

        Not only that, but any re-nationalisation (by an means) that deliberately sets out to devalue shareholdings and negatively effects Maori holdings would almost certainly be open to a treaty claim against the Crown. Meaning we’d get to pay for the assets three times: once to build them, once to buy them back and once more for treaty compensation.

        • In Vino Veritas

          Jeepers, this is becoming a laugh a minute!! Cunliffe looks like an intelligent, sensible guy then. Nice call WTF.

        • pollywog

          WOAH…getting a bit ahead of yourself there champ

          but anyway, thats where Nanaia’s mana would come to the fore and keep the brown peril from raping your wallet even more…*yawn*

          Cunliffe’s streets ahead of you fullas eh ?

          • In Vino Veritas

            “Cunliffe’s streets ahead of you fullas eh?”
            Oh I don’t know polly, if he’s talking buying back, then it’s just populist nonsense that he will never have the funding for. Making policy on the hoof like this cant be considered to be “streets ahead’ of anyone (and dear I say it, certainly not streets ahead of me).

            “brown peril” I think you are having a small cow about a misinterpretation on your part. I think it’d be great if Maori bought big chunks of the assets up for sale. In fact, I’m pretty confident they will. As I say, they will be long term, stable holders of a healthy sized shareholding. Good on them!

            • Colonial Viper

              then it’s just populist nonsense that he will never have the funding for.

              Oh bullshit $5B is only 4% of NZ GDP

              Or just print the cash. Because the USD that foreign investors use to pay for our power assets will be just that: freshly printed.

            • seeker

              My electricity bills are going up by the minute while you are enjoying speculating on my loss (heat loss). Shame on you and the poxy national government in veritas.

        • felix

          How would maori shareholdings (which you said they would buy, not be given as part of a treaty settlement) be treated any differently to any other shareholdings?

          If you guys want to play this quite transparent little game you need to at least make your nightmare scenarios believable.

          • Colonial Viper

            Cunliffe is smart as. This is direct from the little red play book. It took China almost 20 years to fully nationalise all its major industries after the revolution. Step by little step does it.

            The RWNJs here have no fucking idea.

            Once the major private shareholders see a mountain of capital losses in their future they will be motivated to sell their shares, even at below cost prices.

            And who will be on hand ready to buy every share back? The Crown.

            In fact, we do this right, we will get the SOEs back for cheaper than we sold them for. MAGIC.

            • In Vino Veritas

              “Cunliffe is smart as.”

              Colonial, your wetness behind the ears in terms of anything other than childish radicalism is given away in a comment like this.

              In case you do not understand, you have ended your sentence with a subordinating conjunction. FYI, a subordinating conjunction introduces a dependent clause and indicates the nature of the relationship among the independent clause(s) and the dependent clause(s).

              In this case, “Cunliffe is smart” is the independent clause. If you are going to include “as”, there must be a dependant clause indicating the nature of the independent clause, ie: smart as ????

              • Vicky32

                In case you do not understand, you have ended your sentence with a subordinating conjunction. FYI, a subordinating conjunction introduces a dependent clause and indicates the nature of the relationship among the independent clause(s) and the dependent clause(s).
                In this case, “Cunliffe is smart” is the independent clause. If you are going to include “as”, there must be a dependant clause indicating the nature of the independent clause, ie: smart as ????

                Even though I agree with you in this respect only, (‘smart as’ being a piece of advertising idiocy) IVV, if you’re setting yourself up an expert on English usage, you’d be best advised not to make mistakes yourself. Using “smart” to mean clever is an idiotic Americanism, and should never be used. Likewise, using ‘dumb’ to mean stupid, which is simply a half-witted dig against people with disabilities…
                One more point – please, before one of us dies, realise that PLURALS DO NOT TAKE APOSTROPHES!!!!!

                • lprent

                  I was wondering how long it would be. 😈

                • In Vino Veritas

                  thanks Vicky, I set myself up for that one!

                  “Using “smart” to mean clever is an idiotic Americanism, and should never be used.”

                  I was only using it in the context to Colonial’s post.

                  ” Likewise, using ‘dumb’ to mean stupid, which is simply a half-witted dig against people with disabilities…”

                  Did I use dumb?

                  “One more point – please, before one of us dies, realise that PLURALS DO NOT TAKE APOSTROPHES!!!!!”

                  For this, I apologise – do I do it often?

                  • Vicky32

                    I was only using it in the context to Colonial’s post.

                    Point taken! 🙂

                    ” Likewise, using ‘dumb’ to mean stupid, which is simply a half-witted dig against people with disabilities…”
                    Did I use dumb?

                    No, sorry, you didn’t – I went off on a tear, as I do on this subject – I used to teach people with disabilities, so I am a bit over-sensitive on this subject… I’ve had tearful students who’d been called “retard, spazz, dummy” – and I recently learned that the use of “dumb” meaning stupid in New Zealand does indeed goes back to the 1960s, from the memoir of someone I heard on Radio New Zealand talking about the abuse his deaf mother was subjected to. (I am stunned and horrified that New Zealanders did that, but they did – they threw stones and abuse at a deaf woman and her son… )
                    But, VofR, I challenge your assertion that ‘smart’ was used to mean clever in NZ in the 60s. In Rotorua it meant ‘cheeky’ as in “don’t get smart with me, girl!” Trust me, I heard that often enough from other children, teens and the odd adult. AFAIK it’s been used in England only in the last 5 years, no matter that it might be used in the Commonwealth countries.

                    “One more point – please, before one of us dies, realise that PLURALS DO NOT TAKE APOSTROPHES!!!!!”
                    For this, I apologise – do I do it often?

                    You did yesterday, but you don’t usually.. however most others do, and it really shreds my last nerve… 😀
                    Oh, and VoR, linguist here! I know language evolves. But it seems to be stagnating instead, here in New Zealand. My 20-something nieces and nephews all speak some kind of unholy mixture of film and TV American/advertising speak/and ‘Kiwi’ usages from the 1990s, fossilised, again, by advertising…

                    • Vicky32

                      eddie and other’s posting

                      Sorry, IVV! Just found this from you on another thread… 🙁

                • The Voice of Reason

                  From the Oxford dictionary:


                  Old English smeortan (verb), of West Germanic origin; related to German schmerzen; the adjective is related to the verb, the original sense (late Old English) being ‘causing sharp pain’; from this arose ‘keen, brisk’, whence the current senses of ‘mentally sharp’ and ‘neat in a brisk, sharp style’

                  I don’t think the use of ‘smart’ to mean clever is an Americanism at all, Vicky. It’s certainly been used here in NZ since the sixties, just using my own education as an example, and it may be that it is in more common usage in the States but it clearly is not exclusive to them or a corruption of the proper English.

                  However, I’m happy to be corrected. Language, as William Burroughs noted, is a virus. It mutates through the generations, so it may be that it became a more common usage in England and the Commonwealth after, say, exposure to American soldiers in the World Wars. Or it could all be down to Control Agent 86, Maxwell Smart, in the sixties.

            • insider

              So what is China doing now and how is that going for them?

  15. randal 15

    this asset sale is about cannibalising the country’s earnings for the sake of a very samll minority of people who are being given a treasure trove for nothing.
    this is stae controlled piracy of the highest order.
    who are these people who think they can steal from us as a matter of right?

    • Bored 15.1

      Its the real problem of our current “capital” markets and the “investor” class who are the 1%….they easily become risk averse, once they have got wealthy through risk and venture they get shy. They then want to increase the return safely. Adam Smith talked about this, its the rentier versus the true entrepreneur.

      When you look at that sick puppy (the NZSX) all you see are rental incomes dressed up as a “share market”…ex SOEs, ex public utilities, infrastructure. My contention is that these “companies” should be there to run at cost to provide infrastructure and services for real productive enterprises to use. Is it any wonder when these parasites insist on clipping the ticket that our productive enterprises are deemed inefficient? The profits have already gone into the wrong pockets.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.2

      who are these people who think they can steal from us as a matter of right?

      The psychopathic dictators and authoritarians otherwise known as the political right.

    • seeker 15.3

      +1 That’s telling it like it is for sure randal. .

  16. Gosman 16

    I’m getting sick of this 1% 99% BS that seems to be popping up on left leaning blogs all the time. Noone but you small minority cares about that. The occupy movement is dying a slow death in NZ and a rather more painful one in the US. It isn’t getting momentum it is losing it.

    • Uturn 16.1

      Have you thought about not visiting left leaning blogs? For example you could visit sites that discuss the meaning of majority and minority. Or if that’s too much, go straight to a fascist site and join up. Nip those pesky left-leaning blogs in the bud!

    • Bored 16.2

      Getting to you Gos?????? I am getting fekkin sick of the 1% too. And fekkin sick of those mindless jerks who dont question their unfailing support for the 1% that they will never belong to and who will keep crapping on them from a great height.

    • fender 16.3

      I’m getting sick of the 1% destroying lives and the environment Gosman.
      The negative effect of the 1% “doing business” on the 99% wont be quashed in any great hurry so you better get used to it.
      I’m getting sick of the lack of action being taken against the banks and others who have brought about these issues raised by the 99%ers.
      The lack of action against the 1%ers will only prolong and intensify these worldwide movements.

  17. anne 17

    I must admit i was surprised also when cunliffe said he would buy them back and after reading this article i say good on him.
    Key has said ‘good luck’ so is key going to put some non-negotiable regulation in,as he does with so many important legislations,the media have given key a free ride but there are a few things comming to light about national’s arrogance and ignorance and the contempt he has for his so called fellow nz’ers.
    Heres hoping the 240.000 votes will change the landscape of this election.

  18. AnnaLiviaPlurabella 18

    The Labour Party Causus policy, with regard to ACC, was to inform any and every potential bidder for the ACC that a future Labour Government would probably buy it back. We told the potential bidders to take that into consideration in their Regulatory Risk Assessment.
    There is no difference this time. If it is stupid of Key to sell our stratecic Hydro dams to foreigners, it would be wrong of us not to re-secure these assets when we can.

  19. In Vino Veritas 19

    Mike Hoskings editorial on David Cunliffe’s buy back idea:

    So what is David Cunliffe saying when he talks of buying back the assets National is about to sell?

    Is he going to nationalise them, force people to sell their shares?

    Places like Venezuela do that, people like Hugo Chavez. Is that all part of Cunliffe’s plan to reinvent his party? Or is he just expecting those who bought shares to sell them back, and at what price would they be sold back at?

    The market price, and given chances are reasonably high that the market price is going to be higher than when the shares are sold given the sale will be a successful one and there will be more people wanting to invest than there are shares, just where is it the new Labour government will be getting the money from to buy them back?

    And if you’re buying back assets, why not buy them all back? What’s so special about a couple of power companies? And given Air New Zealand has been on the market for years, why didn’t they buy them back when they were last in office?

    And that, in a nutshell, is why A: You don’t want Cunliffe running the Labour Party, and B: Why the Labour Party is in the sort of trouble they are.

    Economically, they’re a dog’s breakfast. Economically, they haven’t got the faintest idea about money.

    It’s all about the headline, no idea about how it’s going to work.

    I am not actually that big a fan of the asset sales, but you can’t deny they won’t work. They’re good companies, and listen to the people who run them. The bloke who runs Mighty River thinks the float is a good idea.

    He thinks his company will be better off floated, it will run better.

    As powerful as the argument is that owning these things is good for the countries, what trumps it is the argument that by in large, getting government out of business is actually better for the business.

    Yes, there are exceptions, like rail and Air New Zealand, but a float is not a trade sale. A float leads by in large to top level governance, very strong and public accountability, and an improved bottom line.

    And for all the people who line up to argue against the float, there will be a longer line wanting to put their money into it.

    Labour is more than entitled to be against the float, but dipping their toe into the world of fantasy economics and threatening to buy them back with money they don’t have, is a very stark reminder of just how dangerous a government can be when people who haven’t got the faintest idea of basic economics get their hands on the purse strings, and operate the budget using other people’s money based on political dogma and not simple maths.

    • pollywog 19.1

      Hoskings is a tool.

      a very stark reminder of just how dangerous a government can be when people who haven’t got the faintest idea of basic economics get their hands on the purse strings, and operate the budget using other people’s money based on political dogma and not simple maths.

      Deficit widens as less tax rolls in

      New Zealand’s operating deficit was bigger than forecast in the first four months of the government’s fiscal year as the tax take on personal income came up short of expectations.


      I’m still buzzing over the fiscally neutral taxcuts stimulating the economy…oh hang on

    • Draco T Bastard 19.2

      Economically, they’re a dog’s breakfast. Economically, they haven’t got the faintest idea about money.

      And Mike Hoskings proves that, just like most economists, he has NFI what an economy is. Here’s a hint: It’s got nothing to do with money.

    • So what is David Cunliffe saying when he talks of buying back the assets National is about to sell?
      Is he going to nationalise them, force people to sell their shares?
      Scaremongering.  Have a look at what Cunliffe actually said.  He expressed the clear preference to have the state regain all of the shares but there were a number of tags to it.
      He HAS NOT said he will forcibly renationalise them.  It does not matter how many times you say it IVV it still will not be true.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 19.3.1

        Don’t be mean, Micky, that’s how facts are made in right wing land.

      • chris73 19.3.2

        Ok its all well and good saying hes considering it (or its an option or however he words it) but really what does that mean?

        Nothng thats what, being that one of the Davids (unless something unusual happens) will most likely be the next PM I’d like to hear him say something definate.

        Will he buy back the assets sold by National, will he buy back the assets sold by Labour, will he make some assets off limits but make others available and if so will it be 49% only or a lesser amount.

        I think these are questions that need to be answered (because he bought the subject up)

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Well, let’s just pause for a reality check, shall we? National just won an election. How much detailed policy did they release? Um, that’s right, most of their “policies” were in fact press releases entirely devoid of detail, a perfect expression of their mendacity and contempt.

          So actually, these questions don’t “need” to be answered at all. But let’s assume they are going to be. I think the Labour Party is quite capable of choosing the best time to formulate policy, and the best time to announce it.

          • chris73

            In which case his words mean nothing, considering sounds good but will he make a pledge?

            • Armchair Critic

              I’d like to see him asked if he would raise GST. It’s not like he would even try to wriggle his way out of something like that with just a bit of sophistry, right? Who would?

              • chris73

                Do you mean like once the assets are sold they’re gone forever? Unless you consider buying them back of course.

                • Armchair Critic

                  No, if that was what I meant, that’s what I would have said.
                  You are OK with a PM who says one thing and does the opposite, but the thought of a leader of the opposition who has “words that mean nothing” is beyond the pale? Uh-huh.
                  In terms of the logic behind the question you asked – if all one does is consider buy them back, then they are gone. Forever.

          • felix

            “Um, that’s right, most of their “policies” were in fact press releases entirely devoid of detail, a perfect expression of their mendacity and contempt.”

            It’s worse than that – most of their “press releases” were on billboards and contained less than 7 words apiece.

            • Colonial Viper

              I love the fact that Hoskings admits that the share price of those power companies will probably be higher than the price National would sell them for. In other words, we are going to be RIPPED OFF and private investors are going to WIN.

              Which is why the NATs are doing it of course.

              Oh Hoskings is also a fraking moron for not recognising that there is nothing special about our power companies compared to say Air NZ. Here’s a clue Hoskings: if Air NZ falls over due to having its capital run down the impact on our economy will be minimal. Additional flights from other carriers would appear very quickly to cover the short fall.

              If Meridian, Mighty River Power and Genesis fall over because of the same reason: the NZ economy is fucked and you will wake up to cold showers and manually opening a can of cold baked beans for dinner.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Additional flights from other carriers would appear very quickly to cover the short fall.

                Didn’t last time which is why, according to Lynn, that the last Labour government bailed it out and rejuvenated it.

                Of course, it won’t be long before even the government can’t keep AirNZ going.

      • Brokenback 19.3.3


        Why is discussion of Nationalisation scare mongering?

        There are a couple of significant precepts to this argument on asset sales.

        National does not have a mandate to sell Hydro electric power generators  , full stop. They did not campaign on this , they did not present the voting public with the details  of their planned plunder.

        At last we have someone from the Left showing some spine, an indication of leadership for the majority who voted Against asset sales and we are allowing the spin merchants and word serpents to warp debate and scatter the reef fish in a frenzy of denial.

        The float/sale of state assets is treasonable larceny and if they proceed then nationalisation , without compensation, is a legitimate response.


      • In Vino Veritas 19.3.4

        “It does not matter how many times you say it IVV it still will not be true.”

        micky, I didnt say it. All I have done is reproduced Hoskings editorial for debate. And if you want a discussion on scaremongering, then I refer you to Labours pre- election “they’ll be gone forever” mantra with regard to the shares sold in the asset sales. You would have to concede that this seems not quite to be the case now, and in fact was a lie? And a lie which saw Cunliffe as one of the main perpetrators?

    • Brokenback 19.4

      In Vino Veritas
      What a bunch of disengenuous drivel!

      “A float leads by in large to top level governance, very strong and public accountability, and an improved bottom line. ”

      Where’ s the proof of this?  
      A float of public assets , in a small market like NZ  , inevitably results in the shares being held by the cash rich Australian corporates  , bloated with equity from 20 years of compulsory workers superannuation  and given preferential treatment via CER and a long history of aquisition. 

      I do , however agree with you on the concept of buying them back.

      Screw that , Nationalise them , and make it clearly understood.

      Caveat Emptor
      To the prospective purchasers of New Zealand’s assets , be advised that when  we inevitably gain the Treasury benches we will immediately, without debate or hesitation , Nationalise the said assets.
      No compensation will be rendered in lieu of Nationalisation.

      How’s the float going to proceed in these circumstances? 


      • Colonial Viper 19.4.1

        Wow you sound just like a friend of mine.

      • In Vino Veritas 19.4.2

        “How’s the float going to proceed in these circumstances?” Good point Broken! Socialism always ends in heaping misery on the many, and eventually, it will happen.

    • mik e 19.5

      Hosking is just another right wing shock jock who is more infatuated with himself than Anyone else’ The only people who get on talkback these days are the ones who say what the advertiser wants to here propaganda to prop up their profits.
      $43 million from propganda ministry of Joyce

  20. anne 20

    Around the world countries are regreting selling off precious assets,first partially then fully,a town in the uk did this and now their power supply is owned by germany,residents can not even
    afford to boil a jug,our own power prices are sky high because of being sold off,when shareholders etc are involved the demands for a higher return of shares exsists,this roll can not
    be stopped,thats where the essential services are lost in a downward sprial for the consumer.
    Its all very well to sell off assets,but when the rubber hits the road,the shit hits the fan,what is
    left in the cupboard,nothing,we are flapping around in the breeze with no form of worth at all,only
    debt and higher costs.
    In Italy at the moment its interesting that the new pm sees a new way of doing things,that dont
    stifle growth,dont make those that are suffering,suffer more,he expects the higher income levels
    to play their part and yes the retirement age being widened to 67,Labours policies this election
    will show in time to have been the right ones for growth and for the future,but were slammed
    by those who only think they know better,when in actual fact they know very little of how the
    wider economy will survive,an opportunity has been lost and now we wait for the other shoe
    to fall from national, key and his co-horts of outsider and insider traders.

    • Afewknowthetruth 20.1


      ‘Labours policies this election will show in time to have been the right ones for growth and for the future’

      That is a mutually exclusive statement, I’m afraid. You cannot have growth and a future. It’s one or the other.

      If you think of economic growth as cancer you start to see the big picture. The more of it you have, the faster you die. (That is a paradigm shift which is too hard for many, I know.).

      Anyway, all the evidence points to Peak Oil having been around 2006, which means [economic] growth is impossible globally. China and India can grow if the western world shrinks (which sem to be what is happening right now)..

      Of course, perpetual growth on a finite planet always was an absurd notion, adhered to mainly by economists, politicans and madmen.

  21. Afewknowthetruth 21

    Just waiting for OAB to negate what I have just written and tell us all that perpetual growth on a finite planet is possible and that I am a ‘nutter’ for suggesting otherwise.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1

      Then you’ll be waiting a long time, since you have failed to recognise my argument, which is simply that you are a disaster troll, excited by your fantasies of catastrophe, as you cherry pick the worst possible scenarios to salivate over.

      I’ll take credible economic and scientific forecasts (IPCC reports for example) over your vanity drivel any day.

      • muzza 21.1.1

        IPCC credible – Head back in the sand OAB

        AFKTT is just telling you people what is not being told, and should be – because it the MSM was telling it, then people would be reacting in a way that just might create an environment which actual debate and serious issues can be talked about by adults, using truths and looking for and implementing actual solutions – It might be too late, but does that mean jsut give up?

        Nah you get back in front of the tele, listen to the IPCC, and feel great about the fact that you know better than those who have spent much of their adult lives trying to understand reality, best they can…

        Nothing to see here just keep consuming…

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Remind me again: on greenhouse effect issues, who has more credibility than IPCC? If you think the answer to that question is “AFKTT”, I’m not sure how more witless you can be: where do you think he gets the factual nuggets his fantasies rely on?
          But please, if you want to take the word of a man who believes that someone faked the moon landings, that 9/11 was an inside job, etc, over serious scientific skeptical enquiry and genuine open-minded curiosity, fine, no-one will notice or even care.

          Oh, and, get a clue: the issues AFKTT raises are indeed serious and require our attention – I’ve been onto them for decades, and one thing I know beyond any doubt is: flakes fuck the message and make the opposition’s job easier, and AFKTT is a seam of purest flake.

  22. fender 22

    Will the “mums & dads” who have lost their jobs due to this govt be able to get a WINZ advance to perchase shares in order to fulfil shonKeys prophecy?

  23. seeker 23

    What are the vulnerable going to do for heat, now that our heat source is being hijacked by an amoral percentage of this country for their own profit?? It is already bad enough, but with privatisation- aaaargh! Is our government (and its faithful following) hostile to many of it’s own citizens and is it thereby waging war on them to finish them off? It certainly feels like it

    Who were the unseeing, unfeeling twits that voted national back in?????????? They need to go back to school and learn how to think and reducate themselves from their primitive, shallow, egocentric, money hoarding, kneejerk thought patterns.

