web analytics

Fiscal responsibility

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 am, July 24th, 2012 - 86 comments
Categories: health, privatisation - Tags:

John Key doesn’t want to go ahead with plain packaging of cigarettes. The cancer sellers would sue. It could cost a few million to beat them in the international courts (me, I would just create a law of corporate homicide and nationalise their NZ assets). Key baulks at the cost, the risk. But something in the hundreds of millions for free shares to looters? Key reckons that’s a great investment.

The crazy thing is that Key has no clue what the bonus shares would cost. And surely it’s pretty vital when a) you’re planning to get back into surplus by a whisker in two years and b) your justification for selling these shares is supposedly that it is a smarter economic choice than borrowing – if you don’t know your net revenue from the sale, how can you make that argument?

And the costs are huge. Labour points out that National will have to keep aside shares not only for the looters’ bonus but also to have a buffer so that the companies can issue more shares and still have the Crown retain at least 51%. Labour points to a Treasury report putting the cost of saving 9% of the shares for the bonus and the buffer at around $1.3 billion.

Key says that the cost will be “less than half that” – so, what? $650m?

The Finance and Expenditure Select Committee, on the other hand says it would be $360m.

A Treasury paper says $250m to $500m.

And the Greens give the conservative low-ball estimate  – where only a third of shares are bought by ‘mum and dad investors’ and there is one free looters’ bonus share for every ten they buy – and that’s $200m!

So, on the low-side, this looters’ bonus is a $200m policy. And for what? To try to attract a few marginal investors who wouldn’t have otherwise bought in or make a few hold on to the shares longer who would have flicked on quickly? The vast vast bulk of people who would get free shares under this policy are people who would have bought the shares and held on to them anyway. National is spending hundreds of millions of dollars for the sake of changing the decisions of a few thousand people.

When National was in opposition, they called 20Hours Free Early Childhood Education “poorly targeted spending”. Their logic was that the bulk of families getting it would have sent their kids to ECE anyway, so the government was subsidising them without changing their ECE decision, which they assumed was the point of the scheme (they didn’t consider that it would be a blessing for families previously scrimping to get their kids into ECE). Doesn’t that same logic apply to the looters’ bonus? Most of the people who would get the looters’ bonus don’t need a looters’ bonus to get them to do what the looters’ bonus is intended to make them do. So, why is National planning to pay them a looters’ bonus?

And why can’t National think of anything better to do with a few hundred million taxpayer dollars?

Oh yeah, because they’re the looters’ party.

86 comments on “Fiscal responsibility”

  1. The bonus share scheme is there to provide political cover.  Nothing more and nothing less.

    Those figures are looking sicker and sicker.  Even if the cost is 10% of the anticipated share sale proceeds that is a huge amount and it makes the sell/retain ownership of the power company shares analysis even more favorable to retaining the shares.

  2. Phil 2

    Lovely to see that nice clean cut young man on the news last evening, the first time investor with his hot $1000 burning a hole in his pocket. All bright eyed and keen to start his “investment portfolio”.
    Wonder if he has a wife and kids?
    If he has a wife and two kids, that $1000 he’s paying could be costing him, oh, anything between $1320 and $1452 (depending on how the loyalty bonus is fixed).
    Nice investment decision there chap, obviously a Key sort of person.

    • Tom Gould 2.1

      Did they mention if he had a credit card or a student loan? I missed it.

      • Phil 2.1.1

        No mention of, just $1000 and a look of hope.
        Talk about product placement.

        • Tom Gould

          Was it on 3News? Surely it would be poor form to run such ‘product placement’ as part of their ‘media buy package’.

  3. vto 3

    So not only do the great and wonderful captains of business, who are incapable of starting up their own electricity companies to invest in, need to have the taxpayer assets to prop up their pathetic flailing NZX, they also need taxpayers to pay more to make their private investments more palatable.

    Never ever have I seen such a welfare handout. There has been more welfare handed out by this government than anything I recall under Helen Clark’s government.

    The usless wankers cannot survive without sucking on the taxpayer tit.

    suckle suckle suckle go the little baby pigs

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1


      Capitalist theft of community wealth is becoming more and more obvious.

      • mike e 3.1.1

        +2 Goldman Sachs are experts at this one of the most corrupt organizations in the world today they have taken over from the most corrupt corporation in history Merrill Lynch !
        ML have a history going back to the 1920’s of running some sort of fraud scheme.
        BofA ML are now in the death throws of more disastrous scheming .
        GS have now taken over the reigns!

    • Murray Olsen 3.2

      A great description of the kiwi business class, vto.

  4. Uturn 4

    A few million of scant government funds paid to a select group of already wealthy lawyers and officials in the pursuit of The Common Good during a Depression?

    Now that’s priorited sound strategy. Who says our politicians lack vision?

    As long as those nasty welfare beneficiaries can be made to pay back every few cents they owe, we can cover it. I mean really, why don’t they just open their own café and work for themselves? They could eat their own cake.

    And if we lose in court, hopefully we’ll have to pay costs to whatever tobacco group we’re limply attacking. Those chaps are good guys. Why not ease some government funds into their back pockets?

  5. bad12 5

    Its sad but i have no more energy to spend upon the asset sales issue, i would imagine that the wind has been taken out of a lot of peoples sails by both Labour and the Green Party basically flagging that they have no intention of buying these shares back once in Government,

    To me that’s disappointing and weak and i believe that both Party’s should be telling the potential buyers now that THEY will be specifically targeted through taxation so as to cough up the monies needed to buy them back,

    Anything else is a total victory for the Slippery National Government of sleaze/lies/theft and a kick in the guts for all those who have protested the asset sales long and loud,

    This has been Labour’s problem, while in opposition it opposes strongly, Shiply and Richardson’s 1991 benefit cuts for example, but when becoming Government it simply refuses to alter/reverse the ugliness National has imposed,

    Unfortunately the Green Party has now moved itself so far into the boring center of the political spectrum that it too, citing it’s new economic orthodoxy, refuses to flatly tell National it will buy those shares back and those who buy them will be taxed suitably to get them back…

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      This has been Labour’s problem, while in opposition it opposes strongly, Shiply and Richardson’s 1991 benefit cuts for example, but when becoming Government it simply refuses to alter/reverse the ugliness National has imposed,

      Labours big problem now is that they’re not even opposing strongly. In fact, they seem to be agreeing with this government.

      • David H 5.1.1

        Yep and hre’s Bloody Shearer on Plain Packaging.

        FFS he has got to GO! he’s f&^&ing useless

        • Draco T Bastard

          I’m of the opinion that Labour has to go – not just the leader. They’ve become too much a party of business rather than the party of the people they used to be.

          • mike e

            For any left party to govern they have two options;
            1, to get out and door knock and organize people who didn’t vote to get them to the polling booth on the day that needs a big well organized machine on the left possibly an out of parliament cooperation between the greens and labour so they aren’t covering the same ground twice.Act, UF and national cooperate. Labour and the greens are always trying to out do each other when they should have a strategy.
            2.just let national implode and pick up nationals soft vote.

            • Colonial Viper

              2.just let national implode and pick up nationals soft vote.

              Yep, be passive, pick up the “centre” soft vote by not rocking the boat and laying out middle class focussed policies as your priority.

              And in the process screw the left, the activists, the working class and the underclass.

        • infused

          maybe it’s you lot that have the problem?

        • mac1

          David H, if that link shows Shearer on Plain Packaging then I’ve got a huge reality problem. It looked like John Key et alia pulling faces at the National Party Conference, but maybe that’s just me…….

  6. ad 6

    Would be great if Labour could say exactly how much each taxpayer will be subsidising the elite who will be getting the bonus shares. Shearer actually put sentences together without too many trips and ums this morning.

    It will be a great wedge story if “amount of subsidy per person” stories are clearer.

    This is what makes the NZSO subsidy so vulnerable. It’s a highly elite pleasure activity, and each seat at an NZSO concert has about $160 of subsidy on it.

    It’s why I enjoy taking the train so much – not only is it a gloriously proletarian activity, I also get squillions of subsidy both from taxpayers for building and maintaining the tracks, and I also get ratepayer subsidy for the journey itself. Joyous public-cash-piles on my seat.

    Taxpayers who don’t have a minimum $1,000 in their pockets to spare should not be asked to subsidise the bonus shares of those who do have $1,000 in thier pockets. In fact if you can whip out $10,000 you would get quite a lovely subsidy-bonus from those “ordinary Mums and Dads”.

    We need our own class-begrudging stories.

    • Carol 6.1

      Would be great if Labour could say exactly how much each taxpayer will be subsidising the elite who will be getting the bonus shares.


      $112 a head for asset loyalty
      By Adam Bennett
      A “loyalty” scheme to sweeten state assets sales for investors could cost the taxpayer $500 million – more than $100 for every man, woman and child in New Zealand – according to Treasury numbers.
      In a separate report last week, Parliament’s finance and expenditure committee noted that using the Queensland Rail model across all of the “mixed-ownership” companies would cost about $360 million, or just over $80 for every New Zealander – less than the Treasury’s estimate.

      • ad 6.1.1

        Yes but there’s more. New Zealanders already own the assets, so we could work out the $$ we all currently own.

        And then how much of that $$ is being sold, per person.

        And when they list, how much $$ some New Zealanders will then buy a bit of them back for.

        So just at listing New Zealanders are a fair way in the hole.

        Then in three years who still holds them, and how much $$ us taxpayers are paying to keep them in New Zealand.

        And then on to the next sale, more losses, more subsidies.

        And then another two.

  7. Dv 7

    Just heard a comment on Morning Report.

    Apparently Shearer ducked the question about if you should buy the shares.

    That is smart response because he is not a register financial advisor and not supposed to give financial advice.

    As a matter of interest are celebrities involved in advertising financial product liable under the current law?

    • James N 7.1

      Shearer was repeatedly asked that given the government was selling the shares wouldn’t he prefer they remain in the hands of NZ investors – a classic Have You Stopped Beating Your Wife Question and thus classically unanswerable.

      To my mind he should simply have stuck-record with the line The “shares” are already 100% in New Zealand hands.

      He failed to do this and – alas – he came across as prevaricariting. Alas, a massive fail

      • Dv 7.1.1

        I was only going on a comment read out just before 9, i didn’t hear the interview.

        • Jim Nald

          Fyi the interview I heard was this one:

          [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/mnr/mnr-20120724-0726-loyalty_shares_too_costly-048.mp3" /]

      • felix 7.1.2

        I thought he pretty much did stuck-record his answer as you suggest he should, but it just wasn’t strongly or clearly enough worded.

        And repeating something weakly and waffly doesn’t quite have the same effect, innit.

        • James N

          It doesn’t, and then he compounded things – and came quite unstuck – when he fessed up “hands on heart” that he could not commit to buying the shares back “in the current economic climate”.

          • Socialist Paddy

            I am sorry but the Labour Party will not commit to buying the assets back, come hell or high water. 
            The reason is they do not know what the cost will be, and any sort of forced repatriation at a fixed price would scatter international investment like shoal fish. Even David Cunliffe during the leadership debate would only say that Labour would not rule out renationalising some of them and they would “look very hard” at buing them back.
            I am not saying this is fair or just, just that it reflects a conventional economic view which no doubt some will find frustrating.

            • TT

              That’s the whole problem in a nutshell: Labour shouldn’t give a rats behind about scaring international investors. They should be letting them know that a Labour government would immediately seize any foreign capital in NZ, during a comprehensive renationalisation programme for the benefit of the people. It’s time they stood for their supposed values, and reject all aspects of capitalism, globalisation, and the rest of neoliberal oppression.

  8. freedom 8

    There has been much speculation about the costs of the bonus shares, as there should be. What I have not seen is any accurate information on where these bonus shares are coming from. There are a finite number of shares to be floated, what is the break down and why has our Prime Minister not been forthright in stating the exact nature of the distribution of the shares? Coming to think of it with the numerous stories in the media on the subject, has he even been asked?

  9. Tangled up in blue 9

    It could cost a few million to beat them in the international courts

    What are you basing this on? (that NZ would beat them)

    I would like to see NZ ‘beat them in the international courts’ but would hate for us to end up being liable for compensating tobacco companies.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Welcome to the world of corporate dominance and sovereign impotence

      Exactly what TPTB have had in mind for 20 years

      However if we beat the tobacco companies we sue them for every smoking related treatment and surgery our health system has performed since 1950. Should come up to a tidy $20B-30B sum.

      • mike e 9.1.1

        If they do we could just raise the tax to pay the bill and then ban all Tobacco products and treat the sellers wholesalers& companies as criminals just like we do with other drugs which are much less dangerous.

  10. Graham 10

    Why is Labour not pledging to repatriate these assets and the looters bonuses when they are in power? This is clearly theft, so surely it is within our rights to take back what has been stolen from us. There must also be other ways of putting a spanner in the works…

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Too left wing and ‘radical’ for a free market oriented Labour caucus.

    • TT 10.2

      Labour is just as far in the fat-cats pockets as the tory scum are these days. If they had any integrity they would be advocating the end to corporate theft full stop. Any peoples government could immediately end this societal theft by (1) Nationalising without compensation the entire NZX, all private corporations with large asset bases, investment property and productive land. (2) Imprisoning criminal shareholders / farmers / slumlords who knowingly have perpetuated this theft with a year in prison for every $10K in equity they held at the time of renationalisation. This way we would regain control of productive assets for the people, and would be able to properly deal with those who are responsible for the current criminal kleptocracy. Scum like Shonkey and Blinglish shouldn’t be able to hide behind their “blind” trusts either. The worst of the Rothschild fans will be awarded with special treatment.

    • QoT 10.3

      I can somewhat sympathise with the usual argument against this – that theoretically a Labour/whoever government coming in in 2014 could be faced with such a shitty financial situation following six years of NACT that they simply cannot prioritise re-nationalisation over, say, keeping the lights on and the schools open.

      On the other hand, they could just say “Renationalising these assets is a priority; but since NACT are running the government dry giving favours to their mates we may not be able to fix all their fuckups as quickly as we’d like.”

      On the third hand, that would probably still leave cynics like me saying “nice wiggle room you left there, Dave.” But it would be nice to hear them say something (other than “oh, but not energy generation.”)

  11. Stephen Doyle 11

    I suspect that the reason Shearer et al won’t commit to a share buy back is that they suspect that because of the current miss management of the economy, there won’t be any money to do so.

    • tracey 11.1

      and it will cost much more to buy it back than we will get for sellimg… As it always is

    • Draco T Bastard 11.2

      That’s why it should be renationalisation without compensation.

      • Murray Olsen 11.2.1

        Exactly. When the police confiscate stolen goods, they don’t compensate the receiver.

        • TT

          Precisely. Labour and the Greens need to let the criminal kleptocrats know that any piece of these assets bought would be met with a prison sentence for receiving stolen goods. I can’t see the float going too well with the fear of not only expropriation, but significant prison time hanging over heads.

  12. Graham 12

    But if they legislated a reasonable cap on what power companies are allowed to charge the public per kW hour, thereby making power prices lower, share prices would plummet and the government could buy them back very cheaply by raising taxes for the super wealthy. Surely with an overwhelming majority opposed to these sales Labour could legitimately make a pledge like this?

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Great idea, or simply mandate that the board of directors will always have a majority of directors who are government officials. That’ll crash the share price for starters.

      Of course, its still too left wing and ‘radical’ for a free market focussed caucus.

    • freedom 12.2

      an audit of the processes that generate the ever increasing kw/h charge would be a welcome first step.

    • bad12 12.3

      Logically you would think that Labour/Greens would be yelling from the roof-tops that the stolen shares will be put back in the public ownership,

      They won’t though citing such things as not knowing what shape the economy will be in, to me that’s a weak argument from both Shearer and Norman and would suggest that their ‘plan’ is to leave the tax system as it is except for the introduction of a capital gains tax in a late attempt to deflate the cost of housing,

      What Labour/Green should be doing is turning Nationals tax cuts upside down and applying them to the economy where the bottom 40% gain the tax cuts that under Nationals foolishness went to the top 40%, that along with a financial transaction tax would suffice to give the Government enough working capital to buy back the stolen shares and implement it’s own economic and social programs,

      Unfortunately i don’t see that occurring under the management of a Labour/Green Government, it appears from here that all 3 party’s are now engaged in an electoral fight over the same voting pool, which will simply leave us with Government of, for, and, by, the middle class…

  13. Ed 13

    I, like many thousands of New Zealanders, have savings in a Kiwisaver account. This has been encouraged by both Labour and National, and I am happy not to be trying to make investment decisions myself, knowing that is being done by professionals who will also keep the funds reasonably fully invested, which I could not do myself. I don’t have the money to invest directly into the share floats, but I am upset that as an ordinary “Mom and Pop” investor (actually we think of ourselves as more “Mum and Dad” types, but perhaps National is an American political party) we will not be able to benefit from the bonus shares. Kiwisaver was created for ordinary New Zealanders – why are they being excluded from benefiting from this incentive to keep the shares?

    It seems to me that if people have enough to be guaranteed an allocation of up to $2000 and given an incentive to keep the shares, the same should apply in some way to ordinary New Zealanders who have done the right thing in saving through Kiwisaver. Or is this “incentive” only for the wealthy?

    • freedom 13.1

      since you have to be a kiwi to be in kiwisaver is makes little sense to not give kiwisaver an exemption that will help kiwis

      oh right i see the issue now, helping kiwis is not what the sale is about, silly me

    • bad12 13.2

      Ma and Pa investors are only being pandered to for 2 reasons, (1) is obvious in that this is simply part 2 of National’s election bribery, part (1) being the tax cuts for the top 40% of earners with the edict from National to SAVE them,

      Reason (2) is the removal of the assets into the hands of off-shore interests at such a time as the sale of the assets is no longer an item on the front pages of the media…

  14. Nick 14

    Cocaine is on the increase again apparently. I wonder if Columbia will come a sue us if we cracked down on that?

    I’m interested to see how Australia gets on with their plain packaging, not because I think plain packaging would make much difference but because I want to see a country assert is sovereignty over the interests of big business and win.

    Asset sales and bonus shares don’t get me started, the proceeds from these sales have already been spent three times over (paying down debt, investing in the companies themselves AND building more assets such as schools – apparently) and now they are spending hundreds of millions more to give people that were probably going to buy shares anyway and incentive to do so and to vote National next election to keep their bonus.

  15. Jackal 15

    Looks like another reason for the Maori party to walk the talk… Associate Minister of Health, Tariana Turia, announced in April this year that the Government had decided to introduce plain packaging. Now Key has come along and humiliated her once again, showing that the Maori party is just an ineffectual lapdog!

    As for the looters bonus… The real silly thing is that even by Nationals best estimates, the deferred debt payments compared to lost dividends would only see a benefit of $12 million. That was before Key announced the looters bonus, which would cost up to $1.3 billion. This makes the entire exercise economically irresponsible.

    • freedom 15.1

      and still no official word on where those loyalty shares are coming from!!!

      How can that not be the big question, everyone is so focused on the $$$ they are ignoring the fact the dollars only exist because the shares will exist, so where are the shares coming from and why will no-one ask the PM this most simple of questions ?

  16. tracey 16

    Interestingly if the govt thinks a small number of mums and dads are going to buy, tgey would value the cost of the bonus lower.

    I note the pm said smoking kills etc etc but people have a right to choice. So can he tell me if i can buy cannabis in my dairy too?

  17. Dv 17

    SO the BONUS for holding shares for 3 years is going to be 1% according Key.

    Thus the ‘bonus’ of 2k of share held is $20 of about $6.50 per year.

    (Calculation based on the estimate by Key that ALL bonus shares for ALL floats is 60 to 80 mil. 60m is 1% on 6bill)

    • Lanthanide 17.1

      It is likely to be 1 in 10 shares, which is 10%, not 1%.

      • Dv 17.1.1

        So the over all cost is for all the bonus shares is600m , not the 60m “guessed” by Key?

        • freedom

          plus the $130 million consultancy costs to sell them

        • Lanthanide

          Only if 100% of all shares sold go to private NZers eligible for the bonus, and they hold their shares for 3 years. There is also unlikely to be any bonus shares for the Air NZ selldown, as it is already partly privatised.

          The Greens estimate of $200m is more realistic.

  18. AmaKiwi 18

    A comment on John Key’s tactics, which he repeatedly uses with great success.
    “I agree with you but because of xyz I am sorry to say I can’t do it.”
    This falsely leads you to believe he is on your side, when in reality he is dead set against you.  Tobacco control is a beautiful example because there are so many ways it could be restricted without foreign companies having a way to challenge it.  One simple example:  Instead of plain packaging just declare tobacco to be a dangerous substance which can only be sold in pharmacies to persons over 21 years of age.  A creative person who WANTED to cut tobacco sales could find many solutions.  But he doesn’t want to.  He only pretends he does so you will like him.

    • bad12 18.1

      That has been my whole point for quite some time, class tobacco as a prescription only poison exactly the same as what ‘party pills’ are,

      Register all the current users,(addicts),with their doctors and only allow the supply of the product to those over 18 who are registered addicts,

      Refuse in the future to register anyone who is now under the age of 18…

  19. tracey 19

    Exactly ama. We could make it a class a b or c drug too. I am pretty sure no international treaty protects the right to sell illegal drugs.

    Spot on dv. It seems pretty obvious yet it works

    • TT 19.1

      If they were classed today, both tobacco and alcohol would be a class B substance. I think that would be a fair outcome. If it was made retrospective we could lock up the peddlers of these poisons too.

  20. If John Key does not sign the TPPA then they will not be able to sue us, but Key does not care about New Zealand or New Zealander’s he only cares about the Corporate sector and the Banking system he represents.

    To go to plain packaging may cost the corporate thousands of $ in profits, oh no no can’t do that to a corporate business, better to make the taxpayer pay.

    • infused 20.1

      Do you even understand the TPPA? Or are you just being retarded?

      • Colonial Viper 20.1.1

        Cigarette corporations to sue NZ if we limit their ability to sell poison to our children. More of that to come under the TPPA.

  21. freedom 21

    personally i feel one of the more interesting $ figures to see will be the first announcement of Key’s wealth in the year after his time as PM.

  22. gobsmacked 22

    Key squirming in the House.

    Mallard interjects, so Lockwood tells him the question Labour should ask.

    Shearer doesn’t listen, and ploughs on with prepared questions.

    Flavell challenges Key on cost vis-a-vis treaty settlements, and there’s a gaffe from Key in reply (treaty costs just got a lot higher, apparently). Nobody notices the gaffe.

    Key waffles some more, and gets away with it. So … business as usual in Parliament.

    • gobsmacked 22.1

      But Russel Norman really gets under Key’s skin. You can hear the teeth sucking noise at full volume. And – alleluia – an instant follow-up question! Just throw his answer straight back at him, and Key flounders.

      • Carol 22.1.1

        Yes, I thought sucking in air through his teeth was a “tell” that Key is lying. It was noticeable when, in response to Norman’s question about the legality of bonus shares without the costs having been submitted to parliament…

        Key said something like, “unlike the opposition this government always does things legally…….ssssssft”

  23. tracey 23

    Remember when the nats and their cheerleaders bemoaned labours alleged social engineering.? Interesting article by paul buchanan today. http://www.kiwipolitico.com/2012/07/market-driven-social-engineering/

    • rosy 23.1

      Yeah, I humpfed at that contradiction when I read that Key was trying to change the way people think about investment.

      Change the way people think… the right will never admit to social engineering even though they practice it all the time. They call it common sense, ‘for your benefit’.

      • Draco T Bastard 23.1.1

        And the social-engineering that the right engage in is almost always bad for the community. Great for the rich.

  24. AmaKiwi 24

    TVNZ is reporting the government is going to stop our annual donation to the UN International Development Organization ($500,000 a year).
    Why?  The government’s excuse is that the money can be better spent on our Pacific island neighbors.  I suspect the truth is a way to cut the budget by book keeping scams.  Instead of writing a check to the UN, the government can now use much of that $500,000 to pay the salaries of Foreign Ministry employees who (on paper) are working on Pacific island desks.  With ministry salaries and overheads charged against the $500,000 it won’t be hard to insure not one cent ever gets to needy people abroad.
    Nice scam!

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      That’s odd. Because we just agreed to lend the IMF $1.26B if they want it.


      • rosy 24.1.1

        CV, that’s because it’s so much more important to prop up the system than improve the livelihoods of the truly desperate. /sarc

        • ropata

          also give your corporate mates tax breaks, and the wealthy tax cuts.
          no CGT or Tobin tax, but raise GST on all the peasants
          keep the rentier class happy, the dollar high, and property bubbling

          whatever you do, prevent anything resembling local democracy in AKL and CHC
          polluters and exploiters must be allowed a free hand
          get rid of red tape (e.g. building standards, mines inspectors, maritime safety officers)

          after all that hard work take a break in Hawaii: you’ve earned it!

  25. mike e 25

    Most of it looks like its already been used up to protect Bainimarma .

  26. Populuxe1 26

    Lordy lordy – nothing makes some so shrill and self-righteous as people who like the occasional cigarette. Goodness knows that life isn’t crappy enough in this country without passing laws to stamp out a little pleasure, supporting laws intended to manipulate and coerce the poor (which is what anti-smoking legislation really is, it certainly doesn’t impact on the rich). It amazes me how hypocritical some people are, who claim to be on the side of working people and at the same time enjoy lording over them and patronising them because they think they know what’s best.

    • Tracey 26.1

      should we sell them cocaine too, just because they enjoy it? Be consistent in your arguments.

  27. AmaKiwi 27

    David Shearer, please reply.
    John Key will delay tobacco plain packaging.  Labour MP Clare Curran tweets that Key is a ‘wimp’ for not standing up to the tobacco companies.  David Shearer supports Key: “I actually think that what John Key is doing in this case is actually a responsible thing to do.  What he should be doing is checking out what’s entailed in terms of costs.”
    Mr. Shearer, do you think companies whose only purpose is to profit by poisoning our people deserve our respect?
    Mr. Shearer, do you think the public health costs, suffering, and deaths of our people caused by smoking justify taking tobacco companies’ blackmail threats seriously?
    Mr. Shearer, do you think it helps our party to be seen as nothing more than National’s lapdog when you praise John Key?  You know the overwhelming majority of Kiwis oppose to smoking. On this issue, the Greens and Maori parties are the only ones who speak for the majority of us.
    Mr. Shearer, why did you publicly humiliate Labour MP Clare Curran?

  28. Tracey 28

    IF Labour and the Greens came out and said, when next elected (whenever that may be) into Govt they will nationalise the companies sold, and return only the purchase price paid (not including the loyalty bonus), would more or less people buy shares in the company??

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Submission period for whitebait consultation extended
    Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage has extended the date for people to have their say on proposed changes to improve management of whitebait across New Zealand.   Submissions were due to close on 2 March 2020 but will now remain open until 9am on Monday 16 March 2020.   “I have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • New international protection for frequent fliers
    The endangered toroa/Antipodean albatross has new international protection for its 100,000km annual migration, thanks to collaborative efforts led by New Zealand, Australia and Chile.   Today, 130 countries agreed to strictly protect Antipodean albatross at the Conference of Parties on the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Government to regulate vaping
      No sales to under-18-year-olds No advertising and sponsorship of vaping products and e-cigarettes No vaping or smokeless tobacco in smokefree areas Regulates vaping product safety comprehensively, - including devices, flavours and ingredients Ensure vaping products are available for those who want to quit smoking   Vaping regulation that balances ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Justice Minister represents New Zealand at Berlin nuclear disarmament summit
    Justice Minister Andrew Little will travel to Berlin tomorrow to represent New Zealand at a high-level summit on nuclear disarmament. This year, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) celebrates 50 years since it entered into force. “New Zealand’s proud record and leadership on nuclear disarmament is unwavering, so it’s important we are present ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Prime Minister to visit Fiji and Australia
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will visit two of New Zealand’s most important Pacific partners, Fiji and Australia, next week. The visit to Fiji will be the first by a New Zealand Prime Minister in four years and comes during the 50th anniversary of Fijian independence and diplomatic relations between our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Next steps in Criminal Cases Review Commission announced
    Justice Minister Andrew Little and New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball, have today announced the appointment of the Chief Commissioner of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), the location, and the membership of the Establishment Advisory Group. Colin Carruthers QC has been appointed Chief Commissioner of the CCRC for an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Horticultural Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists announced
    Māori Development Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Agriculture Minister Hon Damien O’Connor co-announced the first horticultural finalists for the Ahuwhenua Trophy celebrating excellence in the Māori agricultural sector.  The three finalists are Ngai Tukairangi Trust from Mt Maunganui, Otama Marere Trust from Tauranga, and Hineora Orchard Te Kaha 15B Ahuwhenua ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New support for students with dyslexia
    A new kete of resources to strengthen support for students with dyslexia will provide extra tools for the new Learning Support Coordinators (LSCs) as they start in schools, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Minister launched the kete in Wellington this morning, at the first of three induction ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rental reforms progress to select committee stage
    The Government continues to make progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the First Reading of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill and its referral to the Social Services and Community Select Committee.  “Now is the opportunity for landlords, tenants and others who want ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Papua New Guinea Prime Minister to visit New Zealand
    Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Hon James Marape will visit New Zealand from 21-25 February, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “New Zealand and Papua New Guinea have a warm and friendly relationship. I look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Marape here and strengthening the relationship between our two countries,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Free school lunches served up to thousands
    Thousands of children have begun receiving a free lunch on every day of the school week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. The Government’s free and healthy school lunch programme is under way for 7,000 students at 31 schools in Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti and Bay of Plenty / Waiariki, extending ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Social Wellbeing Agency replaces Social Investment Agency with new approach
    The Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni today announced a new approach that continues to broaden the Government’s social sector focus from a narrow, investment approach to one centred on people and wellbeing. Minister Sepuloni said redefining the previous approach to social investment by combining science, data and lived experience ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to strengthen protections for whistleblowers
    The Government is strengthening the Protected Disclosures Act to provide better protection for whistle blowers, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins said today. “The Protected Disclosures Act is meant to encourage people to speak up about serious wrongdoing in the workplace and protect them from losing their jobs or being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PM speech at Parliamentary Chinese New Year celebration 2020
    Nǐn hǎo (Hello in Mandarin). Xīn Nián Kuài Lè (Happy New Year in Mandarin) Néi Hóu (Hello in Cantonese). Sun Nin Fai Lok (Happy New Year in Cantonese) Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Thank you for your invitation to attend this celebration today. I would like to acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • IPANZ Annual Address
    Kia ora. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. Nau mai haere mai ki te Whare Pāremata. E ngā mana whenua ki tēnei rohe Taranaki Whānui, Te Upoko o Te Ika, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Raukawa – kei te mihi, kei te mihi, kei te mihi. E ngā mana, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 2020 IPANZ Annual Address
    Kia ora. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. Nau mai haere mai ki te Whare Pāremata. E ngā mana whenua ki tēnei rohe Taranaki Whānui, Te Upoko o Te Ika, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Raukawa – kei te mihi, kei te mihi, kei te mihi. E ngā mana, e ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tougher penalties for gun crime a step closer
    Tougher penalties for gun crime are a step closer with the passage of firearms reform legislation through another stage in Parliament. The Arms Legislation Bill has tonight passed its Second Reading. “The changes have one objective - to prevent firearms falling into the wrong hands,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Arms Legislation Bill: Second Reading
    Introduction Mr Speaker We all know why we are here today. It has been a long journey. The journey did not actually begin on 15 March 2019. It began on 30 June 1997. Almost 23 years ago, Justice Sir Thomas Thorp told us what was wrong with our firearms legislation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New era for vocational education
    The Government’s work to put trades and vocational education back on the agenda took another major step forward today with the passing of the Education (Vocational Education and Training Reform) Amendment Bill, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is a watershed day for trades and vocational education. These law changes formalise ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bill to Amend the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act
    Speeding up the return of Christchurch regeneration activities to local leadership is behind the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Amendment Bill introduced to Parliament today by Minister Megan Woods. “As we approach nine years since the February 2011 earthquake in Canterbury, and with the transition to local leadership well underway, the time ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Milford Track to partly reopen after storm damage
    Hundreds of New Zealanders and international visitors will be able to get back out into nature with the Milford Track partially reopening next week, after extensive assessments and repairs, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The popular Great Walk has been closed since 3 February after an extreme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government drives low-emissions transport momentum
    Up to 110 new EV chargers nationwide in cities and regions 50 electric vehicles for ride-sharing The Government is helping deliver more infrastructure and options for low emissions transport through new projects, Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods says. Tauranga, Nelson, Levin, New Plymouth and Oamaru are just some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis better off under Coalition Government
    New Zealanders are increasingly better off under this Government as wages rise and families have more disposable income, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. Stats NZ reported today that average household disposable incomes after housing costs rose 4.9% in 2019. This was the highest rise in four years and came as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Another step towards restoring rights for screen production workers
    All New Zealanders need to have their voices heard at work to ensure we have an inclusive and productive economy. Today we introduce a Bill to do this for workers in the New Zealand screen industry, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Screen Industry Workers Bill will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Enhanced Taskforce Green for Southland and South Otago
    The Government has announced further help for the Southland and Otago regions to speed up recovery efforts from the floods.  “I’ve approved Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG), making $500,000 available to help with the clean-up in Fiordland, Southland, and the Clutha district in Otago,” Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Employers and Industry take the lead to connect students to vocational education
    Following the announcement that more than 340 schools will be funded to run events promoting vocational education, the Government has announced it will fund a further 257 events to be run by employers and industry. “These industry-run events will allow more than 30,000 students to connect with more than 2,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Rental reforms a step closer with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill
    Today the Government is making progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill in Parliament.  “This Bill includes a series of reforms to improve the wellbeing of the 609,700 households that live in rented homes, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Biosecurity Minister announces world first eradication of pea weevil
    A Government programme to wipe out pea weevil has achieved a world first, with Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor today announcing the successful eradication of the noxious pest from Wairarapa. This means the nearly four-year ban on pea plants and pea straw was lifted today. Commercial and home gardeners can again grow ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Temporary Accommodation Service activated for Southland flooding
    Southland residents hit by flooding caused by heavy rainfall can now access help finding temporary accommodation with the Government activating the Temporary Accommodation Service, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare announced today. “The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to help ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bridges: Over-hyped and under-delivered
    “Is that it?” That’s Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s response to Simon Bridges’ much-hyped economic speech today. “Simon Bridges just gave the most over-hyped and under-delivered speech that I can remember during my time in politics,” Grant Robertson said. “It’s not surprising. Simon Bridges literally said on the radio this morning ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police to trial eye in the sky in Christchurch
    A trial deployment of the Police Eagle helicopter in Christchurch will test whether the aircraft would make a significant difference to crime prevention and community safety. “The Bell 429 helicopter will be based in Christchurch for five weeks, from 17 February to 20 March,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Momentum of trade talks continues with visits to promote Pacific and Middle East links
    The Government has kept up the pace of its work to promote New Zealand’s trade interests and diversify our export markets, with visits to Fiji and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker. Building momentum to bring the PACER Plus trade and development agreement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Coalition Govt’s investment in Customs nets record drugs haul: 3 tonnes stopped at borders in 2019
    The Coalition Government’s investment in a strong border and disrupting transnational organised crime produced record results for stopping drugs in 2019, says Minister of Customs Jenny Salesa. The illegal drugs were seized at the New Zealand border by Customs, and overseas by Customs’ international border partners before the drugs could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Separated scenic cycleway starts
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off construction of a separated cycleway alongside Tamaki Drive. A two-way separated cycleway will be built along the northern side of Tamaki Drive, between the Quay Street Cycleway extension and Ngapipi Road. There will be a separate walking path alongside. Phil Twyford said giving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Earthquake-Prone Building loan scheme: eligibility criteria announced
    Owner-occupiers of unit and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings will have certainty about the financial support they’ll be eligible for with the release of criteria for an upcoming assistance scheme, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Travel restrictions to remain in place as coronavirus precaution
    Temporary restrictions on travel from China will remain in place as a precautionary measure to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The restrictions which prevent foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through, mainland China from entering New Zealand have been extended for a further 8 days. This position ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Over $1 million to help Tairāwhiti youth into employment
    Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today that Tairāwhiti rangatahi will benefit from an investment made by the Government’s He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) scheme. The funding will go to the Tautua Village, Kauneke programme and the Matapuna Supported Employment Programme which will fund 120 rangatahi over two years. “Both programmes work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • School attendance has to improve
    All parents and caregivers need to ensure that their children go to school unless they are sick, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin said today. “The school attendance results for 2019 show, across the board, a drop in the number of students going to school regularly,” the Minister says. “Apart from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Crown and Moriori sign a Deed of Settlement
    A Deed of Settlement agreeing redress for historical Treaty claims has been signed by the Crown and Moriori at Kōpinga Marae on Rēkohu (Chatham Islands) today, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little has announced. Moriori have a tradition of peace that extends back over 600 years. This settlement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato Expressway driving towards completion
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today with Māori King Tuheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero VII officially opened the country’s newest road, the $384 million Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway. The 15km four-lane highway with side and central safety barriers takes State Highway 1 east of Huntly town, across lowlands and streams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago