Emerson on privatisation

Written By: - Date published: 7:27 am, January 11th, 2012 - 24 comments
Categories: newspapers, privatisation - Tags: , , ,

Emerson from The Herald on privatisation:

24 comments on “Emerson on privatisation”

  1. prism 1

    I’m glad to see some great cartoons with little barbs making very apposite comments are still around. We had a great cartoonist in Nelson who replaced Garrick Tremain and brought a sharper style but equal ability compared to this older cartoonist who has been doing good work for many years. Unfortunately Nelson is a place liking soft cushions when viewing reality, and this other guy I think was Mike Moreu and got the push.

  2. Irascible 2

    Brilliant cartoon.
    We still have to clean up the mess created by Bradford’s restructuring privatisation of the electricity reticulation industry. No promised reduction in power bills and a rapidly removal of funds to overseas conglomerates.

  3. hobbit 3

    Shame this cartoon ignores the list of company’s that have been turned around, from old, slow, bureaucratic, non-customer driven SOE’s – to modern businesses that now deliver results for their customers and their shareholders, without being a burden on the public purse.

    “No promised reduction in power bills”

    Ironically we only have one private power provider, with the rest being state controlled monopolies.

    If you want the break the monopoly and get a bit more competition in the electricity market, then I’ll guess you’d support selling 50% of each company?

    Nah, you’ll support total state controlled monopolies, then wonder why you pay so much for power.

    • Ari 3.1

      Which companies are you talking about? In my view the only companies that have actually improved after privatisation are the ones we’ve started to buy back.

      • hobbit 3.1.1

        “Were they racking up debts and posting losses”

        Yes, New Zealand Rail:

        “The government wrote off NZ$1.3 billion in debt acquired by the company from the Railways Corporation, and injected a further $300 million in capital. Despite this capital injection the company remained only marginally profitable, reporting after-tax profits of $36.2 million in 1992 and $18 million in 1993.”

        Tranz Rail actually improved once it was privatized, until the end of the 90’s when new management took over. Sadly with TR, the majority forget this and think rail privatization was a complete failure, when it was only the latter years that failed.

        Something for the lefties, who actually believe what their masters tell them, to foam over: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=229488

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1

          Tranz Rail actually improved once it was privatized, until the end of the 90′s when new management took over.

          You, of course, mean the period when it showed a profit due to asset stripping which could not then be maintained by the new owners which resulted in the government having to buy back an essential infrastructural asset.

          Yep, a perfect example of privatisation rewarding thieves at everyone else’s expense.

          And, no, I’m not going to take the word of the person in charge of the asset stripping. What I will do is take note of the result which was run down infrastructure and capital.

          • hobbit 3.1.1.1.1

            “You, of course, mean the period when it showed a profit due to asset stripping”

            Nah, the period where one of the good guys who was in charge massively increased the amount of freight being carried.

            “And, no, I’m not going to take the word of the person in charge of the asset stripping. What I will do is take note of the result which was run down infrastructure and capital.”

            Your clearly confused, that was in the latter years. If you did a bit of research about the 93 – 97 years you’ll actually see that it was genuinely profitable.

            IIRC capital expenditure only started dropping in 99 or so. Until then capital expenditure had been higher than it was during state ownership.

            • RedLogix 3.1.1.1.1.1

              If you did a bit of research about the 93 – 97 years you’ll actually see that it was genuinely profitable.

              In other words, before they had stripped all the asset out and generally ran the business down to the point where it was no longer profitable.

              Until then capital expenditure had been higher than it was during state ownership.

              But when the state brought it back it was so run down it now needs billions to bring it back to a safe and efficient standard.

              • hobbit

                “In other words, before they had stripped all the asset out and generally run the business down to the point where it was no longer profitable.”

                Sure, that happened later on. My point is that before that it was profitable before that due to reasons other than asset stripping.

                “But when the state brought it back it was so run down it now needs billions to bring it back to a safe and efficient standard.”

                Agreed. But, as a report into the railway agreed, the operation is safe. Things have only got better since then, too.

    • tc 3.2

      care to name these burdensome companies.

      Results for shareholders = profits that would be going into gov’t coffers, year in year out and any profit is a profit so how were they burdening the public purse ? Were they racking up debts and posting losses.

      Power is a natural monopoly so they may as well benefit the public not some foreign owner like the single privatised one you allude to.

    • KJT 3.3

      State monopolies that are run as pretend private companies, with all the inefficiencies, unnecessary duplication, costs of private finance, cutting salaries for skilled staff and excessive salaries at the top, that destroy our private businesses.

    • Jum 3.4

      hobbit,

      ‘now deliver results for their customers and their shareholders’

      as usual nothing about the workers who produce the results and also deserve a fair wage.

      • hobbit 3.4.1

        If their workers don’t think they are being paid enough, then by all means they should offer their services elsewhere or try to negotiate a new rate of pay with the employer.

        Kinda goes without saying, I would have thought.

        I’m actually in favor of workers joining a union rather than not. As long as its not forced ie a return to the 70’s. But I don’t like reading about a union official using bad language in the media, or seeing a union official on the news using a disgusting tone of voice over a loud speaker, like some kind of protestor. POT management didn’t resort to that, and neither should the union guy.

        • McFlock 3.4.1.1

          Oh, okay – the peasants can organise, but only as long as they’re clean and polite.
            
           

        • Frank Macskasy 3.4.1.2

          “But I don’t like reading about a union official using bad language in the media, or seeing a union official on the news using a disgusting tone of voice over a loud speaker, like some kind of protestor. POT management didn’t resort to that, and neither should the union guy.”

          Sorry, guv’. *tugs forelock*

    • “Ironically we only have one private power provider, with the rest being state controlled monopolies.
      If you want the break the monopoly and get a bit more competition in the electricity market, then I’ll guess you’d support selling 50% of each company?”

      So how come the private company (Contact) doesn’t undercut the three state power companies, “Hobbit”?

      After all, if private enterprise is more efficient, then ipso facto, they should be passingf on their efficiency gains to customers through cheaper power rates.

      Right?

      • hobbit 3.5.1

        “So how come the private company (Contact) doesn’t undercut the three state power companies, “Hobbit”?”

        No incentive to, at the moment, when the rest of the electricity market is state controlled.

  4. RedLogix 4

    It’s the inherent nature of capitalism; cost one way, profits the other.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Costs to workers, the community and the environment; profits to owners, shareholders and their lieutenants.

  5. Jum 5

    Too bloody late the cartoonist sees what was obvious to anyone with two braincells 3 and a half years ago; Key is leaving New Zealanders with all the bills to pay and none of the dividends.

  6. Jum 6

    It’s becoming obvious that workers don’t really exist – we live in a country of consumers and shareholders – it seems really strange to me that none of those consumers or even those richer shareholders have ever considered the fact that workers deserve a proper wage and job security. Aren’t they children, parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, aunts of those consumers?

    With the shareholders I have more of a problem imagining they actually give a damn.

    Any new shareholders that have scraped together money to buy a few of SOE assets they already own will be happy to stab their children, parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, aunts in the back to get a bigger dividend.

    I know it seems strange but aren’t those people the same? They’re actually dismantling their own future – very strange.

  7. My partner tells me of a visit she had today, at her workplace, from one of their regular clients. “Mark”* is a self-employed person, and like many in his position, is not someone to vote for Labour, Greens, or any other centre-left Party.

    He visits every so often and they natter about various things happening in New Zealand – especially the way the country is going.

    We strongly suspect he voted National, last November, despite not liking some of their policies.

    Anyway, “Mark” comes in and starts to discuss what National is getting up to. He complains bitterly, that with the part-privatisation of the power companies, he is expecting his electricity bill to skyrocket.

    My partner simply looks at him and asks,

    “Who did you vote for Mark”? I wouldn’t complain if I were you. You got what you voted for.”

    His only reply is a surly, “Don’t you start!”

    At least she didn’t say to him, “I told you so!!!” (But I would’ve.)

    It seems that the first chicken has come home to roost for those who voted National…

    (True story. Damn, it made my day!!!)

    * Not his real name

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • GCSB expands cyber defence service
    Minister Responsible for the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), Hon Andrew Little, has announced the agency will expand its Malware-Free Networks (MFN) cyber defence initiative. ...
    2 hours ago
  • Roadshows outline help for small business
    Small Business Minister Stuart Nash will next week launch the 2018 series of small business roadshows. The roadshows give business owners the opportunity to learn more about assistance available from the Government. Taking Care of Business is a series of ...
    3 days ago
  • Next step to improve fairness of tax system
    New legislation to improve the fairness of the tax system and prevent large multinationals from exploiting rules in order to shift their profits offshore has passed another step closer to becoming law. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has taken the Taxation ...
    4 days ago
  • Fisheries NZ has new focus on innovation
    Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the creation of a new specialist organisation dedicated to the sector will lead to greater innovation in the way we fish and the way we manage the resource. “Today marks the first full day for ...
    5 days ago
  • Cracking down on tax dodgers and restoring fairness
    New initiatives to make the tax system fairer and a crackdown on tax dodgers are expected to provide the Government with an extra $726.3 million of revenue over the next four years, says Revenue Minister Stuart Nash. “The Coalition Government ...
    5 days ago
  • Focusing on community safety and targeting organised crime
    New investment in police will lift the number of officers, see an unprecedented push to disrupt organised crime and make our families and communities safer, says Police Minister Stuart Nash. “The Coalition Government’s police package, when fully rolled out, will ...
    5 days ago
  • Making every house a warm, dry home
    Every New Zealander should have a warm, dry, well-ventilated home. This is something the Greens have worked hard for, for decades – and in Government with Labour and New Zealand First, we’re going to finish the job. We know how ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    6 days ago
  • Investing in a green future
    With the Green Party in Government, New Zealand has taken the most significant step yet to invest in becoming a net zero emissions country with the commitment in Budget 2018 to set-up a Green Investment Fund. That commitment sees the ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Midwives deserve better
    Mothers and babies rely on and value the work of midwives, and the Green Party believes the Government should too. Budget 2018 provides additional support of over $100 million over the next four years for community midwifery services. As a ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    1 week ago
  • Biggest ever boost for Conservation
    New Zealanders love our unique birds, insects and plants and today’s new funding boost means we can start to really protect them. Budget 2018 provides the largest increase in the Department of Conservation’s budget since 2002 and delivers on our ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    2 weeks ago
  • The greenest budget ever
    The Green Party has secured a historic suite of budget wins valued at $618 million that prioritises protecting nature and backing the transition to a green economy.  We couldn’t be happier – it’s the greenest budget ever, a win for ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    2 weeks ago
  • Pare Hauraki Collective Redress extension
    Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little has given settlement groups more time to provide him with any additional information before he makes a decision regarding the signing of the Pare Hauraki Collective Redress Deed. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government releases review of organisational culture and processes at the Human Rights Commission
    Justice Minister Andrew Little today released the Ministerial Review of the Human Rights Commission in relation to the internal handling of sexual harassment claims and its organisational culture. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Native birds beat rats in Budget 2018
    I’m really proud as a Green Minister that there is significant new funding in Budget 2018 to save our wildlife from predators like rats, stoats and possums. An extra $81.28 million over four years will protect New Zealand’s precious native ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    2 weeks ago
  • Ngā Hapū o Ngāti Porou moana first reading
    The Ngā Rohe Moana o Ngā Hapū o Ngāti Porou Bill (No 2) passed its first reading in Parliament today, says Minister for Treaty Negotiations Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago