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Nats plan to sell $2b+ assets overseas

Written By: - Date published: 9:36 am, August 31st, 2011 - 93 comments
Categories: privatisation - Tags:

The Nats say their ‘expectation’ is 30% of the assets they want privatise would go straight to foreigners. That’s just their lowside guess. More would be sold offshore by Kiwi buyers. Get $2b cash now from foreigners now. Lose $300m in returns year after year after year forever. And lose control of our future. Doesn’t add up.

93 comments on “Nats plan to sell $2b+ assets overseas ”

  1. Shane Gallagher 1

    And of course worsen our balance of payments with the profits going overseas – and loss of vital economic infrastructure. At the base of the active economy is the price of energy – once you lose control over that you lose control over your economy.

  2. queenstfarmer 2

    assets they want privatise

    Not correct – they are partial privatisations, with majority control retained by the Govt.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      So you agree they are privatising assets then.

      • aerobubble 2.1.1

        Labour have pointed out, as have business journalists and the very riches NZ, that its
        stupid to sell profit centers without some gain for the economy because its harder to
        keep up the payments. If a household sells the silver, as it does not want to lose face by
        having to harden up their economy then they must be on some kind of drug.
        Investors have it too easy in NZ, we need a CGT to level the playing field, and
        draw us away from the precipitice of debt on the private sector of NZ.

        Oh, sorry, forgot, another brainless Zombie

      • queenstfarmer 2.1.2

        No – can you not read what I said? They are partially privatising [some SOEs], with majority control retained by the Govt.

        • Blue 2.1.2.1

          That should go on a Tui billboard.

          Once they are safely on the other side of the election it will not be ‘partial privatisation’, it will be full privatisation.

          Just like Key’s promise not to raise GST before the last election. He will do it and he will make Christchurch the excuse.

          • Jim Nald 2.1.2.1.1

            Not full privatisation but Johnboy and Billyboy are both gambling on a fool’s privatisation.

        • Lanthanide 2.1.2.2

          Partial privatisation is a form of privatisation. You can tell by the way the second word in the phrase “partial privatisation” is “privatisation”.

          Much like “blue cheese” is still “cheese”, and can be referred to as “blue cheese” or “cheese” and still be correct.

          Perhaps you need to go to remedial reading comprehension lessons.

          • queenstfarmer 2.1.2.2.1

            Perhaps you need to go to remedial reading comprehension lessons

            Why? Let’s say I am partially correct (because I got the bit about something being privatised). According to your ‘logic’, because the second word in “partially correct” is “correct”, then I am correct – so why are you suggesting any remedial issues?

            • felix 2.1.2.2.1.1

              I have glass of water in front of me. I’m going to drink about half of it.

              The casual observer might think I was drinking water.

              But according to my funny little friend queenstframer, I’m not.

              • queenstfarmer

                Felix I couldn’t possibly comment on your drinking habits.

                • felix

                  And I note that you also can’t possibly comment on my reasoning.

                  Did I drink water or not?

                  • queenstfarmer

                    Relevance?

                    • felix

                      The relevance, my dim-witted little friend, is that it demonstrates the logic of your comments rather neatly.

                      Humour me. If I drink half the glass of water, did I drink water or not?

                    • Eddie

                      Felix, clearly you partially drank water and trying to describe it any other way makes you a communist.

                    • queenstfarmer

                      ^ felix – asserting relevance doesn’t explain relevance. You seem to want to engage in ‘battle of inapt analogies’ just for humour.

                      All I can do, assuming you are interested in the actual issue not bizzare discussions of glasses of water (or is it an oak tree?) is refer you to my other comments on this thread, which naturally are completely accurate and correct.

                    • felix

                      If my analogy is so “inapt” then it will do you no harm to humour me and answer my simple question, and if it really is as irrelevant as you say then that fact will be plain for all to see and I will look the fool, not you.

                      If there’s some reason you genuinely can’t answer the question, just say so. I’m very understanding and I’ll be happy to continue rephrasing it until we get it into a form you’re comfortable with.

                    • queenstfarmer

                      But why? The fact you have had to resort to an unrelated (and bizarre) analogy simply proves that you are unable to make your points using the actual topic.

                      I have already demonstrated I am correct. There is no need to “humour” your belated attempts to divert the argument away to some other topic.

                    • felix

                      Ok I’ll answer for you and you tell me if I’m right or wrong.

                      Yes I drank water.

                      Agree?

                      (p.s. it’s not a bizarre analogy, it’s a very straightforward one. Do you understand the function of an analogy, q?)

            • crashcart 2.1.2.2.1.2

              You’re not partially correct at all. You claimed National won’t privatise, when they are. Partial or not they are privatising. That makes you all the way incorrect. Perhaps you should go and sit notional standards in english. Would be interesting to see where that puts you.

              • queenstfarmer

                I am fully correct (although according to some, I need only be partially correct).

                Look at the definition of privatize:

                : to make private; especially : to change (as a business or industry) from public to private control or ownership

                So what I said is absolutely correct – National’s policy is not to make 4 SOE power companies private. It is to make them partially private. Like Air NZ already is.

                • crashcart

                  If I were to plant trees in the front of my house to make an area private I would be making private. Simple. If I were to leave most of the yard still visable to the street it doesn’t change the fact that I have made part of my yard private. “Partial Privitisation” is a form of privatisation. It doesn’t matter how you try to ignore it the reason the word “PRIVATISATION” was included in the term is because you are privatising something. It astounds me that you can glibly swallow the NACT party line of shit on this. I mean I don’t think you are stupid at all. It’s like the old Jedi mind trick.

                  [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privatization[/url]

                  [i]Whilst partial privatization could be an alternative, it is more often a stepping stone to full privatization. It can offer the business a smoother transition period during which it can gradually adjust to market competition. Some state-owned companies are so large that there is the risk of sucking liquidity from the rest of the market, even in the most liquid marketplaces: this may favor gradual privatization. The first tranche of a multi-step privatization would also in the first instance establish a valuation for the enterprise to mitigate complaints of under-pricing.[/i]

                  So under privitisation in wikipedia we find a nice description of partial privatisation that points out is just a stepping stone.

                  • Lanthanide

                    qsf doesn’t understand set theory. It’s as simple as that.

                  • queenstfarmer

                    Well I am glad that the collective wisdom of Wikipedia recognises the obvious difference between partial privatisation and full privatisation.

                    I will post a working link below to make it easier for others on this thread who do not realise this to learn this useful information.

                    Privatization

                    And also check the link I posted above to the definition of privatize.

                • crashcart

                  Do you actually believe what you are saying? I don’t think you are stupid but I was just wondering if you are really swallowing the NACT line.

                  • queenstfarmer

                    Of course. Everyone can believe what I say because I am correct.

                    I doubt that Act’s “line” on asset sales is for partial (minority float) privatisation (for those of us who recognise there is a difference between partial and actual privatisation) of a small number of power companies and a bit of Air NZ.

                  • felix

                    No crashcart, my little friend qtheframer isn’t that stupid. S/he just thinks you are.

                    Everyone knows what transferring publicly owned shares into private hands is.

                    • queenstfarmer

                      Ah, now there is some difference with what you’re saying here. If you are talking about each individual share, then each share not retained by the state can accurately be said to have been privatised (although a more usual term would be “sold” or “transferred” etc).

                      So you can correctly say that the Govt is planning to fully privatise ~ 49% of the individual shares in 4 SOEs [edit – plus a smaller amount in Air NZ].

                      The SOE iteslf, of course, remains only partially (minority) privatised and in state control.

                    • RedLogix

                      The SOE iteslf, of course, remains only partially (minority) privatised and in state control.

                      The directors of any company must act in the interests of all shareholders at all times. The majority shareholder cannot blatantly cheat on the minority shareholder.. Courts will act very promptly if they do. (It’s obvious why if you think about it for moment or two).

                      Equally if minority shareholders believe that that they will have no effective voice in how the company will be run, then the value of those shares will be greatly depressed.

                      If the government as the majority shareholder power companies concerned keeps electricity prices so low that commercial returns are very low, then the minority shareholders will take the govt to Court with the intention of increasing prices. This is their right.

                      There is no other choice; we either sell these shares at way below book value or electricity prices rise.

                    • queenstfarmer

                      ^ RedLogix

                      The directors of any company must act in the interests of all shareholders at all times.

                      Sorry – you start wrong and go from there. See section 131 of the Companies Act – directors have to act in what they think is the best interests of the company, not “all shareholders at all times”, which would often be impossible (or highly impractical at best). If you don’t understand the difference I’d suggest consulting a book on corporate governance.

                    • felix

                      “If you are talking about each individual share, then each share not retained by the state can accurately be said to have been privatised (although a more usual term would be “sold” or “transferred” etc).”

                      No q, the usual term is “privatised”.

                      As you may or may not be aware, we’ve had this exact same discussion here many times and it always leads to the same place. That place being the place where the definitions are posted and clearly explained for all to see, and the apologists (that’s you in this story qsf) all say “Goodness is that the time? Really must be going!” and off they fuck.

                      I don’t mind doing it all over again though, if you insist. Shall we start with the links you’ve already posted? Ok then, from your wiki link above:

                      In a broader sense, privatization refers to transfer of any government function to the private sector

                      So now your task is to find some way to redefine “any government function” to exclude the holding of the shares they’re flogging off, which could be problematic given the obvious facts.

                      Either that or you’ll need to retract your endorsement of the link, which would also seem a little problematic given that you’ve sort of put all your weight behind it already.

                      So option one, while not really sustainable, is likely your best bet. You can probably dance around the precise meanings of words like “the” and “to” and keep the argument going for while, but you’ll just keep being brought back to the point and sooner or later you’ll have to either admit that you have no answer or throw a tanty and say you’re not playing or disappear and change your handle.

                      Up to you. I look forward to your speedy reply.

                    • queenstfarmer

                      Good to see you are on topic here. Everything I said is perfectly correct. The dictionary definition and the Wikipedia articles totally support that. The part you have quoted totally supports that (though quoting selective bits of a Wikipedia entries is hardly the most sound method of proving something). I refer you to my other postings above.

                    • felix

                      Oh dear.

                      “Everything I said is perfectly correct.”

                      Sorry q, perhaps you’ve forgotten what you’re arguing. Here‘s where you made the error. The relevant words are “Not correct”.

                      In context, those two words of yours are asserting that the assets referred to are not being privatised. Your argument can be summarised as ‘partial privatisation is not privatisation’. Are you with me so far?

                      I’ve shown you the evidence (from your own link) which refutes that assertion. The sentence I quoted shows that the word privatisation can refer to the transfer of any function from public to private hands. I’ve then asserted that the holding of shares is such a function. Are you still with me?

                      If you disagree, you need to say how and why I’m wrong about this. To do so, you need to provide an alternate interpretation of the sentence I quoted.

                      Are you following this at all, q? You either argue the point or you concede the point.

                      The onus is now on you to show that I’m wrong – not just to say I’m wrong, to show I am. You need to explain how your interpretation of the sentence I quoted differs from mine.

                      If you can’t show that I’m wrong, then you concede that I’m right. Simple.

                    • queenstfarmer

                      You either argue the point or you concede the point

                      Ha. Nice try. I won before you even started changing the subject to glasses of water.

                    • felix

                      Sure, we’ll forget about the glass of water and I’ll add analogy to the list of concepts you don’t understand (along with subsets and, it’s beginning to seem, arguments.)

