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Kiwibank sale to NZ Super, ACC privatisation by stealth

Written By: - Date published: 11:58 am, April 7th, 2016 - 52 comments
Categories: john key, Privatisation - Tags: , ,

Whatever NZ Post chair Michael Cullen, or the Government, says about the partial sale of Kiwibank to the “Cullen Fund” and ACC, it is privatisation by stealth.

NZ Super by definition is a terminating fund, set up to ease the financial burden of pension payments that will balloon upward in the next couple of decades. As that happens, the fund must sell its assets.

The deal announced yesterday, to sell 45 percent of the government-owned bank – 25 percent to the Cullen Fund and 20 percent to ACC – will yield $495 million to the owner, NZ Post, but not a cent will be used to inject more capital into the bank to assist its growth and development.

Instead, it will be transferred to the government to shore up its budget, no doubt paying for such smart capital developments as dams for dairy farm irrigation, just as the proceeds of the sale of Meridian, Genesis and Mighty River Power were.

“Kiwibank will remain 100 percent government-owned – that is a bottom line,” Cullen, the former Labour Party finance minister, said.

Kiwibank must have fresh capital if it wishes to compete with the Australian banks, particularly in commercial banking. And because Kiwibank will not receive new capital as part of this deal, NZ Super and ACC will inevitably have to put extra capital in.  That will have to come about via the issue of new shares which the cash-strapped NZ Post will be unable to subscribe to, and will therefore have its 55 percent holding further diluted.

Make no mistake; this is still a good deal for NZ Super and ACC.

When NZ Super inevitably sells its shares, as it must, it is obligated to offer the shares back to the government. So when Bill English, presuming he, or his clone, is still Finance Minister in 2030, is offered the Kiwibank shares back at double or triple the price of yesterday’s deal,  will he seize this gift-horse? Perhaps, given the economic wizardry he displayed selling power company shares and putting the proceeds into dairy irrigation.

Massey University Banking Prof David Tripe told RNZ ‘s Morning Report that he believed the sale price was more than 40 percent under valuation. He put the market value for the stake at closer to $700 million, valuing the total bank at $1.7 billion rather than the $1.1 billion yesterday’s deal. Such a valuation means when the shares are offered back to the Government, it is even less likely to want to buy them, or be in a position to buy them back.

“In those circumstances, a government would say ‘we haven’t got the money, maybe it should be sold on the open market instead’.”

NZ Super and ACC essentially behave like private equity partners with their investments – they use their strong cash reserves, or even debt funding, to buy cheap assets, and flick those on when there is no longer a good prospective return. When the government is offered the shares back you can guarantee it will not be a good deal for the government.

There is an argument that putting Kiwibank into the NZ Super and ACC’s portfolio, rather the government’s, it will be managed better, but neither of the new owners are specialists in running companies.

They will be looking for a commercial return and Kiwibank will be run as a commercial enterprise. That then raises the question of whether Kiwibank will be any different from the big four Australian bastard banks.

Under yesterday’s deal, Kiwibank will lose its guarantee from NZ Post (essentially the Government) and credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s said that will result in a credit downgrade. So the cost of Kiwibank’s borrowing will rise, particularly if it wants to start raising funds in international markets like the grown-up bank it aspires to be.

That more commercial orientation will result in New Zealanders falling out of love with Kiwibank and public pressure on the government to retain ownership of the bank will diminish. My prediction is that Kiwibank will be Australian-owned within 15 years. It will be just like BNZ.

One side aspect of this deal is that the sale alters how the NZ Super Fund operates in that it is no longer a pure investor as it has been up until now. This is more in line with Labour Party proposals at the last election – to steer NZ Super’s investments towards New Zealand.

“You are in the political public image stage,” one NZ Super insider said. “Inevitably it will get drawn into the political limelight. It does alter the name of the game.”

He called the Labour proposal a crazy idea – the idea of a clean, pure investor was a completely different proposition to a local fund investor. “This is the thin end of the wedge.”

Still, he believes it is a good opportunity for the fund.

“We wouldn’t do it otherwise.”

English says the Government will take a special dividend of “several hundred millions”. The rest will go to pay off NZ Post’s debt and recapitalise the ailing postal “service”. With NZ Post running at a $30 million a year loss, and postal volumes falling off a cliff, the question should be asked about whether NZ Post should be run as a for-profit operation. Do we expect roads, hospitals, the army or schools to run at a profit? Probably National does, but most sane people don’t.

(Simon Louisson formerly worked for The Wall Street Journal, NZPA, Reuters and was most recently a political and media adviser to the Green Party)

Disclosure: the author was one of Kiwibank’s first customers, and a company he part owned was literally the bank’s first commercial customer.

52 comments on “Kiwibank sale to NZ Super, ACC privatisation by stealth ”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    I’m half expecting there to be tax cuts in the 2016 budget, that come into effect on 1st April 2017. This ‘special dividend’ will go towards paying for them.

    Putting them in place before the election, would force the opposition into campaigning to reverse them.

    • The Chairman 1.1

      “I’m half expecting there to be tax cuts in the 2016 budget, that come into effect on 1st April 2017. This ‘special dividend’ will go towards paying for them.”


      Last time National offered tax cuts, Labour responded by offering them as well.

  2. Bill 2

    Thankyou for offering up, what reads to me as a fairly concise explanation of this latest merry go round of nonsense from our government of market fundamentalists.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Thumbs up to Sir Michael Cullen, Labour’s greatest Finance Minister, for working this deal out. And for the Labour caucus who support him.

    • the pigman 3.1

      *roll eyes*

      That Nats are doing exactly what the Labour/Alliance government did when they appointed Jim Bolger the first head of Kiwibank. It is a proven strategy.

      Cullen is a sellout, sure, primarily aligned with the careerist Labour advisors from when he was last in government (Grant Robertson, Jacinda Ardern, Hipkins, Curran). He doesn’t control the NZLP.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Cullen, a sell out? OK. So what about Parker who said that Cullen’s concept was brilliant?

        Cullen and Parker together represent Labour’s finest existing financial expertise. Who are you to question them?

        Frankly, I think you need to get behind Labour on this and accept that this move with Kiwi Bank is a good, if not brilliant, idea.

        As such, Labour won’t be attacking or reversing this National Government initiative.

        • Chooky

          +100 CV…sure know who NOT to vote for!…and trying to persuade others NOT to as well!

          The New Zealand Labour Party are an utter disgrace..

          • Colonial Viper

            We’ve been trying to point out the obvious to people for ages. And yet people still keep pushing for the “vote in the least shite of the big two parties” approach.

            I say no, dump the big two parties, support either the Greens or NZ First.

            Labour’s original reason for existing ended in the 1950s and 60s and its been struggling with a crisis of identity and class ever since.

            • Chooky

              Andrew Little would be a good leader of the National Party and Parker et al good ministers…but this is not what traditional Labour Party people want

            • the pigman

              You’re trying to characterize the entire NZLP caucus using a person who hasn’t been in the NZLP caucus for 8 years.

              Get a grip. Read beyond your existing prejudices. Follow Iain L-G on twitter, see what he says about the move.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yes, there are good people in the Labour caucus. And there are good people who are Labour Party members.

                As a Political Party however it is well past its use by date. Utterly without purpose, philosophy and direction.

                Unless you count “taking power from National” as a direction.

          • the pigman

            +100 CV…sure know who NOT to vote for!…and trying to persuade others NOT to as well!

            Great to hear you’re comfortable with John Key as PM in 2017 and 2020 then Chooky, very productive of you joining CV in using misinformation to derail a chance of a change in government.

            Michael Cullen is not a Labour MP, but the Nat appointee (in the tradition I pointed out above where Labour used Bolger). He opposed Little’s leadership bid in 2014.

            Parker, who stood against Little, is out of the leadership team and holds neither Finance nor Economic portfolios (nor is he associate spokesman of either). So when CV disingenuously refers to them as “Labour’s finest existing financial expertise” and you play along, andt whip yourself into a messy, frothing little frenzy, you are doing absolutely nothing to support a change of the current, extremely damaging, National government.

            • Colonial Viper

              He opposed Little’s leadership bid in 2014.


              Cullen is a public supporter of Grant Robertson as Labour Leader ahead of Andrew Little.

              Grant Robertson controls one of the major power block in caucus. Perhaps the biggest one. He is also Labour’s future Finance Minister.

              Everyone can look at this and read the ABCs for themselves.

            • Chooky

              nonsense Pigman…it is not essential to support Labour mindlessly in order to support a Left coalition government…luckily we have the Greens and New Zealand First to vote for ( or havent you heard of MMP yet)

              Labour has delusions of grandeur …as was shown when they blew Mana /Internet’s chances out of the water by opposing Hone Harawira in TTT

              ( this completely negated many New Zealanders vote for the Left last election and destroyed any chance of a Left coalition government)

              …Labour does not deserve to be the leading party on the Left imo ( and I come from a family of traditionally Labour voters)

  4. SPC 4

    The party that comes out of this worst is NZ Post. Selling its shares below full value and keeping only 2/5 of the money. The reduction in debt cost will be below the fall in Kiwibank profit flow. So who is Cullen acting for?

    An alternate deal where Kiwibank raised funds by floating shares to ACC and NZSF at 10% pa for 5 years would grow Kiwibank without reduction in NZ Post’s profit stream. Which over time would be of more benefit to affording debt cost and business capitalisation.

