Key would sell it all, eventually

Written By: - Date published: 6:46 am, November 11th, 2011 - 100 comments
Categories: privatisation - Tags:

John Key’s promising new capital spending projects left, right, and centre that would be funded by asset sales. But, with the European debt crisis spreading, the odds of getting $5-$7 billion for slices of our energy companies and Air NZ are worsening. So what’s the plan when they need more money for Key’s promises? What do you think?

That’s right, sell more assets.

Partial privatisation of the big SOEs would be just the first stage, a stop-gap to avoid a small amount of extra debt (Labour’s net debt track peaks at $52 billion compared to National’s at $48 billion) while maintaining funding for new capital spending. Once that money is gone, which could be much sooner than expected if the sales revenue is smaller than forecast, then they would have to sell the other half of those companies, or Kiwibank, or the remaining small beer SOEs.

Key admitted as much yesterday saying that more could be on the block if the first round were to ‘go well‘.

This just reflects what a fundamentally short-term policy asset sales is. We would lose the dividend stream for a one-off revenue hit, and when that hit is used up they would go in search of more to sell.

Good on Phil Goff for saying his first action in government would be to stop the sales process, which National has already begun without a mandate.

What we need are the sustainable plans presented by the Greens and Labour – getting the revenue for capital investment from capital gains tax and SOE dividends, not flogging off our most valuable assets.

100 comments on “Key would sell it all, eventually”

  1. Gosman 1

    Ummmm…. So Labour needs to get that sort of money itself to fund it’s spending promises in the short to medium term. If National will have trouble finding this money for Assets whuch apparently have a high guarranteed rate of return for the foreseeable future why will Labour have no problem sourcing cheap funds to speculate with?

    • Eddie 1.1

      Labour doesn’t need extra borrowing for new capital spending in the long-run because they have the retained dividends from not selling assets and the revenue from capital gains tax.

      Only National’s short-term, stop-gap policies require continued asset sales.

      • Gosman 1.1.1

        You failed to addres the point I made. The Sovereign, (i.e. Government) debt problem in Europe will likely increase the premium paid by nations to borrow funds for Government spending. Hence Labour’s plans for increased borrowing in the short to medium term will be more difficult and costly to fund. This increase the risk that the cost of borrowing is less than any return they get by investing it in Assets on Wall Street.

        • mickysavage 1.1.1.1

          Here we go again …

          Thanks to Labour NZ’s crown debt is still small and borrowing should not be a problem.

          The assets that are going to be privatised pay $800 million plus in dividends a year and earn more than that.  Keeping them means that after a few years the decision is cost neutral and after that profit is made.

          And Gman if the international market is so chaotic why sell now? 

          • tc 1.1.1.1.1

            Oh the stupid short term RWNJ ‘logic’ it hurts me grand kids….well the ones that will still be living here.

            No surprise the likes of Fay and his mates are licking their chops and the smarmy
            Weldon once gone from the NZX can have it both ways, SOE and NZX shares….kaching, aww shucks thanks new zild.

          • Gosman 1.1.1.1.2

            Hold on here. It was Eddie who brought up the fact that the Sovereign Debt crisis will make sourcing capital difficult not I.

            Don’t you think that there will be a higher risk premium on Government borrowing, especially Government borrowing purely for speculative purposes? If so then what economic theory holds that increased risks don’t impact the cost of capital?

            • Bored 1.1.1.1.2.1

              Gos, in the short term you are right that borrowing will cost more, but theres the rub. As cash and capital flees risky investments looking for safe havens it is more likely that borrowing costs will fall, there will simply be too much cash slopping around hoping to find “safety”.

              My take is that asset sales are driven not by the need for money, nor ideology: its pressure from capital owners for safe rentier havens.

              • Gosman

                So do you think that increasing borrowing for speculative purposes will attract those people and institutions looking for that safe haven?

                How will that sale pitch go again? – ‘Please lend me your money kind investor. I’m going to take it and invest it in Wall Street’

                By the way your safe haven theory could equally apply to selling the assets.

