web analytics

National’s ‘whack-a-mole’ game

Written By: - Date published: 1:44 pm, April 14th, 2008 - 21 comments
Categories: assets, national, slippery - Tags: , ,

 whackamole.JPG 

Trying to follow National policy is like playing that ‘whack-a-mole’ game. Up pops John Key or Bill English or a spokesperson, and they make a clear statement of policy but just as you turn your attention to it, that position disappears and they pop up somewhere else with a contradictory statement on the same policy. You don’t know where National will be on an issue from one moment to the next.

Take assets. When Key was National’s Finance spokesman he was all for selling off state assets and allowing more foreign control of strategic assets. Then the issue disappeared. Then English said National had ‘for some time’ been pro-partial privatisation and would use the proceeds to pay for tax cuts, and National talked about future state assets (new schools, for example) being built and owned by the private sector. Then National’s David Carter said Landcorp would be sold. Then Key ummed and ahhed about Auckland Airport saying he was against it falling under foreign control but opposing the Government’s decision to block foreign control. English told us that if the Government buys back the railways, National will sell them again. Now, Key tells us that assets sales are off the table completely ‘in the first term‘ of a National government, not because he doesn’t want to sell them but because kiwis oppose flogging off our assets.

But even that isn’t the end of the story. National still plans to sell part of TVNZ. It also seems that National might be planning to have SOEs issue ‘infrastructure bonds‘ and pay the capital raised to the Government. In typical slippery style, that wouldn’t technically be selling the SOEs. The Government would get cash from private investors and future profits from the SOEs would go to those investors but as returns on bonds, rather than dividends.

Stay tuned for National’s next assets policy, due out sometime next week.

21 comments on “National’s ‘whack-a-mole’ game”

  1. Steve Pierson 1

    I wonder if Key talked to English, or anyone, before ruling out asset sales

  2. James Kearney 2

    Probably Kevin Taylor. I heard it was Taylor who eventually persuaded Key to front to the media and rule out having Roger Douglas in cabinet.

  3. It would be interesting to see a rationale analysis of the pros and con’s of state & private ‘strategic’ asset sales rather than the knee-jerk poll driven xenophobia being exhibited by most of the political players but especially NZF,Greens & Labour and the me tooism being offered by National.

  4. insider 4

    Hell, Michael Cullen defining what is and isn;t strategic would be a nice start

  5. Matthew Pilott 5

    mawgxxxxiv – interesting that a desire to keep asstes NZ-owned is now considered a knee-jerk reaction. Isn’t saying that a knee-jerk reaction in of itself? You’re dismissing, out of hand, any rationale the public may have for keeping assets NZ-owned and branding it xenophobia. That’s more of a knee-jerk because it illustrates a weak underlying assumption.

    Those who oppose sales have many reasons to do so, the history of the subject notwithstanding!

  6. Steve Pierson 6

    maw… explain why selling the assets would be good for New Zealand. That’s the only test that needs to be applied.

  7. gobsmacked 7

    Well, there must be an awful lot of knee-jerk poll-driven xenophobes in Australia, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Spain etc, etc.

    One of the great ironies here is that the people claiming that a desire for sovereignty and accountability = “xenophobia” are themselves apparently quite uninterested in how them funny foreigners run their countries.

    Canada’s right-wing government vetoed a foreign bid for a strategic asset last Friday – the day our government did the same. There are countless other examples overseas, if you’re not too xenophobic to read foreign media and learn about them.

  8. gobsmacked 8

    And just FYI:

    A statement from the Conservative government of Canada:

    http://www.conservative.ca/EN/2459/99379

    Sound familiar?

  9. Steve Pierson 9

    thanks for the link gobsmacked. kind of puts the rightwing claims aobut nz being extreme and scaring off investors to rest, don’t it?

  10. Monty 10

    I just think you guys are pissed because National have a policy which neutralises what labour were hoping was going to be an attack weapon. Afterall Labour have spent 18 years saying asset sales are bad – but never really providing a thorough rationale and arguement as to why they are bad – but have rather relied upon fuzzy soundbites such as “not in the NZs Interest” and “bad for NZ” and “selling the family silver”.

    I was pleased to see Devious Michael acknowledge that National will sell Assets in their second term. I take this to mean that Cullen now realises all is lost and that National will be in Government for at least the next two terms.

  11. My understanding is that the Overseas Investment Office recommended approving the sale of what is private property. Assuming the OIO carried out a professional, thorough and extensive analysis of the proposed sale it seems hard to see why the government rejected it, apart from an appeal to Kiwi xenophobia.

    In NZ we rely heavily on money from overseas investors: all the government is doing is increasing the risk and therefore the cost of that money for short term political gain. By signaling no change under a National led government next term Key is exacerbating the situation. He should be exhibiting more courageous leadership.

  12. Matthew Pilott 12

    Monty – I think you’re just pissed because Key is so weak he won’t even stickk to ONE core conservative policy. What has the Labour Lite Kid got left to swallow? Honestly, tell me!

    See, you’re just looking at it from a curiousyl myopic and cynical point of view. From what I see, come 2009: whoever is in power, they won’t be selling state assets. Given that’s a good thing, in my mind, er, why would I be pissed?

    We’re not all as bitter and cynical, I’m happy to say.

  13. Monty 13

    I certainly am not pissed – National are sitting around 50% and Labour are sitting around 35%. Key is doing what he needs to do to win – taking the contentious issues off the agenda is smart politics. Then it can focus the electorate on the matters that count – such as personal responsibility vs nanny state intervention.

    The only thing I am pissed about is that the economy is tanking thanks to Devious Cullen’s mismanagement of the economy – the lost opportunities and the way he has used the middle classes to fund his social programmes

    Captcha “Government Dummy”

  14. Robinsod 14

    Devious Michael???

    Monty that’s as silly as Burt’s lame attempts to get “retrospective validation” to catch as a meme. I love you righties with your hamfisted attempts at spin. Don’t give up your day job bro…

  15. Dan 15

    The poor old Nats! Last election it was the hollow men who were unmasked, and cost them the election. This year the threat is from within. In trying to cover the centre ground, the Nats have allowed in a mole in from the left who whispers leftie ideals to John Key who heads out to the Media before his minders can gag him. It’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers all over again. How can you tell a leftie from a Nat when they all look the same!

  16. Matthew Pilott 16

    The economy is tanking because of (*buzzes and squeaks ensue*). Yes monty, that’s it. Tell me, why has it been so good for the past few years? Some accident perhaps?

    Now tell my why so many tories complain that Labour’s policies constitute ‘middle class welfare’, and then go on to complain that the middle classes are oppressed under Labour. You guys are as incoherent as Key in the spotlight.

    Monty: Key is doing what he needs to do to win – taking the contentious issues off the agenda is smart politics.

    Translation: Key is abandoning the core principles that have guided his party for decades in order to gain power. And you say Labour is desperate – at least they have some spine and principle, unlike the pansies on National’s front bench that are too scared to admit to the public the truth behind their policies.

    I guess here are always people stupid enough to fall for this type of inoculation, but you’ll see the public waking up closer to election time.

  17. mike 17

    “Key is abandoning the core principles that have guided his party for decades in order to gain power”

    Matt, so offering tax cuts in election year that go against Labours core principles but because you are behind in the polls is Ok in your books is it?

  18. Ari 18

    While National are sitting at close to 50%, they’re far from secure. They’ve got about three extra seats max from there with their good old buddies Act and United Future/Peter Dunne. Everyone else are much more likely to be friendly with Labour. The election is very much anyone’s game at this point, with the balance of power hanging on United Future’s vote, and even small changes of opinion making huge waves.

    But honestly, I don’t really care about which Party wins- I care about the policies they’re likely to implement, and it scares me rather badly that National is actually managing to maintain such a lead with next to no policy of its own, purely through criticism of the current government. It’s much easier to criticise than to create, and all of National’s “major” policy announcements have been tired old saws or poorly thought out kneejerks.

    It would be nice to actually see something from them with substance given that they’re polling highest at the moment, but they seem to think that they can win the election without announcing any policy at all, which isn’t going to work for much longer.

  19. Dan 19

    You guys are too kind to the right. The momentum started a month or two ago. Take away the scandalous bias of the media and the unwillingness of commentators and bloggers to state the obvious, but the Nats without Key are history, and who would back Key now?
    Time for a change to Key who changes his mind according to the last piece of advice he was given?? Time for a change to privatisation, bulkfunding, increased doctors fees, $20 tax refund?
    When I skim read through some of the blogs of the right, I am absolutely certain that Clark and Cullen and all offer a far better future for New Zealand than the hollow men of English and Lockwood.