    • mik e 23.1

      How come Mike Hosking is’nt promoting Singapore Model 60% of all business is Govt owned annual growth 14%.{Singapore airlines govt owned]

  24. fender 24

    How come anybody still listens to ad-talkZB. It’s full of dinosaur opinions delivered by whackjob freaks like L Smith, L Williams types. It’s them M Laws must have been referring to.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New Zealand First disappointed that Section 70 spouses won’t get relief
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First is disappointed that the removal of the spousal deductions has had to be delayed by the Ministry fo Social Development, due to COVID19 workload pressures. “New Zealand First has always stood for fairness when it comes to superannuation ...
    1 day ago
  • Winston Peters receives petition demanding more protection for nurses
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First On the steps of Parliament today the Leader of New Zealand First, Rt Hon Winston Peters received a petition from registered nurse Anna Maria Coervers, requesting an amendment to the Protection for First Responders Bill which will ensure the legislation also include registered ...
    1 day ago
  • Week That Was: Getting our economy moving
    It's been a busy seven days as we start to rebuild New Zealand together. From delivering extra support for small businesses, to investing in our artists and arts organisations, to cutting red tape on home DIY projects, we're rolling out our plan to get the economy and New Zealand moving ...
    1 day ago
  • Winston Peters: If protests condoned ‘why are we not at level 1?’
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says alert level 2 restrictions have to be discussed during today's Cabinet meeting. Thousands gathered across the country, including at Parliament, yesterday for Black Lives Matter marches where social distancing and mass gathering rules were flouted. Mr Peters said the breaching of Alert Level 2 rules at ...
    2 days ago
  • Northland rail work to help create regional jobs
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State Owned Enterprises KiwiRail’s Northland rail upgrade steps up another gear today and will help Northland recover from the impacts of COVID-19, State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters says. The Government is investing $204.5 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to ...
    2 days ago
  • Green Party statement on the death of George Floyd
    “Today and every day we stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s family, friends and community who feel pain and fear about his untimely death at the hands of Minneapolis police”, said Green Party Co-leader and Māori Development spokesperson Marama Davidson. ...
    2 days ago
  • Lake Brunner’s Mount Te Kinga to go Predator Free
    Fletcher Tabuteau, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Hon Eugenie Sage, Minister of Conservation The West Coast forests of Mount Te Kinga at Kotuku Whakaoho/Lake Brunner are the latest predator free project to receive Government funding, announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    5 days ago
  • Green Party welcomes crucial financial support for creatives
    The Green Party says new government support for creatives and artists is a vital lifeline for a sector struggling to survive the COVID crisis. ...
    5 days ago
  • Strongest ever water reforms mean swimmable rivers within a generation
    The Green Party says major freshwater reforms announced today provide the strongest ever protections of our waterways, to help ensure the next generation can swim in the rivers of Aotearoa. ...
    6 days ago
  • Greens work to secure inquiry into Wild West student accommodation sector
    The Green Party has begun the process for a Select Committee inquiry into student accommodation, which has been exposed during COVID-19 as an under-regulated sector that straddles students with unfair debt. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand joins global search for COVID-19 vaccine
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Megan Woods, Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Hon Dr David Clark, Minister of Health Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods,  and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, ...
    1 week ago
  • Budget 2020: Five things to know
    Budget 2020 is about rebuilding together, supporting jobs, getting business moving and the books back into the black. It’s an integral part of our COVID-19 economic response, and our plan to grow our economy and get New Zealand moving again. Here’s a quick look at the five top things you ...
    1 week ago
  • Coalition Government approves essential upgrades on Ōhakea Air Base
    The Coalition Government has approved $206 million in essential upgrades at Ōhakea Air Base.  Defence Minister Ron Mark said the money would be spent on improving old infrastructure. He said safety issues would be addressed, as well as upgrades to taxiways, accommodation and fresh, storm and waste water systems. "This ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Attributable to the Rt Hon Winston Peters
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First “I am not persisting with this case just for myself, but for all people who have had their privacy breached. Privacy of information is a cornerstone of our country’s democracy. Without it our society truly faces a bleak future. We now ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones moves to protect sawmills
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones has introduced a Bill to Parliament that he says will "force more transparency, integrity and respect" for the domestic wood-processing sector through the registration of log traders and practice standards. The Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill had its first reading in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green MP joins international call to cancel developing countries’ debt
    Green MP Golriz Ghahraman is joining over 300 lawmakers from around the world in calling on the big banks and the IMF to forgive the debt of developing countries, in the wake of the COVID crisis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones swipes back at billion trees critics
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones says concerns that carbon foresters are planting pine trees that will never be harvested are the result of "misinformation". "The billion tree strategy is an excellent idea, unfortunately from time to time it's tainted by misinformation spread by the National Party or their grandees, hiding in scattered ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Budget boost for refugee families a win for compassion
    The Green Party welcomes funding in the budget to reunite more refugees with their families, ensuring they have the best chance at a new life in Aotearoa New Zealand. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • How Budget 2020 is supporting jobs
    This year’s Budget is about rebuilding New Zealand together in the face of COVID-19. Jobs are central to how we’re going to do that.There’s a lot of targeted investment for employment in this year’s Budget, with announcements on creating new jobs, training people for the jobs we have, and supporting ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Free period products in schools to combat poverty
    Young people in Waikato will be the first to have free access to period products in schools in another step to support children and young people in poverty,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.  During term 3, the Ministry of Education will begin providing free period products to schools following the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Response to charges in New Plymouth
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash has issued the following statement in response to charges filed against three Police officers this morning in the New Plymouth District Court. “Any incident involving a loss of life in Police custody is taken very seriously. The charges today reflect the gravity of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance this year
    Further temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance (UE) will support senior secondary school students whose teaching and learning have been disrupted by COVID-19. “The wellbeing of students and teachers is a priority. As we are all aware, COVID-19 has created massive disruption to the school system, and the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Extended terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency
    Minister for Racing Winston Peters today announced that the terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) have been extended to 30 June 2021. Due to the COVID-19 crisis the transition period has been extended to ensure that the Racing Industry Bill can complete its progress through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Healthy Homes Standards statement of compliance deadline extended
    The deadline for landlords to include detailed information in their tenancy agreements about how their property meets the Healthy Homes Standards, so tenants can see the home they are renting is compliant, has been extended from 1 July 2020 to 1 December 2020.  The Healthy Homes Standards became law on 1 July 2019. The Standards are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission board appointments announced
    Justice Minister Andrew Little today announced details of further appointments to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. “I am pleased to announce Paula Rose QSO OStJ as Deputy Chief Commissioner for a term of five years commencing on 15 June 2020,” said Andrew Little. “I am also pleased to announce the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Release of initial list of supported training to aid COVID-19 recovery
    The Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) will pay costs of learners of all ages to undertake vocational education and training The fund will target support for areas of study and training that will give learners better employment prospects as New Zealand recovers from COVID-19 Apprentices working in all industries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Emission trading reforms another step to meeting climate targets
    The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will finally start to cut New Zealand’s greenhouse gas pollution as it was originally intended to, because of changes announced today by the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw. The changes include a limit on the total emissions allowed within the ETS, rules to ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Queen’s Birthday Honours highlights Pacific leadership capability in Aotearoa
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List provides an abundance of examples that Pacific people’s leadership capability is unquestionable in Aotearoa. “The work and the individuals we acknowledge this year highlights the kind of visionary examples and dedicated community leadership that we need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt backing horticulture to succeed
    The Government is backing a new $27 million project aimed at boosting sustainable horticulture production and New Zealand’s COVID-19 recovery efforts, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our economy. During and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Applications open for forestry scholarships
    Applications have opened for 2021 Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships, which will support more Māori and women to pursue careers in forestry science, says Forestry Minister Shane Jones. “I’m delighted Te Uru Rākau is offering Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships for the third year running. These ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Excellent service to nature recognised
    The Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List once again highlights the dedication by many to looking after our native plants and wildlife, including incredible work to restore the populations of critically endangered birds says Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. Anne Richardson of Hororata has been made an Officer of the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Wetlands and waterways gain from 1BT funding
    The Government will invest $10 million from the One Billion Trees Fund for large-scale planting to provide jobs in communities and improve the environment, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Forestry Minister Shane Jones have announced. New, more flexible funding criteria for applications will help up to 10 catchment groups plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New fund for women now open
    Organisations that support women are invited to apply to a new $1,000,000 fund as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response. “We know women, and organisations that support women, have been affected by COVID-19. This new money will ensure funding for groups that support women and women’s rights,” said Minister for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt supports King Country farmers to lift freshwater quality
    Healthier waterways are front and centre in a new project involving more than 300 King Country sheep, beef and dairy farmers. The Government is investing $844,000 in King Country River Care, a group that helps farmers to lift freshwater quality and farming practice, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “Yesterday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Libraries to help with jobs and community recovery
    A major funding package for libraries will allow them to play a far greater role in supporting their communities and people seeking jobs as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19. “Budget 2020 contains over $60 million of funding to protect library services and to protect jobs,” says Internal Affairs ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Support for arts and music sector recovery
    A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package in a crucial economic boost to support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Legislative changes to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has welcomed the First Reading of a Bill that will make legislative changes to further improve the veterans’ support system.  The Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill No 2, which will amend the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, passed First Reading today. The bill addresses a number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Christ Church Cathedral – Order in Council
