Nats have already spent $26m on asset sales

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 am, February 17th, 2013 - 78 comments
Categories: privatisation - Tags:

The Greens have revealed that National has spent $26m on asset sales so far. They haven’t even sold anything yet! They haven’t even really begun the sales process! And they’ve wasted $26m of our money. The bill’s going to get a whole lot longer if the sales actually go ahead. There’s $106m budgeted for the sales and huge unbudgeted costs like the looters’ bonus, Treaty dispute costs, and extra money for the executives (naturally).

When I think of all the things that National won’t fund – like school breakfasts – because it says there isn’t enough money, and then we see them spending millions on asset sales no-one wants, and millions more on crap like fixing Novopay when it should be Talent2 paying, it makes me even more determined that we have to boot the buggers out in 2014.

One step along that path will be the asset sales referendum. The Keep Our Assets coalition needs just 22,000 more signatures to reach its target of 400,000 (the number of valid signatures needed is 309,000 – they’re collecting spares). If you or yours haven’t signed yet, do it now. And send in any completed or partially filled petition forms that you have lying around quick smart.

The Nats are wasting our money; but we’ll make them pay.

78 comments on “Nats have already spent $26m on asset sales ”

  1. swan 1

    “And they’ve wasted $26m of our money.”

    The Maori Council going to the Supreme Court probably hasnt helped.

    How much taxpayer money did the Greens spend to hire people to collect signatures for a “citizens” initiated referendum?

    [The Greens didn’t spend a cent more than was already allocated to them to do as they wished – within the rules – in their annual Leader’s Budget. If they hadn’t spent $50,000 on KOA signature collection, they would have spent it on something else, like the other parties did. No additional cost to the taxpayer. JH]

    • alex 1.1

      The campaign has had a budget of 50k. Yeah, thats about 400 times less than what has been spent trying to sell them.

      • swan 1.1.1

        Difference is – the government are enacting an election promise, whereas the Greens are subverting what is supposed to be a process for Citizens outside parliament.

        • felixviper 1.1.1.1

          Subverting how?

          By encouraging citizens to take part they’re actually helping that process swan.

          • UpandComer 1.1.1.1.1

            Well, lets see your same logic if the Nats decide to run a referendum on exactly the same premises and mechanics but on a different issue – to get rid of the Maori seats and remove all references to the Treaty of Waitangi in legislation. Don’t get confused – the Greens are using tax payers money to pay people to corral other people into signing a document about an issue they know very little about it, and trying to claim it as some sort of organic uprising of popular feeling. Seriously, would you support the same thing for the issue above. The Nats could use their party funding and afford it easily, hell John Banks could pay for it very easily, and it amounts to the same thing.

            • Matthew Whitehead 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I would rather the Nats use that money to collect referendum signatures than they spend it on political advertising. Collecting signatures involves face-to-face political contact and is much more democratic than the way National usually runs its election campaigns.

            • felixviper 1.1.1.1.1.2

              lol, if they could they would. Let me know if National ever find an organic uprising of popular feeling that coincides with one of their policy positions, won’t you?

              ps “corral other people into signing a document about an issue they know very little about”

              Yeah, people are totes signing the petition in near ignorance and against their will. If you really believe that would work, then go ahead and do it. Let me know how you get on.

              • UpandComer

                That’s correct, most don’t know the government retains majority ownership, most don’t know about the various incentives for NZ ownership, or of the benefits, or for instance that power prices and food prices rose more from 2000-2009 then they have for the last few years….

                And yes you’re right, the current ‘referendum’ isn’t a referendum because it’s bought and paid for. If you don’t believe that a similarly run operation could get an ‘organic’ upswell of opinion on an issue you don’t like, well…

                Also, on Nats advertising, they kind of need to square the ledger when the unions and other groups are running term long advertisements for Labour. Lest we forget, ever, the Electoral Finance Act.

                • felixviper

                  “That’s correct, most don’t know…”

                  Says you. Got some data to show who knows what?

                  Nah, you’re just having a hard time believing that so many people aren’t taken in by your bullshit.

                  “And yes you’re right, the current ‘referendum’ isn’t a referendum because it’s bought and paid for”

                  Don’t put words in my mouth thanks, I never said any such thing.

                  You’re right that it’s not a referendum though, it’s a petition. Catch up.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.2

          swan, so you’re not concerned that the NATs will be wasting tens of millions of dollars on bankers and lawyers fees before anything actually happens on asset sales?

          Strange attitude.

          • swan 1.1.1.2.1

            I hope they do whatever it takes to get the best price. Unfortunate that the legal challenge is costing so much. The high court was pretty unequivocal in their dismissal, but for some reason it had to go to the supreme court.

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.2.1.1

              Not dumping all the assets at once, spacing out asset sales over time, including delaying some sales, would bring the best price.

              Would you support that.

              • swan

                Actually yes.

                Specifically what I would support is for all commercial assets owned by the government to be held by an arms length body (eg the Cullen Fund) to be managed and disposed of in an apolitical manner. Unfortunately we dont have a political consensus on this so we have to waste a lot of time and energy arguing about a policy that (assuming the power companies are already being run commercially) will not make a huge amount of difference whether enacted or not. It should be a footnote in NZ’s political discourse.

                • felixviper

                  The control of our ability to supply ourselves with energy in the post peak oil 21st century should be a “footnote”.

                  Jeebers.

                • MrSmith

                  The problem with privatizing our assets is oversight and regulation once they are sold.

                  This should ‘not’ be left to the government of the day to fiddle around with as they see fit, it needs to be overseen by a completely independent body, paid for by the companies that are under it’s watch, companies that tow the line would pay less over time for good behavior and companies that step out of line should be fined heavily, with no discounts given.

                  Will this ever happen? probably not, as we have now pissed away our Sovereignty by signing free trade agreements with every man and his dog!

              • felixviper

                Actually as energy costs increase, keeping these assets will bring us far greater wealth than selling any of them now.

                But swan isn’t interested in making us all wealthier.

                • redeye

                  The only people paying for energy is us. So how can charging us more for energy make us wealthier?

                  Currently our energy costs are simply taxation by stealth. And those with the greater need for energy, the larger families, pay more of this stealth tax. At the least in private hands there will be some level of real competition.

                  “Having these energy companies in public hands has kept prices down”. There’s your Tui billboard right there.

                  Of course if government is earning a greater dividend they will be able to pay larger benefits.

                  • felixviper

                    The wealth to which I refer is the energy itself, redeye.

                    The ability to run our homes and machines.

                    Nothing to do with the price charged in the market, that’s just an artifact of the absurd system we’ve set up to distribute our own bloody energy to ourselves.

                    And as if that wasn’t dumb enough, now we’re going to pay money to some other third-party owner to distribute our own energy to ourselves.

                    Dumb and dumber.

            • felixviper 1.1.1.2.1.2

              So you’re encouraging of the govt spending tens of millions (with or without court cases btw) to get the result you want, but you’re totally opposed to anyone else spending a tiny fraction of that to find out what result the rest of NZ wants.

              Keep typing swan, it’s getting more interesting for all of us.

        • James Henderson 1.1.1.3

          National MPs helped collect signatures for the pro-smacking referendum.

    • felixviper 1.2

      The Greens spent some of their Leader’s budget to assist with the project, which can be spent on pretty much whatever they deem worthwhile, just like every other party does.

      Not a single extra cent of tax was raised, swan.

      edit: snap James

    • Tom Gould 1.3

      Word has it that vast sums have been spent by the government on covert PR. I’d want my money back.

  2. johnm 2

    Key and this Government are total garbage. They’re blinkered ideological boys continuing to destroy what made New Zealand a great place once. They’re aided and assisted by the well orf selfish sector here who see Key as protecting their privileged positions. E.G. No Capital Gains Tax for speculators who treat our vital housing resource like green monopoly houses to make capital gain from, resulting in first home buying kiwi couples being priced out of the market or being debt enslaved for life. The Key gang are also trying to work up the nerve to introduce here the draconion bene persecution the Tories have brought in in the U$K.

    • swan 2.1

      ” E.G. No Capital Gains Tax for speculators who treat our vital housing resource like green monopoly houses to make capital gain from, resulting in first home buying kiwi couples being priced out of the market or being debt enslaved for life.”

      Actually policies that favour owner occupiers over investors are policies that favour owner occupiers over renters. That is, generally speaking, middle income over low income. I call that type of policy regressive. A CGT that excludes owner occupiers is a regressive policy. Who is running with that again?

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        So you would support Gareth Morgan’s version of the CGT which covers all property, and you would say that National needs to promote it?

        • swan 2.1.1.1

          Ambivalent, depends on how it works. Is it on realised or unrealised gains? But certainly if you are going to have one you would not want to exclude 2/3rds of the housing stock.

          • RedLogix 2.1.1.1.1

            How it works

            1. The CCT is more of a a tax on capital than on capital gains.

            2. The CCT applies to real assets such as land and housing and the long term (‘non-current’) assets of businesses.

            3. The CCT achieves two goals – it contributes to a set of policies that effectively redistribute from the well-off to the rest of the community and introduces a common tax treatment for all real capital.

        • johnm 2.1.1.2

          Hi CV
          No The Family home and a Bache would be exempt from CGT.

      • Naturesong 2.1.2

        I don’t think that word “regressive” means what you think it means

        A CGT that excludes the first home is progressive in nature.

        “A progressive tax is a tax in which the tax rate increases as the taxable base amount increases”.

        • swan 2.1.2.1

          “A CGT that excludes the first home is progressive in nature.”

