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Nats panicking on NZ Power

Written By: - Date published: 7:33 am, April 19th, 2013 - 347 comments
Categories: energy - Tags:

National’s reaction to the Labour/Greens NZ Power announcement was telling. They panicked. There was no genuine critique, just ‘won’t someone think of the shareholders’.

The panic affected judgement with Joyce putting out a rant of a press release that would have been nixed if anyone in his office had their head screwed on straight – all it did was reveal National’s weakness and its worry over its exposure on power prices. You can’t mix as many hyperbolic metaphors as Joyce did when he said the Labour/Greens had “jumped the shark with a half-baked Soviet Union-style nationalisation ‘plan’” when talking about a market structure that is normal in many developed countries and expect to keep your credibility.

Russel Norman is right: the failed ‘Mr Fix It’ has no answers of his own to the power price increases under his watch and panicked when Labour and the Greens presented their own.

But the funniest bit was when National tried to say that it is a North Korean idea (you know, North Korea, that country with publicly-listed power companies). In truth, it’s South Korea that has a Single Buyer like NZ Power. And their power prices have fallen 39% in the past two decades while ours have risen 68%.

At the end of the day, National is fucked on this. They stand for the profits of the (often overseas) capitalist elite, which come from sucking the lifeblood from the rest of us. Labour and the Greens have neatly exposed the fact that National stands for the elite while putting themselves on our side. And they’ve done it with a policy that makes a hell of a lot of sense.

347 comments on “Nats panicking on NZ Power ”

  1. Gosman 1

    Hardly panicking. This is a great opportunity to paint the Opposition parties as promoting Nationalisation but without the up front gumption to admit it. Stealing from the private sector by stealth. It is going to be fun painting pictures of Russell Norman as the new Robert Mugabe.

    • framu 1.1

      “pictures of Russell Norman as the new Robert Mugabe.”

      good luck with that

      if the only criticism you or anyone else can come up with is “communist” “north korea” and “mugabe” youve already lost – because your just preaching to the choir. As the post points out – its not a genuine critique, its knee jerk sloganeering

      meanwhile all the people who arent ideologically wedded to hard right policy will go “I sure feel like im being ripped off! – save $300? OK”

      your approach completely ignores the fact that its easy to make people feel like theyve been ripped off when it comes to things like power bills – and its an easily provable fact that our power prices are completely out of whack when you compare them to other countries.

      also weve just had the “w” bomb (WMD) which many many people have laughed openly at (and no, i dont mean on the standard) – chucking on a “nth korea” straight after WMD looks even more desperate

      • Gosman 1.1.1

        I think you forget how effective “Dancing Cossacks” was.

        • Pascal's bookie


          You guys should totally do this. Get Ansell back to do the billboards, they worked well even more recently, and that fucking lunatic from the New Zeal website.

        • framu

          yeah – but when was that bright spark? and whats happened since then?

        • mickysavage

          Hey Gossie

          I found this comment from a card carrying member of the Politbureau.

          He said:

          The electricity policy announced by the Labour and Green parties could be made to work and the current debate is overly emotive, says the chief executive of the regulated monopoly electricity and gas network owner, Vector.

          Simon Mackenzie told BusinessDesk he was encouraged by the fact the proposed central purchaser system would incentivise commercially rational investment in energy efficiency, and that the Opposition parties were not pursuing direct subsidies.

          He also welcomed the fact Labour was proposing to simplify regulation of lines companies, which has become enmeshed in the courts after policies Labour implemented was “not tracking as was intended,” Mackenzie said.

          There was “no perfect model” for electricity systems, and other countries used similar methods to set prices and to procure investment in new power plants as demand rises. At present, new generation is procured by competing generators identifying the “next least-cost” of new generation and deciding to build it.

          Under the Labour-Greens model, a central buying agency and market regulator, NZ Power, would tender for new generation capacity.

          “There’s competition for providing that next plant,” said Mackenzie, who stressed he was “not taking political sides.

          Under the Labour-Greens model, a central buying agency and market regulator, NZ Power, would tender for new generation capacity.

          “There’s competition for providing that next plant,” said Mackenzie, who stressed he was “not taking political sides.”

          “The model is used in other jurisdictions. It has its pros and cons. It’s made to work.”

          This is from Comrade Simon MacKenzie, also known as the CEO of Vector …

          • insider

            is that the same vector that got done for both competitive pricing and the same vector that is fighting its regulated prices tooth and nail? hardly surprising they support a change to a cost plus model. the cash will roll in for them.

          • Draco T Bastard

            here’s competition for providing that next plant,

            Still looking in the wrong place for the competition. The plant should be built by the government. The competition should be the R&D as to what plant to build.

    • Gosman is at the reframing already. A judicious use of the words “nationalization”, stealing”, “stealth” and “Robert Mugabe” and whamo RWNJs think they have a compelling argument against NZ reasserting control over its electricity sector.

      It is rather a lazy way to argue things though, don’t worry about the reality just throw some emotionally laden slogans around.

      • Gosman 1.2.1

        I’ll tell you how the debate will likely go.

        The right will paint this plan as showing the Opposition is anti free markets.

        The Opposition will respond by stating no they are anti excessive profits.

        The right will ask for evidence that power companies are making excessive profits and why haven’t the regulatorial aauthorities identified this before?

        The opposition will move on and state it is all about lower power prices.

        The right will state that this will lead to power shortages in future without increased Government spending and higher taxes. In short bigger government.

    • The Al1en 1.3

      Fighting for your own cash and privilege would be bad enough, but when you’re in the ruck just to keep it for someone else, that’s really sad.

      With the money you’ll get from lower power bills, you could save up for a life and/or a back bone. 😉

    • Tom Gould 1.4

      Seems to work fairly well in that ‘soviet bastion’ and ‘North Korean accolyte’ called the United States of America?

    • Mary 1.5

      “Stealing from the private sector by stealth.”

      It was never the private sector’s in the first place. Key and his moneymen were gifted the fictive entity that is the electricity market as one more opportunity to fleece the public. Joyce and Bridges and Key et al operate within that fictive bubble as if it’s naturally fixed and the way things are and ignore the economics around the provision of essential services.

      • Rodel 1.5.1

        Yes! Mary. well said… succinct and to the point. Wish the rest of NZ could read that.

    • ghostrider888 1.6

      just a few points,
      -Bridges et al; “will result in zero investment in new generation”-well, there may be a surplus of generation, actual factual:
      -Shearer on 5 O,Clock Roundup delivered well.
      -on the “spot markets” hydro-electric generators which require 1/10th cost of production, make 9/10ths profit:
      -yes, the nats are struggling for hyperbole on this one:
      -there is excess generation and static demand so,
      -power co’s can suck up the 500-700M in lost profits
      -while tax take and dividends will only be reduced by approx 390M

    • Tim 1.7

      Gos – GOZZZ me ole maaaate!:
      “It is going to be fun painting pictures of Russell Norman as the new Robert Mugabe.”
      PLEASE, I BEG you…. go with that idea. I just LOVE to see you laughing – whichever Rrrr’s cheek gives you your ego-boost.
      I’m just sorry I don’t have the ability to watch and monitor this site with the devotion and self-written instruction manual on how to disrupt and counter that you do.
      Please though – keep with the themee memee ME ME.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    Yup, total panic. In the neo-liberal intellectual desert of our right wing political elites it just rained new ideas for the first time in thirty years, and they have got no idea what all that wet stuff falling from the sky is, so they are rushing around panicking.

    And wow, from Colin Espiner (who has made a complete dick of himself in my opinion) to the Herald’s editorial this morning the reaction to the Labour/Green power policy announces powerfully illustrate in a form not usually so obvious just how wedded our established media elites are to the prevailing neo-liberal economic orthodoxy. It is pity, because their petulant hissy fits show that while many of these people might be smart, intellectually their minds are closed to new ideas. When it comes to fresh thinking the closed signs have been up for thirty years in our elites, and what they are afraid of most is not the policy per se, but what the philosophy behind it signals – a willingness to consider solutions from outside the straightjacket of neo-liberal rogernomics.

    It is like Labour and the Greens have knocked a hole through a wall and are sending sunlight streaming into a lair of complacent right wing economic vampires, they are screeching and scuttling and angry and they don’t like it one little bit.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      In the neo-liberal intellectual desert of our right wing political elites it just rained new ideas for the first time in thirty years

      For the sake of clarity mate.

      It is pity, because their petulant hissy fits show that while many of these people might be smart, intellectually their minds are closed to new ideas.

      That is because to many of them, neoliberalism has been adopted as a religion and dogmatic world view. It explains the visceral, unthinking reactions you get from, as you say, otherwise smart people.

    • Unitedtribes 2.2

      Since when is communism fresh thinking?

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1

        Since when is capitalism fresh thinking?

        Especially when we consider that capitalism has been failing for 5000 years. It only benefits the few until such time as those few destroy the society.

        • Populuxe1

          So Capitalism has been “failing” for 5000 years and Communism failed completely after 60.

          • Draco T Bastard

            To clarify, capitalism* has failed every time it’s been attempted in the last 5000 years starting with ancient Sumer (the earliest records showing a capitalist system with credit money), going through ancient Greece, ancient Rome, the South American civilisations etc etc.

            * I’m using a fairly broad definition: Hierarchical, often dictatorial or authoritarian and channels wealth to the few. It is the latter point that is most important as it removes wealth from the majority and thus makes them slaves/serfs of the rich minority. As I say, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it’s a duck. There’s probably some discussion as to the exact type of duck but it’s still a bloody duck.

            • Alanz

              Proverbs 22:7
              “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”

              The cautionary saying about borrowing as a path to enslavement sounds very similar to a Chinese proverb, which may also be why China never wants to be a net borrower.

    • ghostrider888 2.3

      Sunlight squeaks indeed

    • Anne 2.4

      When it comes to fresh thinking the closed signs have been up for thirty years in our elites, and what they are afraid of most is not the policy per se, but what the philosophy behind it signals – a willingness to consider solutions from outside the straightjacket of neo-liberal rogernomics.

      The irony is, it’s not really fresh thinking. It’s old ‘tried and true’ thinking practiced by both Labour and National goverments over a period of many decades. Broadly speaking what the Greens and Labour are signalling… is an up-to-date version that fits in with our current economic strategies.

      Why are the right wing elites so scared?

      Because they were the lucky ones in this neo-liberal economic climate. They have made big killings in monetary terms, and they can’t bear the thought of losing further gains for themselves… and returning to a more egalitarian society.

  3. IrishBill 3

    The nats are going to have to stop using the word “market” on this one. It’s making them look very much “global financial crisis”.

  4. One area that Labour has to respond to is the Nats claim that power prices went up 70% under the 5th Labour Government. I understand that significant increases were because the economy was humming, electricity demand was heavy and there was a backlog of maintenance to do. The extra power was being supplied by more expensive thermal stations.

    If this is the case they should respond on these terms.

    • felix 4.1

      I disagree with getting bogged down in such detail, accurate as it may be.

      I believe it’s better to stick to the big picture: If prices went up it’s because of the ridiculous artificial electricity “market” system that hasn’t worked for NZ since the day it was made up.

      That’s the argument people will understand – market purism vs sensible management, not Nat vs Lab.

      • Gosman 4.1.1

        You have evidence that Power companies are making excessive profits?

        What is wrong with the regulatorial regime in place?

        • Matt

          Apart from the inordinate increases in consumer energy prices relative to the rest of the developed world?

          • Gosman

            That is not evidence of excessive profits.

            What is the problem with the regulatorial regmine already in place?

            • Colonial Viper

              Actually, take all the profits out of the electricity system. It’s core economic infrastructure it should be provided on a not-for-profit basis.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead

              The evidence shows excessive price rises. The problem is excessive price rises.

              What are “excessive” profits? Why is the sky blue? Why does Gosman invent strawmen?

              • Gosman

                So what are “excessive” profits then?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Anything over 3% ROI. Especially given that the asset base of these companies are too often over-valued to start with.

                  In fact, why does core economic infrastructure need to make any profit at all? Surely all the monies gained should be ploughed back into making the system more robust and efficient?

                • ghostrider888

                  ahhhh, that would be the approx 500-700M the companies are gonna have to suck up themselves.

            • Matt

              No, moron. It explains what is wrong with the regulatory regime in place.

              • Gosman

                Which is what exactly?

                Care to expand or are you just going to make unsubstantiated claims and expect noone to call you out on your BS?

                • Matt

                  You’ll have to be more specific, are you talking about the unsubstantiated claims I’ve made about the inordinate increases in NZ consumer energy prices relative to the rest of the developed world?

                  • Gosman

                    No, I am asking you to expand on why the current regulartorial regime in relation to the electricity market is failing to work beyond your simplistic and frankly idiotic rejoinder of “Because power prices are too high”.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Because it was designed by Max Bradford, a delusional right wing nut job.

                    • Matt

                      So you want me to expand on something other than what I’ve said? OK.

                      NZ consumer power prices are inordinately high compared to the rest of the developed world. I think this is bad.

                      Other places, including California where I am from, have dealt with this sort of problem effectively, with mechanisms not dissimilar to that described in NZ Power.

                      OK there, have at it.

                  • Gosman

                    Once again you have basically answered “Because I think power prices are too high”. Bravo for doing that in multiple different ways but still not addressing the question that was asked.

                    • Matt

                      But I think power prices are too high. Don’t you?

                    • Gosman

                      Power prices are set up the market in a competitive and highly regulated environment. They are simply at the level that they are.

                    • Matt

                      So, that’s a “no”?

                      I thought you islanders were supposed to be a practical lot.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Awesome. Looks like the market anticipated my desire for word salad.

                    • weka

                      “Power prices are set up the market in a competitive and highly regulated environment. They are simply at the level that they are.”

                      Great, so half the thread is wasted in you trying to get other people to establish that you don’t care about the price of electricity. Fine, you can fuck off now. Most everyone else here thinks that the price of things does matter, and are hardly likely to defend the new policy on the basis of what you care about.

                    • felix

                      Gosman: “You have evidence that Power companies are making excessive profits?”

                      Wow. This whole side-track distraction subthread started with Gosman replying to my comment. Which btw said nothing about excessive profits whatsoever.

                      Probably worth looking at my comment again to see what frightened him so…

                • Shaz

                  One of the many problems associated with the proposed privatisation is that investors chase the best profit available. WHat this means is that if an engineering company or farm is producing an 5% ROI and power companies return is a guaranteed 8-12% ROI then investment in the productive sectors of the economy will falter as people invest in the more ‘reliably’ profitable but unproductive sectors- basically helping to damage the productive and export sectors of the economy.

            • Tim

              Gos – just as an aside …. tell me what the regulaTORIal regime that was in place prior to the neo-libs agenda that was such a problem.
              There was after all, a well functioning (functioning – in the sense that things actually worked without intervention AND without a public – or indeed private enterprise complaint, AND with processes that effectively dealt with capacity planning, system integrity, and all that other fishinsy n fektivness BS that stuk). That was of course before Mad Max had a 40watt banana idea that overwhelmed his thought processes, and where the natural equilibrium of the “free meercat” forces were applied to supposedly improve what was already in place.
              Please ….. enlighten me!

              • Tim

                Oh, and I’m not sure WHAT layer of conversation I’m at GOZ (cos I’m a bit fick),,

                but can you tell me where exactly – within the environment of what’s a natural monopoly (i.e a “grid” – a ONE grid), the BASIC functions of capacity future planning, the preservation of that systems integrity and maintenance, all that sort of shite) lays?

                Would it be a committee of industry representatives whose primary motivation is to turn a profit to its shareholders arguing it out and trying to determine who puts in the biggest or smallest cut? Jeez – you’d have to pay a body like that hundreds of $K per year wouldn’t you – I mean to ekshly take responsibility for any fuckups without having to fall back on that nasty nanny state intervention.

                How does all that shit work? Oh – I know, the market will sort it out – even IF it needs hastily erected pylons to rectify an Auckland blackout problem.

                GOZ – please – give us a workable solution to electricity generation and supply to “consumers/custmers” that is sustainable.
                I defer to the largesse of your intellect, knowledge, logic, (and of course ego and beauty).

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          The evidence presented is that prices have risen more than in other countries, Gosman, Not one of your strawmen.

        • Colonial Viper

          You have evidence that Power companies are making excessive profits?

          If it’s an ROI over 3% then yes, excessive profits it is.

          • Chris

            Your definition of excessive profits is a ROI lower than the current term deposit rates?

            • Gosman

              Savers are obviously making excessive returns as well. Slap some controls on them too.

              • Colonial Viper

                That’s exactly what the banksters are doing. Why give savers money in the form of interest when the central banks are providing it through ZIRP?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Don’t need to – just have the government print the money and loan it out at 0%. The minimal costs of running this service would be recovered through taxes.

              • Gosman …
                19 April 2013 at 11:17 am

                Power prices are set up the market in a competitive and highly regulated environment.

                “competitive AND highly regulated environment”?!

                You mean it’s BOTH competitive AND highly regulated?!

                How does that work???

                Anyhoo. As I said to TSmithfield, Gosman, you don’t HAVE to pay a lower electricity price to NZ Power.

                You have a choice. You can pay the FULL amount, voluntarily, to your current powerco.Just send them the balance, by cheque. I’m sure they’d appreciate your self-sacrifice.

                The rest of us will choose the lower power bills.

                Choice, eh? What a wonderful thing. Everyone’s happy.

              • Savers are obviously making excessive returns as well. Slap some controls on them too.

                If that’s what you want, vote for it.

            • Colonial Viper

              Your definition of excessive profits is a ROI lower than the current term deposit rates?

              Yes why not?

              Because no bank in NZ is ready to take a $500M deposit, for starters, and no power company can liquidate its assets to make such a deposit.

              • Poission

                the ROI is on the revalued assets.not the historic cost plus inflation.ie the real cost not the imaginary.This is the fundamental problem with natural monopolies such as airports and ports,hydro etc. .

        • mikesh

          Given that these power companies were set up by past governments and paid for by the taxpayers, any profit that these companies make is, in essence, just another tax. I don’t mind paying taxes to the government, but I rather object to paying taxes to private investors.

      • Enough is Enough 4.1.2

        I agree Felix

        Trying to defend what happened and why it happened is just stupid. The key is the current leadership (Norman and his side kick Shearer) were not involved in the fragile boom/bust economy which we lived in through the 5th Labour Government. They don’t have to defend it.

        It is not a time to look back. It is a time to say this is what our future looks like.

        • ghostrider888

          Amen; enough IS enough

          • Tim

            “Amen; enough IS enough”.
            Apparently not though for the likes of ‘Gosman’ ?
            I’m wondering what he (or she) would say – given his free meercat faith – if his supplier (read ‘dealer’) said “nah man – you’re not worth my while in providing you – do it yaself”.
            I suspect he couldn’t last a week without electricity whilst he arranged for another grid to supply him.
            There are ekshly households I know of in the Hutt area that go without electricity for days on end till a few coins are raised to feed the meter.
            Faark! Prepay meters ffs (in the 21stC)!!!!
            Last time I hear of them was during the 60’s when dad had the Ferranti agency.

            No wonder some of them would rather put it towards a tinnie or a can of baked beans and a loaf of bread.
            (Of course it won’t be long before the likes of I will be obliged to provide their names and address).

    • Michael Valley 4.2

      nah. they have to own their past failure and move past it. that allows shearer to put daylight between himself and the negative associations of the previous labour government and stymies the ‘you had nine years’ line.

      • felix 4.2.1

        I reject the premise that Lab5 was a failure.

        Also, I don’t think anyone buys the “nine years!” bullshit except a handful of staffers for Labour and National.

        Know why? Because people aren’t that fucking dumb. If Labour didn’t do anything to change anything in nine years, then what the fuck are the Nats complaining about?

        It doesn’t need to be addressed, it needs to be laughed off like the cheap childish crud that it is.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Labour/Greens…NZ Power is such a good idea…the next one is NZ Banking…just look at the very comparable level of profits being extracted out of the country by them.

    • Tim 5.1

      Christ CV …. don’t get me started on banks. The 4 (now 3 mains in particular) that dismantled one of the most sophisticated clearing and settlement systems in the world in the name of corporate prestige, and fishinsy n fektivness, and can’t even get the VERY VERY most basic overnight processing of Automatic and Bill Payments right..

      Incidently – those of you that are campaigners, and can be bothered:

      Alternatively – just go with the likes of Kiwibank, PSIS (Co-op Bank?), TSB etc. and lobby the likes of Greens and Labour to ditch WBC in favour of the NZ owned as the gubbamint’s banker.
      (At least they won’t be pulling nice little rorts like most beneficiaries encounter – i.e. the whole bizz where WINZ says their payday is (say) Wed, but the bene doesn’t see it till Thurs.)

  6. BM 7

    Looks like it’s back to the 1970’s if you vote for labour and the melons.

    Problem we’ve got though is we now have a center right party that around 50% support and a collection of hard left parties that make up a similar number.

    The country will not survive economically and socially swinging back and forth between these completely different ideologies.

    That means one group must destroy the other group as there’s no way both can co-exist with such polar views.

    The 2014 election will be a turning point in the future of NZ.

    • Michael Valley 7.1

      yeah, the awful 1970s when we had among the highest standards of living in the world, a current account surplus, zero unemployment and we actually made shit rather than the neolib elite getting rich by putting their hands in the other guys’ pockets. Such dark times.

      • Tim 7.1.1

        Yep, they were just so bad. That’s when I had dual OZ/NZ citizenship of course – after crossing the ditch some years earlier when the okkers asked us – WHY ffs?
        I cudda shudda held onto it (NOT)

        Kiwis owned half of Bondi, Most govt departments there were headed/run by Kiwis (whilst in NZ – ‘bloody poms’ ran ours’), and the transTas rivalry was not even as bad as interstate rivalry.

        ANZAC was actually something more than a label and a brand.

        Yep – they were sure bad days aye!

        Of course now the tables have turned (primarily due to NZ’s neo-lib worship, and with due regard to the core and periphery), we’re whistling Dixie – aided and abetted by a vacuous little nonce whose priority is to nob it with any world ‘leader’ that gives him the time of day.

    • Pascal's bookie 7.2

      You guys really should get that New Zeal guy on board to help you out with this. I’m thinking big billboards and TV ads to show the links and demonstrate the truth of this hard left. Get amoungst it.

    • Yep the 1970s, full employment, no poverty, 40 hour working weeks, big Norm …

      Terrible times …

      • Colonial Viper 7.3.1

        Solid good quality homes for just 3x to 4x the average wage…

        • IrishBill

          Free education, free heathcare, the ability to look after a family on one income…

          So hard to get a decent coffee outside of cuba street though.

      • Gosman 7.3.2

        Inflation running at between 15 and 18%, Mass industrial action, Huge restrictions on trading, lack of choice for goods and services, Preferential Government treatment based on political connections, Subsidised productive sector, and Rising Government debt as percentage of GDP.

        Yeah I forget how great times were back then.

        • Tim

          The 1970’s????

        • Murray Olsen

          No blogs full of RWNJs and conspiracy theorists. A government that sent a frigate to Mururoa instead of spies into our homes. Food, housing, jobs. A sense that things would get better.
          On the other hand, a society fairly intolerant of anyone a bit different.
          Today, lack of food for some, lack of housing, jobs in Oz, and a sense of despair at how far Gosman’s cryptofascist mates want to take us. Gives us a mission in life, I suppose.

        • Frank Macskasy

          Gosman, why is it, I wonder, that you National/ACT voters supported the tax cuts of 2009/10, when we could least afford it, and you took the money with both hands outstretched – and yet you want to deny a cut in power prices to all New zealanders???

          Why is that?

          What were tax cuts good – but power price cuts bad?

          Take your time in explaining this anamoly to us mere plebs…

      • Gosman 7.3.3

        Serious question for you mickeysavage – Do you actually thinking it would be a successful political strategy to highlight how great the 1970’s was and that a party will be trying to replicate much of the policies in place back then?

        • mickysavage

          No Gossie but I do think that it is a successful political strategy to talk about full employment, a living wage and for NZ to retain control over its electricity sector so that its elderly do not freeze to death because they cannot afford their electricity bills.

          • Gosman

            You have evidence of elderly people freezing to death as a result of not being able to pay their power bills then?

            • Pascal's bookie

              make a billboard of that one too mate.

              • Gosman

                So I take that as a big fat no then.

                Thanks for confirming that.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  A study by Otago University researchers found 1600 more people died during the four winter months than in other seasons.

                  Walked right into that one, didn’t you Gosman?


                  • Gosman

                    Where’s the dirtect linkage of the deaths to the people not accessing the power they need to keep warm?

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Christchurch Hospital social worker Anne Crawford said that every winter she and her colleagues dealt with a deluge of respiratory patients struggling to keep their homes warm.

                      The patients knew the cold and damp was making their condition worse but were unable to afford the power necessary to keep uninsulated homes adequately heated, she said. “It just seems to be getting worse every year.”


                    • Pascal's bookie

                      That would make an excellent billboard as well.

                      The perception of National would shine through in the beautiful chilling blue.

                    • Gosman

                      No, that is someone’s opinion. I want an actual case of someone who was unable to pay their power bill and then died as a result of the resulting infectious disease. Surely there is one out there. This person you quoted even hints of it.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Billboard No.3 🙂

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      That’s not what ‘opinion’ means Gos.

                      “That’s just your eyes’ *opinion* maaan! Jeez, believe everything you see do you?”

                    • Rhinocrates

                      I’d like to see what Gosman has to say on cigarettes and lung cancer. Presumably, any link would be an “opinion”.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      According to Key you can find a scientist to give any opinion that you want.

            • Molly

              Elderly deaths are not usually reported specifically as anything other than inevitable, but are you really asking this question? How far back does your memory go? – the story of Fioli Muliaga immediately came to mind for me.

          • History of Violence

            Crap If the Elderly where dying off in numbers Winnie wouldn’t stand for it.

            I’ve just filled my roof with solar PV, you guys can share the diminishing burden of the lines charges that are spread over everybody by usage , I’ll suck all the free daytime power ill ever want and take the cheap 300kWh /month for the rest. Every body with any cash will do the same. Thanks Wussil for subsardising my lifestyle.

            You can buy a quality compete nz stds solar kit panel and inverter to make your own electricity for about $1000.

            Give everybody a $1000 panel and micro inverter package instead, let people make their own base load. No transmissions losses, cut out the middleman.

            I’m not talking shite, Im in the solar business, the mods will be able to contact me for verification if required , and I’d be pleased to back up my ideas in a post if permitted.

            Joe Publics paid for the infrastructure and getting shafted by it, just use the generators for backup, don’t think big, think small, Micro Solar.

        • Frank Macskasy

          Actually, unemployment was low; housing prices were affordable; tertiary education was free; and families could survive on one income. And wages were similar to Australia.

          But according to you, that all all a BAD thing?

          Oh dear, I guess that’s what you get from fans of Disaster Capitalism…

    • BM 7.4

      So who’s going to win and who’s going to die?

      • The Al1en 7.4.1

        Yeah, we get it, you’re the only nat in the village.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 7.4.2

        Fewer children will die, BM. Reduced power prices – along with the Greens insulation program – will make it easier for low-income households to stay warm and dry. That will reduce the number of infectious disease admissions to our hospitals, and result in fewer dead children.

        • Gosman

          Do you have evidence of children dying of infectious diseases because of a lack of ability to use power to heat a house?

          • Pascal's bookie

            Margins, how do they work.

            • Gosman

              We”ve already established that you don’t have any evidence for the claim.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Nah. You’re confused between you reckoning something you’d like to be true, and it being true.

                Perception is reality if you like. I know you’re fond of that one. Absorb it.

              • Matt

                Funny that every fake question regards the severity of the consequences of inflated energy prices, almost conceding the underlying fact that they are inflated.

                ‘So maybe power in NZ is overpriced compared to (more) advanced countries, but is that really so bad?’

          • framu

            Theres plenty of evidence that poorly insulated, poorly heated and overcrowded housing has a hugely detrimental effect on both childrens health and economic productivity though isnt there.

            I thought you lot were all about increased productivity

            • Draco T Bastard

              No, Gosman is all about Gosman – and that goes for all the RWNJs.

              • framu

                Yeah i know – i just like the “but arent you into this?” to probe the veneer

                • Gosman

                  Do you have any direct evidence that a lack of power has led to deaths in NZ – Yes or no?

                  • framu

                    look around in the thread dick – others have already posted evidence – oooooooh evidence

                    also i was talking about increased sickness and reduced economic productivity so thats a double fail for you.

                    I wish you wouldnt make this so easy

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      look around in the thread dick – others have already posted evidence – oooooooh evidence

                      It’s the nature of the RWNJs that it doesn’t matter what evidence is produced they’ll keep asking for evidence and shifting the requirements for that evidence. They’ll never believe that their ideology doesn’t work.

                    • McFlock

                      If Gos has such little faith in medical science, it’s a psychological/psychiatric case study as to the how he simultaneously seems to think economics is worth a tinker’s cuss as a discipline.

                    • QoT

                      Gos’ form on this kind of thing, framu, is to insist on absolute specificity and complete provision of raw data. Otherwise he’ll just keep whinging on because someone said “one in four” and the actual figure is 23.3%.


                  • Tim

                    Yes. Indeed it resulted in an inquiry some years ago when the lack of power, then battery drain led to the non-functioning of dialysis machinery.
                    I’ve come in late and can’t be bothered trawling upward to witness you exercising your spectacular ego and intellect so IF you’re already trying to excuse that incident – go ask those who were directly involved and ask them how their consciences are treating them these days – including the poor bugger that went and disconnected the power – SEE WHERE HE lays the blame!
                    You’re a real fukwit aye Gos.

                    The best policy really would be to just totally ignore you – which I’ll now do

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead

            Evidence Gosman? Why yes, I do.

            These findings support the need for stronger prevention efforts for infectious diseases, and reinforce the need to reduce ethnic and social inequalities and to address disparities in broad social determinants such as income levels, housing conditions, and access to health services. Our method could be adapted for infectious disease surveillance in other countries.

            My emphasis.

            Any further question you have, Gosman? Google them.

            • Gosman

              You have no evidence there that a lack of use of power has directly led to the death of anybody. You have a link suggesting living in poor housing might lead to increased health issues but that is a completely different argument.

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                Yes, because no-one uses electricity to heat their house, do they? And damp, cold housing isn’t a major factor in health outcomes, is it?

                Keep losing, Gosman.

                • Gosman

                  I’m still waiting for the evidence that a lack of ability to USE electricity has directly led to deaths. All you have postulated is a theory that it might lead to deaths given the consequences of damp, poorly heated and insulated houses. That is not the same.

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    It’s been demonstrated to my satisfaction.

                  • weka

                    Gosman, you can’t do a randomised, controlled trial, because it would be unethical to take ill, poor people and put them in a cold environment and wait to see how many die.

                    What you can do, and what is acceptable practice in generating knowledge, is use research that analyses different reported experiences alongside known physics and medical science eg it is accepted that people with respiratory illness are at more risk when living in a cold damp environment. There are different ways that this knowledge has come about eg comparing people with respiratory illness that live in cold damp places compared to hot dry places. This work has been done, and is not really in dispute.

                    You can also take into account the opinion of experts eg the A and E doctor. If you want evidence of an actual person who has died I suggest you phone up the doctor and have a chat with her.

                  • vto

                    gosman, all up and down here, despite being provided evidence where inadequate heating (due to power prices) has led to ill health in the elderly (such leads to earlier death), you continue to ask for evidence where high power prices has led directly to death.

                    It is implied in your repeated request that where high power prices have led “indirectly” to death you are ok with it.

                    gosman i suspect you own a pinhead factory (in china)

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      A vision of a room full of pins stuck into the floor so close together (by Ai Weiwei perhaps) that Gosman can dance on them…but instead he slips on the polished metal pinheads and falls flat on his back.

                    • the gossie way – pick a point, doesn’t matter which one as long as it doesn’t directly relate to the post or major points raised by it. Ask for evidence and then discount all evidence presented but keep asking for it. If finally cornered change direction and ask another question as inane as the first one or argue that the evidence isn’t evidence at all. Repeat cycle repeatedly.

                    • Paul

                      Of course he is.

                  • rosy

                    ” a lack of ability to USE electricity “
                    I guess the next line is a distinction between cost and use, you know the ability to flick a switch rather than whether the switch is live.

                    If someone was really interested in this topic they’d go onto the internet and google ‘healthy housing + heating’, or something similar and come up with this:


                    Then they’d start working through the stuff that’s been done and the stuff that’s in progress, then they’d come back and write a comment that either supports their view, understands that there is work in progress on that topic, or they might realise there is a link between poor health and the cost of electricity.

                    I mean, that’s the trouble with these people they just sit back and wait for someone else to do things for them, if you want to get ahead you need o take personal responsibility and do it yourself. Hand up not hand out! /sarc

    • Anne 7.5

      Looks like it’s back to the 1970′s if you vote for labour and the melons

      says BM.

      Oh for a chance to go back to the 1970s when we all had jobs… we could have a tertiary education of some sort and it didn’t drown us in debt… we lived and worked together in relative harmony… people could afford to go to doctors and dentists… the country earned a good living from exports… there were no soup kitchens… children never went hungry… and most of all I was young!

    • ghostrider888 7.6

      spin BM

    • Northshoreguynz 7.7

      It was back to the 1890s under the Nats.

    • Paul 7.8

      Back to the world of the 70s.
      Less inequality, full employment, less greed, a manufacturing industry, no creed like Ayn Rand’s religion of the self.
      Sounds terrible, doesn’t it?

  7. Coronial Typer 8

    Great to see a coalition action like the coalition i want. In straight wealth distribution terms from generator to consumer, all power to the people (ahem).

    So the question for me is redistributing to the poor (in terms of price), versus foreign and elite asset ownership. This policy will do the job of scaring a huge number of local investors who would otherwise have ensured that the 49% stays in New Zealand hands. The local chequebook stays largely closed on MRP and on all the others, and foreigners step in with superior analytic capaity to judge when to enter and exit the sharemarket. The asset sale process continues, damaged, but capital and dividend flight accelerates. This proposed reform is not a straight Robin Hood equation.

    Personally, I think local asset ownership is more important than lowering power bill prices, and I do believe the market is saying today that is truly binary. That probably signals that my personal interests are more affected by investments than the monthly power bill. But we will get a weaker national asset base and wealth base, as well as lower retail power prices, as a result of this policy.

  8. Bunji 9

    You need to work on your tabloid headline skills James. It should be:

    Joyce in the wrong Korea

    • emergency mike 9.1

      Yes, another good PR line there. In the one-bedroom apartment that I’m leaving now in South Korea, my monthly combined gas and power bill was $20-$40 depending on season. And I was a rather infrugal power user.

    • r0b 9.2

      Oh that’s very good!

  9. DH 10

    Well I can’t get excited about it. I think the Greens option is more market & environmentally friendly, Labour’s looks pretty risky & could have a lot of unintended consequences. I didn’t see anything on lines & transmission costs and they’ve been a big factor in recent price increases, was that covered or not?.

    Using Labours lower estimate of $450 million that would wipe just over $4 billion off the balance sheets of all the power companies combined, will be interesting to see what sort of reaction this has on Contact & Trustpower shares…. and the MRP float

    Can’t figure out Labour’s talk about making sure the electricity companies get a fair return. In relation to return on equity they are getting a fair return now, or at least fair by the market determination. What’s Labour going to do, force them to revalue their assets down? What’s a ‘fair’ return mean to Labour? Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

    Not sure the BERL report was a good move, the economic benefits are inflated. It intentionally left out the foregone tax & dividends and the Nats will pick up on that.

    Labour is going to get hammered on this by the usual rogues gallery so I hope they’ve done a thorough job on their numbers & have all the answers ready. Can picture the nat-voting Herald editorial writer breaking a few keyboards in bashing out the vitriol.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Oh you’re just full of doubts aren’t you?

      here’s a clue: bulk buyers always get better deals.

      It’s that simple.

      I didn’t see anything on lines & transmission costs and they’ve been a big factor in recent price increases, was that covered or not?.

      Relax man, Transpower still gets to do its thing.

      Not sure the BERL report was a good move, the economic benefits are inflated. It intentionally left out the foregone tax & dividends and the Nats will pick up on that.

      You think? Then why have the Nats just been yelling about North Korea and the Soviet Union.

  10. prism 11

    Just a fallback by a silly simplistic NACT government on the lines of the dancing Cossacks brouhaha. Around that time we traded with the Russians anyway – our butter for their larders whoops Ladas. It was all just a device to blow up populist sentiment. Never worry about explaining realpolitik to us.

  11. Mary 12

    National’s calling the announcement “economic sabotage”. It’s not economic sabotage, it’s bad policy sabotage being carried out within the free and democratic political system that we have. If Key and Joyce et al are going to be so arrogant as to give the finger to citizens by ignoring the petition for a referendum then they deserve everything they get and cannot expect a backlash. National’s basically saying that making the announcement is unfair because it will impact on the implementation of one of their policies. Well I say fair enough – that’s what people expect an effective Opposition to do. And it’s about bloody time.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 12.1

      The beauty of the economic sabotage line is that all Green/Labour have to do is point to all the countries that have similarly sabotaged their own electricity markets.

      PS: Send Paddy Gower to South Korea to investigate.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        National are getting their PR artillery zeroed in. How the Greens/Labour respond to each barrage will be crucial, as well as getting a few back.

      • Murray Olsen 12.1.2

        Can we send Gower to North Korea instead, along with a DVD of Key declaring war?

    • wyndham 12.2

      +++! Mary

  12. Jimmie 13

    So we have a situation where Labour & the Greens (for several years now) have been trying to convince the voters that the partial sell off of assets is a bad idea primarily due to the loss of dividend income to the government.

    Now we have a policy where Labour & the Greens have announced a policy where they will basically force the electricity industry to operate at pre determined levels of profit (decided by paper pushers) and announce that they are prepared to forego dividend payments and taxation revenue as a result.

    So looking at it from a tax payer point of view we have the following alternatives:

    Partial sale of power companies = Capital released to the government to be used for alternative investment. Dividend revenues cut in half however if the MOM delivers further efficiencies the dividend payments may increase in the future. Taxation levels will not be affected – perhaps they may increase due to a higher level of operating profit.

    Enforced regulation/depression of power pricing/generation capacity = Capital is not released to the government, it is in fact lost due to a permanent devaluing of the power companies capital worth.
    Dividend revenues will be foregone with no possibility of future increases or return.
    Taxation revenues will be foregone due to lower operating surpluses by the power companies.
    How is this good for the taxpayer??

    Sure by adding another layer of bureaucrats and government department may well result in lower short term power prices for consumers but how long will this last? Will we get price drops prior to elections and increases afterwards?
    If the regulated power prices are held low for political reasons surely this will increase demand (heck why use less power when it is so cheap) This will result in an outstripping of capacity thus requiring more generation to be built.

    Will the Greens allow more hydro stations or coal stations to be built? I doubt it.
    So will we get in a situation where quotas will be introduced to limit power usage? Throw in financial penalties for over use of power and you have a price increase by another name.

    Also you may enter the murky world of inequities – why should rick pricks get cheap power at the same price as Bob the bene? Do we go down the road of progressive power pricing based on the taxation status of the account owner?

    I tell you this policy has not be thought through – Lab/Green have gone for the nirvana of enforced regulation of pricing – how different is this from the mess Moldoon had with price/wage freezes?

    If you want lower long term power prices then free up the RMA process so that additional future generation can be built without a 10 year red tape process to go through – a much simpler method but it ain’t gonna happen with Red + green….

    • framu 13.1

      1) theyre talking about a bulk buying entity like pharmac – dont know the details but under that model your not forced to take up the cheaper price
      2) its a model used elsewhere – that seems to be working
      3) demand is flatlining and wholesale prices are at historic lows yet prices are still going up
      4) you forgot to include $1B tax cuts that were irresponsible and unaffordable in you evaluation of the nats
      5) your evaluation of the MOM model is a fantasy that isnt supported by nearly every single commentator including treasury

      i agree the issue of reduced govt dividend is something that needs to be addressed – but we wont get anywhere until we let go of the misguided idea that selling off power infrastructure, even just a % of it, is a good idea that will do what its cheerleaders claim.

      We also need to stop kidding ourselves that nact are good economic managers – if they ran a private company like this they would have been fired years ago and given trespass notices by the shareholders

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        There needs to be a 100% Government owned retailer as well…KiwiPower.

      • Gosman 13.1.2

        If wholesale prices are at historical lows doesn’t this suggest any problem is with the reatilers, which the proposed solution isn’t going to do anything about?

        • Colonial Viper

          But it’s a beautiful set up for a new Government retailer mate, KiwiPower.

        • framu

          your forgetting your own ideology – what effect and power does a bulk buyer bring to a market price negotiation?

          • Gosman

            Your avoiding the question. If wholesale prices are at historical lows then the issue is likely with the retailers (or at least downstream of the wholesalers) not the wholesale market.

            • framu

              no im not

              you pointed out that the problem seems to be with retailers over charging – i asked what effect a powerful bulk buyer has on the retail price.

              • Gosman

                Considering the current situation is that historical low wholesale prices have had little effect on the retail price the answer to that would seem to be very little.

                • framu

                  so a bulk buyer that doesnt yet exist has had no effect?

                  answer the question and stop your usual bullshit

                  what effect does a powerful bulk buyer have on the retail price?

                  • Gosman

                    I just told you that the situation that a bulk buyer might be able to provide, (i.e. low wholesale proces for electricity) does not currently seem to be working in lowering the price. This would suggest a bulk buyer would have little influence on the retail price if it isn’t doing so at the moment. If you disagree perhaps you would explain why low Wholesale prices aren’t leading to lower retail proces?

                    • framu

                      yes, because (now follow along with me here)

                      it – doesnt – yet – exist.
                      therefore – it – hasnt – yet – had – an – effect

                      so getting back to something in the realms of reality and not your stupid made up shit, what effect does a powerful bulk buyer have on the RETAIL price?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I think Gossie is trying to make the point that NZ Power would be a bulk wholesale intermediary of power; but that end retailers will still get to set any pricing they want.

                      Is he raising a valid issue? I think quite possibly.

                      Which is why we also need a KiwiPower government retailer.

                    • framu

                      true – he might be.
                      but as with all things gosman – its hard to tell

        • Draco T Bastard

          You mean the retailers that are owned by the wholesalers?

          • Gosman

            As they will be still even after the proposed changes of Labour and the Greens.

            • Macro

              they will be separated into two different entities – eg telecom, so the power generation will be completely separate from the power retailing and help apart by KiwiPower.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.2

      Partial sale of power companies = Capital released to the government to be used for alternative investment.

      Which we wouldn’t need if the government hadn’t cut taxes for the rich while increasing taxes on the poor.

      Dividend revenues cut in half however if the MOM delivers further efficiencies the dividend payments may increase in the future.

      The sell off of shares can’t actually do that. It is, quite simply, physically impossible. All it does is increase the dead weight loss brought about by profit. SoEs profit is bad enough as it acts as a regressive tax but it at least goes to building things for the whole community. Profit going to private shareholders is just pure loss.

      If the regulated power prices are held low for political reasons surely this will increase demand (heck why use less power when it is so cheap) This will result in an outstripping of capacity thus requiring more generation to be built.

      Oh noes, we might have to have more jobs.

      Did you notice that power is currently over supplied and with Tiwai Point likely to close in the next few years what we’ll have is a massive over supply anyway?

      Also, it’s unlikely that power consumption will increase that much as the amount of power used in a household just isn’t that elastic.

      If you want lower long term power prices then free up the RMA process…

      And there we have it – the desire to screw the environment even more just to make a few people richer, everyone else poorer and so that our children and grandchildren are truly fucked.

      I tell you this policy has not be thought through…

      Well, actually, what we have is you talking out your arse.

    • ghostrider888 13.3

      that is some of the most convoluted Jimmie-riddle spin we have seen so far;
      -surplus generation + static demand, actually; demand projected to remain flat.
      -nothing “enforced” about generation capacity at all.
      -either forgone taxation revenues or foregone off-shore shareholder dividends.
      -“qotas” is a long bow to draw.
      -there are already inequities.

      Man, what an annoying load of Jrivel

    • Steady Course 13.4

      “If the regulated power prices are held low for political reasons surely this will increase demand (heck why use less power when it is so cheap) This will result in an outstripping of capacity thus requiring more generation to be built.”

      Exactly! With power so cheap consumption will go through the roof, people will have longer showers/baths, stop turning appliances off standby etc the only incentive to keep consumption down for most is because it hits you in the pocket!
      Say hello to black outs and then to counter that taadaa an increase in prices again. Back to square one but with 5000 extra people the taxpayer has to support!

      • Draco T Bastard 13.4.1

        As I say up above, electricity demand is fairly inelastic but there’s a solution even for your worries. It’s called a free block. You get a set amount of power (you choose what the set amount is) and if you go above that you get stung massively, i.e, instead of the price being in cents/kW/h it’s measured in, say, dollars. You get the cheaper price while also being incentivised not to be stupid.

        • Steady Course

          So my power bill at the moment is $120 a month, are you saying i will get the same amount of power i use now based on historical use for a lower rate and then if i go over that i pay at a higher than now rate?

        • Steady Course

          “It’s called a free block. You get a set amount of power (you choose what the set amount is)”

          So can my set amount please be heaps more than im using now?

          • Colonial Viper

            Yes, that’s right, you got the idea.

            • Steady Course

              If the block of ‘cheap’ power you get is based on historical use does that mean that people struggling and the elderly etc who dont use their heaters in winter now still wont be able to use them as this will breach their free block and they will be “stung massively”?

              How the fuck does this thing work? By the long delay in anyone replying to my questions im picking no one has got that far and you have no idea. More shooting off at the lip without actually walking through the ins and outs of a policy first! This is kiwi build dejavu!

              [lprent: Alternative (and more likely) explanations

              1. You are talking crap and other commentators are ignoring you because you’re talking crap.

              2. You read like just another moronic ACToid tossing around debating tactics of dubious value as you throw up a preposition, try to glue it to someone else, just so you can tar it to others. I usually get irritated with anyone dumb enough to still try to use that tired old hack and give them a educational ban so I don’t have to read the inevitable flamewar.

              3. Your expectation that this is spoken conversation with short intervals between a comment and a response is just delusional.

              4. Other readers are just waiting to see how I deal with someone who is using a variant of the “owned” or “pwned” fantasy. I’ll give you a hint – I usually just ban them.

              So you have now been warned not to take the next logical step in 2 and 4. You should also examine the policy so you don’t waste my time in the future because I will notice any similar comments that are clearly directed at nobody in particular and are therefore directed at me.

              Personally I suspect that you’ll be too stupid to see this warning and heed it. ]

              • McFlock

                Maybe people have better things to do than refresh the page every 30s just to see whether you’ve expressed concern?

                • Steady Course

                  So you have no idea either huh? Join the russell and david club

                  • McFlock

                    Dude, I don’t give a damn.

                    Frankly, it seems to me to be more like an operational issue to be nailed down closer to the time. You posed a hypothetical moral hazard, DTB responded with a possible solution should that hazard become evident, now you’re raising equity issues about a suggested solution to your own hypothetical.

                    Frankly, I think the percentage of people who will go apeshit with power consumption is quite low. My reasoning being that I don’t believe most people are selfish, short-minded fools. You obviously disagree. I suspect that this is because, as a tory, you don’t want to believe you are in the minority.

                    • Steady Course

                      Just as i thought, its a shameless “vote for us a we will give you money, free magic money” bribe.

                      When questions get asked about the numbers you get a phil goff/david shearer um, um, ah, ah thats not important right now lol

                      I cant wait for the live tv leader debates its gonna be fucking hilarious, key’s gonna wipe the floor with these two clowns

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Just as i thought, its a shameless “vote for us a we will give you money, free magic money” bribe.

                      You do know that’s what the asset sales were, right?

                      And the income tax cuts for the already wealthy?

                      And the $50M-$100M for farmer’s irrigation projects?

                      And the billion dollar bailout of SCF?

                    • weka

                      That’s why they have Norman.

                      Although Parker seemed quite coherent on Nine to Noon this morning.

                    • McFlock

                      I’m hardly surprised that you didn’t let the various debates you’ve been having affect your view from Planet Key.

                      What part of “inelastic demand” did you fail to comprehend?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Just as i thought, its a shameless “vote for us a we will give you money, free magic money” bribe.

                      No it’s not and the reason why it’s not is because neither Labour nor Greens are giving anything to anybody. What they’re doing is decreasing the dead weight loss of profit so that the majority of people can have more.

              • Steady Course

                Lprent, so you cant answer my question on how this block thing works either? fyi it was a genuine question. Im ova wasting my time with this site, you all like to pat eachother on the back and tell each other how smart you are when really you know fuck all, you just fool yourselves into thinking you do! When someone asks you a question you cant answer everyone just sidesteps it and hurls abuse back.

                I now know why a below average blog like Whale oil consistantly gets more hits than you.

                I saved you a job, i ban myself!

                • McFlock


                • Pascal's bookie

                  That was weird.

                • lprent

                  1. I’m afraid that when I am moderating I usually don’t bother to look at the content of the comment. I just look at the pattern of behaviour in the comment compared to the previous 500 thousand comments or so that I have seen on this site and the larger numbers I have seen around the social networks over the last 30 years.

                  2. When I see patterns emerging that I have seen before and which violate our policies I warn people. In your case you appeared to be heading to use a classic troll tactic of “owning” people by attempting to claim victory from the lack of response from others. As I pointed out there were other explanations.

                  3. Now I have looked back at your question, I’d have to say that I’m tending towards viewing it as being essentially meaningless, ill-informed, and poorly framed and phrased because you hadn’t bothered to engage your brain.

                  4. But I’d suggest that you educate yourself in the strategies used by ISPs and cellphone companies with prepaid blocks for services and excess charging for going over the limits. There are some pretty powerful incentives to not use to excess. I’d expect that DTB was thinking on those lines – something like you’d get a bigger block if you took power at odd hours (eg when the wind is blowing on a wind farm at night) compared to if you took most power in the early evening.

                  5. And I see that DTB has answered you below… When he got back from whatever he was doing. Just like I answered you when I got back from the pub after friday night socialising.

                  I saved you a job, i ban myself!

                  Probably wise. Keep learning and try again when you’re better at figuring out how to engage in debate rather than using cheap tactics of past eras of social media.

          • Draco T Bastard

            My mistake, I was supposed to remove the bit about the free block. Rushed editing.

            You put forward a hypothetical that I don’t believe in because power use in households is, IMO, fairly inelastic. I put forward a solution to that hypothetical and it’s a solution that I’ve put forward before on here. A couple of years ago I believe.

            I wanted to create a permanent incentive to use less power and within the market paradigm. I also wanted to have low priced power for households and that brought me to the idea of having a fixed set of power for a fixed price every month. I realised that going over that block of power would need to be fairly heavily priced otherwise people would consistently go over. I also realised that the larger the block chosen by each household the higher the cost per unit it would have to be so as to incentivise people to choose a smaller block.. The last realisation that I had was that everyone, households and business, would have to be charged the same way.

            Businesses presently get cheaper power and the reason why they get cheaper power is because of the higher use of power allows a higher amount of total profit by selling more at less price because the fixed costs don’t change. In other words, your hypothetical already exists but it’s only available to businesses.

            The power block system that I’ve described would make that cheap power available to households as well but it removes the incentive to over use power that businesses presently have. Labour’s and Greens PowerNZ would be able to implement such a system whereas a the faux market we have in power, or any market really, wouldn’t be able to as the market, due to the profit motive, is geared to use up resources rather than to conserve them.

      • Colonial Viper 13.4.2

        You’re talking about an idea similar to Jevon’s Paradox. Where improved efficiency doesn’t lead to less use, it actually leads to more use.

        But Draco has already got the answer for you.

        • Steady Course

          Exactly, no one can answer the ‘operational’ questions on the policy, just like the kiwi build policy.
          Labour do themselves more harm than good releasing rushed, un-complete policies.

          I look foward to more stumbling and mumbling from shearer

  13. Adrian 14

    Listening to David Shearer I think this opens up the Gummint to buying spare electricity from private household solar installations. Brilliant.
    Note to Labour/ Greens : stick to the “It works for Pharmac” line.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Yes the PR opportunity is here for Greens/Labour, it’s gotta be played smart and simple.

      “Everyone knows bulk buyers get better prices, and NZ Power is going to be one big bulk buyer of electricity on behalf of all New Zealanders”

  14. Gosman 15

    The great thing about this policy is it lets me to play my favourite game of comparing NZ left wing policies to Zimbabwe in the first decade of this century.

    This is essentially a form of price controls imposed with the same logic as those imposed in Zimbabwe, namely that the producers were overcharging and profiteering at the poor consumers expense.

    Of course the benevolent and wise Government will ensure a formula will be applied that will allow the generators to make a ‘fair’ profit. David Parker even mentioned on N2N today that it may even take into account inflation. How very generous of him.

    I look forward to the first brown out as a result of this policy.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Why are you talking about the problems of Zimbabwe and Brown Outs?

      That’s frakking Racist 😀

      BTW uh…did the Waikato power blow up last night happen under a free market model.

      Why, yes it did.

    • framu 15.2

      Are you saying that pharmac – a hugely succesfull and long running bulk buying scheme is like mugabe? – Quick, make a billboard! Perhaps a march in the street with swastikas!

      you can have whatever circle jerk you like mate – just dont expect anyone else to think its has any weight or relevance

      • Gosman 15.2.1

        Pharmac is a single purchaser for the NZ public health sector for mainly overseas health suppliers. It doesn’t impose anything on anybody and the Phamaceutical companies are free to take their business elsewhere if they don’t like dealing with them. That is different from dictating the Wholesale price for electricity within NZ based on some as yet unknown formula. That is essentially a price control versus getting a discount on bulk purchases.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead


          You mean like when in a free market a bulk purchaser can put the squeeze on suppliers to reduce prices? Like four-million New Zealanders deciding to bulk-purchase power, for example?

          You’re off your game, Gossie.

          • framu

            its strange innit – free market theory seems to be dropped rather quickly when its the general populace who stands to benefit

          • Gosman

            Ahhhh… no. In the health sector the end users or retailers are separate from the suppliers who operate in a wider market place. There is also one big supplier of health services to the population, namely the State. Hence Bulk purchasing makes a lot of sense. This is not the case in the Electricity market. Energy generators do not have the ability to tell the bulk buyer to take a running jump if they feel the price is uneconomic.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead

              Just as the consumers have no choice about whether to use the product, but you couldn’t give a fuck about them.

            • framu

              “Energy generators do not have the ability to tell the bulk buyer to take a running jump if they feel the price is uneconomic.”

              but neither do health and medicine providers – theyre free to try but they know no-one would be able to buy at their preffered top price

              also – what bit of “price negotiation” dont you understand?

        • framu

          but if its a pharmac model wont consumers have the choice to buy their power outside this system if they so choose?

          (just guessing there – we dont know the details yet)

          It fits your ideology re: consumer choice – yet you dont seem to be calling for it.

          regardless its still nowhere near your repetitive mugabe bullshit

        • instauration

          Try buying prescription product from other than retailers with Pharmac sources.
          You can – but you won’t – unless your spam filter is askew.
          It is the regulation – source to retail (excludes creation) – that makes Pharmac invincible.
          Yes please – I will have the same for Electricity – and other essentialities.
          TPP alert!

  15. Rob 16

    Sorry, just trying to get over 5,000 jobs being created by this. But I suppose once all the political appointments have been made to Power NZ and its new CEO appointed (Judith Tizard or some other throw back), then having a new Govt Department employing 5,000 people is entirely feaseable.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 16.1

      Really, is that where the BERL report says the jobs will come from? Oh, now I get it, you’re too lazy to read it, and you think you’re a bit witty.

      • Rob 16.1.1

        Not witty, just calling bullshit when I see it. And actually very uncomfortable that we are adding in extra layers of political appointees over something we are told we own and should not be selling.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          Except that not having read the report, you can’t call anything. You don’t know what assumptions have been made, or anything else about how that figure has been arrived at. So you’re the one bullshitting.

    • framu 16.2

      i dont know where the figure comes from – but surely reducing costs will free up the amount of money circulating in the economy leading to increased business activity.

      I dont think anyone is claiming the jobs will all be created directly from the body overseeing the policy

      • Gosman 16.2.1

        Ahhh… wrong. The vast majority of the money they will be giving back to consumers is actually going to the Government in the form of dividends. This money is recycled already via Government spending. So you aren’t going to magically create money out of the air from nowhere. The only way this will generate real jobs if is there is real long term cheaper electricity for businesses and they can generate extra production as a result. Of course the reality is theat electricity prices for businesses have benefitted from the current situation already and the new policy looks to be a sop to retail consumers. In short the numbers spouted by Berl are seriously dodgy. Nothing new for Berl though/

        • framu

          well you might have a point there – but why should anyone even listen to you – arent you just here for the wind up?

        • Jackal

          Saving New Zealand families around $300 per year, which they will then spend on things they need, invest in more productive areas or save for a rainy day is going to be good for the economy Gosman. Such a policy will also reduce poverty, which will have additional benefits to government expenditure and productivity.

          The $700 million in savings for consumers is taken from the power cos revenue, which was nearly $10 billion in 2012. Even with a 7% cut in revenue per year, the power companies overall revenue will still increase, meaning that government dividends and net profits will not be greatly affected. For instance, Mighty River Power’s revenue increased by 31% in 2012.

          Why is the right wing fear mongering about this policy? Are they trying to undermine the asset sales themselves? With the political party’s that support this policy being 14% ahead of National in recent polling, it appears that the right wing is trying to undermine the economy in the knowledge that they will be handing over a poisoned chalice.

          Don’t be surprised if National doesn’t become government again for a very very long time if they continue with such tactics.

      • Rob 16.2.2

        Not if the reduction in earnings to the Govt forces them to increase taxes, then the population just gets no benefit.

    • Gosman 16.3

      I think they pulled it out of their rather large posteriers.

      • framu 16.3.1

        so youve now gone from “nothing to add” to “really nothing to add”

        well done sunshine – cant you just admit your only here for a wind up like you did recently? it would be more honest. (but you dont do honest do you)

        • McFlock

          So phase three in the Tory meltdown (after recycling WMDs and the Dancing Cossacks), the NACT bunker has released its horde of flying monkeys upon the interwebz, with the special joy of a return of the Digital Gostate Examination.

  16. Ruobeil 17

    Labour and the Greens must be real proud with the destruction they have caused for Kiwisaver investors and individuals who have had millions of dollars wiped off the value of their shares since this announcement of economic vandalism.

    • Bunji 17.1

      I doubt Kiwisaver funds have that significant proportion of their investment in Contact or Trustpower, which is the only way that they’re going to have so much wiped off.

      Far less than the savings the can expect from their reduced power bills at any rate.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 17.2

      They’ll probably keep dropping, but if you sell some now then buy them back when the value falls some more, you’ll have your shares plus some cash to help you diversify.

      Sell. Sell.

  17. Ruobeil 18

    Any evidence of that?

    I decided not to contribute to inflation in the housing market or to put money into dodgy finance companies and invest in shares instead.

    My Contact Energy shares have lost 10% of their value since yesterday.

    • karol 18.1

      Well, some of us go for a (hopefully) less risky option – my money is in fairly low interest bank accounts. There’s always a risk to buying shares.

      • instauration 18.1.1

        and sadly – if in Cypress – and NZ per RBNZ “Open Bank Resolution” – even “less risky option”s may be shaved – just like shares.

    • Bunji 18.2

      I’m guessing you’re replying to me (the reply button will get things in line)

      First rule of investment: diversify.

      Can be hard for small investors to do this (other than through unit trusts etc), but I’d be very disappointed in my KiwiSaver provider if they’ve got too big an exposure to any one company.

      • Ruobeil 18.2.1

        I have diversified.

        Contact has lost $450m in value since yesterday. Too bad if you were about to retire and lost a significant chunk of money.

        I thought i was doing the right thing by not getting into the property market (and helping push up prices) and thought investing in NZ companies was the way to go.

        Should i just be content with 4% (or less) in a Kiwibank account?

        • Pascal's bookie

          Intteresting discussion happening elsewhere about who it is that’s dumping stock.

          Not Origin, we know that. Not the index funds either.

          Could be managed funds, but really? Not likely really.

          Who does that leave?

          • Jim Nald

            Waiting for Ryall to provide opportunities to invest in frozen hospital food.

        • weka

          “Contact has lost $450m in value since yesterday. Too bad if you were about to retire and lost a significant chunk of money.”

          How much have you actually lost, in dollar terms?

          • Colonial Viper

            Contact lost $450M in value eh? Just like that?

            Ladies and gentlemen, see how ridiculously easy it is to depress the price of these private sector energy companies, in order to renationalise them?

    • Te Reo Putake 18.3

      Shares go up, shares go down. It’s only an issue if you are buying or selling, Ruobeil. It won’t affect your dividends in the meantime, so what’s the problem if their completely artificial ‘value’ is negatively affected?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 18.4

      Should have short-sold, Ruobeil. You could have made a nice little profit. Better luck next time.

      • Colonial Viper 18.4.1

        We need some better capitalists. Maybe John Key could advise on some market trading strategies?

        • Rob

          Better sell them now, I think we are starting to realise the sell on these in the lead up to the election, it will not be pretty.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.5

      Well, thems the risks you take in being a capitalist – as the capitalists keep telling us – until they lose in which case it’s all whinge, whinge, whinge.

  18. ianmac 19

    Not sure if this already raised but on Nine to Noon this morning,”In 2009, the Commerce Commission investigation released an investigation into the electricity market. Professor Wolak estimated that electricity generators used their market power to earn $4.3 billion more in six and a half years than what should have been the case in competitive conditions.”
    [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ntn/ntn-20130419-0910-the_labour_partys_new_electricity_policy-048.mp3" /]

  19. aerobubble 20

    Demand for electricity will rise with lower prices, smaller companies and individuals will get relief and so be able to invest the savings in their own activities.

    High prices, ownership by foreigners, will mean more profits flowing overseas and more of a burden on our economy.

    So its not as simple as losing the dividend flow, the whole economy is geared far to heavily in favor of drawing in foreign investment, being anti-partial sale is just another of a range of policies emerging to deal with the noted problems in the NZ economy.

  20. Ruobeil 21

    Thanks for the intelligent debate.

    I’m not interested in creaming a whole lot of money. The yield on Contact is 6%.

    But i wonder what will happen now?

    Finance companies out. At least i wasn’t silly enough to think that BB+ was a good credit rating.

    Property out.

    I am happy though that when i fly Air NZ i’m putting money back in my pocket even with their rip-off credit card fees.

    Should i just be content with a subsistence lifestyle?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 21.1

      Don’t sweat it, you’re a wealth creator: this is just some of your wealth trickling down a bit faster than normal.

    • Rob 21.2

      Yes, subsistance living and having all your decisions made for you as we all huddle around a one burner heater, but rejoicing in the fact that we have a huge and wonderful group looking after our every breath. Ahh blisss…

    • Colonial Viper 21.3

      Should i just be content with a subsistence lifestyle?

      I hear all you types are really entrepreneurial, starting businesses, employing people, creating wealth, adding value and generating exports, but it seems all you want to do is be a rentier capitalist.

      It’s actually a bit of a let down.

      • Rob 21.3.1

        Well I suppose any working and engaged life would be a let down in comparison to your lifestyle. The rest of us cant sit on our arse all day not working and be looked after by rich relatives whilst lecturing everyone on what they should and shouldnt be doing.

        • Colonial Viper

          It’s so sad when wingnuts resort to the Politics of Envy. I’m just trying to set an aspirashunul example for you.

  21. Jane 22

    Where do cheaper electricity prices fit with the ETS?

    The only way behaviour on energy consumption will change is through higher prices, a large proportion of people won’t make the effort to use public transport or less power until it gets so expensive they have to. Is the same with smoking, all the add campaigns, plain packaging and hidden shelves have almost no affect when compared to increasing the price by a dollar every six months, I know several people who have quit because of the price, otherwise they would have carried on.

    • Rob 22.1

      Yep Jane, well an unintended (or maybe intended) consequence of cheapening electricity could be an increase in demand, because there is no incentive for efficiency. If the supply chanel is not big enough then it will require more supply to be brought on. Private investors will not go near it as there is no return on investment (ie no business model to suuport investment) , therefore the great and magical gumnint will have to pony up the cash and we all know where they get their cash from don’t we.

    • karol 22.2

      The general approach to NZ Power and sustainability is on pages 13 & 14 of the Greens’ policy.

      NZ Power will be explicitly mandated to facilitate energy efficiency and favour renewable generation….

      By facilitating increased retail competition, NZ Power should see new, innovative companies enter the market that will encourage and reward energy efficiency – for example, through improved use of smart meters and differential rates…

      NZ Power itself will have a strong incentive to facilitate energy efficiency. From NZ Power’s perspective, buying megawatts from a generator or spending money to reduce electricity demand (buying ‘negawatt hours’) is much the same thing. ..

      At present, putting a realistic price on greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation puts up the price of all electricity by the impact of the carbon charge on the most expensive generation even though most electricity is effectively free of carbon emissions. Average pricing via NZ Power means that carbon pricing disincentivises fossil fuel electricity generation without imposing an unfair and inefficient burden on electricity users.

      I guess it will depend on how it’s done as to whether these aims are achieved.

      • Rob 22.2.1

        There is a lot at risk with this, I hope that it does not rely on gueses as it is making me very nervous and I employ people.

      • ghostrider888 22.2.2

        😀 EXCELLENT LINK 😀 karol above

    • weka 22.3

      Make the first x amount of kWh a low price and then up the price above that. You’d need to do that carefully (poorer people tend to live on older houses that need more power), but you can still disincentivise excessive use.

      Alongside that, educate people about the connections between their power and other consumption, climate change, and the wellbeing of their children and grandchildren.

      Imagine if we had publicly funded ads about climate change and peak oil (peak everything) in the way that we currently do around things like driving and alcohol.

      (I remember the 90s’ ads by ECNZ encouraging people to use more power. Dumb fucks, even then it looked incredibly stupid, greedy and shortsighted).

    • Draco T Bastard 22.4

      all the add campaigns, plain packaging and hidden shelves have almost no affect when compared to increasing the price by a dollar every six months

      I think you’ll find that the add campaigns have had a significant effect in that far fewer people now start smoking than, say, 30 years ago.

  22. Ruobeil 23

    Maybe some of the ones complaining about higher power prices are those that bought heat pumps then left them going 24 hours a day on 24C then wondered why their power bills are so high.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 23.1

      Maybe they are! Gosh, maybe some of them are those who go fishing at weekends, or eat Chinese food.

    • Colonial Viper 23.2

      That and the fact power company shareholders are raking it in.

      That’s why so many investment funds are lining up to buy the assets, don’t you know.

      • Ruobeil 23.2.1

        Should Kiwisaver and the NZ Superannuation fund not invest in power companies?

        Where should they put their money?

        Should i sell my shares to a foreign investor?

        • Colonial Viper

          Here’s a tip for you mate. There are no safe investment assets left in the world. Not even your bank account is safe from expropriation under new laws this Govt is bringing in.

          BTW the NZ Super, ACC funds etc are not retail investors. They have access to financial instruments you and I can’t imagine.

          Why don’t you just buy some more houses like everyone else.

          Or you know, be entrepreneurial and start a business with some employees, instead of being a rentier capitalist.

          • Ruobeil

            Won’t investing in property help push prices higher making them even more unaffordable?

            Haven’t we been told for several years to diversify away from property?

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead

              We get it, you weren’t fast enough on your feet and took a bath on Contact shares. We feel sorry for you.

              Everyone, feel sorry for Ruobeil.

              Feel the love Ruobeil, and remember, the value of your investment can go up or down.

              • Colonial Viper

                Ruobeil is a capitalist. Aren’t you Ruobeil? You know, capitalism = risk/reward.

                You wanted a reward, you took a risk, don’t come crying to us now. Or is what you really wanted risk free returns, like a rentier capitalist?

        • Pascal's bookie

          You should buy a magic 8 ball mate.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          My God Ruobeil! You’re right! No private power companies exist in California for exactly the same reason. No, wait…

          • Jimmie

            Well I don’t think California is a great example to be looking at in relation to electricity – blackouts are fairly common over there….

            • rosy

              Are they still common or are you talking about Enron blackouts caused by market manipulation?

            • Colonial Viper

              Jimmie…you don’t think California is a good example? Name a couple better ones then.

            • Matt

              California is a great example across the board. Its solution to the semi-privatization (hmm) boondoggle of a dozen years ago has been very successful, and clearly an example for the NZ Power proposal.

              The boondoggle itself, on the other hand, appears to be National’s goal.

              I’m no particular friend of Labour, but emulating success beats emulating failure every time.

  23. Pascal's bookie 24

    Shares in non government backed energy companies take pounding as MOM policy unfolds. “Shocked”, says local idiot.

  24. newsense 25

    love the intro from the impartial senior political journo:

    Humankind can be divided into two categories: those who understand the complexities of the wholesale electricity market and those who do not, writes John Armstrong.

    First against the wall much?

  25. tsmithfield 26

    It seems that Labour recognised back in 2006 that a single power purchasing body is a dopy idea.

    • Matt 26.1

      The only problem with saying it can’t or won’t work are the many examples of it working. But if your premise is that Kiwis can’t figure out how to successfully implement what a bunch of other people already have, then OK. Aim high!

      • SomeSuch 26.1.1

        Citations. Evidence.

        • Matt

          There’s this thing called Google which is pretty handy for that. You may not have heard of it.

          • SomeSuch

            What a cop-out. Back up your statement with evidence applicable to New Zealand; evidence from reputable sources.

            • SomeSuch

              Well come on… Shall we talk South Korea which gets a large about of its electricity from nuclear power? Nuclear power investment being a central strategy for the last 30 odd years? How about KEPCO being only 51% publicly owned? How about this gem:

              “The nation is vulnerable to blackouts after the government miscalculated demand when planning power plants over the last decade. Some projects were either canceled or delayed because South Korea caps electricity prices to control inflation. Private coal plant operators sold out to Korea Electric Power Corp. (015760) in 1982.”


              Sheesh… this stuff is GOLD.

              • Matt

                Actually I was thinking of the California Public Utilities Commission and California ISO, for starters.

                But hey, you found and posted a link all by your little self, so a pointy hat off to you.

                • SomeSuch

                  There you go – you’re getting somewhere. Now provide us with some evidence from reputable sources which is replicable to NZ.

                  • Matt

                    Come on, DIY little reader.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    You’re another of the people who will deny the evidence no matter what. You asked for evidence above, you got it but you won’t accept it because it doesn’t say NZ on it.

                    Fuck off, you’re just wasting everyone’s time.

              • Te Reo Putake

                What’s your point, somesuch? After all, it was Steven Joyce with the Korea opportunity, not Labour, the Greens or Matt.

                I’m told that this electricity purchasing model works well in other countries and some US states. BERL seem to think it will work and the energy users group are dead keen, as well. Certainly, the current arrangement is screwing us consumers royally, so why not look at overseas alternatives?

                Perhaps you should look at Pharmac, if you want a local example of how to do this stuff well. They’re so good at getting our medicines cheap that the large pharmaceutical companies want Pharmac shut down.

                And perhaps rather than berate others, you should put together a case for continuing as we are, or, if that’s too difficult a task, maybe raise an alternative for us to consider.

  26. Ruobeil 27

    I’m sure iwi who have invested in Contact and may have used some of the capital gain to invest in low cost housing for their people will be impressed in the sabotage of their investment.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 27.1

      I’m sure you’re really concerned about them.

    • Pascal's bookie 27.2


      Walk me through this.

      The capital gain that they have realised and invested in low cost housing?

      Seeing a fucking thing there yet?

      *scrolls up, looks at big bold writing at the top of the page*

      Nats panicking on NZ Power


      • Ruobeil 27.2.1

        Read it again Pascal’s bookie. I said MAY have used.

        Instead of being self sufficient maybe they could ask for a government hand-out instead.

        • Pascal's bookie

          Oh right. So it was a hypothetical loss from a hypothetical shareholding leading to a hypothetical loss of hypothetical low cost housing.. Gosh what I heartless bastard I am not to have a response.

          But what if the mongrel mob had P profits invested and were considering using the gains to invest in a ‘free taste for the under threes’ campaign. Looks like we dodged a bullet to me. Why do want little kids hooked on P you fucking monster?

          • Ruobeil

            Didn’t realize Labour and the Greens had released a policy on P so not sure how that’s relevant.

            Sounds by your language that you have a problem with anger management.

            • Pascal's bookie

              Oh dear, we’ve hit the common impasse of discourse online with tories.

              Now I’m not sure if you really are as stupid as your comment would suggest, or if you are just trying to convince stupid people with moronic arguments.

              There’s this thing people do, when discussing something. Someone might try and make a point by using a thing called an argument, which is made of of premises which work together to form a conclusion.

              Now sometimes is easiest to point out what is wrong with the ‘argument’ some one has made by using the same structure and similar premises to reach a ridiculous ‘conclusion’.

              So your concern about hypothetical social housing missed out on due to hypothetical losses made from a hypothetical investment in Contact shares, requires that you be just as concerned that the Mongrel Mob missed out in their equally hypothetical scheme.

              Mind blown huh?

            • McFlock


              PB pulled a “thank goodness evil investors missed out on funds to continue their drug dealing” from the same place that you pulled your “such a pity iwi missed out on funds to help the people most marginalised by the current housing and energy markets” hypothetical.

              [edit: sorry for the interjection, pb]

        • Colonial Viper

          You mean in exchange for the millions of hectares of land confiscated from them by force?

    • deano 27.3

      if they’re using capital gain for another purpsoe, then clearly they’ve already sold out of Contact.

  27. tamati 28

    Great Photo, SJ looks just like Muldoon!

  28. Vagabundo 29

    Meanwhile, the Vector CEO appears to have endorsed the NZ Power scheme. Dunno if this pole-axes the arguments coming from National, but it certainly doesn’t help them.

  29. Peter 30

    Lots of support coming from across the board, well done Labour and Greens, and yes, well done David Shearer. Didn’t think I’d be saying that.

    Now, is Labour up for the economic debate that’s going to ensue? The Nats will throw the works at this one, in full campaign mode. Shearer just needs to speak plainly (gulp) and point to the years and years of market failure, rather than engaging in the diversionary statistical and ideological crap that the nats will throw at him.

  30. tsmithfield 31

    Somewhat amusing, James, that you held up KEPCO as an examplar of Labour’s proposal.

    As it turns out, KEPCO is only 51% government owned, and is also heavily involved in nuclear generation. Also, they are quite different in their operation to what is proposed by Labour, in that they actually own a number of power companies, and are heavilly involved in building infrastructure.

    Given that they are investing a lot in nuclear power, perhaps the reduction in cost of power is more to do with that factor rather than any particular business model.

    • McFlock 31.1

      I heartily agree. We need government investment in more power generation, rather than praying the private sector does it for us.

      Such a shame that the South Korean people lost half the profits when KEPCO was part-privatised in 1989, according to your link. Imagine what 23 years of that revenue would have done for the country. And then ask whether we can afford to make a similar error.

      • tsmithfield 31.1.1

        How do you know any drop in power prices wasn’t due to partial privatisation?

        It seems to me the left is only cherry-picking out the parts that appear to very loosely apply to their model.

        • Pascal's bookie


          well you’re not quite as angry as DonkeyKong but you’re just as desperate.

          Seriously, you’re going to complain that the left is “cherry-picking out the parts that appear to very loosely apply to their model” while the right is all through the media screeching about North Korea, Stalin, the USSR, and lord only knows what the fuck all else?

          Good luck with that in the old “perception is reality” stakes.

          Meanwhile, those noted communists at the NZ Manufacturers and Exporters Association have something to say:


          Boxes ticked! Ha, sounds like what we do in elections eh? Ticking boxes, Tick. Tock.

          Let’s see. It’s consumers and vs a few shareholders, manufacturers and exporters vs GB Were.

          Ticking boxes.

          • tsmithfield

            The differences between the Korean example and what is proposed by Labour are so extreme that there is really no basis for comparison at all.

            Firstly, KOPCO is in public/private ownership, as per the model that National is implementing.

            Secondly, KOPCO is not the sole provider of electricity in Korea. There is at least some competition.

            Thirdly, KOPCO doesn’t exclusively derive its income from South Korea.

            Fourthly, KOPCO actually owns power generating companies. It is not just acting as a power buyer as per the Labour model.

            Fifthly, KOPCO uses nuclear energy which is the cheapest way of generating electricity.

            James is completely wrong to claim that KOPCO is at all similar to Labour’s proposed model.

            • Pascal's bookie

              And now’s the part where you show me ‘James’ is worse than half the National front bench by detailing the ways in which the policy is just like Stalin.

            • Colonial Viper

              Fifthly, KOPCO uses nuclear energy which is the cheapest way of generating electricity.

              This is the biggest load of shit ever. It’s only true if you completely ignore the 10 years of decommissioning costs at the end of the lifetime of the plant.

              99.9% of the nuclear plants in the world would never have been built without massive government subsidies

            • rosy

              Firstly, James never said the South Korean buyer of electricity was or wasn’t any of those things. He said (paraphrasing) South Korea operated a similar single buyer model to that which Lab/Greens were proposing.

              The South Korean model has been described as such in:
              International transmission pricing review: A Report Prepared for the New Zealand Electricity Commission, July 2009 [.pdf download]

              South Korea‟s wholesale electricity market is based on a single-buyer model, whereby the monopsonist buyer, KEPCO, purchases energy from generators (structurally disaggregated from KEPCO during reforms) in a cost-based pool.[30]
              Economic dispatch is achieved by dispatching the market based on reported short-run operating costs.[30] The system operator, KPX, determines two market prices: the BLMP (baseload marginal price) and the SMP (system marginal price). These prices are paid to baseload and non-baseload generators, respectively.[30]

              Secondly, what or who is KOPCO?

            • Frank Macskasy

              TSmithfield; I have a proposal for you (no, not that variety – it may be legal but I ain’t interested);

              National supporters like you can keep paying higher power bills to powercos.

              The rest of us will pay the lower amount to NZ Power.

              Now what could be fairer than that?

              Just like when National cut taxes and we told you it was unaffordable – you National supporters told us to keep paying the higher tax rate, and you’d enjoy the tax cuts.

              How does it feel to have the shoe on the other foot?

              By the way, check this out; http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2013/4886/

              Have a nice day. 😀

              • Rob

                I’ll keep on paying the retailer directly . Here’s the rub Frank , I can and do reduce my household and business elect usage , direct use of gas for heating and hot water is a good start, let alone gas boosted solar hot water etc etc. I have no faith in labour being able to ensure we get their published savings without any tax increase , but I have faith in my ability to reduce power expenditure . I leave it to you lemmings, these guys will farm you into poverty and useless employment , just as they did for the 9 years when they ran the joint .

                • Draco T Bastard

                  direct use of gas for heating and hot water is a good start, let alone gas boosted solar hot water etc etc.

                  Ah, no, that’s actually a bad start. We’re in need of decreasing CO2 emissions, not increasing them.

                  I leave it to you lemmings,

                  The only lemmings I see are the right who keep going off doing stupid things like using gas to replace electricity despite all the evidence showing that they shouldn’t because it costs slightly less of nothing money.

  31. vto 32

    the conclusion is that gosman is a softwear package

  32. Michael 33

    I wasn’t too impressed with the policy when I read it (“too little, too late and what about those pesky little details in the fine print”) but changed my mind after reading the posts on this thread. Labour + Greens have finally given NACT a good belt around the ears (the first of many, I hope), judging from the petulant squealing sounds I can hear from the right-wingers. I really don’t know why Labour+Green can’t say they will renationalize any public assets flogged off by NACT once they take office next year. No compensation to anyone who buys shares in these outfits – force majeur and all that. Bring it on.

  33. Murray Olsen 34

    I’d far rather see the power companies stay in state hands, along with a government that was responsible to the wants and needs of the majority of the population.
    I’m probably a bit of a dreamer though, because I’d also like to see the participants of this blog give new people a chance when they ask questions. Some people who are not died in the wool Tories will have played in the stockmarket and some will take a loss. That’s the nature of capitalism. These same people may have good ideas and vote progressively, so I see absolutely no need to jump all over them at first sight.
    I’m not talking about the likes of Gosman or Chris73, or the Alex Jones afficionados. They should be jumped all over at first, second, third, and all subsequent sightings. But there are potential allies who will not agree on the details of every policy. Let’s not turn them against us.

    • Pascal's bookie 34.1

      Yeah maybe so, may be so.

      But if someone shows up and posts cotton his mouth, let us reason together stuff under a name like Kralc Nulluh for example, I’m gonnah guess he’s 1) a bit thick, 2) dishonest, and 3) Not for turning.

  34. karol 35

    John Key, having dropped out of sight since he took a bit of a hammering in the House this week, popped up on TV 3 News tonight. Looking a little haggard, he first tried the line that the Labour-Green Power policy was done by “barking mad” people. Then he said they were taking NZers back to the 1970s when people used to sit round candles cause the lights went out.

    Well, I don’t know what things have been like in Key’s part of town. Maybe they get a special gold standard power supply. But since I’ve been living out in west Auckland – over the last 12-13 years – I’ve had power cuts many times, and now stock candles as a precaution. Yep, sat around candle light a few times during the 21st century.

    • Anne 35.1

      the 1970s when people used to sit round candles cause the lights went out.

      What a load of piffle! I don’t remember that. I do remember the carless days episode but that was a situation not of NZ’s making. Wasn’t it the result of the Arab/Israeli war? We were on the brink of running out of oil.

      Edit: that’s right. The Yom Kipper war in 1973.

      So Key is trying to blame that on a former Labour govt. is he? He’s losing his marbles!

    • Draco T Bastard 35.2

      Then he said they were taking NZers back to the 1970s when people used to sit round candles cause the lights went out.

      I remember doing that – a couple of nights ago in fact.

    • Paul 35.3

      Let’s hope Key keeps saying this move will take us back to the 70s.
      You know……when we had full employment, less inequality, a government who sent our navy to protest against nuclear testing, high levels of class mobility, manufacturing industries, progressive labour laws and a welfare state which benefited Mr Key.
      Oh yeah, those terrible times….

      • Jimmie 35.3.1

        Yup mostly fuelled by government borrowing that sent the country to bankruptcy and which lead to the glorious 80’s reforms??

        • Paul

          Glorious for you obviously.

        • Colonial Viper

          Yup mostly fuelled by government borrowing that sent the country to bankruptcy and which lead to the glorious 80′s reforms??

          The country had a minor cashflow problem, but its balance sheet was massively positive.

          Fucking Douglas and Prebble, the enemy of the people.

        • Draco T Bastard

          The borrowing was a problem and it needs to be addressed – no country ever needs to borrow money.

      • Green machine UpandComer 35.3.2

        Unemployment was low because you had thousands of people doing nothing in say the rail industry. Housing was affordable, true, but that’s for the same reason that the economy was doing okay – sheep farmers could sell their meat to Britain, just like we had always done. You know what caused think big of course, it was the loss of the Britain market relationship that left us panicked and desperately looking for alternatives. Because sheep farming was viable, people were happy to live outside the main centres, thus you didn’t have the demand and supply issues in Auckland, and the meat-works in say Mataura could survive and employ people living in small rurally set towns. The welfare state could just work based on the economy of the time, but we didn’t have 300k people perpetually on welfare in those days, and your 70’s Utopia led to us being utterly bankrupt, indebted to the hilt and forced into the 80’s reforms. China was going through the cultural revolution, hence manufacturing was a viable option – although manufacturing is actually going from strength to strength at the moment. Labour laws were progressive?! Labour laws were a farce and there were strikes every other week. NZ was a Polish shipyard. A good thing though was that NZ in those days was not so PC, and it had more overt family values, which is ironic.

        No a return to the 70’s is not going to work. NZ’ers have an odd propensity to have faith in govt, but this policy and all the others are going to get picked apart over the next few months. This is a Mugabe confiscation of private property, a govt trying to set prices, and it will lead to brown-outs and the govt having to spend billions on the infrastructure.

        Even Albania has moved to a market model for power. It sounds so simple, but that’s always a danger.

        I actually wish this kind of thing would work like it does in South Korea. If it did, National would do it. But it doesn’t work and it won’t work. Still it’s interesting Labour have finally gone really left. I’m interested to see what they do next, which is more then I’ve been able to say for some time.

        • Murray Olsen

          Thank you for the ACT viewpoint. You get the order of Douglas, 3rd class.
          Austerity has never worked to get a country out of the shit, so National won’t be doing that in your world either?
          Legitimising spy powers that they have already taken illegal for themselves has never worked to make a better society. Your National won’t support that either then.
          Borrowing to pay farmers to pollute the water, and paying your old friends hugely inflated public service salaries has never done much good either. Your National won’t be supporting that.
          Bending over like a good kumara state dictator for mining and drilling companies has never done any country any good. Just as well your National is in charge.
          Paying Warner Bros to make a film before the above mining companies destroy the outdoor sets has never even been tried anywhere else, as far as I know. No other country has ever been that stupid. Your National would never do that either, then.
          The one here with an odd faith in government, especially of the neolib variety, is you, Green Machine. Now take your overt family values and off you go. You won’t be missed.

          • Green machine UpandComer

            What National is doing can hardly be termed austerity. They’re still keeping all your entitlements Murray, they’ve just managed to pay off more then three times the debt Labour did in half the time with half the GDP – most blokes would call that efficient and clap them on the back for that.

            Those same spy powers were all the go when your deputy leader and totemic party figure were running the show too. I suspect they’ll appreciate having their benign ignorance or ignoring of the possibly illegal actions made legitimate.

            I’m with you on public service. Shipley should never have been in charge of anything. Just remember most of my old friends don’t really need those jobs. The Labour guys like Mike Williams etc do/did.

            Yes Mining companies have really harmed Western Australia. I believe they pay about two thirds of WA’s entire state budget. It’s really awful for all the tradies and wharfies in WA, suffering due to the mining.

            Don’t even go near the Hobbit Murray. The Labour line on that was farcical. Imagine letting a small Aussie union sabotage our entire film industry. Whatever we got back from that is better then ‘zero’, which was the alternative.

            Mate, ‘neolib’ is a very silly term to use in NZ. I would call you a straight ‘liberal’ but that denotes a sense of sophistication that I don’t sense in your comments.

            • Draco T Bastard

              they’ve just managed to pay off more then three times the debt Labour did in half the time with half the GDP

              [citation needed]

              No, don’t bother. The facts are that this government have been borrowing like there’s no tomorrow.

              All the rest is typical RWNJ whinge but Labour did it toooo…

        • Draco T Bastard

          You know, what that rant shows is that the monetary system doesn’t work. We have all the resources we need in NZ so why do we have poverty? Why do we have to keep exporting more and more of our wealth leaving us with nothing?

          Why was the loss of trade to Britain so devastating when it really shouldn’t have been? All it should have done was decrease the amount we were producing while we went about our daily lives. Sure, some people would have to move out of farming but that’s no bad thing.

          • Green machine UpandComer

            The problem was for a lot of the blokes who could see what was going to happen, the decrease in production meant they couldn’t continue their daily lives. I remember the ashen faces in the districts, boy that was a stomach churner. I can tell you everyone wished they could have continued as usual. The problem with going back to the 70’s is that it was based on a safe secure simple economic model that doesn’t exist anymore Draco. In retrospect we were lucky to have it while we had it.

            • Draco T Bastard

              No, the problem is that then, as now, our economics is based upon delusion. A delusion that only benefits a few and impoverishes the many.

  35. North 36

    The THIEVES in THE MARKET are squealing their tits off.


    ” But where’s the proof of that, CHIEF THIEF and MARKETEER John Key ? ”

    ” Wilt sob-vee-issss rilly………jiss lookitt rekshinnin THE MARKET ”

    ” But Mr Key, many say THE MARKET is the THIEVES’ REGISTER…….YOUR register ”

    ” WHERE’S MY DANCING COSSACK ?………WHERE’S DADDY’S DANCING FUCKING COSSACK ??? ” (Kia Ora toThe Artist Taxi Driver and YouTube).

    The debate is finally very, very, very fundamentally framed. We have two choices:

    (1) Comply with the demands of the nation’s burglars and leave our doors open at night, or

    (2) Reject and mock their awfulising thus – ” THE GAME’S UP WE DON’T NEED BURGLARS FUCK OFF WITH YOUR DANCING COSSACKS ! “

  36. Gosman's Mum 37

    Can someone here please tell me why Gosman is sitting in his room crying?

  37. instauration 38

    Single desk purchasers have historical credence in NZ mythology.
    They may now be in a GATT framed “free market” – but we all understand that Fonterra (NZ*B precursors) acquired perpetual dominance by right of regulated monopoly on the purchase and resale of milkFat.

  38. burt 39

    A monopoly for the benefit of electoral popularity, stealth tax gathering . Yes let’s give the government more control of every aspect of our daily lives – it will be fine… When the election is drawing near the electorates that traditionally don’t support the government can simply have their power cut off stopping them from charging their electric cars so they can’t get out to vote, can’t connect to the net for online voting when the state owned Internet is disabled to their houses.

    It’s ok folks – history shows that governments that have more power over us than they need always use it in our best interests – just like history shows socialism produces enduring benefits for society. Look at Muldoon’s think big – it was just a tiny thing compared to the success this new one stop shop of a Labour government could be.

    • Colonial Viper 39.1

      Shucks burt you’re a closet conspiracy theorist? I never knew.

      So all our state owned and run hospitals in Aotearoa are only there in order to euthanise the political enemies of the day when the day comes?

  39. Jasper 40

    ……. At the end of the day, National is fucked on this. Haha! I concur! Double fucked with the Greens & Labour and add uncle Winston not wanting to support the Nat’s on this (even though he’s a dodgy bastard too), the Maori party’s gone & hopefully Banks will be locked up for been a dodgy bastard! The Nats have painted themselves into a corner! Lets see if Mr Fuckit can weasle outta this??

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