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Open mike 06/04/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 6th, 2011 - 46 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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Step right up to the mike…

46 comments on “Open mike 06/04/2011”

  1. Jenny 1

    Secured creditors first priority for Pike River Mining

    At a preliminary hearing for the royal commission of inquiry in Greymouth yesterday, Pike River Coal lawyer Stacey Shortall said the company could not afford to fully participate in the inquiry.
    She said the company did not have the money to prepare the documents and witness statements the commission had requested and would have legal representation at only some of the inquiry’s hearings.
    Commission chairman Justice Graham Panckhurst told Shortall the commission expected “active involvement” from the company, particularly in phase three of the inquiry, which would focus on what caused the mine explosion that killed 29 men.
    Pike River receiver John Fisk told The Press yesterday that the situation was “difficult”, but the company’s priority was preserving its “limited resources” for its secured creditors

    Imagine, if a private citizen involved in a car accident told a judge they could only afford to attend part of any resulting court hearing because they wanted to keep some money aside. 
    No mercy would be shown and they would be threatened with a warrant by the judge demanding their full co operation on pain of arrest.

    Of course as SCF has shown there is a different standard for wealthy investors.

    Pike River prioritises their equity over inquiry costs.

    Pike River Mining is lying if they claim they don’t have any money.

    Not long after the disaster, when the full extent of the damage was not evident, and it was still thought that the bodies could be recovered. And Pike River Mining thought they could still make some money from the mine they publicly announcedthat they could spend up to $70 million to get the mine restarted.

    • vto 1.1

      Many people who comment on this site own and run their own businesses. I have a question for them……

      If some of your workers were killed dead at your workplace and your business had run out of money, would you stump up extra money to get to the bottom of what went wrong, especially if you as owner had the financial capacity to stump up that extra money?

      Shareholders of Pike River are;

      1. ACC
      2. New Zealand Superannuation Fund.
      3. National Nominees (Australian)
      4. Saurastrha World Holdings (Singapore)
      5. Gujurat NRE (Australian)
      6. NZ Oil & Gas
      7. Kevin Douglas (USA)
      8. Hongkong & Shanghai Bank
      9. an AMP Fund

      Directors of Pike River are;

      1. John Dow, of Nelson
      2. Dipak Agarwalla, of India
      3. Arun Jagatramka, of India
      4. Sanjay Loyalka, of Australia
      5. Stuart Nattrass, of Christchurch
      6. Roy Radford, of Australia
      7. Surendra Sinha, of India

      These people, and the people who both own and run these organisations, are shameful. For my part they are not welcome in my world. They can fuck right off. Fuck off.

      • kriswgtn 1.1.1

        The fucking state of these assholes
        They can fuck off all right and pay their own way
        This has really fucked me off reading this
        Poor my ass

      • William Joyce 1.1.2

        Thanks vto for the info. What is your source(s) for the names?
        Can we get the name of the SCF directors? I know they had several changes of the last few years.

        In July four senior management positions where filled.
        One of them was former Hanover director, Des Hammond. “Mr Hammond, a restructuring specialist with KPMG, was appointed as a senior advisor to chief executive Sandy Maier.”
        Mr Hammond’s most notable recent directorship was at failed lender Hanover Finance. He was brought in to oversee Hanover’s ill-fated moratorium and subsequent sale of assets to Allied Farmers.
        Mr Hammond “will focus on South Canterbury’s investment portfolio containing Helicopters NZ, and the company’s holdings in Scales Corporation, South Island Dairy Farms, Dairy Holdings and other assets, South Canterbury said in a statement.”
        “South Canterbury chief executive Sandy Maier told NBR MrHammond joined Hanover in its remedial phase and was not a part of the “Hanover problem.””
        Dean Clark (From Rabobank, Sydney), as general manager “of South Canterbury Finance’s so-called “good bank”.”
        Garry Sue was appointed head of internal audit responsible for establishing new enterprise risk management, audit and monitoring systems.
        Mike Coburn director of Dunedin City Holdings appointed senior advisor specialising in real estate.

        $500 mil of Hanover debentures swapped for shares in Allied. He saw that Allied was stupid enough to do the deal (with Hammond getting as much $’s as possible for Hanover). The assets, originally valued at $396 million were later valued at $124 million. Allied share priced at 20.1c, soon became worth about 3c on the NZX.

        Given this marvellous, “ethical” job Hammond did, did he also apply the same hard-headed approach to SCF.

        Except, this time, the Government was the chump, the mark. The easiest, quickest way for him to do his job was to claim the guarantee.

        In some ways, in my ignorance of such matters and though I don’t like it, it makes sense.

        Did the dodgy lending occur under his watch?
        But who are the previous managers/directors?

        • s y d

          stuart natrass was one……

        • vto

          Straight from the Companies Office website WJ. It is all public information and a bit more time spent would expose some more public information detail. It will all be there for SCF too.

          Combine it with some googling and voila..

      • Bored 1.1.3

        To hide behind a defunct legal entity when there are possible commercial or criminal charges seems entirely wrong to me. The scenario as I understand Pike River Company is that they are in recievership, therefore the reciever is responsible to help the Commission. In normal circumstances costs should come from the dispersal of assets (if any) according to preference under the Commerce Act. What I am wondering (and I am not a lawyer) is what the responsibilities of the directors are under the Act. I also suspect that should the Commission find fault with the company there are likely to be legal remedies against directors.

        On a moral note this is a very good example of the shortcomings of capitalism as we know it from a moral viewpoint: namely the ability to avoid personal responsibility for cost by hiding behind a legal entity. When you consider the names and size of the shareholders you realise the reluctance to pay to participate reflects their very low moral horizon. And these are the friends Brownlee and Key court to rape our land.

        • uke

          Limited liability is the amoralism at the heart of capitalism. Shareholders/investors can only lose their money. They are disconnected from any other consequences of their investment.
          It seems people are never responsible for the problems their money enables or causes to occur. Quite different story when it comes to possessions like cars or firearms, both of which entail legal responsibilities in how they are used.

      • vedic wisdom 1.1.4

        New Zealand Oil & Gas is the MAJOR stakeholder.  Would be interesting to know the liability clause agred amonst these guys ??   

    • Jenny 1.2

      Pike River families astonished at company’s stance

      Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn told NZPA the company’s stance was disappointing.
      “I felt that they should have been transparent and open and available to actually give all the evidence that was required…

      “To actually get up there and say ‘well, we haven’t got any money, what are you going to do about it?’ is not a good look for them,” he said. 

  2. RobC 2

    Key’s SCF defence as demonstrated in question time needs to be blown out of the water.

    Labour brought the RDGS in, he wails, before being unable to resist mentioning the RDGS was announced at a Labour Party Conference.

    Well no surprise there, when the GFC shit hit the fan parliament had dissolved.

    Someone in Labour needs to do some Hansard reading. For instance, this from English on 9 Dec 08:

    I acknowledge the role played by the previous Minister of Finance. Given that these issues arose in probably the most politically difficult circumstances of an election campaign, all matters were dealt with, from our point of view as the then Opposition, in a professional, open, and transparent way

    2 and a half years into a Govt, Key’s natural defence is still to blame the previous Govt. I find it quite pathetic.

    • You are right RobC.

      It was a very lazy superficial response.

      Key behaves like a trollster sometimes.  You can tell when they are on the run when they come out with “wah wah wah but Labour did it too …”

    • Lanthanide 2.2

      “2 and a half years into a Govt, Key’s natural defence is still to blame the previous Govt. I find it quite pathetic.”
      Labour was still blaming National for various things 9 years into their government.

      • RobC 2.2.1

        And your point is? Are you assuming I wouldn’t find that pathetic as well?

      • The Voice of Reason 2.2.2

        Fair enough that the last labour Government should have been blaming the previous National administration. The damage done by Bolger and Shipley sowed the seeds for NZ’s appalling crime rate, the destruction of social services, the stigmatising of beneficiaries etc etc. Every time National are in power, the damage they do echoes through the generations. And this current crop appear to be even more inclined to blight our country’s future. 

      • mickysavage 2.2.3

        But historical perspective is important.

        Muldoon nearly wrecked the economy by amongst other things gambling unsuccessfully on think big.

        And Ruthenasia just about killed all concepts of New Zealand being an egalitarian society.

        Kiwis should be constantly reminded of this.

        • Bored

          I think you might want to reassass Muldoons antics: in terms of the oil shocks that prompted “Think Big” he was doing the right thing as a gamble at a moment when inflation and the international finance situation was to say the least volatile. Had we not sold / corporatised / asset stripped etc under Roger and Ruth NZ would have recieved a far better return on what was a dodgy investment.

  3. PeteG 3

    And Goff’s natural attack is to blame the current government. What’s unusual about that?
    I think both sides are pathetic on this. Don’t you?
    Were there any better options with SCF? I presume if Labour had won the last election they would have used the deposit guarantee scheme they had set up. If SCF had been left to fly to bits there would have been severe economic repercussions throughout the South Island, and the triple disasters would have had an even more drastic effect than they are having.

    But why not just have a political bun fight, much better for the country, eh.

    • Morning astroturfer PeteG.
      Of course the Government should wear this.  Have you actually read anything about SCF?
      You like questions, how about these as questions?
      1.  Why did the Government continue to sign guarantees for SCF when it knew from day 1 SCF was going broke?
      2.  Why did it allow SCF to continue to trade itself into an increasingly big deep hole?
      3.  Why did it allow the trade of SCF securities to occur so that those who took a punt on SCF folding made a killing at the expense of taxpayer.
      Of course this is political.  Incompetence ought to be debated and punished politically.

      • wtl 3.1.1

        4. Did the government handle the situation correctly by allowing SCF to enter receivership rather than accepting one of the refinancing deals on the table? (Cunliffe has suggested that the taxpayer’s total liability would have been several hundred million less if one of the deals was taken up).

        • ianmac

          5. Did Mr Whitehead sign the contract with SCF on behalf of Mr English on the take-over of Government benches?

    • RobC 3.2

      Morning Pete. Q2: Apart from Cunliffe calling on English to resign, No.

      Q3: Perhaps not. At the end of the day, SCF was probably down the gurgler and the issue is who should pick up the tab, the investors or the taxpayer? So your question is not quite the right one to ask.

      I have an open mind on this – to me, what I would like to know is there might be a case that SCF were in breach of the conditions of the guarantee and if that is true, why were they allowed to remain in the scheme?

  4. mikesh 4

    SCF I can figure out, but what exactly are RDGS and GFC? I wish posters wouldn’t use cryptic acronyms.

  5. Janice 5

    A $2 million plastic waka for Pita – nice to have?  $3 million for Auckland ratepayers to have extra RWC games – not nice to have.

  6. joe90 6

    Glenn Greenwald

    Nuke ’em. Invade ’em. Torture ’em. Occupy ’em. Murder their scientists and religious leaders.  Put ’em in cages for life without due process.  Reduce ’em to rubble. Why? Because Muslims are so prone to violence and barbarism! That’s a fairly succinct summary of America’s political culture for the last decade at least

  7. freedom 7

    Pity the RWC 2011 has sneaked up unannounced on so many people.  You would think such an important Global event would notify folk in advance of its impending gloriousness so they would know that it was coming to town and plan accordingly.

    It is Sesqui 2.0 !  The last minute scramble is probably to cover cost blowouts on a project that i imagine is already well underway yet is being publicly sold as a new idea.  If it is a new idea how the hell are they going to jump through all the resource hoops to get it constructed and installed in time?  Not to mention the ‘It is all about Auckland’ factor.
    Perhaps the most interesting little fact this story has brought to the surface is the figure being spent on RWC promotion, according to Dr Sharples it is $265 million dollars.  PR is expensive, but a quarter of a billion dollars to promote a flash in the pan tourism blip seems a lot like false economy

    hands up who is not surprised that the RWC is descending into unmitigated chaos.

  8. r0b 8

    rd – moved your comment on SCF to new post on that topic.

  9. prism 9

    I mistakenly put this on Open Mike 5/4 and didn’t want to waste the joke on yesterday’s page.  Somebody might like it even if it’s a bit weak!   Don’t know how to wipe it off 5/4 at this stage.

    What has happened to real men drinking real scotch whisky? The chap this morning on Radionz commenting on the brew that was in Scott’s freezer talked about flavours of pears and honeysuckle for goodness sake. What sort of pantywaists go on in this fashion?
    A joke about the old days gives a good indication of what real men expected from their whisky. A wife deserted by her whisky drinking husband every night, faced him and said she too was going to have some of this marvellous drink. She took a gulp and fell to the floor groaning “Frank how can you bear that stuff”. He replied smugly “There now, you thought I was out enjoying myself didn’t you.”

  10. joe90 10

    Why Mike, why?. Anything to do with this?.

  11. Samuel Hill 11

    Are any of you watching parliament right now?

    John Key is being a complete cock.

    Kiwi mum’s and dads lol. What a joke.

    • William Joyce 11.1

      He acts like that kid in the class, who has suffered from being bullied, and thinks that he can get into the good books of the popular kids if he pulls certain pranks in the classroom.
      He just comes across as being petty and without wit.

    • Deborah Kean 11.2

      No surprises there then! 😀

  12. Pascal's bookie 12

    Things not looking good for NZPA,
    thoughts with the people that work there, it’s a massively underrated and taken for granted organisation that delivers consistent straight reporting.

    • rosy 12.1

      “it’s a massively underrated and taken for granted organisation that delivers consistent straight reporting.”

      Yeah but Fairfax doesn’t need it… they have press releases they can copy.

  13. ZeeBop 13

    Governed by ignorance. Police must be armed because the culture of guns is out of control! That the only justification for arming Police is the public will be less tempted to take on Police. Yet the UK Police have no problem with unarmed Police. So why is the government selective choosing to ignore the public view towards guns not to  be held by Police in the future?
    Would Molenar have been more focues on shooting Police has guns? Or did Molenar actually think the drugs bust would likely mean the cops were armed! So how can the government minister promise us that had the Police been armed there would have been no deaths at the hands of Molenar? He can’t.
    We live in a violent society because of the way the government legislation rewards business owners for screwing down every last cent for the non-tax able capital gain, whereas overseas the business have to be more careful with their wages to keep the skilled staff because they can’t make such easy profits from capital gain which is taxed.
    And then you wonder why we have child poverty, teen suicide, skilled migration overseas, huge foreign ownership and privately held debt, because we do not have a broad fair taxation system.

  14. MrSmith 14

    On a Lighter note:

    The average flush of the loo uses up to 12 litres of water. So what if you could skip that flush, once a day? A household would save over 7,000litres of water a year – that’s a message Brazil has been spreading, pee in the shower to save our planet.
    Now Auckland Hyde & his mates have there sticky hands on your water, my guess is this will catch on, although bottling it and posting it to him has crossed my mind on occasion.
    I don’t know about you lot but I have been pissing in the shower for as long as I can remember.

    • Deborah Kean 14.1

      don’t know about you lot but I have been pissing in the shower for as long as I can remember.

      Me also! (Well, not every time, but sometimes..) 🙂

  15. prism 15

    If the usa repubs and demos can’t agree on a budget the usa government has to shut down till they do and that is looming.  Apparently it happened before in 1995 and the canyons shut down to citizens and tourists and passports shut down and what not.  I guess the states in the Ununited states of america would keep on functioning if they have managed not to fu.. their part of this great, world leading, functional democracy.  An example to us all.
    antispam – effort.  A homily from the system – I guess as in having a functional, responsible democracy takes effort?

    • D-D-D-Damn ! 16.1

      Certainly Lynn didn’t pull any punches with Gower ! (see the open comments section).

      • lprent 16.1.1

        Well he was writing shallow rephrasing of whaleoil. if you channel an idiot, then you should be treated as one.

        Also irritating that the site there lost all of my paragraph layout. Crap site.

  16. prism 17

    The press office NZPA is being shut down.   Fairfax (Australian owned) and APN are shareholders and Fairfax wants to withdraw.   Goodbye to a vital NZ with a clear direction and image of itself, Avalon is being sold, we don’t have a decent solid public tv set up.  What we have can be pulled at the whim of some big-talking dimwit.  All that will be left of us will be like  the vanishing grin of the cheshire cat from one of the Alice books.

  17. George.com 18

    Here is an interesting statistic about the socialisation of private debt from the latest economic report put out by the

    ‘Many households and firms are focusing on reducing debt. The 40 percent of households with the highest incomes owed about three-quarters of all the mortgage debt in New Zealand in 2007. Those were the same people the tax cuts most benefited. In effect we may be seeing government debt being created so that the (high income) private sector can reduce its debt – but insufficient stimulus to the economy’

    So, it seems, the top 40% of income earners held 75% of mortage debt and also benefitted most from the tax cuts. The top 24% of income earners pocketing 69% of the tax cuts.

    Meanwhile, the state borrows somewhere between $300 million per annum, the forecast at the May 2010 budget, and probably upwards of $600 million by now (with English taking us back into recession before the Christchurch earthquakes & the oil proce spike exacerbated the slow down). Tha debt has to be repaid sometime.

    The well off get their mortgage debt repaid whilst future generations have to pay higher taxes to cover it.

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