                      Now where exactly have you provided an interpretation of the sentence I quoted which differs from mine?

                      If you don’t have an alternate interpretation, then you accept mine. That’s how these “argument” thingies work, matey potatey.

                      Make one.

                    • queenstfarmer

                      There is nothing more I need to say, beyond what I have already said. You are just going around in circles. Unless you raise something new, my standing response is “refer to my previous responses” (which is admittedly childish, but as you now seem to be in the mood for ‘demanding’ responses from me (should I be flattered?) on various hypotheticals that you deem ‘accepted’ if not responded, then I will humour you to the extent of giving you a standing answer to the same).

                    • felix

                      No q, I’m not going round in circles.

                      You made an assertion and provided evidence.

                      I challenged that evidence by demonstrating that some of it contradicts your assertion.

                      You are yet to respond. The onus is now on you to say why I’m wrong, or concede that I’m not.

                  • Drakula

                    You are right crash I would call it full privatisation by stealth any with half a brain can see that.

                • Ianupnorth

                  QSF go and comment on the Finland thread please; I’d love to hear your views on national standards – are they as deluded too?

        • Peter 2.1.2.3

          … and the money flooding out of the country, worsening the Balance of Payments which National expect to get alot worse!

    • logie97 2.2

      Can the RWNJ’s remind us why the partial sale is a good thing.

      They give us to understand that governments should not be in the business of running businesses. The private sector does it better. But the government intends to maintain control (51%) of the company and presumably will still be responsible for the running.

      Seems the only reason is to give a few “monied” people a guaranteed, risk free, return on their money. Compensation for the money they have lost in the catalogue of failed companies run by the private sector over the last few years.

      As an aside, people following the privatisation issues in Austria at the moment should be wary of any attempts to privatise in New Zealand.

    • mik e 2.3

      Its a rip off plain and simple
      Solid Energy 29% increase in profit in difficult circumstances pike river & CHCH quake the estimated loss of income $30million.
      Mighty River Power 50% increase in profit.
      This is right up there with the insis computer scandal
      The Clyde high dam cost blow out $2.4billion over $250 million for 2 low dam’s
      National are selling our best performing assets off be low their earnings capacity
      Air New Zealand Ok its not making any money and is not likely to in the near future
      Their increase in profit is above the 17.6 % they achieved last year.
      Dumb dud idea from bean brained bean counters
      Its killing the goose thats laying us plenty of golden eggs.
      Krd DragQueen QSFyou wouldn’t sell off your best performing shares would you!

  3. Jim Nald 3

    and thus, for the exploitation and enjoyment of cronies, we are being taken down the path of further holllowing out the NZ economy

    we weep

  4. ianmac 4

    Have you noticed how English likes to use the family budget to illustrate how we must reign in our spending but uses a totally different analogy when talking about selling assets.
    Household budget = selling assets? Huh?

    • aerobubble 4.1

      National want to sell the Bach to pay for debts they could just introduce a tax
      all our competitors pay as a nature course of doing business. CGT.
      National are all about growing weedy business managers who don’t have
      to stress too much to make a buck.

      • Blighty 4.1.1

        more accurately, they want to sell your profitable home business to reduce the mortgage a little.

        That makes sense only if the profit of your business is lower than your mortgage’s interest rate.

        For the government, that isn’t the case.

  5. Rijab 5

    Why does English seem to think these assets are not ‘family silver’ by simply pointing out the proportion of total Govt assets being sold? Last time I checked my family silver consisted of a few silver spoons; sure I’ve got a lot of other spoons and they’re great for eating but the silver spoons are worth a lot and I’m making a shitload of money from lending them to others right now …

    Clearly the situation he talks about is equivalent to selling the family silver.

