The Sell-off Begins

Written By: - Date published: 12:04 pm, January 26th, 2011 - 158 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.

158 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.

    • Pascal's bookie 13.1

      ” the people voted for less government, a lot less”

      God you talk some shit. They voted for Key, who campaigned on being Labour lite, and keeping Douglas out of cabinet.

      • Craig Glen Eden 13.1.1

        Talks shit all the time PB and we have all the proof please that we need.

      • KJT 13.1.2

        They voted Labour out for continuing with the same Neo-lib BS from 1984. Not NACT in.

        At last we have some glimmerings of sanity from Labour.

        Every privatisation and indeed every SOE run as a corporate has cost all of us more money.

        Not to mention the free ride private banking enjoyed before Kiwibank.

  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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  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    1 day ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    1 day ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    2 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    5 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    7 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    7 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    7 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    7 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    1 week ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    1 week ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    1 week ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    1 week ago