    This deal only prepares the way for NZ Post to further sell down its shareholding in Kiwibank (on the marketplace to private New Zealand investors as per power companies so ACC and NZSF can value their asset holding), but not to pay dividends to government but to cover its own on-going business losses.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    The shareholding minister, the person who gives directions to the board, is the Minister of Finance – Bill English. As such we can be pretty certain that this sale came down from the government.

    And Bill English did say that he wanted to sell Kiwibank back in 2008. It seems that ‘eventually’ has turned up now that they’ve found a way to sell it while claiming that they’re not selling it.

  6. Das 6

    “This will all end in tears” – quoting my very good friend who was once press secretary to a Minister.

  7. Dialaey 7

    As a foundation member of Kiwibank, I find this move deeply upsetting. I had joined Kiwibank in protest against the Aussie takeover of the old Trust Bank, as I prefer a NZ owned entity. I fear I will be looking for a new banking home if National continues to reign over this once proud and fair land.

  8. Puckish Rogue 8

    Well as posters on here like to point out Sir Michael Cullen is the reason NZ weathered the GFC so well so you just need to trust in him once again

    He had NZs best interests at heart then and he does now

  9. The Chairman 9

    Good points, Simon.

    I was just wondering what happens when NZ super starts being drawn down.

    Government are renowned for selling low and buying high.

    Perhaps we should demand a resale clause (a price cap) to be added to the deal to avert this scenario (shares later being sold on the open market).

  10. Wayne 10

    It seems to be a long bow that is being drawn here. I suspect it will be hard to convince the public that this is a privatization, or a prelude thereof.

    I also note that it is the Greens who are leading the charge on this issue. Labour is notably quiet.

    Over the years many commenters on this site have wanted to see the Super Fund and ACC using their many billions of dollars for precisely this kind of thing. But when it actually happens, it is all a terrible portent of disaster.

    I would have thought, and to be fair this is acknowledged by Louisson, that it will much easier to put new capital into Kiwibank with the new shareholding arrangements.

    I also suspect the five year rule of no sale by the Super Fund is designed to reassure middle New Zealand voters, particularly when coupled with the government’s clear statement that if there was a sale after five years, that the govt will buy the shares.

    Though National would like to be leading the government after 2021, they know that will be defying political precedent. In short, it is more likely that not that Labour will be holding the reins by then.

    So all this anxiety and suspicion seems overly wrought. Presumably it is simply because National has done it. However, I imagine that Dr Cullen actually came up with the idea. He wants to get NZ Post in better financial shape, and this is the easiest and most politically expedient way to do that.

    A special dividend of say $250 million would not fund any kind of tax cut, so that is hardly the reason.

    • Stuart Munro 10.1

      Oh please! Blinglish is bankrupt – none of his policies are producing revenue growth – he’d sell his children at this point. Useless tosser.

      • seeker 10.1.1

        “none of his policies are producing revenue growth”

        so true stuart……… what real policies has he ever mapped out anyway?.

      • Halfcrow 10.1.2

        That is nice Stuart, that is an insult to tossers

      • Halfcrown 10.1.3

        “Useless tosser.”

        Do you mind Stuart, that is an insult to tossers

    • The Chairman 10.2

      Point by point, Wayne.

      “It seems to be a long bow that is being drawn here”

      It was a rational conclusion.

      “I suspect it will be hard to convince the public that this is a privatization, or a prelude thereof”

      It was rather compelling.

      “Labour is notably quiet”.

      Labour seemed rather supportive.

      “Over the years many commenters on this site have wanted to see the Super Fund and ACC using their many billions of dollars for precisely this kind of thing. But when it actually happens, it is all a terrible portent of disaster.”

      I doubt many here wanted the funds to be used to foster in privatization.

      ‘It will much easier to put new capital into Kiwibank with the new shareholding arrangements.’

      Simon highlighted putting new capital into Kiwibank will result in further diluting NZ post’s shares.

      “I also suspect the five year rule of no sale by the Super Fund is designed to reassure middle New Zealand voters, particularly when coupled with the government’s clear statement that if there was a sale after five years, that the govt will buy the shares”

      No doubt it was designed to reassure. However, Simon’s post highlighted it’s a false sense of security.

      “In short, it is more likely that not that Labour will be holding the reins by then.”

      Regardless who is holding the reins of power, do people really trust politicians? For example, look at what happened to Labour’s bottom lines (TPP).

      “A special dividend of say $250 million would not fund any kind of tax cut”

      It will put the books in better shape to enable National to offer them.

    • mickysavage 10.3

      It makes partial privatisation long term almost inevitable. One of the three entities will seek to sell as soon as they can. And ACC and Cullen fund buying at what looks like a cheap price will incentivise profit taking.

