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Time for an anti-asset sales coalition

Written By: - Date published: 1:50 pm, February 7th, 2012 - 128 comments
Categories: greens, labour, mana-party, maori party, nz first, privatisation - Tags:

Mana, NZF, the Greens, and even the Maori Party, are suddenly grabbing the asset sales issue from Labour, just when it actually started to be a really valuable issue to lead on. Shearer should stop playing pundit on whether the Maori Party will go and how ‘unstable’ that makes the government. Instead, realise the broad base of opposition to asset sales and build a coalition to stop them.

The initiative has been  seized by the Maori Party and iwi leadership. The Maori Council is lodging Waitangi Tribunal complaints relating to the ownership of the water used by the hydrodams that National wants to sell and whether the Government has complied with its legal good faith obligations.

Key won’t be unhappy with Maori going it alone against asset sales and using the Treaty like this. His strategy around asset sales and the rest of his agenda is to split Maori (nearly all non-National voters) from Pakeha (many potential National voters), in a re-run of the race-baiting that saw National surge from utter defeat in 2002 to near victory in 2005. That’s his only path to re-election.

But what about Labour? In what passes for their brains trust, Labour will be dithering:

Option 1 is get active, get networking, and lead a broad anti-asset sales coalition, of which the Waitangi claim is just an element. Thus diffusing the racial divide National is trying to fight this on. But that would be hard work, would require strategic thinking, and would mean dealing with people outside the 3rd floor (ewww)

Option 2 is chasing the reactionary Pakeha vote that Key is courting too by coming out against the Waitangi water claim. That would break any chance of a broad anti-asset sale coalition and, just as with the prospect of Labour chasing National to the Right on beneficiary bashing, wouldn’t actually win any Pakeha reactionaries to Labour because Labour’s position will always be softer than National’s.

With the same old crowd of Paganis and Mallards advising Shearer, I have a sinking feeling that they will choose the seemingly easier option 2.

But maybe all isn’t lost. The Greens are still talking to Labour about an anti-asset sales petition for a referendum.

If they agreed to act and then opened it up, got Mana, NZF, and the Maori Party to join too, along with various NGOs like the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa, unions, and environmental groups, then getting the required 300,000 signatures should be a doddle.

I mean, 300,000 among 60 MPs is only 100 signatures per week per MP – shouldn’t they be knocking on that many doors a week in their electorates anyway as a matter of course? The parties have tens of thousands of members between them while unions have 380,000 members and the environmental groups tens of thousands more. Getting enough of them to actually bother to sign the petition would be a big joint effort but what a great show of the Left’s ability to organise itself and what wonderful preparation for government.

The question is whether Shearer’s advisers are willing to be part of a broad coalition, or whether they prefer to rule their roost in splendid and irrelevant isolation.

128 comments on “Time for an anti-asset sales coalition ”

  1. Difficult for Shearer – is he being advised properly ? – it looks dubious.
    Is all this kerfuffle playing to Key’s strength – divide and rule (like Helen).
    A petition would be useful but what is the endgame first.
    Key might probably let the Maori Party go – he really does not need them, but will they forgo the perks of office and ministerial positions ?. It will achieve nothing being outside the corridors.
    The Maori’s are divided into two sections the Have and the Have Nots, and the gap is getting further apart by the day. The Have section buy means of this current “stand off” wants the sale price of the partial sales to drop to enable them to buy more cheaply. They have made no secret that they will buy (as cheaply as possible) and why not.

  2. Gosman 2

    Good turn out for the anti-asset sales march in Wellington I heard today. Okay I lied, it was pretty pathetic according to all accounts.

    • mac1 2.1

      In the ‘righty’ world, humour and sarcasm have to be explained, and then followed by a putdown?

    • fender 2.2

      Not like you to tell fibs Gosman!

      Yes it’s hard for people who would like to express dissatisfaction when it’s held on a work day, but if theres a weekend march I’ll see you there Gos.

    • Matt 2.3

      I shall defer to your expertise on being pathetic.

    • Yes, it was a low turnout, Gosman. It started about 40 or so, and ended up around 200+ by the time we got to Parliament. (Yes, I attended. I’m preparing a blog piece on it now.)

      Not bad considering it was raining, and not well publicised.

      But don’t rest your hopes on this low turn-out. It was the first of many to come. And they will build in numbers, trust me.

      When 80% of the population oppose asset sales, the government has picked a fight it will lose one way or another.

  3. Salsy 3

    It was pathetic because it was only announced the night before the event. Hopeless, even Peters was stopped from speaking apparently. Whoever organised this is an idiot. No social media, twitter .. Had it been done properly – like the mining marches for instance, with multiple stakeholders involved – it would have been a huge success.

    • burt 3.1

      I guess the organisers on the left don’t consider people have work commitments – why would they – work is what other people do to support their sense of entitlement.

    • Salsy. No, Peters spoke at the rally. The crowd wanted to hear him. The one person who wanted to stop him may have mis-read the situation.

      Anyway, my blog piece has some good shots of all those who addressed the rally, from CTU, Labour, Greens, Mana (Hone was extremely popular!), and NZ First.

  4. Treetop 4

    Time to change your power provider if it is one of those which will be destroyed by the Government. I personally want no part in being CONTROLLED by a power provider that I have NO respect for.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      You can’t tell where the energy has been generated. that’s the sneaky thing with underlying infrastructure, you can’t avoid using it, and you can’t avoid them clipping the ticket.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1


        And that’s another reason why power generation and distribution needs to be a state monopoly.

      • Treetop 4.1.2

        At least I won’t have a traitors name on my account! Choosing the lesser of two evils is not easy.

    • tc 4.2

      Treetop displays the atitude Key’s relying on….dinimic market will provide choice….err no bend over matey the retailers are all owned by the geneartors mostly and as CV says you got no choice so squeal like a piggy and enjoy.

  5. Te Reo Putake 5

    Some weird analysis there, Zet, but a sound idea. The other parties are not ‘grabbing the asset sales issue from Labour’, they are joining Labour in opposing it. Most were already on board prior to the election anyway.
    The Pagani/Mallard lie was put to bed a couple of weeks ago, wasn’t it? So why repeat it now?
    And, as for door knocking, MP’s don’t do that as part of their normal working week. What on earth made you think they did? They meet their constituents in the electorate office on an appointment basis. The door knocking is usually in the lead up to an election ( and some are better at it than others; Key was even praising Iain Lees Galloway’s efforts in that regard on the tea tapes).
    Personally, I’m in favour of pre-election voting blocks that make clear the nature of the potential Government. This sort of system works well in Latin America and parts of Europe. It’s not that the parties in the bloc have to agree totally, but they do promote a list of things they do agree on and campaign to make those things happen (or not) if they are elected.
    On that basis, I think encouraging all the parties that oppose asset sales to work together on a petition is a blindingly good idea and sets the scene for working together after the next election. If it gets the numbers and NACT refuse to action it, then that in itself might be good enough reason for a snap election. The sooner, the better, IMHO.

  6. JonL 6

    Labour need to get off their (increasingly well padded) arses, get out there and be seen to be trying to do something, or else they may as well pack up their things and go! If they try the same old soft sell, don’t offend the redneck, shit, they’ll prove they are no better than the Nats, so, why should anyone vote for them. We don’t need a “National lite”, thanks very much!

    • Matt 6.1

      Almost 25 years ago now, there was a skit on Saturday Night Live where Jon Lovitz, playing Michael Dukakis (Democratic presidential nominee) was debating a nonsensical George Bush (Senior, played by Dana Carvey), and lamented “I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy.”

      How can Labour not understand how to play this when National’s actual platform is so unpopular across nearly every voting segment. It’s astonishing.

  7. Labour should go with a petition and a mass based awareness raising campaign.  Marches, websites the whole kaaboodle.
    Anything less will liik like it is not serious and after making the policy the cornerstone of the 2011 election campaign there is absolutely no alternative.

    • Salsy 7.1

      Look at the keep MMP campaign, get those kids on the job – chuck in Anton Oliver (who I hear through the grapevine is joining an evironmental cause very soon) – effective!

    • Lanthanide 7.2

      “Labour should go with a petition and a mass based awareness raising campaign. Marches, websites the whole kaaboodle.”

      They did exactly that before the election. Have a look at your gravatar for evidence. Didn’t seem to achieve a lot.

      • mickysavage 7.2.1

        Maybe not but this is not time to stop.  In any event the opposition (Labour Green NZ First Mana) was 48% and they all had essentially the same platform.

        This is not the time to stop trying … 

        • Salsy

          + 1 and the Crafar sale has just stuck an awareness rocket under asset sales…

        • Gosman

          Perhaps they could also tie it in with a campaign to reintroduce compulsory unionism mickeysavage. By the way what is you position on that subject?

          • Frank Macskasy

            Personally, Gosman, I’d love every worker to join a Union. And for those Unions to wield the same power that employers’ organisation have.

            After all, if employers all join an organisation – why shouldn’t workers?

            And if right wingers disagree with a fundamental human right to belong to an association if they so wish – well then, tough.

  8. james111 8

    Find it very interesting that Labour brought in Kiwi saver where most of the money is ivested in over seas stocks and shares.

    Yet it will not let the NZ public or fund managers have assets here which are a worthwhile investment through partial asset sales. Really show how pharked up Labours thinking is, and how they are fiscal bunnies

    • framu 8.1

      “Yet it will not let the NZ public … have assets here which are a worthwhile investment ”

      we all ready have the assets nimrod – they are public assets at the moment.

      all youre really showing is that you cant, or wont understand the economic arguments for not selling off publicly owned assets and that you then mix that in with all other possibilities for investment

    • Lanthanide 8.2

      “Find it very interesting that Labour brought in Kiwi saver where most of the money is ivested in over seas stocks and shares.”

      Kiwisaver is a private fund-based investment scheme. The private fund managers decide where the money is invested.

      I think Gareth Morgan put it pretty simply, so maybe even someone such as yourself might be able to grasp the reason they invest overseas: diversification is a key plank to protecting yourself from risk and when NZers who live in NZ typically have most of their assets in NZ already (bank accounts, holiday homes, rental properties, their own home) the way to diversify is to invest in places outside of NZ.

      You’ll note that this is how pension funds are operated all over the world. There’s nothing unique about Kiwisaver, except that our local market is much smaller than most other developed countries, which drives more investment overseas than is seen in other countries.

      It has nothing to do with Labour “not letting” the public or fund managers have access to assets to invest to.

  9. Hami Shearlie 9

    Just saw Shearer in Parliament speaking about the Queen’s 60 year reign. Still sounding diffident, stumbling and unsure. I feel even more sure that the Labour Party have chosen the wrong leader. I just can’t see Shearer being able to hold his own over the Greens, Mana and Winston, at a time when Labour should be resurgent, holding the government to account over asset sales and child poverty . I really hoped that Shearer would have markedly improved his delivery but it doesn’t look like it yet. I wonder what David Cunliffe is making of all this?

    • james111 9.1

      Have to agree National look very happy campers he will get cut to ribbons

    • ianmac 9.2

      You mean that he is not the fine rousing speaker like John Key? John reads set speeches like an over-programmed robot with over enunciation, while his ad lib talk are are so lacking in clarity it leaves you free to take whatever you want from the clutter of umm ahhs and lets take a few steps back until the point is thoroughly buried.
      Simple Shearer sincerity trumps the Key mumbles any day.

      • Hami Shearlie 9.2.1

        Maybe so, but Shearer just looks and sounds diffident to me, obviously through lack of political experience. Hopefully he will improve. But Grant Robertson will easily outshine him in the House and that is not a good thing for a new leader. I hope Shearer will find his feet soon. However, I still feel that David Cunliffe would have been the right leader for this parliamentary term. Just my opinion, there are many others I am sure.

  10. TightyRighty 10

    your entire premise, owned by Steven Joyce this morning. So succinct, so true, so inclusive of everyone you want in your “anti” brigade.

    • Salsy 10.1

      Thats fucking rich from a government that offshores hundreds of state jobs and doesnt see research and development / the multi billion $$ green tech industry as a viable option. Next please.

      • Rusty Shackleford 10.1.1

        “…doesnt see research and development / the multi billion $$ green tech industry as a viable option.”

        Because it isn’t. If it was viable, investors who want to make a buck would be piling in in a big way. As it stands, we need giant subsidies, which actually crowd out jobs in the real sector of the economy, for much of it to be research. Just look at the example of Spain. Or I could shout “Solyndra!” really loud. Have proponents of hand outs forgotten that one already?

        Research and development in this area is obviously very important. However, the argument for the govt to put up other people’s money for it is not there.

        • McFlock

          Um – did Rusty just say that Spain is in the proverbial because it subsidises green technology?
          As for Solyndra, Jon Stewart flipped you off in about 10 seconds starting from 2m26s.

          • Rusty Shackleford


            I take it you get all of your economic analysis from a comedy news show. It all makes sense now.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            I just watched the clip. Did you even watch it yourself? It doesn’t back up your point in any way shape or form. I 100% agree with everything Stewert said.

            • Rusty Shackleford

              “If it was viable, investors who want to make a buck would be piling in in a big way. As it stands, we need giant subsidies, which actually crowd out jobs in the real sector of the economy, for much of it to be research. Just look at the example of Spain.”

              “research” should say “viable.” I dashed that off 2 seconds before class started.

              “And your “crowding out” meme is meaningless bullshit. ”

              • RedLogix

                Which is why governments usually do things like roads, hospitals, schools and electricity systems. In the early stages of their development the strictly commercial return of these sorts of investment are often negative and the risks are high. The private sector won’t touch them for exactly the same reasons.

                Yet in the long term the returns to the community as a whole are enormous. Indeed it becomes almost impossible to imagine society functioning without them.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  This could be the case in NZ, I don’t know. However in the States the federal govt usually muscled in on work the states or private firms were doing anyway. Often at costs far in excess of the benefit. The TVA is my favorite example.

                • TighyRighty

                  Errr, natural monopolies? There is an economic theory that completely rationalises there existence in the early stages of the technologies lifecycle. As techonolgical advances in the given area create viable competition in the the market place the justification for natural monopolies decreases to the point that there if the monopoly were to continue there would only be supernormal profits resulting from their operation. Schools and healthcare surprisingly offer the best examples in the this, though it’s the monopsony element of natural monopolies that best illustrates this.

                  • Gosman

                    Natural monopolies like Computer operating systems perchance? I mean when one company is in such a dominating position as Microsoft has been the obvious solution is to nationalise them isn’t it.

                    • lprent

                      I haven’t used a windows box at work for a few years and even then it was with reluctance. I worked on DOS from 2.0 and windows from 1.0. But like many programmers I have been dumping it for the last 7 or 8 years. I even cross compile for windows on Linux these days. It is easier to debug off the target platform.

                      I currently have a old server 2003 running a MDaemon mail server that I haven’t cleaned out yet. My laptop has the unused vista version it came with crammed into a grub bootable partition. My work system has the same with windows 7. With the exception of my iPad and iPhone everything boots Linux – mostly kubuntu. Hell we have a high end Mac at work that mostly boots Ubuntu because we are building a Debian variant target on a arm9. Sometimes it may get booted into OSX to use Xcode for IOS.

                      Lyn has macs. My parents are cursing windows and heading to the Macs when they find a bargain on trademe.

                      I suspect it is mostly dominant because of the OEM deals that have it sitting on my machines. Sheer inertia.

            • McFlock

              Even the bit where he says $500 million dollars is only 1.3% of the money given out by the governments green energy programme”? And then goes on to say that most of the other companies are doing fine? And that Solyndra is really only exploitable because the administration chose it as a flagship of the programme, and that there were possible conflicts of interest because one of the investors was a prominent democrat party contributor?

        • Colonial Viper

          Because it isn’t. If it was viable, investors who want to make a buck would be piling in in a big way. As it stands, we need giant subsidies, which actually crowd out jobs in the real sector of the economy, for much of it to be research.

          Nah man you’re just describing the private sector predilection for wanting the government to pick up all the risk and then to swoop in at the late stages when its all looking good and then taking all the profit.

          And your “crowding out” meme is meaningless bullshit. Or probably just describes a private sector unable to take real risks or put forward as good ideas.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Of course the private sector wants someone else to take all the risk. Who doesn’t? That doesn’t mean the public sector should.

        • Matt

          You know what makes me laugh? When someone unwittingly uses an example which crushes their own premise, that’s what.

          Solyndra was a failure, in part because the capital investment required for the panel industry is so high and returns don’t appear overnight, and also in large part because China subsidizes this industry so heavily that Chinese producers sell panels at below cost to wipe out the competition

          Huge subsidies defeat modest or no subsidies in a strategic industry, and one day the biggest culprit becomes a monpoly? Was that your premise? It’s a variation on Gresham’s dynamic, where unfair business practices squeeze out fair ones, in this case where subsidies crowd out private enterprise and the ‘free market’ doesn’t have anything to do with it because there isn’t one.

          Oh, and where’d Shanghai Pengxin get its money?

          • Rusty Shackleford

            If the Chinese want to sell us there goods at below the market rate (by subsidising them) then we should take full advantage. They are being very generous in doing so.

            This by itself can’t lead to a monopoly because when they start jacking up their prices other firms can enter the market or they can offer a substitute product.

            • RedLogix

              If the Chinese want to sell us there goods at below the market rate (by subsidising them) then we should take full advantage. They are being very generous in doing so.

              Not if we destroy our own economies at the same time.

              This by itself can’t lead to a monopoly because when they start jacking up their prices other firms can enter the market or they can offer a substitute product.

              All mature markets are oligopies; where the established dominant 3-5 players use a range of well established techniques to ensure they can prevent new entrants from getting too large and threatening.

              • Rusty Shackleford

                “Not if we destroy our own economies at the same time.”
                Well if Solyndra is anything to go by, the US feds are trying their best.

                “All mature markets are oligopies; where the established dominant 3-5 players use a range of well established techniques to ensure they can prevent new entrants from getting too large and threatening.”
                They are oligopolies because they use the state to keep other firms out.

                • McFlock

                  “Not if we destroy our own economies at the same time.”
                  Well if Solyndra is anything to go by, the US feds are trying their best.

                  Of course, if Solyndra is simply one atypical case cherry-picked for political argument, then it’s quite irrelevant.

                • RedLogix

                  Rusty only wants to back sure bets eh? The mere concept of risk has to imply some rate of failure. But Rusty want the US goverment to only back sure bets?

                  Besides if he wants failure.. how about the 6 US banks that needed $7.1 TRILLION dollars in bailouts?

                  Oh and if he tries the “they were over-regulated” tosh again;

                  Banks from 1940’s to 1970’s … heavily regulated = nice and stable.

                  Banks from 1970’s to 2010 … de-regulated = fracking chaos.

                  We’ve done the experiment; the results are in.

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    If you are using money, you took by force from people, you have an obligation to only get it right. You are assuming that you know how to spend the money better than the person who earned it does.

                    The banks failed because they knew they would be bailed out.

                    How do you even measure regulation? If it’s total number of laws on the books, then banks were far less regulated in 1940 than they were in 2000. How do you measure it?

                    • McFlock

                      Now the economic expert from the Somali Employers’ Association is quibbling over definitions. The last step to prevent actual facts entering the debate.

                    • RedLogix

                      f you are using money, you took by force from people,

                      Faulty premise. What so you don’t buy food under compulsion? You don’t rent or buy a house because you’re happy to sleep under bridges? You don’t bother paying for clothes because your happy to harvest your own flax and weave your own garments?

                      And so on. All this ‘free choice’ you prattle on about is mostly a delusion. You only really get a very narrow range of choices between a few options all of the same sort.. And in most cases from a very narrow range of providers.

                      The taxes you give to government is merely one of those things you must spend money on. They are only compulsory because too many parasites would cheat if they were not.

                      How do you even measure regulation? If it’s total number of laws on the books, then banks were far less regulated in 1940 than they were in 2000. How do you measure it?

                      The number of regulations is not the same as their effect. For instance I could pass a law that absolutely prohibits anyone from breathing. One very simple rule; very comprehensive in it’s reach.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      “Faulty premise.”
                      This isn’t an argument for govt action. All of that stuff can and is provided by the private market. If it wasn’t, the govt still wouldn’t be able to provide it because it would first need something to tax. For the govt to exist, people still need to be privately producing things (in order for there to be something to tax).

                      “The number of regulations is not the same as their effect.”
                      So, there wasn’t deregulation? Just regulation change? This still indicates to me that it’s the regulation that’s the problem.

                      I agree that the govt could possibly come up with the exact perfect set of regulations that would lead to perfect harmony in society but it hasn’t happened yet. For now, I feel safer letting the market punish those who suck at their chosen field and letting the govt punish those who get ahead through fraud or violence.

                    • RedLogix

                      This isn’t an argument for govt action. All of that stuff can and is provided by the private market.

                      Whoever provides the goods and services you want to have… you still HAVE to spend money on them. That is violent compulsion and force is it not?

                      So, there wasn’t deregulation? Just regulation change?

                      Nah the banks themselves called it de-regulation. Re-write history if you want; your credibility not mine.

                      For now, I feel safer letting the market punish those who suck at their chosen field and letting the govt punish those who get ahead through fraud or violence.

                      Yes, the market has it’s place. Low risk, short term and relatively local transactions are ideal, corner dairies, car yards, massage parlours and the like. This sort of thing actually forms the largest portion of the total economy so I’m not minimising it.

                      But the really serious critical stuff that we cannot afford to have fail we usually leave to governments.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      “Whoever provides the goods and services you want to have… you still HAVE to spend money on them. That is violent compulsion and force is it not?”
                      The mere fact of me existing and someone else having something I want doesn’t constitute compulsion or violence.

                      “Nah the banks themselves called it de-regulation. Re-write history if you want; your credibility not mine.”
                      History is subjective, so maybe I will. Especially if it’s the banks’ version of history.

                    • RedLogix

                      The mere fact of me existing and someone else having something I want doesn’t constitute compulsion or violence.

                      Of course it does. You want to eat do you not? Prefer to live in a heated house than under bridge in Europe right now?

                      Ultimately if you want anything you are compelled to buy it. In a truly free market you have the choice NOT to buy something… but apart from breathing fresh air nothing much is.

                      If you are talking about choice, that’s just a small subset of the primary reality. Besides Adam Smith’s hypothetical ‘free market’ was predicated on the entirely pretend model of a market with a roughly equal number of voluntary buyers and sellers … each with similar market power and none with a dominant position.

                      That condition is entirely imaginary and is never met in reality.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I have a heirachy of choices of which freezing or starving to death is a member, albeit very low on the list. I’m compelled by my wish not to succumb to such a fate to buy stuff, but no one is compelling me to buy their stuff.

                    • RedLogix

                      I’m compelled by my wish not to succumb to such a fate to buy stuff, but no one is compelling me to buy their stuff.

                      So what. In a market where you HAVE to buy from someone is NOT a free market. Sure in the modern world you may get a few meaningless choices around the margins, but for the most part, for most people, everything they earn is soon spent… pretty much because they HAVE to.

                      And most of it is spent with monopoly or cosy oligopoly providers. Doesn’t matter at all who owns them, whether they are private or public.. the same compulsion to spend ultimately remains.

                      Besides I’m bored with this thread-jack. Bye.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      There’s no more compulsion for me than there is for a man trapped on a desert island or a man who was born 200,000 years ago. I’m compelled by my desire to live, but so are those guys. The mere fact that someone possesses something I want does not mean that there is any violent coercion on the part of the possessor.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Rusty, property is defined by laws right?

                      If not, then you need something else that defines it. Some sort of normative claim. This is mine and that is yours etc. Those norms will have to be agreed. Were there is not an agreement, ie, where both parties claim the property then it will be decided by force. Not an uncommon event.

                      A property claim is about restricting the rights of non-owners to use of the thing. It is a claim of exclusive use for the thing to the person deemed, (by whatever method), to own it.

                      If property is decided by laws then property claims are decided, again, by force. the state will enforce the exclusive rights of the owner by preventing other people from using the thing.

              • TighyRighty

                Really? All mature markets? Such as banking for instance? Prostitution? Alcohol production? Can you name me three more mature markets that are also controlled by oligopolies? You really should stop commenting on economic matters. “red logic” is fallacy as shown by history repeatedly. Military wealth never destroyed the “red” dream, the freedom brought about by democratic capitalism did.

                • McFlock

                  Available for me to purchase from? Let’s see…
                  Don’t think so, but it’s still exploring deregulation. I’ll grant you there’s a certain level of natural competition from enthusiastic amateurs.
                  Definitely in the on-licences – almost all the pubs are with one brewer or the other, and off-licence distribution is limited to 1/2doz or so distinct suppliers.

                  • TightyRighty

                    maybe in the shit kicking, one horse town you live in mcfuck. There are over 70 wine importers and distributors in New Zealand. There are close to 50 micro breweries available through a growing number of bars specialising in craft beers from these breweries as that is what the market is demanding. Just because there are two dominant breweries, does not mean there is an duopoly or oligarchy because there are a few importers competing too. monopolies only exist because of the scale of the initial operation. you can’t say yes as an answer when you’ve only provided one example where i asked for three, which i provided and refuted your lame assertation that I was wrong about alcohol production. look at the success of stolen rum in this country in the year since it’s inception.

                    You need to run along an pay for an adult night class in economics. it’d be unfair to ask the taxpayer to subsidise your learning as it would be another waste of taxpayer funds.

                    • McFlock

                      the existence of minor competitors does not mean that the bulk of the market is not concentrated in the hands of a few major suppliers.
                      BTW, my economics training was largely taxpayer funded. Cheers for that 🙂

            • Matt

              Wow, that’s among the most idiotic things ever said on this blog, and that’s saying something.

              Particularly in a tiny place like NZ your only hope of competing is gaining a strong foothold and innovate while an industry is still immature. If you wait to enter you can forget it, as you will be decades behind and the barriers to entry will be far beyond your capability.

              Why don’t you Kiwis just go ahead and sell everything now and get it over with.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Because it isn’t. If it was viable, investors who want to make a buck would be piling in in a big way.

          You mean like the way that they piled into building farms, oh, no, that was government subsidies.

          Oh, I know, irrigation for new farms – woops, that government as well…

          I could go on. Private business has not achieved anything throughout history without being funded by government.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            “You mean like the way that they piled into building farms, oh, no, that was government subsidies.
            Oh, I know, irrigation for new farms – woops, that government as well…”
            You’re mixing up correlation and causation. All the subsidies did was benefit people who already had farms, at the expense of people who didn’t. Taking money from one area and giving it to another. No new wealth was formed.

            “Private business has not achieved anything throughout history without being funded by government.”

            So, we had govts before we had cavemen? The first guy (or lady) to make a tool (a piece of capital equipment) had to get a subsidy?

            • McFlock

              All the subsidies did was benefit people who already had farms, at the expense of people who didn’t. Taking money from one area and giving it to another. No new wealth was formed.

              So when entrepreneurs invest other people’s money on capital improvements for other businesses, they are wealth creators providing a valuable trading service in the marketplace. When government provides taxpayer money for capital improvements for businesses, no new wealth is formed.
              And the difference is … ?

              • Rusty Shackleford

                Entrepreneurs do so voluntarily. The govt does so through force.

                • RedLogix

                  Because when entrepreneurs can’t; the government can.

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    But often they cock it up. Sometimes they destroy the whole economy.

                    And the private sector definitely could during the times of fastest capital accumulation in history. How much subsidy money was floating around during the industrial revolution?

                    • McFlock

                      You mean the industrial revolution where 10 year olds were crushed in machinery and slavery was legal (at the start, anyway)?
                      You mean the industrial revolution where government financed sewers, railways, roads and bridges?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      You mean the entirety of pre industrial life where kids were free to toil to death on the farm and die from communicable diseases.

                      Or the industrial revolution that led to increasing tax for govts so they could subsidise what private business was already doing?

                    • McFlock

                      Except private companies weren’t digging sewers, they were just dumping their waste in the Thames. But then cholera shrinks from the shining light of economic freedom!

                    • McFlock

                      By the way, the normans financed their castles and cathedrals centrally, too. But sewers were a bit more useful in the 19th century.

                • McFlock

                  That doesn’t answer the question.
                  How can the government acting as an intermediary between money and capital improvement not add wealth, but when entrepreneurs do it they are wealth creators?

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    Sometimes entrepreneurs cock it up. That’s OK. It’s no skin off my nose. But when the govt cocks it up, there’s skin off my nose, regardless if I had a say in it or not.

                    • McFlock

                      BUT when the government doesn’t cock it up, it doesn’t add wealth. When the entrepreneur doesn’t cock up, it DOES add wealth? How so?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Because, the govt has no wealth of its own.

                    • McFlock

                      Nor does the entrepreneur. Other people’s money, remember?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Voluntary vs. force. Pay attention, please.

                    • McFlock

                      Am doing. “Voluntary vs force” is a moral argument about where the money comes from, it is not an argument about the wealth-creating characteristics of that money.
                      If it WERE, then blood diamonds coming into the market would not create wealth, nor would have the slaves used to gather cotton in the first part of the industrial revolution.
                      So how come a private entrepreneur investing in capital improvements in another company creates wealth, but a government doing the same does not?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I can see what you are driving at. However, where have I said it’s impossible for the govt to get it right? Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Just that the few successes don’t justify the excessive losses.

                    • McFlock

                      So now you’re hoing that I’ve forgotten what started this bit of the thread. Unfortunately for you, it’s still written up there:

                      All the subsidies did was benefit people who already had farms, at the expense of people who didn’t. Taking money from one area and giving it to another. No new wealth was formed.

                      You’re clearly stating that govt taking cash from one place and investing it in another does not create wealth. Which is odd, because this is exactly how our financial markets [are claimed to] increase wealth.
                      Seems to me you have a pretty big blindspot in your economic knowledge.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      The money still would have been invested SOMEWHERE if it hadn’t been taxed. Perhaps the govt could have invested or spent it better, but we will never know.

                    • McFlock

                      You couldn’t wriggle out of it with the argument that the money was sourced immorally, so now you’re arguing that the money MIGHT have been better invested elsewhere.
                      This is equally irrelevant to the point you made.
                      Government investments and subsidies are perfectly capable of wealth creation, just as capable as private investment.

                    • Fortran

                      Entrepreneurs like Crafer do you mean ?
                      His farms and standards were appalling which is why he went bust.

    • Matt 10.2

      Succinct and true my foot, what an empty heap of platitudes. Can I have my two minutes back?

    • foreign waka 10.3

      Quote from Steve Joyce:

      We live in a world increasingly without borders – at least not as our grandparents knew them. People these days can base their skills, their capital and their ideas just about anywhere. They don’t have to be in New Zealand.

      Many have left already, haven’t they?

      So when we think about the “you can’ts” we need to think about the mobility of people and money. Each time we say “you can’t” carries a cost. That doesn’t mean we should always say “yes”, but we do need to carefully weigh up the consequences of saying no.

      Mobility of money? If we say you can’t it carries a cost. So we are being blackmailed?

      And we should learn to stop listening to people who in the one breath chant “more jobs, more jobs” and then in the next breath say “but don’t do that, or that, or that”.

      Guess, this means in exchange giving up rights for minimum wage, social net for all, healthcare we could get Nike jobs galore.

      With what I see in all the YEARS of endless talk from politicians, everything has so far come at a cost. We are still waiting for the benefit to trickle down.

      • Carol 10.3.1

        Quote from Steve Joyce:

        We live in a world increasingly without borders – at least not as our grandparents knew them. People these days can base their skills, their capital and their ideas just about anywhere.

        It’s the wealthier people that can move most easily (eg sweetheart deals for the wealthy to immigrate to NZ). But the poorer classes have limited choices & can’t go far beyond Aussie. Shows where Joyce’s heads at.

  11. Rusty Shackleford 11

    If the assets are privately owned, then nobody except the owners have a say in who they are sold to. It isn’t the govt’s job to be dictating to people who they can and can’t do business with.

    • McFlock 11.1

      Fair enough. Now how about you follow that logic and go and sell uranium to Iran. Tell you what, on your way through drop some copies of the Anarchist’s Cookbook off at the Afghanistan/Pakistan border.

  12. Salsy 12

    A clean bill of wealth

    Should New Zealand somehow claim even a trifling 0.9 per cent of this green gold rush, we could see our average income climb by 82 per cent over the next decade or so – not only bridging the salary gap to Australia, but leaping beyond our West Island cousins.

    In fact, only the pharmaceutical industry is bigger now than cleantech, worth $800b of new-spend in Europe this year alone. Whether you believe the earth is getting warmer matters not – cleantech (any product or service that’s more efficient and reduces the environmental impact, but often referring to energy and fuels) is big business.

    Sadly the best National can do is lie about the 170,00 jobs in the pipeline, try to build a cycleway and ..well since that failed, sell the farmland and assets we own. Feel free to prove me wrong. Id love to know their hidden policies which will bring NZ back up the OECD in the next few years

    • Rusty Shackleford 12.1

      How much do you have invested in clean tech?