    He has eyes of deceit covered by a veil of superficial geniality. Unfortunately people will continue to be willfully ignorant… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PkWf9M3rUw&sns

    • Jim Nald 5.1

      In bad English, Bill likes to say New Zealanders would be at the “front of the queue” for screwing (not in an enjoyable fashion), oops, for the shares. For the shares.
      Yes, shared around by the foreign and mega rich for screwing.
      Mums and dads are now so excited and can’t wait till 26 Nov.

  6. randal 6

    so far the nats have not given one good reason why they want to sell our assets. if they had one then you would think they would share it with us all. the conlusion is that they are just venal money grubbers who want to make a personal killing while they are in power and the to hell with the rest of us.

    • crashcart 6.1

      They don’t need a reason. Their plan is to keep telling us that Partial Privatisation isn’t privatisation and that we just don’t understand why it is good. They will repeat this every time they are asked about it and hope eventually the public like QSF will just accept it and move on.

      • aerobubble 6.1.1

        49%. If someone owned 49% of my home I wouldn’t think that wasn’t privatisation.

        A while back Labour said if investor bring something new to the economy then
        this is a good investment, ergo, selling a working asset for NZ that exports
        half of the profits to pensioners in Japan and China is not a good investment
        except for the currency exchangers and their auditor and fee paying
        accountancy mates. Let them make their money dealing with a CGT instead.

        • ropata 6.1.1.1

          Good analogy, it’s like selling 49% of your home and then paying “partial” rent for the rest of your life. And if you wanted to paint the house you have to consult the other owner.

          So, we can look forward to paying high “rental” for state assets and less chance of improvement. Foreign fund managers laughing all the way.

          Japin’ Jonny Key was talking about selling Fonterra this morning also.

          As I said elsewhere,
          “I wish we hadn’t sold Telecom / Contact / BNZ / NZ Rail / NZ Steel / Tiwai Point / ARA Buses / …. ”

          In 20/30 years (If the mad NACToids stay in power), we will say the same about water, power, Fonterra, AirNZ, Kiwibank, KiwiRail … our social fabric will have ripped apart and the next generations will be looking out for number 1, not for the old bastards that stuck them in debt.

    • KJT 6.2

      If they are capable of making enough profit to be sale-able, then they should be kept. If they were not then the thieves would not be interested in privatising them anyway.

      Notice none of them want to buy a school in Otara.

  7. The way I look at the worth of energy shares is: How much is it going to cost to buy the shares back once they are gone?

    I am certain that it will be more than what was paid for them because of how valuable they are.

    It is not rocket science.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Ideally they would be cheaper to buy back.

      But if we assume that the market is more efficient at doing things than governments are, then naturally we must assume that the market is smarter than governments and will only buy something when they are certain to make a profit on it.

      • aerobubble 7.1.1

        Markets don’t make sense, its a ACT mantra that they do. Markets sell million
        dollar tullips if demand is there. Markets cannot guarentee anything, they
        won’t be paying out 100% to all the investors who lost their shirts in our
        private deregulated financial firms. Hush hush about National finally having
        to fix the industry, no constillation to those who lost so much.
        If ACT party is for something its either a dog, or they have to side with
        national.

  8. Richard 8

    Makes sense if you and your friends have alot of cash to invest in high return investments

  9. Zaphod Beeblebrox 9

    Mums and dads of Australia and their super fund managers say thanks.

  10. clandestino 10

    Bye bye dividends, hello energy poverty.

  11. randal 11

    so this is what the National means by Innovation. Take something that is not yours and sell it.
    How vibrant, how innovatory, how wunnerful.

  12. Richard 12

    remember, most of NZ’s national debt is owed by the Banks, not the Government itself

  13. chris73 13

    Ah well at least its not the 9 billion Labour sold off (the Goff was part of)

    • Treetop 13.1

      chris73 in 1984 the country was broke due to 9 years of Muldoon’s government. The main culprit was “Think Big” which was heavily borrowed for. In 3 years the Key government has managed to do what it took Muldoon 9 years to do. Once the energy companies are down to holding 51 % of shares I will not want to open my electric bill.

      • KJT 13.1.1

        The main culprit was taxpayer funded bribes to National party voters, like welfare for framers and extra super. Sound familiar. National borrowing for election bribes as usual.

        Think big actually made enough money for its private owners, after selling off in the 80’s, to have paid back any debt incurred, had we kept them.

        National has now managed to get us 14 billion in the poo already. By borrowing for tax cuts for those who benefit most from our society.

        Borrowing in a downturn for stimulus, internal investment, infrastructure and to keep the economy going is fine.
        Borrowing to allow the rich to take more out of the economy to spend offshore is totally stupid..

        • ropata 13.1.1.1

          Borrowing to allow the rich to take more out of the economy to spend offshore is totally stupid.
          Yep it’s an “anti-stimulus”, “trickle-UP”, parasitic bankster mentality.
          NACT have no concept of building up the nation or investing in the future.

          While Jonkey pretends to be “Labour-lite”, the hard right are implementing their asset grab agenda …

          I miss Winston’s thunderous condemnation of this sort of sneaky shit, he had a great turn of phrase at times.

          • Liberal Realist 13.1.1.1.1

            Let me fix that for you:

            “NACT have no INTENTION of building up the nation or investing in the future.”

        • Treetop 13.1.1.2

          Think Big is estimated to have cost 7 billion.

          In the shadow of Think Big
          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_3&objectid=10703096

          Sad that the only way Think Big made any money was for the private owners. Deja vu with the proposed selling of energy shares.

          • queenstfarmer 13.1.1.2.1

            Think Big was another failure of the Keynesian borrow-and-spend stimulus model.

            (the above link doesn’t work for some reason, here’s a working one.)

            • Treetop 13.1.1.2.1.1

              Thanks for posting a link which works.

            • KJT 13.1.1.2.1.2

              It was such a failure that, the refinery alone, made 300 million a year for its private owners shortly after it was sold.

              The failure was in selling them at fire sale prices. A policy which is now costing us 14 billion a year.

              • queenstfarmer

                Many of the numerous assets sold by Phil Goff & co were at fire sale prices (or at least well below value), although it is normal for Govt monopolies to be fairly dysfunctional before being privatised – Marsden Point being a prime example.

                • KJT

                  Bollocks.

                  Marsden point had the same staff and pretty much the same management and operating systems before privatisation. Immediately afterwards was too soon for any of the magical “efficiency gains” of privatisation to have occurred.

                  The only difference was the management and oil companies, which gained form privatisation, no longer had a motive to hide the efficiency of the refinery with transfer pricing.

                  Something which an SOE power company executive told me they were doing now to make privatisation look better. Quotes. “It is easy to pull the wool over politicians eyes”. “My pay will double if it is privatised”.

                  Another executive from Tiwai point also told me quit openly some years ago. “We do not pay net taxes as we adjust the supply/selling price to keep the declared profits low”. As you can do when supplier and buyer are the same company as the smelters.

            • mik e 13.1.1.2.1.3

              QSF not unlike nationals present thinking nothings changed with national except they have a cult hero worshiping PM.Borrow and hope Bill English

  14. tc 14

    love it when the trolls don’t bother to reply to the issues other responders make and do the ‘goff did it to’ or ‘ privatisation isn’t really bad beacuse it’s not 100% so it’s partial’ ….nice work if you can get it.

    You obviously don’t want to engage in the intellectual argument just read off the CT /hollow man script. Lucky for you the standard’s run with a free speech mantra…..you’d be banned on right wing sites for the obvious attempts at derailment.

  15. Rodel 15

    I cannot believe the dumb faith of right wingers in their own logic. Do they really believe what they say or do they think they’re taking the piss?
    Either way it’s sad to see such delusion and it really is sad to think that they vote according to their intellectual (not) convictions.

  16. David 16

    The 2011 budget isn’t worth the paper its written on. A 4 billion $ plus blowout and majic Bill still says we will have budget surplus by 2014/15.
    Why anyone would believe a word JK inc. has to say is beyond reason.

  17. Ed 17

    National and their supporters make much of the line that the “government will retain 51% control”. I can understand that at 100% ownership the government can require any action it sees fit, but what constraints are thee on a company with a single shareholder at 51% and the rest owned by a mix of overseas shareholders and some individual and coroprate NZ shareholders?
    Are the Directors of the company required to act in the best interests of all shareholders – through seeking either higher income or higher growth in value?
    Are there any circumstances where for example the government would be able to control prices for an energy company?
    Could the government insist on adequate capital investment to ensure electricity supply in future? Or would the companies (rightly) see that the best interests of shareholders lie in having a constant threat of power shortages, and a constant lack of capacity thus increasing the value of high demand periods?

    • queenstfarmer 17.1

      Good questions.

      Are the Directors of the company required to act in the best interests of all shareholders – through seeking either higher income or higher growth in value?

      No – they are required to act what they think is the best interest of the company (at least by default). For obvious reasons, this often aligns with what the majority shareholders want.

      Are there any circumstances where for example the government would be able to control prices for an energy company?

      Yes, via its appointed directors. But it depends what you mean by “control prices”. The board by definition controls the company and sets prices (I expect this would probably be delegated to its management). If you mean can the Govt appointed directors force the company to start running at a loss for political purposes, then probably no (well it could try, but that would be highly susceptible to challenge).

      Could the government insist on adequate capital investment to ensure electricity supply in future?

      Yes, via its appointed directors. That a significant benefit of a public listing – if you need to raise money, it can be much easier to raise capital.

      Or would the companies (rightly) see that the best interests of shareholders lie in having a constant threat of power shortages, and a constant lack of capacity thus increasing the value of high demand periods?

      Theoretically yes – this can happen in almost every industry anywhere. The supermarkets could collude to create food shortages to drive up prices. Airlines could collude to reduce flights to rort customers. And if there is a monopoly there is no competition anyway, and we know what happens then. But that’s the point of markets and competition. Of course some may not believe in such things, in which case they still have North Korea as a useful reference site.

      • mik e 17.1.1

        North Korea is nearly as bad as lehman bros ,meryll lynch hanover finance . privatized Air New zealand, Bridgecorp mad max;s electricity reforms Roger douglas’s high jacking of labour.So QSF would you sell off your best performing shares.NO you woudn’t this is insider trading.Tax payer rip off.QSF your spin is exactly the same as national is spinning which MP are you.

  18. Ports are next

    You need to re ad the latest productivity commission report written by some poor sod who has not read anything but economics text books since birth, has no understanding of the role of infrastructure in a dynamic and profitable economy and has been sent on a mission to take them away from local and regional government (the ratepayers who paid for them and whose local economy depends on them) with a whole lot of evaluative self serving statements couched in the language of economics. More thievery but worse more bad government – no wonder we are getting poorer by the day.

  19. ropata 19

    [Bruce Jesson] won a place of the Auckland Regional Council (ARC), as a NewLabour candidate. In the next elections, he ended up chairing the Auckland Regional Services Trust (ARST) which the government had established to hold a number of public enterprises and assets, previously owned by local authorities. Jesson had a room in the Trust office, but as chairman he was the lowest paid of the staff. It was the one time in his life he received a reasonable remuneration for his contribution to New Zealand. His constituents were well rewarded. His party ticket had been elected on a platform of maintaining public ownership, whereas the legislation which governed the Trust required privatisation. Jesson delayed, arguing there was a conflict in the law. His letter to the minister hit the too-hard basket. So ARST did not privatise while Jesson was in charge. Aucklanders benefited. For instance ARST’s politicians had been told the Yellow Bus Company could be sold for $35m. Hanging on to it, over the following six years ARST received in dividends about the same as the expected capital sum. It was sold in 1999 for $111.6m. The ARST was expected to pay off all its debts over a fifteen-year period. It paid them off in three. The value of the assets will be used to fund Auckland’s infrastructure. They should name the second harbour bridge after Jesson.

    Only Their Purpose is Mad, published months before his death, is both an important book about New Zealand, and a unique account of how the financial community worked, drawing on Jesson’s ARC and ARST experience. The advice he was given was misdirected because as he reports in the case of the Auckland Ports Company, ‘not only was most of the argument political in nature, but there was also no analysis of the commercial advantages and disadvantages to the ARC of a sale.’ It proved grossly wrong. ‘None of the ARC’s highly paid [$2000 a day plus expenses] advisers told us it would be the height of commercial folly to sell the Port Company for $200m.’[8] His detailed account in the book of the collapse of the private corporation, Maine Investments, reminds us not only of another massive failure in financial advice (with no penalties on the faulty advisers), but Jesson’s willingness to do the footslogging involved in commercial analysis – for no reward (certainly not $2000 a day) other than the satisfaction of getting something right.

    Encapsulated in the book’s title is its theme that the financial sector is extremely capable but, like Captain Ahab chasing Moby Dick, its purpose is mad. Ironically, although Jesson was too modest to say this, his chairing of the ARST demonstrated that when financial advisers were given a social purpose, as occurred at the ARST under him, their financial skills could contribute to a socially effective outcome.

    • mik e 19.1

      John Banks sold half of Auckland international airport for $300 million 3years later those shares were worth $1.2 billion.Yeah huge savings on debt banksie another bean brain bean counter!

  20. Ed 20

    Where did National say that they expect 30% to go straight to foreigners? Now they seem to be saying only 15%
    http://www.3news.co.nz/No-discounts-for-Kiwis-in-SOE-sell-off/tabid/419/articleID/224132/Default.aspx

    • Lanthanide 20.1

      Yeah, I was a little confused, but on Morning Report they made it clear it was “Kiwis to retain 85-90% of the asset”, including the government’s 51% share.

      This means the 10-15% comes from the remaining 49%, which means 20-30% of the total amount to be sold will be going overseas (49% * 30% = 15% total foreign ownership).

      • ropata 20.1.1

        Fucking hell, NZ already owns 100% of the assets in question, in a fair and equitable model.
        Privatisation ==> Profiteering corporations ==> NZers drained of cash ==> Worse quality of life

        I am having trouble believing that bloody Rogernomics is still alive in this country.
        NACT’s betrayal of the people and the future is disgusting

  21. Jan 21

    If the National Party is successful this year then New Zealand voters and non-voters will have acceded to theft from the young, the poor and the local facilitated by the goverment and benefitting the old, the already rich and those with no interest in NZ except to earn a buck.

    I find it hard to believe that voters will be so manifestly stupid. Sleep walking to disempowerment and poor services for the second time in a generation. Abject Nero’s with violins in hand, supporting others right to aspirational riches that they cannot have for themselves. Let the rich manage the money they know what they are doing with it. Allelujah!

    Embarrassing.

    • Jum 21.1

      Jan,

      That is exactly the right word – ’embarrassing’.

      Just how stupid, selfish and greedy are New Zealanders that they will gloss over what John Key and backers are stealing from them.

      It sort of gives thinking New Zealanders a feeling of ‘what do I do to hide the fact I am a New Zealander?’ I daresay if NZ wins the RWC, that’s all most New Zealanders really care about.

  22. Jum 22

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/5557921/Rail-station-upgrade-cost-check

    Am I correct in that when Rodney Hide reversed Clark and Cullen’s Local Government 2002 legislation that required 75% of citizens to agree to any Local Government asset sell offs, it was all NZers?

    By giving the rail assets over to Greater Wellington Regional Council, does that mean that that Council can now sell off those rail assets from July 2012 which would conveniently take the blame off this government?

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