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Keep Our Assets petition submission

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 am, March 12th, 2013 - 51 comments
Categories: activism, assets, democratic participation, privatisation, referendum - Tags:

The Keep Our Assets petition will be submitted today at 12.30 at Parliament with approximately 400,000 signatures -get along if you can for the presentation.

It is the largest petition in New Zealand history. The referendum that will follow will test National’s mandate for asset sales – clearly and unequivocally.

Well done to the thousands of collectors and all the signatories. National – stop the sales and listen.


51 comments on “Keep Our Assets petition submission”

  1. National – stop the sales and listen.

    If only there was a chance of this happening …

    • Chris 1.1

      Lets be honest no-one really expected that this would stop the asset sales. It was always going to be an exercise to show that there is no mandate and use as a tool against National.

      Expect to see National repeatedly say that they will go ahead with the sales anyway and not to bother voting in the referendum as it will make no difference. Then when there is a huge vote against the asset sales for them to say of course because everyone who was for the asset sales ddin’t vote and look at the crap turnout (which every refendum has) and say that is proof they still have a mandate.

      While this will be obviously full of shit, the low turnout at the election has been used by many on this site as a reason why National does not have a mandate so it will just be the same argument again but from the other side.

    • Pete 1.2

      Am I the only one with Vanilla Ice stuck in my head right now?

  2. Jimmie 2

    Largest petition in history? Umm no. From memory the petition against homosexual law reform got up to 700,000 back in the 80’s.

    Well if there are enough signatures to force a CIR I hope all the paid green workers get a work bonus from the party.

    • Te Reo Putake 2.1

      The most significant thing about the 1986 anti-gay petition was that most of the names were faked. It was a fraudelent exercise perpetrated by something called the Coalition of Concerned Citizens, who then moved on to white anting the National Party in the hope of turning them away from liberalism into christian conservatism. A scheme unsuccesfully updated a decade ago by the Exclusive Brethren who cut to the chase by simply offering money, an approach more in tune with the Brash leadership’s morality.

  3. irascible 3

    KeY’s response to the announcement: “I confidently expect most of the signatures will be false.” Marks for listening… Nil. Marks for understanding and empathy with the NZ psyche: Nil.
    Will the petition be acknowledged by KeY, apart from a snide remark masquarading as humour , as a demand to be heard and a stop be placed on the privatisation campaign…. Not a chance. He and his mates are lining up to asset strip this country and reduce NZ to client state category.

    • Arthur 3.1

      KeY’s response to the announcement: “I confidently expect most of the signatures will be false.”

      I registered, have no intentions of buying. Just doing my bit to confuse the bastards. There must be many more of us.

      • xtasy 3.1.1

        Hah, by that logic of Key, we may as well counter-claim: “I confidently expect most votes cast for National last election will have been false”.

      • xtasy 3.1.2

        Arthur: Your are onto it! I suggested this to others last week.

        Just register an expression of interest, the more the better, and then have them try to bloody work out which of these expressions are authentic, sincere and will result in a purchase of shares.

        By the way someone managed to “register” under David Shearer’s name!

        So maybe also register under your dog’s and cat’s name, the cows on the paddock, the bird in the tree and what else comes to mind. Once they over-registered expressions hit 20 million the penny may drop in Key’s and Rile’s heads. That is of course, provided Key’s head is “clear” and funtional, after such an ardous South American tour, sampling all the Chilean wines and Brazilian spirits and cocktails.

    • Rogue Trooper 3.2

      as i opined on OM, might as well just have a book-burning and be over and done with it!

  4. risildowgtn 4

    They dont intend to listen or take any notice of the

    Keep Our Assets petition…..


  5. Chris 5

    OffKey also stated sneeringly on radio that David Shearer had said he will be front of the queue to buy shares. Immediately refuted by Labour. Key just cannot help but lie.He was of course not asked where he had heard statement by DS. Dreamt it probably.

    • Pascal's bookie 5.1



      David Shearer has been registered for MRP shares but says someone else did it. He questions whether 285,000 registrations is really accurate

      • McFlock 5.1.1

        Sounds like some toryboy is playing a prank.
        The other point being whether there’s a privacy act issue here? Both in releasing personal information and in that information being incorrect? I mean, scalper Mallard might be dumb enough to register, but this would be a new one for Shearer.

        • Jane

          Arggghh why didn’t he see this coming? They all should have signed up on the first morning, then in answer to 250000 registrations already story it is well 30 of those are us and we only signed up to keep an eye on them! Instead we get a whiney story about someone filling it out for him. Let’s hope the IP address doesn’t come back to a Labour party staffer at Parliment or his wife!

          • McFlock


            They should have registered to profit from looting they oppose? ALL of them? That’s much worse than some little scrote playing a prank.

  6. Brian 6

    Looking forward to watching John slither and slide around this issue when questioned.

  7. ianmac 7

    Surely it would harm a Government should it choose to ignore Referendum?
    “We will ignore all you stupid, ignorant people because we know what is best for you and the will of the people is just airy fairy rubbish!”
    It seems to me that the constant refrain will damage the brand, so keep it up Mr Key. (Unless they fear the Referendum and are trying to forestall its effect?)

  8. yeshe 8

    Such a tragic and careless strategy this was not lodged in Parliament prior to pre-registration for MRP shares as those numbers have given the Gnats a very sharp weapon to simply cut the petition. This is such an appalling government, yet I am still gobsmacked by their increasing arrogance each day.

    David Shearer will not get us out of this. I like him, but he is not the best or smartest man for the job. Let’s find a way even yet to support Cunliffe while some assets still remain ours. Please !

    • Lightly 8.1

      well, they had to get the signatures together and it took time

      You could argue that Labour could have done more to get them earlier – they collected only 115K vs Greens 215K

      • yeshe 8.1.1

        What would Cunliffe have done ? This is now my question after each Labour fail. Think it’s time I joined the Green party officially now; at least they bite with teeth and are willing to be terrier-like. Labour have become lolloppy (sp?) gummy labradors.

  9. Anne 9

    Such a tragic and careless strategy this was not lodged in Parliament prior to pre-registration for MRP shares as those numbers have given the Gnats a very sharp weapon to simply cut the petition.

    My thoughts entirely yeshe. When I heard a couple of weeks ago that the pre-registration of the shares was imminent I thought… surely the petition organisers will submit before it happens – even if they are a few signatures less. It didn’t happen and now Key, Joyce and co. can laugh at sneer at our expense. Lets face it, they must have known NAct would pull a fast one and weaken the impact of the petition. Poor strategy – yet again?

    • Jane 9.1

      I agree, this is a huge fail, instead of a narrative about the MRP registration of interest
      launch after the petition was presented and how bad it was given the referendum etc, it’s been a week of how marvelous the registration of interest is going and now there will be a side note about some petition thingy with some signatures, took ages to get them, some were paid for… etc… yawn… and now the summer weather continues…

      What a lot of effort wasted.

    • Shane Gallagher 9.2

      The KOA had to be sure of the numbers for the petition to go through otherwise it would be another 3 month delay to get the rest of the signatures – they had to do it about now. There was little room for maneuver on it. As a collector with the Greens 200k+ signatures we have had diminishing returns on our efforts – near the end lots of people who said no had already signed. This is a great effort and I am going to watch with great interest to see how National wriggles on this issue…

      • yeshe 9.2.1

        Shane I agree, it was a great effort by so many. Sadly, it seems the discussion has already turned against it .. maybe National will have to wriggle, but I fear they are already off the hook. Here’s hoping you are correct and I am wrong .. nothing could make me happier on this.

      • yeshe 9.2.2

        Shane … 1.50 pm and so far nothing on Herald website but story on MRP record registrations is #4 story; Stuff has a very small story in the bottom quarter of its page. This is a non-event which is beyond heartbreaking.

      • Pascal's bookie 9.2.3

        The petition/referendum was never going to stop the sales. Nothing is going to.

        And the first sale was always going to have the most interest. The success of the policy doesn’t depend on how many pre-registrations the first sale gets.

  10. ad 10

    This is a note of minor political joy to see my signiature, and everyone’s ollective work delivered.

    And now to the moral quandary we’re all about to ask:

    Can one both be against asset sales, and also ask for shares in those same assets?

    • QoT 10.1

      If someone has stolen my cake, and offers it for sale, and the only way I can be assured of getting back any of my cake is to buy some of it, while continuing to contest the ownership of the cake … I think so.

  11. xtasy 11

    Next step on the agenda:
    Name and shame the buyers of the shares, once the sales start and proceed.

    “These are the ones who have – under permission by this government – “stolen” part of what belongs to all of us”.

    It may sound nasty, but then again, what is going on in the minds of those near 300,000 that have pre-registered for buying shares (the serious ones that registered I mean)?

    Here the Nats, their ACT lackey with the hollow brain (CJD sufferer) and the Done One from Ooohaairyoooh have passed a law, ignoring all opposition, the vast bulk of submissions, to basically take of the people of NZ what they have owned for generations, and put it up for sale on the yard.

    It is nothing much short of “legalised theft”, and anyone who seriously wants to buys shares is her-/himself guilty of participating in this act.

    Hence it should be fair to name ones who become known as share buyers and “investors” in these assets.

    NatACT want division, make it perfect then.

    • johnm 11.1

      Xtasy you are 100% right. It’s money grubbing and disgusting, what have we come to? Just greedy scum at the trough. Mourn New Zealand and f.ck John Yankee up the arse and get paid for it. That’s the market boys! even an arsehole has market value!

    • ad 11.2

      It’s going to happen, by May.

      The state remains a majority shareholder.

      Of the 49%, do you have any preference for one shareholder over another?

      • xtasy 11.2.1

        ad: My logic is that if nobody buys the shares, whom are they going to sell them to? Key and his lot have been trumpeting the great plan to give priority to mums and dads investors. If no mums and dads show up to buy, then they will be in a moral dilemma.

        But of course, the shares will go to the ones who have open cheque-books, and those that may buy minimum amounts of shares for a couple of grands, they are in many cases unlikely to hang onto them forever. If they are still holding them in 2 or 3 years that will be an achievement.

        So in reality it is all screwed up now anyway.

        Those that buy the shares will also buy into the damned agenda of part privatisation. It is what too many Kiwis have done for the last 2 to 3 decades: Adjust, join the crowd that has the upper hand and can’t be beaten, and try to keep up with the Joneses.

        Like also Penny Bright says, those that buy into this agenda will become part of the rotten system.

        I would rather invest in companies that sell energy neutral homes, solar panels, solar thermo heating of water and more, that use alternative energy from the start to power and heat homes, rather than rely on a grid run by semi and fully privatised energy generators, whose only interest will be to maximise profits, increase power prices again and again, and suck the living blood out of every person living here.

        Let them sell their shitty shares, and go alternative in energy generation and use, and do it in your homes, convince your landlord to consider it, and get off the fucking grid over coming years. That will deal to this nonsense.

    • Grant 11.3

      Oh my God I am so scared that you will find out my name and tell the world that I want to buy MRP power shares I just can’t handle the fear.

      • xtasy 11.3.1

        Grant: Have your shares, and make sure they get put into the coffin, when you leave this existence. I am sure they will be ticket for wholesome, enjoyable well-being in eternity.

    • Wayne 11.4

      The buyers would not be “shamed” – quite apart from their legitimate expectation of personal privacy.

      They have taken part in a legitimate government programme that was well signalled before the election and was a core part of Nationals election manifesto. Submissions to a select committee can never undo an election result and actually neither should a CIR.

      Every buyer will know that Labour and the Greens are oppossed, but they are effectively saying “so what, they are not the govt.”

      • framu 11.4.1

        “Submissions to a select committee can never undo an election result and actually neither should a CIR.”

        what the hell are you on about wayne?

        • Wayne

          I would have thought my point was pretty obvious.

          When a govt is implementing its election policy, it will often have to pass legislation. It is usual for those oppossed to the govts policy to make submissions against the main purpose of the Bill to the relevant Select Committee considering the legislation.

          But essentially if the legislation is ratifying the election result, the govt should ignore submissions that are against the legislation. The core issue of the Bill was actually decided in the election.

          Of course submissions might also show specific technical defects to a bill, and these can be taken into account.

          As you know the Govt considers the election result gives it the mandate to proceed with its policy, so that is why they will also ignore the CIR. It consider the election resolved this issue.

          • lprent

            Don’t be simplistic..

            By your position therefore the reverse is true. A election win based on a policy that renationalisation of assets without compensation will also ignore vehement opposition in select committees, the courts, and international tribunals. For that matter running with a policy of charging the previous government members with treason for selling the assets and passing laws to that effect would also be ok, even if it was a single ambiguous line in a minor coalition partner’s policy (ie like charter schools).

            The political reality is quite different, and you’re really just spinning crap. The reality is that people vote for a raft of policies by any single party, and a range of policies from potential coalition parties. The government is not obligated by many of them, and voters usually dislike many of the policies of the largest minority party (in this case National).

            You can hardly claim a mandate for a policy when the party that issued it didn’t make a majority of registered voters, or even a majority of votes cast. They select the policies that they will push in any period and discard any that the voters voted for which were too hard – for instance as National quietly dropped the ‘policy’ of reducing the number of economic refugees to Aussie after 2008 as they let unemployment rise.

            As I said, you’re spinning a convenient line of complete crap. Besides I’ve never noticed this argument ever being apparent in the right’s thinking in previous Labour led government ‘mandates’. In fact I’d say that it only appears when it is convenient…

            • Wayne

              I didn’t say people should not put in submissions, but rather how govts should act in relation to them, if they relate to a core issue of the election. Submitters can’t really have an expectation that their submissions could override an electoral mandate.

              Of course I would expect that any govt in New Zealand would respect fundamental rights, which is why the examples you raise (nationalisation without compensation or changing the law to enable a previous govt to be charged with treason) won’t actually happen in the real world. But if they did happen, well yes I would expect vigorous opposition.

              And I might add some Nats thought the Nats were seriously overreacting when Labour brought in the ERA in 2000. After all Labour had a mandate and were implementing a specific election policy. And of course by and large the Nats ended up accepting the ERA as the basis of employment policy for NZ.

              And that is a point a number of people are making – what is a realistic level of political activity against the policy that Labour should take. Is it “die in the ditch”, or do you move to more positive things that a future Labour govt would do.

              • Colonial Viper

                Opposition to the theft of generations worth of NZers work and taxes, is not “overreacting”.

              • lprent

                I view the rather stupid asset sales as a “die in the ditch” because after it has been done for short-term benefits it is simply going to perpetuate a long term infrastructure problem. Apart from temporarily plugging the governments short sighted tax-cut revenue hole – there appears to be be no rationale for the electricity sales.

                I can’t see any particular reason to provide a subsidy to the NZ stock exchange, In fact I’d prefer to simply remove the existing legal and regulatory subsidies from it as it has long been totally ineffective at matching capital to investments. Let it fail – it makes no difference to our economy anyway.

                None of the benefits that Max Bradford and others were touting in the 1990’s from the electricity deregulation have come to fruition. From a higher security of supply, to a rational capacity funding, to an effective diversity of pricing structures, to whatever – they have *ALL* proved to be the hallucinations of those in thrall to market being “perfect” delusions. What we have wound up with is something that does the job of providing power to the rest of the economy in a more costly and less timely manner than previously. Of course there have been winners. They mostly consist of people profit taking on shares, power providers and owners (like the government) taking semi-monopolistic and/or collusive profiteering in the absence of timely regulation, and those organisations large enough to negotiate cost advantages while effectively shoving up the price to other consumers.

                In short, the whole electricity deregulation has been a frigging disaster for almost everyone except for profit takers.

                But of course it doesn’t have to be die-in-the-ditch for Labour and the Greens. In a lot of ways I’d prefer that Labour and the Greens go the whole hog and regulate as if the market has already been fully sold (because the SOE’s operate that way now) and the inevitable mergers have dropped the industry to a few semi-monopolistic in their region organisations – because that is almost certainly where it will wind up. Putting in some rather savage regulation about profit farming, reinvestment capital requirements, and above all that regulatory system operates in a timely fashion (ie no more free rides like telecom had) now will be as useful.

  12. Dogberry 12

    Certainly if tens of thousands of people who have no intention of buying MRP shares still register interest it will force the government to up the price per share, in part because it will encourage the Govt. to believe it will carry a higher price and will also discourage ‘mum and dad’ shareholders from taking too many – in this regard the Govt’s promise of 25% front-loading for pre-registers and the as-yet undisclosed ‘bonus’ shares which the Govt has to allow for while still retaining it 51% shareholding has made a rod for its own back.

    On the other hand if the price is set too high on that basis, causing the institutions to pull in their horns, the Govt. might find itself with shares it can’t sell, and end up with egg on its face.

    Re the referendum, has the question actually to be put been revealed? Lots of wriggle room there. Does anyone really believe the State should own and run an airline?

    • Pascal's bookie 12.1

      The Q for CIRs is the one on the petition.

    • felixviper 12.2

      “Does anyone really believe the State should own and run an airline?”

      You might want to think a little further about that. The first question is not about ownership but about necessity. Does NZ need an airline, whether state or privately owned?

      Actually before that you need to ask whether we need air travel at all.

  13. Brian 14


  14. OK folks – it’s PEOPLE POWER TIME!

    1) Back up your signature for the asset sale referendum with a personal pledge to BOYCOTT the Mighty River Power share issue!



    How can you be opposed to asset sales – then buy into the SELLOUT of Mighty River Power?

    Even if you (momentarily) dropped your principles, and got sucked into all the hype and semi-hysteria, and registered an interest in buying Mighty river Power shares – IT IS NOT TOO LATE!

    There is no requirement to purchase shares even if you have ‘registered an interest’.
    The Mighty River Power Prospectus has not even come out yet!

    2) Help drive down the price of Mighty River Power, by BOYCOTTING and switching off / from Mercury Energy (Mighty River Power’s main retailer).

    Here’s what you can do right now to help stop asset sales.
    Boycott Mercury Energy.

    Download and print this leaflet for more info:

    In 2008, after already privatised Contact Energy doubled their Directors fees and raised prices 12% – their profits halved when 40,000 customers left in 5 months.

    “Let me make it quite clear. If the Government doesn’t get a good price – the Government isn’t going to sell”

    (Tony Ryall, Minister of SOE’s 17/6/2012 NBR

    WHAT’S A GOOD PRICE Minister?

    How can Mighty river Power sell for a good price – if it’s losing customers and profits?

    3) There is NO MANDATE for asset sales.

    National campaigned for asset sales and got 59 out of 121 MPs.

    Peter Dunne and United Future did NOT campaign for asset sales – so arguably the Public Finance (Mixed Ownership Model) Amendment Act 2012 should have been LOST 60 -61 votes if Peter Dunne had not misled the voting public of Ohariu.

    So! HARDEN UP folks and let’s give this country a taste of PEOPLE POWER that will leave a really nasty taste in the mouths of shonky John Key and this corrupt Government.





    Penny Bright
    A Spokesperson for the Switch Off Mercury Energy community group

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    Helen Clark showed her characteristic drive and determination in her campaign to be UN Secretary General, and most New Zealanders will be disappointed she hasn't been selected, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. "Helen Clark has been an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori need answers on Land Court job losses
    Māori landowners, Māori employees and Treaty partners need answers after a Ministry of Justice consultation document has revealed dozens of roles will be disestablished at the Māori Land Court, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Key’s ‘efficiencies’ = DHBs’ pain
          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    3 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori Party all hui no-doey on housing
    The Māori Party should stop tinkering and start fixing tragic Māori housing statistics in the face of a national housing crisis, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesman Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to eliminating child poverty
    Labour accepts the challenge from Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft to cut child poverty and calls on the Prime Minister to do the same, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago