The Sell-off Begins

Written By: - Date published: 12:04 pm, January 26th, 2011 - 160 comments
Categories: Economy, john key, privatisation - Tags: , ,

So John Key’s great bit of policy for the election is to sell off the family jewels.  Generations of New Zealanders have built up these assets, and now, like in the 90s, National intend to flick them off to foreign investors, and drain the country’s wealth.

He says that New Zealand investors will be at the front of the queue and that it will diversify New Zealanders investment portfolios.

In reality, the problem with New Zealanders not having savings means that we mostly don’t have investment portfolios, and apart from a rich few who pick up a small section, the assets will be bought by people from those countries which do have good savings records.  Contact is already majority Australian-owned; expect the other energy companies to go the same way, as our banks did.

So instead of more than $700 million profits being used to subsidise our hospitals, schools and police, it will be going into Australian businessmen’s pockets.

John, if you want to encourage savings you need to allow ordinary New Zealanders to have some money to invest – by creating high-paying jobs instead of unemployment; by investing in our country and its future rather than asset-stripping.

160 comments on “The Sell-off Begins ”

  1. Bored 1

    At last a solid election issue, not some mealy mouthed promise of 10 bucks. This might just be the game breaker.

    • Craig Glen Eden 1.1

      Oh yes what a game breaker, Im bored. This is it, selling state assets and making out that Mum and Dad kiwis are going to be able to invest in them! With Fraken what? Pixie dust!

      • Bored 1.1.1

        Nice coment on Ma and Pa….the usual alias for corporate investors. The real Ma and Pa would be broke but for the tax payer bail outs, and may be a bit skittish about investing, but as they normally vote National lets not worry about their being attracted electorally by these promises.

        The pixie dust, hmmm, theres bugger all credit out there except at usurous rates, so to buy these “assets” is going to require a massive hike in consumer prices. The rentiers strike again, notice they never do anything remotely risky or useful, merely suck blood.

        • Jagilby

          “Corporate investors”? You mean like Corporate pension funds, managed funds or KiwiSaver accounts (the entities that Key actually mentioned)… oh, and where exactly do they get their money from and whom exactly do they have a fiduciary duty to?

          • Bored

            Jag, have a read of a few corporate annual reports like the Telecom one and have a look at who the major investors are. Granted there are “funds” with money from small investors etc, but if you get to grips with the “trusts” and large corporate investors it soon becomes clear that they are detached from simple shareholders (the likes of myself and most likely you). Very rich individuals own most of everything, it is a known function of capital to accumulate into fewer and fewer hands. Ma and Pa? They are just a few luckier than average small fish.

            • Colonial Viper

              Seriously the US is still by far the wealthiest country in the world and there, the top 1% of the population own more financial wealth than the bottom 95% combined.

              So unless you happen to choose “Ma and Pa” who are from that top 1% of the population, chances are good they don’t own shit.

  2. infused 2

    It’s only energy companies that have been put up for starters, with govt still retaining majority.

    • Craig Glen Eden 2.1

      Whats their to analyze there is nothing new in this speech its shit.Nothing new same rhetoric,same problems that National have no idea how to fix. Cut spending in the public service ie more redundancies and what wait for the savings working group to give us some more spin. Done.

      Now about the Gag machine has it gone back to its Aussie owners John? No, how come?

      • infused 2.1.1

        If the Labour idiots didn’t spend so much money, we wouldn’t be in this mess, would we?

        Worth the read:

        • Bunji

          And yet I could have sworn that Cullen was criticised for his parsimony and we had 9 years of surpluses under Labour. How can they have spent too much and too little at the same time?

          • Lanthanide

            They spent it on the wrong things. They should’ve spent it on the right things, or better yet not spent it at all and given it back to us as tax cuts so we could spend it, because we know better than the government.

            captcha: misunderstands

        • Colonial Viper

          Bill and Johns incompetent economic management are to blame. Whereas Cullen took a safety approach to build resilience in the economy Bill and John have overspent on unaffordable tax cuts for the rich.

          • liberty

            Cullen just spent to fill his socialist dream.
            This is a move in the right direction.
            Still not far enough . TV1,TV2 along with Radio NZ should be sold off
            for a start.

            • the pink postman

              Don’t worry liberty nothing is more certain if we keep this Right-Wing lot in power.,Then we will all pay to see 100% American rubbish. The arts and serious discussion will be gone .Admittedly there is not much now but at least we do have some.
              All the profits will go to the likes of Murdoch and friends and the only news we wll see is what Murdoch and the likes allow us to see.
              If Key and this rabble are retutned there is no doubt privatization will be at the top of their agenda, and local body councils will be ordered to also sell up. Water, Libraries and the green belts will all be sold to private corperations .

        • Craig Glen Eden

          Labour payed back debt its National who are plunging us into more debt as they did the last time in Government.

        • Bored

          Planet Earth calling Infused, come in come in, anybody out there?

  3. Jared 3

    I think the knee jerk reaction to state asset sales is ignoring the liquidity that new listings would inject into the nzx and the opportunity for kiwisaver providers to take a greater stake in nz listings.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      That liquidity does nothing but benefit the big market making speculators.

      In the US millions of pension plans are now in the toilet because of the collapse of their equity market.

      Their NASDAQ tech exchange is still 1/3 down on 12 years ago. If your retirement funds were in that and you are 50, you are stuffed.

      The risk weighted value of $1 of shares over the last decade is less than 60c.

      Do NOT sell off our tangible hard assets to help the bloody equity market and the big money players who play there. all you are doing is providing them with tax payers capital to play their damn financialised games with.

      • Jagilby 3.1.1

        “collapse of their equity market” – excuse me???
        The US equity market (using the S&P 500 as a proxy) lost 37% in calendar year 2008 (CY08) but gained 26% and 15% for CY09 and CY10 respectively – appears as if they are on the road to recovery.
        Prolonged recession maybe – not a collapse (your dream hasn’t been realised yet CV)

        The NASDAQ tech exchange 12 years ago was in the midst of a massive bubble! (or did you just conveniently forget that) – you can’t compare the index to valuations 12 years ago that had no basis in reality. Professionals had no established way of valuing tech companies in the early days of the internet and were using unsupported multiples based on click-throughs or unique user numbers (probably not too dissimilar actually to the hype surrounding Facebook come to think of it). The NASDAQ-100 is actually up 38% on where it was 5 years ago.

        If pension funds went bust in 2008 the market correction did as anticipated – weeded out the worst managers and those in high risk, highly leveraged investments lost out. Companies that had strong balance sheets are still there.

        People losing money in equities is a natural result of the risk-return trade-off. If you chase the high returns you inherit the risk.

        • Colonial Viper

          The NASDAQ tech exchange 12 years ago was in the midst of a massive bubble! (or did you just conveniently forget that) – you can’t compare the index to valuations 12 years ago that had no basis in reality.

          Yeah it was in the midst of a massive bubble, and $100,000 invested then would be worth $70,000 now.

          How’s that for 12 years return on investment?

          Oh yes I know, the big market sharks who are in and out of the market all the time have made money off the rebounds and the volatility.

          People losing money in equities is a natural result of the risk-return trade-off. If you chase the high returns you inherit the risk.

          Sure. So don’t allow people to place their pension funds there, and do not sell our state assets to power the casino.

          While its easy for you to talk about the bad managers and the bad funds going bust, you forget that it has destroyed millions of years of savings for worker people as Wall St used their capital to play their financialised games with.

