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Key adds another $40m to the asset sales bill

Written By: - Date published: 6:24 am, August 21st, 2013 - 120 comments
Categories: class war, privatisation - Tags:

We know that only 2.5% of Kiwis bought shares in Mighty River Power (despite 400,000 registering to buy). English now talks of ‘tens of thousands’ buying Meridian shares. This ain’t no widespread ownership – it’s the few buying and the many losing ownership. So far, we’ve paid at least $100m for these sales. Yesterday, Key added $40m in interest-free loans to Meridian buyers.

See, the Mighty River bonus share bribe didn’t work. Bugger all people bought the shares, and even fewer have held on as the shares have plummeted 10% since listing. So, Key’s come up with a different bribe for the Meridian sale – pay 60% of the price of your shares up front, the other 40% in 18 months (Cosgrove asked ‘what next, a free set of steak knives’ 🙂 ).

You might ask ‘so what, they still pay in the end’. Yeah, maybe (although you want to check out what happened with these dodgy schemes in Aussie), but use of money has a cost, that’s what interest is. Key’s effectively giving the 2% or fewer of Kiwis who buy Meridian shares an interest-free loan for 18 months. And the price of that is the government doesn’t get the cash up front, it has to wait 18 months. That means Key will have to borrow the missing money for that 18 months until the 2% cough up. The Greens’ estimate, based on the Treasury’s estimate of Meridian’s value and how much of Mighty River went to ‘mum and dad’, that the additional borrowing cost to the Crown as a result of giving these interest-free loans to Meridian buyers will be around $40m.

As Danyl points out, this isn’t how things work in the real world. Well, not in the real commercial world. Unfortunately, it is how things work when rightwing governments are trying to line their supporters’ pockets with the public’s wealth.

Think about that – our government is selling shares in companies that belong to all of us collectively, which we collectively don’t want sold. We are already stuck with permanently larger government deficits as a result of the lost dividend streams. We are already stuck with paying the brokers, the lawyers and all the other parasites to the tune of tens of millions. We are already stuck with paying $30m in a bribe to Rio Tinto to give the electricity market some illusion of stability while National gets the sales done. We are already stuck with higher power prices because private investors demand a higher rate of return. We’ve already been stuck with $25m to give bonus shares to the Mighty River looters. And, now, we’re going to pay another $40m to the Meridian looters.

It’s like a sick joke: we’re paying the people who are taking our shares, putting our government deeper in debt, forcing up our electricity prices, and now we’re paying to give the buggers an interest-free loan too.

The total bill for the asset sales before this latest kick in the teeth was at least $103m according to the Greens’ costwatch. Make it $143m now – and we haven’t even counted the last 3 months’ costs or the actual sales costs of Meridian yet. What a bloody rip-off.

What’s going to be interesting though is that in a fortnight we’re going to get the official confirmation that the asset sales referendum will happen. Key will probably have to hold it in conjunction with the local elections (he won’t want to hold it in election year and there’s no justification for holding it close to the date of the local elections but separately, adding to the cost). The local elections are on October 12. That’s a month before the sale of Meridian will happen.

120 comments on “Key adds another $40m to the asset sales bill ”

  1. North 1

    “Yesterday, Key added $40m in interest-free loans to Meridian buyers.”

    Marvellous ! While just now the Legal Aid section of the Ministry of Justice is announcing that repayment of grants of legal aid will be subject to interest.

    Charge interest against the poorest people in the community. Charge no interest against the richest. While in its very notification of interest charges spinning the customary refrain that the Ministry of Justice is committed to assuring the highest accessibility and level of legal representation.

    The War On The Poor escalates.

  2. Max Keiser’s guest Owen Jones on how privatized assets now cost the taxpayers multiple times more than when they were state owned in the UK

    • Tim 2.1

      That latest Keiser Report seems to be a must watch for the Labour Party caucus. It’s a good summary of what’s going on here. I doubt they will however.

  3. Saarbo 3

    National are shameless in their quest to sell our assets…this is F%$^&en desperate. The MRP share float was a disaster for National, and now they have to save face… this is amazingly brazen.

    But this is the thing, National have no fear, they have many in the media tied up and Mr. Shearer doesn’t exactly send shivers up their spine for some reason? Russel Norman was on RNZ this morning having a good go at National, he is outstanding!, but I would have expected more media commentators to see through this for what it is…a desperate bribe.

    • bad12 3.1

      The Alfred E Nuemann of television Jonolism, Patrick Gower called it just that on TV3 news last night, ”An election bribe”,

      i would go far further than such a description and call these ‘share offers’ for what they really are, an act of theft perpetrated by this National Government upon 98% of the population…

      • Tracey 3.1.1

        They are the reverse Robin Hood… robbing the poor to pay the rich.

        • johnm 3.1.1.1

          Tracey
          +1
          happening in the USK as well. 12 billion cut off benefits with attendant stress and suffering for the poor. 12 billion given in housing purchase subsidies and guarantees to keep their insane housing bubble going. Also robbing public money into private hands by privatising the pride of the English social state the NHS. Key and his ilk are a disgrace. So long as the stock exchange is leeching away happily the main economy doesn’t matter at all. The U$ is collapsing economically and socially yet the stock market there keeps going up, it’s all they care about- NeoLiberalism madness.

          • johnm 3.1.1.1.1

            “The profits of the Vampire Class of Wall Street elites are up, way up, yet the only jobs being created in the U.S. are low-wage, zero-benefits service industry ones. What does this tell you about the reality of the so-called job-creators of the U.S. corporate/bankster state? In reality, they are poverty-creators.

            Withal, this is not an accident. Wall Street, by its very nature, is the emblem of the late capitalist culture of swindle and squander. The capitalist elite know full well that the system’s structure does not allow for a thriving working and middle class who have an opportunity for upward mobility…an actual meritocracy would prove too much of a threat to the mediocrities who inhabit the capitalist state’s perches of privilege. The game must be rigged for these phonies — who have the political class serving as their operatives, enablers, and fixers.”

            Phil Rockstroh

            Tracey@ Robbing the poor to enrich the already rich! 🙁 Same happening here with Yankey john.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2

          That’s all the asset sales ever were. In fact, that’s all that neo-liberalism is.

  4. Tracey 4

    Could have used the money to repay teachers out of pocket from Novopay.

    Someone needs to check Joyce’s figures. I think when he says only 200 and something teachers weren’t paid at last payroll he mustmean anything at all. I have a friend living here at the moment who had two things happen with Novopay this week.

    1. IRD (and Novopay) having told her months ago not to file a return because of Novopay problems gave her a late demand from IRD stating she hadn’t filed her tax return and it is an offence not to.

    2. The next day her pay was missing senior teacher allowance.

    32 teachers at her school had errors similar to this in their pay…

    Still she’s just a teacher, not doing anything important, like, say, a broker, or casino, or billion dollar Rio Tinto. She can wait.

  5. Lanthanide 5

    “(he won’t want to hold it in election year and there’s no justification for holding it close to the date of the local elections but separately, adding to the cost)”

    Erm, since when has cost been a consideration for anything?

    I’m picking sometime in December, to reduce turnout and ideally have all of the news coverage ignored over summer.

  6. Sable 6

    Keys is an anti hero who steals from the poor to give to the rich.

  7. Bearded Git 7

    You have to add in the range of $60-150 million to the $143 million bill to account for the government leaning on Meridian to reduce the price of power paid by Rio Tinto over the next 3 years.

  8. Poem 8

    Being PM, John key obviously believes he personally owns New Zealand and everything in it, and now he is literally giving away our best assets to his elitist mates for free !! What a “john key scam” that the rest of us are going to pay for huge !!

  9. Fred Lard 9

    Hummm note how the Reserve Bank has just made it harder to get home loans

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/9064697/RBNZ-cracks-down-on-mortgage-lending

    and now we are bank rolling the purchase of shares for Meridian

    Its ebb and flow, one great ecumenical holding society for the Rich (a lovely symmetry to it no).

    Mr Keys, the traders, bankers et. al. and chums up nicely in this comedy video

    City Slicker | Banker Wanker | Bunch of Plebs

  10. Tracey 10

    Banks are grumpy about it though.

    ANZ has reason to be grumpy. Business is slow. Just 1B profit in the 9 months year to date.

  11. srylands 11

    I don’t follow why buying shares is the preserve of the rich. At a minumum purchase of $1,000 it is about half the cost of a decent TV, and about the same as a laptop!

    If people are not buying shares it is simply because they are prioritising spending over saving.

    The instalment purchase plan is simply a cost/benefit tradoff. The “interest free” cost is absolutely miniscule compared to other largesse. Look at the cost of interest “free” student loans. The fiscal cost is gigantic. If you are worried about the cost of interest free loans, I suggest you turn your fire on the students.

    • Crashcart 11.1

      Right another highly intelligent person who has swallowed the lie that all poor people have 50″ plasma screens in every room of the palacial State House.

      How about a dose of reality. When you are on minimum wage (I was about 15 years ago when the cost of living was much lower) it is not uncommon to have maybe $30 or $40 left over after all your bills at the end of a week. Sure you could go down to one of the rent to buy places where you could get a 50″ TV with $2000 on the front of it for $15 to $20 a week. Of course you end up paying at least double the price over the term and now you have only $20 to spend.

      All that is by the by of course. Lets say you did decide to save all of your $40 a week to get you some shares. Good stuff you would need 25 weeks to save up that $1000. So you are prepping 6 months in advance to buy your company (that you already owned). Hold on you then need to commit to save $5 every week to ensure that at the end of the 18 months you can pay off the rest. Luckily when you are on a low income you never have to worry about unexpected bills like fixing your 20 year old car so you can get to work or perhaps your kid getting sick again because your house isn’t properly insulated by the slum lord taking more than 1/2 your wage every week.

      Hey you have me convinced this is totally about making shares available to low income people.

      • srylands 11.1.1

        I woulsd not expect minimum wage earners to buy shares or HD TVs. However clearly large HD TVs are not the preserve of the “rich”. Look at the sales figures. Similarly more than half the country spends close to $1,000 annually on Sky TV.

        So it is about prioritisation. I am happy with the line that people don’t want to buy shares (oin other words save). But don’t tell me it is becasue they can’t afford it.

        • framu 11.1.1.1

          “I don’t follow why buying shares is the preserve of the rich”

          what happened with the last share float genius?

          what usually happens with public asset privitisation?

          It is because they cant afford it – were a low wage country where roughly 75% earn below the average wage.

          and since when has buying shares been equatable with saving?

          pull your head out of your arse and join the real world

          • srylands 11.1.1.1.1

            “and since when has buying shares been equatable with saving?”

            I think you mean “equivalent to”. Buying shares does = savings.

            Whether people buy shares is down to choice. There is plenty of money around. Just go out on a Friday night and see what people are spending in bars and restaurants. Last Friday night they were packed. People do that every week.

            For god’s sake last year NZ spent more than $400 million on pet food!

            I accept that many folk are against privatisation and for that reason may choose not to participate. Others choose other savings vehicles like mutual funds and rental properties. But most people could afford to buy shares. They simply choose to either spend the money of save in other ways.

            Hopefully we will have an ongoing programme of asset sales over the next decade that will gradually demonstrate the value of share ownership. For the next tranche I would sell the remaining 51% of Meridian and MRP and 100% of TVNZ. There is also Landcorp which has a very weak rationale for public ownership. If you can get some momentum, opposition melts away. That was certainly the experience in Australia after 1996.

            So I agree – we need to get beyond 2.5% of the population as stakeholders. So the solution is to go faster – not stop.

            • framu 11.1.1.1.1.1

              buying shares is INVESTING – which is different to saving. notice how the letters that make the words and their meanings are different?

              for someone who claims such awesome powers of economic awesomness you make some pretty spectacular mistakes with basic english.

              You keep going on about people having enough money to invest (yes its that term again “invest”) $1000 dollars in shares – the point is you need $1000 clear of what you would normally keep back for unseen circumstances – not $1000 in the back, but $1000 SPARE in the bank. Theres is a differnece

              And as for the rest of your parasitic wank – hows the unicorns and magic fairy sprinkles going?

            • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1.1.2

              Hopefully we will have an ongoing programme of asset sales over the next decade that will gradually demonstrate the value of share ownership.

              I’m sure that the last 20 years have already shown that. Fortunately, it’s also shown that the country becomes worse off as state assets are privatised which is why the majority of people are against selling our assets.

              So I agree – we need to get beyond 2.5% of the population as stakeholders.

              As it stands, 100% of people are stakeholders. The sale of assets reduces it to 2.5% the exact opposite of what you say you want to achieve.

              • KJT

                Srylands OZ privatisations are not going as well as expected, either.

                Price increases, breakdowns and failures seem to be the order of the day.

                Melbourne are ruing the day they made public transport a PPP, for a start.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Shitlands is a little troll who cares not one whit for the nation’s future. Just his own little role-playing imaginary universe for orthodox economic austerity.

              • srylands

                Do you go to the shareholders meetings? No? Because only two people attend. Try knocking on the door and telling the minutes secretary you are a shareholder and demand to attend.

                Trying to make state owned enterprises act commercially in government hands is at best always a struggle. The commercial decisions become politicised. Look at Solid Energy. For New Zealand it is a dead duck as a model. Thankfully it is being wound back and it is difficult to unwind it. So even if there is a change of Government we lose 6 years of momentum and then National wins and it starts again. Within a generation all SOEs should be gone.

                That is why I am happy to own MRP shares. They are a good long term investment and the right thing to do. If Labour wins and tries to implement NZ Power it will either (a) be impossible to do, or (b) it will be a disaster and National will abolish NZ Power 6 years later. Either way over the next 20 years we will move to a functioning fully commercial power sector.

                The writing is on the wall!

                • Tracey

                  Are you saying that under government oversight the dividends were poor? You understand that generally to increase the value of the shares profits will need to increase one of the places this comes from is increased power prices for all, including some who can’t afford the price now? Or do you believe your shares will rise without any price rises?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Do you go to the shareholders meetings?

                  A misdirection and a misunderstanding of how our democracy works. We have our say in how our companies work through our MPs.

                  Trying to make state owned enterprises act commercially in government hands is at best always a struggle.

                  Actually, they’ve been doing that quite well as the excess $4.3b dollars in profits over the last ten years shows. The problem we seem to have is making them work for the benefit of the country which brings up the question: Do we really want essential services to be run on a commercial model? All indications are that we don’t.

                  That is why I am happy to own MRP shares.

                  Of course you are as you’re the typical bludging parasite.

                  • srylands

                    “We have our say in how our companies work through our MPs.”

                    Really? How does that work?

                    • Tracey

                      You don’t think deciding to sell a company was determined by our MPs? That’s quite a big say on how a company works wouldn’t you say?

                      Are you saying that under government oversight the dividends were poor? You understand that generally to increase the value of the shares profits will need to increase one of the places this comes from is increased power prices for all, including some who can’t afford the price now? Or do you believe your shares will rise without any price rises?

                    • srylands

                      “You don’t think deciding to sell a company was determined by our MPs? That’s quite a big say on how a company works wouldn’t you say?

                      Are you saying that under government oversight the dividends were poor? You understand that generally to increase the value of the shares profits will need to increase one of the places this comes from is increased power prices for all, including some who can’t afford the price now? Or do you believe your shares will rise without any price rises?”

                      You mix up a lot of things there.

                      MPs do not decide how SOEs are run. The Boards decide that.

                      There is no “government oversight” of SOE commerical decisions. Read the SOE Act.

                      As Power Co SOEs act in a market and have private sector competitors, ownership does not influence price.

                      Are you suggesting that under government ownership, Powerco SOEs should charge less for power than privately owned Powercos?!

                      I have bought the shares for the dividends, not the capital gain.

                    • srylands

                      “You understand that generally to increase the value of the shares profits will need to increase one of the places this comes from is increased power prices for all, including some who can’t afford the price now? ”

                      BTW if you want to blame folk for power price rises – blame the last Labour government. Power prices increased way faster than the last 5 years. The then government was happily cheering that on and extracting huge dividends from the Power Cos! And it was low income workers that paid the biggest price.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hope you don’t take a huge capital loss on those shares as the structure of the industry changes.

                      You can make that up over the next 20 years using that dividend stream.

                    • Tracey

                      Bear with me and answer my questions rather than what you think I am asking.

                      I am aware prices have consistently risen since Max Bradford’s model to reduce prices was introduced. I am also aware that Labour did nothing to stop it. Neither of which were part of my questions.

                • Tracey

                  You might think you answered this one, I don’t know, but could you answer it here? I am interested in your reply.

                  • srylands

                    “I am also aware that Labour did nothing to stop it. ”

                    What would you have had them do? And if they did, what would have been all the consequences?

        • North 11.1.1.2

          Backward fools are hilarious ! If ShonKey Python were to claim it they’d be stoutly saying the earth is flat. That’s all it would take.

        • Lanthanide 11.1.1.3

          A TV is not a financial instrument/asset.

          So you can’t say “oh, these people spend $$$ on TV, they can clearly afford to spend $$$ on shares too” because it’s a completely different type of spending. One gives you entertainment and news, the other just sits there and gains you an income stream.

    • Lightly 11.2

      the facts speak for themselves: 2.5% of Kiwis bought shares in MRP and they bought an average of $8,000. The median family has $2,000 in the bank. Ipso facto, it was largely well-off people buying shares in MRP.

  12. Crashcart 12

    Really? Do you believe what you are saying? Flat screen TV’s is a total distraction and irrelivant. The basic napkin math I gave you shows that minimum wage earners can’t buy shares. It isn’t a matter of choice it is a matter of out of the realms of possability. With the announcmanet made this week you need 6 months to save the money for the initial 60% when the sale will be happening before the end of the year. All of that becomes even more impossible if you add in a single unexpected Dr’s visit.

    Although I suppose you are right. They could prioritise the shares over food or rent. Maybe rob a house or something to get some extra cash.

    • srylands 12.1

      “The basic napkin math I gave you shows that minimum wage earners can’t buy shares.”

      yes, I acknowledge that. Read my last post.

      My point is that the ability to save $1,000 is not the preserve of the rich.

      • framu 12.1.1

        what about the ability to save enough to have $1000 dollars that you can afford to spend on shares?

        For example, myself and my partner live very simply, dont go on overseas holidays, have low debt and a small mortgage (for auckland), we have no kids and we both are in the top tax bracket – we have a bit of savings, but if we spent it on shares we would be screwed if something untoward like urgent car repairs where required. We would have to go into further debt to cover the emergency

        if you buy shares, your money is no longer available at short notice for emergencies

        i think your real point is you live in a fantasy land populated by unicorns and magic fairy srpinkles

      • Crashcart 12.1.2

        Fair enough. However why do those who have no problem saving $1000 need this little tid bit? The only reason this has been put in place is so that people with the money to buy the shares easily can get away with only paying part of the price while collecting full dividend. This means they can hold the balance and either invest or just collect interest on it for a further 18 months. This will encourage people who can afford to buy (although if the shares were truely a good investment this wouldn’t be needed) however those that it will allow to buy that otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford it will very rare as they are also the ones taking the greatest risk should the shares tank straight away like MRP shares did.

      • Tracey 12.1.3

        Are you saying that someone who can buy $1500 of shares per month is not well-off?

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    Key will probably have to hold it in conjunction with the local elections

    Don’t think there’s enough time to get it into the local elections so it’s either going to be done on it’s own or with the next general election.

  14. tracey 14

    Its my fault. I wondered why srylands had gone quiet and posted the thought.

  15. fender 15

    Taxpayers have already got the steak knives…..they are wedged between our shoulder blades, and still we are expected to say thank you.

    • srylands 15.1

      “Taxpayers have already got the steak knives…..they are wedged between our shoulder blades, and still we are expected to say thank you.”

      Amazingly most people are quite satisfied with their lives.

      • fender 15.1.1

        Amazing really that the human spirit can flourish despite receiving multiple stab wounds to their backs.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 15.1.2

        with their lives.

        The level of dissatisfaction being expressed is with this awful government, not “their lives”.

        Why are your comments so pointless and irrelevant?

        • srylands 15.1.2.1

          Yes fair enough but governments can affact life quality especially via economic management.

          The last poll I saw said 58% of people thought NZ was heading in the right direction. 30% in the wrong direction.

          Looks good.

          • fender 15.1.2.1.1

            “Looks good”

            Until you look beyond Bullshit Bill’s “surplus” propaganda and see the mountain of debt increasing at an alarming rate.

            • framu 15.1.2.1.1.1

              pfft – i balanced my budget just yesterday – of course the wife now has to pay for everything

            • srylands 15.1.2.1.1.2

              The debt is all necessary. (Did you want to halve welfare checks?) Key quesion is whether there is a credible path to stabilise and reduce the debt. There is. Just look at the positive IMF assessment:

              “Directors welcomed the medium-term consolidation plan and its focus on expenditure restraint. The planned pace of deficit reduction strikes the right balance between sustaining aggregate demand and limiting public debt growth. It withdraws fiscal stimulus at the right time by making room for increases in reconstruction spending. It also reduces pressure on monetary policy, creates fiscal space, and could help to raise national savings. Directors considered that the relatively modest public debt provides some scope to delay the planned deficit reduction in the event of a sharp deterioration in the economic outlook.”

              http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pn/2013/pn1351.htm

              The outlook is really very positive.

              • framu

                “The debt is all necessary.”

                what the F*** are you talking about?

                national has borrowed to pay for tax cuts, were selling assets that return more than the cost of borrowing on them and treasury says we will be worse of over time because of this.

                debt has skyrocketed under national

                the country was widely supportive of short term specific levies for the CHCH rebuild – so we didnt need to borrow as much there

                oh i see your talking about some snide bullshit about welfare – do you mean the 1.4billion (?) national gave to SCF creditors (some of which were unsecured creditors) after bill english was informed that they shouldnt be re-admitted to the scheme?

                and as for your IMF link – your cherry picking as the IMF has also said negative things about nationals economic policy

                in short your talking out a unicorn and magic fairy sprinkle shaped hole in your backside.

                • srylands

                  “national has borrowed to pay for tax cuts”

                  I have posted before about this. The tax rebalancing programme is fiscally positive. Braodly the cost of reducing income taxes is offset by higher GST receipts. What is your evidence that the tex packages increased debt? It is a myth.

                  • framu

                    nice try but

                    “The debt is all necessary.”

                    what the F*** are you talking about?

                    care to address the main point – not some fantasy youve created in your own lunchtime

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    The tax rebalancing programme is fiscally positive.

                    No it’s not, it’s left NZ at least $1b per year further in the red.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The debt is all necessary.

                No its not as the government could create the money itself rather than lending from banks that create it.

                • srylands

                  “No its not as the government could create the money itself rather than lending from banks that create it.”

                  Only on The Standard could you post something so idiotic and not be ridiculed.

                  • Mike S

                    Please explain what’s idiotic about it.

                    It’s about time you woke up..

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I see, in srylands mind, stating what actually happens as has been proved by several people around the world, including the IMF, is ridiculous.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Standard & Poor’s Explain Money Creation: “Banks can not and do not ‘lend out’ reserves”

                    From the report:

                    “Banks lend by simultaneously creating a loan asset and a deposit liability on their balance sheet. That is why it is called credit “creation” – credit is created literally out of thin air (or with the stroke of a keyboard).”

                    Does the government have to borrow? Nope – it just needs to create the money that it needs and stop the banks from creating money at all.

                    • srylands

                      “Does the government have to borrow? Nope – it just needs to create the money that it needs and stop the banks from creating money at all.”

                      Yes it could do that. But for the economy there is a limit on money creation. What you are suggesting is that banks would be required to back ALL lending with reserves. Which is not done anywhere in the world.

                      You are simply suggesting a form of nationalised credit creation with a predominant state having a monopoly on money creation. That would not be a functioning market economy because private credit would be severely restricted.

                      That is not a country I would want to live in. I doubt I am alone in that.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      But for the economy there is a limit on money creation.

                      Have I said that there isn’t?

                      What you are suggesting is that banks would be required to back ALL lending with reserves. Which is not done anywhere in the world.

                      Yes but just because it’s not done doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be done. The GFC is proof that the way things are done are wrong.

                      You are simply suggesting a form of nationalised credit creation with a predominant state having a monopoly on money creation.

                      Exactly as it should be. Private banks should not be allowed to create money.

                      That would not be a functioning market economy because private credit would be severely restricted.

                      Actually, it’s likely that the market would function far better because asset price bubbles like the housing bubbles we’ve been seeing would be almost completely eliminated due to that restriction. It’s also ironic that you said that the economy needed restriction on money creation and then said that it needed unrestricted money creation.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  That would explain why our debt is going up.

          • KJT 15.1.2.1.2

            “You can fool all of the people, some of the time”.

            Which is why National are hurriedly putting in place laws to crush dissent, for when everyone wakes up!

            And sees that National’s brighter future resembles a combination of Greece, Ireland, East Germany and the third Reich, with a salting of Mumbai slums..

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 15.1.2.1.3

            Speaking of economic management, National aren’t as good at it as Labour, say all historic examples.

            The poll you saw could just as easily mean that most New Zealanders think their country has sunk about as low as it can go under John Key, and therefore can only get better.

            • srylands 15.1.2.1.3.1

              “Speaking of economic management, National aren’t as good at it as Labour, say all historic examples.”

              That is arguable. Policy reform affects growth with a lag. The good performance between 2000-2007 was largely a result of the two reform periods – Roger Douglas 1984-1987 and Ruth Richardson 1990 – 1993.

              The first set of gains was made by a Labour Finance Minister. The second by a National Finance Minister.

              Both parties have had their share of good and not so good policies.

              • Colonial Viper

                More neolib fictional accounting. In praise of Rogernomes and Ruthanasia.

                • framu

                  strangely he says its arguable – but doesnt make an argument – just assertions

                  • Colonial Viper

                    and on cue expect another pdf from Treasury showing us how right he (and Treasury) is on the future of the economy…

                  • srylands

                    “strangely he says its arguable – but doesnt make an argument – just assertions”

                    The key is productivity performance. The 1990s gave that a boost. It ws Ruth Richardson who we shoudl thank for the economic conditions that favoured the 5th Labour Government. But there was no building on that – adter 2000 productivity tanked and the dividends were spent.

                    With some hard work over the next four years productivity should rise again. However this will require 4 terms of a National Government – i.e to 2020 (which is difficult but still plausible)

                    http://nzinitiative.org.nz/site/nzbr/files/0730%20New%20Insights%20on%20New%20Zealands%20Productivity%20Performance.pdf

                    “First, productivity in the measured sector improved substantially following
                    the economic reforms of the 1980s and early ‘90s. Indeed in the 1990s the
                    growth rates of both labour and multifactor productivity (which reflects
                    innovation and technological change) exceeded those in Australia.
                    With the change in policy directions from 1999, however, productivity
                    growth declined markedly. In the nine years to 2009, labour productivity
                    growth was poor and multifactor productivity did not grow at all. In 2008/09,
                    both were actually negative.”

                    Roger Kerr (rkerr@nzbr.org.nz) is the executive director of the New
                    Zealand Business Roundtable. (RIP)

                    • framu

                      roger kerr is also a parasitic theif

                      and its funny you mention productivity – you do know that over the last 30 odd years its increased by 80%, yet wages by only 20%? What happened?

                      right thats it – ill stop feeding el trollo now

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Can I be the first to say that I hope he rests in torment?

                      And further, that your invocation of this grotesque and his filthy dogma destroys what little credibility you had.

                    • Crashcart

                      The problem you have is that the only factor you are taking into consideration is productivity. I only did a few years of economics but the key thing they always pushed was how good increased productivity was for a buisness or economy. However if you look at the definition of the term productivity it is easy to see the flip side of it.

                      Productivity is the measure of production versus the number of workers required to achieve it. So essentially increasing productivity allows you to make more stuff to sell with less people. This is great for a company that wants to maxamise profits but not so good for those people who aren’t needed any more. What do you know, those same periods you refer to are also periods of large increases in unemployment.

                      The neolib dream of increased productivity was always sold to the masses under the guise that increased prooductivity through improved technology would one day see us all working less hours for the same money. I would think that myth is well and truely busted by now.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      So essentially increasing productivity allows you to make more stuff to sell with less people. This is great for a company that wants to maxamise profits but not so good for those people who aren’t needed any more.

                      Exactly, increased productivity must result in a decrease in wages as more people become unemployed and are driven into poverty. Exactly as we’ve seen over the last three decades in this country alone.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Laying people off is a very profitable activity. Ask Telecom for instance, billion dollar profits, but wants more for their foreign shareholders, so lay off another 1100 or so people for the hell of it. Great productivity (and “efficiency”) improvements there.

                    • srylands

                      “Great productivity (and “efficiency”) improvements there.”

                      yes and it is excellent to see.

                    • Macro

                      Increasing “productivity” by “restructuring” ie laying off workers, is a prime example of the short-sighted and hopelessly stupid management practices of the under achieving Corporate sector in NZ, dominated by the desire to maximize profit at the expense of all else. While profit may be increased in the short term by making people “work harder” or longer, this can only be maintained for a short period of time. Increased work stress, increased sickness, increased turnover of staff, loss of institutional knowledge, and skills, a reluctant work force and loss of good will, ultimately results in a long term downturn in the productivity and profitability of the organisation. Being driven by a simplistic market fundamentals approach to employment, as is the case with a large number of NZ companies, whose senior management and directors can see only the drive for maximum profit, has resulted in a large number of NZ corporations now under performing by comparison with their overseas counterparts.
                      It is obvious the shitlands is one of this ilk.. self satisfied and clueless.

                    • KJT

                      Laying off staff and cutting wages increase the profits of the first few companies that do it.

                      Unfortunately, if they all do it they run out of customers.

                      One companies staff are another’s customers.

                      Which results in a downward spiral as each lot of management/owners, who have no competence in increasing profits and productivity by any other means than screwing their staff, each try to undercut each other, by screwing down their staff even more to attract the remaining customers.

                      Like the Aussie luxury boat manufacturer who relocated to Malaysia, and is now bitterly complaining that his boat buyers in Australia are drying up. It doesn’t seem to occur to him that, workers on $10 a day, do not buy luxury yachts.

                      Can’t make a profit if your potential customers have no spare cash.

                      Unions, and industry awards, forced employers to compete on management ability, capital investment in plant and product quality, not on who can screw their workers the most.

                      Which is why Germany sells much more cars than the USA, despite German auto workers earning 3 to 6 times more than US ones.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “yes and it is excellent to see.”

                      So says the shill for the aristocratic 1%.

              • Tracey

                The names were different but the policies the same, so they weren’t really two different parties.

                Can you post your reasoning for the tax cuts being fiscally neutral?

                • srylands

                  “Can you post your reasoning for the tax cuts being fiscally neutral?”

                  http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/informationreleases/budget/2010/pdfs/b10-t2010-503.pdf

                  See the tables at page 10. The fiscal impact becomes positive by the final outyear. Simply it is a myth that the government is “borrowing to fund tax reductions for the rich”.

                  • lprent

                    That was the theory – fully unrealistic as it was. However those planned GST tax increases from the increase in GST rates and productivity didn’t happen because they were frigging pipedreams. Nor did the gains in depreciation. Nor the gains from macroeconomic effects (otherwise known as the “fudge factor”)

                    Essentially that table was derided as being complete bollocks at the time because it was a simple fantasy even in economic terms, and that has subsequently been proven. Have a look at the actuals from the following economic statements to see if any of the “gains” were realised. I think a modest nett increase in the GST take of a fraction of a billion dollars was about all.

                    Hell even the tobacco tax increases were illusory because it largely assumed that people wouldn’t stop smoking.

                    The nett effect at at the time was predicted to be that the tax changes would knock a whacking great hole in the government’s subsequent budgets, and this is what has happened. They have been borrowing to cover it and are currently trying to sell off assets (that aren’t in that table) to try to get some way towards their promised goal of a surplus in 2013/4. Something that they had and still have no chance of achieving.

                    Basically the only way to fill the hole now is to raise taxes again.

                    You really are a bit simple and gullible eh? If that wasn’t in reality, borrowing to pay for unsustainable tax cuts for the rich, then you really do have a fantasy problem.

                  • Tracey

                    Sorry, there has been time since they came in to ascertain if they were, in practice, fiscally neutral as you claim. Can you post that source?

                    • srylands

                      “Sorry, there has been time since they came in to ascertain if they were, in practice, fiscally neutral as you claim. Can you post that source?”

                      No

                  • Tracey

                    Thanks for having the courage to admit your assertion that they are fiscally neutral had no factual basis. I guess you trusted treasury and the Govt. Even the Govt doesn’t follow everything treasury says (or even agree with Treasury all the time).

              • Mike S

                Not arguable at all.

                Every single Labour government since the very first one has outperformed the corresponding National government in terms of economic growth. Overall, Labour outperforms national in terms of economic growth. The numbers don’t lie.

  16. Colonial Viper 16

    Can someone please give shitlands a real job so he can stop being a grovelling neoliberal apologist. Its almost like he doesn’t understand anything about anything and lives in a fictional alternative universe where economics is a real science.

    • framu 16.1

      i always go with – “they’re either idiots or in on it”

    • tc 16.2

      Perhaps this is his real job along with a few other elegant and not so elegant trolls.

      They’ve got the slogans and links down pat and appears well prepared so nice work if you can get it.

  17. Colonial Viper 17

    Shitlands has no appreciation of real economics nor the people affected by it. Just interested in his bizarre ficitional models of the system. Its like a patient dying of an overdose of medication, Dr Shitlands prescription is – give’m more of the same, but at double the dosage!

  18. Winston Smith 18

    Well I had set aside a grand to buy some shares but instead I’ll put the balance in the bank and gain some extra interest, every little bit helps after all 🙂

    • Tracey 18.1

      according to srylands you don’t need any extra help from a little bit Winnie, you are already very satisfied with your lot.

  19. Tracey 19

    Ryan Howell, on 9 to noon today made an interesting comment.

    he said when they ask people on 40k how much would make them feel (can’t exactly recoall the word) happier or more satisfied they said $50k. When someone on 120k was asked they said 250k and millionaires said they needed 7 times more than currently.

    [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ntn/ntn-20130821-1010-feature_guest_-_ryan_howell-048.mp3" /]

    He also reminds us that the Bible didnt say money is the root of all evil but the love of money is the root of all evil.

    • Mike S 19.1

      “He also reminds us that the Bible didnt say money is the root of all evil but the love of money is the root of all evil.”

      However in reality, it is fiat money that is pure evil.

      • Draco T Bastard 19.1.1

        Nothing wrong with fiat currency. What’s wrong is that the private banks create the stuff with little limitation.

        • Colonial Viper 19.1.1.1

          And that sovereign nations have given away their right to issue currency to the banks.

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.2

        No difference if money was still denominated in silver coins and claims to silver coins.

    • Murray Olsen 19.2

      I make about $NZ120k and am completely satisfied as far as finances go. I’d do my job for $NZ80k, but I wouldn’t make that too public because we’re in the middle of award negotiations. A very small number of rock star professors get over $NZ300k and they all seem to want more. Just like CEOs, they make the argument that they could be earning money elsewhere. Funny how they never bloody well leave.

      My lack of satisfaction is because there are people without homes, people who can’t feed their kids, a PM who works for the seppos, and people who bash beneficiaries. Once I’ve fed and housed myself, money just doesn’t matter. One thing that annoys me is that my colleagues who don’t pay union fees and don’t partake in industrial action still get the increases we fight for.

      But anyway, back on topic. Key should not be bribing parasites to buy stolen goods. It doesn’t even fit the obscene Friedman model. It’s far worse. It’s like a 3rd world banana republic where the families with political power give themselves everything. We’ve fallen a long way since Douglas and Prebble tripped us up while Lange travelled the globe being witty. It’s gonna take a fight to get it back, but with my walking stick, I’m not much good at running for the hills anyway.

      • srylands 19.2.1

        Good grief. Please get some perspective. We have had one partial sell down of one small power co!

        Globally there have been hundreds of (full) privatisations totalling hundreds of billions. Spot a trend?

        The second tranche of sell down of Telstra was done by installment when I was working in Canberra. There was no wailing and crying. It is fairly common practice in floats of state owned companies. It was used in the French floats.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_privatizations

        The flaw in the current NZ floats is that they are not 100%. That hopefully is on the agenda for the third term.

        • Draco T Bastard 19.2.1.1

          We have had one partial sell down of one small power co!

          And Telecom and the BNZ and power companies and hotels and airports…

          The list goes on.

          The second tranche of sell down of Telstra was done by installment when I was working in Canberra. There was no wailing and crying.

          And that just means that the Australians have been taken to the cleaners just as we have by their governments.

          The flaw in the current NZ floats is that they are not 100%.

          The flaw is that they’re being sold at all. The second flaw is that they’re being run for profit.

        • Murray Olsen 19.2.1.2

          Get some perspective? From an Ayn Rand acolyte, that’s a bloody joke. I don’t give half a dead snapper for what the Aussies did with Telstra. It’s a crap company and offers service that wouldn’t do the 3rd world proud. I refuse to have anything to do with it. I also refuse to discuss the details of how we can make our society not worth living in. I like people, not profits.

        • Colonial Viper 19.2.1.3

          The flaw in the current NZ floats is that they are not 100%. That hopefully is on the agenda for the third term.

          The privatisations are enriching a few wealthy investors and impoverishing the wider country. How can you live with that?

          • srylands 19.2.1.3.1

            “The privatisations are enriching a few wealthy investors and impoverishing the wider country. How can you live with that?”

            Because there is compelling evidence that privatisation programmes enrich nations. The Government has no business running airports and power cos, and certainly not hotels and farms. Ridiculous.

            Imagine the condition that NZ would be in now if the role of the state had not been wound back?

            A modest social welfare net, defence, justice, administering property rights, and correcting genuine market failures

            = government.

            Everything else can go. And will over time.

            • Draco T Bastard 19.2.1.3.1.1

              Because there is compelling evidence that privatisation programmes enrich nations.

              No there isn’t. Plenty to show that it impoverishes the general population while enriching a few though.

              The Government has no business running airports and power cos, and certainly not hotels and farms.

              So, you think that farmers shouldn’t get in farm managers or that shareholders shouldn’t hire managers to run the company? Your assertion is bollocks because what the government would do is exactly what the private companies do but they wouldn’t have the dead weight loss of profit.

              Imagine the condition that NZ would be in now if the role of the state had not been wound back?

              Little to no poverty, high standards of living, telecommunications close to the best in the world, etc, etc. Far better than what we’ve ended up with.

            • framu 19.2.1.3.1.2

              “Because there is compelling evidence that privatisation programmes enrich nations”

              no there isnt – it enriches an elite

              • srylands

                ” it enriches an elite”

                I don’t follow. How does it disadvantage you? The government swaps an income stream for a lump sum. Are you saying that the exact current mix of assets the Government holds is exactly right for maximising welfare? So the Government can’t sell any assets? It can only acquire them?

                As for the elite – how does it enrich them? I bought a modest parcel of MRP shares. But I financed it by not buying $1,500 of other shares that month that I would normally buy. Say each year I invest about $15,000 in shares. If there was no MRP shares on offer I would simply invest in something else. The composition changes, but I am no richer.

                To electricity prices – do you have any evidence that over the last 10 years SOEs have sold power cheaper than the privately owned power cos?

                • vto

                  I have this picture in my head of your getting around with a plastic bucket on your head, such is your blinkered and simpleton view on how society operates. You think it operates on the same basis as the supply of plastic buckets.

                  go hard mr plastic buckethead, you’re onto it

                  • srylands

                    “I have this picture in my head of your getting around with a plastic bucket on your head”

                    Yes well the interweb can do that for you can’t it?

                    I have a picture in my head of you living in a basement in Enderley, covered in cobwebs and rolling cigarettes. But, like you, I am probably wrong.

                • Tracey

                  ‘The government swaps an income stream for a lump sum.”

                  If the lump sum is substantially less than the long term income stream. Given some are saying it has dropped in value 2B in the last 12 months it is getting harder to argue your point .

                  • Crashcart

                    Yea it’s a bit hard to imagine someone who earns enough to invest $1500 dollars a month not understanding that getting rid fo a permanent income stream to be replaced with a lump sum is not really financially sound.

                    He posed the question of whether a government should be allowed to only ever aquire assets? It is at its core disengenuous. The argument made by proponents of the sales is that assets such as schools and hospitals cna be aquired with the money made by selling the current batch of SoE’s. As much as these are considered assets they are actually a cost to the country. They are not set up to make profit. You are a smart investor (or so you make out). Would you sell a bunch of shares that paid a nice dividend to buy ones that you have to constantly pay to own?

                    The government needs to spend the money on schools and hospitals and what ever hot button they want to try and use to justify but it would make far more sense to borrow the money cheaply and use teh income stream from profitable assets to assist in paying off that debt.

  20. Takere 20

    Then add $304m for the discounted power deal done for Rio Tinto for the next 3 years.

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