          How do you work that out when owner occupied houses are on average more expensive than rentals, and those occupying them on average earn more?

          Over the medium term the incidence of any tax on housing will fall on the occupiers.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.1.1

            How do you work that out when owner occupied houses are on average more expensive than rentals, and those occupying them on average earn more?

            Better targetting sorts that out. Apply a CGT to the value of a first house over $500K.

          • Naturesong 2.1.2.1.2

            “A progressive tax is a tax in which the tax rate increases as the taxable base amount increases”

            The capital gains made on 2 houses is a larger tax base amount than that of a single one of those houses.

            2 is larger than 1.

            Mathematics and reading comprehension.

            • swan 2.1.2.1.2.1

              1) But there are assets other than houses. Wouldnt you combine all assets?

              2) The policy is not about the “first house”, it is about owner-occupied housing. You can own a house without occupying it. (If it was about the first house, then you would have a lot of families where Dad owns the family home, Mum owns rental 1, etc. And how would the policy work with respect to syndicated property investment?).

              3) Isn’t the value of the assets the relevant quantity when it comes to the taxable base, rather than the number of houses?

              4) The incidence of the tax is on the “consumer” of the housing (in the medium term). The taxable base is really the rent being payed on a property (or the imputed rent for owner occupiers).

              • Colonial Viper

                All detail which can be worked through as long as the principle of a comprehensive capital tax is agreed upon.

              • Murray Olsen

                “The policy is not about the “first house”, it is about owner-occupied housing. You can own a house without occupying it. (If it was about the first house, then you would have a lot of families where Dad owns the family home, Mum owns rental 1, etc. And how would the policy work with respect to syndicated property investment?).”

                No Swan, we have a lot of families who don’t even own one house. We have a lot in Christchurch who can’t even rent one. We have families in Auckland who are being kicked out of their rented houses.
                I think we live on different planets. I certainly don’t live on Planet Key.

  3. It is consistently heartening to see that the Greens are coming out with researched opposition to this sham-of-a-government.

    Would someone please explain to me why we are not hearing similar results of research from Labour?

    • Afewknowthetruth 3.1

      Who are Labour? Your not referring to the remains of the rabble that wrecked the economy and the environment from mid-1980s to the early 2000s in the service of money-lenders and corporations are you?

    • DH 3.2

      I have to give yr comment a tick. The Greens really have impressed with their willingness to research issues, I don’t always agree with their conclusions but they are at least made from solid foundations. IMO the Greens have been showing up Labour MPs as a bunch of populist yahoos who mouth off & are then made to look stupid because they haven’t done their homework.

      An MP who impressed me in debates is Julie Anne Genter, she knows her stuff and it shows.

      • blue leopard 3.2.1

        Cheers DH,

        I’m just wondering whether Labour are conducting research, and they are not as good at presenting it, (or getting it into the media,) or if there isn’t research being conducted what are they doing with the resources that I assume are available to them being the largest opposition party. ?

        And yes, I am finding the Greens increasingly impressive, due to their very apparent research-based approach of opposition.

        I would like to see Labour taking a similar approach. What was it; ” A Clean, Green and Intelligent NZ”?

        • MrSmith 3.2.1.1

          Labour have been putting out plenty of press releases but the Greens keep stealing the limelight from them, or more like the MSM like then because they are not just National Light.

          • James Henderson 3.2.1.1.1

            take a look at Labour’s press releases and most of them are “Labour thinks X about this event that’s already been in the media” – that’s not news. Sure, doing a press release when something breaks or new data comes out is useful because it can get into the media cycle, but there’s no point doing a press release that is behind the cycle.

            The other use for press releases is new research (eg this stuff on the cost of asset sales) or party-generated information (a policy announcement).

            So, it seems to me that Labour’s doing lots of releases but few of them are going to get any media pick-up because they don’t contain news.

            • blue leopard 3.2.1.1.1.1

              @ James Henderson
              Funny you should mention that, I just looked at the two parties press releases (!).

              I agree.

              In addition to what you say
              Labours press releases appear much more reactive and piecemeal.
              The Greens press releases appear more focussed on a direction, they also explain the consequences of policies/problems that Nact are creating for us (again directional and also useful because they are explaining the relevance to us all).

              It has become less of a criticism of the media for not picking up Labour’s press releases and more of a ‘no wonder they aren’t’ conclusion to this exercise

  4. Afewknowthetruth 4

    Ah, but they have enriched their corporate mates and siphoned off public money into the hands of consultants, which is the REAL game.

  5. mac1 5

    The research I’d like to see is an account of the actual bills. How has $16 million been spent? On salaries to existing civil service employees? To outside consultants? Advertising? Publicity? Civil servants hired onto the payroll to see this sales programme through? Who’s getting the money and for what work?

    Obviously, the accounting work has been done, to come up with the grand total of $16,000,000. Can we see the detail?

