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Nats’ heartland says asset sales don’t add up

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 am, September 3rd, 2012 - 82 comments
Categories: privatisation - Tags:

Last week, TVNZ covered a MYOB poll that showed 50% of small business owners disagreed with asset sales and 21% supported it. That’s 2.5 to 1 of ones of National’s core votes opposed to its flagship policy. They oppose asset sales for a simple reason: the numbers don’t add up. They wouldn’t sell high profit assets to avoid low cost debt in their own companies, so why should the Government?

As I write, Key is on Breakfast. He’s very confident that when he announces the sale will go ahead today, and its a foregone conclusion that he will say that, the Maori Party won’t walk. He says he will be announcing a ‘complex process’ this afternoon, but I doubt it. The only ‘complex process’ I can imagine is that the Government has decided to set up a system of share allocation for affected iwi and hapu. But Key’s comments make that unlikely. He said that he can’t stop anyone from suing to stop the sales and that the Crown’s position remains that no-one ‘owns the water’ suggest he’s expecting an injunction, which he’ll fight with racial divisive language.

[Ha. Petra Bagust actually had the numbers on her for once when she questioned Key on the record emigration to Australia. Made him look like a complete idiot when she had a number ready to shoot down each of his excuses.]

82 comments on “Nats’ heartland says asset sales don’t add up ”

  1. Bored 1

    Its pointless running a poll or asking opinions on this, especially logical ones.

    Key will push this whole thing through because:
    1. The Parnell cowboys on the Round table and similar have bankrolled the National to push through ACT policy….i.e sell it to them. If the price is depressed so much the better.
    2. The banksters from the IMF etc want to lay their grubby mitts on the assets as-well. The are the guys who loan capital to our government, and thereby pull policy levers whether we like it or not. No sale and no more cash…..

    We are dealing with larcenists. The best democracy money can buy.

    • BernyD 1.1

      They’re selling our assets to support a “Foreign Partners” oil agenda
      They harp on about the GFC but no one seems to care enough to fix the GFC
      It’s definitely possible, just requires the civilised world to grow some spine

    • fnjckg 1.2

      apparently the current amerikan democratic(sic) process is the GREATEST ALL-TIME election money will buy
      poor ol Rodders’ manual labouring, shoveling manure, and he soooo wanted to be a baby billionaire
      (well, his supporters did)

      • aerobubble 1.2.1

        Networks, social, electrical, have proven their ability
        to provide solutions, outperform singular efforts of
        sole individuals (who even admit to having stood on giants),
        so its pretty crazed to hear so many in government believe
        in Ann Rands exception-ism, is this why she took government
        handouts? Welfare? and should we really listen to her,
        because like the welfare junkie she was, she hated herself
        for the hypocrisy, do only those on benefit have a voice
        if they themselves hate welfare in all its forms???
        Or is it just too hard for politicians to accept that
        socialism was always, and will always be with us. Why are so
        many Americans Republicans so utterly clueless about
        how their country got rich?

        • fnjckg 1.2.1.1

          took one look, at one page, of Ayn Rand, and the book became a doorstop

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.2

          Or is it just too hard for politicians to accept that socialism was always, and will always be with us.

          They think that they have to pander to the rich else they’ll all run away with the money forgetting that a) the money is ours in the first place and b) we, being a sovereign nation, can print as much as we like.

          Why are so many Americans Republicans so utterly clueless about how their country got rich?

          Because they’ve listened to the lies from the rich about how the rich are wealth creators rather than thinking about it logically and realising that the rich are merely thieves.

    • Olwyn 1.3

      Bored, your comment points to a major reason why a non-committal, equivocating Labour Party makes me nervous. If they win the next election they will be faced with a fait accompli: an empty cupboard and a cart load of debt; the result of the tax cuts, the bail outs, and asset sales made in a depressed market. Under these conditions I cannot see the present lot resisting the pressure to treat us to another round of rogernomics, which would include austerity measures. Their equivocation suggests that they know this; that they do not want to be held to account for broken promises, and hope that triangulation and fluff will conceal the absence of unequivocal commitment.

      • Bored 1.3.1

        Olwyn, I fear there are a majority of us share your prognosis re Labour. As a polity we badly need some bravery from our elected representatives to stand up for something, anything but “managing” a bad lot better than the other side. There is a paucity of vision and a vaccum of purpose in Labour. Such is the strange legacy of Palmers managerial reforms. Maybe that is more damaging than the legacy of Roger.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.2

        +1

        Labour aren’t going to rock the boat and so the majority of us will be forced into even more poverty to help prop up the rich. Doesn’t matter which of the two major parties get in but it does matter which of the minor parties do as they can, at least, pull Labour to the left and get it to start rebuilding NZ after the damage done since the 4th Labour government first sold us out.

  2. Glg 2

    If key was honest (yeah, right) when he said he expected Kiwisaver and Maori to buy most of the assets, then perhaps we could sell initially only to New Zealanders and NZ entities, and then if any left over, we could sell balance overseas. But no-one believes that.
    I believe promises have been made to people overseas, and Key will keep that promise.

  3. vto 3

    I kinda suspect that these sales are going to seriously blow up in Key and English’s faces.

    BOOM splatt

  4. headbanger 4

    I have to disagree with the premise of this story. I am a small business owner and have never been one of National’s ‘core votes’.

    National very clearly works only for the 0.1%. Not for small business and not even for medium sized business. National works for the big CEOs and multi-national companies, not people like me – never has done and never will.

    Small business owners are being shafted just as much as much as anyone else, but generally work for less and for longer hours than anyone else. As such they are vulnerable to the National party’s policies which allow big businesses to suck up all of the profits. The Christchurch rebuild is a perfect example – small businesses are falling over left, right and centre as things are ‘left to the market’ which means that big businesses can cream it in.

    Most small business owners are pretty canny and so would never have supported National as they know the score and what National does whenever it gets into power. We also generally do our own figures and know when a set of accounts stinks.

    If you’re looking for National’s core votes look to the low paid workers who are falling for Key’s marketing machine through willful ignorance.

    Beyond the 1% voting in their best interests this is the group who are happily buying in to Key’s version of the ‘American Dream’ where people put up with awful lives in the hope that one day they will make it into the favoured 1%.

    • Rosie 4.1

      Well said headbanger.

    • Lanthanide 4.2

      Tell all that to the car mechanic on a busy roundabout 5 mins from my work that had a bloody great big billboard for National during the election campaign. One of the few national ones I saw in my area (Wigram electorate CHCH).

    • Plan B 4.3

      This is such a good comment, right on the money, National have no interest at all in people who labour- physical, or brain work, employing others, or working for someone etc – either for themselves or with others .
      labour need to connect to all people who work paid or unpaid for them selves or for others, with their brains or bodies- it does not matter these are the people that Labour need to connect with

    • Bored 4.4

      +1 headbanger. I too own / run businesses. There are scenarios that scare me here: if we had hyperinflation the only thing to do would be to close the doors and follow the employees down the road. If we have deflation there will be a shit fight to cut costs (fixed plus wages) in line with diminished cash-flow / profitability. I have never experienced running in such an uncertain economic environment, and the implications this brings.

      I have had some arguments here lately on the priority we give to other issues. When as an employer I cannot be certain of paying my workers a living wage (to house and feed their children etc), other priorities take a distant second place for me.

      • fnjckg 4.4.1

        i often reflect on those employers who Do care, just as u do, about the household and home effects of these ever-increasing rationalizations (bondage)
        best wishes and kind regards,
        j

      • Colonial Viper 4.4.2

        +100 Bored.

      • Rosie 4.4.3

        Thats great Bored. You sound like a thoughtful employer (and your thoughfulness is evident in your posts). I hope my next employer is like you!

      • BM 4.4.4

        Don’t destroy yourself and your business because of some obligation you think you have to fulfil regarding your employees.
        Remember you have to put you and your family first.

    • Colonial Viper 4.5

      headbanger: a Labour Party run by intellectual, policy and union elites will never get small business on side, and will never understand that reaching out to do so is entirely achievable and necessary.

      As you say, every small business owner can read a set of accounts, and understands better than most that if ordinary people in the community are hurting, then local businesses go down the toilet.

  5. Peter 5

    Here’s how I see it.

    The tories will go ahead with asset sales, they have far too much at stake to delay it now. They will try to create a white backlash against Maori on this, running every dog whistle in the book to raise white fears about Maori ownership, hidden taniwhas in the water, and all that.

    I don’t think it will work this time – I think most people are quietly pleased that Maori have had the guts (as they did in 1987 against Treasury Labour) to attempt to stop the sales in court. The question is how long will that support last?

    Shearer could help it big time by stating that he backs Maori to try and stop the sale, and encourages all New Zealanders opposed to the sales to back Maori in court. That would be welcome, but will he do it?

    My fear is that he’ll either tacitly support a white backlash by not saying anything and leaving the Maori case without support from a big party, or worse, actually come out against the Maori case.

    • BernyD 5.1

      Ratified by silence seems to be the norm in NZ, it really leaves a hole in the “Opposition” when it isn’t spoken.

      • Bored 5.1.1

        The “Opposition”? Opposition to what? As you say silence is deafening, and can be very loud in terms of what it states without saying.

    • Bored 5.2

      Key the historic echo of Muldoon?

      • bbfloyd 5.2.1

        minus the conscience….. a perfect fit..

        • Roy 5.2.1.1

          I think another difference is that Muldoon, severely wrongheaded though his policies were, did genuinely care about New Zealand was doing what he thought was right for New Zealand, whereas Key doesn’t give a flying proverbial. Yet another difference is that Muldoon was a lot smarter than Key is [repeat ‘wrongheaded policies’ clause here].

          • Murray Olsen 5.2.1.1.1

            Yep, I think Muldoon saw himself as a kiwi. Key seems himself as an American born here by accident. And to be clear, I couldn’t stand Muldoon.

  6. captain hook 6

    national has become disconnected from its own grass roots and will pay the price.

    • fnjckg 6.1

      synthetic, teased, bleached, cropped, stripped, extended, transplanted (grass) roots

      (if ya sit in the barbers’ chair, u are likely to get a haircut)

  7. Whenever national have been in power there has been a path of destruction that
    has followed,history shows this.
    Key’s insistance with asset sales shows that he has promised our strategic assets
    to his favoured group of investors,it has cost close to $1b in consultants,goldman
    etc and that would be money wasted if it doesn’t go ahead,which would show up
    his pathetic style of money management.
    Key claims he expects to get $7b from our assets,when he is spending $14b on
    non essential roads,um,even i know that in times of austerity you hunker down
    and clamp down on wasteful spending,but hey, key knows the tax payers of nz will
    pay,he has an open chequebook.
    The $72b of debt nz has is not because of the people of the land,its because of the
    ad-hock spending by the bankster and his friends.
    The ‘heartland’ doesn’t matter to key, small business doesn’t matter to key,he has
    bigger fish to fry before he heads back overseas,god willing after the next election
    if there isn’t one before.

  8. infused 8

    Where is this survey?

    I can’t find it.

  9. National’s basic problem is that if they do not proceed with the share sale then they have nothing to show for their attempts to “jump start” the economy.
     
    Mining national parks was ruled out.  Tax cuts have not worked.  There is nothing left, apart from the dream that the cycleway will somehow achieve miracles and get the country back on its feet.
     
    If the share float fails National will be revealed naked and fiddling while Rome burns.
     
    I think they have not choice but to proceed.  The resulting firestorm will give them some political cover.

    • BernyD 9.1

      Accurate summation.
      The only real answer I can see is reduce the number of shares on offer, and maybe try and restrict the shares to the taxpayers that own them, what taxpayers do after that is their call.
      The open market they love so much could live with that.
      It could drag the actual sale out over a period of a decade even
      Making it a much more approachable thing for the Mum and Dad investors

      • Tim 9.1.1

        @ BernyD
        Who exactly ARE these Mum(s) in dead vestas precisely?

        I presume they’re meant to represent Joe and Janine Normal-Average except the Joe and Janines I come across can either only just afford to keep their heads above water, or are keeping any meagre surpluses aside for airfares and freight costs to relocate across the ditch.

        • BernyD 9.1.1.1

          True, it’s not something I was for from day one, the above is a likely outcome as far as I can see

        • tc 9.1.1.2

          The mum and dad vesta’s in remuera, parnell, herne bay, kandallah, kelburn, Fendalton, Redcliffs etc etc…that’s average to the banksta.

    • Bored 9.2

      And the unemployed will swell as the Kiwis return from the closing mines in Oz…….

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.1

        I’ve noticed quite a few getting longer breaks at home on this side of the Tasman before being required to fly back over for work.

        • bbfloyd 9.2.1.1

          Once the refinery for the north west shelf project is finished, there will be tens of thousands of out of work kiwis looking back this way……they would need to open three mines to keep that amount of workers busy……..

          If you squint, you can just see the excremental cloud drifting toward the nearest wind farm….

      • Shona 9.2.2

        Wrong! not all kiwis work in the mines and the mines are still scrambling to get enough staff. Perth is mushrooming, plenty of work in Melbourne and Sydney and in the big country towns of NSW and Victoria. My offspring have never regretted relocating to OZ. And the youngest will be there soon. Fact is it is cheaper to train or be tertiary educated in NZ get a little work experience then get your arse across the ditch. It’s how it was under Muldoon and it is the same now. If it wasn’t for the bush fires that occur with such devastating regularity in Victoria and NSW my partner and I would never have come back to NZ to raise our family. e.g. Starting wage for an expeienced adult kitchen hand in a Perth restaurant ( permanent and fulltime uniform supplied plus meal allowances on top of wage)is $24.90 an hour. Yeah right they’re gonna flock back here in droves . I don’t think!

  10. Steve Wrathall 10

    Oh yes, those infallible polls. Which predicted the Epsom result so accurately.

    • gobsmacked 10.1

      Yes, polls are certainly fallible.

      So next year we’ll have a referendum instead. Problem solved.

  11. Wayne 11

    Over the last several months Nationals support has been basically stable, as has Labours. Some commentators here might think that National only governs for a tiny overseas elite, but 59 National MP’s have to talk to their electors every week. All these electors know that National stands for private enterprise and they also all know that National supports partial privitisation. So trying to characterise National as totally captive to overseas interests in the way so many do here will fail. National is more in touch with what a large proportion of New Zealanders believe than you seem to understand.

    • Um, your blind faith is touching.
       
      How about addressing the issues?
       
      Why sell the power companies when there are outstanding claims and market developments that mean that the price will be firesale?  Why sell Solid Energy when the performance is currently so poor?

      • Lanthanide 11.1.1

        “Why sell Solid Energy when the performance is currently so poor?

        Why keep Solid Energy when the performance is currently so poor?

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1

          Rhetorical?

          Obviously because you don’t make key strategic decisions based on what today’s weather looks like.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.2

        Better question: Why sell when doing so will leave NZ worse off?

    • weka 11.2

      Do you sums Wayne. How do you reconcile the numbers of people who voted NACT and the numbers of people who oppose Asset Sales?

    • gobsmacked 11.3

      All these electors know that National stands for private enterprise and they also all know that National supports partial privitisation.

      Are these the same electors who think “John Keys” is Prime Minister? Or the ones who thought “Helen Clarke” was? You know, the ones all over the internet and talkback.

      It would be great to live in such a well informed and engaged electorate. Where is it?

    • Draco T Bastard 11.4

      but 59 National MP’s have to talk to their electors every week.

      Not according to Clare Curran.

      2. I was told that Bill English’s offices in Gore and Balclutha are rarely open. I asked where do people go if they have constituency issues? The response was a resigned “nowhere”

      You really are living in Lala Land if you think that National give a shit about any body but themselves and those richer than them.

  12. Wayne 12

    Weka, that is my point. Polls show that many of Nationals supporters do not like asset sales, yet they keep supporting National. So asset sales can’t be the most important thing to them in deciding who they they support.

    The extreme characterisation of National by some commentators on this site would clearly cut no ice with these supporters. That is why I say many people on this site simply do not understand why National has the appeal that it has.

    Middle New Zealand is not going to be swayed by trying to portray National as some extreme group beholden to a conspiracy of international bankers and investors. None of the National MP’s that voters meet (and who are selected from within their communities at selection meetings attendeded by hundreds of people) fit such an extreme stereotype.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      None of the National MP’s that voters meet (and who are selected from within their communities at selection meetings attendeded by hundreds of people) fit such an extreme stereotype.

      No, it means that they manage to hide that extremism.

  13. captain hook 13

    +1 bored.
    you are right about Palmers managerial reforms.
    Just look at the constitutions he has engineered.
    what a bundle of larfs.
    New Zealand is in danger of being consulted out of existence by managers who are pinheads.

  14. TightyRighty 14

    so we should listen to the views of small business owners when they coincide with your own, but completely ignore them when they don’t on issues like workplace reform and the minimum wage. Have the courage of your convictions. If you are going to abuse a whole sector of society on certain issues, don’t then hold them up as shining examples on others.

    • fatty 14.1

      OK…so people should only agree with other people if there is 100% agreement of all of their beliefs?
      …who did you vote for?

      • TightyRighty 14.1.1

        great comprehension there fatty. Same with you too Bored below. to put it even more simply, it’s not honest to hate people for doing things you believe to be wrong, then using the one thing you might agree with them on to then hold them up as shining examples of why you are right and these people all of a sudden matter.

        extra for Bored. Minimum wage jobs are just that. jobs whose productive output is worth 12.75 an hour. most jobs aren’t like that and won’t attract talented people to fill them if such rates are offered. Your assumption about how i think wages should work is wrong. I work for a small business and it is a fair workplace. the work demands more than a little bit of skill and intelligence. therefore pay is higher. there are small enterprises that aren’t like that however. But thanks for just assuming you know all about how I think about things and dictating them to me as if your omnipotent. Dick

        • Te Reo Putake 14.1.1.1

          “Minimum wage jobs are just that. jobs whose productive output is worth 12.75 an hour. ”

          The Adult Minimum Rate is $13.50, Tighty, do try and keep up. And many jobs paid at that rate are important, skilled and highly profitable to the employer. It’s just that they are mainly performed by women, so bad employers (hello, Ryman Healthcare) feel free to underpay.

          • TightyRighty 14.1.1.1.1

            you just keep telling yourself your skills are worth more than 13.50 an hour.

            So the minimum wage has gone up faster under national than it did under labour? fascinating.

            • Lanthanide 14.1.1.1.1.1

              “So the minimum wage has gone up faster under national than it did under labour? fascinating.”

              That’s what happens when you stoke inflation with a GST rise and have to make up for it by raising the minimum wage.

        • fatty 14.1.1.2

          “great comprehension there fatty”

          I tried my best, but it was a response to an incomprehensible statement.

          “it’s not honest to hate people for doing things you believe to be wrong, then using the one thing you might agree with them on to then hold them up as shining examples”

          The post uses small business owners as an example of people who usually vote for National and who often lean towards economic individual responsibility…yet this group of people are aware that selling assets that we all own is a stupid thing to do. Some small business owners want relaxed employment regulations and lower minimum wage so that their profits are maximised…selling assets is presented as an opportunity for investment by individuals, but it is not.
          Small business owners are used as an example because they subscribe to market reform…do you get it now?

          • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.2.1

            Small business owners are not inherently heartland National, they are simply another societal group that Labour has chosen to leave behind and disconnect with.

        • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1.3

          Minimum wage jobs are just that. jobs whose productive output is worth 12.75 an hour.

          Perhaps you’re not up with the play but, more likely, you’re ignoring the reality.

          Elite City bankers (earning £1 million-plus bonuses) destroy £7 of value for every £1 they create.
          Hospital cleaners create over £10 in value for every £1 they receive in pay.

          How much people are worth is valued incorrectly.

    • Bored 14.2

      TR, I have held democratic socialist principles for years: I see no anomaly between being a small business owner and employer and to adhering to a fair workplace.

      In a race to the bottom (which seems to be what you propose with regard to minimum wage and working conditions) both employers and employees suffer. I quite happily compete with other employers in the market: when they propose to go below minimum wages they are a threat to my business unless I follow (which I wont). To follow your logic you would pay less and less, and in the end nobody who is an employee could pay for anything. Then your business would fail…very clever.

  15. Roy 16

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSS! Well done, the Maori who have forced Key to this. I’m sure I’m not the only Pakeha who is very grateful.

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