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Ryall confirms asset stripping on the cards

Written By: - Date published: 9:50 am, March 2nd, 2012 - 136 comments
Categories: energy, infrastructure, privatisation - Tags:

So, National wants to re-assure us that, when they sell our assets against our will, they’ll keep 51% and control. But, um, minority shareholders have rights and private boards have to maximise profits ahead of the national interest. If they decide to sell off the dams later they can, and the Nats won’t stop them.

See the companies called Mighty River, Meridian, Genesis, and Solid Energy could still exist and be 51% government owned but everything they own of value could be hocked off if their boards decide that’s the best way to make a quick buck.

When Russel Norman asked Tony Ryall if the government would put anything in the legislation to stop the boards of part-privatised companies liquidating their assets, our power generation capacity, Ryall was …. less than convincing

Dr Russel Norman: Will the legislation to establish these partially privatised energy companies include explicit provisions that prevent these companies from selling major New Zealand electricity-generating assets?

Hon TONY RYALL: The legislation will pretty much reflect the existing situation, where directors of State-owned enterprises not only operate under the requirements of the Companies Act but also are expected to act within the confines and requirements of listing requirements on the New Zealand stock exchange.

Dr Russel Norman: Will the legislation to establish these companies include explicit provisions that prevent those companies from selling major New Zealand electricity-generating assets?

Hon TONY RYALL: The proposed legislation does not need to include any additional features to address the concern that the member has, because the Companies Act already requires that any significant transactions would involve consultation with the shareholders. The Government is retaining 51 percent majority ownership. [so, before selling assets, the boards would have to consult with a government that’s obsessed with selling assets]

Dr Russel Norman: Is he saying that his Government will provide no legislative guarantee that major New Zealand electricity-generating assets will not fall into foreign ownership after partial privatisation?

Hon TONY RYALL: There are requirements in the Companies Act that significant transactions require the support of the majority shareholder, and there are similar requirements in respect of the listing requirements of companies. So the Government is retaining 51 percent majority control…

Dr Russel Norman: Is it his understanding that section 131 of the Companies Act requires directors to act in the best interests of the company, whereas if it is determined that it is not in the best interests of New Zealand to sell those assets, those directors will be required to act in the best interests of the company, not in the best interests of New Zealand?

Hon TONY RYALL: The directors’ acting within the best interests of the company also requires them to act within the other provisions of the Companies Act. The Companies Act, in respect of the question that the member asked in the first part of this exchange, does provide express provisions for majority shareholders to have a say in significant transactions, and the directors will be aware of that.

Hon David Parker: What percentage of the company’s assets have to be sold before it is a major transaction that requires shareholder approval?

Hon TONY RYALL: The Companies Act sets that out to be around 50 percent. [so, a board could sell, billions of dollars of hydro-dams and not even have to get the approval of the government…]

Looks like part-privatised companies would have a licence to asset strip under National.

136 comments on “Ryall confirms asset stripping on the cards”

  1. This episode blew a further hole in the Nats’ propaganda on the issue.
     
    Ryall called it a “significant transaction” but the phrase used in the Companies Act is “major transaction”.  Under section 129 a Company may not enter into a “major transaction” without a special resolution being passed either approving the transaction or validating the transaction.  A “major transaction” includes “[t]he disposition of, or an agreement to dispose of, whether contingent or not, assets of the company the value of which is more than half the value of the company’s assets before the disposition”.
     
    So for Mighty River Power which own 8 hydro electric power stations it could sell the power stations one by one without needing shareholder approval unless the constitution provides otherwise.  The directors could have this power without restriction.  It seems from Ryall’s answer that there will be no restrictions placed on the directors.
     
    And a director acting in the best interests of the company is duty bound to accept an offer if the price is right.
     
    Privatisation by a thousand cuts awaits us …

    • queenstfarmer 1.1

      a director acting in the best interests of the company is duty bound to accept an offer if the price is right

      With all due respect, that is not just blatantly incorrect, it also shows a dangerous naivety. I for one would not want to be advised by someone who tells me I am “duty bound” to accept an offer the instant that some Joe walks into my office and puts down a cheque for $1 more than any item is worth.

      As for Russell: please stick to the rivers and the lakes you’re used to.

      • McFlock 1.1.1

        But if, say, Joe came in and offered you a cheque for substantially more than the market rate for one of 8 power stations, your minority shareholder might not think you were acting in the best interests of the company when you turned it down. So they could sue your ass, and anyone from whom you habitually took instructions.

        • queenstfarmer 1.1.1.1

          Yes they might. Anyone can be sued for anything at any time – what’s your point?

          your minority shareholder might not think you were acting in the best interests of the company when you turned it down

          Well unfortunately for your argument, the law isn’t whether you act in what a minority shareholder thinks might be the best interests of the company. It is whether you act in what you consider to be the best interests of the company.

          • McFlock 1.1.1.1.1

            “Yes they might. Anyone can be sued for anything at any time – what’s your point?”

            Some cases are more likely to succeed than others.

            “It is whether you are acting in what you consider to be the best interests of the company.”
              
            Yes indeed.
            So you’re relying on a tactic along the lines of “we can break the law if we want to, we almost certainly won’t get caught”.
            Personally, I always loved the look of surprise on people’s faces when they found that wasn’t the case.
               
            But more importantly, for many people even the slight possibility of getting caught was enough to keep them in line. See, you’re not ricking the court case. You’re hoping that future directors of a 51% enterprise will be prepared to work towards the benefit of the nation, not the company, on the probability that they won’t get made accountable for it. You’re also asking that of people whom the directors habitually take instruction from, like ministers. 
                  
            So really what do you think is more likely in the real world, in an instance where the two are mutually exclusive – will the directors put the good of the nation ahead of company profits, or vice versa?  
                 
            Hint as to my position: we couldn’t even rely on them to work for the good of the nation when the SOE was 100% govt owned – they still laid off NZ workers to purchase sub-par rolling stock from overseas.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.2

        queenstfarmer – if you were in a sales process, and the offer was exactly identical in all ways to another offer except for $1 more, then I think you would be required by the board to take the $1 greater offer.

        Obviously if you aren’t actually in a sales process, someone making a offer for your asset is meaningless.

        • queenstfarmer 1.1.2.1

          if you were in a sales process, and the offer was exactly identical in all ways to another offer except for $1 more, then I think you would be required by the board to take the $1 greater offer

          Usually yes, but not necessarily. Many tenders are often on the basis that “highest offer may not be accepted”. There are lots of reasons for this. Sometimes you don’t want to sell to a competitor, or a potential competitor, there may be credit concerns, etc.

          Obviously if you aren’t actually in a sales process, someone making a offer for your asset is meaningless

          Not according to Mickey & Russ, and McFlock. According to them, if someone walks up and offers you more than the market rate, you are “duty bound” to just sell it. Go figure.