      How much farmland is the govt selling?

      • bbfloyd 12.1.1

        iv’e figured it out….. you’re a machine that’s been programmed to spout various, meaningless “facts” and figures using a revolving palette of logic sequences designed to wear down even the most competent debater by constantly forcing them to deal with the non logic inherent in every statement you put forward…

        they make so little sense in the real world that disorientation sets in, and lucid discussion becomes impossible……

        i’ve heard about this… you’re one of those “doomsday” machines…. built to hasten the “rapture” by the people who figure to be the only ones left after the winnowing… then there will be anew world order with racial purity and not a moron to be seen until the factories need staffing… then they will be “produced” to order….. that would be a brave new world wouldn’t it?

        • lprent

          Is that rapture the singularity version of Vernor Vinge and others, or is it that one with the prayer wheels, or….. Damnit there are too many variations on that wishful thought myth…

  13. Hateatea 13

    This is too important an issue to be dependent on who gets most of the headlines, which party has more quotes on the radio, blogs or television. For many of us, this is becoming a ‘last straw’ issue.

    All who oppose, even those within National or United Futures, should be standing together to say no more. If we allow ourselves to be divided by the politics of ego we will see ourselves defeated.

    I personally would like to see us all unite behind  those who have already put their stake in the ground, those who ensured s9 would be there in the first place, Sir Graham Latimer, Maanu Paul and the NZ Maori Council (don’t take this as blanket support for their positions on everything else).Today, on his 86th birthday, Sir Graham has lodged a claim at the Waitangi Tribunal. I am sure other challenges will be mounted in other courts or through use of the media.

    It behoves all of us who are concerned to get our priorities right, protect our assets first, promote our individual political preferences second. We may find ourselves with some strange bedfellows but we may also find ourselves amongst passionate and loyal New Zealanders, people who care 

  14. The Stepper 14

    The difficulty with Option 1 (being trying to unite an anti-asset sales brigade) is jumping into bed (and therefore being associated) with Winston and Hone. Both are polarising characters, and if Shearer goes that way he runs the very real risk of turning off the swinging middle vote. Additionally, and personally, I think Winston is on his last run as well.

    Also, can you imagine trying to get the parties listed on board? Winston would jump ship the minute it was politically advantageous to do so. Eventually the brigade would do something that Hone felt compromised his values and he would go on the attack.

    Fundamentally there’s fuck all they’ll be able to do to stop asset sales in practical terms, so I think Shearer should take a principled stand and stop fucking about the edges. He must be open, and loud, in his opposition. The next election (whether we like it or not) will still be Labour vs National. Shearer’s opposition thus far has been whimpering at best. He needs to distinguish himself from Key. Therefore, Labour needs to take a firm stance, independent of the other parties. That way at least at the next election they will be able to stand up and say that they took a stand on the issues that matter (as opposed to Goff jumping on every possible bandwagon – SIS briefing? Facepalm).

    • Eddie 14.1

      Nah. If Peters and Harawira are just members of a broad coalition, then they represent the anti-asset sales movement far more than if they are left to make their own running. Take the events at Waitangi, for example -it was Mana acting more or less alone and they did it their way and so they become the face of the anti-asset sales movement. A face that, as much as we might agree with them, turns many off.

      • The Stepper 14.1.1

        But isn’t that part of the problem?  Does Shearer really want Mana to be the face of the opposition to asset sales?  If Labour had been more strident they would be leading the charge.  Hone had an opportunity at Waitangi and capitalised on it.  Something that as yet Labour has failed to do.  And Shearer remains invisible.

        • Craig Glen Eden

          Shearer is a nothing getting advice from lice. His election we can thank on our stupid Mps.

        • Bored

          What I posted earlier on OpenMike re Harawiras cleverness…

          Cant help thinking what a master hand Hone Harawira played at Waitangi. The man (who I have branded a racist etc with good reason) certainly won my respect for his deft handling of the asset sales issue.

          Hone knew the Maori Party had to be detached from the Nats, and he knew this has to be made a constitutional matter because the Nats still had a majority of one. Most importantly he needed to keep the media from branding him a “Maori radical” at Waitangi thereby providing Key with a smokescreen.

          Master stroke one: shame the Maori Party amongst Maori hapu / iwi and council with the prospect of a retreat on Treaty Principles. Turn up the heat in the kitchen.

          Master stroke two: make it evident that their is no clear majority in parliament supporting asset sales and raise the issue of constitutional matters before the Govenor General and the representatives of the legal hierachy: Keys weak point is a disdain for constitutional law. Voila, a legal challenge appears and the Courts are primed.

          Master stroke three : know that the radicals would be outside making a noise that the media would use to support Keys case. Then have his mother sit with Key and himself challenge the radicals thereby disarming Keys most potent weapon: a media so friendly they fall for his photo op imagery and faux populism. No Harawiras to take the blame, no popular bad guy radical to focus the smokescreen on.

          Genius, my hats off to you Hone.

  15. OK, lots of comments and a great deal of anger and Zet is right.  If you care about your country and want to preserve our assets in community control you have to step up now and do something.

    So what will it be?

    A petition is an easy start.  All you need is a petition form, agreement about the wording and  a means of collecting it.  And widespread support.  A bit like the freedom campaigns in many third world countries.

    So who wants to start?

    The wording of the petition form needs to be crowd sourced for general agreement and then there has to be people willing to hit the streets to get it signed.

    Are people willing to commit? 

    • vto 15.1

      Yep, count me in. Although not sure how it can be done anonymously….

      “We want the law changed to prevent any person who does not live in New Zealand from owning land in New Zealand.”

      Example details to cover;
      “Person” has to include all entities, “owning” includes any interest at all such as beneficial etc of fee simple or leasehold over 20 years or other types, “land” includes land, sea, water, air, um… everything, and on it goes.

      I don’t really know how petitions should be worded but there goes my 2c. There should also however be a further part to the petition and that is something which covers ownership of other non-land things such as straight out businesses, especially those which are strategic such as airports, or basic life requirements such as electricity providers (lest old people die of cold – too important to leave to free market). But this is a difficult one because true free market business participants are seemingly ok, such as underpants makers.

      This second part of the petition should probably be something like “We want a comprehensive independent review of the advantages and disadvantages of foreign ownership of all types of non-land things like businesses”.

      Well, haven’t read the posts above and may be repeating but there we are. 2c + 1c = 3c.

      • mickysavage 15.1.1

        Lprent may want to run a post dedicated to the best wording for a petition against asset sales.  Then some of us may want to have a look at it and discuss a preference.  It could be a really interesting Social Media experiment.

      • Lanthanide 15.1.2

        I would sign a petition against sale of SOEs, but I wouldn’t sign a petition against sale of land to foreigners.

        I very much like Labour’s policy of a “default no” for any sales greater than 5 acres, and that’s not nearly the same as banning sales outright.

  16. And yes, we need to work together against asset sales. This is our future and children’s future we’re talking about.

    I heard some unpleasant comments made by one or two individuals at today’s rally, against certain political leaders who came to address the people. The political figures were all anti-asset sale – but a few in the crowd still had an “axe to grind” with certain politicians.

    Mana, Greens, Labour, and NZ First are not each others’ enemy. If we cannot work together – despite Party differences – then screw it, the Nats/ACT have won.

    “If we don’t hang together, by Heavens we shall hang separately”- as relevant now, as it was in 1801.

    • blue leopard 16.1

      51% of voters approx* 1,139,901 (*depending on my addition skills) voted for parties that said they were against asset sales. One would think there was no problem getting the numbers for a referendum.

      My concern is the level of disinformation that will be applied to the public in order to get them to vote against all of our best interests. How can this be counteracted? 🙁

  17. Karl Sinclair 17

    Is there a need to make public an in-depth analysis of asset sales (i.e. cost benefit anaylsis). Rather than rely on the present goverment who seem hell bent on using emotivie rather objective information to push their desire to sell Assets (dribble down media). Oh thats right, its commercially Sun-sut-tove…

    One could start here:
    Income from State Asset Sales as at 30 September 1999
    The problem is, its all so rather convoluted…. How do you pick it apart?

    1. Once the asset has been sold/partially privatised, how much income (percentage) trickles off overseas (i.e. follow the money)
    2. What is the proportional increase in costs to the public once the asset has been sold for the service
    3. How much money did brokers, lawyers, dealers, project managers make in the sale (Circa 100 Million for electricity generators, I would suspect…. hey lets double that as they usually get it wrong)
    4. How much more efficient is the organisation after the sale
    5. What percentage of the fictitious mum & dad investors held onto their shares?
    6. Who owns the majority of the shares?
    7. What Government officials at the time of the sale are now working for said companies.
    8. Where is the money going for the Asset Sales… more stadiums, roads, movies, charter schools.. Maybe invest into R&D for a solar powerd combined water proof, Lawn mower cheese grater with low drag wind drag coeffcient……
    9. Why did Micky Mouse say we could be anything we wanted to be (i.e. efficient) yet the myth persists that Government cant be ……

    According to this article http://www.converge.org.nz/watchdog/08/06.htm, some of the those questions concerning Historical Asset Sales have been addressed.

    Enjoy meine lieblings:

    Contact’s Chairman reported the Government’s intention to sell Contact. This sale proceeded in April 1999 when 40% of Contact’s shares were sold for $1.208 billion ($5 per share) to Edison Mission Energy Taupo Ltd, a 79% subsidiary of the Edison Mission Energy Company (EMET) of the USA. The other 21% of EMET was owned by “other unknown third party shareholders” of the USA (Rosenberg, 1999). Comment at the time reflected shock at the high price Edison paid for its strategic holding, and the likelihood of power price rises to follow. The remaining 60% of the shares were floated on the share market at $3.10, the issue being over-subscribed. The terms of this float were such that share brokers earned a greater commission from issuing shares to overseas shareholders than they did from issuing them to local shareholders. Many of the shares went to shareholders overseas (Gaynor, 1999). After the float, Gaynor assessed Contact as about 62% overseas owned.

    Oh and remeber this article (not quite the same but still the same effect i.e. the public pay):
    UK citizens pay £24billion extra for PPPs, profits go to tax havens

    “The taxpayer is paying well over £20bn in “extra” borrowing costs – the equivalent of more than 40 sizeable new hospitals – for the 700 projects that successive governments have acquired under the private finance initiative, according to calculations by the Financial Times. In addition, lawyers, financial and other consultants have earned a minimum of £2.8bn and more likely well over £4bn in fees over the past decade or so getting the projects up and running. The extra interest being paid on PFI contracts over the cost if the government itself had borrowed the money for conventional procurement was ‘a shocking amount of money’, said Richard Bacon, a Conservative member of the public accounts committee, parliament’s spending watchdog.

    Always remember:

    arbeit macht frei

    • blue leopard 17.1

      Thanks for the links Karl Sinclair. Did your first sentence mean to say ‘There is a need to …”, if so, I agree. There is a need to make public an in-depth analysis of asset sales.

      On having tried to find intelligent analysis of issues prior to the election, I was dismayed at the poor level of such, on television, which appeared to be more intent on sharing ‘experts’ personal opinion and party misinformation, than informing viewers of the real grist of each matter. I found this extremely dodgy, because the opinion was presented as informed analysis, i.e coming from ‘experts’ yet it wasn’t of an expert nature, merely opinion (and petty at that).

      I don’t bother buying newspapers anymore, have experienced too many faulty reports on people and things I know about to find them credible anymore, besides the grammatical and spelling errors are obnoxious.

      I tried the Listener, and what used to be an intelligent balanced medium for information, appeared to have been taken over by the crackpot logic of ‘business as usual’ type poorly thought out sentiments, which I’m sure National party sponsors were well pleased with.

      I just wonder what popular medium will choose to inform those people who wish to base their votes on something other than hearsay, and whether they will take this job on with all the conscientiousness it requires?

      When on a crash course on journalism, the teacher made every effort to impart the message that when writing for the public, one must aim at the intellect/education of a 12 year old. Perhaps, for a start, this approach could be dropped.

      • Karl Sinclair 17.1.1

        Blue Leopard, thanks for the reply.

        Yes, I meant there is a need to. Actually I would go so far as to say a legal requirement to understand the pro’s and con’s past, present and future Asset Sales.

        Your right about the lack of in-depth reporting and analysis. It’s simple a control mechanism.
        Knowledge is power. You dumb everyone else down so as to increase your margin of control.

        Personally I think the advocates of Asset sales get an A+++ rating for manipulation and cunning, but fall short when it comes to playing a fair game (D – Junk). Could it be that if people had time to get a clear picture of what is going on that our friends at the top may not seem so smart? (i.e. they’re actually rather average)

        The armed Profit will always win over the unarmed one.

        So the question is how do you redress this imbalance in knowledge (power). Just like the 21st Century School, we could have done it years ago but the powers that be have chosen not to. God bless their little silk and gold lined socks. Hope is always just around the next corner….

        Its ground hog day…..


  18. aerobubble 18

    The crisis created by Key is a distraction. Classic. Key is redefining and framing the problem of independance from foriegn capital as a Maori issue.

    A Orca was caught in a lobster pot line, a metaphor for our civilisation?
    As the Orca desperately tries to get air, shackled, it is tired and slowingly drowning. Weakened by our dependance on foriegn capital, on petroleum, we won’t as a species let anyone get near to free us. Orca’s are much smart mammals.

    The Green’s in parliament kept asking the question, how will the government work the asset sales so that Kiwis get first dibbs (in light of the free trade agreement).
    The government was either too stupid to understand or too intellectually corrupt… …for the government has to be fair too all investors. As the tax payers own the assets they can sell them at a loss to themselves???? at the height of neo-liberalism Thatcher argued that this was to bring new capital and new technology into the formerly state owned enterprises (due decades of potential cheap oil and easy money policies). But Key’s argument (despite decades of expensive oil and printing presses) is that it will also benefit NZ because it will help pay for tax cuts he gave the wealthy few (the debt now growing under national) – that’s no fair to NZ taxpayers.

    But there’s a huge problem for National. Take a chinese land holder whose land is seized by the Chinese government (and sold back to them at a high price), would a chinese citizen be able to take the Chinese government to court under the free trade agreement. No. Because they are a citizen and its not trade over the Chinese border.
    And therein lies yet another problem with free trade, since governments can help foreigners to not be shortchanged, but can’t aid its own citizens who are shortchanged by their own government that help foriegner investers buy up foriegn farmland. Over time the world will be owned by a international global upper class.

    Key is selling assets that return dividends to the tax payers, dividends that are worth more than Key has already valued the state assets in his budgeting. And wait up, what’s this I hear about asset sales are going ahead, water rights being sold off, and Dunne is silent about his promise not to support the sale of water rights before the election??? And there’s more not only have National decide to sell state assets, they have decide to book the returns in the budget, so when they say they are consulting the iwi they are going NOT to be discussing whether assets sales are going to happen.
    So its totally wrong to believe that Maori will stop asset sales by going to the treaty, they are essentially consenting to the sale dependant on the conditions of sale. The way to stop the asset sales, is three fold surely? One, fine a foriegner who has resided in NZ for a long time, have them take the government to court in WTO because they are being treated the same as a non-resident foriegner buyer, also the same as a kiwi resident invester in the state assets, despite having paid taxes to grow state assets. The second is a referendum, and the third is Dunne growing some integrity.

    Put it this way, as a tax payer we all own state assets, so as tax payer investors government cannot treat us unfairly compare to non-resident foriegn investors, since I really can’t see how a foreign investor can take the taxpayers to court if they treat foriegn investors unfairly, but tax payers can’t take governments to court likewise. Under the free trade agreement any government (including our own) can be held to account for policies that unfairly treat investors. if we as tax payers cannot take our government to the WTO then the free trade agreement is unconsciousable as a treaty since over time it will help foriegn investors when they are mistreated but not citizens of the nations who are investors are mistreated (collectively in state assets). The same argument has been used by a number of nations to nationalize state oil and gas reserves, I don’t see why any future NZ government could not renationalize and throw out the free trade agreement as unconsciousable. so it must be the case that we as citizens can take our own government to the WTO when our government unfairly help foriegn investors at our expense.

    We as a nation should own our own banks, tax capital gain, and control the majority of the economy. Less we forget what happens when the governing elites fail their peoples, chaos, civil wars, coups, oligarchs, etc, etc. MSM framing assets as a done deal anf the conditions of sale are all that are up for discussion (with a few Maori iwi) is wrong. National have no mandate for asset sales, Dunne went to the election stressing he would not harm NZ, however continued sales of NZ to fuel profits flows overseas does just that.

    So will National be struck by a lawsuit before the WTO when the sales of state assets happen, from a body of NZ investors who have been shortchanged by National, paying high taxes, are unable to buy assets they collectively formerly owned and could not afford to buy because they are under water because of other world government policies of printing money and buggering the world economy up.
    Free trade agreements that do not allow citizens to take their government to court when those policies treat foriegn investors more favorably are unconsciousable.

  19. Stuart Munro 19

    Whoever organises it, they should march on and occupy foreign ‘owned’ land. That will shake this worthless kleptocracy of a government, and put foreign ‘investors’ on notice that all they are buying is a world of hurt.

  20. Georgecom 20

    I would welcome a broad spectrum petition about asset sales.

    Labour/Greens/Mana and Winston First supporting it in parliament. Endorsement from the CTU and other left progressive organisations outside parliament. Tap into whatever right wing opposition there is, such as maybe the Conservative party.

    Locally try and get the various political party machines, organised labour, other progressive groups co-ordinated. Rather than each group doing its own thing, look for co-operation and a planned approach to gathering signatures.

    The issue could, if done properly, be a broad specturm opposition block. Doing the work can start to build some alliances and practising collaboration. The issue is a winner. The centre-left could successfully organise behind the issue. I’m certainly keen to give it a try.

  21. Jum 21

    The Left have the opportunity to doorknock the population on whether they want asset sales to go ahead, knowing now, that the most valuable resource which happens not only to be the priceless future earning utilities BUT the WATER resource itself – the real prize the greedy are after.

    Water and Land. Infrastructure and Food production. Priceless.

    Every person in New Zealand can be contacted. Ask them; do they want assets that already belong to them sold to others instead of being kept in perpetuity for their children’s children’s future and earning dividends for public works? Get their signatures.

    The final outcome of this government’s asset sales plan will then be solely on the shoulders of the worthy citizens of New Zealand. At present they can pretend they didn’t realise what JKeyll and Hide and Douglas were up to.

    How many towns are there in New Zealand? How many people are there in each town that are prepared to stand on a street corner and hand out that simple question on an A5 piece of paper? How many local papers are not controlled by the greedy few that hanker after New Zealanders’ assets that will be prepared to advertise this country-wide quest.

    How many individual people are prepared to make a stand and sign against asset sales? Simple question.

    Separate the greedy from the egalitarians. Tell them then to put their words into action or print to their MP, with a copy to MP Phil Twyford who tried to safeguard Auckland assets from greedy JKeyll and Hide and a copy to the chameleon Peter Dunne.

    If the ‘worthy’ citizens of New Zealand put their wish to safeguard the assets they already own into a trust for the future New Zealanders we will soon know what mandate JKeyll has behind him.

    Individual New Zealanders must decide, not en masse where they can hide their greed or their inability to consider future generations; they must understand they are at a crossroads between a grasping selfish society like America or a unique society of New Zealanders that puts the welfare of future generations above present greed.

    Individually, every New Zealander must choose and know without doubt that the present SOE asset sales are just the beginning, once JKeyll knows how little opposition he and his backers are confronting, if Kiwis do not stand up and be counted – yes or no to SOE sales and the future 220 billion dollars of assets still in New Zealanders’ trust with government caretaking not selling?

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