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New Zealand’s weakest link

Written By: - Date published: 2:28 pm, June 7th, 2009 - 62 comments
Categories: economy, Environment, farming - Tags:

Is its business leaders.

There’s Keys, the Fyfes, the Weldons. Who all spend so much money to look good on the covers of magazines. Who expect us to love them. They want to be hailed as messiahs or Atlases carrying the rest of us. These are the muppets who banged their heads together for a day to come up with ideas for saving jobs. Could only come up with a watered-down version of the Unions’ 9-day fortnight idea and a cycleway. Three months later, they’ve saved 303 jobs. Meanwhile the economy is losing 300 jobs a day.

But this post isn’t about the Atlases. It’s about the next tier down.

We had a great big dairy boom over the last few years. Exploding demand in India and China mostly. What does a sensible organisation do during a boom? First, it recognises booms don’t last forever. It uses the fruits of the boom to pay down debt, expand capacity sensibly, and be ready to ride the down-wave. What did the corporate dairy farmers do? They used the boom time super-profits to speculate on an ever-rising boom.

They bought up beef and sheep farms and pine plantations. Started converted the land to dairy at huge cost. Took on more and more debt. Much of the new land is very marginal for dairy. Not enough water. Especially land that had just been under pine. The result – higher water demand, higher electricity demand, more run-off, more carbon emissions and fewer carbon sinks (Landcorp, which owns a lot of the land deserves a lot of blame for letting its leaseholders make these conversions. That’s SOEs for you. Stupid system to have public assets that are not managed in the public interest). Producing milk on these new farms is much more expensive. The average cost of producing a kilo of milk-solids in New Zealand is now $4.54.

The boom didn’t last of course. just as these new dairy farms were coming online the world economy has crashed. Now Fonterra’s payout is forecast at $4.55. That’s before the 12% tumble in the price that Fonterra got in its latest auction. A whole lot of dairy land, mostly new stuff, is now unprofitable. Those brilliant businessmen who plowed money into dairy are set to lose their shirts. No sympathy from me. They had it coming. Problem is they’ll drag the rest of us down with them.

That’s what we get for allowing these businessmen so much power over our country. If it were me I wouldn’t bail them out. I would wait until they start to go under. Then buy their farms at rock-bottom prices and turn it back into publicly-owned commercial forest.

62 comments on “New Zealand’s weakest link”

  1. Zittyisatit 1

    Translation….Key is evil …. business leaders are evil ……. the dairy industry is going to have a tough year but that’s OK because they are rich pricks and evil …… ahahahahahaha.

  2. spot 2

    “If it were me I wouldn’t bail them out. I would wait until they start to go under. Then buy their farms at rock-bottom prices….”

    …a strange quote on a site that champions the safeguarding of work/jobs for the common bloke(ess). Turf em all out on their ear I guess, watch the sector slide.

    How about a post on your views for sustainability in the primary sector.

    • djp 2.1

      heh, good spotting, ah, spot

      it is a strange quote indeed (considering the origin) and only serves to illuminate the moral quagmire that is bailouts

  3. Bill 3

    So whereas anybody with a modicum of common sense would have realised that unless you were in at the start, then converting to dairy was guaranteed to be an exercise in the art of getting burned…..the same could be said of house buyers and a million and one other buy now, get rich quick investment opportunities.

    So the small farmer who converted from sheep to dairy because he was going down the gurgler will now be bought over at a basement bargain price by “the big boys”; not the government.

    I’d rather see them bailed by government in the same way I’d rather see home buyers bailed by government and both with strings attached. Won’t happen though.

    Unfortunately we’ll see a further step towards monopolisation and a silent unreported rise in farmer suicides prompted by financial stress…

    • Ag 3.1

      .the same could be said of house buyers and a million and one other buy now, get rich quick investment opportunities.

      And who is responsible for that? Once upon a time business and investment was seen as a sober attempt to build long term value. That’s one reason most New Zealanders have a lot of respect for old companies that have provided services to them over the long term. This slash and burn and merger and takeover culture is quite new. Now it’s all about keeping the stock up. Contemporary business has little in common with the business of 50 years ago.

      When everyone is interested in making a quick buck rather than looking toward the long term, we now know what happens. The financialization of the economy has been bad news for everyone else.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        I disagree Ag.

