web analytics

Right votes for future asset sales

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, August 30th, 2012 - 16 comments
Categories: privatisation - Tags:

National, Banks, and Dunne voted to keep the door open for more asset sales yesterday. Clayton Cosgrove’s Bill would have required a super-majority in Parliament or a referendum to move more companies out of the SOE Act – a necessary step in the privatisation process. Dunne in particular has promised not to support further asset sales, yet given a chance to stop them, he refused.


16 comments on “Right votes for future asset sales”

  1. felix 1

    So Dunne turns out to be a two-faced liar, eh? Who’d have thunk it? He always seemed so genuinely principled and not like a weasel-wording snake-oil selling politician at all.

    Shock I am.

  2. Wayne 2

    Cosgrove’s Bill was unreasonable, and in fact antidemocratic. It cannot be right that a government elected with say a 70% majority and an explicit committment for asset sales would be thwarted by a minority of 30%. Supermajorities should be reserved from the most fundamental of democratic rights, usually associated with the electoral system.

    So Peter Dunne could vote against this bill while being oppossed to specific sales.

    Now I know some here would argue that asset sales are in the same class as voting rights, but they are not. They are a normal pattern in modern democracies of both left and right, though they seem to arouse more passion on the Left in New Zealand than elesewhere. I think that was because of the way Labour privitised in the 1980’s (and also National in the early 1990’s). Often as not the public did not get the opportunity to particapate, and by and large the was no retention of a cornerstone shareholding. Contrast that to TrustPower and Vector.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      This is true, but on the other hand asset sales are a type of law that is very difficulty/costly to reverse once some government has done it.

      It’d be quite easy for National to criminalise prostitution, for example. But putting the asset sales genie back in the bottle is hard and expensive, as Labour proved with Kiwirail. So in that respect it doesn’t seem unreasonable that there could perhaps be a higher hurdle to overcome in order to enact that policy.

    • bbfloyd 2.2

      try factoring in the select committee process that this bill would have been subjected to, with an open mind(preferably) ….

      the rest is confused drivel, but i hope taking my suggestion helps clear out a few blockages…

  3. Matt 3

    It is hardly unprecedented in the developed world that certain matters of national importance might require a supermajority to pass. Unless you guys like the tit-for-tat dicking around with things like superannuation or Kiwisaver or asset sales or [insert another example here] with each change in power, you might want to start doing something about it. 

  4. tracey 4

    I wish mr dunne would give us a definitive position we could rely upon.

    I see increased profit for airnz and 100% dividend. Perhaps some of that could be used to bring back milk in schools or something similar

  5. tracey 5

    The bill of rights is entrenched, why not something else?

  6. Wayne 6

    Actually the Bill of Rights should be entrenched, but is not. I would put it in the same category as Electoral Law.

    Of course at least part of privitisation can be reversed. The Govt can simply buy the shares or the underlying assets. Labour did so with Kiwirail and Air NZ. But as a rule they don’t because it is not sensible. Who would seroiusly suggest Govt should buy back Telecom.

    And do the Left here seriously think that the Govt should own all the things that were sold in the 1980’s and 1990’s. If the range of privitisation had not occurred then (even if badly done), we would be bizzarly out of step with all other modern economies.

    • tc 6.1

      ‘we would be bizzarly out of step with all other modern economies’ yes let’s all follow the leemings over the cliff.

      Essential infrastructure and strategic assets (Air NZ, KR, power/water) should never be sold and allowed to be plundered for private profit and run into the ground. 4+million people isn’t enough for those economies of scale you hear the free marketeers bleat on about.

      TCom don’t count as there’s competition, regulation works in that industry, however Joyce effectively has bought out chorus with taxpayer money just funnelled it back to their shareholders like a good Hollowman.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        TCom don’t count as there’s competition, regulation works in that industry,

        Nope, regulation will never be as cheap, effective or as efficient as a state run monopoly and competition actually makes it even more expensive. That’s the nature of infrastructure.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      Who would seroiusly suggest Govt should buy back Telecom.

      You acquire the infrastructure and infrastructure operations side mate, you don’t buy back the deadloss corporate overhead.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.3

      Who would seroiusly suggest Govt should buy back Telecom.

      Actually, renationalising telecommunications is the sensible thing to do. Leaving it to the market and the profiteers has shown that that is the worst option. Telecom alone has cost us ~$15b in profits and yet here we are paying out another couple of billion to bring the network back up to standard. That translates into a dead weight loss of $15b dollars that we, quite simply, can’t afford and leaving it the way it is just increases that loss year on year.

      • weka 6.3.1

        Plus, we’d get better service. I had to phone faults the other day and got told that the phone I was calling about wasn’t a TC line and I would need to phone the company that that phone account was with. Only TC wouldn’t tell me which company it was (although the nice call centre person did give me the phone numbers of as many as she could).

        How fucking inefficient is that? Telecommunications, where the companies can’t even communicate with each other or their customers properly. 

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


  • A charge on plastic bags – debunking some myths
    The launch of my Members’ Bill last week, which would introduce a 15 cent charge on single-use plastic bags at the check-out, has generated a lot of comment on mainstream and social media. From The Paul Henry Show at the ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    24 hours ago
  • National’s $1trillion property sandcastle
    The National government's failure to fix the housing crisis has seen the ballooning and unsustainable property market touch the $1 trillion mark, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. "Labour wants an economy that creates high wage work that is based ...
    1 day ago
  • Government failure on housing crisis drives Reserve Bank to add tools
    If the Government was delivering a comprehensive plan to fix the housing crisis, it is unlikely that the Reserve Bank would be continuing to pursue debt to income limits for lending for housing, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    2 days ago
  • International embarrassment for NZ likely over National’s failure to protect Maui dolphin
    New Zealanders who care about Maui dolphin should prepare to feel embarrassed: the Government is about to be put to shame on the international stage for its lack of action to protect Maui’s dolphin. The International Whaling Commissions’ 66th Biennial ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    4 days ago
  • Why don’t we spend $1b to keep people out of jail, rather than spending it on keeping them in?
    Earlier this week, Corrections Minister Judith Collins announced the government’s ‘solution’ to our burgeoning prison population. It seems that most, if not all, of Bill English’s hard-won surplus is going to disappear into another round of prison-building.  That must be ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    6 days ago
  • PKE Ship Sent Packing – Not Too Soon
    It is appropriate that the palm kernel expeller (PKE) ship off Tauranga has been sent packing. For weeks I have been saying this ship needed to be sent away, but it seems as if MPI has been trying to find ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    6 days ago
  • Do you #LoveSnow?
    I was a lucky kid. When I was about five or six my mum and auntie took me up to Whakapapa on Mt Ruapehu and taught me to ski. As a young kid I thought there was no bigger ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    6 days ago
  • Awa Kairangi/Hutt River – Swimmable?
    On Thursday night I hosted a great swimmable rivers meeting organised by the local Greens in Heretaunga (Hutt Valley). It was great to see about 70 people attend and engage in the topic. We were welcomed by Te Atiawa representative ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • September benefit figures disappointing
    The Government is out of touch with the reality that fewer people are going off the benefit and into employment or study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The quarterly benefit numbers for September are concerning. They show that ...
    6 days ago
  • MFAT officials refuse to back Prime Minister on Saudi sheep claims
    An Ombudsman’s interim decision released about the existence or otherwise of legal advice on the multimillion dollar Saudi sheep deal shows MFAT has failed to back up the Prime Minister’s claims on the matter, says Labour MP David Parker. “The ...
    6 days ago
  • Barry Coates on his first weeks in Parliament
    Week one in Parliament has been quite an occasion. I would like to share the experience. I had given up on the prospect of getting into Parliament before the election and had been enjoying the diverse work I was doing ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    6 days ago
  • Nats still planning to take Housing NZ dividend
    Housing New Zealand’s Statement of Performance Expectations shows that the National Government intends to pocket $237m from Housing New Zealand this year including a $54m “surplus distribution”, despite promises that dividends would stop, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “After ...
    7 days ago
  • Parliament must restore democracy for Ecan
    Parliament has a chance to return full democracy to Canterbury with the drawing of a member’s bill that would replace the Government’s appointed commissioners with democratically elected councillors, says Labour’s Canterbury Spokesperson Megan Woods. “In 2010, the Government stripped Cantabrians ...
    1 week ago
  • Police struggle to hold the line in Northland
    Labour’s promise of a thousand extra police will go a long way to calming the fears of people in the North, says the MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis.  “Police are talking about the Northland towns of Kaitaia and ...
    1 week ago
  • Vote Sooty Shearwater/Tītī for Bird of the Year
    Sooty shearwater (Puffinus griseus) are amazing and deserve your vote in Forest and Bird’s Bird of the Year competition.  They make one of the longest known bird migrations, flying an annual round trip of 64,000 kms across the entire Pacific ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Urgent action on agriculture emissions needed
    Immediate action is required to curb agricultural emissions is the loud and clear message from Climate change & agriculture: Understanding the biological greenhouse gases report released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan ...
    1 week ago
  • Super Fund climate change approach a good start
    Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson and Climate Change Spokesperson Dr Megan Woods have welcomed the adoption of a climate change investment strategy by the New Zealand Super Fund. “This is a good start. It is a welcome development that the Super ...
    1 week ago
  • Energy use going in the wrong direction
    New data out this week from Statistics NZ paints a concerning picture of energy use across the economy under this National Government. You won’t be surprised to hear that there is some seriously worrying information here about how dirty our ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Raising the age the right thing to do
    The announcement today that the Government will leave the door open for young people leaving state care still means there is a lot of work to do, says Labour's Spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern "The Government indicated some time ago ...
    1 week ago
  • Junior Doctors go on Strike
    Thousands of junior doctors took strike action for 24 hours this week for better working conditions and safer working hours.  The Green Party supports their cause, and particularly their claims to reduce the number of days worked from up to ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Coleman plays down the plight of junior doctors
    Junior doctors are crucial to our health services and the industrial action that continues tomorrow shows how desperately the Government has underfunded health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Jonathan Coleman’s claim that he has not seen objective evidence of ...
    1 week ago
  • Inflation piles pressure on National and Reserve Bank
    While many households will welcome the low inflation figures announced today, they highlight serious questions for both the National government and the Reserve Bank, Labour’s  Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson said.  "While low inflation will be welcomed by many, the ...
    1 week ago
  • Officials warned Nat’s $1b infrastructure fund ineffective and rushed
    Treasury papers show the Government rushed out an infrastructure announcement officials told them risked making no significant difference to housing supply, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Like so much of National’s housing policy, this was another poll-driven PR initiative ...
    1 week ago
  • More cops needed to tackle P
    New Police statistics obtained in Written Questions show John Key is losing his War on P, highlighting the need for more Police, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “New Zealanders expect serious action on P but today’s hodgepodge of half-measures won’t ...
    1 week ago
  • Strengthening our relationship with the Rātana movement
    It was a privilege to visit Rātana Pā last week with fellow Greens’ Co-leader James Shaw, our Māori Caucus and senior staff to meet with the leaders of te iwi mōrehu, to strengthen the ties between the Green Party and ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    1 week ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    1 week ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disconnected thinking dirties the water
    Iain Rabbitts’ belief that drinking water quality, charging for water use and the land use that leads to water quality degradation should be treated separately is part of the problem we have right now in this country. The connection is ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Report back from Hands Off Our Tamariki hui
    This week I attended a hui in Otaki organised by Hands Off Our Tamariki about the proposed reforms to the Child Young Persons and their Families Act. Moana Jackson and Paora Moyle spoke.  They expressed deep, profound concern about the proposed ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s visionless immigration policy
    National’s recent immigration announcement is a continuation of the visionless approach to government that it has displayed in the last three terms. Rather than using the levers of government to implement a sustainable immigration policy that benefits new and current ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seclusion rooms in schools
    Schools are undoubtedly stretched and underfunded to cope with students with high learning support needs. But this cannot justify the use of rooms (or cupboards) as spaces to forcibly isolate children. It has emerged via media that this practice continues ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Public should get a say on new Waikato power station
    I had an opinion piece published in the Waikato Times about a controversial proposal to build a new gas-fired power station. It’s not on their website yet, so here it is: If you think the public would get a say ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • MSD and their investment approach
    The Government talks about investment but there is no investment. It is not investment if it isn’t over the whole of life and if there is no new money  — Shamubeel Eaqub   Investment sounds like adequate resourcing but this ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Certainty needed for community services
    A couple of months ago I was at a seminar where three community organisations were presenting. Two of the three presenters were waiting to find out if their organisation would get a contract renewed with MSD. Not knowing if their ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Domestic Violence – some advice for the media
    For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to use Domestic Violence (DV) as a proxy for intimate partner violence. DV is not isolated to physical abuse in a relationship between people with the same power. DV is a pattern of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 weeks ago
  • Leroy’s New Paw Prints
    Leroy, an Auckland great dane recently received a new 3D printed bionic leg after cancer was discovered. I think this is a fantastic story and highlights the real potential of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing Leroy’s prosthetic was printed in titanium and was ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 weeks ago