Crony Capitalism, Chorus and Pike River compensation

Written By: - Date published: 6:41 pm, November 12th, 2013 - 96 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, john key, labour, national - Tags: , ,

David Cunliffe nailed John Key with a series of questions in Parliament today and I have never seen Key look so uncomfortable.

The questions neatly boxed Key into an indefensible position.

Key agreed that Pike River mine would have been illegal in Australia but did not accept that the  Government had a legal obligation to pay out because of this.

He did not dispute the Government had through ACC and the NZ Superannuation fund received insurance payouts on behalf of Pike River Coal of $80 million, but made no comment about whether there was a moral obligation to ensure that the Pike River families received ordered compensation from this payout.

He declined to accept responsibility for regulatory failings.

The last question from Cunliffe was the coup de grace.

He asked if Key had thought about whether or not he had a legal obligation before paying $30 million to Rio Tinto, or before considering paying $400 million in subsidies to Chorus and if he does not have a legal obligation to those two companies then why doesn’t he have a moral obligation to the families of the dead miners.  Key could only respond weakly that the Government had not yet decided to pay anything to Chorus, and then accused Cunliffe of playing political games.

The actual answer is clear.  This Government will hand out our assets and our resources to its corporate mates on request.  But when it comes to fulfilling a moral obligation to compensate ordinary New Zealand families for the loss of their loved ones it stands behind legal niceties.

96 comments on “Crony Capitalism, Chorus and Pike River compensation”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Wow, Key rapidly started to deny any legal obligation while avoiding the question of the moral obligation. This just shows that the laws we have in respect to corporations are themselves immoral.

  2. Zorr 2

    So why did we want any other David?

  3. Anne 3

    Yes, I saw it live and it was obvious Key was not happy. He’ll be glad to get away to Sri Lanka.

  4. Accused of playing Political games!, is that not why we have Parliament to ensure the struggle for political ideas does not descend into violence. Yes it is political games, for good reason in a controlled and refereed environment where the rules are understood and accepted by the players.

  5. ann kerr 5

    We didn’t want any other David. DC the man! But notice so far no msm have picked this up. According to last weeks msm, DC got a bloody nose (just when he got the insurance company owned by ASB wrong). That clip is surely an absolute knock out blow to Key by DC.

    • Intrinsicvalue 5.1

      A ‘knockout blow’? You are kidding, right? Key swotted DC away as he has done in every other session of Parliament since DC became yet another of Labours long line of leaders to front against him. DC is making cheap political capital out of the deaths of good kiwi men. Shameful.

  6. TightyRighty 6

    So precisely $0 of the “$400 million paid to chorus” has been paid? And since when did Australia exercise economic sovereignty over New Zealand mines? This is a political stunt by Cunliffe. You are just trying to pull some Crosby textor stunts Mickey. And failing. Again. Read your spin doctoring for dummies 101 book again.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      And since when did Australia exercise economic sovereignty over New Zealand mines?

      It didn’t but by admitting that our laws weren’t up to standard Key admitted a moral obligation. That’s why he went on and on about legal obligations instead.

      Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean that it’s right.

      • QoT 6.1.1

        I honestly wince every time Key et al pull that “legally it’s OK” shit. Because I know they’re totally amoral and believe in nothing but … seriously, how does that line fly?

      • Herodotus 6.1.2

        Where was the legal requirements for this action ? Some investors of SCF bring paid out when not fully covered by the (poorly structured )guarantee scheme
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/4077301/SCF-receivership-distressing-Key
        http://www.treasury.govt.nz/economy/guarantee/retail/qanda/coverage/
        1.8 Is there a cap or limit on the value of the guarantee?
        Updated 12 Oct 2010

        A maximum of $250,000 per eligible depositor per institution will be paid in the event of a default by an approved institution that is not a bank (such as a finance company, a building society or a credit union).

        A maximum of $500,000 per eligible depositor per institution will be paid in the event of a default by an approved institution that is a registered bank.

        Where a retail debt security is held jointly, the coverage limit applies to the joint holders collectively and the maximum that will be paid to the joint holders collectively in respect of their debt security jointly held is $500,000 per institution if the deposit is with a registered bank and $250,000 if the deposit is with a non-bank deposit taker.
        The Crown has discretion to apply a higher cap in relation to any claim or class of claims against an entity that is the product of the merger, amalgamation or takeover of one or more approved institutions.

        Funny how the regulations are sometime ignored !!!! Why bother having restrictions when there is an underwritten “moral code” now in operation !!!

