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NZ Inc

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 am, September 14th, 2014 - 119 comments
Categories: business, economy, Economy, employment, exports, jobs, labour - Tags:

David Cunliffe has announced his final big policy. It’s called NZ Inc and it’s a bloody smart move.

To quote Labour:

NZ Inc will pull together the value of our resources, and use them to build a publicly owned asset base that drives long-term sustainable economic growth.

It will stop future privatisations. Each SOE and Mixed Ownership Model company will have a Kiwi Share created and held by the Crown under new legislation, which will state that the Crown cannot sell-down its shareholding in these assets.

But even more importantly it will use the profits of those assets, and our future oil and gas revenues to grow the a sustainable economy and regain public ownership of more of our wealth.

NZ Inc will be mandated to buy, own, and build strategic assets that will help to grow our economy. And because it belongs to you, it will keep its profits in New Zealand. For all of us.

NZ Inc – it belongs to you

NZ Inc will have the mandate to help transition New Zealand to a smart, clean, and fair nation. So we have a sustainable base to grow even stronger in the future.

It’s about making sure our children and their children have a decent stake in New Zealand and have the power to make decisions about the New Zealand they want for generations to come.

Labour knows New Zealanders deserve the right to choose their own future. NZ Inc will help make sure we can.

This will appeal to the Greens and to Winston. More importantly it will appeal to a huge number of New Zealanders who are sick of having National sell down their assets and take their future away.

119 comments on “NZ Inc ”

  1. greywarbler 1

    This is something to vote positive for. The right direction. Otherwise we will get more of what Dave Armstrong has summarised about present economic policy.

    The Government’s approach to economic growth seems to be one of loudly championing businesses that succeed, hope like hell that dairy prices don’t tank, and borrow overseas or sell state assets in order to keep the country living in a manner to which it’s accustomed.


  2. RedBaronCV 2

    Can a future right wing government change the kiwishare legislation and sell anyway?
    Needs to be a 75% vote or something?

    • Rich 2.1

      Yes of course they can, but then if the citizens know what this is & how it works then it will be up to them to enforce it. Unfortunately as is now obvious there is no generation who can drop off the ‘the price of Liberty is eternal vigilance’.

      Labour now has to sell this as Norway though, that might be quite hard as Key will have other countries in mind. I’m not absolutely sure that this policy and the debate on it (because in a democracy these things are debated) should not have waited until after the election. It will be the end of the TPP, or at least the end of it with US involvement which is not a bad thing.

      • Zolan 2.1.1

        Ensuring NZers understand that it will belong to them is critical.
        Kiwis have a justified suspicion of anything that sounds vaguely like privatisation, including corporate language, so it needs to be corrected decisively from the start.

        Entrenching that understanding in the public consciousness will make it as difficult for parliament to undermine as would entrenching it in law.

    • AmaKiwi 2.2

      “Can a future right wing government change the kiwishare legislation and sell anyway?”

      My question, too.

      This is why I want binding referendums. Why create great NZ Inc. assets so some future version of John Key can sell them to their mates at bargain basement prices?

      • Lan 2.2.1

        Greens recognise “Inc. Assets” as “natural assets” and environmental economists/accountants know (or will have to acknowledge in due course) that “Inc Assets” must be included as properly “valued” natural assets in the National Accounts.

        None of this is new and, if enshrined in legislation (no, not necessarily the RMA) natural asset valuation will be difficult to meddle with, even given a change of government, particularly as “climate change” requires measurement on the evidence (eg property insurance) and will increasingly need scientifically informed, accurate, numerical evidence for financial environmental valuation accounts.

  3. Richard Christie 3

    Great policy. One of the best in the bag, if not the very best.

    Why was if left so bloody late in the day?
    Too late for me, my vote is now parked elsewhere.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Probably to prevent National attacking it as much as possible.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        But you want National to attack it – so you can defend it vigorously and show them up for being Hollow Men with no new ideas.

        • Olwyn

          I think it is a significant and heartening policy. As to potentially showing up National’s hollowness in the defense of it, you are overlooking the climate in which these discussions currently take place. An interview is just as likely to go, “Yes, yes, Nz Inc, but tell me, what does Key’s choosing coffee and ginger crunch and your choosing sushi and water say about the differences between you?”

          • Colonial Viper

            There is that…until there are serious alternative media channels it’s not going to change. Even Dirty Politics/Hager did nothing but cause a few short lived behavioural ripples in the MSM

        • Macro

          Sorry CV but all Key has to say is “Yeh! Nah! It’s a stupid idea” and that is that – end of story. This will be the “sound bite” our “journo’s” will repeat. Dunne and dusted.

          • Hanswurst

            It’s a big problem. The standard template for headlines, regardless of an article’s context is “[Some bad stuff about Labour] – Key”.

      • TheContrarian 3.1.2

        “Why was if left so bloody late in the day?
        Too late for me, my vote is now parked elsewhere.”

        Just like I was trying to explain to you Draco.

    • TheContrarian 3.2

      “Why was if left so bloody late in the day?
      Too late for me, my vote is now parked elsewhere.”

      Exactly the point I have been making about early voting. Great to have the option but I think it should be used only if you have too

      • David H 3.2.1

        Which is why I have not voted yet I was thinking of Not voting Labour for the first time. But they will get my Electoral vote, probably wasted, because he’s up against Nathan Guy. BUT it’s the Party vote I am not sure about yet. But I got a few days yet.

  4. red blooded 4

    A smart policy, but pretty complicated to explain in the last week of the campaign. Plus, it seems to me that this election Labour has focused a lot of attention on economic reforms, which are pretty abstract and not the central concern of most voters. Key’s “steady hand” claims haven’t come under much scrutiny and it’s easy for him to write of policies like this as “extreme” or even (a phrase from the past) “nanny state”.

    I know Labour has announced minimum wage rises and more support for families with young children, but on the whole these issues haven’t dominated the debate. It’ll be interesting to see the impact this new policy has on the discussion, but my fear is that with the “Big Reveal” tomorrow and only a week to go it will be hard to argue it coherently in public. I hope I’m wrong, of course…

  5. Dialey 5

    Wait for the globalisation screamers and corporate rent seekers and TPP proponents to deride and pull this to shreds. It sounds good to me, but there are a lot of hugely vested interests in stopping such a policy being implemented

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1


      That’s exactly what will happen. The rich get really antsy when their source of unearned wealth is threatened.

  6. JRT 6

    Long overdue. Well done Labour.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      I do wish this policy had been released earlier – in fact the entire of Labour’s campaign appears to have run 2-3 weeks too late. It will be close but I think we will get it.

      • Chooky 6.1.1

        yes it should have been released earlier …but GOOD Policy!…and great visual advertising….lets hope this gets the airing it deserves.

      • mickysavage 6.1.2

        Need to spread it out. The media have been saying that Labour had run out of policy. No doubt they will now say we released it too late …

  7. Dakta Green 7

    This election campaign has not been focused on policy for good reason. We are rightly judging our leaders in light of ‘Dirty Politics.’

    The quality of policy must surely play second fiddle to Honesty, Ethics, and Truthfulness of our Leadership. We expect it of our business leaders and punish those who fall short. Finance company Directors spring to mind.

    Surely those to whom we grant the right to make laws affecting us all should be held to higher standards.

    The power of the ballot box looms. I predict the worst trouncing of the National Party in their history. From ‘Hollow Men to Shallow Man’ in 8 years is the death knell of National.

    NZ Inc confirms we as a country will be well served by our new Government in waiting.

  8. Wow! To think that between the status-quo and this is just a few votes. It’s one more reason to bang one’s head against the wall, if we get the same-old back, this time next week.

    Neoliberalism came in just as I started working. Even 30 years ago, with relative inexperience, it seemed obvious that models based on competition were all wrong for a country with a small population base, and where many things that could be competitvely supplied overseas were monopolies here. Even if you agreed with neoliberalism in principle, which many didn’t.

    This policy, properly implemented, is just what we need, in my opinion.

    NZ would suffer just as terribly from a move to state ownership of everything as it would from selling off all assets. The important word here is ‘strategic’.

    The government should not own things where there are low barriers to entry and enough market to keep many suppliers in business. Let people own those and make profits, and pay taxes.

    It isn’t a bad thing to have several telecom retailers, for example. Competition keeps prices reasonably right.

    What was bad was privatising the core of the telecom network – the bit that can only sustain one supplier, and where the cost of setting up in competition was prohibitive. That meant that the one supplier could maximise its revenue, knowing no-one was ever likely to undercut it. Remember paying 70c a minute for cellphone time?

    I try to look at it simplisticly. Governments tend to supply services on a cost or cost-plus basis, while the private sector operates on a market basis (what you will pay vs what a competitor will charge).

    A good example of how market pricing works is with dentistry. You would only pay a few dollars for a tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush, but when your tooth hurts really badly, the market value of a filling is whatever you’ll pay to stop the pain. And that’s generally whatever you can afford – sometimes, more. Now, imagine what would happen to prices if there was only one dentist company for the whole country.

    In the past, NZ has sold off some things that were sensible. And a lot more that weren’t.

    We mentioned the telecoms network core.

    Forests may seem like commercial investments and not part of a public sector, but their sale led to the exporting of raw timber, and many people currently on welfare or low-income jobs could instead have been established, apprentice-trained cabinetmakers, while NZ built high-value export industries, like Ikea furniture does, or boats. So, their retention could have offset much state support to families, often over several generations, that could have been avoided.

    In short, instead of paying welfare with taxes from low-paid workers, the government could have run the forests at cost or cost-plus, and benefitted from taxes from highly-skilled, higher-earning workers. Who knows, but the revenue generated from selling the forests may well have long been offset in 25 years of welfare costs and foregone tax-take.

    Similarly, Air NZ also looks like a business, but if privately-owned airlines increase their fares to fly here, our whole tourism sector would be ruined. So, like the forests, there are two ways to look at it. Which is why it had to be bought back.

    And the list goes on.

    Done well, this policy will identify those ‘Critical Success Factors’ (the things that, if we don’t protect them, we lose, big-time), and protect them and price them in such a way that higher-end manufacturers can export competitively. Seemingly, Cunliffe’s using the word ‘Strategic Assets’ where I’ve used ‘Critical Success Factors’ and that’s they key bit to it all.

    I’d better say this is just my opinion, and I’m not an economist.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      The government should not own things where there are low barriers to entry and enough market to keep many suppliers in business.

      What the government should own and run as a government service is, IMO, those services that are ubiquitous (everyone needs access to those services), massive amounts of R&D to develop the economy and military production.

  9. tinfoilhat 9

    Sounds a bit like a re-run of Muldoon’s ‘Think big’ to me.

    • Rich 9.1

      Yes well I’ve never been National but Think Big wasn’t necessarily a bad idea. It’s a little before my time so I’d have to have a closer look at it to make sure that I wasn’t up shit creek without a paddle but Taranaki looks like it’s doing pretty well these days. Who was there first, government or private industry?

      Even a stopped clock is right twice a day (b4 the non digital age anyway).

      • KJT 9.1.1

        Think big was mostly a success. The fire sale by Labour and National afterwards meant that private owners got most of the benefits however.
        Refinery. 3 million expansion before sale. 3 million sale price. 3 million in private profits in the first year.

        The problem is that they were debt financed, unlike our forestry, State houses and infrastructure in the past which was successfully State financed, otherwise called money printing. How both NZ and USA extracted themselves from the 30’s depression.

        Also they were not to know, at the time, that the USA would be changing a few Governments, to reverse steeply rising oil prices, which dropped the initial value of the projects.

        And, yes, Maui A was one of them.

        Funny that the same people who claimed NZ was bankrupt after Muldoon are happy with levels of debt, with no corresponding assets, now, which would have horrified him.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Yep, there was nothing fundamentally wrong with Think Big – it was just the debt financing. Think Big is pretty much what the government should be doing all the time. It would be what develops our economy from a low wage agricultural economy into high tech, high wage economy.

          It is, in fact, where a space program would fit in very well as it would push high tech R&D and manufacturing – exactly as it did in the USA. Ramped up over time to $5b to $10b yearly government investment and we’d soon see our nation developing to where it should be rather than going backwards to becoming a Banana Republic. Our young would have something to do when they graduated.

          • sockpuppet

            “It is, in fact, where a space program would fit in very well as it would push high tech R&D and manufacturing – exactly as it did in the USA. Ramped up over time to $5b to $10b yearly government investment and we’d soon see our nation developing to where it should be rather than going backwards to becoming a Banana Republic. Our young would have something to do when they graduated.”

            WTF are you smoking bro ?

          • greywarbler

            If we can only get onto green tech instead of space tech there will be just as much advanced scientific and technological thinking and understanding. Iit will be of more benefit to us and less tied up in 20th century subservient military and fantasmagoric living in Mars mining in Jupiter? nightmares.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Most of today’s green tech originated or were further developed into usable products in space tech.

              • Colonial Viper

                So how about focussing resources on relevant Green Tech, instead of as a by-product of useless Space Tech.

                • weka

                  I’d only support a space programme if its purpose was to return the expats to Planet Key.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  A space program has the capability of getting NZers behind it the same way that they get behind The America’s Cup, rugby and The Volvo Ocean Race with all the same benefits and a few more (A space program covers pretty much the entire scientific field). Meanwhile green tech will just get continuously undermined by National and other RWNJs which would be less likely with a space program (There’s very good reasons why the Republicans haven’t shut down NASA – they provide a hell of a lot of basic research to the private sector).

                  And being in space itself isn’t useless.Don’t want to mine NZ so as to save the environment? Fine, lets go mine the moon and the asteroids.

                  • weka

                    Re the last bit, we don’t need more resources and accessing more resources off planet will increase all our other problems (over population, pollution etc). This is why concepts of free energy are so wrong headed. Our problems aren’t caused by living in a finite world, they caused by wanting perpetual growth in a finite world. Eventually the moon and asteroids wouldn’t be enough either.

                  • TheContrarian

                    “Don’t want to mine NZ so as to save the environment? Fine, lets go mine the moon and the asteroids.”

                    Cool but you have to mine to get the resources to build the technology to mine the moon/asteroids. And given you think we can produce everything we need in New Zealand we’d have to mine here and given NZ doesn’t have many of the rare earth metals needed to create a large scale viable space program we’d have to trade but given you don’t think we should trade offshore as we can mine what we need here I think you have created yourself quite the conundrum, Draco.

                    Be peach and dissect this for me because it is a quandary.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Two things:

                      1. We actually do have enough minerals here
                      2. I’m not totally against trade. What I’m against is trade stopping the development of our economy.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      And the third is that I’m not against mining in NZ.

    • Murray Olsen 9.2

      What I didn’t like about Think Big was that some of the projects were very much “Socialise the risks, privatise the profits.” We saw this with Maui gas and Comalco, if my memory still works. I don’t think Cunliffe is proposing this. The thing I don’t like about this one is the important role that seems to be planned for mining and drilling. I think we need to plan and act towards the end of these industries, not make them strategically important.

  10. Stuart Munro 10

    It won’t need too much explaining – the public will grasp it fairly easily, the Gnats and their media dancing bears will pretend to be confused – close enough to their default state to seem pretty normal for them. It’s probably not a game changer at this point, but it may win Labour the next election if they grow it well.

  11. rich the other 11

    Future oil and gas revenues ? .
    There won’t be any new $s coming from off shore Taranaki , labour’s new policy is to ban any new ventures in the taranaki basin , something about a dolphin .
    Interesting to see labour sinking even further in the polls , norman couldn’t stop smiling on Q&A this morning .
    Do we really want to reinvest in the assets that were sold ?? or even new ones ,

    • Paul 11.1

      Your concern is too transparent.

    • Rich 11.2

      How much were they sold for? How much has been invested since. Base the offer on that allowing for inflation. (because undoubtedly they were sold cheaply). Nobody gets ripped off. If the seller complains that they are then we’ll just point out the original transaction.

      Now should we buy? What is the future revenue stream. How much is that worth in today’s dollars?

      A decision that is therefore easy peasy to make.

    • Lan 11.3

      Has been done before, for those who are aged enough or bright enough to recall! I can see Mr Cunliffe has done a course at Harvard…even if some time in the past. Is this a “bloody smart move”? Too little too late one suspects.

    • Yeah, investing in profitable enterprise is a total mug’s game, I mean who even does that? 🙄

  12. Valleyman 12

    Don’t tell Key, he will want to sell it.

  13. TheContrarian 13

    This touches on a point I have raised a couple of times in recent days. If you have voted early for Winston in the belief that he is the only one who has properly committed to buying back assets you might suddenly regret that decision and wished you had waited to hear all the policy announcements and gone for Labour.

    My 2.3c adjusted for inflation

  14. Ad 14

    Just love this. Great to see them tying it with NZSuper in management.

    I hope in time – as I have long advocated – that they pull the ACC fund management and NZSuper Fund into the same management.

    Finally, our own little Temasek!

    • Lanthanide 14.1

      “I hope in time – as I have long advocated – that they pull the ACC fund management and NZSuper Fund into the same management.”

      It’s not a good idea to put all your eggs into one basket. Having these funds separately minimizes risk.

      Also the super fund has a very different goal than the ACC fund. The super fund is designed to begin being drawn down around ~2030 or so, but ACC is managing for a longer / perpetual term.

      Same reason as making a government-backed Kiwisaver fund managed by the superannuation fund looks good on paper, but in practice it’s not as straight forward.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        It’s not a good idea to put all your eggs into one basket. Having these funds separately minimizes risk.

        Well there’s a lot of ways to manage the risk even within a single large fund with hundreds of billions of different assets. In some ways the co-ordination and visibility of asset allocation from within a single fund might prove a better risk management approach than two funds not able to see what the other is doing in different market places.

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.2

        It’s not a good idea to put all your eggs into one basket. Having these funds separately minimizes risk.

        Actually, it does nothing of the kind. All it would do is increase the bureaucracy necessary to manage the funds. What decreases risk is having the funds spread across many investments which is the whole point of having such funds.

        • Ad

          More buying power to the public good.
          More public good buyers standing in the market.
          More security for older people who rely on those funds.

  15. millsy 15

    Looks like they saved the best till last here. Too bad it won’t win the election so I hope that they roll this policy over for 2017. Surely even the tradies would like this….

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      Actually, it’s entirely possible that it will win the Left the election. It’s different enough and far closer to what NZers have wanted from their governments for the last thirty years that it may be the game breaker, the economic revolution that many of us have wanted for a long time.

    • greywarbler 15.2

      Always a little cheer germ.

  16. jackp 16

    Q&A tried to rip it apart calling it too complicated. I could see where Cunliffe was going with this the first time I heard it and it is a brilliant idea. Cunliffe looked good on Q&A but where do they get these commentators?? Always putting Labour down while Key was lying through his teeth but that is another story.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.1

      Cunliffe looked good on Q&A but where do they get these commentators??

      From the RWNJ monkey barrel.

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.1

        And Deborah Mahuta-Coyle, former Labour Party staffer and candidate, now doing PR for the NZ petroleum lobby

        • mickysavage

          Yep this is so weird and they did not state her position. Really weird.

          The only two lefties worth going to for comment is Helen Kelly and Robert Reid. The rest just do not get it.

          The criticism is weird too. Labour has opposed privatisation all the way through. Of course there was going to be a proposal for buying the shares back. And the Norwegian way of doing things is pretty compelling.

      • Hanswurst 16.1.2

        … Right-Wing Nut-Monkeys: swinging on John Key’s nuts and gobbling his banana since 2005.

  17. Local Kiwi 17

    tinfoil hat
    You are joking?

    This policy a think big?

    This shows why the Nat’s and their Tin hat cronies hang on to any Nah poo poo policy plank when they spot a dangerously good idea advanced from the opposition.

    We were starting our family when my adoped hero a National P.M. R Muldoon come to power.

    Strangely as a traditional Labour voter we actually benefited by Muldoon’s Think Big projects.

    Muldoon was truly the meaning of old National, which meant for the people. He did not like big banks dictating monetary policy and high interest rates.

    He carried off think big well, as car-less days were liveable.

    He always looked after in his mind “the ordinary kiwi Bloke”

    He said so repeatedly, who many didn’t like him he was a borderline socialist.

    Keys version is just a sellout mob, “just sell what you can’ con artist we should be worried about if they return.

    David & our new labour for the people must sell this “Kiwi Inc.” policy repeatedly this week as the policy to save our country for future generations’.

    Labour’s “Kiwi Inc. to save our country”.

    • mike 17.1

      This sounds vaguely like ‘rehabilitate Muldoon month’.
      Not so fast.
      Muldoon unilaterally ditched the NZ Super Fund as one of his first actions.
      Portrayed it as creeping socialism with the dancing cosack ads.
      We’ve since discovered that was a really stupid idea.
      Oh, and the man was a shouting bully.
      We cheered when he was chucked out!

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.1

        the ‘National Super’ that Muldoon introduced was universal and affordable. It continues to be very affordable now and into the future. Of course, it would’ve been nice to have that major sovereign fund going right now, as well.

        • millsy

          The NZ Superannuation Corporation would have been broken up and parcelled off to the financial industry in the 1980’s like everything else.

        • KPC

          I Can’t find the history of the Super Fund to support this – but if I remember rightly, Muldoon’s government of the day, did not introduce the NZ Super Fund, but ended up destroying it?
          Did he not give the people of NZ the ‘opportunity’ to get the funds they had paid in to the fund returned, matched for every dollar by the government – then the fund was closed?
          Too far back now to remember the facts clearly, but I do remember my left leaning parents being furious with the move.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Muldoon destroyed the paid into super-fund that the previous Labour government had set up and introduced National Super which would be paid for from general taxation. It was nothing more than massive vote buying.

  18. “NZ Inc – it belongs to you”

    I like the sentiment but can’t stand the corporate speak.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Yes that is one shite element of it. I can’t quite decide whether it’s super clever undermining of the neolib agenda or whether it is not so clever buying into it…

      • weka 18.1.1

        Or is completely oblivious to it, which IMO is worse. However I decided today to try and not let that little matter detract from the important bits 😉

        • Colonial Viper

          Yes that is a good call I believe.

          • quartz

            I think it’s a clever move to hijack the positive perceptions of the NZ Inc brand the right have created among apolitical Kiwis and attach them to a left-wing policy.

            The funny thing is the right have always use “NZ Inc” as a label to try to make rapacious capitalism sound patriotic. They’ve lost that now.

        • It’s not a case of obliviousness.

    • crocodill 18.2

      Stuff like that always reminds me of George Bush reading the riot act:”…those oil wells belong to… the people of Iraq…”.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.3

      Yeah, that gets to me as well. We’re not incorporated, we’re a country and nation.

      • Kat 18.3.1

        Agree, drop the “inc”….we are a country not a corporate business.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Um, the proposal is for an agency called NZ Inc, not to change the name of the country. Some perspective please 🙂

    • Hanswurst 18.4

      On the bright side, at least they didn’t give it a stupid name like “Kiwishare”… oh, wait a minute…

  19. hoom 19

    I am very excited about this.
    Its what should have been done in the ’80s or even the ’70s (FU Nats!).

    Sovereign Wealth Funds are key to the economic success of many other countries, not least Singapore & like with Capital Gains tax we’re currently one of the odd ones out who doesn’t have a proper one.

  20. Steve Wrathall 20

    How about Labour’s pollies trial this policy by putting their own money into “NZ Inc”, and after a few years show what amazing returns it has made. If fact they’ll become so rich through investing their hard earned do-re-mi in a Napier-Gisborne railway that they’ll be able to retire as MPs…won’t they?

    • quartz 20.1

      And once again the whacky libertarian right show they have no grasp of economics.

    • Sans Cle 20.3

      Now you are talking Steve! Micro-financing within NZInc….. Peer to peer lending and putting a halt onto the wholesale current exodus of our profits out of this country to Australia, through debt.
      Not sure of the title also – but seeing as everything has been reduced to utilitarian terms, it is in a language that suits the Zeitgeist.
      I love the idea, but also am aware of pitfalls of valuing natural assets; reducing them to monetary terms which I don’t agree with. Value under neoliberal economics equates with money; value in non-neoliberal paradigm equates with what is important to people (certainly not money……as money is only a vehicle to attain or achieve other higher order objectives).
      But love the policy, and room to be creative in how it will be applied.
      Yippee. Out with the conservatism and dearth of innovation of the last 6 years. Bring on benign change.

    • tricledrown 20.4

      Steve Wrathall Any investment would be better than SCF $1.6 billion loss.
      Then the Cullen fund has kept growing at a faster rate than market average same with the the ACC fund geeze Steve you might have an Idea tat works for a change Don,t tell anyone in National as they have no original ideas they just steel them from the left and call them their own!

  21. dave 21

    wow we need to get behind this winstone Russell its here buying back the assets and more i could see winstone as the minister for nz inc

  22. Poission 22

    Each SOE and Mixed Ownership Model company will have a Kiwi Share created and held by the Crown under new legislation

    It would be nice if they would provide some constraints on the manipulation of public assets ( being natural monopolies ) to also avoid tax on the basis of tax minimization.There is no reason as the redistribution by tax or dividend is into the common purse.

    A good example is transpowers dealings with a well known money laundering bank, and Eaglesons argument “made good commercial sense for Transpower…and directly benefited… the country as a whole” fails



  23. MrSmith 23

    “But even more importantly it will use the profits of those assets, and our future oil and gas revenues to grow the a sustainable economy and regain public ownership of more of our wealth.”

    I’m no english nazi believe me but ” to grow the a sustainable economy” corrected it’s still offensive ‘to ‘Grow’ a sustainable economy’.

    Labour just don’t get it, dribble like lets GROW a sustainable econ……….. wealth …… with profits from the poisons (oil&gas) that are destroying the planet wtf, and Labour wonder why they have been and will continue leaking votes to the Greens.

    I can hear you already, lets just use the rest of that oil&gas to grow a sustainable economy, yeah right! The sign above the bar reads “free beer tomorrow” but to………. and the junky is going to clean up after this one last hit, and anyway what oil&gas? National just spent 6 years looking, what makes you think Labour will find it.

    • tinfoilhat 23.1

      That’s why anyone with a left leaning outlook should vote Green in preference to Labour.

    • KPC 23.2

      On the nail Mr Smith, green tech – not poisonous tech is the way for us to go. But it won’t happen overnight, we just need to be there early.

    • Hanswurst 23.3

      I suspect there are a number in the Labour caucus who would privately be very happy if they got into government with a sizeable Green component. It would provide a mandate to run a more left-wing platform and show the remnants of the soft neo-liberal Right of the party that their day in the sun was well and truly over. Of course, all of that would need to be handled very deftly, but it’s better than any of the alternatives.

  24. Tracey 24

    i had hoped we would see lees of this brainwashing nz inc meme.

    We are not axcompanybut anation of peope who deserve to thrive not just survive…

  25. SPC 25

    Is this policy consistent with buying back the sold power company shares?

    Buying back shares with a cost of public debt lower than the dividend return makes good fiscal policy sense. However the case for taking on the higher debt is diminished if one then commits the dividend flow for spending.

    This policy appears to be an alternative to buying back the shares sold off.

    And there will be budget consequences – the 50% of power company shares still owned generate good dividends and taking them out of the budget revenue stream has fiscal costs – diminished funds for spending on education, health, state housing and alleviating child poverty and Cullen Fund inputs and debt repayment.

  26. DS 26

    I fully approve of the policy, but would note that any future Government would be able to repeal the legislation and privatise anyway. That’s the way parliamentary sovereignty works: one Parliament cannot bind another.

    • Rich 26.1

      It’s not really the case if you have a big enough mate in the background. The TPP for example is exactly the example that you’re looking for, as is for example writing into a contract with a private company their ability to sue you if you change the rules, or make it so that their business model suffers, or is perceived to suffer (& Judges always seem to be pretty naive financially wise), some loss.

      • DS 26.1.1

        There’s an old case called Rothmans v. Attorney General involving the Government reneging on an agreement over tobacco advertising. Parliament changed the rules, and Rothmans sued. The courts threw the case out because you can’t bind Parliament via contract either.

        What the future Parliament would simply do would to repeal the legislation, with a proviso that all contractual obligations be voided.

  27. greywarbler 27

    Labour says it is going to improve and encourage coastal shipping including ports. That will be a useful step forward.

    Ports and coastal shipping
    Our port system suffers from a lack of coordination, which results in ports being
    played off against each other by international shipping lines and over-capitalisation.
    This is a poor outcome for New Zealand.

    At the same time, coastal shipping is under-developed, resulting n higher than
    necessary economic and environmental costs as freight that could travel by
    sea is carried on the roads.

    Labour will
    Develop a national ports strategy
    Implement the “Sea Change” strategy we launched in 2008, which aims to revitalise and transform coastal shipping in New Zealand.

    Allocate specificfunding for Coastal shipping
    from the National Land Transport Fund

  28. tricle up 28

    This is a significant advancement to building a sustainable base with cost savings and integration ,who wants to live in a sustainable world,who wants to receive a reduced inheritance through lack of future proofing on climate change .There is much to do within the developing green technology field .A visit to the sciencedaily occasionally is sure to raise conscious levels ..Labour has my vote locked in, this is socially responsible..

  29. Local Kiwi 29

    Grey Warbler,

    We must adhere to all transportation projects that will be better sustained long term this requires both a rail and sea policy as EU and UK has now.

    You talk of shipping to be just a panacea answer to the issue.

    We need better land transport options also, not just expensive road transport option that IPENZ studies have proven to Government already that road freight cost is far to costly, to be sustainable long term.

    Steve talking of the Napier Gisborne rail is a classic case in point.

    Now the rail is mothballed, the road cost has exculpated out of control & become unaffordable.
    To make that single hilly winding unsafe road a safe future proof road transport only option billions of serious money would be required.

    Rail uses 5 to 9 times less fuel to move one tonne one KM compared to road freight.

    The cost by road freight per tonne is 2 to 4 times the cost, and just think of the cost of tyres where rail has none.

    Short line rail in USA is now a new booming transport industry
    where closed short haul lines are reopening at a breath-taking pace with over 500 now operating with solid profits.

    Steve had an idea we could use here.

    BERL report proved this rail line would be probable if used as a short line and government wouldn’t listen possibly due to Dirty political lobby from Oil industry + Foreign road transport groups.

    Bad way to go ahead long term without rail in the mix, and environment would suffer also.

    • Draco T Bastard 29.1

      We need better land transport options also, not just expensive road transport option that IPENZ studies have proven to Government already that road freight cost is far to costly, to be sustainable long term.


    • greywarbler 29.2

      @ Local Kiwi 29
      You’re right. I was thinking about coastal shipping and did a little search about it. I knew that it had fallen off badly over past decades so was pleased by Labour’s inclusion in policy.

      The lack of adequate transport to regions definitely has to be addressed and not just through roading. It scares me that the term zombie regions should be used by a NZ economist, along with the idea of abandoning them. In the USA some areas, ports, have become legally bankrupt. Our slavish following of zombie economics must be stopped, and this laissez faire attitude permanently buried.

      Gisborne is being stifled by being cheated of infrastructure that a modern country should automatically provide, and a well-made railway track with efficient railway stock to take containers, with people carriage also, is essential.

      Northland is desperate to get its roads upgraded and weatherproof roadways provided. For those interested this is the background to losing the railway which used to go to Okaihau. It was much used apparently, though needed investment to maintain standard. Deregulation killed it off, and now the roads as alterntives, are inadequate also. Poor governmental commitment to the region.
      Wikipedia –
      On 29 October 1923, a branch line railway was opened to Okaihau from the junction with the North Auckland Line at Otiria. … The railway line thus became known as the Okaihau Branch and Okaihau became New Zealand’s northernmost railway terminus. With Okaihau being on the main State Highway north (SH1) it became the transshipping point for goods from rail onto road and vice versa…..
      The northern terminus was changed from Opua to Okaihau, and the railway line rose in prominence and importance. The railcars provided a considerable improvement in service and were very popular throughout their service duration. However, mechanical faults plagued the railcars and they were cancelled in July 1967. Mixed trains continued to operate to Whangarei until 21 June 1976, when the line became freight-only. However, declining freight volumes due to deregulation of the transport industry in 1983 meant that the line did not last much longer, and it closed on 1 November 1987.

      Today, the Okaihau railway station platform edge remains in its former location beside a flat area that was once the railway yard, and just to the north of the town is a tunnel on the ill-fated section to Rangiahua, New Zealand’s northernmost railway tunnel.
      There have been calls and proposals to reopen the Okaihau Branch to carry forestry traffic but to date nothing has yet come to fruition.

      And now the forestry needs are damaging the roads and health and safety and blighting the lives of residents along the forestry routes.
      Historic on Northland routes
      Save Our Rail group
      Work on modelling the rail system

      Basic infrastructure serving business, enterprise and industry is unimportant while providing nice routes and pretty places for people who have the time, the money, and the security of well-paid employment to take time off on cycling holidays is paramount for government expenditure. A holiday highway for cyclists is considered to be built on the railway track land.

      That is interesting about short line rail in USA. Will look it up.

  30. lurgee 30

    Six months ago, this might have made a difference. Now, it is too late for people to absorb its importance and for it to catch people’s imagination. Why the Hell are Labour announcing things like this 5 seconds before polling day, especially when it will immediately get eaten off the news by Dotcom’s (doubtless underwhelming) big reveal?

    • Draco T Bastard 30.1

      Dotcom’s (doubtless underwhelming) big reveal?

      Something tells me that it’s not going to be underwhelming.

      • lurgee 30.1.1

        The more overwhelming it is, the less attention will be paid to this Good Idea.

        Also, dumping it on us now, post-Lochinver, makes it look rushed and knee-jerk.

        I wish I could believe that Dotcom’s reveal will be devastating.

        I predict, alas, it will be just enough to get everyone here Really Excited, but will have little impact beyond.

  31. ExStatic 31

    What is this policy? I have only seen it discussed here, everywhere else it is Dotcom, Dotcom, Dotcom…..

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