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Community Forum on State asset sales Sunday 29th

Written By: - Date published: 12:08 pm, April 26th, 2012 - 21 comments
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Gareth Morgan and Peter Harris will speak at a Community Forum on the sale of State-owned assets on Sunday 29th at 3:30pm at the Island Bay Bowling Club, 260 The Parade, Island Bay, Wellington. The forum is being organised by the Wellington South Branch of the Labour Party. All welcome to come and share views.


21 comments on “Community Forum on State asset sales Sunday 29th ”

  1. deuto 1

    Thanks for that, Mike – would not otherwise have known about it. Certainly hope to be there.

  2. Oxie Morgan is so two faced he will probably come out against asset sales, then buy a few.

  3. David H 3

    What a pity it could not be held somewhere that actually matters. Like Dunnes electorate, and not next door in Island Bay.

  4. xtasy 4

    For those interested in asset sales in NZ, perhaps also look at this story from Argentina. It may be a bit economically risky a step, but people there support it:

    • darkhorse 4.1

      It’s not risky – just not held in high regard by our corporate colonisers

      First thing is that most of the countries that have nationalised their oil assets – think russia and saudi arabia – have massive trade surpluses those that haven’t are in the same basket as cases like ourselves.

      Oddly enough a number of the companies that are developing our oil resources are state owned enterprises of countries that we would not long ago have through of as being third world.  Indeed at least one of these countries now exploiting our oil reserves we were sending aid to thirty years ago and providing free education for their best and brightest under the Columbo Plan.  I don’t see them returning the favour now that they are rich and we are poor.

      Maybe it because we are nation of mugs. 

  5. Jenny 5

    Now if we can only get Gareth Morgan to stand in Epsom as an independent against the Nat./ACT corrupt electoral gerrymander.

    • Nick 5.1

      Nice as Gareth is, having heard him today I would describe him as somebody who might or might not sell the state assets depending on what he decided was best in market terms. He might just however add some value with original thought: his tax plans have some merit as does his stated intention of ensuring a dignified wage for all.

  6. Poission 6

    I went to the forum on asset sales with Peter Harris and Gareth Morgan, where both imparted some interesting points.

    Highlights from Peter Harris.

    -The asset sales will only reduce the budget deficit for a limited time, ie the reduced income flow will enhance as the underlying expenditure /income will still be present.

    – the GDP debt ratio is low to comparative oecd countries.
    – The policy is ideological not fiscal
    – The returns on investment by the energy companies are due to revaluation and not due to increased asset ie generation.(which is why prices have increased)

    Highlights from Gareth Morgan.

    – The ideology is from the capital markets forum where the arguments is that the NZ capital markets are too small and need to expand to encourage lower cost investment.
    – The limited number of energy companies will limit benefits for consumers.
    – There needs to be better encouragement of new technology that will broaden the market.
    – Taxation needs a rethink ie broadening to include assets especially non productive that are balance sheet driven .

    • deuto 6.1

      Thanks for that summary. I had planned to attend as per 1 above, but unfortunately an emergency situation on the home front prevented me from doing so. Would be interested to know approx number of people who attended and their general make-up, plus overall reaction/discussion etc. Drove past about 4.30pm and noted a Labour party car, plus a Union car amongst many other cars parked in the vicinity but hard to gauge numbers etc compared to usual crowd who use the Bowling Club as a cheap get-together place/drink on a Sunday afternoon.

      • Poission 6.1.1

        About 70-80 which would be about the capacity of the seating (standing participants)

        The participants would be labour supporters ( I an apolitical) the discussion was mostly on the implications of the asset sales and the speakers responses as summarized suggest a negative feedback for consumers/and producers ie cost increase.

        This would entrain the problem for exporters and be inflationary further increasing the risks of an increase in the OCR ,appreciating dollar exchange rate.cheaper imports decreased exports fewer job etc.

        Reading between the lines from Gareth who suggested that there needs to be a structural change in taxation systems,there would need to be a paradigm change in policy aspirations from opposition parties.

        This needs some deep insights and some innovative thinking,that the electorate is uncomfortable with the incumbents rhetorical tired policy is evident,but there needs to be a plan b.that is both logical and workable.

    • Nick 6.2

      I went as well: the aweful thing that stood out was how captured the debate was by market leaning economics. At one point a young man called Rory stood up and asked what was wrong with returning to the old Electricity Department model…the replies from the panel were unanimous that the market was the way to go. I dont know if Rory was satisfied with the answer which boiled down to markets know better than beaurocrats and engineers. At least Rory asked the question: the panel were so tied to market theology that they had cast themselves into the certainty of zealots, doubting the current orthodoxy was never considered. And without doubt there is no real questioning, no real answers.

      The Labour party organised this event, Annette King sat centrally, the audience ageing as ever showed very little discord with the way economics post Douglas is phrased in market terms. A National voter of the 70s would think the market positions verbalised by the “Labour left” far to the right of where they stood. It is a sad day when Labour organised events do not debate the role of the market. Worse the whole asset sale debate was cast in solely economic terms. Concepts such as sovereignty, off shore control of NZ, the utter failure of NZ capital to provide any security and local control for the people and so on were not in evidence.

      How can Labour ever expect to raise a challenge to National until they discover that they have deserted the “left” so completely that even their language is that of the Right? The assets will be sold because the Labour defenders language is so insipid, so uninspiring.

      • deuto 6.2.1

        Thanks – both P and N. Unfortunately both your comments confirm to me what I suspected would be the position – ie economic and market orientation of the discussion along the tired old lines of the past few decades. I also am basically apolitical and not aligned to the Labour Party per se although that is how I have tended to vote over recent elections but until Labour proves to me that they are something other than just National lite, then I will not become a member or necessarily vote their way in the future.

        BUT I am determined to get along to the march once the Hikoi arrives in Wellington and hopefully some of the other related events.

      • darkhorse 6.2.2

        Dead Right Nick

        I had a similar discussion with Shane Jones a while back and a more parrot like adherence to free-market orthodoxy would be hard to find.

    • darkhorse 6.3

      The taxpayer and the electricity consumer are the one and same person – why fund the deficit by increasing electricity prices instead of taxes – it is just a more expensive way of doing the same job and less transparent while also losing us control over a vital foundation to our economy – our energy supply.

      We are governed by traitors and idiots 

  7. Actually Gareth is among the worst -= he sold out his (poorly performing) kiwisaver fund for $50 million – guess whose money that was – the new owner will extract it from the returns that Gareth’s investors would otherwise have received for their retirement.

    And he sold TradeMe for the greater part of a $Billion – this included about $10 Million worth of software and organisational assets and the rest – the hundreds of millions – was the monopoly position TradeMe holds – it is a market place and market places need to be publicly owned or held in common if they are to be run for the benefit of the over all market. Instead you get highway robber behaviour where the market owner can extract monopoly profits. Gareth just cashed in those monopoly profits.

    As other commentators have noted Gareth is just another opportunist and the rest of us are the mugs whose wallets he harvests.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Morgan is one of the good guys. He’s used his platform to point out that NZ is headed in the dead wrong direction.

      He helped build things that didn’t exist before, and made them work, respect that.

  8. State asset sale sounds profitable. I would only support this program if the receipt will go to health care, job creation or any other social sector.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      We should definitely sell out our long term future, in exchange for short term ‘social sector’ trinkets now.

  9. I must disagree with you on GM CV he is just another opportunist.  He has not invented anything new Trademe is just an eBay rip-off.  And as I noted his kiwisaver fund investors are now $50million worse off and Gareth is $50Million better off, I am sure he will have a comfortable retirement even if his investors don’t.

    And as is my wont I have prepared another long winded treatise on why we should be managing our assets as we once used to – as follows …


    It constantly surprises me that people can’t understand or dont want to understand that certain classes of assets need to be communally owned.  Even dairy farmers understand this which is why farmers have so many cooperatives – without them they become peasant farmers instantly.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      He has not invented anything new Trademe is just an eBay rip-off.

      Of course there is very little under the sun which is truly “new”.

      A young New Zealander, SM, took an idea from overseas, redeveloped it with a uniquely NZ flavour, made it work here when no one else had, did so using a largely home grown team of talent, and through inspired strategy and timing, convinced Australians to pay hand over fist for it.

      Its a bloody fabulous effort if you ask me.

      Shame we don’t have a capital gains tax though.

      • darkhorse 9.1.1

        Then sold it to the Aussies and now we have to earn yet another multiple of tens of millions of dollars in foreign exchange in return for the pleasure of having the Fairfax group own SM’s brilliant bit of mimicry

        You are right about the capital gains tax but we are thirty years too late for that as we are likely only to see capital deflation for the next decade and would capital losses be deductible too? 

        Capital losses are tax deductible at present for property transactions and capital gains on property are also taxable where the investment was made for business purposes.  The same model just needs to be extended to all commercial activities where the sale price is a key source of income for the purpose of profit.

        Indeed we should also bring back death duties as intergenerational transfers of wealth are no different than capital gains.  

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