        • Ed 6.1.2.1

          The biggest issue with the SCF payout is that the company did not meet its obligations under the scheme – so the “insurance” should not have been renewed. National however knew that a few farmer mates stood to lose, so they looked the other way and renewed it. Yes it was a quickly put together scheme, but the payout came from a political decision by National. (The problem with the original scheme was that it guaranteed interest as well as capital – so some companies were reputed to have sold bonds at a discount giving large yield for a government guaranteed investment . . . – it should have had that fixed at renewal; again National kept their eyes off the ball.)

    • mickysavage 6.2

      And $30 million of the Rio Tinto money has been committed TR.

      “Political stunt”, is that the best you have?

      Crosby Textor Stunts? Spin doctoring? Watch the clip TR and tell me who you think had the best day.

      • Fisiani 6.2.1

        Take off the blinkers Mickey. Shroud waving is not skewering . Look listen and learn at 2.13 and hear the measured and much needed caution. Clearly JK had the better of The Cunliffe.

        • mickysavage 6.2.1.1

          Wow fisi we really do occupy different realities 😀

        • JK 6.2.1.2

          What ! ! Fisiani – you’re the one with blinkers on. Key was obviously floundering in Question Time today – it was good to watch Cunliffe skewering him on the lack of Pike River compensation, and he (Cunliffe) quite clearly made good points while Key couldn’t even get his words out properly.

        • Rogue Trooper 6.2.1.3

          22:12 The eyes of [the Lord] (there, happy now 😉 ) keep watch over knowledge, yet he frustrates the words of the unfaithful. Carry on David, you do us all (on the left anyway) proud.

  7. Stever 7

    I loved the way Bill English sat the whole way through reading his papers. Not much support from that quarter for Key! 🙂

    • JK 7.1

      And did you notice that Ms Collins is projecting a much “softer” image – fluffier hairdo (not as bad as the Dunny’s tho) and soft pink jacket. Wonder what that’s all about ? ?

  8. Philgwellington Wellington 8

    Xox
    Tighty, the point you seem to miss is that kiwi miners are /were, working in sub standard, indeed deadly, conditions as a direct result of government laxity, at best, or total negligence. The Pike River tragedy is an epic fail on many levels, the buck (literally) stops at the Govt. The lessons to be learnt, profoundly for our demockary are left begging.

  9. TightyRighty 9

    Damn straight they were dangerous, like all mines. but they didn’t detiorate to that quality in just two years did they? The “labour” party of which dc was a prominent member allowed them to slip that far in the first place.

    • Rogue Trooper 9.1

      struggling there TR

    • Lanthanide 9.2

      Pretty sure it was National that, like the leaky building disaster, de-regulated the industry back in the early 90s.

      • lprent 9.2.1

        Yes it was. But Tighty is probably too arrogantly stupid to register that part of our history and too too young to remember that particular bit of insanity.

        Along with causing the deaths of many miners, they also effectively sealed the death of much of the mining industry because it became a playground for idiotic cowboys out for a quick buck and no care. It is only the idiots who’d invest in our mining industry these days – and overseas companies listed on other exchanges.

        They also deregulated the electricity industry on the basis that it would reduce everyones electricity costs – mine has doubled since the Max Bradford pulled that funny..

        The deregulation of the building industry caused both the formation of an effective duopoly of building suppliers driving the cost of building products up so high that it is now cheaper to import gibboard past one of the few remaining tariff barriers. They also gave me a nice 5 year legal battle extracting money from the council for the repairs that we’d done on our leaky building.

        Basically if there is way to fuck things up, you can rely on National to do it, and fools like TR to cheer them on…

      • Intrinsicvalue 9.2.2

        Was it? And what did Labour do to tighten it up in their subsequent 9 years in power?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 9.3

      Labour let it slip ???

      The mine only started operating under Nationals watch ( it was 6 months or so from when it began mining to the explosion)

      You are confusing the construction than began much earlier to reach the coal seams, no coal mining , the dangerous part happened while labour was in government

    • Tracey 9.4

      Brownlie presided over the mine opening but was nowhere to be seen when accountability was required.

    • RJL 9.5

      Even if government legislation/policies that were active under Labour were partly to blame, National is the party in government now. National is solely responsible for what the government does or does not do right now in terms of compensation.

    • Murray 9.6

      The 2012 Royal Commission begs to differ Tighty …

      The genesis of this tragedy started in 1992 when National watered down health and safety rules in the Department of Labour, by introducing the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992. A dept of Labour regulatory review released in 2008 recommended changes to the inspectorate but was dismissed by Mr Key. Blaming the opposition is a bit old hat … and in this case, just not righty.

  10. newsense 10

    Not a whole lot of belief behind Key as he stuttered his lines. A good line of questioning. This is a case of moral weakness. Where the rules may have been made, but the morality behind the rules is clear.

    For example this is legal:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11154765

    six National MPs use their private superannuation schemes to own property that does not need to be disclosed – unlike assets held in trusts. This is because of an exception in the rules of the Register of Pecuniary Interests.

    All six – Chester Borrows, Simon Bridges, Anne Tolley, Chris Auchinvole, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga and Mike Sabin – live in the Wellington properties while working in the capital and claim the accommodation allowance or expenses.

    and

    “As it says in the paper, they were actually advised not to [declare]. They said, ‘we want to do this, we’ve got nothing to hide’,” he said.

    and so is this:

    (John Minto writing about the effect of employees being pressured into being ‘contractors’ at http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/03/07/peter-jackson-mental-fragility-employees-and-contractors/)

    The pay was $625 per week which would be $15.63 per hour before tax based on a 40 hour week. Miserly pay but at least above the minimum wage (which will be $13.75 from 1 April).

    But.

    The company also deducts a $30 per week “servicing fee” for use of a company vehicle which is provided for its “contractors”. This takes the pay rate down to $14.88 per hour.

    And worse.

    The hours of work are from Monday to Friday from 6.30am to 5pm each day without rest breaks or meal breaks – the “contractor” is expected to take them on the run. This is 52.5 hours work per week, rather than 40, which takes the hourly rate down to $11.33 per hour before tax – below the minimum wage and with no paid breaks.

    And worse still. As a “contractor” there are no four weeks paid holidays or five days paid sick leave (or overtime pay for statutory holidays for that matter) which is worth approximately 10% of the total gross pay. This brings the hourly rate down to about $10.14 before tax.

    It couldn’t possible get worse could it? Yes. The contract says any delivery mistakes or parcel breakages etc will be paid by the “contractor.”

    And accidents too. If the “contractor” has an accident in the company vehicle then he or she is “.responsible for all costs incurred in such an accident or incident”

    The contract lists a host of other responsibilities which shift all risk and liability to the “contractor” which should be the responsibility of the employer.

    In short contracting allows this employer to pay far less than the minimum wage while piling all risks and liabilities onto the workers themselves

    To this we can add things such as GST increases while the highest income tax rates are decreased.

    The moral failure of this should be clear: we take even more from those at the bottom by means foul and ‘fair’, while

    “a minister like Mrs Tolley could pay off up to $77,988 of the mortgage each year while also making a capital gain as the property’s value increases.”

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      +1

      • newsense 10.1.1

        If Stephen Joyce is really concerned about races to the bottom he could start right here with some decent worker protection. Wages for many have decreased under National.

        It reminds you of Mitt Romney saying that he got some small speaking fees that were hardly anything…of $300US.

        This incidental-within-the-rules-extra-little-allowance on top of the salary and other privileges is double or triple the yearly pay someone on a contract like the one above would get.

        Plus the extra stress of the liabilities and the inability to have a quality lifestyle or a good family life if the hours you have to work are long and you get no holiday pay or public holidays.

        This is a government of the greedy and those who pull up the ladder. This is a government without a sense of moral perspective, irrespective of the legalities. Remember that our country was for so long based on the legality that the Treaty was ‘a legal nullity’ and irrelevant. We must oppose laws that are wrong and the governments that pass them.

    • Tracey 10.2

      how come hipkins declared his if he was told not to declare?

  11. Chocolate 11

    Wtf.

    The parent companies have received $80m of insurance money and paid out none of it to the families???!!!

    The families have received only $5,000 per head out of the $110,000 court-ordered compensation?!

    Good line of questioning and great that these are being outed.

  12. emergency mike 12

    “Legally as we see it, we reckon we’re good. So if sumbody wanna take us on it the courts, then bring it on. What are ya gonna do fools?

    Morally, no comment. That’s not even real thing anyway.”

    Ladies and germs, your leader, John Key.

  13. Ad 13

    Very enjoyable bait-and-switch there Mr Cunliffe.

    Hopefully you can do a similar tactic with Key on:

    – Sky City and problem gamblers
    – Warners and unemployed screen industry workers
    – In fact any other economic intervention with massive and predictable moral hazards, as Key has been wont to do for 5 years.

    Keep going Mr Cunliffe

  14. photonz 14

    The insinuation that ACC and NZ Super fund have received $80 for Pike River Coal is a total nonsense.
    Of the $80m payout –
    1/ $20 million went to pay back secured bank loans.
    2/ $10 million went to unpaid contractors
    3/ $50 million went to NZ Oil and Gas.

    Cunliffe claims ACC and NZ Super are major parents of NZOG. More lies. NZ Super owns just 1% of NZOG and ACC just 5%.

    Should NZOG pay out the compensation? There’s a very good argument that morally they should. If I was a shareholder, I’d be quite happy for them to do so. The terrible irony in the case of ACC’s 5% portion, is any payouts to the mine accident victims, will come off payments to accident victims.

    But the insinuation that government entities have had $80m of payouts is an outright lie by Cunliffe.

    With such dishonesty, it’s clear he’s trying to score petty political points by using mine victims and their families.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      hey photonz. I’d like you to know that your comments are rubbish. Who do you think you are actually fooling making up stories, then making up criticisms of those made up stories, and then making up attacks on those made up criticisms of those made up stories?

      Geeez dude.

      If you have such sharp insight into the matter, you better start helping Key write his answers. Because he’s currently struggling.

      The terrible irony in the case of ACC’s 5% portion, is any payouts to the mine accident victims, will come off payments to accident victims.

      🙄

      please point to any ACC Board or executive directive which states this.

      • photonz 14.1.1

        And ACC owns just 5.85% of NZOG, and NZ Super owns just 1.16%.

        You say this is rubbish, yet anybody is free to look up the latest NZOG annual report to see the details of it’s shareholders. See P73 at
        http://www.nzog.com/dmsdocument/99

        Insurance payout details at
        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1109/S00334/early-payout-for-pike-contractors-proposed-on-insurance-deal.htm

        You can either check things for yourself and make intelligent decisions on what’s real and what’s not.

        Or you can delude yourself and say real world facts are wrong when they don’t agree with your cult-like dogma.

        Unfortunately if you chose the later your comments become little more than boring and brainless cheer-leading.

        • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1

          So plenty of money for the record profit making banks, and none for the families? Which side are you cheerleading for again?

          Anyhows, ain’t nothing which cannot be addressed if those organisations don’t live up to their societal responsibilities.

          • photonz 14.1.1.1.1

            So you think a bank that loaned Pike River money should now be responsible for compensation?

            Is there any sane reason for that that, beyond your hatred of banks?

            If someone kills someone in a car accident, should the finance company that loaned money for the car now be liable to pay the victim?

            • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Answer the question. Why are highly profitable corporates deserving of your advocacy, but not the families of the dead workers?

              Just like John Key’s dead eyes line trying to compare the deaths at Pike River to routine “redundancies” at any other company. Yes I suppose those deaths at Pike River might be considered like that.

              Is there any sane reason for that that, beyond your hatred of banks?

              Oh very clever. This isn’t a hatred my good friend. It’s an acknowledgement that banks don’t deserve more consideration than ordinary, dead, workers.

              Apparently you cannot tell the difference.

              If someone kills someone in a car accident, should the finance company that loaned money for the car now be liable to pay the victim?

              Why not – especially if the finance company loaned money to a driver who was unlicensed, underinsured and clearly unable to operate a car safely.

              • photonz

                So banks should become responsible for how someone drives, or for policing safety standards of every business or person in the country who has a loan.

                Did you think for more than a millisecond before you wrote that?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Sure mate. If a bank lends to an enterprise which causes death through negligence or inability, why shouldn’t the bank bear some of the financial responsibility for their lack of due diligence?

                  Why should the bank always be on the top of yoru list and families of dead workers at the bottom? I mean, where do you get your morality from?

                  I think we will find banks fulfilling a much more useful societal role if that were the case.

                  • photonz

                    Just what we need – an insane society randomly shifting responsibility away from where it should be

                    “it’s no my fault I got drunk and killed someone You’re Honour. It’s the banks fault, because they gave me an overdraft, and I used it to buy a bottle of whiskey, and they didn’t check what I spent it on”.

                    Effectively every business in the country and most people do what tehy do because they have finance from a bank, so you could just blame the banks for everything bad that happens.

                    That will make you happy.

                    • Tracey

                      whereas you think that because banks have become integral to everyone and everything (but not so much that they must take responsibility for their own downfalls, cos they got bailed out in the US), they should be paid before the children of miners who died because a company presented a plan to a bank and shareholders (probably lied) to get money, which meant it would cut corners to get profit to its shareholders, and the corners were safety.

                      I mean the bank should have done better due diligence shouldn’t it?

                      where would the miners have got their insurance???

                    • McFlock

                      Well, it would make them damned careful to lend money only to responsible people with proper hazard plans in place.

                      Throw a reasonableness test into the law, and Robert’s your father’s brother.

                    • photonz

                      Tracey says “I mean the bank should have done better due diligence shouldn’t it?”

                      No.

                      You are putting more blame on the bank, than on –
                      Pike River
                      Pike River managers
                      safety authorities
                      unions
                      ACC
                      Pike River shareholders
                      Shareholders of shareholders of Pike River.

                      Of everyone involved, is there any party LESS responsible for the accident than the bank?

                      And you think they should have some sort of mining safety expertise to do due diligence safety checks that the even the mining safety experts didn’t have.

                      They are banks – they lend money. They don’t employ safety experts for every industry in the country.

                    • McFlock

                      lol

                      I love the way you’re squirming at the thought of capitalist enablers being held even partially responsible for capitalist failures.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Its amazing isn’t it. These RWNJs willing to lay waste to communities and to families, for the sake of electronic credits whistled up out of thin air using keystrokes.

                      Actually it’s pretty pathological behaviour.

                    • Tracey

                      IF banks made part of their due diligence ensuring the company had proper health and safety before they lend they would reduce their lending risk, especially in dangerous industries like mining but seemingly you don’t think they should do that…

                      do you know where the miners children could get insurance from and at what price given their parent’s occupation?

                    • photonz

                      First they’re to blame, not because they were responsible for the disaster, but because they are a bank.

                      Now they’re to blame because they’re capitalists.

                      You guys are so far to the extreme left that you make Kim Jong-un look like a moderate right winger.

                    • Tracey

                      “And you think they should have some sort of mining safety expertise to do due diligence safety checks that the even the mining safety experts didn’t have”

                      Really? Didn’t have or found it too expensive? Have you actually read any reports or the court decision.

                      Actually yes, they should have someone with expertise in mining to look over things before they lend, you think that is too onerous for a bank with millions of dollars?

                    • Tracey

                      ” is there any party LESS responsible for the accident than the bank?”

                      the children of the dead miners?

                    • photonz

                      tracey says “Actually yes, they should have someone with expertise in mining to look over things before they lend, you think that is too onerous for a bank with millions of dollars?”

                      That’s truly bizarre.

                      Are banks to blame for the Air NZ crash in France?
                      What about the Rena shipwreck?
                      The Chch earthquake?
                      The Masterton Balloon crash?
                      NZ Cricket have loans – are they responsible for the Black Caps losing?
                      The Tongariro tragedy?

                      This is like a comedy – not a word against Pike River, safety inspectors, regulations, management.

                      You want to blame the bank.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Blame? Nope, they didn’t. They said that the children of the dead miners should have received compensation before the bank got paid.

                      The bank could then recoup its losses from the loan guarantors. Or not, but that’s business.

    • Tracey 14.2

      but ACC is in huge surplus photonz…

      rio tino or the miners families (as decided by a judge) ?
      warner bros or miners families
      scf foreign investors or miners families?

      Its not just the families being abandoned but the Court system is being given the fingers too.

      • photonz 14.2.1

        The victims families HAVE been paid out by ACC.

        Do you want ACC to pay them MORE than other victims get?

        You complain about payments to private companies, but then want taxpayers to hand over millions to a private company, so it can fulfill it’s compensation obligations.

        Oh, and the ACC surplus is because people like me pay ADDITIONAL ACC levies, ON TOP OF our normal levies.

        The residual fund is so ACC will eventually have enough money so that someone who got drunk and had an accident 30 years ago can still get compo for their limp (as well as deserving cases).

        Calling it a huge surplus is as disingenuous as saying the NZ Super fund is a huge surplus.

        • mickysavage 14.2.1.1

          So you must be really pissed at the thought that our Government has given Rio Tinto $30 mil of our money.

          • Tracey 14.2.1.1.1

            it’s not “our” money it’s photonz’s money, and him on under 18 bucks an hour and everything… no overseas holiday for him this year

          • photonz 14.2.1.1.2

            I don’t think it’s brilliant, but it’s pragmatic.

            As a comparison, Labour campaigned to keep Hillside Workshops open.

            It cost $30m to secure 2000 smelter jobs for a few years and $150m to save just 80 jobs at Hillside Workshops.

            By keeping Tiwai Pt open, the govt will get their money back in tax in a year (about $15,000 subsidy per worker)

            Whereas subidising Hillside as Labour wanted would have kept the workshops open for a one year contract, but taken 125 years to get the money back in tax ($1.875 MILLION subsidy per worker).

            Tell me which one makes more sense.

            And what would you do have done?

            Spend $30m and keep Tiwai Point open, or close it and kill off 2000 jobs, have people lose their homes etc?

            • Colonial Viper 14.2.1.1.2.1

              Hey you forgot to add in the extra costs of emergency repairs to and shorter lifespans of the Chinese trains.

              Funny that.

              Spend $30m and keep Tiwai Point open, or close it and kill off 2000 jobs, have people lose their homes etc?

              You mean those jobs aren’t going in 18 months anyway?

              You mean that the Pike River families losing their homes etc. is OK to you?

            • Tracey 14.2.1.1.2.2

              how long are the jobs guaranteed for photonz

              • photonz

                About a year or two longer than it takes for the govt to make it’s money back in tax.

                Tracey – What do you think is better. Paying $15,000 per worker to keep 2000 people in work for three years (total $30m), and get the money back in tax every year
                OR
                paying $1.875 million per worker for 80 workers for a one year contract (total $150m), when you wouldn’t get the subsidy back on tax for over 100 years?

                • Tracey

                  I read the post where you posted that, and I asked a question. First you said a few years, then you changed it to three years. Can you confirm the jobs are guaranteed for three years then I can answer your question.

                  Can you post the source for the payback in full to government from tax. Thanks, I want to understand this fully.

                  • photonz

                    The deal is to keep the smelter open until 2017.

                    The govt collects $25b income tax from 2 million workers, so there’s an average of $12,500 per worker (and $15billion in gst) plus company tax.

                    So it’s pretty easy to figure out that a subsidy of $15,000 per worker will come back in tax in around a year.

                    Even sooner if they are paid above average like the smelter workers.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Fuck you’re gruesome.

                      Why should the Government be giving huge profitable corporates interest free tax payers money in a form of corporate socialism?

                      Oh we know why – to try and prop up the sale of assets to foreign banksters.

                      And still you advocate for forcing the families of dead Pike River workers through the courts to get a cent.

                      Did you ever figure out that Government was supposed to be for the people, not the corporates?

                    • photonz

                      Colonial Viper would happily screw the lives of 2000 Invercargill workers and their families.

                      Then pretends to care about people.

                    • Tracey

                      no offense, would like to look at your source.

                    • photonz

                      Here are some numbers from the union, who welcomed the $30m deal.

                      “He [ EPMU’s Trevor Hobbs] said the Tiwai Point smelter is worth 3200 jobs and $1.6 billion a year to Southland’s economy.”

                      From http://tvnz.co.nz/business-news/relief-in-southland-over-tiwai-point-deal-5529011

                      What do you think the income tax and gst is on $1.6 billion of spending?

            • Bearded Git 14.2.1.1.2.3

              You forgot to add the $100-150 million or more costs caused by ripping up the power price deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto negotiated over many months. This has largely gone unnoticed/unremarked by the media (surely not!) but was not missed by “Chalkie” in the Dom Post.

        • Tracey 14.2.1.2

          you wrote

          “The terrible irony in the case of ACC’s 5% portion, is any payouts to the mine accident victims, will come off payments to accident victims.”

          THAT is what I was responding to.

          BTW the surplus is as a result of how the money has been invested.
          ACC is not a private company

          You seem to have such a wretched life. Less than 18 bucks an hour but paying enormous levies…

          • photonz 14.2.1.2.1

            Tracey – the investments are the residual fund. This is ring fenced to build a fund for all those on ACC from previous years.

            That’s because workers current ACC payments don’t pay for those still claiming for accidents from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. .

            Self employed and businesses have to pay extra ACC into this fund, to pay for all these old ongoing claims, AND even more to build this fund up so it will be have enough to be self funding in the future.

            So someone who works for themselves have to pay earners ACC, (like all workers) and employers ACC, and ACC for residual claims, and ACC to build up the residual fund.

            Which is why you are so wrong to talk about the surplus like it is some kind of profit.

            • Colonial Viper 14.2.1.2.1.1

              Meh. Key has shown that if he wants to help out with millions of dollars, he can, and he will.

              He simply doesn’t want to, in the dead miners cases.

            • Tracey 14.2.1.2.1.2

              I am self employed photonz and I have to pay like you do. Nonetheless my point has some validity doesn’t it? You said if miners were paid others would lose out on ACC… its not quite as cut and dried as you suggest.

              the only way you and I would gain from having insurance companies take over some of ACC is because the insurance companies wouldn’t take ANY of the high/bad risk, the state would be left with those. So “we” pay less levies to the insurance company BUT as taxpayers we still fund the high risk injuries.

              Just as private hospitals deliberately exclude certain medicine from their “services”, they charge like wounded bulls, use public hospital theatres and beds BUT don’t touch the very expensive and very high risk stuff.

              You seem to have this utopia in your head where you pay for almost nothing but continue to live in a society, drive on its roads, and partake in its social exchanges. Where a living wage is a personal affront and burden to you. Happy workers, workers not worrying about how to pay the bills are loyal and productive workers. They are an asset not a liability.

              • photonz

                Tracey says “You said if miners were paid others would lose out on ACC… its not quite as cut and dried as you suggest.”

                ACC have ALREADY paid the miners families compensation.

                Cunliffe falsely insinuated that ACC received a large part of the $80 million insurance payout, and because of that, should pay the families more compensation.

                My point (apart from pointing out Cunliffes lies) was merely that if ACC paid compensation (a second time), that would mean less for someone else’s accident compensation.

                Tracey says “You seem to have this utopia in your head where you pay for almost nothing ….”

                I’ve never suggested that, or anything like it.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.3

      It was the banks and shareholders that took the financial risk – not the workers. This being true the workers, especially the ones that died, need to be compensated before anyone else.

    • BLiP 14.4

      . . . Should NZOG pay out the compensation? There’s a very good argument that morally they should . . .

      Nah. The only moral function of a corporation is to maximise profits to shareholders. In the Pike River murders by callous indifference deaths, the question of “morality” falls to the individual shareholders.

  15. BrucetheMoose 15

    “Political games”? What a hypocrite. That’s what Key and his mob have been conducting for the last five years, and badly at that. NZers need to lift their expectations of government conduct, including other low expectations, such as the lack of in depth journalism and quality television/radio.

  16. Horace in the east 16

    Go back to Pike River – there were too many lies. Garry Knowles fronted for a lying, cheating theiving Government and it’s cronies. As a Government employee, he was kept in the dark, then when the Ministers arrived, they defended him. They had to. They knew the truth. Their stupidity had led to the death of those men.
    Remember John Key’s famous words, “We’ll bring your men home” or words to set in that effect. Then reality set in. Cost = money, but really chicken feed to what they’ve given away to their mates. As for NZ Oil & Gas, well we all know just how good corporate NZ is now, as if we really needed a lesson.
    What really astounds me is how gullible New Zealanders are, they seem to be taken in by a man who can smile and offer glib answers without actually saying anything, and who continuously goes back on his word. Jesus, even Robert Muldoon wasn’t as desperate as this p#@*k !!
    The lesson all New Zealanders should take from Pike River is that under a National Government there is no such thing as justice. They just screw everyone.

  17. karol 17

    Remember when John Key wept crocodile tears for the Pike River miners and their families? ‘We are a nation in mourning’:

    “To all those who have lost a loved one, New Zealand stands shoulder to shoulder with you.

    Though we can not possibly feel this pain as you do, we have you in our hearts and our thoughts.

    But it should have been a red flag when Key was repeatedly shown fronting press conferences with the Mine Company spokesperson, Peter Whittall.

    And then there was Key’s broken promise to bring the bodies of the dead miners home, where we seeKey standing on the side of Solid Energy and the mining company:

    Labour MP Damien O’Connor says the families have been told they may have to wait eight years to recover the bodies of their loved ones.
    “John Key was one of the first to step in and offer comfort to the miners’ families. He has now shifted all the responsibility to a company that he intends to sell off,” Mr O’Connor said.
    The families had every right to accuse Mr Key and the government of having broken a promise.
    Greens MP Kevin Hague says a privatised Solid Energy may be less likely to focus on body recovery.

  18. Tanz 18

    Chrildren in the House, all being paid way too much to act as buffoons at Question Time, especially that arrogant, snide Key, the one that Joe Public doesn’t pay attention to. Smiling suit.

  19. BLiP 19

    Do I understand John Key – is he saying that workers killed in a mine, the safety of which was the ultimate responsibility of a government which did not have the means nor capacity to oversee or implement, are in just the same position when it comes to compensation as workers who have been made redundant?

  20. Craig Glen Eden 20

    “Should NZOG pay out the compensation? There’s a very good argument that morally they should. If I was a shareholder, I’d be quite happy for them to do so.”

    So Cunliffe is right then photonz in your eye’s, those who ( companies/ investors) have recieved payments based on investment have a moral obligation to pay money to the families.

