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ImperatorFish: Poor, sick, and unemployed looking forward to MRP share offer

Written By: - Date published: 11:42 am, March 6th, 2013 - 19 comments
Categories: privatisation, Satire - Tags: ,

Scott at Imperator Fish has kindly given us permission to syndicate posts from his blog – the original of this post is here.

As pre-registration opens for the Mighty River Power offer, people all around the country are gearing up to take shares in the company.

The official share offer website has been overloaded, as thousands of people bombard the site looking for information on the offer.

Shopping malls and community centres in some parts of South Auckland are reportedly almost empty, as people stay home in an effort to pre-register online.

In Wainuiomata the local rugby league club has been converted to an internet café, so that impoverished members of the community can pre-register their interest.

Early indications are that over 300% of the country’s population will take up the share offer.

Solo mother of two Rita Bonos said she was thrilled to be getting the chance to buy shares in a highly profitable company.

Ms Bonos said it would be tough to find the money on her minimum-wage cleaning job, especially as her car needed repairs and the children needed new shoes.

“But I’d be mad not to take up the offer”, she said. “So I’ve decided to try my luck at prostitution. How else am I going to earn the money?

“The kids will just have to fend for themselves at night, but I reckon they’ll be fine. The oldest is almost five now.”

Angus Snee said he would not pass up the opportunity to invest in one of New Zealand’s strongest companies.

Mr Snee was made redundant in 2009 after a thirty year career as a timber worker. In poor health and on his own, he is now on a sickness benefit.

But Snee insists that his desperate financial circumstances will not prevent him from taking a share of the loot.

“I spent thirty years of my life paying taxes and contributing to the economy of this nation,” he said. “Then the owners of the mill where I worked decided I was surplus to requirements. They threw me on the scrapheap, without even a ‘thank you very much for your years of effort’.

“My body is buggered from years of work, and I was forced to sell the house I’d saved hard to buy all those years ago, just so I could pay the medical bills that our ACC system was supposed to cover.

“Thank God for those Mighty River Power shares. They’ll be my salvation.”

Snee said he had been putting money aside for the shares.

“I’ve been saving up since late last year, just by being more careful with my spending. I no longer buy the fancy catfood when I go to the supermarket, but it never did agree with my digestion anyway.”

He picked up a jar from the back of his bookcase and rattled it proudly. “I’ve already put aside almost forty dollars.”

Even more excited at acquiring a share parcel is unemployed woman Sheila Shelby.

“I don’t have enough to pay the rent and to feed myself properly”, said Ms Shelby, “but I’d be nuts not to take part in this share issue.

“The neighbour’s got a flash new TV, and I reckon I’d get a couple of hundred for it. I’ve never stolen anything before, but what choice do I have?

“If this government is going to sell us down the Mighty River, then I may as well be along for the ride.”


19 comments on “ImperatorFish: Poor, sick, and unemployed looking forward to MRP share offer”

  1. ropata 1

    It’s absolutely marvellous that average mum and dad kiwi investors like Ron Brierly, Bob Jones, and Mark Hotchins will be at the front of the queue, participating in a fair and democratically apportioned share offer.
    (comment recycled from IF)

    • kiwi_prometheus 1.1

      Actually when Contact Energy was sold in 1999, it created 225 000 share holders mostly of the “mum and dad” sorts.

      Within 2 years 100 000 of them has bailed.

      “Ensuring strong demand for Mighty River Power shares in Australia is key to the Government’s partial privatisation plan…

      …For whatever reason Kiwis don’t seem to make natural share investors. Putting money into a company for the medium to long term just doesn’t seem to appeal. Lack of patience? Lack of understanding? Whatever the reason, there doesn’t seem to be that stickability when it comes to share investment.”


      • geoff 1.1.1

        …For whatever reason Kiwis don’t seem to make natural share investors.

        Right, so they should never have sold Contact.

        • kiwi_prometheus

          Maybe. I’m not a fan of public asset sales.

          But it is happening and this article makes an interesting read on the event and as it points out there will be plenty of mum and dad investors lining up.

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    I particularly enjoying this post, possibly because I actually registered my interest in the fervent hope that I would win ozlotto and be able to buy some shares, thereby positioning myself for life.

    In real life I’m stuck on an Invalids benefit and in treatment most days of the week.

    [NZ lotteries are too expensive and the prizes suck – and what’s with that winning wheel crap? Like I’d wanna advertise I was in the money to a bunch of long lost relies and “friends” who don’t even get along with me on FB].

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 2.1

      No doubt as the PM thinks that this is so really really important beneficiaries will be able to get a special one off advance to buy their share of the shares.

      This will ensure the most disadvantaged can have access
      Won’t cost the government any more money as advances have to be paid back – beneficiaries would be using their own money
      Maximise the number of NZer’s that can buy shares
      Given the expectations of good returns reduce beneficiary dependancy via fewer food grants paid out
      To ensure they keep the shares they should be exempted from consideration in all asset tests etc like the government currently does with Kiwisaver funds – it’s your own special slice of NZ.

      For low income earners they could be allowed to capitalise their WFF or other entitlements such as help with accommodation.

      Seems to me a great opportunity to help ensure mum and dads actually get the shares.

    • xtasy 2.2

      Out of mischief, I think that all beneficiaries in this country should simply have their interests registered, and in the final minute withdraw or cancel it, turning the whole exercise into a gigantic shambles!

      Now what about that strategy???

      Yes more than the 340 thousand beneficiaries could do so, it could be half the population, who opposed all this, thus upset the whole registration and sales process, creating immense costs and inconveniencing the government in their plans.

  3. Karl Sinclair 3

    Check this out 2.2 Million + views and counting:
    (substitute New Zealanders and use the video as a metaphor for the current sale of Assets scam)

    Why Do Americans Tolerate Extreme Wealth Inequality?

    From Big Think: http://bigthink.com/praxis/why-do-americans-tolerate-extreme-wealth-inequality

    “New data shows Americans haven’t a clue how stunningly massive the wealth gap in their country really is. An excellent video blowing up on YouTube depicts this disparity and explains how badly Americans tend to underestimate it. No matter how many statistics you’ve read on the subject, the video deserves six minutes of your time”

    or here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM&feature=player_embedded#!

    Oh gee, I wonder how many NZ mums and dads are rushing to the asset sale website….

    Remember pessimism and skepticism will not be tolerated, you must be in OPTIMISTIC THINK…. all is good with NZ, nothing is bad, everyone can be who they want to be………………

    • freedom 3.1

      snap, was just about to post it 🙂
      something every banker/trader or money lender at the temple should be made to watch before they start work,
      or sit to eat with their family

      • Arfamo 3.1.1

        That’s a great way to show what’s happened in the US, but the average voter here will go so what? That’s the US. I’d love to see a similar set of graphs for NZ.

        • geoff

          From MSD:

          In 2011 NZ gini coefficient was 0.34
          the USA was 0.38

          not wildly different so the overall distribution will probably be similar.

          • geoff

            I should say that was for income.
            For wealth, the NZ figures are even more unequal than for income:

            (from the same source)

            6 Wealth is distributed more unequally than income.

            Wealth Gini scores are typically two to three times those for income.
            In New Zealand, those in the top income decile receive 25% of gross income; those in the top wealth decile hold 50% of the total wealth.
            New Zealand’s top decile wealth share is similar to those found in many other OECD countries: Australia and the UK (45%), Germany (52%), Canada (53%) and Sweden (58%). For the US it is around 70%.

          • Arfamo

            Probably, but the graphs would make an impact only if they’re charting NZ’s wealth distribution over time. They’d be a handy tool for someone in an election year, but a possible handicap for any party that can be accused of having green lighted the wealth transfer unless they can say they’ve had an epiphany since then and are now on a totally different track.

            • Murray Olsen

              I’m just guessing, but I think that party might be Labour. I can’t see any sign of caucus being on a different track. If the members get the say they’re supposed to, the party as a whole might be. How they would get that message across with an ABC frontbench, I just don’t know.

      • Karl Sinclair 3.1.2

        Hey Freedom, LOL…

        The great thing about the internet is you can start to compare and contrast different data that is objective and based on fact. Unfortunately it does not get any better…… Funny how this does not really make the mainstream media in NZ. Check this out:

        Here is some sound data on economic inequality, and it shows it gets worse when rich and poor are too far apart: real effects on health, lifespan, even such basic values as trust.

        Then combine it with: The Whitehall Study

        “The Whitehall studies have dispelled two myths. The first
        is that people in high status jobs have higher risks of
        heart disease. The second is that the gradient of health in
        industrialised societies is simply a matter of poor health
        for the disadvantaged and good health for everyone else. ”

        3. Just to top it off with the latest data:
        Child poverty in the US has reached record levels, with almost 17 million children now affected. A growing number are also going hungry on a daily basis.


        Sigh……. where the hell is the prozac and what are those ABs up to…………………

  4. Anne 4

    I think we need to separate the fourth Labour govt. from the Labour Party. It was an aberration. At the time few people understood what was going on. The agenda was rolled out over 3 to 4 years and by the time the penny dropped it was too late. Helen Clark was one of the few who did understand, and I was witness to the extraordinary effort of the rogernome clique to vilify her for that reason. She was criticised in later years for staying quiet but she had no choice. The rogernomes were the dominant force and would have hounded her out of parliament had she poked as much as her nose above the parapet.

    David Cunliffe is in a similar position today but for slightly different reasons although there are a few parallels. There will come a time in the near future (I hope) when the ABC club will no longer be a force to contend with and Labour once again reasserts its basic principles, and proves it can be a strong, stable partner in a left of centre coalition government. Perhaps for the first time the wrongs of the 80s and 90s can at last be fully righted.

    Oh well, hope springs eternal.

    • Treetop 4.1

      Good analysis. It took Clark 18 years to be PM.

      Is there something in the NZ psyche which prefers to hang onto a government for nine years, if so what is it?

      I reiterate, “Cunliffe attacks the problem better than Shearer does.”

      • Treetop 4.1.1

        I forgot to add that in 1984 Lange was the clear winner as Labour leader and in 1999 so was Clark. Labour voters really liked them and both Lange and Clark were capable caucus leaders.

        Do the Labour voters really like Shearer?

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