          And yes I know its just a game to you.

          BTW 3 years later the DJIA is still 17% under its highs. Those who put their retirement savings in funds there have become automatic long term investors lol.

          Again, giving funds to the big Wall St sharks to play with and manipulate.

          And the real people who suffer while the big boys play in the equity and debt markets:

          • Jagilby

            Simply put – if you had your life savings in the NASDAQ 12 years ago – you were a mug. Similarly I have no sympathy for those who chased returns by dumping everything they had into finance companies
            No reputable balanced fund would have done that – the companies were all high beta, speculative stocks. They might have had a portion of their client’s portfolio there but certainly not all.

            The “big market sharks” that you’re concerned about are “playing” on behalf of their client base – Through my KiwiSaver account I can have funds directed to Hedge Fund managers or Active portfolio managers. If you think these “big sharks” are so successful at siphoning money then there is nothing stopping you from piggybacking on their returns (assuming you do work to have a kiwisaver account – I know that is a massive leap to make, work is quite a novel concept around here).

            While you spend all-day-every-day dreaming up conspiracy theories to post here (and in all probability sucking off the teat of the government) I’ll keep investing in the market for my own account.

            • Jagilby

              That NASDAQ claim is just so disingenuous… you simply can’t claim it. If you invested all your savings into the NASDAQ in 1995-1996, 15-16 years ago, prior to the bubble expanding (not saying that was a prudent thing to do) and still hold it now after the bubble subsequently popped you would have more than doubled your investment.

              If you’d dumped everything into tech at the extreme summit of the bubble sure you’d be down 1/3 – but if you did that then you might as well have speculated on oil at $160/bbl 2 years ago with all your life’s savings (we all know how the left loves commodity speculation). It’s stupid to suggest anyone in an managed balanced fund (which most unsophisticated investors are) would have been exposed to that.

              • Colonial Viper

                Hey dude who gives a frak with the market timing that the top players can pull, ordinary working folk in pension funds can’t do any of the game playing that the big timers do. Beyond that are you even aware that most pension funds have rules limiting what fund managers can do??? They do not have the investment flexibility or brief to play with the sharks, they just get eaten by them.

                Maybe that’s a novel concept to you? You cannot have people place their life’s savings in this casino where the chips they put in are simply used by big players to bet against the house.

                Oh yeah, like the fund managers give a shit about you taking losses. The facts speak for themselves mate, millions of Americans do not have bigger retirement accounts than they did 5 years ago, many are financially smashed and looking at working until they are 70 or 75.

                The horror of the declining middle class


                • Jagilby

                  1) “who gives a frak with the market timing that the top players can pull”

                  You clearly do, you took a data mined return that included the absolute height of the tech bubble, assumed that all poor investors had plowed everything they had in at that exact moment and then you said returns in the NASDAQ had been extremely unfavourable.

                  2) “ordinary working folk in pension funds can’t do any of the game playing that the big timers do”

                  As I said – I can direct my KiwiSaver funds into “big timer” Hedge Funds or into Active Management if I want. I’m an “ordinary working folk”.

                  3) “are you even aware that most pension funds have rules limiting what fund managers can do???”

                  Yeah vaguely, I mean I only work all-day-everyday in the investment profession.

                  That’s exactly what I’m saying – most people build up a pension over decades – they don’t just invest 40 years of savings into the NASDAQ in one hit at the height of the bubble (cause remember their passive managed fund is fairly restrictive). So most of their pension contributions would have gone in outside the 5 years it took for the bubble to inflate/deflate. The funds they invested prior to the bubble (pre-1997) would now be at least double what they invested. Think about that for a second

                  4) “like the fund managers give a shit about you taking losses”

                  They do actually. If you knew anything about managed funds you’d know that most of the manager’s remuneration is closely tied to the returns of their clients (e.g. 15% of returns for the year). So yeah, I’d say their interests are fairly well aligned.

                  Now go toddle off to read about some more big bad bankers blowing houses down.

                  • Rob

                    That is gold!

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    They do actually. If you knew anything about managed funds you’d know that most of the manager’s remuneration is closely tied to the returns of their clients (e.g. 15% of returns for the year). So yeah, I’d say their interests are fairly well aligned.

                    So when a manager gets a negative return for their clients that manager would end up likewise out of pocket with negative remuneration for the year? Or are you saying that they are only ‘closely tied’ on the upside, which would change the incentives somewhat.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Of course its closely tied with the upside only. It incentivises investment pricks like Jagilby to take additional risks with money which is not theirs in order to make their bonuses.

                      And returns generated are typically calculated yearly for the purposes of bonuses.

                      If your retirement account drops from $1000 to $900 Jagilby doesn’t get a bonus. But the next year it climbs to $950, and the frakker gets a bonus for making 4.5% for you.

                      Even though he has still left you $50 in the hole.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Oh you’re priceless. So everyday ordinary working folk can invest just like you can? And make returns like the Wall St sharks just like you can? After all, you too are “ordinary working folk”?

                    Except then you reveal that you are a fraking, investment professional.

                    A professional part of the problem in other words, not ‘ordinary working folk’ at all, people who wouldn’t know the difference between a hedge fund and a gardening account.

                    You say your bonuses are aligned with investors’ interests? Tell me, how much of your pay did you give back when those investors portfolios tanked? Yeah I thought so. Fraking joke. Just like Fuld – take your bonuses when times are good and walk away when it crashes. All care and no responsibility.

                    Now, tell me, have your clever answers suddenly unimpoverished millions of American retirees or near retirees?

                    No? It doesn’t matter to you right because its just a game, whereas for these people its an extra 10 years added to their working lives. Frak you.

                    • Jagilby

                      “A professional part of the problem in other words, not ‘ordinary working folk’ at all”

                      So, even though I’m on a salary and have an employment contract I can’t call myself a “worker” (or in this century, what we like to call an employee)? Interesting logic.

                      Is it just because I happen to be financially literate???

                      Or is it because I’d never let a stinking union rep siphon off part of my salary to use to fund their own little political whims… like…. I don’t know… funding this blog?

                      Or is it because I’m a professional that implies that I must be educated and thus not so likely to fall for the left’s paper thin propaganda.

                      The fact that I have the ability to understand that you have no idea what you’re talking about and I am calling you out for your absurd claims is intimidating for you. You like those nice people in the lower socio-economic bands who sit there attentively and just take your diatribe as if it was gospel. There’s another guy out there with a similar modus operandi – his name is Brian Tamaki.
                      You need the attention of vulnerable people who have no intellectual means of challenging you – all to prop up your wounded self-esteem and make you feel better about not getting the respect you “deserve” in life.
                      You people are, quite simply, vile.

                      For the record just because I’m an investment professional doesn’t necessarily mean I manage a fund (a lesson for another day perhaps). In fact I don’t manage a fund, so no, my bonuses (come to think of it… haven’t seen one for a couple of years now) didn’t come as a result of taking advantage of anyone.
                      And about “working folk”, “pensions” and “the game” – What would you know about working life and saving – you’re on here 24/7!

                      [Bunji: This blog is not funded by any unions or political party, but maintains independence by donations and ads and the hard work and toil of our sysop lprent. Incidentally when you join a union you can opt out of any of your money being used for political purposes, and have them focus purely on getting you more money rather than having a very small portion go to campaigning for the >80% of us who are workers all better conditions and more money – so more fool you, as your unionised colleagues will be doing better…]

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Now go toddle off to read about some more big bad bankers blowing houses down.