  20. Matthew Pilott 20

    Mike, Labour’s core principles do not involve increasing the proportion of tax taken from the public – show me where you think you’ve seen that.

    Then, contrast it with National’s prior policies on reviving ANZUS, reduction of government interaction in the market, diminishing influence of welfare systems, and so on.

    I will only be comfortable with tax cuts if they are from money deemed to be surplus to government requirements – I’m not sure that standard has been delivered yet – but Labour continues to do much in line with what I’d call core principles.

    Can you say National is doing anything in kind?

  21. gobsmacked 21

    About those “core principles” (Mike): another day, another flip-flop:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10504155

    Don who?

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

No feed items found.

  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
    Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, says the Ministry for Primary Industries is continuing to stay connected to federal authorities in Australia as devastating fires affect the country.  “The Ministry is using an existing trans-Tasman forum for discussions on the agricultural impact of the fires and the future recovery phase,” says Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
    Thousands of school-age children, their teachers and wider communities are benefiting from the Government’s multi-million dollar investment upgrading and renewing schools, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “We want New Zealand to be the best place to be a child and that means learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Defence Force sends support to Australia
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark today announced New Zealand is sending three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and crew, and two NZ Army Combat Engineer Sections as well as a command element to support the Australian Defence Force efforts in tackling the Australian fires.  The New Zealand Defence Force ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better access to books for blind and low vision citizens on World Braille Day
    "Today is World Braille Day and I am delighted to announce that an international treaty giving blind and low vision New Zealanders access to books and literary works comes into force today,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “Today the Marrakesh Treaty and the associated amendments to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to send further firefighter support to Australia
    The New Zealand Government is sending a further 22 firefighters to help fight the Australian fires. “The devastation caused by these fires is taking a substantial toll on our Australian neighbours and we will continue to do what we can to assist as they deal with this extremely dynamic, dangerous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Reducing the cost of education
    Twenty-two more schools have opted into the Government’s policy of providing $150 per child to schools who don’t ask parents for donations– bringing the total number of schools in the policy to 1,585. The Ministry of Education has accepted late opt ins past the November 14 deadline from schools that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Road deaths lower in 2019, but still more work to do
    “As we enter the new decade, my thoughts are with the families, friends and communities of the 353 people who lost their lives in road crashes last year. While the number of deaths is lower than in 2018 (377), this is still a staggering loss of life,” Duty Minister Iain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • PM congratulates New Year 2020 Honours recipients
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated the diverse group of New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to the country and their communities in the New Year 2020 Honours List.   The list of 180 honours recipients includes three Dames and three Knights Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Justice Minister congratulates first Māori Supreme Court judge on New Year’s Honour
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has congratulated The Honourable Justice Joe Williams for receiving a knighthood for services to the state. Sir Joe Williams has been appointed as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year 2020 Honours List. “Sir Joe Williams has made an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Year honours for top sportspeople
    Twenty-one of New Zealand’s top sportspeople, coaches and leaders in the sporting community have been recognised in the New Year 2020 Honours List. The Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua has been made a Dame Companion and the former All Blacks Steve Hansen has been made a Knight Companion of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Leading architect of Zero Carbon Bill honoured
    It’s great to see ordinary New Zealanders doing extraordinary things, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw today said in response to the news that Lisa McLaren is included in the New Year 2020 Honours List for her exceptional work leading the campaign for the Zero Carbon Bill. Lisa McLaren was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Social entrepreneurs and innovation leads Pacific contribution
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the New Year 2020 Honours List highlights the valuable contribution Pacific social entrepreneurs and innovators make to New Zealand, the Pacific region and the world. “The standout common factor that underlines their contribution to Aotearoa is the value they place in their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Service to birds and bush recognised in New Year Honours
    Decades of dedication to Aotearoa’s unique birds, landscapes, and native eels is recognised in the New Year 2020 Honours List said Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “I’m delighted that the decades of dedication to conservation, and fantastic leadership in giving nature a helping hand is being acknowledged,” said Eugenie Sage. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago