Testing Key’s $33 billion line

Written By: - Date published: 11:54 am, February 4th, 2011 - 11 comments
Categories: john key, privatisation, spin - Tags:

One of John Key’s excuses for selling our SOEs is that we need the cash to buy $33 billion of new assets over the next 5 years. Sounds like a lot, eh? It turns out the Crown spent $42 billion on new assets* over the last 5 years without selling our SOEs and even with that $33 billion of new capital spending the deficit will be gone in 4 years … I wonder what Key’s next line will be.

PS. On the topic of asset sales and capital investment, Phil Heatley says Housing NZ has sold 24 properties for $19 million that could be used to buy 45 new four-bedroom homes in Mangere. Putting aside the issue of ghettoising HNZ tenants by shifting them from rich areas, I noticed the word ‘could’. In fact the government isn’t spending the money from these asset sales on buying new state houses. The budget for state house acquisitions was only $10 million last year. This year it’s zero.

*capital spending total $62 billion minus the $20 billion paper transfer of assets from Transit to NZTA.

11 comments on “Testing Key’s $33 billion line”

  1. The question to ask is who can afford to buy the SOEs, have any companies already had meetings with Key, English and Brownlee?

    Isn’t Brownlee’s job to be an energy minister, not a salesmen?

    As Bomber says:
    “One question we could ask John Key is that when he endlessly repeated Mum and Dad investors as to who would benefit from privatizing 49% of our state assets, did he actually mean the massive Chinese Mega Conglomerate Qinghua Group who are in the South Island right now looking to buy up vast amounts of coal and iron-ore and whom are also eyeing up the very State assets John Key has put on the block for sale under the guise of helping those so called ‘Mum and Dad investors’?”

    What is to stop a company like Qinghua with $10 billion to spend this year alone from buying up coal, iron sands and other resources while other companies buy up energy companies and large shares in ports, Solid Energy, and all the rest? While other companies go after water, ports and seabed minerals, deep sea oil, farmland and forests… New Zealand would be unable to make climate and economic policy if it has little control over the economy dominated by multinationals focused on bottom line fast profits.

    If NZ has a Free Trade deal with India, the US and China, and they are interested in buying NZ coal etc and the climate minister Tim Groser as Trade Minister is pushing for that… clean and green will be beyond a joke, and as for debt… we will be adding up a huge climate debt for our next generations.

    Already Bathurst Resources is on the West Coast wanting to build a mine larger than the Stockton opencast coal stripmine, and Qinghua is scouring the South Island and seeking a meeting with Key, English and Brownlee… New Zealand will never get rich from selling its farms, resources and sovereignty to foreign mining multinationals.

    Russel Norman said John Key was budging of out grandchildren.

    Who stands most to benefit from New Zealand selling its SOEs?

  2. It would be good to see a list of all the companies that have met with Brownlee, English, Simon Power and Key who are related to mining and energy.

    In the meantime http://www.nznotforsale.org/ has information on the free trade deal’s climate minister Tim Groser is pushing…

    anyone in Christchurch can go to a workshop:

    Sunday February 20th
    10am – 4.00pm
    Canterbury Community Law Centre
    281 Madras Street


    A teach-in is being held to coincide with the first day of the
    NZ – US Partnership Forum being held in Christchurch
    February 20—22

    Murray Horton > Overview why building a campaign is important

    Bill Rosenberg > National Implications

    Jane Kelsey > International Implications

    One of the most important issues in this year’s election is whether New Zealanders will end up as tenants in our own country (to quote the Prime Minister).

  3. Carol 3

    Also some German investors have been buying up South Island dairying land in the last couple of months:


    Together, the assets amount to just under half the size and value of the 16 Crafar farms in the North Island, which are under offer from a Shanghai conglomerate.

    The biggest German investment group to gain OIO approval was DAH Beteiligungs, a holding company owned by the family of Dietmar Hopp, who helped found the business software giant SAP in 1972. The company was cleared to buy five farms totalling 1468ha valued at $53.2m.

    The applications to buy the farms are in the name of Mr Hopp’s son Daniel, managing director of DAH Beteiligungs.

    A second group, listed as Aquila AgrarInvest, D/S Neuseeland Milchfarm Investitions and Alceda Star, won approval to acquire five farms amounting to 1304ha for $37.8m. Two further farms, of 544ha in total in Canterbury, were cleared for sale for $18m to German and Swiss-German investors.

    • BLiP 3.1

      There are foreign investors sniffing around all over the country. The foreign-ownership aspect with New Zealand dollars being pumped offshore is one thing, another is the wider perspective of New Zealand’s reputation. We all know the 100% Pure message is 100% Pure Bullshit, so I guess we will have to say goodbye to the “clean green” image fairly soon. But what about those foreign companies that lose track of their New Zealand products and our (generally) good name for being honest dealers gets trashed. Foreign investment is one thing, foreign business practises tarnishing New Zealand is another.

      Mind you, our own corporates have to pull up their socks too.

  4. Red Rosa 4

    Key is a mass of contradictions on this one. Wasn’t he rambling on quite recently about being ‘peasants in our own land’? And improving NZ savings?

    Another story in like vein –


    Sensible enough policy up to a point, but it would be interesting to see the sales details. Presumably these valuable houses were sold, like the high country stations, to their tenants at vast discounts to market prices? So good, long-term HNZ tenants were rewarded with some of the capital gain?

  5. Yep:

    One of the most important issues in this year’s election is whether New Zealanders will end up as tenants in our own country (to quote the Prime Minister).

    Prime Minister John Key says he doesn’t want New Zealanders to become tenants in their own country as foreign companies seek to buy up…

    Not a good look http://farmlandgrab.org/14745

    Him so what is Bill English, Key and Brownlee pushing again….

    • pollywog 5.1

      so what is Bill English, Key and Brownlee pushing again….

      shit up hill if they think middle NZ is just going to roll over and take one for team Blue is what i’d like to think…

      …but truth is, i reckon there’s not a hell of a lot we think can do about it

  6. if 40 – 50 000 can march over mining in national parks and effectively mobilize, then a new mobilization can occur –
    The organisations involved at the moment are listed here: http://www.nznotforsale.org/who%E2%80%99s-involved/

    New Zealand needs a long term economic strategy, that is the task that needs to be worked on by the majority who don’t like NZ being flogged off and pimped to big capital.

  7. headbanger 7

    That’s a nice summary of what will happen when SOEs are sold: state houses were sold for financial reasons (i.e. you can sell these and build more), but the money was scooped up by government and disappeared.

    Now there are less state houses and the ability to build more has decreased.

    If government had followed the rules and ploughed that money back you could create a benefit, but that’s not what happens. And then you get the magician’s switch where they make it look like the money was spent properly. Nice little earner eh?

  8. Fisiani 8


    [lprent: You still have quite some time to go on your current ban. ]

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