                • Bored

                  Gos, read it again, borrowing is a non issue with regards to state asset sales FULLSTOP. Its about capital being unsafe in financial institutions worldwide, and even in government bonds etc. Stocks also very risky at present, and gold a chimera as it is not readily convertible..

                  Money likes to find safe haven: state owned hydro power companies with captive consumers are very tangible and much lower risk.

                  The government receiving cash for assets (or borrowing) is another story altogether: my hard nosed approach is that we don’t need it, we need to ensure expenditure and income balance, and if that means different tax rates, expenditure cuts to services etc etc so be it. Austerity time, the party is over.

                  • Gosman

                    “Money likes to find safe haven: state owned hydro power companies with captive consumers are very tangible and much lower risk.”

                    So therefore the Government should have no problem finding potential buyers then. This flies in the face of one of the points in this article which was that there wouldn’t be enough interest in the Assets.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Gosman why are you advocating selling off the country’s most valuable and highest returning assets?

                      The private sector gets how high returning and low risk they are to the country, why don’t you?

                  • Gosman

                    “The private sector gets how high returning and low risk they are to the country”

                    Excellent then they will have no problem paying a premium for the right to have partial ownership in them given their low risk high return.

                    • Dan hansen

                      Exactly the point – if you truely believe they are in the long return high returning and low risk they will pay a higher multiple hence we will receive higher sale proceeds.

                      Though i suspect they are really low return and low risk in the long run, as are all other listed utilities

              • Vicky32

                Is it not also true that asset sales are one of the absolutes that the IMF insist on? I heard that on’t steam radio a while back…

    • logie97 1.2

      Gosman the NACT meme for years has been that “government has no place in business”. Companies are better run by private enterprise. It’s about time you lot showed a bit of honesty and stopped trying to hide behind bazaar arguments that the money can be used for socially responsible projects – it’s bollocks.

  2. Tigger 2

    Key constantly speaks of his ‘intention’ and what he ‘expects’ as ways to ensure he can later say he has to do the thing he always wanted to do because circumstances dictate it. It’s a ‘dynamic’ world after all. If National are able to they’ll sell the entire country out from under us.

  3. A few United Future MPs in parliament will be able to stop National fully selling any assets – more effective than Labour out of government.

    But I think you are grossly overstating Key’s intent, he’s continuing to be very cautious about asset sales, that will continue in the next term as long as enough pressure is applied.

    • wtl 3.1

      OK. Please make a commitment as to the level of asset sales we will see with UF.

    • Eddie 3.2

      Pete George. Simple question. Does United Future support National’s announced asset sales?

      • Pete George 3.2.1

        I presume you mean partial sales – United Future bottom lines:
        – no sale of Kiwibank, Radio NZ, water assets
        – The New Zealand Government retains majority control (51%)
        – Shareholding by private investors be capped at 15%
        – New Zealand household investors are given preferential purchase right at time of issue.

        I’m comfortable with National’s mixed ownership proposals, it’s worked well for Air NZ (Labour set that up) and has some advantages (somewhere for my Kiwisaver to invest, enables growth and has the benefit of both state and private involvement) and no major disadvantages.

        [Pete. Last chance. You’re a candidate. So you don’t get to not answer direct questions. Does United Future support National’s asset sale policy? Eddie]

        • mickysavage 3.2.1.1

          Err epic fail Pete.

          As soon as you privatise you have minority shareholders with expectations and the accountants take over.  If burning coal is cheaper than building windmills that is what you do.  If turning lignite into diesel can make a buck then who cares about climate change.

          And, please answer, why would you sell something returning 17% to pay off debt at 6%.

          And history lesson Pete.  Labour bought back into Air New Zealand after its private owners ran it into the ground.  It is an entirely different argument. 

          • Pete George 3.2.1.1.1

            It has still resulted in a similar mixed ownership model which seems to have been very siccessful.

            • Ari 3.2.1.1.1.1

              What’s been successful was a bailout and partial buyback of Air NZ. You should acknowledge that selling half (or 49%) of an SOE is very different from the government reinvesting in one it flogged off.

              What benefits do we actually get from partial privatisation? The returns from the SOEs are much higher than the interest from the debt we’d pay off or avoid borrowing, so it actually needs to bring quite a strong benefit other than the money we’d get from the sale, which is effectively a loss.