    Thanks for your admission, unless like Key when you say somthing you are saying it just because it sounds nice but really you dont believe it and in reality you are talking out of both sides of your mouth.

    Key was stuffed from the get go and he knew it and so do all the rwnj’s.

    Key is going to become Cunliffes play thing over the next 12 months.

    • photonz 20.1

      Craig Glen Eden says “So Cunliffe is right then photonz in your eye’s…”

      No. Because Cunliffe falsely claims that the government can control the $80m insurance payout, when $20m went to BNZ, $10m went to West Coast contractors, and $50m went to NZOG – all private companies.

      Cunliffe makes another false claim that ACC and NZ Super are parents of NZOG, when they own just 5% and 1% of the shares.

      For shareholding details see P73 at http://www.nzog.com/dmsdocument/99

      Cunliffes false claim that the govt can control what happens with the $80m insurance is gutter politics – using dead bodies as political points.

      It’s as cretinous as Willie and JT.

      • Colonial Viper 20.1.1

        Tens or hundreds of millions in tax payer gifts for profitable corporates like Rio Tinto and Chorus, but Key wants to make the families of the dead Pike River miners fight through the courts for every cent?

        And you support this, apparently. Very interesting.

        • photonz 20.1.1.1

          And you think Key has the power (or even should have the power) to be able to go a private company and order them to pay compensation from the insurance money?

          As I stated previously, I think NZOG should pay, but a PM (left or right) should never have such total power that they can over ride the courts and force such payments.

          Then there’s the additional issue that NZOG didn’t own Pike River outright – in fact they only owned 30%.

          That’s why it’s so disingenuous for Cunliffe to be insinuating that the likes of NZ Super Fund have had a big insurance payout and should pay compensation, when they are a 1% shareholder of a company that was a 30% shareholder of Pike River.

          • Colonial Viper 20.1.1.1.1

            As I stated previously, I think NZOG should pay, but a PM (left or right) should never have such total power that they can over ride the courts and force such payments.

            Seems like there was no problem gifting $30M in tax payers funds to Rio Tinto.

            So you think government gifts to corporates are fine, but compensation for mining victims families are not?

            Where do you get your morality from?

          • Tracey 20.1.1.1.2

            after saying he hadn’t talked to chorus and stating he cant interfere in any company even if govt is a shareholder he DID talk to Chorus, or said he had… and found out they would lose money if we didn’t prop them up. Do you hate that power and those lies?

      • Tracey 20.1.2

        it is NO way analagous to those perpetuating a rape culture. YOU might consider money more important than rape however…

        As you abhor lies so much you will be really stuck for a party to vote for in 2014.

  21. Chris 21

    “As I stated previously, I think NZOG should pay, but a PM (left or right) should never have such total power that they can over ride the courts and force such payments” Photonz

    Didn’t the Courts order compensation?

    You are absolutely correct when you say the PM shouldn’t over ride Court Decisions/Orders

  22. Sacha 22

    And the Speaker can’t resist rescuing his chum at the end there.

  23. Intrinsicvalue 23

    Because you don’t like counter opinion here.

    [What are you referring to IS? We have allowed your comments to be posted – MS]

  24. The National led coalition of 2011 election is acting without a true mandate. A shameful cloud now hangs over ‘Te Whare Parliament’ as the Speaker and the Government treat the House as a joke, with examples of Pike River, Sky Casino and continual breaches of Waitangi treaty and other human rights. It has been obvious that, in DLANZ this shows an ‘Abdication of Sovereign Responsibility’ .

    If a citizen is obliged to give trust for a sovereign to rule, then the sovereign has a responsibility for its apparatus (People and Structured), to show integrity in ‘its’ applications. If policies are being generated for the benefit of a few, at the expense of a majority, which include violence (Glen Innes HCNZ), then DLANZ contend the system has become corrupt and defunct/

    Disabled Liberation Aotearoa NZ has written to the Governor General asking to call an early election; and instruct the NZ Police to not be used as ”blue bodied bailiffs’ as like the history…Scotland to Bastion Point all show history repeating itself. Tariana Turia Minister of Disability had described disabled as the most vulnerable of a people within society; DLANZ believe its time to stop inflicting needless poverty, and associated social ills because of ideologies that fail to include all citizens.

    We ask all readers to write yourself to MP’s and GG’s to stop the rot, because 2014 may be too late for too many.

    Keep Smiling
    Doug Hay
    Cordinator DLANZ
    disabled.liberationz@gmail.com

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