                    OK, why not. The US system of foreclosure fraud run by the big US banks to impoverish ordinary working folk.


                  • Colonial Viper

                    The funds they invested prior to the bubble (pre-1997) would now be at least double what they invested. Think about that for a second

                    Seriously, who’s eyes do you think you are pulling the wool over?

                    Its the returns in the last 5-6 years of any retirement savings scheme which is the absolute make or break of whether someone can retire in style or they eat gruel for the rest of their days.

                    The little money that they put in pre-bubble – given that the capitalisation of the NASDAQ was shit before that thing called the Internet may have doubled but so what? You can’t retire on it, because as I pointed out above – its the returns in the very last few years on the total sum accrued which makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE.

                    But dude I don’t want to teach you how to suck eggs here.

                    • Jagilby

                      I’m pretty confident, based on the content of your discussion thus far, that you couldn’t teach me the first thing about saving for retirement, the “fraud” of banking or anything else for that matter.

                      To put it “fraken” bluntly, you’re an absolute chump.

                      Now… back to working for the evil empire. Muhahaha.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hey didn’t you say that Ordinary Working Folk just like you can do as well as the big sharks in the market place?

                      Only it turns out that you are actually a professional investment advisor and specialist, not ordinary Main St working folk at all? Who have no frakking chance? Nice sell mate. You are really one of the common men when it comes to the financial markets.

                      Save your pitch for your next fee paying client.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The fact that I have the ability to understand that you have no idea what you’re talking about and I am calling you out for your absurd claims is intimidating for you.

                      meh, save your Masters of the Universe pitch for your financial colleagues.

                      You need the attention of vulnerable people who have no intellectual means of challenging you – all to prop up your wounded self-esteem and make you feel better about not getting the respect you “deserve” in life.

                      😀 Professional investment specialist, weekend hobby therapist? That’s really what you are going to “challenge me” with???

                      By the way I noticed you just associated working class and lower class people in vulnerable societal positions as not having intellectual means. I see where you are coming from mate.

                      And about “working folk”, “pensions” and “the game” – What would you know about working life and saving – you’re on here 24/7!

                      Ummm, I’ve explained on this blog before, I married into a fairly wealthy family and am doing OK for myself these days, thanks. And no, I don’t need your advice.

                    • pollywog

                      saving for retirement doesn’t sound that complicated…

                      seriously, how hard could it be that you have to dazzle simple folk with brilliance or baffle ’em with bullshit to get em to part with their hard earned coin ?

                      …must be tuff times at Evil Empire LTD head office and when the going gets tough the tough go shopping.

                      so what’s your big purchase for this year gonna be bro ?…holiday, jetski ,extended car port for the off roader or lotus, power company shares ?

                    • Jagilby

                      I know this is a tough concept for you, but here goes…

                      I have a KiwiSaver account that is marketed to Joe Bloggs on Main Street (or Queen Street, Lambton Quay, George St, whatever).

                      It is available to ANYONE. i.e. Any “worker” who has a KiwiSaver account.

                      It is NOT run by the firm I work for.

                      I still have the ability to direct my KiwiSaver into Hedge Funds, Active Funds. I’d have to pay more in fees to do that (again NOT to the firm I work for).

                      In summary, I think the term is “burn”.

                      “I married into a fairly wealthy family and am doing OK for myself these days”
                      Haha, funny then that you feel the need to pontificate to me on who fits under the banner of “ordinary working folk”. All that money must feel pretty dirty when you spend it – how does that sit on your conscience? I mean, doesn’t your ideology (read:religion) state that for you to have all that money someone must be living in squalor somewhere as a result?

                    • Pascal's bookie


                      What kiwisaver product, or the like, invests in hedge funds?

                      I thought HFs were pretty much limited to accepting money from high wealth individiuals, which is why they get a lighter regulatory treatment…

                    • Jagilby

                      @ Pascal’s Bookie

                      Craig’s Investment Partners has KiwiSaver products (formerly ABN AMRO products) where you have the ability to completely personalise your plan – you can choose how much of it goes where – emerging markets, commodities, active funds, equities, debt, HF, you can even invest funds into Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

                      Sure, if you personally want to invest directly into a HF you need to be a high net worth individual but Pension Funds can pool funds to invest in Hedge Funds too – so if you choose to invest in an HF then you are doing so through a pooled investment.

                      A growing market:

    • Bright Red 3.2

      why is more liquidity in the NZX a good thing for me? Why is it worth me giving up my ownership, via the govt, in SOEs we all currently own?

      I don’t need to buy these assets through my Kiwisaver – I own them already.

      If you insist that I buy them when I already own them – isn’t that just like a one-off poll tax?

    • This “knee jerk” reaction you talk about is a reaction based on long bitter experience where state assets have been privatised, ownership seeps from New Zealand hands to overseas ownership and we watch the wealth ripped out of the country and sent overseas.

      Name me one privatisation that worked for the benefit of Kiwis, Jared, just one, any one will do.

      • Jared 3.3.1

        We haven’t seen an asset sale like national has proposed, every other asset sale has been afaik a straight buy out. Air NZ is the closest example of where a majority government ownership and minority shareholdership has worked.

        • Draco T Bastard

          But it still would have been better if AirNZ hadn’t been sold at all and, here’s the point, selling partial amounts of our assets won’t do us any good. Doing so really doesn’t give us anything and costs a lot to achieve. If those people who have the money want more on the stock exchange then they can go out and build up new businesses but they don’t want to do that do they? There’s too much risk in it for them to even contemplate that. What they want is a government guaranteed return which is what they will get by buying state assets.

          • Jagilby

            “But it still would have been better if AirNZ hadn’t been sold at all”

            How so, exactly???

            1) Air New Zealand is now one of the best, most innovative airlines in the world, forced to compete on the same terms as its international competitors;
            2) is subject to market disciplines (i.e. transparency,filing earnings, analyst criticism, investor sentiment);
            3) Returns to shareholders a healthy dividend (including its majority shareholder – the Govt);
            4) is highly profitable so also pays the Government a healthy sum in taxes; and
            5) is starting to take stakes in foreign held airlines (Virgin) – shock, horror – we can invest in foreign assets!

            To suggest that this would have occurred under Government control is naive in the extreme.

            • Draco T Bastard

              No, it’s just stupidity and blind obedience to market ideology that makes you think that it couldn’t have happened under government ownership. In fact, it did happen under government ownership – it collapsed under private ownership.

              • Jagilby

                Great, I think we just both agreed that Air New Zealand is a success in its current state.

                Just checking though – Can I be assured that blind ideology plays absolutely no part in your assertions? I mean you have a bit of a history of spontaneously foaming at the mouth.

            • KJT

              Look at Northpower. Retained in public ownership under good management. Returns a good dividend to shareholders/consumers. Investing overseas etc. All without any privatisation.

              Compare with Telecom. Under incompetent overpaid management started as a monopoly and managed to lose a large proportion of customers with poor service and price gouging.
              Now tax payers have to pay for an extension of telecoms infrastructure which could have come from Telecom profits as an SOE.

              Or the big power companies. Run as corporates. Massive increase in power prices to domestic consumers to pay for their competing for business customers.

              • Jagilby

                Cause raising prices in a competitive environment is a sure fire way to win business.

                Might want to check back on that logic.