  6. tamati 6

    If the left really cared about inequality they would implement a wealth tax, death tax and truely progressive income tax. Pissing round with complex CGT will only make the accountants wealthy.

  7. Quasimodo 7

    You think that’s bad ?

    Have a look at this …

    Unemployment in Spain was 26% in December, youth unemployment 55%. GDP last quarter dropped for the fifth month in a row (-0.7%), the steepest decline since the financial crisis. Consumer spending plunged 10% in December from prior year—following a hike in the value-added tax. And the budget deficit target of 6.3% (not counting the billions plowed into bailing out the banks) is skidding out of reach.

    This leitmotif is accompanied by an elegantly escalating corruption scandal that broke in early February. A classic cash-for-contracts arrangement, where senior politicians received secret payments from business folks who in return were awarded juicy government contracts.

    It was documented in handwritten ledgers, involved a €22 million slush fund in Switzerland, and was allegedly run by Luis Bárcenas, the ex-treasurer of the conservative People’s Party (PP), the party of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, whose name appears repeatedly and very inconveniently on the ledgers as recipient [check out my article on how that debacle put himand German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the hot seat in Berlin…. The Confidence Crisis In Spain Sends Out Shock Waves].

    Add a political espionage scandal. The case blew up in a peculiar manner. According tosources—everything in this case is “according to sources”—Método 3, a detective agency, went out of business not long ago. One of its laid-off employees was an ex-cop who’d come to work for them in 2010. He was in charge of the data department. When Método 3 couldn’t pay him what it owed him, he appropriated the computers, video and audio recordings, and a bunch of sensitive files. And they’ve shown up at the technical division of the police in Barcelona.

    Now “sources” are talking about what’s in this treasure-trove. Apparently Método 3 had been commissioned by a long list of clients to spy on Catalan party leaders, politicians of national parties, judges, prosecutors, executives, and other prominent figures, sources told La Vanguardia. One of the recordings was of a lunch meeting at a restaurant in Barcelona in July 2010 between Alicia Sánchez-Camacho, President of the PP in Catalonia, and a woman named María Victoria Álvarez.

    Álvarez was desperate and scared. She told Sánchez-Camacho that she’d gone on a road trip to Andorra with her then boyfriend, Pujol Ferrusola. The trunk was loaded with packets of 500-euro notes, which he deposited in a bank account there.

    http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2013/02/15/now-a-vast-political-espionage-scandal-to-top-off-the-sordid-corruption-scandal-in-spain-wolf-richter-testosterone-pit/

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      It’s a serious problem. And with the largest international banks implicated in knowingly laundering billions in drug cartel money, let alone the LIBOR scandal, we can see what kind of system that the elites have set up for themselves.

    • bad12 7.2

      Doesn’t happen here in good old New Zilind tho right, only because there is not a specific body charged with continually looking for such corruption do we get to declare that there isn’t any,

      “Blind trusts’ are notorious for holding and hiding the proceeds of political corruption the world over and all of them in New Zealand should be cracked open and their contents exposed to the light of day…

      • Poission 7.2.1

        The foreign blind trusts undermine the perception of NZ less corrupt nation status.They serve mo purpose then to hide foreign assets from the originating country.

        NZ makes no revenue from them,(apart from the operation of the laundromats by NZ based law firms.)

        The emerging paradigm is that tax avoidance is neither a legitimate right,or that the hiding of assets in offshore tax havens,or moving assets through different regimes to lessen tax such as the double Irish dutch sandwich etc is not best practice,and it may lessen your ability to tender for Govt contracts.

  8. Quasimodo 8

    Re. “And with the largest international banks implicated in knowingly laundering billions in drug cartel money”

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/gangster-bankers-too-big-to-jail-20130214

  9. Bully Bully 9

    this only speculation but I suspect the continual multinational corporate support of nz by the US waka wall st FTA is requiering the govt of the day to give up its claim of any sovereign rights to retain any control over how it pays its external debts
    Lets face it thats what Key is here for nothing to do with democracy or value of the assets even if they are sold
    Why does not have a multinational chain of hangi fast food outlets the size of mcdirtbags
    You can see what Im on about eh?

  10. Helped to collect 40 signatures for the asset sales referendum at the VERY popular Pride festival yesterday in Ponsonby yesterday, and another 50 signatures today outside the Avondale markets.

    LOTS of people have already signed this petition!

    REMEMBER THIS FOLKS?

    “SOE SALES AN ELECTION PUNT”

    – Rod Oram Sunday Star Times 14 November 2011

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/business/5954962/SOE-sales-an-election-punt

    “The harder John Key tries to sell voters on reducing Crown ownership of five state-owned enterprises (SOEs), the deeper the hole he digs for himself and National. Here are the main arguments.
    None stack up.

    Investing in NZ’s future: National says it will spend much of the $5 billion to $7b of sale proceeds on the likes of schools and hospitals. But it’s bad financial management to sell productive assets to fund projects that could be financed more cheaply by debt.