              And so far, the more privatised we’ve had key infrastructure, the worse it’s performed.

          • Gosman 3.2.1.1.2

            So are you claiming that the SOE’s are not currently being run along commercial lines?

            Weird because when I worked for Kiwibank there was no dictates from Government that I was aware of that influenced the direction of the bank.

            Have you got examples of direct involvement in the day to day running of SOE by Government?

            • Eddie 3.2.1.1.2.1

              SOEs are subject to the SOE Act, which requires them to consider the impacts of their actions on the communities they exist within.

              Boards of directors are legally obliged to only consider the impacts of their actions on the interests of the company.

              It doesn’t take too much imagination to see the difference. eg asset stripping.

              Power prices is an example of the SOE Act in action. The SOEs have to go through a big process to prove that any rises are necessary and acceptable. Contact does not.

              • Gosman

                Contact is operating in a competitive environment. If they raise their prices too high then consumers are free to swap to a different supplier. Are you trying to argue that the publically funded Energy companies have consistently lower prices?

              • Dan hansen

                You do realise material asset stripping requires a 75% vote by the Board (yet the government will have 51%)?

                • Ari

                  How do you figure that? You can asset-strip an SOE by stopping maintenance payments and reinvestment with a simple majority decision.

              • insider

                That is utter bollox Eddie. The electricity SOEs have to do no such thing. It sounds like wishful thinking. They price based on markets and the expected return dictated by the Minister through Treasury. Powershop changes its prices monthly (if not more often). They don’t go through this self flagellatory process every time.

                • In Vino Veritas

                  Well said insider. I have pointed this out on this site before, but it seems to be forgotten rather easily by some. I’ve also directed many tothe late Roger Kerr’s blog, where he did a series on privatisation and the effect on dividends from these assets. Essentially it debunks most of the nonsense that Labour have propounded about asset sales. I thought it was rather easy to understand, but perhaps I was wrong.

        • Pete George 3.2.1.2

          Funny Eddie, like Key and Goff always answer direct questions?

          Asset sales are not United Future policy. If partial sales are a part of coalition negotiations UF have bottom lines. Full asset sales will not be supported (non are proposed anyway). Apart from that it depends on priorities in negotiations, and which parties are involved in those negotiations.

          Obviously it’s possible UnitedFuture may agree to partial sales but they are not party policy.

          • felix 3.2.1.2.1

            Don’t compare yourself to Key and Goff, Pete – you want to do politics differently, right?

            More open, more accountable, more transparent, right?

            Right?

            • Pete George 3.2.1.2.1.1

              And I’ve been quite open here about UF policy, my opinion, and the reality of coalition negotiations.

              I’m sure Eddie won’t insist on Phil Goff saying if he supports leaving the super entitlement age at 65 as per the policy possible coalition partners NZ First and Greens, or dropping it to 60 for Maori as per Maori Party policy.

              • rosy

                Is this open? …
                “A few United Future MPs in parliament will be able to stop National fully selling any assets – more effective than Labour out of government.”

                National never said they would fully sell assets, unless you got a memo that the public hasn’t had. Otherwise because National and UF asset sales policies are virtually identical (for the moment) any extra MPs will enable asset sales.

                I think you’re being manipulative.

                • National and UF asset sales policies are virtually identical

                  You are totally wrong on that.

                  Do you not know what the respective policies are, or are you the one trying to be manipulative?

                  • rosy

                    Do you not know what the respective policies are, or are you the one trying to be manipulative?

                    Yes, I do know and no, I’m not being manipulative.
                    UF
                    “with regard to Asset Sales, UnitedFurure (sic) will insist that:
                    – The New Zealand Government retains majority control (51%)
                    – Shareholding by private investors be capped at 15%
                    – New Zealand household investors are given preferential purchase right at time of issue”

                    National
                    . The New Zealand Government retains majority control (51%)
                    – offer to NZ ‘mums and dads’ first.
                    – I don’t know if there is a shareholder cap on Nats version because it’s not easy to find on their website – funny, you’d think it would be right in front, no?, although they are looking at NZ investment funds (all spin and no substance in that IMO)

      • Scotty 3.2.2

        Pete George
        Last week your story was United Future had limited influence in the last 3 years ,and therefore ,could not be blamed along with National ,for the ongoing polluting of waterways.

        This week,you say United Future will be able to stop asset sales.

        The only time in the electoral cycle when United Future has any potency is right now, Peter Dunne could be calling out National on asset sales and dairy pollution, but instead chooses to use this valuable period to feather his own nest in Ohuria, says alot really.

        Your dream of several UF MPs is delusional.

    • rosy 3.3

      oh please –
      1. One UF MP is not going to change any intention National has for selling assets.
      2. The only asset sales UF has ruled out are water, RNZ and Kiwibank – and they’re not on the block.. yet.
      3. Otherwise the policy on your website is pretty much the same as National. The ‘conversation’ mentioned on the UF site is moot if people vote National in, as that’s the gives mandate – unless it campaigns that it will block the assets that are already being prepared for sale.

      • Pete George 3.3.1

        But just as it’s likely for Labour to slip back more in ther polls it’s likely United Future will improve as the current polls indicate. I’m confident of a few getting in.

      • felix 3.3.2

        Water, RNZ and Kiwibank most definitely are on the block.

        But obviously you’re right that UF isn’t going to stop National selling anything – just look at their candidate’s answer here, he actually supports, what National are doing!

        And it’s probably moot anyway as none of the polling companies have been able to find anyone in NZ who says they’re going to vote for UF.

        • rosy 3.3.2.1

          “Water, RNZ and Kiwibank most definitely are on the block”

          Not that they’re saying, but I agree they will be.

        • Pete George 3.3.2.2

          You haven’t seen any of this week’s polls?

          • The Voice of Reason 3.3.2.2.1

            I’ve seen a few, Pete. Some have United Follicles at 0.8%, some at 0.6%, some at 0.4% and some at 0.0%. Are these the ones you mean?

        • travellerev 3.3.2.3

          Water is the next bubble. Privatise water, sell water derivatives, Make a bundle and drive the price up so we the people can’t afford it any more just like oil, and food. Just another bankster scam. Here is Max Keiser on Privatising water

          • Hami Shearlie 3.3.2.3.1

            Even if it’s just power companies that are partially (eventually totally I’m sure) sold, it still comes back to the water needed to generate the power. What kind of idiot would want private companies near that?

    • kriswgtn 3.4

      A few United Future MPs in parliament will be able to stop National fully selling any assets – more effective than Labour out of government.**

      HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH HHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

      U WHAT??

      Ur exalted leader is so far up keys butt ,all he talks is verbal diarrhea

      Dunne will do as hes told like he has this term

    • Galeandra 3.5

      grossly overstating Key’s intent, he’s continuing to be very cautious about asset sales,….

      Where’s your evidence for this?
      The process is already underway, and I see little evidence of ‘caution’.

      And how can you keep state ownership to 51% constant if the company requires to raise further capital, and the government can’s supply it. Look how far the state owned percentage of Air NZ has fallen since we were first obliged to rescue it.

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    Asset sales are a little like student parties where the furniture gets burnt to keep everyone warm and the party going, ‘fun’ at the time, but chilly and nowhere to sit the next day.

    With the world on the brink, do we really want, let alone need to go there? And to rub it in, the dirty filthy Nats have done preparatory work on asset sales before the voters have had their say.

  5. tsmithfield 5

    Well, if the premise of this article is correct, and National will get lower prices than expected for asset sales, then it also follows that Labour’s capital gains tax won’t reap the expected rewards, on the same basis.

    Anyway, the European debt crisis will be resolved. I expect the ECB will be given the green light to go nuclear one way or another in the near future. Europe simply can’t afford to let the likes of Italy go under, and will use every means at their disposal to prevent it from happening.

    • Bored 5.1

      TS your faith in the magical and mysterious ways of finance is somewhat misplaced: the Euro crisis will be resolved but not as you think. We are looking at defaults and bank colllapses that will have global contagion. Bailing out today by way of indebting taxpayers will neither cure the issue (its merely propping an untenable scenario up, collapse to follow), and it will drive a severe citizen backlash.