    • Graeme 10.4

      “A special dividend of say $250 million would not fund any kind of tax cut, so that is hardly the reason.”

      Come on, you’re a bit light there mate.

      According to English and reported this morning,


      “English said there was a bit more negotiation to come. “We want to see the price that has been mentioned [$495 million] is the price that gets paid.

      “If that occurs then we would be expecting a special dividend in the range of
      well probably $300 to $350 million.”

      Asked if that would get him to a Budget surplus English replied, “It’s like recycling the capital – It won’t affect our surplus because of the way we account for it. But … we’ve got a big capital budget coming up, as we signaled before Christmas, and this will enable us to offset it to some extent.” ”

      Actually English is going to roll NZ Post for $350,000,000.00 to pay for a spend-up to enhance his re-election. Something that’s probably going to bankrupt NZ Post and force it’s sale, at liquidation sale prices, to one of National’s private sector mates.

      There’s a couple of word for that, begins with T and F, and if I did it I’d be doing a lengthy stint in the Big House.

      • Wayne 10.4.1


        It is hardly in the interest of the govt to bankrupt NZ Post. In fact NZ Post gets to retain between $100 and $150 million extra capital, even with the special dividend. That is a substantial amount of money.

        In any event consider the counterfactual. Imagine the political damage that would result if the govt let NZ Post go bankrupt and was sold off in some sort of fire sale. It would certainly be way more damage than for Solid Energy. John Key of all people is more than alert to that sort of political risk.

        I appreciate that many commenters here always want to believe the absolute worst about the govt, but some of these theories stretch credulity.

        • The Chairman

          “It is hardly in the interest of the govt to bankrupt NZ Post”

          It depends on whose interest the Government is serving.

          “In fact NZ Post gets to retain between $100 and $150 million extra capital, even with the special dividend. That is a substantial amount of money.”

          It would be substantially more if it wasn’t going to the Government.

          “Imagine the political damage that would result if the govt let NZ Post go bankrupt and was sold off in some sort of fire sale”

          As the Government largely got away with the Solid Energy failure unaffected, it only encourages them to push it further next time around.

        • Graeme


          If I told you to sell your car / house / whatever and the told you to give me 2/3 of the sale price, and then told you that you were better off by 1/3 of the sale price because, “That is a substantial amount of money.”, you would have a fairly brusque response. Because that is what is going on here.

          I’m sorry but what is stretching credulity here is the attempts to justify this fraud.

          • Wayne

            “fraud”, seriously?

            And is that what you think of Michael Cullen?

            • Graeme

              I thought Key and English were honourable men once too.

            • Descendant Of Sssmith

              It is theft.

              They could have “sold” 10% to get some capital to Kiwibank.

              The special dividend is theft. It is not an investment by either the super fund nor the ACC fund. Is the government paying interest on this special dividend. No way. How then is it any sort of investment.

              It is a transfer from those funds to the government.

              There was plenty of gnashing of teeth about the socialists/communists getting their hands on people’s super money should they come to power.

              It’s no surprise that it’s the fascists who have done this.

              We’ve seen this pattern from this government on a continual basis.

              The making of one SOE to sell part of it’s infrastructure to another SOE and to pay a special dividend.

              The making of Solid Energy buy a non-saleable Pike River Mine instead of the government.

              The theft of state housing rents paid by the poor to pay special dividends instead of fixing houses up.

              Supposedly SOE’s were set up to remove political interference – in reality (and many of us said this at the time) it was to remove public accountability and ensure political interference was done behind the scenes.

              What’s happening here is a pretty fucked up but consistent neo-liberal process.

              Reduce income and replace income with selling and stealing assets.

              This tax the rich less and sell is like convincing me to go to my boss and say give me a pay-cut. I understand you’ve got a big yacht to fuel. You clearly need the money more than me. I’ll just sell one of my kids to pay the mortgage.
              And the cool thing is that I do this voluntarily cause you’ve convinced me it’s the only way that things can be.

              And as I sell my kids I thank you for allowing me to have the freedom to do this.

              It’s fucked up and illogical.

              • Colonial Viper

                Not to mention the various financial derivatives and instruments that are being planned in the background around this deal.

                This is a Goldman Sachs specialty.

                They helped Greece conceal billions in debt from the EU using these special tools. (Although the EU elite knew exactly what was being done.)

                What are Goldman Sachs helping the Key Government to do?

                • Gristle

                  Both the ACC and the Cullen super funds are essentially ring fenced from the government. Getting them to buy assets from the government (such as housing stock) or from other SOEs allows Mr English to get his hands on some of those ring fenced funds. And whilst he may list them as Government assets on its balance sheet he cannot dip into them. They have been growing and have already been used to buy into PPP ventures.

                  I should have listened to Dr Ross Armstrong (ex National Party President who was banished after double dipping with NZ Post and TVNZ). Dr Armstrong regularly pushed PPP and had sought to establish himself as the PPP broker in NZ. He pointed out the usefulness of having a slush fund such as ACC that could be tapped into from time to time. I thought it was just bullshit: it still is bullshit but it hasn’t stopped it from happening.

                  Remember that the Cullen fund has been consistently out performing most other funds, and if the Mr English had continued to invest in it, then it’s returns would have exceeded to cost of borrowing by approximately 220%.

                  Due to ACC changing its accounting approach in 2008 it had to carry enough equity to fully fund future liabilities: so if you lost a leg now ACC is supposed to have enough money to pay for all the costs you on Day 1 even though the costs will still be occurring in 5 years time. ACC levies went up (and Nick Smith preached that ACC on the verge of bankruptcy.). Fast forward to last year after it had saved enough of a war chest to be able to forward fund injury costs and Nick Smith announces that due to the enlightened management provided by National the ACC levies would drop.

                  It’s the size of this war chest that attracts Mr English. This is money that has been funded by New Zealanders specifically to compensate for their injuries (and in return New Zealander’s surrendered their ability to sue those who caused the injury.) No doubt all sorts of gannets are trying to access the funds and encouraging them to privatise.

                  Maybe they have been loaded with some lemons and selling an underpriced slice to the new investors makes their balance sheets look better. The government doesn’t gain in terms of assets so the sale could have been for a vertitable peppercorn. What the government has got is cashflow. Expect more deals like this to come.

                  Kiwibank’s capital requirements are still to be addressed. New capital will have to be injected and a lot of this has to be equity. Expect NZPosts shareholding to quickly drop below 50% as it will not have equity that it can inject. Actually it’s really surprising that given that analysts have been saying for a long time that KB need further capital, that the two new investors didn’t have to front up with the $450m to cover say a 30% purchase plus $250m for another 15% of new stock.

                  I’ve seen one corporate board continually fight itself into stalemates as each of the 3 equal shareholders directors sought to have decisions go in their own favour. It was a good way to waste millions of dollars and let competitors truss you like a chicken.

                  Anyway the sheep have been penned and all we are waiting for is the stock truck to arrive.

            • Stuart Munro

              Suborned as the ambassador to the fishes was – National corrupt everything they touch – the grass turns yellow; the very rivers dry up and run with filth everywhere the Gnats have influence.

        • Sabine

          no jobs
          collapsing farming sector
          117+ billion debt and nothing to show for
          a PM who physically harasses a young women at her workplace and indecently fondles little girls hair without the consent of the little girls or their parents
          the farming sector up to eyeballs in debt
          underfunded Health sector
          increased GST

          So I appreciate that many National Party supporter here still believe the very best about the government, but some of these believes (after 8 years of National led Government) stretch credulity.

    • Lanthanide 10.5

      “A special dividend of say $250 million would not fund any kind of tax cut, so that is hardly the reason.”

      Gosh, Wayne.

      Let’s say tax cuts they want to do cost $1B in total. Lets say they currently have enough room in the budget to pay for $750M of that, but they would need to borrow $250M, putting the books into the red.

      The $250M special dividend can be used to offset that, and let them say “tax cuts are coming totally from surplus and we are not borrowing to pay for tax cuts”.

      You are pretty easily duped by this sort of thing.

    • Jan Rivers 10.6

      Isn’t the point here that prior to the election we were reassured that there would be no further privatisations because there was ‘little left to sell’. This is effectively a sale because it will take $495M out of the public sphere and into debt reduction and make the bank at risk of falling into foreign hands.

      It matters little that there is no law change. The issue for me, and I suspect for many others, is one of false representation in pre-election comments and trust. There is a grave danger that this action will actually make KiwiBank less attractive than even the credit rating downgrade would imply to those 1m people who delight in having a banking option that is not simply a $4.7bn drain on New Zealand’s nett wealth.

  11. Sacha 11

    Mr English has said he wants about 2/3 of the sale proceeds as his ‘special’ dividend.

    As Idiot/Savant points out, that’s effectively laundering long-term investment fund money via an SOE straight into English’s clutches: http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2016/04/plunder.html

    Sure doesn’t do much for NZ Post’s books. The Board must have had some signal from their shareholder that he’d be relaxed about them not getting the best return.

  12. Smilin 12

    What can you say about a brilliant financial mind now working for the other side oh yeah austerity and privatisation walking hand in hand ready to jump ship
    Is there any real nzers left running this country ?

  13. pat 13

    The question that springs to my mind around this is…..Is this government so desperate for cash they need to rearrange the ownership of Kiwibank to get their hands on $300 million?
    Worrying if things are that bad

    • RedBaronCV 13.1

      I’m sure they are that bad – govt borrowing is huge so coupled with a desire to leave the cupboard bare of anything for any incoming non Nact govt – this ticks both the boxes.
      But there are options – the next government could levy a one off super tax rate on earnings over say $1m and also levy at the same rate both the income and assets on all those offshore trusts and if they don’t pay then make a grab for the assets that they own whoopee…

  14. pat 14

    Well it certainly doesn’t tick the box of the reason given…..to enable Kiwibank to grow…..and then they pinch most of the capital raised.
    Unless of course both the ACC and Cullen funds wish to divest from say oil and gas ( and connected) investments overseas and move into an investment that is unlikely to be stranded in the near future….and one of the few with the potential scale in the NZ market.

  15. Smilin 15

    well “bottom line Bill” has certainly got things working well with Cullen
    Here we go again anything but the fact that when Douglas did the sellout of the NZ trading banks to Aust that even Jim’s brain wave would fail in the hands of the right wing .
    Cut and run finance policies all demanded by people like Bobbity bob Jones so that their bank fees and investments would work better with their Kiwi owned banks head officed in Oz
    All this at the time set the stage that in the future it would be impossible for an NZ owned bank to ever be the govts bank again why purely because one bank like Kiwibank would never be able to acquire the capital that the NZ banks had from the history of banking deposits since the country began
    Numbers do lie and this is just another lot of cock from the govt
    Amazing as Roger Douglas was to completely hood wink NZ with his financial wizardry his legacy is still making banking in the shaky isles as stable a s liquefaction in CHCH and Bill and Sir Michael are carrying on the the great lie as laid down by Sir Roger the rogerer of NZ and his back room boy in the Banker wanker Trust who creamed god knows how much out of this country sending it sky high to fuckin no where
    And now the present con men are going to dissipate the entity of Kiwibank another attack of austerity on the left it just never ends

  16. TC 16

    Gawd I dooo love a rigged game…..its sooo predictable.

  17. SPC 17

    Two men made this deal.

    Neither wanted Kiwibank (no wonder people suspect them of setting it up for a future sale too unpopular to make at present) and English did not want the NZSF (and has not put one dollar into it).

    This scheme does not put one dollar into Kiwibank, but transfers ownership of it in ways that places

    1. $300M in a dividend to the government (and downgrades Kiwibanks credit rating – ending its chances of becoming a bank capable of competing for funds on the international market)
    2. 25% of the shares to NZSF at below market value – the only “real” ‘transfer of value into Cullen’s Fund of the National term in office (now over 7 years).

  18. mpledger 18

    The only way ACC and the Cullen fund can make any sort of money out of this is when they sell – and you can bet the govt won’t buy it – they’ll say they don’t have the money. And the Cullen fund is going to have to sell sometime because of the baby boomers coming up for retirement.

    It’s a farce.

    Luckily, I believe in karma.