    When it comes to reinvesting in productive assets, National has suggested three so far: Kiwibank deserves more capital to grow but it will be years before its market share and thus the return to the government matures; broadband but its return is even more uncertain and distant; and irrigation projects which would yield in aggregate a return of only 6.4%, a NZ Institute of Economic Research report said.

    Fiscal prudence: National says it is wiser to use cash from selling shares in SOEs rather than increasing debt. But in May’s Budget, Treasury said such a tactic would be close to cash neutral: it would avoid $400 million a year in interest but the government would forgo $300m a year in dividends and retained earnings.

    In addition, National has conceded it might have to delay the sales if global market turmoil persists. Treasury said foreign investors are important to the sales to help maximise the return to the government. But the dividend outflow overseas will increase our growing current account deficit and very high net international liabilities, the two chronic NZ weaknesses which worry credit rating agencies the most.

    “Mixed ownership” will improve the SOEs performance: “We’re trying to replicate the Air NZ model for power companies,” Key has said. But the airline’s success has nothing to do with the fact 26.2% of the company’s shares are stockmarket-listed.

    It is an excellent company now because the Clark government invested $1b in it in 2001 to bail it out of bankruptcy, put in place the right board and management, and because the government was a wise, supportive owner as the airline invested billions in new aircraft, products and services.

    The Crown has got some reward along the way in the form of $446m in dividends. But the share price today has dropped back to close to the rescue price of 10 years ago because the aviation sector is a notoriously poor and volatile profit earner. By far the biggest reward from Air NZ’s success accrues to the country as a whole through its growing flight schedule, commitment to innovation and NZ design and branding, and its high standing in the global aviation industry.

    If a National-led government offers you shares in Air NZ, run a mile.

    As Warren Buffet of the United States, arguably the world’s greatest investor, noted after his bruising involvement in USAir in the 1980s: “The money that had been made since the dawn of aviation by all of this country’s airline companies was zero.”

    Air NZ says it is not capital constrained. It can fund all the new aircraft it needs through leases and cash flow. So if you want to give it your full support, buy its tickets not its shares.

    As for other SOEs, “there is little evidence to suggest privatisation would significantly improve the financial performance of many of the SOE companies”, Treasury concluded last year. Moreover, Treasury noted, the electricity generators have had the money to invest in sufficient new generating capacity. The SOEs are enterprising. Meridian Energy, for example, invested profitably in hydro generation in Australia, paying a $600m special dividend to the Crown when it sold.

    Comparing SOEs with Contact Energy and Trustpower, the two power companies already on the stock exchange, found no conclusive evidence of under-performance of the SOEs, Treasury said.

    Boost the stockmarket: If the NZX attracted more companies and investors, the greater depth and liquidity of the market might slightly lower the cost of capital in New Zealand. But liquidity is concentrated in a small group of big stocks. Thus, adding a handful of partial floats of large SOEs won’t help smaller stock much.

    “We think the gains would be modest,” Treasury said.

    Worse, the SOE floats would do little to improve investor choices.

    The market is already over-represented in electricity stocks thanks to Contact, Transpower, Infratil and Vector. Even the simplest, most prudent portfolio strategy would argue against increasing exposure to the sector.

    If the government were serious about helping the NZX develop, it would deliver on all the recommendations of the capital markets development taskforce.

    The taskforce said the most important remedies were to increase the household savings rate and remove tax distortions and other regulatory impediments.

    So, given the economics of SOE sales are so poor and the politics so unpalatable, judging by voter resistance expressed in the polls, it remains a mystery why Key is exercising such bad economic and political judgement.

    oram@clear.net.nz
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    (errrr…… because ‘shonky’ John Key is a former Wall St bank$ter (who still owns shares in the Bank of America), and is looking after the interests of his U$A (and other) corporate and bank$ter mates?)

    REMEMBER?

    “Let me make it quite clear. If the Government doesn’t get a good price – the Government isn’t going to sell” (Tony Ryall, Minister of SOE’s 17/6/2012 NBR

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/govt-wont-sell-assets-if-it-cant-get-good-price-ryall-ck-121435

    ______________________________________________________________________

    REMEMBER THIS PRECEDENT?

    In 2008, Contact Energy (already privatized) doubled their directors fees and raised their prices 12%.
    In 6 months, more than 40,000 customers switched from Contact Energy and their profits were halved.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/droughts/news/article.cfm?c_id=180&objectid=10590906&pnum=0

    SO! IF MIGHTY RIVER POWER’S MAIN RETAIL ARM – MERCURY ENERGY – LOSES THOUSANDS OF CUSTOMERS – (WHO ‘SWITCH’ TO GENESIS / MERIDIAN / ENERGY-ON-LINE) – THEN THEIR PROFITS WILL DROP – MAKING THEM AN UNATTRACTIVE INVESTMENT – SO THE GOVERNMENT WILL NOT BE ABLE TO GET A ‘GOOD’ PRICE!