        The tendency to monopoly has always existed under Capitalism and Capitalism has never been benign

        Once upon a time not so long ago, it was not orthodox to view individual human worth in terms of career, job and material accumulation. Wage slavery was railed against and became a reality only as a result of massive violence. The ascendancy of current orthodoxies that flow at least in part from our apparent acceptance of Capitalism’s vertical division of labour is the result of a number of interacting factors, some quite deliberate and others unintentional.

        Who’s responsible?

        People for accepting slavery, or people for imposing it?

        • Ag 3.1.1.1

          The tendency has always existed. The change, IMHO, is not mostly cultural, but technological. IT gives finance much more information than it used to have, and allows for a much finer grain of decision making when it comes to shifting money around. It has also meant that things move much faster than they used to.

          You can add to that the Hayekian spin on 60s individualism, and that would account for most of it IMHO.

          A lot of very silly people believed in the omniscience or near omniscience of markets. I guess it’s no different to other forms of religious faith.

          • Bill 3.1.1.1.1

            And without the market component of the economy, there would be no money in the shape of profit sloshing around the show.

            The IT stuff moves information. In a marketless economy there would still be a need to move information.

            Our culture gives rise to particular actions and foci. Reinforcing cycles exist between our culture and the resulting actions.

            Like destructive individual habits, it seems a case of breaking particular identifiable cycles by rooting out the primary driving force behind those cycles. In this case the market.

  4. Gordon Shumway 4

    So when it’s all government-owned, who makes the business decisions then? Why will “government” get it right.

    The last major business that the government decided to get into here was trains. Cullen fucked it up from the start MASSIVELY overpaying on the asset. Dickehead move which is at least as bad, probably way more so, that the diary farmers actions you’re criticizing.

    At least get some philosophical consistency.

    When will you guys realise that a decision-maker does not suddenly “get it right” because they are part of “Government”? History is littered with examples of the failure of centralization, yet you continue to bang on about returning to that model. Why?

    It is IMPOSSIBLE to derive and sort of policital/economic system where the business cycle no longer exists. Market enonomies need failure and success.

    As for “no sympathy” to businessmen, that’s they typical meanspirited rubbish that you expect from someone who simply does not understand the vitally important role that entrepreneurs play in modern society.

    • Zetetic 4.1

      “It is IMPOSSIBLE to derive and sort of policital/economic system where the business cycle no longer exists.”

      Well, I’m not one to say ‘impossible’ about things that can’t be proven experimentally or mathematically but you’re right in that booms and busts are inevitable in a capitalist system. That’s my point. So don’t use your boom time super profits on expansion that’s only viable if the boom never ends.

    • doc whose asking 4.2

      Gordon Shumway,

      You read as annoyed, as annoyed as farming folks around here. Let’s try a reality check.. what pushed farming costs up?

      More specifically, farming costs on-farm in enzed?

      Was it boom prospecting or prospectors. Ready market forces or business-minded people.. ?

      How far over the top would you say things had to have gotten before annoyance at one’s incapacity to deal with them was eliminated..?

      And so you’ve gotten a good steer on where I’m coming from, at what point of incompetence will farmers sellout their corporate holdings so some offshore modernist enclosure movement can sew up majority stakeholdings..

      To grow their presumption of control. Of course.

    • Bill 4.3

      “It is IMPOSSIBLE to derive and sort of policital/economic system where the business cycle no longer exists. Market enonomies need failure and success.”

      What drives the boom and bust? The profit motive of the market economy.

      What type of economy is needed? A non-market one.

      What’s IMPOSSIBLE?

    • doc whose asking 4.4

      hi,

      looks like when I posted separate comment a whoopi-doo group got all upset about what might appear to them a threat..

      leaving them aside, I was struck by your need of “philosophical consistency”, and asked for a reality check..

      here allow me ask you consider the weight of your own words.. that markets need success to fail.. the bigger the success the bigger the fail.. okay, if that’s what you want then at least you can own your own problems arising..

      then you talk of the entrepreneurial role in modern society.. and I would ask you for whom do they play, as you termed it… and do they play for home or away..

      unthreatening questions, seeking only that you continue thinking about these big things, consulting friends, advisers and others.. to enable a far greater capability and consistency… and founding a will for sustainable success..

      over to you

  5. Zetetic 5

    Not evil. Incompetent and greedy.

    This post is about sustainability to some degree. The problem with this dumb expansion of dairy into marginal land on boom time money is it was never sustainable.

    Now we’re getting into the bust that follows the boom. The corporate dairy farmers (the ones who live in Remuera, I’ve got less of a problem with the old cocky) will soon be demanding a handout to keep this vital export industry going. They should have been wiser and less greedy when the boom was on. Instead they acted like the bankers, betting on an infinite boom.

    • jarbury 5.1

      Seems like the root of the problem is an expectation that things can magically keep getting better and better forever.

      An interesting piece on this by Herman E. Daly, entitled: From a Failed Growth Economy to a Steady-State Economy looks at how it’s our obsession with growth in a world with finite resources that seems to be at the root of many of the problems we’re facing today.

      Link: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/5464#more

  6. Pascal's bookie 6

    “Market enonomies need failure and success.”

    Fair enough. No sympathy for the failures then right, Mr Philosophical Consistency?

  7. infused 7

    Well my post in the last thread was correct.

  8. The Baron 8

    Goddamn, tried this twice already. Not having a good day.

    Zetty, the majority of these people that you wish harm are either old cockies, or desperate ex-sheep farmers who turned to dairy once it became apparent there was no living left in sheep and wool. The vast majority of these people have nothing at all in common with Fyfe and Weldon.

    I find it pretty incredible that you propose a tough love approach for these people. The ordinary people in towns like Gore, Greymouth, Stratford and Cambridge do it pretty hard when the farms stop spending – yet you wanna screw these farmers down to buy back their properties at rock bottom, regardless of what these will do to these provincial economies, all because an unsubstantiated portion of them are owned by the urban rich. Not to mention the impact this would have on our exports.

    You scream murder cos the Government won’t save urban factory jobs, but you’re prepared to utterly screw the people of provincial New Zealand. What a strange sense of morality.

    • Zetetic 8.1

      I don’t wish them harm. Just don’t wish to give taxpayer charity to people who bet on an infinite boom.

      • The Baron 8.1.1

        Come on Zetty, according to you, these farmers are the same as the oh-so-evil Fyfe and Weldon. So, how do you propose to sort out those farmers that are deserving, and those that aren’t? By their postal codes? Can you substantiate your claim that dairy farming has been overtaken by the urban rich?

        I assure you it hasn’t – the majority of dairy is still owned by people that directly work or manage their holdings. I say again – these people and the towns around them will suffer due to this change of payout. And you advocate making it worse by watching them collapse, so you can buy the once productive land and turn it into forests, which won’t make an income for those towns or the economy for years.

        Face it, you don’t know what the hell you are talking about here, and have gone on with the same crass assumptions that all farmers are rich pricks who deserve to get f*cked over for your socialist utopia. Again – I love it how its A-OK in your book for the government to shit on the rural sector – do you hate them because they don’t vote labour?

        • Zetetic 8.1.1.1

          Yeah, we will suffer for people who over-expanded in the good times on the assumption the good times never end. The world is feeling it with the financiers. NZ will feel it in this dairy bust.

          I don’t hate the farmers. I just don’t want us to have to bail them out for their own mistakes. Personal responsiblity. You know?

          Weldon and Fyfe aren’t evil. They’re just greedy, arrogant men who want to be loved for it.

          • IrishBill 8.1.1.1.1

            It seems you are arguing moral hazard. Fair enough too.

          • djp 8.1.1.1.2

            right moral hazard.. when it is convienient

          • zittyisatit 8.1.1.1.3

            Git . farmers aren’t asking you for a bailout. Fucking tosser farmers have been looking after themselves for longer than you parasite.

  9. RedLogix 9

    The last major business that the government decided to get into here was trains. Cullen fucked it up from the start MASSIVELY overpaying on the asset.

    Getting really tired of this particular Tory lie as well. Toll’s initial asking price was $1b. It took 18 months of terse, hardknuckle negotiation to get it down to $680m. Remember that this was a one off sale, of a unique one off asset, with only one vendor (a very reluctant one at that) to one possible purchaser. In this sort of sale, there really is no such thing as ‘market price’, merely a number that the two parties can agree to…. and one which can be entirely different to any so called ‘book value’.