  6. In March 2008 I was in Sidney at a 911 truth conference. One of the speakers was Edward G Griffin who is a specialist on the Federal Reserve of New York. I was able to see two lectures by this amazing man and was also able to ask him what he thought of John Key as out prime minister and his answer was: He will sell your country and will throw in his mother with the deal!

    When I asked him after I told him that he had been a member of the Foreign exchange committee of the Federal Reserve he answer: It has happened before!

    Here is his excellent lecture on the origin of the Federal Reserve which I hope everybody is beginning to wake up too is no more Federal than you and I and is in fact a privatly owned banking cartel.

    http://aotearoaawiderperspective.wordpress.com/2008/09/22/the-creature-of-jekkyl-island/

    Enjoy!

  7. Richard Watts 7

    It seems funny that we ignore the actions of the most successful country in terms of growth recently, China. They use their state owned enterprises to good effect to make a future for their country and if we sell these assets we will lose that option.
    Neoliberal economics has fallen in the face of Mercantilism. We need to treat the country as if it were a company and we need to treat the current account deficit as if it were the bottom line for our collective company. Selling assets does not improve the bottom line for our country.
    What we need to do instead of selling assets is to make them work better for us. We can’t do that if the assets in question are beholden to the needs of private investors whom quite rightly would demand that they maximise profit. Instead of selling them let them create partnerships themselves with third party companies to bring jobs and revenue into New Zealand.

  8. Terry 8

    I trust that most people heard Key on TV news last evening (which he dominates every time, of course) smugly asserting, “I will not rule out further asset sales” (note well, he did not say “partial”, either).From Key this is as good as a promise! A couple of comments reckon Key is “very cautious” about asset sales. How easily deluded some of his lackeys are! Perhaps it is best that those loyal to our country just laugh it off!

    • Bored 8.1

      The bastard has his millions invested all over the place and I would suggest that portion in financial ventures etc he is wanting to convert into tangible rentals…..

    • Hami Shearlie 8.2

      A person who gambled with other people’s money for a living can hardly be called “cautious”!

  9. Afewknowthetruth 9

    Surely the lower the price, the happier Key and his cronies will be. A poor return for assets would be the perfect justification for privatising more of them to make up the shortfall.

    If Key can put NZ assets into the hands of his mates at bargain-basement prices they will be able get some reports written that say they are undervalued, push up the values, and then off-load them shortly afterwards on the open market to suckers for higher prices.

    History never repeats but it often rhymes.

    • Ben 9.1

      Off-topic AFKTT: I bought Kevin Moore’s book on your recommendation. It’s an interesting read (haven’t finished it yet). Certainly fills in gaps in history that I wasn’t aware of – assuming the facts he states stack up, and I haven’t dug into that yet.

      • Afewknowthetruth 9.1.1

        Ben

        Keep reading!

        And let us know if there is anything in it which is not correct. (I know of only one small error).

  10. Blue 10

    Of course he will sell more. As soon as he gets back in he will say that the public gave him a mandate and he will sell whatever he can get his hands on.

    He will run some scaremongering spin about how the country’s economy will collapse if he doesn’t sell the assets, and the voters will tell him it’s okay, and they understand, and wave their assets goodbye as they are sold off at bargain basement prices.

    Has anyone asked Key to rule out scrapping interest-free student loans or Working for Families yet? Because if they haven’t, they probably should.

  11. Jan 12

    Agree with Bored’s comment “Money likes to find safe haven: state owned hydro power companies with captive consumers are very tangible and much lower risk”

    Today’s announcement that Turners and Growers is being sold to a German owned company is significant. Does this mean that there is not enough investment capacity in NZ to buy an effective NZ owned company? Certainly the proposed sale of power companies will cause a lolly scramble into safe investments that could pay more that can be guaranteed by our export sector. (the sale of Tekapo from Meridian to Genesis is paying investors a guaranteed 8% I believe) So as well as all of the other downsides of the proposed sales they will skew investment further from the tradable to the non-tradable sector of the economy.

    And another point – irrespective of whether it’s all sold or 49% or even 10% any level of privatisation will effectively be a stranglehold on planning for (or even commenting on) the electricity sector required for issues such as smart-metering, setting up the capacity for vehicle recharging stations in case these are perceived as breaking the securities legislation. Meridian and Genesis will be forced not to maximise profits rather that cooperate in delivering the electricity capacity of Tekapo A and B for example because their primary duty is to share holders and not for the public good.

    • Jan 12.1

      oops Typo – forced TO maximise profits.

    • insider 12.2

      It means that the globally oriented German company saw a good opportunity to fill a hole in their portfolio. A less globally oriented (and struggling) company saw the chance to generate cash. Willing sellers and willing buyers made an agreement. Nothing positive or negative in terms of NZ investment in that, just different needs and visions

      The ability to do smart meters or charging stations will not be restricted by the operators, It’s just an electrical outlet or a meter. it will be the regulatory structure that causes any problems. There are already smart meter standards in place that are permissive. It’s only if the scale of the car charging takes off that we need to worry. That is not going to happen fast just due to the lag in vehicle markets and lack of technology in the market, and the regulators are already anticipating what might be needed in the way of rules and standards to maintain the integrity of the system and even improve it through use of vehicles as system voltage support.

    • Colonial Viper 12.3

      Today’s announcement that Turners and Growers is being sold to a German owned company is significant. Does this mean that there is not enough investment capacity in NZ to buy an effective NZ owned company?

      If NZ private sector shareholders want the maximum price for their shares they will always sell them overseas. The world is awash with freshly printed capital looking for good investments, whereas the capital in NZ is less imaginative, usually looking no further than the next dairying block or maybe DIY house.

  12. Anne 13

    What I don’t understand is why Labour and the Greens don’t hammer the fact that once the 49% share-holding is out of govt’s hands, the mum and dad (yeah right) shareholders can – and will – on-sell their shares to foreign-owned corporate giants at a huge profit to themselves. These corporates will eventually swallow up the whole 49% shareholding, and will place pressure on the govt. to sell them the rest.

    Now I concede to being an economic illiterate so perhaps someone can enlighten me if I’ve got it correct.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Also, a basic 30% shareholding is enough for any foreigner to demand changes in the operations and direction of the company; the pretense that the Govt still has absolute control with 51% of the shares is BS. Both Key and English know that.

  13. marsman 14

    Smart metering. Now who owns a company that makes smart meters and is also a rabid, greedy neoliberal,. Why none other than the ex beer baron Douglas Myers, perhaps he’s told his chum John Key he wants to own NZ’s power stations and maybe that other arsehole Ashcroft wants a slice of them too.

    • Anne 14.1

      That’s interesting marsman. We already know the govt. has begun laying plans for the asset sales because Bill English has told us. We also know that Ashcroft was in NZ a few weeks ago having private talks with John Key because Key was forced to admit it. They talked about stuff he said. It doesn’t take too much figuring that some of that stuff was to do with asset sales.

    • insider 14.2

      Smart meters are made by the million in China and Indonesia. Sounds like you have a pretty vivid conspiricist imagination.

  14. anne 15

    Is key going to pay back the tax payers dollars he has already paid out for the preparing costs
    of the sale of assets? To use tax payers money without a mandate should be reflected in the media
    also,this is arrogant,deceitful,theft without permission of the pubic purse.
    He intends now to ‘hock’ off all assets the nz’ers own,national’s spin team are responsible for
    ‘the tax switch’ which key emphasised,the spin team have gone for ‘selling to kiwi mum’s and dad’s’ which is a decietful move,knowing he has kept nz mum’s and dad’s poor during his
    term in office and costs them dearly with his prefered section of the population getting the best of
    financial treatment and policies that would lift their wealth to ‘through the glass ceiling’levels, many average kiwis’s only have to sit and watch and hope.
    Key’s borrowing knew no bounds,his spending knew no bounds and yet he continues to slam labour’s costed policies,when key does not have any costed policies and contiues to dangle fake
    consumer policies under the noses of those he disaffected.
    Given that this election will define nz for many years to come,there needs to be an urgency to
    to get team Key out of office,Key has already spoke of what his intentions are and that is to
    inflict severe pain on more people in nz if his statement of “There will much,much,deeper and
    bigger cuts in their second term” should come to fruition,kiwis will have no assets either,it will be game over for the nz economy and for it’s people.
    Key and english have already shown their hand at the section of the economy they favour,by
    saving the biggest polluters in the economy,the dairy farmers and the farming sector,costing
    tax payers again,interesting to note it was English’s brother that fronted the media,how convenient
    for English business interest in a family farm in dipton,that the changed from sheep to dairy just recently,when fonterra and the meat industry got thousands of tax payer dollars for promotion and advertising costs,there is no justice for the average kiwi when these sort of practises are
    the normal behaviour of the key and national government,hopefully politics in nz will return to honesty and inclusiveness after the election and get rid of the crooks because they wont have their hands on the public purse.

  15. randal 16

    why in the history of new zealand do major projects now have to be paid for by selling previously paid for assets.
    why dont they use the same techniques for new infrastructure that were used in the past?
    what has changed?
    it seems like only the naked greed of the people paid to represent us using their position to represent themselves.

  16. Treetop 17

    I’d love to see a bill board with the Jack and the Bean stalk theme.

    Goff heading down the beanstalk with the golden goose (assets) and further on chopping the bean stalk down to stop the giant getting his hands on the golden goose which lays the golden eggs.

  17. Jan 18

    It seems to me that there is also insufficient focus on where the benefits will go with asset sales – aka in smug-speak – the “mixed ownership model” . It represents – by and large – and as with the 1980’s privatisations a wealth transfer from :-

    all New Zealanders to a few
    all New Zealanders to those who are already wealthy
    all new Zealanders to mostly older people and
    all New Zealanders to overseas interests.

    In short while more than 60% of people are against privatisation a greater proportion than that are disadvantaged by this policy.

    Its kind of interesting as well the sleight of hand equating the value of productive assets (power generation) with social assets (schools, hospitals) which hints at a much wider privatisation agenda for the provision of social assets,

  18. Bored 19

    Jan, you are right onto these guys, follow the money and you will find the 1%ers of NZ pulling strings for their individual benefit. Social good is not a consideration.

    All up National dont stand for even a fraction of those that profess to be their core crew, it is rather sad and pathetic to see their supporters going along with the rort to which they too are victims.

    You are right that Nacts core agenda is total privatisation: in a shrinking world economy making serfs of the populace is the only option open to the wealthy. They dont realise the danger they pose to themselves.

  19. Fortran 20

    What is wrong with the current Air New Zealand shareholding model ? Is this not what has been promulgated to a 51% retention by Government. Shareholders will have to support any capital raising whatever, as appropriate.

    • mik e 20.1

      airNZ is a very specialized business,benefiting from a partnership with another govt owned much larger airline SA
      The four energy companies are far more profitable and should stay in our hands helping pay down debt rather than used for election bribes!

      • mik e 20.1.1

        the four energy companies are far more profitable and should stay in government hands and help pay down debt instead of being used for election bribes

    • Ari 20.2

      With Air NZ, the choice was how much of it we should BUY, not how much of it we should SELL.

      Buying back half of it was a good decision. That doesn’t mean we should sell half of the stuff we actually fully own.

  20. Rob 21

    Let’s face it John Key would sell his mother if it would make him a buck
    And English has already shown he is capable of stealing taxpayers money to pay his mortgage
    Trust them at your peril

  21. hoom 22

    I think its a first but I generally am thoroughly in agreement with Fran O’Sullivan here:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/elections-2011-experts/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503209&objectid=10764698
    (ignore last couple of paragraphs)

  22. anne 23

    I have to question whether or not tvnz’s channel 1 hasn’t been already taken over by the nats,the background drop and the presenter are in national blue,is this a another political stunt by the right.
    The media are taking no adverse comment on jk or national,no information on their corrupt practices,no contradictions of policy,so it would be great if a behind the scene investigative
    reporter can get down to the truth of what has been going on,i know jk has the herald sown up,with his press chief being an ex reporter of the herald.

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