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    2 days ago
  • Bridging the gap – last piece of Northcote Safe Cycle Route now complete
    The opening of two bridges over Auckland’s Northern Motorway is the last link of a cycling and walking route which provides a safe, active alternative for students and commuters, Transport Minister Michael Wood said today. Michael Wood cut the ribbon for the completion of the Northcote Safe Cycle Route, at ...
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    2 days ago
  • Progress in establishment of Aged Care Commissioner
    Recruitment for an Aged Care Commissioner will start next month, to ensure greater oversight of New Zealand’s aged care sector. “This sector is responsible for supporting a large and often vulnerable population. While most people are able to access quality care, there have been cases where that care has fallen ...
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    3 days ago
  • New record number of homes consented
    In the year ended June 2021, the actual number of new dwellings consented was 44,299, up 18 percent from the June 2020 year. In June 2021, the seasonally adjusted number of new dwellings consented rose 3.8 percent. In June 2021, 4,310 new dwellings were consented, an increase of 3.8 per ...
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    4 days ago
  • Communities backed to tackle wilding pines
    Twelve community projects across New Zealand will receive a share of $2 million to carry out wilding pine control, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor announced as part of Biosecurity Week. “Wilding pines are a serious problem that threaten many of the unique landscapes that New Zealanders value. Community groups and trusts ...
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    4 days ago
  • Health Minister Andrew Little responding to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation's rejection of ...
    I was advised last night that the result of the ballot of Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa New Zealand Nurses Organisation members have rejected the latest proposal to settle their collective agreement. Let me be clear: the proposal was one they put to the Government. The Nurses Organisation rejected their ...
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    4 days ago
  • Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation introduced to Parliament
    Legislation has been introduced to Parliament to protect against practices intended to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Introducing the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill, Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, said the measures proposed were aimed at ending conversion practices which don’t work, are widely ...
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    4 days ago
  • New kaupapa Māori mental health and addiction services to support people in central North Island
    New mental health and addiction services rolling out across the central North Island will improve outcomes and equity for Māori, Associate Minister of Health (Māori Health) Peeni Henare says. Today the Minister met with providers of the new kaupapa Māori primary mental health and addiction service, Poutama Ora, which will ...
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    4 days ago
  • New school site for booming West Auckland
    The Government will build on a new school site in West Auckland to cope with rapid population growth in the area, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. The Ministry is working with existing local schools to determine how the 1.5-hectare site at 279 Hobsonville Point Road will be used to support ...
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    4 days ago
  • Trans-Tasman travel window to close at midnight tomorrow
    A further 500 MIQ rooms released for managed returnees from NSW Further Government actions announced today are balanced to provide more certainty for Kiwis wanting to return from Australia, while continuing to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, acting Minister for COVID-19 Response Ayesha Verrall says. The actions were foreshadowed last ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt investing millions in Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti schools
    Napier Boys’ and Girls’ High Schools are among those set to benefit from a $16.5 million investment in the Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti region, Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash announced today. The Government has set aside money in Budget 2021 to accelerate five projects in Napier, Hastings, Havelock North ...
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    5 days ago
  • Game changing Jobs for Nature investment for Northland
    Conservation Minister Kiri Allan has announced Jobs for Nature funding for a portfolio of projects that will create ‘game changing’ gains for nature and communities across Northland/Te Tai Tokerau as part of the Government’s acceleration of the economic recovery from COVID. “This portfolio of 12 projects will see over $20 ...
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    5 days ago
  • Third COVID-19 vaccine receives provisional approval
    New Zealand’s regulatory authority Medsafe has granted provisional approval of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older, Acting Minister for COVID-19 Response Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. New Zealand secured 7.6 million doses (enough for 3.8 million people) of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine through an ...
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    5 days ago
  • Bowel-cancer screening programme is saving lives
    More than 1000 New Zealanders have had bowel cancer – New Zealand’s second-most-common cause of death from cancer - detected under the Government’s National Bowel Screening Programme, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. More than 1200 New Zealanders died from bowel cancer in 2017. The screening programme aims to save ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt welcomes draft report on the retail grocery sector
    The Commerce Commission’s draft report into the retail grocery sector is being welcomed by Government as a major milestone. “I asked the Commerce Commission to look at whether this sector is as competitive as it could be and today it has released its draft report for consultation,” Commerce and Consumer ...
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    5 days ago
  • Christchurch’s Youth Hub ‘set to go’ thanks to further Government funding
    Construction of New Zealand’s first, purpose-built centre for youth well-being is ready to get underway thanks to an extra $2.5 million of COVID-19 response funding, Housing Minister and Associate Minister of Finance, Megan Woods announced today.  “The Christchurch Youth Hub is about bringing together all the things young people need ...
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    5 days ago
  • Next step to protect Milford Sound Piopiotahi
    Expert group lays out plan to better protect iconic UNESCO World Heritage site Milford Sound Piopiotahi and its surrounds Funding confirmed for dedicated unit and Establishment Board to assess the recommendations and provide oversight of the process from here Milford Opportunities Project a test case for transformational change in tourism ...
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    6 days ago
  • Funding for projects to reduce waste from construction and demolition
    The Government has announced funding for projects in Auckland and the lower North Island to help reduce construction and demolition waste. “Construction is the main source of waste sent to landfill, and much of this could be reduced, reused and recovered,” Environment Minister David Parker said. “The Government is funding ...
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    6 days ago
  • Speech at the launch of the National Hepatitis C Action Plan
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Thank you Anglesea Pharmacy and Te Manawa Taki for hosting this event. As a doctor, I saw first hand the impact of hepatitis C. I met Moana in 2019; she came to the infectious diseases outpatient clinic at Wellington Hospital having tested positive for hepatitis C. Like ...