          • mickysavage 1.1.2.1.1

            QSF you have chosen to read my statement in a particular way and that is your prerogative.  But don’t you agree that if the price is right, the contract is sound and all financial and strategic imperatives are favorable that a director acting responsibly would have to consider approving such a transaction?

            The point being that one by one the dams could be sold without the Government as shareholder voting on the transaction.

            Good attempted diversion though. 

            • queenstfarmer 1.1.2.1.1.1

              But don’t you agree that if the price is right, the contract is sound and all financial and strategic imperatives are favorable that a director acting responsibly would have to consider approving such a transaction?

              Yes, I think that a responsible director should consider it. That is not the same as your earlier claim that they would be “duty bound to accept an offer”.

              Good attempted diversion though

              Diversion how? It’s strange statements like that which detract from the issues. I called you out on an incorrect claim, and you are suggesting it was an attempt to “divert”. From what? How? Why?

              • QSF my original comment was not meant to be a treatise on a director’s legal responsibilities.  “The price is right” is shorthand for a deal that in commercial terms makes so much sense that a director is pretty well duty bound to accept it.

                Besides you are diverting from the primary issue which is that the corporate model proposed can result in significant power generating assets being sold to overseas interests.  

                I am certain you realise this.  Your insistence on the language being technically perfect deflects from the point.

                Do you agree that the model proposed could result in our dams being sold to overseas interests even though the Government owns 51% of the shares?

                • queenstfarmer

                  Do you agree that the model proposed could result in our dams being sold to overseas interests even though the Government owns 51% of the shares?

                  Yes. Just like dams could be sold to overseas interests if the Govt owns 100% of the shares.

                  • And do you also agree that if the current privatisation model is followed then a decision to sell a dam to an entity which is not majority owned by the Government can be made by the directors.

                    • queenstfarmer

                      If the relevant conditions are met yes, just like a decision to sell a dam to an entity which is not majority owned by the Government can be made by the directors currently.

          • mikesh 1.1.2.1.2

            The point is that a future government who wanted to sell assets anyway would claim they had no choice but to “act in the best interests of the shareholders”.

            • queenstfarmer 1.1.2.1.2.1

              Why would they claim that? The Govt doesn’t have to act in the best interests of other shareholders. You are still confused on this basic issue.

              • RedLogix

                The government is only a shareholder. The Directors are still obliged to act in the best interests of the company.

                And as the exchange between Norman and Ryall shows.. the interests of the government as a shareholder, and the company can well be defined as two different things.

                Besides you can argue the strict legalisms of this to your hearts content… the fact remains if the government of the day is happy to see major public assets part-privatised… then the reality is that it’s also very unlikely to object, even as a ‘major shareholder’, to further sell-downs of assets in a piecemeal fashion either.

                If each hydro dam is sold individually, the government can cheerfully claim to still be the ‘majority shareholder’ of the remaining company… and continue this claim right up until the point where the entire company is sold. The fact that Key has categorically refused to ammend the proposed legislation to close this blatant loophole tells us pretty much that they intend to do just this.

                • queenstfarmer

                  The Directors are still obliged to act in the best interests of the company.

                  Yes. Thank goodness, please cast this in stone so we can all refer to it next time someone else (like mikesh above) starts claiming directors are required to act in the interests of shareholders.

                  the fact remains if the government of the day is happy to see major public assets part-privatised… then the reality is that it’s also very unlikely to object, even as a ‘major shareholder’, to further sell-downs of assets in a piecemeal fashion either.

                  A conspiracy theory should at least try to make sense. Yours doesn’t. The directors can sell off dams right now. The don’t need to partially float the companies to do that. So they could do that already, and the Govt could still “cheerfully claim to still be the ‘majority shareholder’ of the remaining company”. In fact floating the companies makes it harder to sell core productive assets, because of all the disclosures.

  2. Key is here on a mission and that is to sell nz off,cut thousands of jobs which in turn
    puts the country under more pressure financially via the tax take,spend up large on
    ‘nice to haves’ creating the books so that key can have the control he has come to
    nz for,it is widely known that he is an employee of goldman sachs,what he is
    doing is in line with GS agenda world wide.,Investigations,wire taps need to
    reveal just what is really going on.
    Where is ‘wiki’ when you need him?
    It does not take much to find the correlation between what has been instigated
    in other country’s where GS is involved to realise that the same is going on here.
    If there are 70-80% of nz’ers against asset sales,where the hell are they,why are
    they not protesting,these are strategic assets that kiwis have worked their butt
    off for,that are bringing is close to $1b a year for the tax payers and yet appart
    from a discussion in parliament,there is nothing,key and GS are going to rob
    NZ of precious assets.
    Air NZ was partially sold,this airline was not strategic in comparison with
    dams,electricity companies etc,key’s penchant for bringing nz to its knees
    is obvious.

    • Gosman 2.1

      “…it is widely known that he is an employee of goldman sachs”

      Ummm… I suggest you have no evidence for this at all. Both that John Key is an employee of Goldman Sachs and that it is widely known. It might be thought to be the case amongst a small group of nutty lefty conspiracy theorists but much of the rest of us prefer to rely on facts.

      I’m just waiting for you to claim that Goldman Sachs was also responsible for helping Greece get into the EU.

      • taxicab 2.1.1

        Gosman ,
        suggest you watch “Media7” last nights episode on line Goldman Sachs , according to Rod Oram , was in fact the very organisation that fudged the figures so Greece could join the Eu

        • insider 2.1.1.1

          Rod’s a nice guy but he probably is just repeating what he’s read in the paper. I doubt he has any insight on this. So just cos he said it doesn’t make it so.

          • mikesh 2.1.1.1.1

            I have just watched Media 7 and Rod Oram did say that there was evidence, and that there were reports, that GS did (in effect) help Greece fudge figures, and that they took millions of dollars in fees for doing so. I guess that settles the matter.

            • insider 2.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m not disputing he said it, but rod is just a journalist in nz; he is not an oracle on the Greek economy or it’s history. I suspect he ‘knows’ this because he read it in the ft or economist, like most of us. He may be right, but I doubt he’s done any original research on the issue (and that’s not intended as any sort of criticism of him).

          • mik e 2.1.1.1.2

            BBC world actually reported this!

        • Gosman 2.1.1.2

          Someone like you I can understand making such a fundamental error but Rod Oram seems like a pretty intelligent guy so I suspect he didn’t state that Goldman Sachs fudged figures to enable Greece to joing the EU.

          • taxicab 2.1.1.2.1

            Gosman ,
            watch the show dickhead !! You can see it “on demand” before you make statements like that . You might also be elightened to what is actually happening in the real world not the right wing bullshit news bites you obviously regard as gospel .

            • McFlock 2.1.1.2.1.1

              But if gos watched the show, he would know what he was talking about, and therefore he would run the risk of knowingly uttering an untruth. Much better for him to “suppose”, “assume” and “doubt” about the topic at hand.

              • Gosman

                You don’t think I know what I’m writing about here McFlock do you?

                Hmmmm… I’m pretty sure you have followed my discussions on this very topic in numerous other threads. You should have a pretty good idea that I do know what I’m talking about when I state categorically Rod Oram won’t have stated that Goldman Sachs fudged figures to enable Greece to joing the EU.

                Regarding the matter that taxicab is likely too stupid to realise that he/she actually means, I have already dissected a very good BBC news report on this that travellerev kindly linked to. If you have any issues with the points I raised there then bring it up. I suspect you just wish to waste more of your obviously not very valuable time trying to score points.

                By the way did you work out was a lie was and were my tips explaining how you show someone has lied in any way helpful. I aim to please.

                • McFlock

                  But until you actually watch the show, you don’t really know, do you?
                    
                  “I aim to please.”
                  Another lie…

                  • muzza

                    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/what-price-the-new-democracy-goldman-sachs-conquers-europe-6264091.html – The fraud has yet to be elucidated, but it will come out eventually!

                    They didn’t just decide to commit fraud overnight in 2002 did they, and I will take a punt an take my position on GS, along with others being as guilty as fcuk of fraud pre euro for Greece, and others!

                    You can hold me to that position Gosman!

                    • Gosman

                      Come back when you have actual evidence then muzza.Considering you were one of the people who kept insisting that a single transaction in 2002 enabled Greece to join the European Union when they had been a member since 1992 (and the EEC for much longer than that) I don’t think I’ll just take your word on this topic.

                    • muzza

                      The fact you are still claiming a trivial victory, of which I had been lazy in my terminologies, and admitted as much to you, only illustrates that you know there is more to this, but will stand your ground, fair enough, just keep splashing around in the little girls pool of naivity gossie!

                      I was not telling you , you had to “take my word for it”, I’m only pointing out what would be simple logic for most people, given the track history of GS going to back a very long time! They have previous form, and have been caught out, over this issue relating to 2002, so lets just see how things come to light.

                      The actual evidence will be being destroyed as I type, but enough will remain, and come out in time, and I’ll leave the evidence gathering to the “SEC’s, FSA’s” of the world, even though they too are full of ex bankers etc such as it is. Yes I know this, I did a contract at the FSA in London many years ago, no you don’t have to take my word, I could not care less how stupid you end up looking, you have that well covered already.

                      Splash splash!

                • taxicab

                  Gosman , again I say take 25 minutes out of your obvious spare time to watch the show before mouthing off .Yes the word “fudge” I inserted but see if you can put a different spin on what was said . After all it was you who put out the challenge about GS and Greece no one else !!!

                  • Gosman

                    A couple of points you might like to consider.

                    The EU is not the same as the Eurozone.

                    The single transaction that you are probably meaning here took place in 2002. Greece joined the Eurozone prior to this.

                    Now would you care to revise your statement that Goldman Sachs , according to Rod Oram , was in fact the very organisation that fudged the figures so Greece could join the Eu?

                    • McFlock

                      Not so sure taxicab will – it looks like Mikesh actually watched the programme and has agreed with taxicab.
                           
                      you might have to watch the programme and actually know what you’re talking about Gos.

                    • Gosman

                      Ummmm….

                      What actually Mikesh stated Rod Oram said was this

                      “…what GS did (in effect) help Greece fudge figures, and that they took millions of dollars in fees for doing so”

                      I have no problem that Rod Oram most likely stated something along those lines. In fact I have discussed a very good BBC news article about this just a few days ago, (which I told you about), that basically goes into detail about the 2002 deal including the fees Goldman Sachs got for it.

                      What you failed to pick up, even though it has been pretty well telegraphed by Insider and myself, was that I basically set this up by rehashing a BS view that people have been pushing here about Goldman Sachs and Greece entry into the EU not membership of the Eurozone. As insider pointed out I have been having a good chuckle at your and others expense.

                      Regardless of my set up what Goldman Sachs did was entirely legal and was even widely known about in the market. That the Eurozone regulators didn’t understand it or act on it is hardly Goldman Sachs fault. Goldman Sachs actually wrote to the regulators asking whether this type of deal would be allowed and was advised it was okay. The problem is with Greece not cutting their expenditure, (or raising more revenue), not with Goldman Sachs.

                    • McFlock

                      So in summary:
                        
                      There was fudging;
                      but the victim of the con was actually a close relative of the victim named;
                      and the actual victim failed to out-imagine GS in how to abuse the system;
                            
                      So it’s all ok, and you can have a smug chuckle as to how folks were wrong in detail.
                      Tool.

                    • Gosman

                      Ahhhh….no

                      There was no con and there was no victim. There was fudging but it was legal fudging. No difference to accountants doing a little fudging to reduce tax liabilities. As stated Goldman Sachs ran this past the EU regulators at the time.

                      The fudging was small compared to the total over all debt and it didn’t impact on Greece’s entry into anything. The most it did was to delay the Eurozone regulators from getting on to Greece’s case about the size of their Sovereign Debt. However they should have been doing this anyway.

                      Really this is a case about failure of Regulators and Government inability to live within their means rather than some nasty bank causing problems. You should actually watch the BBC news piece on this that was provided by travellerev. It is very informative and makes the case that Greece’s problems were not caused by a single deal back in the early 2000’s.

                      But then again I only brought it up to allow someone like taxicab and yourself to make fools of yourself by getting you to argue that there was evidence that it was about Greece’s entry into the EU when it wasn’t about entry into anything (EU or Eurozone) at all.

                    • McFlock

                      So the response was delayed because the regultors failed to imagine how GS would advise greece to abuse the regulations.
                          
                      And the delayed response allowed the situation to get even worse before intervention occurred. 
                       
                      You seem to be missing the important point of the story – companies like GS make money by (among other things) advising clients on how to fudge figures and otherwise abuse regulatory frameworks that were put in place to prevent economic crises. Shit really does float to the top.
                        
                      So feel free to whack off at elements of detail. You’re still a tool.

            • insider 2.1.1.2.1.2

              Out of interest, what is your understanding of Rod’s expertise in Greece’s economy? Has he studied it? Has he written extensively on it? Has visited and interviewed many of the key players? What is it that makes his words carry the weight of truth?

              • taxicab

                Insider ,
                the comment was about Gosmans assertion that someone would next suggest that Goldman Sachs would get blamed for assissting Greece into the EU which is an irrefutable fact not that Rod Oram was the fountain of all knowledge on the subject I don’t suppose you have spent the 25 minutes to view the program either you are both right wing dickheads . Again I challenge you both to watch the show rather than make dumbarse comments .