    Views sought on Order in Council to help fast track the reinstatement of the Christ Church Cathedral  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Poto Williams, will be seeking public written comment, following Cabinet approving the drafting of an Order in Council aimed at fast-tracking the reinstatement of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealanders’ human rights better protected in new Bill
    The law setting out New Zealanders’ basic civil and human rights is today one step towards being strengthened following the first reading of a Bill that requires Parliament to take action if a court says a statute undermines those rights. At present, a senior court can issue a ‘declaration of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong. “New Zealand shares the international community’s significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery
    Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New appointments to the Commerce Commission
    The Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister and Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has today announced the appointment of Tristan Gilbertson as the new Telecommunications Commissioner and member of the Commerce Commission. “Mr Gilbertson has considerable experience in the telecommunications industry and a strong reputation amongst his peers,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Historic pay equity settlement imminent for teacher aides
    The Ministry of Education and NZEI Te Riu Roa have agreed to settle the pay equity claim for teacher aides, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This will see more than 22,000 teacher aides, mostly women, being valued and paid fairly for the work they do. “Teacher aides are frontline ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt delivers security for construction subcontractors
    Subcontractors will have greater certainty, more cashflow support and job security with new changes to retention payments under the Construction Contracts Act says Minister for Building and Construction, Jenny Salesa. A recent review of the retentions money regime showed that most of the building and construction sector is complying with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Singapore reaffirm ties
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have marked the first anniversary of the New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership with a virtual Leaders’ Meeting today. The Enhanced Partnership, signed on 17 May 2019, provides the framework for cooperation across the four main areas of trade, defence and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
    On 17 May 2019, New Zealand and Singapore established an Enhanced Partnership to elevate our relations. The Enhanced Partnership – based on the four pillars of trade and economics, security and defence, science, technology and innovation, and people-to-people links – has seen the long-standing relationship between our countries strengthen over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government investment supports the acquisition of new Interislander ferries
    State-Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters has welcomed KiwiRail’s announcement that it is seeking a preferred shipyard to build two new rail-enabled ferries for the Cook Strait crossing. “This Government is committed to restoring rail to its rightful place in New Zealand. Bigger, better ships, with new technology are yet another ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better protection for seabirds
    Better protection for seabirds is being put in place with a new National Plan of Action to reduce fishing-related captures, Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.   The National Plan of Action for Seabirds 2020 outlines our commitment to reduce fishing-related captures and associated seabird ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Milestone in cash flow support to SMEs
    Almost $1 billion in interest-free loans for small businesses More than 55,000 businesses have applied; 95% approved Average loan approx. $17,300 90% of applications from firms with ten or fewer staff A wide cross-section of businesses have applied, the most common are the construction industry, accommodation providers, professional firms, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government protects kids as smoking in cars ban becomes law
    Thousands of children will have healthier lungs after the Government’s ban on smoking in cars with kids becomes law, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. This comes after the third reading of Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Bill earlier today. “This law makes it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Parliament returns to a safe normal
    The special Epidemic Response Committee (ERC) has successfully concluded its role, Leader of the House Chris Hipkins said today. The committee was set up on 25 March by the agreement of Parliament to scrutinise the Government and its actions while keeping people safe during levels 4 and 3 of lockdown. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Foreign Minister makes four diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced four diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s Ambassador to Belgium, High Commissioners to Nauru and Niue, and Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism. “As the world seeks to manage and then recover from COVID-19, our diplomatic and trade networks are more important than ever,” Mr Peters said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Bill to counter violent extremism online
    New Zealanders will be better protected from online harm through a Bill introduced to Parliament today, says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin. “The internet brings many benefits to society but can also be used as a weapon to spread harmful and illegal content and that is what this legislation targets,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mycoplasma bovis eradication reaches two year milestone in good shape
    New Zealand’s world-first plan to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is on track the latest technical data shows, says Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two years ago the Government, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand and industry partners made a bold decision to go hard and commit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
    Further support for New Zealanders affected by 1-in-100 year global economic shock 12-week payment will support people searching for new work or retraining Work programme on employment insurance to support workers and businesses The Government today announced a new temporary payment to support New Zealanders who lose their jobs due ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF reset helps regional economies
    The Provincial Growth Fund will play a vital role in New Zealand’s post-COVID-19 recovery by creating jobs in shorter timeframes through at least $600 million being refocused on projects with more immediate economic benefits, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The funding is comprised of repurposed Provincial Growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago