Imagine if National had not sold the shares in our companies

Written By: - Date published: 3:39 pm, September 9th, 2014 - 70 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

Companies in which National sold off shares have all recently reported their financial performance for the past 12 months and the amount of the final dividend they are paying.  I thought that I would have a back of the envelope stab at the amount of money that New Zealand Inc is missing out on to highlight the stupidity of the sell off of these shares.  I am presuming that all dividend payments were made under the new ownership regime, that is to private owners.  Campaign pressures prevent me from digging into the figures too far and working out if some of the dividends were nevertheless paid to the Crown.  I believe this approach is valid because it gives us an idea of what sort of yearly dividend stream the policy has diverted from public to private interests.

It is interesting to see the change in directors in the power companies.  Meridian’s directors are all the same.  MRP has two new appointments out of eight.  Genesis has two new out of nine.  The directors are predominately those appointed by the Government.  The suggestion that private ownership would bring increased fiscal discipline is a fallacy unless of course private shareholders were scrutinising the companies’ performance more than Bill English and the Treasury were.  A failure on the part of English and Treasury should never justify the sale of profitable Crown assets however.

As to the companies’ performances:

  • Meridian’s net profit after tax was $229.8 million and a total dividend of 13.01c per share is to be paid.  This includes a special divided of 2c per share from the sale of surplus land. The Government has lost us $163.4 million in dividend payments alone.
  • Mighty River Power announced a net profit of $212 million up on the IPO forecast of $160 million. It paid a dividend of 13.5c per share.  Dividend loss to us, $91.2 million.
  • Genesis Energy announced a net profit after tax of $49.2 million and paid a dividend of 13c per share.  Dividend loss to us, $61.9 million.  There is something unusual about the accounts which I have not yet got my head around.
  • And Air New Zealand had a good year announcing a net profit after tax of $262 million and total dividends of 0.20c per share.  Dividend loss to us, $44.3 million.

So all up in lost dividend alone in the past 12 months we may have missed out on $360.7 million.  Sure we have saved some money in interest savings but given the increase in the values of the companies and their performances it is clear that New Zealand inc has done very poorly.

All the companies have given a return which is greater than the government’s cost of borrowing.  And these figures do not include any allowance for bonus schemes or the cost of actually selling the shares.

If we had retained ownership we could have done such things as increased spending on health and education or reduced taxes.  These could have been the real justifiable here are the figures type tax cuts, not the hypothetical hypocritical cuts we are being promised by National.

New Zealand you have been had.

70 comments on “Imagine if National had not sold the shares in our companies”

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    Make sure you all think of this when you head into that voting booth.

    Which parties will repurchase these assets if they have control. Those parties need your vote.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      Repossess, not repurchase. Take them back with extreme prejudice: now we know the extent of this government’s corruption they must be seen as the proceeds of crime.

      • Enough is Enough 1.1.1

        good point

        no wishy washy bullshit about if the economic conditions permit us.

        Just take back what was stolen from us.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1

          A ratfucking government is an illegitimate government. All their decisions must be treated as crime scenes.

          • TheContrarian 1.1.1.1.1

            Not liking the government or what they are doing does not make them illegitimate.

            Come back when they lose an election yet remain in power – then they’ll become illegitimate

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Is that what I said? That I don’t like them therefore they’re illegitimate? Why no, it isn’t.

              I was very specific, in fact. I said a ratfucking government is illegitimate, and its decisions are crime scenes.

              It’s an emotive term, ratfucking. In my own defence I use it since it was coined and given currency by its perpetrators.

              Want to argue the substance of my remark, Conty? Or something else?

              • TheContrarian

                I was arguing with the substance as the government isnt illegitimate. Given you only gave “ratfucking” as a reason I assumed it was because you didn’t like to current govt as a reason as opposed to them actually fucking rats.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Are you really going to advance your pretended ignorance of the term where a substantive argument belongs?

                  Political sabotage or dirty tricks.

                  There, now you can’t pretend ignorance any more.

                  Corrupt methods yield corrupt decisions and corrupt results. Your denial is indistinguishable from complicity. Are you one of these scum?

                  • TheContrarian

                    I’m just trying to figure out in what way this is an illegitimate government because the only reason given so far is “because ratfuckers”

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Really, is that my argument? Or did I lay it out in more detail in a charitable attempt to ignore your deceitful pretence that you don’t understand the term?

                      If you can’t figure out how a deliberate scheme to undermine democracy (eg: the plan to lower turnout) affects the legitimacy of a government, that’s probably because your prejudice requires that you don’t figure it out, you poor sad follower.

                    • Bazar

                      To claim that the government isn’t legitimate “because ratfuckers”, goes to show how much contempt you have for democracy.

                      Each vote at the last election counted. To disregard the results and claim a crime “because ratfuckers” is as hilarious as it is delusional.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      It’s a good thing my argument isn’t “because ratfuckers” then, eh.

                      Probably a good thing I didn’t challenge the validity of the votes cast either.

                      The sad thing is that right wing gimps can’t even address the issue without lying about my argument. It’s a consequence of their low intelligence if you ask me.

                  • TheContrarian

                    I’m just trying to figure in what way the govt is illegitimate given the only reason forwarded so far is “because ratfuckers”

                    (apologies if this is a duplicate post – something weird happened during the submit process)

                    • Rich

                      I agree with One Anon. I also agree with you quite a lot but on this one I’m with one anon. He or she is saying what we all think.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Thanks Rich.

                      Hager is hammering the message home in his speeches. The people who have the most information are feeling cowed and silenced, and it’s deliberate.

                      It’s a direct consequence of the SOE model, and the ratfuckers’ willingness to exploit commercial values to enforce compliance.

          • dave 1.1.1.1.2

            the incoming government needs to set up a royal commission into the John key government corruption i say use power nz policy to confiscate there profits then buy them back at half the value but i think with universal kiwi saver these assets should be vested in perpetuity in the Cullen fund and kiwi saver because there a target for thieving nacts and I worry about the Cullen fund these nacts will loot that to given a chance.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1.2.1

              I don’t think subterfuge is a good plan at all: the Royal Commission must have an open brief and the power to compel witnesses. No doubt John Key is a flight risk.

              The Commission will hear evidence of illegal activity in government. If proven, I suggest judicial review is the appropriate avenue to revisit any Ministerial decisions tainted by the ratfuckers.

              Our international standing has been seriously damaged by Key et al, we have to follow an open legal process to address the issue or they win.

  2. Rodel 2

    How does this get widely publicized? Not through our timid journalists I’ll bet.

  3. wyndham 3

    On top of that little lot is the investment interest foregone on the NZ Superannuation fund brought about by Nats cutting the contributions.
    Don’t know the amount but it’s considerable. I seem to remember you Micky, running a post on it not too long ago.

  4. StarSpangledBallet 4

    The New Zealand public received approximately $4.7B in cash from the partial sale, which included the present value of expected future cashflows to equity holders i.e. dividends. Ergo your contention that New Zealanders have forgone $360M is erroneous.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      You seem financially literate. Tell me, whose long term financial interests was it in to gift our nation’s strategic assets with a massive 8.5% ROI, to the private sector?

      • Rich 4.1.1

        The present value of that dividend stream with the asset worth 12.25b (a 5% year on year increase) at the end of a 20 year period is 6.98 billion dollars. (assuming a 7% annual return but with assets like this that’s probably quite high, in other words this is a conservative estimate).

        Effectively they have received at least a 52% discount on the value of the asset.

        • Rich 4.1.1.1

          Or in other words they’re getting an 11% return on their investment in interest alone, one that as reliable as this should be only getting someone maybe 4.5%. Add in the probable capital appreciation and they’re looking at maybe a 14-15% return. Their alternative in this sort of market (i.e as safe as houses) would have been US bonds at 3.24% (current 30 year rate). Ripping off New Zealand is a good investment decision.

    • mickysavage 4.2

      Dividend income is only one measurement of the worth of a company. It’s underlying value is also important and if this goes up and you have sold the shares then you miss out.

      I would also be interested in the net amount received for the sale which takes into account the cost of selling and bonus shares etc.

      The bottom line is that even on dividend flow it was a silly decision to make. An increase in share value only makes the decision worse.

      • mickysavage 4.2.1

        In fact if you do another quick back of the envelope calculation on the change in value of the companies based on their share prices then the value of the shares sold based on today’s share price have changed as follows:

        Meridian – $251m increase
        MRP – $47m decrease
        Genesis – $157m increase
        Air NZ – $124m increase

        Collectively the shares that we sold are now worth $485 million more than what they were based on the price we sold them for. And we have lost out on the dividend income.

        • indiana 4.2.1.1

          “back of the envelope calculation”

          That’s been the downfall of all Labour’s policies…you really shouldn’t entice people to cast a vote based on this method of analysis.

          • mickysavage 4.2.1.1.1

            More of a spreadsheet calculation but feel free to state if my figures are not correct.

            • indiana 4.2.1.1.1.1

              I’m not going to state that your figures are incorrect – but I will suggest that these figures have been massaged by you to try and get a message across that it was all a bad decision to sell. When you state that the shares sold are worth $485M and we have lost dividends you haven’t also stated under state ownership what the growth trend of that share were or the dividend paid out to make a fair comparison. I really do question that under state ownership the proportion of shares sold would have reached $485M.

              • mickysavage

                Not at all. The figures are the figures. If the assets had been retained in public ownership the dividends paid may have been smaller but the value of the companies would have gone up by a larger amount.

          • Tracey 4.2.1.1.2

            Without a touch of irony… Nats clayton tax cuts anyone

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Well, technically that $360M hasn’t been “lost”, instead it’s gone to better, wealthier households.

  6. Ad 6

    Mickey It’s too late for counterfactuals.

    Labour isn’t proposing getting them back. Or their dividends. They have no answer.

    Maybe in a post-victory policy cabinet they could amalgamate the governance of ACC, EQC and NZSuperfund and re-weight for local utilities…

    …in a post-victory world …

    • mickysavage 6.1

      Yep “told you so” is one of the most unsatisfying phrases in the English Language.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1

        Quite easy to get them back when the decision to sell them was a crime, perpetrated by criminals. Investigate the links between the National Party and the biggest beneficiaries of the sale, or accept that gang members like Ede and Key and Lusk are going to rule the country.

        Your call.

      • Ergo Robertina 6.1.2

        “The four most beautiful words in our common language: I told you so.”
        – gore vidal.
        that National hasn’t been crucified for this mess is what’s ‘unsatisfying’.

  7. johnm 7

    Smirking Chimp has done it. He loots NZ and now a tax bribe while debt soars and child poverty doesn’t exist, the triumph of filthy greed and NZers are culpable stooges. The man is sickening puppet of the U$ hollow nothing as well.

  8. blue leopard 8

    Every child in poverty could have been given $1000 this year for that amount. The families in poverty probably would have been able to solve a lot of issues for that amount.
    Instead the money was given to people who already had plenty.

    Jolly good.

    Vote left.

  9. Weepus beard 9

    At $360 million per annum we would have accounted for the $4.7 billion in 12-15 years.

    Hardly a lifetime away yet the selling of those shares was a once in a multiple generation event.

  10. Black Lemming 10

    If smirky chimp was growing up in a state house in Aranui now he would never go on to be a flash banker or the PM of NZ .

    Why ?

    Because , he would become the victim of his own child poverty .There would be no food in the fridge , he’d be too weak to concentrate in class and would end up as a dopesmoking temp worker on a council rubbish truck.

    • Murray Olsen 10.1

      Then he’d get drug tested and lose his job, plus any prospects of further employment. Then, as he tries to get help from WINZ, the fun really starts.

  11. Jepenseque 11

    Going by the arguments here the govt should own all assets that return above its cost of borrowing. That would be almost everything..

    • Zorr 11.1

      Why, yes Jepenseque.

      Don’t know about you, but if I was wanting to make an ongoing profit, that is *exactly* what I would be doing.

      EDIT: Ah, see what you were driving at there now thanks to “reason” below. The NZ government should not be selling our assets full stop. They rule this country for the people, not for *some* people.

  12. JanMeyer 12

    Just imagine … if ants were called elephants and elephants ants, I’d be able to squash an elephant!

  13. reason 13

    No jepenseque………. just holding onto the ones built and paid for by past generations of taxpayers and already owned by all New Zealanders is what we had wanted.

    The old ‘electricity department ‘ had a brief to provide reliable power at the cheapest possible price for the benefit of our country.

    Private companies have the motivation to make the most profit for themselves ……… spot the difference which is as small as enron

    • tc 13.1

      Would the old NZED have taken over 15years to resolve diversity of supply to akl CBD only recently resolved by transpower and vector after the 90’s blackout.

      Our power system is top heavy with self and shareholder interests now and nowhere near as efficient at as it was under the NZED and a classic example of why essential infrastructure needs to stay in public hands.

    • distubed 13.2

      100% I worked for two power schemes Manpouri and Turangi.

      They in 1966 said we would have cheap always available power.

      I’m afraid those days are gone my friend.
      Hollow men hollowing out our country to the rich foreigners.

  14. BM 14

    I don’t see the issue

    If there’s a problem, just tax the sheeple some other way. eg: up the ACC levy, no one ever looks that one on the pay slip.

    • Lanthanide 14.1

      “If there’s a problem, just tax the sheeple some other way. eg: up the ACC levy, no one ever looks that one on the pay slip.”

      That explains why National put it up to 2.04% under their watch, from the 1.3% it was under Labour. Thanks!

      Also explains why it’s now 1.45% coming up to the election, and Key has made some ephemeral statements that it’ll be reduced in the years ahead.

  15. reason 15

    btw …. By old I’m referring back to ministry of work and MED days .

  16. tc 16

    What about the loss on sale as I thought even the 49% flogged was for billions less then the ‘valuation’.

    Not that any valuation would be able to capture the amount having cheap reliable power for business and residential consumers is objectively.

    It’s not only a necessity of life but a fundamental economic driver that is now majority not in the public hands as contact went last innings from the Nats.

    Also didn’t Blinglish slip a one off divvy out the back door of meridian after herr brownless shonkey power station swap loaded genesis with more debt in order to cough up to meridian.

    • Puddleglum 16.1

      National/Treasury were hoping for between 5 and 7 billion for the sold assets. They received below that ($4.7bn).

      At the time many business and economics commentators were pointing out that the sales seemed to be ideologically/politically driven rather than commercially driven as it was not a good time to sell.

  17. SPC 17

    Borrow a few billion and buy the shares back at the price that the shareholder paid for them.

    At 5% public debt (it’s lower at the moment), the cost is c $230M pa – $130Mpa less than the dividend return.

    Why did Labour not run on this policy?

    PS – the market impact of offering to buy back shares at the price people paid for them – is those sitting on unrealised gains trying to take them and driving down the price on the market back to issue levels.

    As Winnie might be well aware.

  18. philj 18

    ‘NZ Inc.’ is a term coined? by neo lib radicals to frame our society using corporate terminology. I don’t think this terminology is approximate in
    a left leading blog post. Otherwise, great work MS.

    • the pigman 18.1

      I think MS might be doing so facetiously, you know um, colonise and appropriate the language of the Right to turn it back on them in a rueful/sarcastic manner?

      The Right are masters of this (cf. “Taxpayers Union”, the chameleon name for a bunch of arch-righties who want nothing more but to smash unions).

      It will be crappy if the Left lose this election, but just think of all the fun we’ll have talking about “NZ being on the cusp of something magical” and the “brighter future” over the next 3 years.

  19. Nic the NZer 19

    Mike this whole narrative is simply playing into the neoliberal narrative that the country can go broke (it can’t). The government has exactly the same spending capacity with or without these dividends or the sale value.

    The reason for the sale was just so National can engage in political point scoring by getting a small surplus (which is a meaningless achievement). And because they are ideologically attached to privatisation.

    The reason to keep control of these assets was so the government could influence the price of power to New Zealand. However since National have been in office they have been cranking every cent of profit possible out of their SOEs (also meaningless for a government to ‘profit’).

    Dont give the Meanies any excuse for insufficient social spending, including we are broke (we are not).

  20. infused 20

    So fuck all then?

  21. distubed 21

    Nationalise with printed money? everyone else does even China?

  22. NZ Nat Govt, 45%, backed up by NZF 8% and UF and ACT.
    Try to get real

  23. Gosman 23

    This is entirely consistent with what you would expect with private shareholdings as the companies in question have more pressure to keep profitability high and return funds to shareholders.

    • Lanthanide 23.1

      Because Bill English and Tony Ryall weren’t actually doing their job? So somehow the answer is to sell the assets to someone who can do the job properly, not change ministers?

      Also, the government were so desperate for money from these SOEs that they forced Meridian to sell two of their dams to Genesis so they could suck the money out as a special dividend, so quite clearly the government was capable of some forms of pressure… just not the ones to keep profitability high? They claimed that this sale would (somehow) make the electricity generation system more efficient, despite all electricity market commentators and the companies themselves disagreeing.

      Ironically the part that actually proves your assertion, while also damning the government, is that now that Genesis and Meridian have both been partially privatised, the new owners are looking to reverse the government’s bone-head decision because it’s far more efficient for Meridian to own all of the dams on the river, rather than having it split between them and Genesis.

      So, we’ve proven that National ministers are incompetent and money-grubbing. Those a synonyms for “ideologically driven”, btw.

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    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    5 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    5 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    5 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago