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Peters policy priorities

Written By: - Date published: 8:36 am, October 11th, 2017 - 23 comments
Categories: election 2017 - Tags: , , , , ,

Fran O’Sullivan has a good piece this morning on the policy priorities that appear to be emerging from the coalition talks:

Fran O’Sullivan: Winston Peters wish list has sensitive topics

Peters has put overseas investment, the NZ currency and affordable housing near the top of the issues he wants the new regime to tackle.

And given the sensitivity of the three policy areas he singled out for attention yesterday both he and the other main governing party will want to avoid any suggestion of a return to Fortress NZ and a managed economy.

In particular, foreign investment has provided a lifeline for the NZ economy, companies and householders in recent years. It is foreign investors who (in the main) fund the Government’s bond programme, own a good deal of our sharemarket – and by inference our listed companies; and own our major banks. The level of New Zealand household and farm debt will have to be factored in.

Should we have relied on that “lifeline”? Look around at our low productivity, low wage economy. Look at our polluted rivers and carbon emissions. Our crazy housing market and our homeless. Our failing health and troubled education systems. Our record suicide rate. Perhaps we would have done better on another path.

It is fatuous to believe that any foreign investor is not going to act in its private interest.

Exactly. Their private interest is to extract profit from this country, not to build it (e.g. aussie banks). But I digress.

On top of that NZ First wants to impose strict controls over foreign ownership; create and maintain a comprehensive register of foreign ownership of land; prevent vertical integration and foreign control of key export industries; restrict ownership of residential land and farmland to New Zealand citizens, and permanent residents who are exercising their right to residence and majority New Zealand-owned companies.

As well it wants to prohibit the further sale of “strategic state assets” to overseas buyers and require foreign companies operating in NZ to pay their fair share of taxation.

The other key issue is housing affordability. Expect a smorgasbord of policies to deal with this difficult problem.

These policy priorities are clearly anathema to National. Depending on the details Labour may be more accommodating, but it’s a risky path given signs that “the economy” is already flatlining.

Meanwhile poor Winston is coming to terms with the fact that whatever he does he’s about to blow away part of his support base (that’s the problem with refusing to commit during the campaign):

NZ First leader Winston Peters says he is feeling the pressure of the coalition negotiations, and any decision he makes will cause “disappointment and anguish”.

Interesting times.

23 comments on “Peters policy priorities”

  1. Brokenback 1

    “The economy is already flatlining” ???

    For those of us who don’t inhabit the bubble of BS , it’s been obvious that [ deja vous mid 90’s] the economy was heading back down sh** creek , past the paddle shop , ever since the Gnats oozed back onto the treasury benches.

    As a survivor of the “neo-lib” revolution I’ve got no illusions that dismantling and trashing the foundations of our neo-lib legislation will be painful for some and cause unexpected impacts , but most ,if not all will survive.

    To continue to ignore the bleeding obvious , that the lower reaches of sh** creek are detrimental , perhaps even catastrophic, for all and sundry, is not an option.

    Lets do this.

    • As a survivor of the “neo-lib” revolution I’ve got no illusions that dismantling and trashing the foundations of our neo-lib legislation will be painful for some and cause unexpected impacts , but most ,if not all will survive.

      And that that trashing of the neo-liberal foundations is necessary else our society won’t survive.

  2. Patricia Bremner 2

    Winston has a clear vision of us as serfs or tenants in our own country, while the Landed Gentry mix with the “Moneyed Investor Class”.

    He has been right about many of our issues, and the close examination of Policy and the “Direction we want for our country” is pleasing to me personally.

    Too much of our Law has been passed under urgency as a knee jerk reaction in the last 9 years, causing a loss of privacy and a heavy handed outcome, where people have fewer and fewer rights.

    • Indeed ,… particularly under the rat jOhN keY . How people ever let themselves get sucked in to voting for that smarmy corrupt little rodent is beyond me.

      siR jOhN keY my arse.

  3. SMILIN 3

    Living in an electorate that just swung back to national
    The first statement by the incumbent to the king maker implied that he should do the moral thing in his decision to form a govt which is total arrogance considering labour have tai tokerau plus a new list mp in whangarei
    This national stance on the morality of their fpp based thinking is immoral and a corrupt load of corporate shyte
    Why or how they think NZF should just roll over and give national the right to govern should be shot down in flames for the lack of development of northland by their successive tenures bar Winston’s brief sojourn which definitely brought the focus to the province it needed on the national stage
    NZF could easily go into a three way coalition to ensure the morality of national and its obligations to northland are kept moving forward because national will just try to run it as they previously done with next to no progress born to rule cocky land owning presumption that this is what politics in nz is while they kept selling the tourism rights to off shore interests and creating immigrant favour at the expense of the indigenous peoples
    The arrogance of national to immediately go to a fpp position indicates they have no agenda for real change and I hope Winston can see this

    • Foreign waka 3.1

      I am not very optimistic that labour will govern. WP is playing with all of us – I truly belief that he already stitched up the deal with Nat. I looked at the picture of Mr English in the Herald today and, to be honest, I thought given the facial expression that its done.

  4. cleangreen 4

    Winston should be in a finance portfolio as he was around when the way NZ was financially run was changed by rogernomics from “Thnk big” policics of Rob Muldoon who roundly warned all the Australian banks to claw back the obscene 23% interest rate levels; – or he would mandate those controls again upon them, – and Rob Muldoon was at that time head (chairman) of the ‘IMF/World bank’
    Robert David Muldoon, … Chairman Board of Governors IMF and World Bank 1979-80, GCMG 1984

    • Brigid 4.1

      Yep Muldoon was between a rock and a hard place being head of the IMF. Having that position, he couldn’t tell the banks to take a hike and legislate for the control of the monetary supply by the Reserve Bank.
      Or perhaps he wasn’t the finance guru he thought he was.

      • SpaceMonkey 4.1.1

        From my perspective with a little hindsight (I was just a wee lad at the time), it seems to me now it was more of a case of bringing a proverbial knife to a gunfight, in that the economic policies Muldoon was trying to apply were no longer applicable as the monetary environment had changed. He just hadn’t caught up.

    • red-blooded 4.2

      Let’s remember Muldoon had NZ in lockdown in a futile wage-price freeze (well, he succeeded in freezing wages, anyway) and the huge levels of international debt. The man was NOT a financial genius!

  5. In particular, foreign investment has provided a lifeline for the NZ economy, companies and householders in recent years.

    No it hasn’t. If anything, it’s done the exact opposite as funds are drained out of the NZ economy in profits.

    It is foreign investors who (in the main) fund the Government’s bond programme, own a good deal of our sharemarket – and by inference our listed companies; and own our major banks.

    And thus making us all poorer and turning us into serfs for foreign owners.

    Depending on the details Labour may be more accommodating, but it’s a risky path given signs that “the economy” is already flatlining.

    The economy is going to crash and burn. This is what always happens when the entire economy is propped up by a private debt bubble:

    Speaking to RT, Keen said another financial crisis could be just around the corner unless a fundamentally different approach to debt is adopted. He says we are too focused on government debt, when what actually caused the crisis was “run-away private debt.”

    National’s built it up and Labour/NZ1st/Greens are going to have to deal with it – or National are going to have to wear it (they can’t deal with it as it’s way outside their delusional ideology).

  6. It was the unbridled , unfettered way certain individuals went about ‘ foreign investment ‘, – in an age of deregulated open slather exuberance to cash in and get rich quick and carve the place up which had massive social consequences.

    And we are still paying for that 33 years after.

    There is nothing wrong with foreign investment but with all deals , there needs to be terms and regulatory practice to ensure we don’t go down the path of the ‘ Wild West’.

    Which we have done. And look where its landed us, – huge social and infrastructure problems , lack of funding for the same ,- with a small ‘ elite’ becoming phenomenally wealthy while we live in a land of low wages and homelessness.

    Right wing economist after economist more often than not were paid to do reports for big business to carry on the charade year in , year out , … deliberately downplaying the growing avalanche of evidence of just how dire things were getting for tens of thousands of citizens while those politicians who stood to gain either ignored or denied there was a problem.

    But it always was doomed to have a shelf life and now its crunch time.

    It was inevitable.

    And there was one party that always opposed this whole neo liberal framework consistently through the years , – NZ First. Yes , so did the Greens , but not quite to the same extent in ‘outspokenness’ as Peters party. Although the Greens certainly included it in their social policy’s .Now we have a good chance of a Labour led govt with the Greens and NZ First. And its inevitable there will be changes.

    Back in the 1980’s the neo liberal ideologues were fond of telling us that we will ‘experience some pain at first but in the end reap the benefits’.

    Another favorite was creating ‘ a level playing field’.

    We now see both were a bald faced lie and for hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders there has been no benefits and it certainly is NOT a ‘level playing field’. A classic example of neo liberal largesse is the recent obscene salary increase of one of Fonterra’s leading CEO’s, – while family’s sleep in cars and garages working for subsistence wages , – and many farmers struggle to keep their mortgages afloat , – we see this sort of free market justification.

    And so it is with far too many of these ‘foreign interests ‘ extracting wealth and profits from this country without contributing much of any value back , and to add injury to insult , – by and large not paying their tax bill.

    Double dipping , as it were.

    And that’s got to stop.

    And if , as suspected , – Winston Peters is negotiating to put an end to this 33 year long neo liberal rort and bring some sanity back into the situation through regulation and policy’s designed to benefit and advantage New Zealanders , – then he very well would deserve the title of New Zealands elder statesman.

    And would have earned as well the title of , … not just ‘ The Guardian of the North ‘ , – but of the country as well.

    • Brigid 6.1

      “There is nothing wrong with foreign investment but with all deals , there needs to be terms and regulatory practice to ensure we don’t go down the path of the ‘ Wild West’.”

      There is plenty wrong with foreign investment, the main being that profits benefit the foreign investor, not this country.
      Economic foreign investment is not necessary, our Reserve Bank is perfectly able to invest in our country for our benefit.

      Foreign investment could only be of benefit to a country where the investor is investing the likes of intellectual property or scientific research. Not money, but the actual goods.

      • WILD KATIPO 6.1.1

        Exactly , foreign investment should have a lot of spin off benefits for this country . There has been some rather lame attempts to appease the public through flowery language dressed up to look like checks and balances but in practical terms?

        Generally its just a smokescreen to extract more wealth and profits and pay little tax.

        What you are talking about is right , – intellectual property or scientific research. There are times when certain things need foreign assistance but not in the same vein as the open slather rape and pillage we have been seeing for decades.

        • Skinny

          Your talking common sense I can not believe the sheep haven’t had enough, actually on second thoughts let them wake up on Friday or whenever at the L/G/NZF slaughter house 🙂

    • cleangreen 6.2

      100% Wild Katipo,

      I recall at that time 1986-7 Douglas was bullshiting us all that we would suffer but the “trickle down effect” would kick in and we would all become wealthier when it did!!!!!!!

      Rogernomics = how long do we wait?

      For after 30yrs we still are to see the “trickle down efffect”?

      Obviously just another bloody lie!!.

  7. Sparky 7

    If you look at what happened to Ireland and the current rates of impoverishment in that country its clear that foreign investment is a broken crutch lent to fools. Any nation that does not move to protect itself and act in its own interests first leaves itself open to the vagaries of globalism and its capricious nature.

    • savenz 7.1

      Yep, the NZ government has to stop looking at always doing the easy thing aka allowing free for all foreign and private ‘investment’ which boosts the economy in the short term. Long term however the wheels start coming off, clearly if the entire economy is run just off quick trader type ‘profits’, that is income lost from Kiwi’s actually living here.

      Exports of ‘profits’ now overtake our exports of milk and forestry as being exported out of NZ. Just the assets of power sales show that if the National government had kept it, the dividends would have been more than the sale price and NZ would still own and control the asset!!!

      It is the Kiwis living here who have to clean up the pollution, have to provide welfare for those who don’t have jobs or jobs so poorly paid they need tax payer top ups, for people arriving in this country who need top ups and require social aid, health, schooling and social welfare, top ups to accomodation that has been sold off like state houses (which used to turn a profit) and inwards migration is 100,000’s per year of people who all need to be provided for with housing, transport, health and more. All of this with less working capital due to the gross mismanagement of the National party in their spend up and gross borrowing to cling to power while the MSM don’t bother with any real reporting.

      As for Fran O’Sullivan, she’s just a gullible fool for hire, not a journalist, as seen by her involvement in dirty politics.

    • SpaceMonkey 7.2

      “Any nation that does not move to protect itself and act in its own interests first leaves itself open to the vagaries of globalism and its capricious nature.”

      Which is why I maintain that the concept of economic treason needs to be legislated and then every one of the f**kers who enabled the NZ economy to be this exposed should be rounded up and tried accordingly. For too long our representatives have been been subservient to foreign interests ahead their duties and obligations to NZ.

      In other words: NZ is no longer a nation; it is a heavily indebted incorporated company.

      • WILD KATIPO 7.2.1

        … ” the concept of economic treason needs to be legislated and then every one of the f**kers who enabled the NZ economy to be this exposed should be rounded up and tried accordingly. For too long our representatives have been been subservient to foreign interests ahead their duties and obligations to NZ ” ….

        Indeed. If it was good enough for jOhn kEy to write in retrospective legislation surrounding the GSCB / SIS regards the Kim Dotcom affair and the skulduggery attached with the Warner Bro’s that also affects other New Zealanders , – then its bloody well good enough to legislate based on the concept of ‘ economic treason’.

        Cant see it happening however , not in this country , – but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t. Starting with a few prize bastards right here :

        New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?

      • Liberal Realist 7.2.2

        100% in agreement re: economic treason and the perpetrators being tried.

        We could start with Roger Douglas and his Mont Pelerin pals.

  8. Richard Christie 8

    Foreign Investment = the entrance fee Multinationals pay to secure the right to extract wealth from a country too myopic to care

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