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Only 6,500 ‘mums and dads’ for Air NZ

Written By: - Date published: 7:13 am, November 23rd, 2013 - 69 comments
Categories: privatisation - Tags:

It just gets worse. Only 6,500 ‘retail investors’ bought shares in the Air NZ asset sale. These are the so-called ‘mums and dads’ who National said would flock to buy into the asset sales. 0.15% of the population. And these are some rich ‘mums and dads’ – they bought $23,000 of shares each on average. Let’s face facts: the asset sales have failed in their own terms. National has failed New Zealand.

69 comments on “Only 6,500 ‘mums and dads’ for Air NZ”

  1. One Anonymous Knucklehead 1

    The right wing justifications will be interesting: the Lusk/Slater Tea Party types don’t care about the outcome so long as it’s the opposite of what the Left would do, but The Herald, for example, or that small portion of the National Party that still attempts to act in New Zealand’s interests?

    Shifting the goalposts. Coming soon from a wingnut near you.

  2. Dumrse 2

    In life, you only get so many heart beats and yet here you are, still dribbling on about something that is all over and done with, save yourself the heart ache and let it go. It’s done.

    • karol 2.1

      Yeah. That’s John key’s MO. Doesn’t care about the damage to to NZ and Kiwis. Destroy the country for every day Kiwis, move on, no conscience or guilt.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1

        I like the naive way this one says “it’s done”, as though the whole SOE model isn’t going to have to be dismantled and re-organised back to public utilities with no regard whatsoever for market-fundamentalist sacred cows.

        Maybe another way to tackle it would be to offer decent subsidies for domestic power generation (solar etc) and require the rentiers to buy power from us. Strengthen our power grid, reduce the impact of storm damage, and socialise the profits.

      • mike kanara 2.1.2

        Yep, something they teach you at Merril lynch.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.2

      Yes, you must be right, and this issue has no chance whatsoever of affecting the outcome of the 2014 election.

      Clearly, since only 75% or so of the voting population is against the whole charade, there’ll be no way to employ that sentiment. None at all. You make perfect sense.

      For crying out loud can we have some better wingnuts please!

    • karol 2.3

      And I guess that now Key has pretty much conceded defeat in the referendum, I guess we’ll hear no more justifications via having a “mandate”.

    • Paul 2.4

      Sociopathic as ever.

  3. Disraeli Gladstone 3

    Did the government ever make a strong case for retail investors to buy into Air NZ? That was certainly their argument for the energy companies (and was by and large a failure, with a slight exception for Mighty River Power) but as a retail investor, I would consider buying into an airline as poor advice. Certainly when it was sold above the actual share price, which is actually quite rare and the government did get a good deal on.

    To be fair, the entire ‘mums and dads’ argument didn’t stand up to logic. It would have stood up if you were only selling one asset. But after Mighty River, a lot of people simply didn’t have another sizable amount of money to cash out on a second batch of shares.

    Furthermore, any sensible investor brought at the back-end of the GFC and are already sitting on some nice capital gains.

    • felix 3.1

      “To be fair, the entire ‘mums and dads’ argument didn’t stand up to logic. It would have stood up if you were only selling one asset. But after Mighty River, a lot of people simply didn’t have another sizable amount of money to cash out on a second batch of shares.”

      Nah, it never stood up even for one asset.

      Most of us didn’t have spare cash lying around before the MRP float, hence the total number of investors was bugger fuck all.

    • alwyn 3.2

      This posting is pretty much a total furphy. The Air New Zealand share sale sell-down is nothing like the sales of the power companies. Air New Zealand was already a listed company with about 27% of the shares already being privately held.
      On 1 Aug 2012, according to the companies annual report there were 24,372 shareholders holding parcels of less that 10,000 shares. These are the “Mum and Dad” shareholders you are talking about. “Mum and Dad” shareholders therefore already hold shares if they want to and the sell-down by the Government didn’t have to go to them. Anyone who wanted to has been able (for the last 25 years anyway) to own the shares.

      • lprent 3.2.1

        Obviously we don’t know the distributions of shares in this latest theft. However, it would appear that either very few brought less than 10k shares or a few shareholders brought an awful lot of shares. I suspect the latter.

        But even if all of them weren’t already shareholders, the the combined total of small holders in Air NZ from your own figures would have been less than 1% of the potential “mom&dad” investors in NZ who already owned it. So the remaining 99% have gone from holding 76.5% of the whole company to holding just over 51%.

        The money raised once you consider 12 years inflation is probably less than the cost that the government bailed out Air NZ for back in 2001.

        Have to say that this government has the reverse midas touch. Everything that they sell is worth less than anyone would expect. But after all they’re only doing receivers job – taking stolen goods and flogging it off to their mates for a pittance.

        • alwyn 3.2.1.1

          I would tend to agree with most of what you say in the first three paragraphs, except for some corrections to your numbers. The Government held 72.85% of the shares before the sale (804.2 million of 1,104 million shares and sold 20% of the shares in the company (221 million) to go down to about 52.8%.
          I took my numbers out of the annual report for 2013 and the details of the sale in the paper. I don’t know where your 76.5% and 51% would come from.
          The best thing Michael Cullen should have done was sell down to 51% in 2007 when the shares were over $3.00, On the other hand $1.65 is better than the $0.85 they were last year in April.
          You may be right about the price of a share compared to the price of a share when they bought them, although I don’t know what including dividends would do. I don’t think I have the time to work it out fully.
          You will not be surprised, I am sure, that I totally disagree with paragraph 4.
          Personally I do own some shares in the company. I probably shouldn’t as I doubt that the airline industry, in total has ever made any money at all though history.
          Governments should keep out as well. Governments are terrible at running businesses as they will never admit they have made a mistake. Private firms that don’t admit mistakes run out of money in the end.

          • Francis 3.2.1.1.1

            “Governments should keep out as well. Governments are terrible at running businesses as they will never admit they have made a mistake. Private firms that don’t admit mistakes run out of money in the end.”

            You mean like the way Air New Zealand screwed up in it’s purchase of Ansett which caused it to almost go bankrupt, while it was still in 100% private ownership?

            The NZ public (via the government) was forced to take over in order to prevent us loosing a very important asset (for a small, isolated country like NZ, we rely a lot on air travel). Ever since, Air NZ has done very well under mostly public ownership.

            So really, I don’t buy the argument that government is supposedly horrible at business.
            For cases where a SoE is performing badly (eg NZ Post, TVNZ), my solution would be to stop running them like business and instead run them as a service to the public. Selling them off to (overseas) private interests will only cause the assets to be run to the ground, customers, employees, and the NZ public to be overcharged and provided an inferier service, while profits drift into the hands of the 1% (often overseas).

  4. James Thrace 4

    Thats why participating in the referendum is vitally important.

    While many think the outcome is foregone conclusion and some, such as our inept Prime Minister believe that the outcome is well known it is vitally important to still tick “NO” on the referendum.

    Ticking NO sends a message to not just the government, but to the people and the media that despite not campaigning on Asset Sales, contrary to popular opinion, making a hash of the offerings and spending more than expected on selling even just 49% of our assets to the 1%, New Zealanders are against asset sales.

    With over 70% in recent polls voicing their opposition to asset sales, a subsequent corresponding turnout in the postal vote will have serious ramifications.

    Unfortunately, if local body turnout is any indicator, it is highly probable that fewer than 30% will return their ballots.

    Should the NO vote be around 20% of that, the media will trumpet it as indicative of an overwhelming indicator of support for the assets being sold off.

    So what can we do?

    1) Talk to your colleagues and encourage them to vote to “send a message”
    2) Get your neighbours to vote to “send a message”
    3) Your local networks in sport, community or volunteer groups – vote to “send a message”

    What is the message we want to send?

    That our assets were built by our grandparents and parents for all New Zealanders.
    Selling off these assets will mean a higher cost of living for everyone.
    The Government has lost $249million in income each year.

    In perspective, the first year of loss income earnings could have covered the costs (in a single year) of;
    – Pike River Compensation (3.4M)
    – Adult Education Classes (23M)
    – Feed the Kids Bill (100M)
    – Paying Parliamentary Cleaners a living wage (25M)
    – Paying out 100% land value for Red Zoned residents – up from the 50% offered (around 15M)

    That’s a total of $166.4M, with $82.6M remaining.

    Remember, nearly 20M of those figures are one off costs.

    For the sake of ideology and feathering the nests of the few, dividends of $249M each year would have covered key issues that this government refuses to acknowledge as issues in getting New Zealand back on the road to becoming a society of participation, and creating a fair society.

    Voting NO in this referendum sends a clear message to the government that they are treading dangerous ground.

    If even a 50% turnout can be achieved with a 45% response rate of NO – with 50% of voter turnout sending a message that asset sales are not to be ignored, will leave the media playing a dangerous game if they try to frame it as an “us against them” viewpoint, which really when you think about it, is the entire point.

    But let them try because if you try to turn “us” against “them” WE will win everytime.

  5. jcuknz 5

    Labour would increase taxes National sells share of what people already own and they immediately take a hair-cut …. same difference?
    The poor do not take part so it is a tax on the rich, sort of Labour policy?
    I have voted for the sales simply as a protest vote against the organisers wasting taxpapers money on a non-binding referendum.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Couple of million tax payers dollars cost to run the referendum. Couple of hundred million tax payers dollars gift to investment banks and PR firms to run the asset sales.

      I suggest that you maybe protesting against the wrong thing.

      • jcuknz 5.1.1

        Assuming your figures are corect the couple of million is pure waste at least the couple hundred has produced a return for the government and soaked up spare cash out of the ecconomy better than borrowing. Instead of creating bigger returns for Aussie Banks it helps the government do useful things in the country.

        • Naturesong 5.1.1.1

          Except that the cost of borrowing the money is less than the amount of lost dividends.

          And the cost of selling the damn things would have paid interest on a similar sized loan for the first two years alone.

          And it looks like the books will be showing a net negative of somewhere betrween $120M and $200M per annum (cost of servicing a similar sized loan vrs lost dividends).

          Quite apart from now being hamstrung in terms of long term domestic energy policy, the numbers alone prove its a really stupid thing to do.

          The treasury told them that before they started, so did several economic commentators, as well as all of the opposition parties.

          I see the $9M spent on the referendum an investment. The return hopefully being that it will stop National from selling KiwiBank.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.1.1.1.1

            …and provide a mandate to re-acquire our property on our terms.

          • Treetop 5.1.1.1.2

            Key says that the election win in 2011 gave him the mandate to sell assets from four energy companies and Air NZ. Key is going to ignore the referendum on asset sales.

            Key thinks he can pick and chose the result of a mandate. (I expect the referendum result will be no to asset sales).

            I suppose it is too much to hope for that Genesis shares are not sold. Then there would be some sort of comparison between Mighty River Power/Meridian and Genesis.

            The 2008 recession and the Christchurch earthquakes have been costly for the government. The asset sales are of the governments own making and have been a disaster.

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.2.1

              Interestingly, the Christchurch Earthquake rebuild should have been a huge opportunity for the NAT Govt to capitalise on…if they’d managed it correctly. An excuse to have thousands of young people entering the trades, massive employment in construction, boost to satisfaction with the govt through a well led EQC etc.

              Instead it’s going to screw the NATs.

              • Treetop

                Christchurch is a double disaster.

                14,000 work visa’s were issued from mid 2012 – mid 2013. Filipinos make up the bulk. They work long hours, live in cramped conditions and probably are reluctant to complain incase they lose their visa.

      • Fisiani 5.1.2

        9 million dollars wasted on the referendum actually. 4 billion dollars raised so far to spend on assets such as hospitals schools and the rebuild of Christchurch and every sold asset still majority owned by the Government.

        • David H 5.1.2.1

          30 Million wasted on Tiwai point
          approx 500 Million WASTED on the asset sales as payments to the rich bankers.
          180 Million per ANNUM (That means yearly) Lost.

  6. tricledrown 6

    Dumrse jucknz
    Having some titford moments.
    No doubt AirNZ will hit turbulence again and the taxpayer will have to bail it out or if Nactional are in they will let it gone under.

    • jcuknz 6.1

      It is only dumbarse jcuknz and other lefties who bother to come to this site to express dismay and annoyance at the foolish writings … occasionally. It is correct that people tend to only read what they agree with.

  7. Ad 7

    With Key preparing to stop the asset sales programme, he can see the polls turning and has determined the choice that it is better to be humiliated by Cunliffe over it for a few months and let Christmas settle things, than lose the entire tide of public opinion.

    A new year, an almighty reshuffle, and an absolutely spectacular budget 2014, are Key’s last chance.

    What a choice.

    • Rogue Trooper 7.1

      a reading of this Article suggests Key has his back-side covered as he escapes commitment to selling down Genesis.

      • Ad 7.1.1

        Asset sales are this governments’ signature policy.

        Everyone knows – including the Prime Minister – what that scale of policy reversal would mean to the electorate and more particularly to his base and funders.

        • Rogue Trooper 7.1.1.1

          ‘as’, may have been better to be ‘if’.

        • Naturesong 7.1.1.2

          When did asset sales become their signature policy?

          Labour campaigned on a CGT and warning people that National intended to sell assets.

          National campaigned on welfare reform, restructuring the public sector, and governing in a similar fashion to their first term.
          Asset sales were well down the list and they said they would only do it if given a mandate.

          That National campaigned on it is revisionist.

          First Week: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/5918104/Election-Campaign-2011-One-down-three-weeks-to-go

          • alwyn 7.1.1.2.1

            The article you quote from Stuff actually shows that Asset sales were very much to the fore of the campaign. The article gives four question posed to each leader, and their responses.
            Goff was asked his opinion of one National policy. That was the plan to sell a minority stake in the power companies. Obviously Stuff thought that it was the most important National policy.
            Both leaders were asked three questions that were the same. What they would do in the first 100 days, what they thought of the campaign to date, and what Cabinet they would pick.
            Key was then asked his view of a Labour policy, which he answered.
            Naturally Key didn’t speak about asset sales since it wasn’t a matter for the first 100 days.

            • Naturesong 7.1.1.2.1.1

              Yes, it was Labour that made it a centrepiece, not National.

              National when saked about it had a very softly softly approach.
              I’m still trying to find the video where Key states that he wouldn’t rush the sales, there would be a thorough conversation about it after the election and they would not proceed unless they had a mandate to sell.

              However for the last 2 years since the election I keep hearing that it was the main policy Nationals campaigned on. Thats simply not true.

    • Paul 7.2

      I reckon the plan is to get all the bad and unpopular news out of the way on 2013(deep sea oil, Pike River, asset sales ) then hope a growing economy in 2014, trumpeted loudly by the corporate media, will do the business for them.
      Labour and Greens should plan for such a strategy.
      With the media against them, it’ll be a challenge but keeping these stories in the news in 2014 will be important.
      Watch out for other bread and circuses tricks.

      • Ad 7.2.1

        Yes but you are only partially right. Watch for the upcoming polls.

        The sucking sound is the tide going out on John Key.

        It is certainly true that the economy is expanding and unemployment is likely to fall. In that case – as we have seen over countless elections – it is much harder to win if you are in Opposition.

        The counter-strategy is the one that the public are already well on the way to accepting:
        it is not worth all the wealth in the world if you have sold your soul to get there.

        People can see that milk production is up, but is it worth trashing the national brand?

        People can see that mining is necessary, but are the risks really worth it?

        People can sense that the government books will be in great shape, but what do we have left?

        The general deep equation that the values of New Zealand have been dirtied at the price of national wealth is one I am quite confident more people are really getting.

        And that is the end of John Key, no matter the state of the economy.

        So yes, there is a counter-strategy for Labour and the Greens.

        • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1

          The general deep equation that the values of New Zealand have been dirtied at the price of national wealth for a relative few is one I am quite confident more people are really getting.

          If I may…

  8. jcuknz 8

    I should have been a bit more direct … protest at the crass statements and activities of the ginger aussie and the pussycat.
    If ANZ have problems we still have 53% of it and future help if needed will simply dilute that holding and those who bought shares, but properly done we will still own 53% of our national carrier.

    • Paul 8.1

      Another right wing troll on this site with no ability to debate.
      Simply on this site to make insults.
      If you have an issue with Green Party policies, make them intelligently and support your arguments with evidence.
      ‘Ginger Aussie’ are comments you’d hope adults had grown out of by now.
      Happy to debate the actual issues.

      [lprent: He definitely isn’t a troll. He has commented here virtually since the site started. ]

      • jcuknz 8.1.1

        Thankyou lprent though I fear I have a puckish sense of humour and though I lack the knowledge of the details I doubt that I need to either have knowledge of Green policy or to be put off by the reported statements of the Male Green Party Leader, I actually voted for the female leader in my electorate last time, and I like cats having lived with them the past few decades and have the ashes of my last one buried in my rose garden with a cat statuette marking it.

        Sadly to try and counter the right they both seem of late to continually come up with silly statements. I wonder if this is sabotage on the part of their advisors or blissful wishful thinking by the advisors along with inadequate research?. Hence my token protest.

    • alwyn 8.2

      If you are going to abbreviate the name of the company it might be better to use the stock exchange code of AIR.
      I read this and couldn’t see what the ANZ Bank had to do with this debate. I imagine most people think of the bank when they see ANZ.

      • jcuknz 8.2.1

        I had a vague unease that somebody would wonder if National had privatised the bank and intended to sell it of but usually abreviations are recognised in the context they are used. LOL

    • QoT 8.3

      Boy, you’ll sure teach them a lesson with your staunch stand against basic democratic processes. 🙄

  9. captain hook 9

    I dont give a shit.
    they should all go by ship anyway.
    or stay home and do something useful.

    • jcuknz 9.1

      Preferably by sail assisted ships in my book.
      Last trip my wife and I made we were disgusted at the lack of room in ‘cattle class’ and luxuriated in the Frontier connecting flight’s spaciousness.

  10. Peter 10

    The asset sales have not failed in National’s eyes. Mum and Dad chose not to participate, others stepped in and now National have the money to do what they like.

    Why would they see a problem?

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    Let’s face facts: the asset sales have failed in their own terms.

    They may have failed on the terms that National said they wanted but the succeeded on what National actually wanted – moving the ownership of the commons into the hands of the few. National has us solidly on the path to feudalism.

    • Rogue Trooper 11.1

      living in plastic Tents; remember making this ‘Link’? Draco T Bastard, 😉

    • jcuknz 11.2

      Draco … It maybe an irritation to you but I am very glad that National has steered New Zealand pretty well through the recent world bad patch when you take the interest to learn the sorry and sad state of the world outside our borders … long may it continue with its moderate and pragmatic approach.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.2.1

        …National has steered New Zealand pretty well through the recent world bad patch…

        National hasn’t though. They’ve massively increased borrowing at interest that they didn’t have to do so that they could cit taxes on the rich, they’ve cut wages for the many as John Key said he wanted through attacks on workers rights and not doing enough to increase employment in NZ, and now they’re selling off our wealth thus making us poorer.

        …long may it continue with its moderate and pragmatic approach.

        National has not acted either moderately or pragmatically. They’ve gone radical right-wing, trashing our democracy and making us poorer as they sell off our wealth to the few.

        As I said, they’ve got us firmly on the road to feudalism.

    • Peter 11.3

      Well said. What they say they want is just a smoke screen for what they really want.

  12. infused 12

    Probably because ‘mum and dads’ aren’t stupid enough to invest in an airline. No way I’d be putting my money in there.

    Air NZ was never intended to be sold to ‘mums and dads’

  13. Rodel 13

    English (smiling/smirking) says asset sales are more or less over. He nearly said there is nothing more to sell. But they’re quietly selling off (privatising) our education system. What else will be sold piece by piece without the public realising that it is an unnoticeable continuation of the asset sales agenda? Kiwibank?, health system? rail? libraries? etc etc. What else is there?

  14. Tracey 14

    Voted today and posted. Used facebook to urge people to vote no matter which way they go had an 18 year tell me he read thru some stuff yesterday and posted his vote on his way to cricket.

  15. jcuknz 15

    Sorry … my face is red 🙁 …5.12 Nationalised not privatised 🙂

  16. Francis 16

    Of course, a lot of the $9 million is going straight back into the New Zealand economy (and a reasonable portion back to the government itself), since New Zealand Post is managing the sending out (and sending back) of the election forms. The electoral commission will most likely be employing people (albeit temporarily) for the sending and counting processes. And a reasonable portion of the advertising is going to TVNZ, another public-owned asset. While some of the money will be going to overseas-owned companies (for advertising), I’m sure the portion is much less than the over $100 million going towards PR and investment banking…

  17. Francis 17

    Also, I should add that by not voting, you’re giving John Key two messages:

    1) You don’t care what John Key (or any future PM) does with our assets, and
    2) You have no problem with John Key not listening to the wishes of the people.

    The first message is that, since you did not vote either way, you clearly don’t care enough about our assets to take 5 minutes to tick a box and put the form in a postbox.

    The second message is that, by not voting due to a belief that the referendum won’t make a difference/is a waste of money, you’re supporting John Key’s stance of ignoring the results and proceeding regardless.

    If the referendum receives a decent turnout with a strong vote against (or even for) the sales, any government that proceeds regardless does so at their peril (especially in election year). I’m sure many voters will not look favourably on a government who ignores the wishes of it’s people, and that kind of thing could cost National the election.

    A strong result against could very well cause National to hold off the sale of Genisis Energy for the reason stated above, so even though National says they will carry on regardless (probably in order to decrease the voter turnout), they may rethink their plans following the release of the results. It also gives a clear message to future governments who may be inclined to sell other assets.

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