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    6 days ago
  • Plan to eliminate hepatitis C as a major health threat by 2030
    A plan to eliminate hepatitis C in New Zealand, reducing liver cancer and the need for liver transplants, has been released today by Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall. “Around 45,000 New Zealanders have hepatitis C, but only around half know they have it,” said Ayesha Verrall. “Symptoms often ...
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    6 days ago
  • School upgrades and new classrooms for West Coast, Tasman and Canterbury
    A funding injection from Budget 2021 to complete four shovel ready projects and new classrooms at six schools and kura will provide a real boost to local communities, Minister Dr Megan Woods announced today. “This Government has committed to providing quality fit for purpose learning environments and 100,000 new student ...
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    6 days ago
  • Warmer Kiwi Homes smashes annual target
    The Government's highly successful insulation and heating programme, Warmer Kiwi Homes, is celebrating a key milestone with the completion of more than 38,000 insulation and efficient heater installs in the year to the end of June, smashing its target of 25,000 installs for the year. “The Warmer Kiwi Homes scheme ...
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    7 days ago
  • Exemption granted for Wallabies to enter NZ
    Bledisloe Cup rugby will be played in New Zealand after the Australian rugby team received an economic exemption to enter New Zealand. Travel between Australia and New Zealand was suspended on Friday for at least eight weeks following the worsening of the COVID outbreak across the Tasman. New Zealanders have ...
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    7 days ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes three diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced three New Zealand Head of Mission appointments. They are: Mike Walsh as Ambassador to Iran Michael Upton as Ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union Kevin Burnett as Ambassador to Indonesia Iran “Aotearoa New Zealand has a long-standing and constructive relationship with Iran, despite a ...
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    7 days ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved for West Coast and Marlborough
    The Government has activated Enhanced Task Force Green (ETFG) in response to the West Coast and Marlborough floods, Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “To assist with the clean-up, up to $500,000 will be made available to support the recovery in Buller and Marlborough which has experienced ...
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    7 days ago
  • Govt support for upgrade of Eden Park players facilities
    Minister for Sport and Recreation Hon Grant Robertson has announced funding to upgrade the players facilities at Eden Park ahead of upcoming Women’s World Cup events. Eden Park is a confirmed venue for the Rugby World Cup 2021, the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, and a proposed venue for matches of ...
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    7 days ago
  • More jobs and quicker public transport motoring towards West Auckland
    Work to improve public transport for West Aucklanders and support the region’s economic recovery by creating hundreds of jobs has officially kicked off, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff this morning marked the start of construction on the Northwestern Bus Improvements project. It ...
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    7 days ago
  • Government backs critical health research
    Research into some of New Zealanders’ biggest health concerns including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease is getting crucial support in the latest round of health research funding, Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. The funding, awarded through the Health Research Council of New Zealand, covers 31 General Project grants ($36.64 ...
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    7 days ago
  • New Bay of Islands hospital facilities to bring services closer to home
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little have joined a ceremony to bless the site and workers for Phase Two of the redevelopment of the Bay of Islands Hospital in Kawakawa today. The new building will house outpatients and primary care facilities, as well as expanded renal care ...
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    1 week ago
  • Raukokore re-imagined with ‘smart’ relocatable rent to own housing
    Iwi, Crown Partnership Relocatable, fully insulated housing, connected to a new solar plant Provides a pathway to home ownership New housing in the remote eastern Bay of Plenty community of Raukokore shows how iwi and Crown agencies can work together effectively to provide warm, dry, energy efficient homes in a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Cabinet accepts Turkish authorities’ request for the managed return of three NZ citizens
    Cabinet has agreed to the managed return of a New Zealand citizen and her two young children from Turkey, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The three have been in immigration detention in Turkey since crossing the border from Syria earlier this year. Turkey has requested that New Zealand repatriate ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt delivers more classrooms so children can focus on learning
    Extra Government investment in classrooms and school building projects will enable students and teachers to focus on education rather than overcrowding as school rolls grow across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis say. The pair visited Ruakākā School in Whangārei today to announce $100 ...
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    1 week ago
  • New station a platform for AirportLink to take off
    Every Aucklander with access to the rail network will now have a quick and convenient trip to the airport, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said during the official opening of the new Puhinui Interchange today. The new interchange links the rail platform with a new bus ...
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    1 week ago
  • 10 days sick leave for employees delivered
    Legislation doubling employees’ minimum sick leave entitlement to 10 days comes into effect today, bringing benefits to both businesses and employees, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. “Our Government is delivering on a key manifesto commitment to help Kiwis and workplaces stay healthy,” Michael Wood said. “COVID-19 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates Fiame Naomi Mata’afa on Election Win
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tonight congratulated Prime Minister-elect Fiame Naomi Mata’afa on her victory in the Samoa’s general election. “New Zealand has a special relationship with Samoa, anchored in the Treaty of Friendship. We look forward to working with Samoa’s new government in the spirit of partnership that characterises this ...
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    1 week ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel with Australia suspended
    Quarantine Free Travel from all Australian states and territories to New Zealand is being suspended as the Covid situation there worsens, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. From 11.59pm today Australians will no longer be able to enter New Zealand quarantine-free. This will be ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Growing conservation efforts in Gisborne
    A big injection of Jobs for Nature funding will create much-needed jobs and financial security for families in TeTairāwhiti, and has exciting prospects for conservation in the region, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The projects target local communities most affected by the economic consequences of COVID 19 and are designed ...
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    2 weeks ago