    The alternatives to this legitimate and negotiated sale, were for either the Govt to subsidise the privately owned Autralian company Toll by pouring hundreds of millions of public monies into OnTrack, or for Cullen to have used Crown power to unilaterally nationalise the asset… telling Toll to sod off with nothing. Which alternative would you have preferred Mr Shumway?

    • The Baron 9.1

      I’m sick of this one too… but:

      “Remember that this was a one off sale, of a unique one off asset, with only one vendor (a very reluctant one at that) to one possible purchaser.”

      This is the very reason why the deal shouldn’t have gone ahead. All the cards were in Toll’s favour, and is the very reason why Cullen overpaid.

      • Luxated 9.1.1

        I’m not sure where you get the idea that the government of the day overpaid.

        Purchase price: $690 million

        Debt purchased: $140 million

        http://www.stuff.co.nz//531008

        Book value of assets at time of purchase: $430 million

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/business/2468426/KiwiRail-value-halves

        Current value: $349 million

        So what we have is $550 million paid for $430 million dollars of assets, considering that the government did not legislate renationalisation of the assets I would think this is a reasonable price in the circumstances. Or did you expect for Toll to sell ‘at cost’?

        The further $80 million devaluation is quite understandable in the economic circumstances, depreciation will have consumed a large portion of the difference in values as well.

        • George D 9.1.1.1

          Should’ve nationalised it properly – they should have been paid, but minus the value of the assets they depreciated.

          • Luxated 9.1.1.1.1

            I find this statement somewhat confusing. I’m interpreting this in the following ways:

            1) Toll should have been paid a token amount and the assets not paid for.

            2) The assets should have been purchased less future deprectiation.

            3) Asset cost + profit – mismanagement penalty.

            Or something else entirely. I’m genuinely confused here and would like some clarification.

  10. mark47 10

    hey im a sheep farmer last week 40 lambs 4000 bucks thank god for the dairy boom

  11. RedLogix 11

    This is the very reason why the deal shouldn’t have gone ahead

    So you are happy for the taxpayer to have continued effectively pouring hundreds of millions into OnTrack, propping up the profits an Australian owned rail company? That would have eventually cost the taxpayer far more than entire purchase price that Cullen paid.

    You really cannot have it both ways, claiming Cullen overpaid for the asset, when not buying it would have meant overpaying through subsidising Toll anyhow.

    What this really tells us was what a dreadful error it was selling the asset in the first place.

  12. Quoth the Raven 12

    That’s what we get for allowing these businessmen so much power over our country.

    That’s what you get for giving any group too much power. The problem is that power is concentrated in the hands of too few people, business and government. They work so closely together anyway, like church and state in times past.

  13. vto 13

    weak shit

  14. Doc whoisacoc 14

    That was a bit rude vto.

  15. Daveski 15

    What a strange strange post.

    The Govt is pilloried for not doing enough to save jobs yet Zed is dancing on the grave of the farmers.

    Strange also how Cullen’s policies that assumed the boom would roll on and on are universally applauded by the left too.

    Nevermind, Zed gets a reaction so it doesn’t matter about the content.

  16. Mockawaydoc 16

    Will Zet be pissed he(unknowlingly)funding the Shanghai biotech organ pig farming fiesta?.
    Zet ( like most of us) doesn’t like having to constantly bailout non working economic models
    – that is not so strange.

  17. doc whose asking 17

    Some courage on display here today,… one commenter talking “rock bottom prices” when the supposed evils by another relate supposed over-payment by the former Finance Minister.. for something else..

    Can’t say how the E-word strikes true upon the aforementioned supposed successful corporate business folks: can say, however, that valid substance is missing from relevant debate.

    How might the matter of CAO reference one of those names. Might the recent trade trip have proved educative.. or was China presented as something else.

    And just look at some of those connections.. their potential relevance etc..

    All the stuff of courage.. for those with the stomach – oops constitution is less rude for the easily offended – to digest important unboring detail..

    In your relevant service etc..

    .

  18. rave 18

    Its called land farming or land gambling, or wild south.
    Its the story of New Zealand (not Aotearoa).
    What’s new?
    Demands for land nationalisation, or land tax, was big in the 19th century as a way of making farming honest.
    This means no farming the ‘unearned increment’.
    Keeps land values down and the boom busts are less violent.
    Small farmers a more protected.
    Trouble is big farmers ran government.
    Right now the corporate farmers will make us bail them out.
    Watch John Key’s interest in NZ Dairy point the way.
    Answer is to tax capital gains.
    Stops parasites farming us poor suckers.
    No wonder Key is anti.
    No wonder there are so many anti-Keys.

  19. Zaphod Beeblebrox 19

    Really wish kiwis would stop putting ourselves down. Sure not all businessmen are perfect and sure they don’t all share our values and ideologies, but this is the same the world over. NZ has been blessed with some excellent leadership in all areas in the last twenty years and i wish we could highlight these people and seek to emulate their example. You may not read about them in the society pages of the Herald but for every dodgy property or finance tycoon their are young creative types producing companies like 42 below or Trade me or Miramar Studios.

  20. SPC 20

    Well the facts are, we have the lowest rate of R and D and lowest rate for reinvestment of profits.

    One reason is the single mechanism RB OCR which generally overvalues the currency (which is destructive to our export sector) and the other is our taxation regime not including CGT (which would finance the sort of R and D tax incentives common in more productive economies).

    Why does our business put up with this second rate policy regime – is it because of simplistic adherence to the anti-inflation agenda of the RB, is it primary focus on capital gains instead of improvement in productivity?

    As for Fonterra, investing the money from the dairy price boom in expanding production (in lower productivity land areas – increasing the cost of production per unit) rather than added value …

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 20.1

      In reality NZ would be better off with a lot less dairying. It would much more profitable and less environmentally destructive to concentrate on more efficient enterprises like grain crops like corn and barley, fruit crops and speciality food products.
      With the impending food crisis which is inevitable as a result us running out of oil and the effects of global warming, I doubt that we will even be allowed to waste our water catchments, prime soils and clean air on an activity as wasteful as this.
      All this may be something for the NFF and Fonterra to ponder as they set a course for the future.

      • Jared 20.1.1

        Are you suggesting demand for milk solids will simply disappear overnight? Who will pay for this conversion, and who’s arse will roll when oversupply leads to a collapse in market price for grain? I question the suitability of current dairy land for such a conversion anyway. Ironically this post smacks of a belligerent approach to responsibility. Sheep Farmers who were faced with rock bottom wool and mutton prices converted to dairy farming to survive. The boom could never have survived indefinitely, but we have strong exports even if the milk solid prices are low at the moment. If you understood rural finances you would know that farmers use leverage adequately and understand the implications of cyclical market movements. But, like home owners who speculated on the housing boom, I don’t believe farmers have a right to a hand out (I don’t think they expect either). If they are in trouble, it is their problem, and they need to deal with the consequences.

  21. coolas 21

    Have you noticed the way Key, Weldon, & Henry Van de Fonterra all say, ‘Hey Look’ a lot, but they don’t seem to see much. Like a Recession on the way. I was warned by my accountant in 2007 that shite was on the way due to US credit heat. He’s a modest honest man with his finger on the pulse. Much too decent to be a CEO.
    Zetelic’s post is spot on. The ‘hey look’ guys are all puffed up. They do very well for themselves with massive salaries & bonuses but they’re modern day pirates robbing us all. Like Fay & Richwhite – what scum!

    • Pascal's bookie 21.1

      heh,

      on hearing ‘hey look’

      brain adds ‘it’s the goodyear blimp’

      always watch the hands.

      as it were.

  22. Trevor Mallard 22

    Minor factual point – Landcorp does not own the land that has/is being converted to dairy in the central north island. They are doing the conversions and leasing the land for a fixed term but we should not pretend that it would have stayed in forestry if they had not beeen involved. The important point is that the policy settings were wrong nad are wrong again now. It isn’t rocket science but it is really clear that dairy is not paying anything like its full share of emmissions and pollution costs.

    Getting the ETS right is part of the solution but just as important is getting something like the Taupo catchment arrangements up and running more generally.

    • George D 22.1

      Trevor, the “if it wasn’t me someone else would have” defence is pretty weak from a 8 year old. You had the power to block it. You could have banned conversions directly, through the introduction of law. You were confronted with this problem directly by environmental organisations year after year. You didn’t do it. You are responsible, along with the rest of the Labour Party.


      The important point is that the policy settings were wrong and are wrong again now. It isn’t rocket science but it is really clear that dairy is not paying anything like its full share of emmissions and pollution costs.

      Let me say explicitly two things.

      Firstly, the Labour Party for between 2002 and 2008 blocked the implementation of policy instruments that would have addressed this problem, either directly or indirectly.

      There are plenty of direct policy instruments, such as a ban on deforestation, higher fuel efficiency, the thermal ban*, etc., that could have been put in place, in addition to a whole of Government tax/ETS.

      There was an extended consultation period, with document after document produced. There were already a number of well established models, developed in the 1990s and in use overseas in 2002, which Labour could have adopted. Finally, a credible carbon tax proposal was established in 2005. Labour then dumped it. Chickenshits. Labour then spent another 3 years delaying on the next scheme.

      Secondly, the ETS Labour put in place (and National have removed) shelters agriculture very heavily until 2020.That is almost the opposite of putting a proper price signal.

      The Labour Party never considered climate change a priority, and gave the issue lip service. It implemented an ETS which subsidise polluters to the tune of billions, and lumps the cost on taxpayers.

      You’ve also taken a weak line on the destruction of our rivers and lakes by dairy.

      So when you say that the policy settings were wrong Trevor, I have to ask whether you were awake in cabinet meetings. Perhaps you can explain why you delayed and delayed and dumped, and then delayed some more.

      *the thermal ban was eventually put in place after 5 years of new gas stations and Huntly on coal, and it was one of the very few credible actions Labour took on climate change.

    • The Baron 22.2

      “The important point is that the policy settings were wrong nad are wrong again now”.

      How reassuring. What exactly were your bunch doing that all these things are only being found out now? Oooooh was this the stuff you would have gotten around to in the 4th term, along with Pay equality and OECD ranking improvement.

      Oh dear, if only I had have voted to keep you in. For shame.

  23. Mark M 23

    Zit

    ” Sorry but they will drag us all down”

    Do you mean the people who never take a risk , never create jobs for people like you.

    If there werent risk takers , that you seem to hate virulently ,where do you think your benefit payments would come from.

    Its people like you who give the left a bad name

    [lprent: The assumption that people who disagree with them are supping on the governments purse is what gives stupid wingnuts (like you) a bad name. You are most likely projecting your own selfish behaviour onto people who are not as self-centred as you are. Surprisingly, and unlike you, there are people who tend to think about the overall wellbeing of society rather than just how to screw everyone else to better themselves. A lot of them comment here.

    A lot of them run businesses or are the centre of the skills for running a successful business, taking the appropriate risks. It is really only the meathead wannabes (probably including you) who project such black and white perceptions on other people. Successful business people are very aware of how much they depend on other people’s skills to successfully avoid the disasters that their risk taking leaves them open to.

    If you can’t say anything intelligent, then troll elsewhere. Your previous comments don’t give me any impression that you have much to contribute. I’d also suggest reading the policy. ]

  24. the sprout 24

    National’s TOTAL lack of ANY plan so far is an utter f*cking disgrace.
    they deserve to be recorded in history as the One Term Wonders they will soon be known as come 2011.

  25. George D 25

    How is this post anything but an indictment on Labour

    Can someone please tell me whether the New Zealand Labour Party was, or was not, in Government for the last 9 years. Because after reading this post, I get the impression that they were not.

    • Maynard J 25.1

      There is plenty of criticism of Labour in there – why would you assume otherwise?

      You take a strange line – that it is impossible for Labour to be imperfect; you have preconceived ideas about what they could\should have done, and you are now looking back and seeing for the first time that they were not.

      I hope you do a lot more to get things done that you would like to see happen than complain about Labour on blogs and I hope you do those things with the alacrity with which you criticise Labour.

    • merlin 25.2

      I think you’re guilty of reading in words that aren’t there.

      Zetetic doesn’t mention any party in the post. It hardly reads as an endorsement of Labour or a defence of their time in government. The behaviour of Landcorp, an SOE, under Labour is expressly criticised.

      • George D 25.2.1

        I know that Zeteitec doesn’t mention any party in the post. That’s why these come out as general criticisms, as though responsibility does not lie directly with specific individuals who made deliberate decisions not to interfere or regulate particular parts of the economy, and let things run their course.

    • Trevor Mallard 25.3

      And at no stage did we have majority support in Parliament for either the carbon charge or deforestation legislation suggested. Remember the Maori party is often to the right of the Nats on these issues. There was probably no area where we spent so much energy for so little progress. George you and your mate Baron need to get real.

      • jarbury 25.3.1

        If only the Greens had got those 600 extra votes in 2005…..

      • The Baron 25.3.2

        Oh well, ain’t democracy a bitch eh Trev.

        Anyway, what a load of bollocks – you did so have the numbers. Christ, I cannot believe that you’re trying out such historical revisionism to try backup your partisan beat up:

        1999-2002: Labour + Alliance coalition, Green supporting – what was wrong with doing it there? You had a 6 seat majority then! Who opposed these measures – the Alliance? Or are you LYING ABOUT TRYING.

        2002-2005: Labour + Progressives (HAH), Greens and United Future supporting – you and the Greens had 61 out of 120 seats in the house. Did the Greens not come to the party? OR ARE YOU LYING ABOUT TRYING?

        2005-2008: Ahh now maybe only this one you can blame on the Maori party – given that they didn’t exist in the other two elections. But then again, when you sold your soul to Winston Peters, what could you expect?

        Trev, what a load of old cobblers. You could at least run a line that wouldn’t take me two minutes to refute.

        • Luxated 25.3.2.1

          Baron before you get on your high horse next time please do read what has been written.

          “And at no stage did we have majority support in Parliament for either the carbon charge or deforestation legislation suggested.”

          This is directly from Trevor’s post which you have replied to.

          The key words here are ‘legislation suggested’. To me this says that Labour could not find a suitable compromise which suited enough of the parties to actually pass a bill. The Greens typically want more environmentally than Labour is willing commit to, which would cause some problems with Labour not willing to risk scaring the horses.

          It is similar to the current situation in Australia, their ETS is currently in the Senate but is unlikely to pass. Labor supports the bill going through now (obviously), the Liberals want to wait until Copenhagen, the Nationals don’t want anything to do with it and the Greens don’t think it goes far enough. So in this situation you have nearly 91% or more of the house currently supporting the bill in principle but it still won’t pass (I’m unsure where the CLP, Family First or Nick Xenophon stand).

          • George D 25.3.2.1.1

            Trevor, you chose to go with Peters and Dunne. Your choices.

            You didn’t want the Greens in 2002.

            You weren’t prepared to give the Maori Party enough in 2005.

  26. mark47 26

    isnt the only reason we have fonterra because labour let them avoid the commerce commoison

  27. Galeandra 27

    ‘So when you say that the policy settings were wrong Trevor, I have to ask whether you were awake in cabinet meetings. Perhaps you can explain why you delayed and delayed and dumped, and then delayed some more.’

    While I have felt similarly disappointed, but unimpressed by the shrillness of this poster’s hectoring tone, I now accept that a lot of the waterish policy set in place was a reflection of the limited lengths to which the conservative fart tax complaining part of the NZ psyche would allow the Government to go. I think Labour probably settled for what could be rather than what should be.

    I have to say as a visitor to the site that I am underwhelmed by the clever-dick immaturity of some of the posters. Even with extremely troubled waters ahead for the global economy/environment, it seems unlikely we’ll ever achieve the necessary concensus to achieve really effective decision-making. We may well go down squabbling.

    • lprent 27.1

      …it seems unlikely we’ll ever achieve the necessary concensus to achieve really effective decision-making. We may well go down squabbling.

      Nature of the net, and it has been like that since I first started connecting to BIX via a dialup modem and an international toll call. There is value in eternally chewing the fat, you tend to find out exactly what kind of ‘gotchas’ are likely to spoil a perfect plan. Furthermore you’ll find that you get agreement that way. It is after all how the net was raised – one of the greatest engineering achievements of last century.

      Sure we get facile comments. You learn after a while who is worth listening to. Actual experience, skills, and ability to think tend to shine through.

  28. Pascal's bookie 28

    “We may well go down squabbling.”

    You just summarised the whole dang internet, in 25 letters.

    Surely there is some sort of prize. 😉

    But stick around please. More nice talkers makes for more nice talking.

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