                • KJT

                  Raising prices to small customers to subsidise lowering prices to the big ones is not an uncommon business practice. As is companies raising prices all at the same time so customers have nowhere else to go. See petrol pricing.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Yep. When I started at a large telco we had a nice presentation from the CEO. They conveniently put up the stats showing the sales and where the profits were coming from and it wasn’t from the big business VIP customers that we were supposed to get back on line ASAP but the private customers who we had to tell to wait for five days.

                    That has got to be the biggest misincentive I’ve ever seen in a business but certainly not the only one.

      • BLiP 3.3.2

        Yep, spot on. Not *one* sale of a state asset has resulted in a net benefit to New Zealand tax payers. This has been proved over and over and over again. But what does John Key say in his sales pitch:

        In particular, I want to stress that the Government is interested in what works, not in following any particular ideology.

        If you’re going to tell a lie, tell a big one. In the light of empirical evidence from both sides of the political spectrum that selling assets doesn’t work, persisting in selling-off the family silverware must, surely, be about as ideological as it gets. And desperate.

    • Bored 3.4

      What liquidity Jared? It diminishes daily, check the market reports worldwide, it also costs a lot more.

      More importantly you might get beyond “financial” thinking and realise that injecting capital into these assets will create no more production that can be sold, no new business etc. It will merely take money from the sale for tax cuts to the wealthy, and transfer a good “renter” to those wealthy enough to afford (who will naturally charge us more to recoup their money).

  4. tsmithfield 4

    Not a well thought out article IMO.

    The government is looking at using the partial sale of a few state assets to fund more state assets. This being the case, the actual value of state assets remains the same, all things being equal. Using this funding rather than paying interest on borrowed money is much better.

    Also, it is likely to provide very safe investment opportunities for mum and dad investors compared to some of the dodgy shit out there.

    I don’t see any downside, especially since the government will be keeping the controlling interest.

    The alternative of borrowing money means increasing government debt increasing the danger of credit downgrades. National only needs to mention Greece, Ireland, Portugal et al. to get this point across.

    This is going to be an election winner for National and a loser for any party that opposes it.

    • Craig Glen Eden 4.1

      You wish! No vision no leadership all going in the same direction just like the magical cycleway.

      • Bored 4.1.1

        Craig, the cycleway? In my absence did any further meters get added? Centimeters? TS please have a word with your beloved leader, I plead and beseach you to extracate him from this embarrassing mess.

    • The government is looking at using the partial sale of a few state assets to fund more state assets

      I thought it was using the partial sale to pay debt caused in no small part by the giving of tax cuts to the uber wealthy when the country could not afford to do so.

      • vidiot 4.2.1

        When will the penny drop ? We the taxpayers are a state asset, and like any asset we require maintenance & attention.

      • OleOlebiscuitBarrell 4.2.2

        uber wealthy

        By which, of course, you mean people earning $60,000 a year.

        • Bright Red

          $70K a year. It was Labour that raised to top rate from $60K to $70K.

          And you have to remember that if you’re on, say $75K only $5000 of your income is taxed at the top rate, which means you get hardly any benefit from it being cut. If, however, you’re one of the very few people who are on more than quarter of a million a year – you got a fortunate from those top rate cuts.

        • Colonial Viper

          OOB you may not think $70K p.a. is not that much and you are right, but most NZ’ers have to try and live on just 2/5 of that sum.

          That’s how poorly paid NZ’ers are.

          • OleOlebiscuitBarrell

            I think $70k is a good income. I do not, however, regard someone earning $70k as uber wealthy.

            • KJT

              Just shows how much ordinary wages have dropped in NZ.

              In the 70’s ordinary wage earners could own 30 ft yachts or a bach.
              Most ordinary wage earners now can barely manage the mortgage and feeding and clothing their kids.
              Benefits and the minimum wage are a sick joke. Anyone who thinks they are adequate should try living on one for more than a few weeks.

              $75 K is the median family income though. So you could hardly say it makes people rich.

              Every time a service is privatised we end up paying more for the same things. Dropping the value of wages even further.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      TS, if we need more state assets then all the government has to do is print more money and raise taxes slightly. They do not need to sell existing state assets which only results in a government guaranteed return to the parasitic rentiers.

    • TS, many things change once ownership starts to move into private hands. Even with a continuing government majority shareholding, increasingly the behaviour of the entity will move toward meeting private ownership objectives, principally return on capital.

      Other objectives (such as universal and stable provision of public infrastructure) have to be minimised in order to ensure that private capital remains interested in the entity. Return to shareholders, in short, will start to trump other outcomes.

  5. Anne 5

    The Herald has put up a video of Key’s State of Nation speech – in full. Can’t find any corresponding video of Goff’s S of N speech yesterday. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks like they just ignored it. What a bunch of ignorant, second-rate pratts!

    • Monty 5.1

      Because Goff is irrelevant.

      John Key is the Prime Minister – most likely to be elected back on 26 Nov 2011. Key has demonstrated he has vision and competance – something my 4% Goff has neither of.

    • Im used to now Anne .Morning Report announced the Privatization news with delight. Yet Goff’s reply was ridiculed.Likewise Garner on TV3 never challenged a word Key said but questioned Goff’s taxcuts . I squirm ,but then I realise that most of the great unwashed are waching the soaps or listening to the latest pop star. So our job is to get the people who are most likely to vote Labour OUT!!.,Just remember what happened in the “Super City elections . Brown got them out.

  6. BLiP 6

    Quite clear, isn’t it? Phil Goff wants to be a Prime Minister and John Key wants to be an auctioneer.

  7. Pascal's bookie 7

    Duncan Garner 21/6/10

    National says it might sell other state assets next term and if it does, it will campaign on it. But 80 percent of voters say don’t sell other assets either; just 12 percent think privatising state assets is a good idea.

    Mr Key still says National wants to have the debate.

    “I think we owe it to ourselves to go through the policy and see what the positives are and what the negatives are. We then have to weigh it up.”

    The results are overwhelming clear – voters don’t want their assets sold.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Look at the comment thread on the link at the start of the post – mostly negative responses and a few people pointing out that borrowing has gone from 250 to 300m/week, so clearly National have gone backwards.

  8. logie97 8

    Privatisation. mmmmm. Let’s consider something that is a real mum and dad issue.
    Refuse collection for example. Used to be council and was in rates.
    No change in rates but got charged per Grey sack.
    $1.00 when it started. (Without notification there was price creep per bag)
    Now $2.00.
    – and plastic bags are not much of a barrier to vermin – and do the collectors pick up the mess – nah, and who monitors the job they do anyway?

    Then the Inorganic – used to be taken from the curbside.
    Now you have to arrange to have it taken away at huge cost.
    Could just about accept it if the company was a New Zealand company that mums and dads could invest in… but no, it’s a massive French organisation.

    captcha: budget

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      Depends where you live. In Chch our kurbside rubbish collection has only gotten better and better.

      captcha: intelligence

  9. Peter 9

    There is a point that your article ignored – why the hell are New Zealanders being asked to pay for shares in something they already own!

    That is important framing that Labour should not miss…

  10. ghostwhowalksnz 10

    I bet this is this is the last time national will announce privatization before the election.

    Their strategy is to get in early and then forget about it until the election is over

    • Pete 10.1

      Key: “Our final policy will be decided prior to this year’s election and we will seeking a mandate from the electorate before proceeding with any change.”

    • orange whip? 10.2

      That makes it Labour’s job to mention it every day then, doesn’t it?

    • Draco T Bastard 10.3

      Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. Get it in now so that the voters can forget it by the time the election comes round.

  11. Bored 11

    Good point Peter, paid for and developed by the taxpayer as necessary infrastructure for the well being of the citizens of this country, imminently to be hocked off for the benefit of a few itinerant money bags.

    One might question in an energy and water strapped world how valuable and strategic these assets really are? From an NZ viewpoint pretty bloody crucial I would say, something that we should have total control over methinks.

    • Peter 11.1

      Yes, you are exactly right there. We are moving into a future where our renewable energy assets may possibly be the greatest resource the country has. Those pioneers who spent 80 odd years developing them knew that. We need to be tightening our control over them.

      • MrSmith 11.1.1

        You hit the nail on the head there Peter. National have taken a look at Our assets, then looked at which will increase in value the most over the next few years, electricity came out tops is my guess , so they are thinking how can we get our rich mates in on this up coming bonanza? we sell them shares of-course, they have plenty of cash at the moment after the tax cuts. Mum&dads though are struggling to pay the mortgage let alone buy shares in a company they already own.

    • BLiP 12.1

      Thanks Roger Douglas. We’re lovin’ it.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      Yes, Labour sold stuff. 20 years later it’s been proven that selling state assets makes us worse off. So why is NACT still wanting to sell off even more of our state assets? There’s only one answer to that question – because their rich foreign mates want them to.

      • jbanks 12.2.1

        It’s been proven? So there’s a scientific consensus yeah?

        • Draco T Bastard

          The fact that we’ve been having to put taxpayer money into the privatised telecommunications system proves it.

          As for science – unfortunately, the economics field stopped being scientific a couple of centuries ago when they started supporting the free-market theory. A theory that can’t be used to predict anything.

          • jbanks

            You not liking that the Govt invests in the telecommunications system is not proof we are worse off.

            As usual you’re mistaking your lowly opinion for proof

            • Draco T Bastard


              I’ve said for quite awhile that telecommunications should be government owned. If Telecom had remained state owned then the profits would have gone into the network as they were prior to Telecom’s privatisation rather than to dividends. This would have been enough to get the network upgraded to FttH which we are now paying for through taxes. I.e, we wouldn’t have to pay twice for them so we would have been better off.

              These are facts and it’s facts, not opinion, that provide proof.

      • Sean 12.2.2

        So why is NACT still wanting to sell off even more of our state assets?

        I was going to go with it being because they are evil munters, but your answer seems quite likely Draco.

        I think the base problem is they don’t feel like they are part of the community, so they aren’t selling our Nation’s assets, they are just doing business.

    • orange whip? 12.3

      That’s right jbanks, the Labour govt of the 1980s was an awful right-wing neo-liberal abomination. They are one of the reasons I will never trust a right-wing govt (like this one) ever again.

      • big bruv 12.3.1

        So you would rather vote for a corrupt Labour government as we had for nine long years?

        • Draco T Bastard

          More lies from BB. The 5th Labour government wasn’t corrupt. The present 5th NACT government is.

          • The Baron

            You two are as retarded as each other, and this post just looks like bait for trolls of both flavours.

            Already had some of the hallmarks of high intellectualism ala the Standard – Draco’s cry of “just print more money” ignoring a lil issue called inflation, whilst calling anyone who disagrees with him a liar, while big bruv dares to criticise Saint Helen and the Prophet Cullen.

            YAAAAAAAAAAAWN. Do you people listen to yourselves sometimes?

            • Draco T Bastard

              TB, you still denying that printing money is what banks do using the Fractional Reserve Banking system?

              • The Baron

                DTB, you still denying that when a nation state does it, it leads to situations like Zimbabwe and the Weimar Republic?

                We both can’t be right. It’s just that everyone else in the world seems to agree with me, where as the only people that agree with you are Colonial Viper and Democrats for Social Credit.

                • Peter

                  Both governments and the private sector create money by printing it. Or the modern equivalent of punching in numbers on a computer.

                  The difference is that when the private sector does it, the creation of the money is backed on the other side of the ledger with a legal commitment to pay the bank back, plus interest over a period. Hence the system is constantly balanced (more or less) between assets and liabilities, but with the added ‘competition’ factor for the interest, which guarantees that someone will lose. Eliminating debt eliminates money…

                  When the government prints money (money that is not a paper representation of what the private sector has already created, as in cash….) there is no other side of the ledger to balance it, and as such, you get inflation.

                  That’s not to say I don’t believe in the right of governments to print money (sometimes a good thing), just that the effects are different, even if both public and private institutions do it.

                  I’m a firm believer in the power of community credit, either with zero or negative interest, or much friendlier terms of credit as a balance to the wider financial system. They achieve different but complementary goals.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    When the government prints money (money that is not a paper representation of what the private sector has already created, as in cash….) there is no other side of the ledger to balance it, and as such, you get inflation.

                    Wrong. The government printed money would be backed by government services which are paid for from taxes. Never mind the fact that the government, as representatives of the people, also own the resources that the people base their business upon. A private individual cannot, quite literally cannot, make any wealth with out use of the resources owned by the state which makes taxes the user fees.

                    In other words, the government printing the money is more likely to be balanced than the banks doing so. In fact, the GFC was caused by the banks printing far too much money leading to the economy becoming unbalanced.

                    • Peter

                      I don’t completely discount the theory. I would like to see how governments printing more would help reign in the massive differences between the tertiary economy (my term for the financial/currency casino) and the primary (natural world) and secondary (human) economies. Anything that sorted out that imbalance would receive my tick.

                    • Jagilby

                      You’ve watched too much Zeitgeist and spent far too little time actually understanding the nuances of the fractional reserve banking system.

                      Go read some more books.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I’ve read plenty Jagilby which is why I know that you have NFI WTF you’re talking about.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      SHeeesus have the Govt issue new money through Kiwibank using zero interest loans.

                • KJT

                  Both Zimbabwe and the Weimer Republic were printing money at the same time as their productive economy was destroyed. Less production/more money = inflation. The Weimer Republic because factory machinery and resources had been taken as reparations for the war. Zimbabwe was extremely bad management.
                  They are in no way analogous to New Zealand which has plenty of spare labour and capacity to absorb an increase in the money supply directed towards long term goals such as infrastructure and sustainable energy.

                  Private banks print money all the time in the financial ponzi scheme.

                  • Peter

                    Spare labour yes, spare capacity – only in some areas. I’d be worried about any new money contributing even more to a spike in oil prices. It might work if the new money was funnelled into some infrastructure project built using mostly NZ resources, but if it was just spent generally, we’d only add to inflation.

                    Basically, I’d ease things up for a Green New Deal, electrification of transport, and insulation of houses, all things that can be done right here with mostly our own resources, but I wouldn’t spend generally.

                • QoT

                  Weimar Republic

                  DING DING DING massive oversimplification of history alert. Because the only thing wrong with the Weimar Republic was its money-printing, obviously.

                • Colonial Viper

                  The banks flooded the NZ market with debt based liquidity. We didn’t get general inflation shooting up partly because the Reserve Bank kept reasonably large numbers of NZ’ers unemployed, putting a lid on aggregate demand. Yes, the Reserve Bank uses unemployed people to control inflation. Thanks fellas.

                  But all that debt based cash had to go somewhere, and it was directed into blowing up the property asset bubble.

                  We should understand that the printing of money in of itself doesn’t generate inflationary pressures. IMO losing control of the amount of money in circulation generates inflationary pressures.

  12. big bruv 13

    “Labour sold stuff. 20 years later it’s been proven that selling state assets makes us worse off. ”

    Proof please or I am calling that as bullshit.

    It is a bloody pity that the NACT government is only talking about selling state “assets”, a real government would just get rid of them and be done with it.

    Sell the lot, the government has no place being in business, the people voted for less government, a lot less….it is time that Key gave them what they wanted.

  13. randal 14

    so just how does one spell crummy again?

  14. big bruv 15

    Still smarting at the 2008 election loss are you Pascal?

    Never mind.

  15. AndyB 16

    Think you are all overreacting: “Any funds released would be earmarked for investing in much needed infrastructure like schools, hospitals and transport”

    So all they are doing is freeing up money that is locked away to invest in new infrastructure without having to borrow the money. Sounds pretty good really. We get more assets without having the massive debt to fund them.

    We as a country need to save more. more companies on the NZX gives people more incentive to save, and more options than banks. The banks don’t get as much money, so they have less to loan out, even with the fractional reserve.

    Moving NZ to more consumption based taxes and away from taxing earnings, these policies drive people to save more and spend less. (except the poor, that don’t have anything left over to save).

    Though with an improving economy, more and more people will be pulled out of poverty as the country as a whole gets richer with less debt. Much like the last decade of growth, only sustainable as it is not built on overseas debt.

    • Sanctuary 16.1

      “…more companies on the NZX gives people more incentive to save, and more options than banks….”

      You do know why we need “more companies on the NZX”???

      That’s right, because the the fucking incompetent chumps that pass for business leaders in this country managed to bankrupt basically the entire lot that were there previously.

      So, having watched them comprehensively trash the wealth of all the private companies that were on the NZX , you now you think we should give these inept fools the last of our key public owned assets to squander on a second binge of their very special brand of stupidity?

      is amnesia a pre-requisite to being a right winger or something?

      • AndyB 16.1.1

        “That’s right, because the the fucking incompetent chumps that pass for business leaders in this country managed to bankrupt basically the entire lot that were there previously.”

        wot? your not prone to exaggeration are you? what you just said is a bunch of LWNJ crap.

        • Colonial Viper

          AndyB obviously too young to remember Brierly Investments, Equitycorp, Goldcorp, RJI, etc…

          Hahahaha mate you ready for the country to be taken on another ride by these same self serving bastards?

        • KJT

          It is true. You must have been to young to remember the collapse of most of the stock market in 1987. Calling them incompetent is too kind. Negligent and criminal would be closer.

          One of the main reasons my generation will never again invest in the NZX.
          Whatever happens to housing costs at least with a house you still have somewhere to live.

          Listening to NACT now is like deja vu all over again. When will people learn.

          • AndyB

            how is that “fucking incompetent chumps that pass for business leaders”, caused the 1987 stock market crash? I remember it well. That was the beginning of the end for my parents business that they never recovered from.

            How was a stock market crash, that started in Hong Kong, and resonated around the world, the fault of business leaders? When the cause of the crash is still unknown? Most likely the cause was the traders and nothing to do with business leaders.

            • Colonial Viper

              “When the cause of the crash is still unknown”

              Get a grip mate, we’re not talking about the Bermuda Triangle here, we are talking about a few business leaders who took Ma and Pa investors for a ride, cashed out and let everyone else burn.

  16. bobo 17

    No surprises in Key’s privatization speech, I guess at least national will campaign on it before the election so Labour will have something to get fired up about because they need some fire in the belly.. The Media’s reaction to Goff’s tax the rich speech wont win him any friends at tnvz xmas parties just look a Wendy Petrie’s face last night when reading about the Phil Goff speech compared to any gushing facial expression regarding Key, or the trivializing over substance of Garner’s hair dye comment on Goff , don’t tell me that red tint that Key has now and again is natural..

  17. Tim 18

    This will just continue the rape and pillage philosophy of the baby boomers. Now we are going to sell off the few remaining assets we have so that the boomers can pay less tax on their savings and continue to pay a really low tax rate (less than Aus, UK and most OECD countries) thanks to NACTs tax swindle.

    Baby boomers have already sold many of the assets that their parents invested in so that they could fund their free tertiay education and reduction in weekly taxes. Add to this the ability that these boomers have had to pay virtually no tax through rental property and that their property speculation has just about made it impossible for anyone to buy a house.

    You only get to sell these assets once. No doubt this will suit the wealthy business elite in Auckland. This myth that ‘mum and dad’ investors have a spare $100,000 sitting round to invest is absolute bullshit. This is yet another strategy to allow the rich to get richer and the poor to become poorer.

    It would be really nice is the fawning that is going on with both the Dom Post and The Herald would actually look at this.

  18. O2B 19

    True to form for Key and his National Party.

    The king of carpet-baggers has done what many on the left has suspected for quite sometime he would do: Cripple the government coffers, via a reduced tax take, to the point of starvation, deliver the remarkably simple message of ‘tightening belts’ and reduced government spending, then use the prized skeleton key of RWNJs – state asset sales – to balance the books.

    Who are these Mum and Dad investors anyway, and why do they want to use their own money to buy shares in something they already own? And don’t keep using the Air New Zealand analogy as they’re a very special case. The airline services many domestic routes that while aren’t profitable, are needed to keep the country moving and therefore should have an interest from government. The fact that airlines such as Pacific Blue and Qantas have quit New Zealand demonstrates that airlines are purely in it for the profit.

    Just going back to the king of carpet-baggers. Can anyone tell me in the Helensville electorate tell me why you continually vote for a guy that lives in Parnell, and when he’s not in Parnell, Wellington or Hawaii? What has he done for his constituents?

    • Bunji 19.1

      You forgot Success Court, Omaha Beach.

      If you’re looking for someone else in Helensville (who actually lives there), let me recommend this guy…

      • O2B 19.1.1

        Thanks Bunji. I had the displeasure of visiting Omaha for the first time not so long ago, and noted immediately the unappealing architecture foisted upon the town by the well-heeled from the Queen city. It comes as no surprise that Key in fact own such a piece of architecture.

        I hope Greenbrook-Held gets amongst the locals this year and at least puts up a fight. He can at least say he lives there.

        • mickysavage

          I hope Greenbrook-Held gets amongst the locals this year

          Having met met him and seen his passion I can assure you that he will.

          • The Baron

            Greg, Labour could put a rosette on a f*cking terracotta planter and you would sing its praises. Have you noticed yet that all of your comments basically boil down to blind idolatry? What is it that you contribute to this party apart from being another useful idiot when volunteers are caused for.

            • Colonial Viper

              Surely you jest Baron, the irony, especially coming from someone like you who thinks so highly of “Smile and Wave”

              • The Baron

                You’ve been interviewing your keyboard there pal – or a too busy imposing your “one size fits all” view of anyone with a different perspective than you. I have no particular affinity for Key at all. I welcome evidence of my supposed John Key fanboism

                Otherwise, I will take this as proof that tour black or white world view tells more about your immature political analysis than it does about my politcal affiliations.

                • Colonial Viper


                  Hey dude why exactly should I present “evidence” that you would “welcome” when you are the owner of the above “rosette on a f*cking terracotta planter” literary gem? Spouted, I may add, with no “evidence” that you provided yourself?

                  Don’t waste my time.

                  too busy imposing your “one size fits all” view of anyone with a different perspective than you.

                  Meh. I’d welcome your evidence on that. Otherwise I will take this as proof that your black or white world view tells more about your immature political analysis than it does about my politcal affiliations.

                  (See what I did there?)

  19. Irascible 20

    Key is beginning the process to introduce the policies that have under pinned NACT for years… that the State has no business being involved in provision of community needs such as Education, Health, Prisons, Transport, Telecommunications, Energy… rather it should simply provide Policing, Defence and the Courts – all else should be sold off.
    Yep, John Key & Bill English are right on the button with a daring plan to strip the NZ public of the chance to sustain and build a Nation that can stand proud n the international stage.

  20. This whole relying on the stock market and selling state owned assets to the well rewarded to free up cash and stimulate the economy is bullshit !

    It may surprise some to know that many of us aren’t paying down debt or saving to be part of the great stimulus. We’re just getting by living hand to mouth. For us the 1/4 acre dream and a job for life has long since vanished.

    Whatever happened to the baby boom belief that we can own our own 1/4 acre section of paradise, replete with bountiful vege garden, supported and paid for by an honest day’s work and wages from a sustainable job ?

    I reckon that’s what Labour should be aspiring to restore or was that all just a myth to begin with ?

    • felix 21.1

      Bang on. What percentage of NZers actually have savings to invest? About 10 percent?

      Only 8 percent own rental property and I reckon it’s more or less the same ones.

      These fuckers aren’t governing for the rest of us, p.

      • Seti 21.1.1

        Bang on. What percentage of NZers actually have savings to invest? About 10 percent?

        At last count around 1.6m peeps have money to invest through Kiwisaver alone, not to mention the myriad of other local investment schemes that all would undoubtedly take stakes. Wouldn’t you prefer these investment vehicles, ergo the locals, to have a higher proportion invested locally than in foreign markets?

        • The Voice of Reason

          What’s a higher proportion than 100%, Seti? That’s the investment figure for Kiwis in those SOE’s right now. All 100% owned by all NZers. Will the Kiwis who don’t have the funds or Super schemes to take advantage of the 49% giveaway get compensation for their loss?

          • Seti

            100% of Kiwis will still own a majority and around 2 million will have an additional share.

            Compensation for the ‘loss’? Try $10bn…which can be used for…I dunno…social spending, infrastructure, debt repayment, preventing further borrowing and higher interest costs?

            Yeah, probably not worth it eh?

            • The Voice of Reason

              But 100% of Kiwis no longer own 100% of their own asset. Nearly half is gone. It’s been stripped from them and any future earnings are also lost. Taken to pay for tax cuts for the rich, which is handy, coz it’ll help Key’s mates afford to buy the 49% that has been appropriated.

            • pollywog

              nah not really, when not a single sustainable job will be created from it…

              …so what if the suits get to shuffle a bit of cash around the system and pad out the stats to make it look like we’re heading up ?…it’s all sleight of hand innit, like the great revenue neutral tax switch of last year

              i was promised that i shouldn’t be any worse off but guess what…i’m no better off either, so what was the point ? if it wasn’t broke why fix it ?…don’t bother answering.

              it was an election payoff for well to do supporters in thanks for voting in the blue suited clowns as opposed to the red suited ones !

              …and now the con is on to make us think we can own more of something we already own a hundred percent of. Only for the mum and dad investor, what they’d make up in shareholder dividend is gouged back in higher power bills

              It’s not the fact that we as a country are broke and the blue suited clowns have no ideas on how to grow some riches and create jobs that irks me. It’s the dishonesty by trying to con me into thinking whats good for the fatcats, well to do expats and cashed up foreigners is good for us all…

    • AndyB 21.2

      unfortunately the 1/4 acre dream was destroyed by the last government.

      • pollywog 21.2.1

        oh i don’t know AndyB. Exactly how did Labour destroy the dream ?

        …even going back 10 years, i still had a hope of saving for a mortgage as a first time buyer and that i’d be working for while to pay it off

        • AndyB

          possibly a little harsh to say that they destroyed the 1/4 acre dream. More like, they sat by and oversaw a massive property price bubble and did nothing about it. Screaming for a capital gains tax now is too late, the horse has well and truly bolted on that one.

  21. felix 22

    Hey Labour. I have a few words for you to practice. Repeat after me:

    “Renationalise, Without, Compensation”

    A couple more:

    “Strategic, Assets”

    Now say those words, in various combination, over and over again until you sound like you mean them.

    Fuck these fucking thieves. It’s on. Show me your war face, Labour.

    • pollywog 22.1

      Yeah i should have qualified that by ‘us’, i mean ordinary ‘Kiwi’ mums and dads to whom Farrar reckons will flock like sheep to buy up shit we already own…fat chance if we’re broke as !

      …so then who’s next in line to recieve the benefits of investment ?…uhh that’ll be the rich uncles and dowagers, currently living and earning off shore and looking for an even bigger slice of paradise when they return…Chur you fullas !

      If Key’s plan B, now that the tax switch has seen us ordinary Kiwi mums and dads no better off, is for the substantially tax lessed windfallen (that’ll be the extraordinary Kiwi mums and dads earning over 70k) to suddenly invest their savings in to companies we already own, in the hope it’ll trickle down to all via the market, then i’d say plow on with the cycleway…

      …or rather, on yer bike son and make it a tandem so Blinglish can fuck off with you.

    • OleOlebiscuitBarrell 22.2

      Brilliant plan, Felix.

      Will that apply to Air New Zealand as well?

    • Seti 22.3

      “Renationalise, Without, Compensation”

      Bwahahaha. Bob Mugabe much?

      • Bored 22.3.1

        Sound too much like theft Seti? I see it as theft to privatise my share of the state assets. Felix is right, as is Polly saying Ma and Pa have no cash.

      • orange whip? 22.3.2

        Don’t be a retard Seti. If I catch you stealing my sheep I’ll take it back. I won’t pay you for it.

        I want Labour to do the same on our behalf. Anyone who wants to steal our strategic assets should be warned that they’ll be given back to the rightful owners at the earliest opportunity.

        • Colonial Viper

          But what if seti left a few bottlecaps for payment for your sheep in your letterbox. Wouldn’t that now make it ok?

          • orange whip?

            I think I’ll just have the sheep back thanks. I hope the opposition parties feel the same way. Come on Labour stand up and give kiwis something positive to vote for.

  22. HC 23

    Well – what incentive is the government giving us to “save”? Most are simply struggling to make ends meet. After previous privatisation agendas we have lost most and have empty pockets now. The Fay Richwhites, Brierleys and so forth took us to the cleaners when the first big privatisation agenda was started and followed. They bought, sold and made hundreds of millions which they took to swiss bank accounts and other “investment vehicles” overseas. Then Telecom, BNZ, Air NZ and so on. Air NZ went bust, so we as taxpayers had to buy it back at a large loss. The rail company is another story. First sold, then sold again, then gone bust, now back in our hands and a liability, because the private owners never cared about improving the assets and the business. Wonderful JK, you really are now getting honest at last. You have run out of answers. No more cycleways, no more job summits, no more tax cuts, now we get to the last resort solutions of selling what is still left in our hands. Great stuff. You rubbish Phil Goff for giving the first 5.000 of income tax free to the earners as being too costly. What about your great brainless policies? I see nothing positive since you have taken power. All I observe is the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and more in their numbers. Thank you, dear John. I am sure you will soon ask Barak Obama for refugee status in his home state of Hawaii, where your humble mansion is situated. We will all breathe a breath of fresh and clean air once you have escaped. Until this happens I wish you to get in touch with the basics of NZ economics and environmental issues. Face the thrown cow pads that will be targeted at your face! Well, they look like pancakes, do they not? Perhaps have a sniff and a bite and taste? Wow, it may be brown pizza after all. The countryside is full of these, maybe that is a new export item? Cow paddies made naturally in Aotearoa. We export them in return to supposed Maori craft works actually made in China these days. That will turn out to be an export hit and bring in billions, I am sure. Good luck JK, your days are numbered with such stupid and nonsensical solutions!

  23. Daveosaurus 24

    Almost a day later and nobody seems to have been able to answer this question of Micky’s yet:

    “Name me one privatisation that worked for the benefit of Kiwis, […] just one, any one will do.”

    Come on. Surely there’s one privatisation or asset sale in New Zealand the past thirty years that wasn’t to the detriment of New Zealanders? Surely? Can nobody think of even one of them?

    • Peter 24.1

      I have been racking my brains to think of one, and I can’t come up with an answer either. I don’t think that there is an example.

  24. Treetop 25

    Highlights of the Nact government:
    2009 a cycle way which employs a few hundred in total, (sporadically).
    2010 top 12 % of income earners get 50 % of the tax cuts.
    2011 to sell off STATE assests to pay for debt as the panic button has been activated.

  25. Frank Macskasy 26

    Asset Sales… the #1 question that come to mind is; why should “mum and dad investors” buy something they already own?

    The #2 question is, will power prices come down through competition? Or, like Max Bradford’s promises of cheaper power, are we being rorted?

    And last question; are voters silly enough to ‘buy’ this pig-in-the-poke from John Key? Or will we be asking some serious questions as to whether this is the best idea that National can come up with to grow our economy and address our high rate of unemployment?

    If this is the best that National can offer us, then they are more incompetent than I originally believed. Because trading shares in SOEs will not produce wealth, except of a speculative nature. We need to make things; create value in processed products; develop new ideas and services – these produce actual wealth and growth in GNP. Shuffling pieces of paper as to who owns what bits of state owned enterprises will not create real, sustainable wealth and eventually such bubbles burst.

    Anyone who experienced the share-crash in 1987 will readily testify to that.

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  • Mainstreaming Māori
    Mainstreaming need not be inherently anti-Māori. It will be if it is done badly because it will be anti-those-in need, and proportionally more of them are Māori.That the Coalition Government says it will deliver public services on the basis of need rather than, say, race deserves consideration, even though many ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 hours ago
  • National says “fuck you”
    The Justice Committee has reported back on the government's racist bill to eliminate Māori representation in local government. The report duly notes the Waitangi Tribunal's finding that the bill breaches te Tiriti, and the bill's inconsistency with our international human rights obligations - and then proceeds to ignore both. Instead, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    10 hours ago
  • Christopher Luxon is – Big in Japan
    This week our Prime Minister Christopher Luxon… mmm, let’s take a moment to consider just how good that sounds. Hope you weren’t eating.Anyway that guy. Better? That bloke from the telly, he said - what I would say to you is… I’m big in Japan. My kind of people, hard ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    15 hours ago
  • Weekly Roundup 21-June-2024
    Tis the winter solstice! The shortest day and longest night of the year. The good news: we’re on our way back to summertime. Here’s another roundup of stories to brighten up your Friday. Our header image is from CRL and shows Waihorotiu Station lit up for Matariki 2024 The ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    16 hours ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Friday, June 21
    Our economic momentum remains anaemic, and it’s possible the tiny increase in GDP was a ‘dead cat bounce’. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Per-capita GDP has fallen 4.3% from its peak over the last 21 months, which is more than it it fell in the Global Financial Crisis recession ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    17 hours ago
  • The Futility of Punishment
    Hi,I was in Texas recently and couldn’t stop thinking about how in some parts of America they really like to kill their prisoners. As a society we tend to agree murder is wrong, but somewhere along the way Texas figured it’s fine if it’s after 6pm and the killing is ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    17 hours ago
  • The new Beehive approach to the environment
    A persistent theme has been weaving between the Committee rooms at Parliament all this so-called “Scrutiny” week as MPs have probed Ministers and agencies about their work and plans. The question has been simply what the environmental price might be if the country begins to accelerate its infrastructure building to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    19 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #25 2024
    Open access notables Climate Change Is Leading to a Convergence of Global Climate Distribution, Li et al., Geophysical Research Letters: The impact of changes in global temperatures and precipitation on climate distribution remains unclear. Taking the annual global average temperatures and precipitation as the origin, this study determined the climate distribution with the ...
    1 day ago
  • You take nicer pictures when you’re not drunk
    Readers keeping count will know it's more than five years since I gave up booze. Some of you get worried on my behalf when I recount a possibly testing moment. Anxious readers: today I got well tested.All the way across France I've been enquiring in my very polite and well-meaning but ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 day ago
  • Cancer
    Turn awayIf you could, get me a drinkOf water 'cause my lips are chapped and fadedCall my Aunt MarieHelp her gather all my thingsAnd bury me in all my favourite coloursMy sisters and my brothers, stillI will not kiss you'Cause the hardest part of this is leaving youI remember the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why we shouldn’t buy new planes for the PM
    Its not often that one has to agree with Judith Collins, but yes, it would indeed cost “hundreds of millions of dollars” (at least) to buy replacement aircraft to fly the Prime Minister on his overseas missions of diplomacy and trade. And yes, the public might well regard that spending ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 days ago
  • The Stadium Debate – What About the Transport Options?
    A few weeks ago, Auckland Council took another step in the long-running stadium saga, narrowing its shortlist down to two options for which they will now seek feasibility studies. The recommendation to move forward with a feasibility study was carried twenty to one by the council’s Governing Body for the ...
    2 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 20
    Social Development Minister Louise Upston has defended the Government’s decision to save money by dumping a programme which tops up the pay of disabled workers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: It has emerged the National-ACT-NZ First Government decided to cut wages for disabled workers from the minimum wage to $2 an hour ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Where the power really resides in Wellington
    The new Chief Executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) yesterday gave a Select Committee a brutally frank outline of the department’s role as the agency right at the centre of power in Wellington. Ben King, formerly a deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Why we're still losing the fight against Methane
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Carbon dioxide is the main culprit behind climate change. But in second place is methane: a greenhouse gas stronger than CO2, ...
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: More ETS failure
    A few weeks ago, I blogged about the (then) upcoming ETS auction, raising the prospect of it failing, leaving the government with a messy budget hole. The auction was today, and indeed, it failed. In fact, it was such a failure that no-one even bothered to bid. Its easy to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The Return of Jacinda.
    Oh, take me, take me, take meTo the dreamer's ballI'll be right on time and I'll dress so fineYou're gonna love me when you see meI won't have to worryTake me, take mePromise not to wake me'Til it's morningIt's all been trueEarly morning yesterday, well before dawn, doom-scrolling.Not intentionally, that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • How good is the interim NW busway?
    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    3 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    4 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    4 days ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    5 days ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    6 days ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    1 week ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    1 week ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    1 week ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 weeks ago

  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    1 day ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    1 day ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    1 day ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    2 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    2 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    2 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    2 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    2 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    2 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    2 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    3 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    3 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    4 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    4 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    4 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    1 week ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    1 week ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    1 week ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    1 week ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    1 week ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    1 week ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    1 week ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    1 week ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    1 week ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    1 week ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    1 week ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    1 week ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    1 week ago

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