                • insider

                  Before you start going around calling people dickheads, you might want to look up what the EU actually is, then look in the mirror if you really want to see a dickhead. Gosman was setting you up and you fell right for it. A similar bunch of dickheads did the same thing last week, hence his prediction. No doubt he is laughing into his beer tonight. It’s kind of sad having to spell this stuff out to an adult.

    • muzza 2.2

      The fact a moron like Gosman is not able to join the dots should be of no real surprise, the agenda is clear for all who open their eyes to see!

      Its not widely known that key works for GS, and I would imagine that its the fact that he is highest level banking insider, ML/FED Global FX Committee Alum, which means he is party to the agenda, and has not one shred of excuse for any missunderstanding over the GFC. He has never claimed anything other than stating that is was “not hard to predict” etc. He is as high level as you will find!

      • The Baron 2.2.1

        Something in the water today, evidently.

        I expect this sort of unsubstantiated crazy from Eve, but I must admit I am enjoying the addition of a few new nutty bars.

        Muzza – good arguments are ones that make sense and are verifiable. Bad ones that damage your cause are the ones that you’re making. The crazy conspiracy angle really doesn’t help anyone.

        • muzza 2.2.1.1

          Thats ok Baron, given some of the utter nonsense you spout on here, I could not care less what you think.

          I have no idea what you have done with your work/personal life, you might well know some very high level information for all I know, and I could say the same of myself, except I know what I have done, don’t I!

          Some people can join dots champ, and some can’t. Thats life!

          • Gosman 2.2.1.1.1

            Some people have their facts straight and are in touch with reality and some people don’t. That’s life. You just happen to fall within the later category. Don’t worry too much you obviously have a number of other people keeping you company in this area.

      • Gosman 2.2.2

        So no evidence that John Key is an employee of Goldman Sachs. Thought not. Thanks for confirming this muzza. Nice rant by the way. Your style is getting more froth at the mouth crazy all the time.

        • McFlock 2.2.2.1

          Once again you concentrate on one assertion and ignore the rest of the post, which is simply that John Key is in the process of selling this country’s economy in the same way other economies have been sold to major international financial houses, of which Goldman Sachs is one. 
            
          Looters one and all, and Key’s actions are certainly aiding and abetting.

          • Gosman 2.2.2.1.1

            “Once again you concentrate on one total and utter fabrication and ignore the rest of the mindless consiratorial rant that makes the writer seem like a complete nut bar,”

            FIFY

            😉

            • McFlock 2.2.2.1.1.1

              Unlike you, at least starlight managed to make one or two actual assertions about current real-world situations. You tend not to – mostly because on the few occasions you’ve tried, it turned out that you were either a liar or merely completely incompetent. Sometimes both.
               
              In that single post Starlight has probably outnumbered the statements of fact you’ve made all week.

              • Gosman

                I have never lied on here McFlock. You may disagree with my opinion but that is different from lying. I thought someone like you that looks like they might have an academic background of some sort might have realised this.

                • McFlock

                  Some people might disagree that your assertions of fact here (while incredibly rare, I grant you) have always been perfectly accurate and objectively true.
                        

                  Edit: – much lols. I post this acomment and the next one I href=”/ryall-confirms-asset-carve-up-on-the-cards/comment-page-1/#comment-442684″> see…

                  • Gosman

                    There s no lie there McFlock. There is two people disagreeing on what happens on a blog. You do know what a lie is don’t you? You know a deliberate mistruth.

                    • McFlock

                      One of you is adamant but wrong about an objective fact – deletion of comments.
                           
                      meh.
                        
                      But here’s a serendipidous one.

                  • Gosman

                    Let me help you work out how to show someone has lied.

                    First off you take something that someone has stated that you think is a lie such as me stating that the sky is green and I have always thought it was green. Then you find an earlier statement from me where I state that I know the sky is blue. Then you present this and say with assurity ‘That man has lied’. Nothing you have linked to is remotely like this at all.

                    • Gosman, if I were you, I’d knock off the BS about alleging others lying.

                      I’ve caught you out on two occassions telling untruths, which is why you’re no longer welcome on my Blog. I suggest if you cease and desist.

                    • McFlock

                      Option b:
                          
                      Observe a statement where person has made a patently obvious untruth.
                        
                      Examine their previous statements – do they have a history of blatant untruths, misinterpretation of others comments, or making obvious attempts at misleading people or derailing conversations?
                       
                      If they habitually deflect,distract or dissemble, is it always in a direction that serves their apparent objective?
                         
                      Are the two most likely explanations for their behaviour A) they are stupid to the point of a sea sponge; and B) they are purposefully attempting to mislead?
                         
                      If so, how likely is it that they have the intellect of a sea sponge? 
                            
                      While only you can 100% identify your intent, you’d have to be a major moron to believe everything you say. At least Jimmy3 is barely literate, so I think he probably believes his own crap.

                    • Gosman

                      You haven’t caught me out in a lie Frank. As for the reasons you banned me if my memory serves me correct it was something to do with me making a light hearted comment about maths not being someone’s best subject. This is in contrast to other comments such as someone calling me a racist which you didn’t seem to have aproblem with. In short you just don’t like people expressing different viewpoints to yours on your blog. Fair enough it is your blog. Don’t think it means you won’t get pulled up on it though.

    • DH 2.3

      I think people need to stop putting all this down to John Key. Key is just the party figurehead, this asset sales business is National party policy and Key doesn’t make party policy. National have been pushing for this since long before Key came on the scene, Brash would have sold the country off if given the chance.

      John Key is best likened to a CEO, he’s the Rob Fyfe of politics. He runs the show & is in charge of day to day stuff but the board make all the major decisions. IMO blaming Key all the time just keeps the real culprits hidden in the shadows where we can never see them.

      • KJT 2.3.1

        Correct. Key is just another, not too bright, puppet that was wheeled into play when Brash proved unelectable.
        Mostly because, Brash, to give him his due as a true believer, was too honest about the real intentions.

    • johnm 2.4

      Yes starlight. A connection with Goldman Sachs was clearly shown when one of their reps came over here met Shonkey shook hands with him and gave him a million bucks freebie for the CHCH restoration fund. For those mega crooks a million bucks is tea lady chump change. GS are Jewish so is Key. Key is on a mission he supports the immensely destructive rort posing as an ideology of neoliberalism which is for Charity but totally ignores the real basis of a society: The Common Good.

      • Johnm 2.4.1

        Goldman Sachs Criminality?

        The People vs. Goldman Sachs
        Matt Taibbi: A Senate committee has laid out the evidence. Now the Justice Department should bring criminal charges

        Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-people-vs-goldman-sachs-20110511#ixzz1o1kkRbuz

        Goldman Sachs: Master Of The Universe

        By Stephen Lendman
        Link: http://www.countercurrents.org/lendman200410.htm

        “The scheme was to sell toxic asset-backed securities (ABSs) to unwary customers (including foreign banks, pension funds, insurance companies and others), then apparently use credit default swaps (CDSs) to profit when they defaulted, or in other words the equivalent of buying life insurance on an undisclosed terminally ill patient. More still, given Paulson & Co.’s role in helping to structure and select assets, then buying CDSs to short them, betting they’ll decline. Paulson thus far faces no charges. Goldman’s so far are civil. If criminal ones are filed, prosecutors will have to prove intent, perhaps coming given enough evidence to proceed.”

  3. Hmmm, deflection abounds here…

    It’s a critical issue that has notr been adequately canvessed and debated in NZ; that privatised SOEs could be forced to sell power stations, dams, etc, if minority shareholders believe they can make a profit.

    If not, the majority shareholder (us, the people) can be sued.

    I believe this is precisely the same tack which National took over the Crafar farm sales; that preventing their sale to offshore interests could not be stoppedf because of the threat of legal action.

    If our country and assets are at risk from corporate legal action, then we’ve lost a part of our sovereignty.

    • KJT 3.1

      Hence the screaming form the RWNJ’s on frogblog when the possibility of just such a legal action was outed.
       
      They claimed it could never happen despite being referred to academic legal opinion on the likely result of such a court action.
       
      No such action has been taken in a NZ court to date, (one similar one, where the majority shareholder lost) but if NZ law follows UK and Canadian cases, which it usually does, the minority shareholder would win.

    • muzza 3.2

      Frank, that was always going to be the case, it was outed at the very early stages of the announcements during the policy promotions. Mixed model will not work, and will not be controlled because , it can’t be, and they wont! Bill English already admitted that much months ago.

      Fraud comes in many forms, and lying to a gullibale public to sell and agenda is a classic technique, like hiding the TPPA details for 4 years citing commercial sensitivity. Running up debt with no audit, and jeopardizing NZ’s “rating” while allowing the cities to have the mechanisims (LGFA) to run themselves into further debt also, is another!

      The end result of course is that foreign entities, which will have proveable links to foreign banks will take ownership should the sales go ahead. It could take a period of time, or perhaps not, but the one thing is certain should our assets fall into foreign hands, is that the laws/rules will be used to their absolute nth degree to ensure that the companies use their leverage, and this will be against the interest of the country.

      I am not sure what is so hard for some to understand on this issue. There is now plenty of reading around the place which shows the govt will lie about and ignore, anything that does not fit their agenda!

      The Crafer Farm deal should be ringing alarm bells nationally, as it relates to asset sales, in case people needed a recent example of the lies to support an agenda!

      • Gosman 3.2.1

        So mixed ownership models don’t work. Why did noone raise this when Labour sold around a quarter of Air NZ?

        • McFlock 3.2.1.1

          If noone raised it, then someone did, although anyone might not have.
            
          Care to be more specific, tool?

          • Gosman 3.2.1.1.1

            Care to get a life McFlock.

            Perhaps your time would be better served looking for actual evidence that supports your nonsense like the view that National party policies kill people.

            Alternatively you could possibly waste it here trying to engage in pointless debates with me to try and soothe your battered ego.

            I can pretty much guess which one you’ll do.

        • Frank Macskasy 3.2.1.2

          Incorrect. Labour did not sell a quarter of Air New Zealand.

          If they did, please provide the source for that claim. (I’ll warn you now – you won’t find any credible source.)

        • lprent 3.2.1.3

          What are you talking about? That comment is
          a. completely incorrect in fact.
          b. stupid in interpretation.
          c. and shows that you must spend too much time in fantasy land.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_New_Zealand#History

          In the madness that was some of the decision making in the 4th Labour government, Air NZ was privatised.

          The 5th Labour government largely renationalised after private ownership damn near killed it with stupid decisions. They left 25% in private ownership, mostly I suspect because they didn’t have the money for the whole lot. The reason for renationalising was because exporters like the companies I work for are absolutely dependent on reliable air freight. The other airlines coming in and out of NZ aren’t particularly reliable. Airlines drop in and out of airfreight for NZ all of the time.

          There are some interesting conditions on the agreements between the government and AirNZ. Perhaps you should look at them. They don’t look a lot like the hands off stuff that National wants to try. In fact they look more like regulation – you know the stuff that the mixed ownership model that National wants is not going to have in it.

          You are comparing apples with oranges .. Had a stupidity attack today have we?

          • Gosman 3.2.1.3.1

            I stand corrected. I initially thought they had nationalsed the entire company and mistook the proposal of selling around a quarter of the company to Qantas which never eventuated. However the point remains that under the current ownership set up the minority owners could essentially do what people are fear mongering over the power companies (i.e. asset stripping). Please tell me why this isn’t a concern?

            • Frank Macskasy 3.2.1.3.1.1

              If it becomes a problem, Gosman, I’m sure that the upcoming Labour-led government will sort it out. Re-nationalising the remaining 25% shouldn’t be a problem. We can pass legislation in one day to do it, and get Royal Assent the next.

              • insider

                Impossible! We would have lost all that sovereignty…

                • McFlock

                  interesting question as to what sanctions we might get via our FTAs and WTO membership, though.

                  • insider

                    Well when Cunliffe carved up Telecom there were no such sanctions. Would nationalisation be illegal if fair value is paid?

                    • McFlock

                      I have no idea. 
                           
                      But I do know it’s not as simple as passing a law that says “the people now own this. No correspondence will be entered into”.
                        

                    • lprent

                      A ridiculous assertion.

                      He didn’t carve it up. From what I understand he just said that their monopoly power was sufficient to require considerable regulation. Telecom agreed to break itself up rather than be regulated.

                      Th actual breakup I think happened under National if I am right about the timing. Cross party

                    • insider

                      You’re probably right. All I remember was him hacking $1b off Telecom’s value by regulation. he pretty much set the path for separation. The point was I don;t recall overseas shareholders running WTO type arguments

                    • lprent

                      Quite frankly the investors in telecom ripped off consumers for several decades using their effective monopoly and delaying tactics. The investors knew the risk in doing that. Their problem.

                      If I had a choice I’d have done it a decade earlier when their tactics to stave off the commerce commission became obvious.

                      They charged for growing the wired network, and barely managed to maintain at their peak in the early 1990s – despite all of the costs dropping.

                      I don’t buy anything from telecom directly. Even indirectly I avoid them where I can. The taxes I have paid them above a reasonable rate for crap service in the last 20 years personally, in business, and these days for the site is crazy…

                    • burt

                      lprent

                      Quite frankly the investors in telecom ripped off consumers for several decades using their effective monopoly and delaying tactics. The investors knew the risk in doing that. Their problem.

                      Unfortunately this statement is also true for the last few decades of state ownership under the banner of The Post Office.

                    • lprent []

                      So? The argument that two wrongs make it right when you are talking about something from 20 years ago is more than faintly ridiculous.

                      The problem then was more lack of service rather than failing to invest in the network. They wound up rebuilding the 1940’s infrastructure successfully

                      Telecom largely fixed the service and completely stopped the investment except where there was direct competitors. Effectively increasing the risks in the network over time. Good example is the ridiculous risk levels and costs of the southern cross cables.

                      Neither business model were any good. Are you suggesting that Telecom could have not done better?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Unfortunately this statement is also true for the last few decades of state ownership under the banner of The Post Office.

                      Wrong. When it was still state owned Telecom’s total surplus went into growing and updating the network and without that we wouldn’t have the network we have now. It was only after the sale that the dead weight loss of profit was added.

            • lprent 3.2.1.3.1.2

              Apples with oranges. Reprise…

              The government is the majority shareholder under a more normal stakeholder agreement than the Nats are proposing.

              • mik e

                Bulls hit Burt the post office charged reasonable rates telecon just kept putting the price up

          • Frank Macskasy 3.2.1.3.2

            “The reason for renationalising was because exporters like the companies I work for are absolutely dependent on reliable air freight.”

            Indeed. The impact on exporters, such as the flower industry, would have been disastrous.

            This was a prime lesson to New Zealanders (or should have been) that nationalising strategic state assets upon which other industries depend, is crazy in the extreme.

            I still recall certain right wing idiots who insisted that Air NZ should be left to fail, as per market forces. The impact on our economy would not have been pleasant, and illustrates to me why extremist political ideologues should not be allowed within arms-reach of our SOEs.

            RWNJs – playing silly-buggers with other peoples’ jobs and lives.

            • Gosman 3.2.1.3.2.1

              Having a nationalised airline is no guarrantee of that. You just need to look at the problems with Air Zimbabwe to see that.

              If a private company doesn’t find it efficient to provide air freight services in New Zealand then I fail to see why the Government should do it.

              • Or, Air Somalia?

                Oh, that’s right – the Libertarian Paradise of Somalia doesn’t have an airline. For some reason, their lack of government doesn’t permit the development of infrastructure…

                • Gosman

                  We’ve had this discussion before Frank. Somalia is not libertarian. Given the fact that it has a number of clans enforcing various degress of laws in the areas they control it isn’t even anarchy. It would be like me trying to argue that Cuba is the model social democratic state.

                  • By Jove, I do believe you’re starting to understand it, Gosman.

                    You’re right; Somalia only exhibits two out of three traits of Libertarianism; minimal government and no taxation. The third “leg”, the rule of law is missing.

                    And you know what, Gosman? You cannot have a strong rule of law without a strong State to back it up.

                    In effect, the quintessential Libertarian State is a contradiction; it cannot exist because without Government and taxation; plus all the offices of the State, you cannot have institutions that allow the rule of law to thrive.

                    Otherwise, you get a place like Somalia; anarchy.

                    There’s your explanation as to why no nation in modern times has ever existed using the Libertarian model. It don’t work.

                    There’s your lesson in Reality, Gosman.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Otherwise, you get a place like Somalia; anarchy.

                      Oh, come on, you should know better than that. Anarchy is not chaos which is what Somalia has now. It’s not libertarianism either as it does have a “government” – it just happens to be one where everyone discusses and agrees to what laws there are rather than a small, dictatorial parliament whereas libertarians seem to want to be able to do whatever they want whenever they want without restriction.

                    • Gosman

                      See D.T.B’s reply to you below Frank. Somalia is not an Anarchist society either. It would be more accurate to equate it with the mutiple statelets and feudal realms of Germany under the later period of the Holy Roman Empire (just with more guns).

                      By the way, you don’t need taxation for a modern state to exist. All you need is a revenue stream. Many modern countries have virtually no taxation at all. They do take royalties from resource extraction though.

              • McFlock

                Public good vs private good, gos.
                   
                Failure to recognise the difference between the two is an amazingly basic mistake for you to make. Almost … well, I shrink from saying “intentional”, but …

                • Gosman

                  Air travel is not a public good in my book. If it is, and if it is true about peak oil, then the Government will be stuffed trying to provide it.

                  • “Air travel is not a public good in my book.”

                    *facepalm*

                  • McFlock

                    okay, so transport infrastructures with different strengths and weaknesses have no public good. Stupid. 
                      
                    But what’s also stupid is the apparent belief that if something is a public good now, funding it to the point of national bankruptcy (is that what you meant by “the Government will be stuffed trying to provide it” in a peak oil environment) will occur. Does the concept of “investment until the risks balance the rewards” ring a bell?
                         

                       

                    • Gosman

                      I understand the concept. The trouble is Government is not terribly good at determining where that tipping point is in my mind. That is why I prefer provate sector to make those decisions based on profit motives rather than some sort of fuzzy ‘Societal benefit’ calculation.

                    • McFlock

                      Apart from the fact that the “profit motive” revolves entirely around private good, and therefore public good is not a market consideration.
                        
                      You’re a tool.

                  • mik e

                    Goose name the countries many of them which don’t have taxation.
                    Another out and out lie GOOSEMAN

              • mik e

                goose Because the only Airline with enough cargo carrying capacity was air NZ.
                high value exports would have been lost had air NZ been liquidated.
                The tourism business would have suffered also .
                Goose for an investment banker who’s worked in Europe your economic naivety astounds .Obviously the w should be where the b is!

              • mik e

                Singapore Airlines

        • KJT 3.2.1.4

          Because they did not??

        • mik e 3.2.1.5

          Groseman that’s a lie

    • insider 3.3

      The government gets sued all the time. Min Health is getting sued by disabled carers and corrections by victims of the RSA murders. How is that a threat to our sovereignty?

      Quite a few power stations in NZ are owned by private organisations. Some were even formerly owned by the govt. How has your sovereignty felt since then?

      • It’s a threat to our sovereignty when policy is removred from our elected representatives and placed under control of corporate interests and subject to judicial review.

        This may not bother you – but it bothers the rest of us.

        The Ministry of Health being sued by caregivers for disabled is just a wee bit different to a corporation trying to arm-twist us to divest a state asset.

        “Quite a few power stations in NZ are owned by private organisations.”

        So what? Irrelevant deflection.

        “Some were even formerly owned by the govt. How has your sovereignty felt since then?”

        Loss of profits; and impact on our Balance of Payments, etc, etc.

        • insider 3.3.1.1

          SO what you are saying FRank is that one group using the law of the land to protect their rights is ok but others using similar laws to protect their rights suddenly becomes an assault on national sovereignty and arm twisting, even if the law was not written by those carrying out the ‘assualt’. How are the two different beyond your labelling them as such? Where is this policy removal you talk about?

          How can mentioning privately owned power stations be irrelevant when the topic is the sale of power stations to private owners? Is it irrelevant or an inconvenient fact?

          Explain to me how a loss of profits and impact on balance of payments etc has affected sovereignty. Sounds like a bunch of slogans but no thought. WHat did the hundreds of millions of dollars transferred to the govt for those assets do? They surely increased its sovereignty, whcih is a good thing isn’t it?

          • Frank Macskasy 3.3.1.1.1

            SO what you are saying FRank is that one group using the law of the land to protect their rights is ok but others using similar laws to protect their rights suddenly becomes an assault on national sovereignty and arm twisting, even if the law was not written by those carrying out the ‘assualt’.

            Correct. Because the two situations are not the same. But you already knew that, Insider.

            • insider 3.3.1.1.1.1

              In what way are they not the same? You seem to have a handle on this so I’d appreciate you explaining the difference between the rights under the law of a group of individual and the rights under the law of a company and its shareholders.

      • McFlock 3.3.2

        The fact the government can be sued is a good thing, and goes back to King John. 
          
        The government being sued because a government asset it once 100% owned is not maximising profits by fucking up the rest of the country is a bad thing. Government assets shouldn’t fuck up the country regardless of whether they’re 15%, 51% or 100% government owned. 
           
        Ryall has no intention of stopping minority shareholders suing the government to make the shared asset fuck up the country because to not fuck up the country would result in reduced profits.
           
        Government assets fucking up the country because the government has an obligation to minority shareholders to fuck up the country (at a massive profit), even though the government (let’s give the fuckers the benefit of the doubt) doesn’t want to fuck up the country, is a reduction in fucking sovreignty.
           
        Oh, and speaking of the current electricity system, I note that my bill fucking skyrockets even though my fucking usage has remained constant.
           
        Nice fucking attempt at distraction.

        • insider 3.3.2.1

          How would selling a power station formerly owned by the govt fuck up the country? About 30% of the power in NZ comes from similar pwoer stations now. I see my state owned supplier is putting up its prices 10%

          • McFlock 3.3.2.1.1

            But we’re not talking about “a” powerstation, are we? Incrementally, we’re talking a significant chunk of them.
              
            And the entire sovreignty point is that while any SOE might raise power prices 10% to maximise profits, a 100% owned one has the option of, without fear of court cases, a government instructing the company to take less profits in order to serve the interests of the country, not the SOE.
                  
            And yeah, I think pretty much all electricity generation and distribution should be government owned 100%.
                 

            • insider 3.3.2.1.1.1

              But 35% have been sold – I’d call one third a sizeable chunk – and the world didn’t end. Nor did we suddenly become the subjects of another state or lose sovereignty in some other way. (You might make an argument about price but I think it;s a lot more complex than a simple relationship)

              HAve you noticed what has been done to Telecom and the lines companies in recent years around price control and corporate structure. How did that happen to private companies when we have all this lost sovereignty?

              Ironically one of the big drivers of electricity pricing at the moment is the state monopoly Transpower’s grandiose powerline construction which it has the legal right to force us to pay for.

              I have no problem with your belief; it’s your fears that don’t seem to stack up.

              • McFlock

                No the world didn’t come to an end.
                     
                But power prices skyrocketed, investment in infrastructure stalled, and the govt then had to pick up the bill when our largest city went lights out.
                   
                I’m not entirely sure you’ve done your case a service by reminding us of how things have changed…

                • insider

                  Mcflock you should go an look at the number of power stations built in the last 15 years before you make such silly statements, which really just demonstrate ideologically blind ignorance. It’s about 1700MW worth from memory, but you can check it up on the MED website.

                  Why did the lights in Auckland go out? State owned infrastructure monopolies didn’t do their primary jobs – maintaining the networks we are forced to pay them for. We ended up paying additional hundreds of millions of dollars to fix basic poor management practices they were already being paid to do well.

                  And I’ve said prices are a point that could be argued, but you should bear in mind before you do that 40% of your bill is monopoly lines charges. Most of those are owned by the state or community/council enterprises.

                  I’m not entirely sure you’ve done your case a service by reminding us how poorly informed you are…

                  • McFlock

                    Oh okay, you’re right then – selling off power generation and the attempts at introducing competition into the electricity market have been an unbridled success, with no problems whatsoever.
                       
                    I didn’t just get a letter saying my power prices were going up again, either.

                    • insider

                      But it’s state providers that are putting prices up just as much as private ones. It’s not a straight line relationship between private ownership and pricing. I looked at the long term prices on the MED site and tehy have been up under all regimes over the last 35 years – about 2.8% a year which was less than inflation for much of that time. And, Like it or not, they did go down after bradford’s reforms, but again I think the relationship is not that simple, even though Max would like to claim it was.

                    • McFlock

                      this?
                        
                      That’s in 2009 prices, i.e. inflation adjusted?
                          
                      Basically, I see an oil shock, muldoon (bless his cotton socks 🙂 ), a bump in Lab4, then residential price increases subsidising commercial price cuts. Similar under Lab5, but with a bump for residential and commercial in the early 2000s which is I assume the “oh shit we broke it” period, and then about the same level of cross-subsidisation as before.
                        
                      But the point is that 100% ownership gives the govt the power to publicly and honestly say “this is a shitty situation. Fix it, even if it hurts your profits”.

                    • KJT

                      @Insider.
                       
                      Did you have your ears disconnected when the ROI and dividend to the Government for SOE power companies was gerrymandered to allow the newly privatised companies to compete.
                      Joyce has already stated that this dividend requirement will be increased again to enable the next round of private shareholders to make money.
                       
                      So much for the private sector being more efficient??

                    • insider

                      mcflock

                      Similar but the 2011 version with 2010 prices. It’s in real prices. Is that inflation adjusted or dollar adjusted meaning 2009 dollars (not the same thing are they?)

                      Not sure about your commentary on the changes but you are effectively agreeing with me of a slow and relatively steady rise and countering your own view of skyrocketing prices. Note that retail don’t subsidise commericial; up until the mid 90s it was the other way round because MEDs were voted in and they rigged prices to gain votes. Retail rises then were a rebalancing. The 2000’s rises were driven by the increase in gas costs due to the redetermination of Maui reserves.

                      My point which I will reiterate is, how much of Telecom was 100% publicly owned when the govt told it to fix things? If that can be done to Telecom, and if price controls can be put on lines monopolies, why do you think it would be so hard for powercos?

                    • McFlock

                      It was intriguing that power prices were falling in real terms prior to our gloorious revolution in the 80s. And yeah, if 5 or 6% per annum – I think there was a 9% there somewhere – in 2009 dollars (inflation-adjusted vs “dollar adjusted”? What is the difference as a matter of interest) I think can be regarded as skyrocketing.
                           
                       But as to the telescum vs powerco question, I think that the government had to wait until things lagged behind so badly that it justified trying to get it fixed. As opposed to taking a ore efficient, consistent long term view of keeping things on the right course, which is how things intrinsically necessary for NZ should be done.
                       

                  • mik e

                    Insider trading BS again .The reason the network was run down was because Mad Max’s privatisation reforms lead to the disbanding of the planning arm of the old electricity dept .So no overall planing lead to these disasters no investment throuht out the nineties when National was in POWER Michael Cullen reinstated an infrastructure planning dept when he came to parliament.
                    Thank you Mad Max and National fore once again fucking up!

          • mik e 3.3.2.1.2

            Thats to make them more saleable you idiot.
            “Insider “trading its called

    • Gosman 3.4

      So why was this possibility not discussed in regard to Air NZ or is it only a problem with Power Companies?

      • Why do you think?

        • Gosman 3.4.1.1

          Because it really isn’t much of a problem probably.

          Essentially all this fear mongering that you lefties are doing looks a bit ridiculous when the chances of this happening are slim to non-existent.

          On top of that the Government of the day could just pass a law making any attempt to force them to do something they didn’t want to do null and void.

          • Frank Macskasy 3.4.1.1.1

            Because it really isn’t much of a problem probably.

            The majority would disagree with you on that point.

            “On top of that the Government of the day could just pass a law making any attempt to force them to do something they didn’t want to do null and void.”

            In which case, why did Key & Co state that they couldn’t stop the Crafar farm sales from proceeding, without opening themselves up to a lawsuit?

            Why do you think this government can pass laws in some areas – but not others?

            And you ignore the Treasury report which stated quite clearly,

            “Intitial public offerings (IPOs)

            Once a minority shareholding in each company is sold, the government proposes that the company will be governed in the same way as other listed companies and that they will be subject to the Companies Act 1993 and other relevant legislation, the NZX listing rules and the companies’ constitutions. The crown will not reserve any special rights to itself, except that it is still to decide whether it will a have any special power to approve the chairman of the Board, as it has for Air New Zealand.”

            • Gosman 3.4.1.1.1.1

              The majority didn’t vote in enough quantity to stop National from implementing their cornerstone policy did they. Anyway just because you potentially have a majority supporting something doesn’t detract from the fact you are scare mongering with little basis.

              • McFlock

                They did.
                  
                You forget the rotten boroughs of Epsom and Ohariu distort the representation of parliament.

        • muzza 3.4.1.2

          Some people don’t and can’t think frank, that is the problem!

          As usual the craving that some here exhibit for the sell off of whats left of revenue genarating in NZ, is bizarre! Why would a country want to LOSE control of its abilty to produce energy, and have some degree of energy security, and price control inside its influence!

          There is no fear mongering, just an understanding that foreign ownership will take profits offshore, lead to a hamstrung government owner, and of course the unintened consequences that will inevitably flow outwards.

          “There isn’t much of a problem, probably” – THINK MUCH!

          Government passing laws against corporate interest – There is a novel thought. Why would we sell in the first place if we thought it might come to that!

          Why is selling such a good idea to these fools?

      • mik e 3.4.2

        because Air NZ is not a regular profit making business.It needs partners in the international airline business to be successful I thought you would Know all this being an international banker.
        Obviously just another one of your lies!

  4. KJT, Muzza…

    Indeed. The more we learn about the privatisation policy, the more “fish hooks” we find.

    It’s interesting that Treasury’s report on this issue was quite illuminating…

    “Intitial public offerings (IPOs)

    Once a minority shareholding in each company is sold, the government proposes that the company will be governed in the same way as other listed companies and that they will be subject to the Companies Act 1993 and other relevant legislation, the NZX listing rules and the companies’ constitutions. The crown will not reserve any special rights to itself, except that it is still to decide whether it will a have any special power to approve the chairman of the Board, as it has for Air New Zealand.”

    Source: http://media.nzherald.co.nz/webcontent/document/pdf/20125/Treasury%20asset%20sale%20draft%20document.pdf

    Interesting eh?

    • DH 4.1

      That’s not a fish hook. That’s full privatisation, no mixed ownership there. Just because Govt retain some shares doesn’t mean it isn’t being privatised. They really are deceitful bastards.

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    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 days ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    5 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    5 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    5 days ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    6 days ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    6 days ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    1 week ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
    There are many thousands of asteroids with formal names, some humdrum but other more noteworthy (depending on your predilections). One of my favourites, the name of which I was involved in suggesting, is (2472) Bradman, named for the Australian cricketing great.  As a minor planet (synonym: asteroid) spotter, I have ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
    Hong Kong has been protesting for six months for, demanding democracy, human rights, and an end to police violence. Today, they went to the polls in district council elections - a low-level of government with virtually no power, similar to community boards in New Zealand. But while the positions themselves ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia’s national strike
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On Friday 22nd of November a curfew came into effect and troops were deployed on the streets, here in Bogota. It was the first time since September 1977 that a curfew had been imposed on the city. The decision was a cynical pre-planned ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
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    4 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
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    5 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
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    5 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
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    5 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
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    6 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
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    6 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
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    6 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
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    6 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
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    7 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
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    7 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
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    7 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
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    7 days ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
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    7 days ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
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    7 days ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
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    7 days ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
    The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The Crown is also ...
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    1 week ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
    A Bill enabling referendums to be held with the 2020 General Election has passed its third reading. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Act is important for upholding the integrity of New Zealand’s electoral process. “The Government has committed to holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis at the next ...
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    1 week ago
  • Referendums website and initial cannabis Bill launched
    The first release of public information on the two referendums to be held at next year’s General Election was made today with an informative new Government website going live. Additionally, the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has been released, showing the strict controls on cannabis that will apply if ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government to ban foreign donations
    The Government is taking action to protect New Zealand from foreign interference in our elections by banning foreign donations to political parties and candidates, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Legislation will be introduced to Parliament this afternoon and passed under urgency. “There’s no need for anyone other than New ...
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    1 week ago
  • Governments and tech converge to strengthen joint response to online terror events
    Governments and tech companies are holding a two-day workshop, hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol. The workshop aims to refine and strengthen the response in the event of a terrorist attack with online implications. Companies, governments, civil society experts and NGOs will ...
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    1 week ago