    Come on folks!

    It’s PEOPLE POWER TIME!!!!

    SWITCH OFF MERCURY ENERGY!

    Penny Bright

    A spokesperson for the Switch Off Mercury Energy community group.
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner.’

  11. Saccharomyces 11

    I don’t really care about partial asset sales either way. I’ll probably try to pick up a few shares (if I can) when it does go ahead.

    But, I think I might have to sign this petition anyway, at least a referendum would finally put the whole issue to bed.

    • chris73 11.1

      No it won’t, the loonies on this site would still claim National don’t have a mandate to do anything the left don’t want them to do

      • Te Reo Putake 11.1.1

        D’oh! The referendum won’t deliver a mandate to National to sell the assets, so your worries about the left are groundless. As usual, the loon quotient at The Standard is not from the left, but it is admirably represented by your good self, Chris.

        • chris73 11.1.1.1

          I know it won’t deliver a mandate to National because they already have a mandate. My point is the loonies on here still wouldn’t accept it even if the referendum was overwhelmingly in favour.

  12. Mark 12

    The Govt has an increasing mandate to carry out one of it’s Key platform policies. Get over it, stop wasting taxpayers money by fighting a pointless, ideological battle. Start some businesses, employ some people, do something instead of screeching hate & lies. FFS..

    • fenderviper 12.1

      So some of the 26 million went to Colmar Brunton is what you are saying, interesting stuff Skid.

    • One Tāne Huna 12.2

      There’s going to be a referendum on the issue whether you approve or not. Time you got over it, but if you want to provide me with some entertainment please please keep on whining.

    • Colonial Viper 12.3

      Mark, are you against us pressuring the National Government to do what it is supposed to do? i.e. bring NZers together to make this country stronger, and a better place to live for all?

      by fighting a pointless, ideological battle

      Don’t be so defensive Mark, the NATs asset sales plan can still be successfully fucked. A victory for the previous generations of NZers who built and paid for those power assets.

      • chris73 12.3.1

        It seems a bit churlish to castigate the govt for spending the money due in large case to the left holding things up

        • felixviper 12.3.1.1

          Myth in the making there chris, been seeing a bit of it.

          The vast bulk of the money the govt is throwing down the toilet has nothing to do with anyone holding things up. It’s on public relations and spin and consultancy and brokerage and commissions and bankers’ fees.

  13. Mark 13

    Personally I’d rather think about the future generations, my kids included, that aren’t saddled up with more debt. But on ownership.. didn’t the people that built them get paid?. who owns the most of them.. those that have paid the most tax?.. what about recent imports (Russel etc).. how much do they own?.. what about our democratic (even more so under MMP) electoral system?. what about the fact that Kiwisaver & NZ Superfund have to invest in foreign energy assets as there are few here?.. what about you people get real..

    • Pascal's bookie 13.1

      So what’s the Treasury advice on the effect of the MOM policy on debt then?

      Also, citizens/=taxpayers.

      Also, why do you think having an NZX dominated by similar energy stocks with an implicit govt guarantee is a good thing?

  14. Mark 14

    Which bit of Treasury advice do you want to cherry pick?.. could be a long night..
    Who are the taxpayers?.. mostly those that support this Govt & it’s policies..
    This link is not new, but many don’t seem able to digest it, so I’ll try again..
    http://www.grownzeconomy.co.nz/uploads/89385/files/230807/Who_Pays_Tax_in_New_Zealand.pdf

  15. Pascal's bookie 15

    Which bit of Treasury advice do you want to cherry pick?

    I guess the part where they describe the net effect of the policy on debt. ie, including loss of dividends, that would be the least ‘cherry picked’ thing wouldn’t you think?

    And no, the link isn’t new, but it’s still hilarious:

    http://pundit.co.nz/content/tax-burdens-some-facts-for-a-change

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  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #15
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, April 7, 2024 thru Sat, April 13, 2024. Story of the week Our story of the week is about adults in the room setting terms and conditions of ...
    5 days ago

  • $41m to support clean energy in South East Asia
    New Zealand is demonstrating its commitment to reducing global greenhouse emissions, and supporting clean energy transition in South East Asia, through a contribution of NZ$41 million (US$25 million) in climate finance to the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-led Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM). Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts announced ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Minister releases Fast-track stakeholder list
    The Government is today releasing a list of organisations who received letters about the Fast-track applications process, says RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop. “Recently Ministers and agencies have received a series of OIA requests for a list of organisations to whom I wrote with information on applying to have a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Judicial appointments announced
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister David Jonathan Boldt as a Judge of the High Court, and the Honourable Justice Matthew Palmer as a Judge of the Court of Appeal. Justice Boldt graduated with an LLB from Victoria University of Wellington in 1990, and also holds ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Education Minister heads to major teaching summit in Singapore
    Education Minister Erica Stanford will lead the New Zealand delegation at the 2024 International Summit on the Teaching Profession (ISTP) held in Singapore. The delegation includes representatives from the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) Te Wehengarua and the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) Te Riu Roa.  The summit is co-hosted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Value of stopbank project proven during cyclone
    A stopbank upgrade project in Tairawhiti partly funded by the Government has increased flood resilience for around 7000ha of residential and horticultural land so far, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones today attended a dawn service in Gisborne to mark the end of the first stage of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Anzac commemorations, Türkiye relationship focus of visit
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will represent the Government at Anzac Day commemorations on the Gallipoli Peninsula next week and engage with senior representatives of the Turkish government in Istanbul.    “The Gallipoli campaign is a defining event in our history. It will be a privilege to share the occasion ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Minister to Europe for OECD meeting, Anzac Day
    Science, Innovation and Technology and Defence Minister Judith Collins will next week attend the OECD Science and Technology Ministerial conference in Paris and Anzac Day commemorations in Belgium. “Science, innovation and technology have a major role to play in rebuilding our economy and achieving better health, environmental and social outcomes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Comprehensive Partnership the goal for NZ and the Philippines
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with the President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.  The Prime Minister was accompanied by MP Paulo Garcia, the first Filipino to be elected to a legislature outside the Philippines. During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon and President Marcos Jr discussed opportunities to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government commits $20m to Westport flood protection
    The Government has announced that $20 million in funding will be made available to Westport to fund much needed flood protection around the town. This measure will significantly improve the resilience of the community, says Local Government Minister Simeon Brown. “The Westport community has already been allocated almost $3 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Taupō takes pole position
    The Government is proud to support the first ever Repco Supercars Championship event in Taupō as up to 70,000 motorsport fans attend the Taupō International Motorsport Park this weekend, says Economic Development Minister Melissa Lee. “Anticipation for the ITM Taupō Super400 is huge, with tickets and accommodation selling out weeks ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Cost of living support for low-income homeowners
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has announced an increase to the Rates Rebate Scheme, putting money back into the pockets of low-income homeowners.  “The coalition Government is committed to bringing down the cost of living for New Zealanders. That includes targeted support for those Kiwis who are doing things tough, such ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government backing mussel spat project
    The Coalition Government is investing in a project to boost survival rates of New Zealand mussels and grow the industry, Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones has announced. “This project seeks to increase the resilience of our mussels and significantly boost the sector’s productivity,” Mr Jones says. “The project - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government focused on getting people into work
    Benefit figures released today underscore the importance of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and have 50,000 fewer people on Jobseeker Support, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Benefit numbers are still significantly higher than when National was last in government, when there was about 70,000 fewer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clean energy key driver to reducing emissions
    The Government’s commitment to doubling New Zealand’s renewable energy capacity is backed by new data showing that clean energy has helped the country reach its lowest annual gross emissions since 1999, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. New Zealand’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory (1990-2022) published today, shows gross emissions fell ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Earthquake-prone buildings review brought forward
    The Government is bringing the earthquake-prone building review forward, with work to start immediately, and extending the deadline for remediations by four years, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Our Government is focused on rebuilding the economy. A key part of our plan is to cut red tape that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Thailand and NZ to agree to Strategic Partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, have today agreed that New Zealand and the Kingdom of Thailand will upgrade the bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership by 2026. “New Zealand and Thailand have a lot to offer each other. We have a strong mutual desire to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government consults on extending coastal permits for ports
    RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Transport Minister Simeon Brown have today announced the Coalition Government’s intention to extend port coastal permits for a further 20 years, providing port operators with certainty to continue their operations. “The introduction of the Resource Management Act in 1991 required ports to obtain coastal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Inflation coming down, but more work to do
    Today’s announcement that inflation is down to 4 per cent is encouraging news for Kiwis, but there is more work to be done - underlining the importance of the Government’s plan to get the economy back on track, acting Finance Minister Chris Bishop says. “Inflation is now at 4 per ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • School attendance restored as a priority in health advice
    Refreshed health guidance released today will help parents and schools make informed decisions about whether their child needs to be in school, addressing one of the key issues affecting school attendance, says Associate Education Minister David Seymour. In recent years, consistently across all school terms, short-term illness or medical reasons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Unnecessary bureaucracy cut in oceans sector
    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is streamlining high-level oceans management while maintaining a focus on supporting the sector’s role in the export-led recovery of the economy. “I am working to realise the untapped potential of our fishing and aquaculture sector. To achieve that we need to be smarter with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Patterson promoting NZ’s wool sector at International Congress
    Associate Agriculture Minister Mark Patterson is speaking at the International Wool Textile Organisation Congress in Adelaide, promoting New Zealand wool, and outlining the coalition Government’s support for the revitalisation the sector.    "New Zealand’s wool exports reached $400 million in the year to 30 June 2023, and the coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Removing red tape to help early learners thrive
    The Government is making legislative changes to make it easier for new early learning services to be established, and for existing services to operate, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. The changes involve repealing the network approval provisions that apply when someone wants to establish a new early learning service, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • RMA changes to cut coal mining consent red tape
    Changes to the Resource Management Act will align consenting for coal mining to other forms of mining to reduce barriers that are holding back economic development, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “The inconsistent treatment of coal mining compared with other extractive activities is burdensome red tape that fails to acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • McClay reaffirms strong NZ-China trade relationship
    Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Todd McClay has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing today, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship. “My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon acknowledges legacy of Singapore Prime Minister Lee
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today paid tribute to Singapore’s outgoing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.   Meeting in Singapore today immediately before Prime Minister Lee announced he was stepping down, Prime Minister Luxon warmly acknowledged his counterpart’s almost twenty years as leader, and the enduring legacy he has left for Singapore and South East ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PMs Luxon and Lee deepen Singapore-NZ ties
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. While in Singapore as part of his visit to South East Asia this week, Prime Minister Luxon also met with Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and will meet with Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.  During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Antarctica New Zealand Board appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has made further appointments to the Board of Antarctica New Zealand as part of a continued effort to ensure the Scott Base Redevelopment project is delivered in a cost-effective and efficient manner.  The Minister has appointed Neville Harris as a new member of the Board. Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Finance Minister travels to Washington DC
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to the United States on Tuesday to attend a meeting of the Five Finance Ministers group, with counterparts from Australia, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  “I am looking forward to meeting with our Five Finance partners on how we can work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pet bonds a win/win for renters and landlords
    The coalition Government has today announced purrfect and pawsitive changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to give tenants with pets greater choice when looking for a rental property, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “Pets are important members of many Kiwi families. It’s estimated that around 64 per cent of New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Long Tunnel for SH1 Wellington being considered
    State Highway 1 (SH1) through Wellington City is heavily congested at peak times and while planning continues on the duplicate Mt Victoria Tunnel and Basin Reserve project, the Government has also asked NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) to consider and provide advice on a Long Tunnel option, Transport Minister Simeon Brown ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand condemns Iranian strikes
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have condemned Iran’s shocking and illegal strikes against Israel.    “These attacks are a major challenge to peace and stability in a region already under enormous pressure," Mr Luxon says.    "We are deeply concerned that miscalculation on any side could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Huge interest in Government’s infrastructure plans
    Hundreds of people in little over a week have turned out in Northland to hear Regional Development Minister Shane Jones speak about plans for boosting the regional economy through infrastructure. About 200 people from the infrastructure and associated sectors attended an event headlined by Mr Jones in Whangarei today. Last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health Minister thanks outgoing Health New Zealand Chair
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti has today thanked outgoing Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora Chair Dame Karen Poutasi for her service on the Board.   “Dame Karen tendered her resignation as Chair and as a member of the Board today,” says Dr Reti.  “I have asked her to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Roads of National Significance planning underway
    The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has signalled their proposed delivery approach for the Government’s 15 Roads of National Significance (RoNS), with the release of the State Highway Investment Proposal (SHIP) today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Navigating an unstable global environment
    New Zealand is renewing its connections with a world facing urgent challenges by pursuing an active, energetic foreign policy, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Our country faces the most unstable global environment in decades,” Mr Peters says at the conclusion of two weeks of engagements in Egypt, Europe and the United States.    “We cannot afford to sit back in splendid ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ welcomes Australian Governor-General
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Australian Governor-General, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley and his wife Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley, will make a State visit to New Zealand from Tuesday 16 April to Thursday 18 April. The visit reciprocates the State visit of former Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves for Winter
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour has announced that Medsafe has approved 11 cold and flu medicines containing pseudoephedrine. Pharmaceutical suppliers have indicated they may be able to supply the first products in June. “This is much earlier than the original expectation of medicines being available by 2025. The Government recognised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and the US: an ever closer partnership
    New Zealand and the United States have recommitted to their strategic partnership in Washington DC today, pledging to work ever more closely together in support of shared values and interests, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “The strategic environment that New Zealand and the United States face is considerably more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint US and NZ declaration
    April 11, 2024 Joint Declaration by United States Secretary of State the Honorable Antony J. Blinken and New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs the Right Honourable Winston Peters We met today in Washington, D.C. to recommit to the historic partnership between our two countries and the principles that underpin it—rule ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and US to undertake further practical Pacific cooperation
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further New Zealand cooperation with the United States in the Pacific Islands region through $16.4 million in funding for initiatives in digital connectivity and oceans and fisheries research.   “New Zealand can achieve more in the Pacific if we work together more urgently and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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