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Vote Key, get asset sales

Written By: - Date published: 11:21 am, May 27th, 2011 - 58 comments
Categories: election 2011, polls, privatisation - Tags:

Based on the Herald’s latest poll, that is a message the Left will be well advised to push hard. The poll shows 62% opposition vs 29% support for asset sales (that’s nearly as unpopular as the Wellywood sign!), while NACT polls at 56%. So, at least 18% are prospective NACT voters AND oppose Key’s main policy. The Left can win over many of these people on this vital issue.

The party support numbers are below. The Herald says these are “decided” voters only, and doesn’t say how many are undecided, which kind of matters when the total poll is only 750:

National: 54.4%
ACT: 1.7%
NACT: 56.1%

Labour: 33.7%
Green: 5.5%
LG: 39.2%

NZF: 2.7%
Maori Party: 1.5%

Other points of interest in the poll:

New Zealand First comes in at just 2.7% but Winnie has been doing better than that in many polls.

Just 9.2% of people feel better off under National, about the same amount as received massive tax cuts resulting from the lowering of the top tax rate from 39% to 33%.

The Herald doesn’t print the ‘feel worse off’ number and instead spins that “Almost 60 per cent of people felt their financial situation had improved (9.2 per cent) or was much the same (50.1 per cent).” Which means over 40% feel worse off under National.

ACT has a bounce from 0.9% to 1.7% but that means little. Brash will be disappointed. He expected his mere name was worth 5%. The arrogant bastard. ACT got zero support from women in the poll.

Hone Harawira has 1.6% support as preferred PM vs Brash on 1.2%.

58 comments on “Vote Key, get asset sales ”

  1. Chris 1

    The lefts problem is going to be that although 40% feel worse off it doesn’t mean 40% of people feel worse off because of National.

    National have managed to create the perception that it isn’t there fault it it the recession/last labour government’s fault. That is what the left need to attack and I really don’t think Phil Goff is doing a very good job of it.

    More to the point I guess from what I’ve seen it doesn’t particularly seem as if he/labour have anything in the pipeline aside from more the same which isn’t striking a chord currently. Maybe things will change over the next 6 months but I’m not sure.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      National have managed to create the perception that it isn’t there fault it it the recession/last labour government’s fault. That is what the left need to attack and I really don’t think Phil Goff is doing a very good job of it.


      Labour and the left in general need to point out that the reason we’re worse off is because of NActs+mP policies. They really have gone out and actively made us worse off for their own and their rich mates benefit.

      • Chris 1.1.1

        Yeah I definitely agree that needs to be the area they should focus on.

        Kind of strange but they could do worse than read David Farrar’s column today. Obviously it’s blatantly trying to point out how crap Labour is but a lot of his points are fair enough at the same time.

  2. Policy Parrot 2

    The main concern is that many of the those indicating they would vote National are actually opposed to asset sales, but this doesn’t seem to be enough to bring them over.

    Perhaps they are economically left (nationalist/mercantilist) socially right voters that have been identified with NZ First, that still dislike Labour with a passion, and would seemingly prefer a John Key asset selling government to NZ First propping up a Phil Goff Labour government.

    Unfortunately, many of these voters are so deeply ingrained with their prejudice, that they actually end up voting against their own principles.

    Either that, or they [voters identified above] believe Key can be persuaded against, which is utter rot, considering he ruled out Winston Peters (who could be relied upon to support that type of government – think post-1996).

    • Kevin Welsh 2.1

      “Cutting off your nose to spite your face” seems to be an ingrained character trait in New Zealand these days.

      • gobsmacked 2.1.1

        Don’t blame the voters.

        People want to vote against National policies. But not for Labour’s caucus and leadership.

        This has been obvious for months, if not years. So naturally, nothing has been done to change it.

        There’s nothing more to be said, really. Labour MPs will lose the election to Key, but will keep their own jobs. We don’t deserve the former, and they don’t deserve the latter.

        I vote Labour, and I don’t respect them. Every week they find another way to piss me off. So God only knows how swing voters feel.

        • Blue

          Then why continue to vote for them? I find that baffling. They “piss you off” you “don’t respect them” yet you continue to vote for them.

          • Blighty

            because of their policies.

            It’s the exact opposite of why people who hate National’s policies continue to support Key as PM.

            • PeteG

              Quality of people is far more important than policies. If you don’t have good enough people then the policies are pointless – especially when the policies need to be negotiated in coalition anyway.

              • r0b

                Are you serious? That is so wrong, I don’t even know where to begin.

              • Bored

                What a bollock brained comment PeteG, where do you see any quality in Nact? My viewpoint is that they are all total fuckwits. And after watching Key on “clean green” liars to boot.

              • Quality of people is far more important than policies.

                Disagree for many reasons.

                1. ‘Quality of people’ can’t be judged by millions of voters who have no idea of what the people are like except via media snapshots (e.g., Sue Bradford was a quality MP according to just about all other MPs yet the populace came to believe she was a ‘low quality’ MP). It’s far more likely that a voter will respond to some highly selective (often highly spun) feature of the ‘people’ they vote for. FGS, we aren’t even very good at judging how happy the people we encounter truly are (we overestimate), so how are we going to judge the ‘quality’ of people we’ve never met?
                2. Even if it were possible to determine the ‘quality of people’ that is irrelevant to the quality of their decision making and policy prescriptions. Plenty of people with ‘quality’ in one aspect of their character or capacities are completely out of depth in areas they find themselves making decisions about.
                3. If you need to be worried about ‘quality’ of people you have your electorate vote. The party vote has to be about policies otherwise it invites the kind of superficial ‘baby kissing’, ‘handshaking’, ‘he’s good to his kids’ kind of manipulation that serves democracy very ill.
                4. Policies are ‘codified’ (i.e., written down) which means people (irrespective of their ‘quality’) can be held to account in relation to them.
                5. By all accounts, Jimmy Carter was a ‘quality person’ – honest, genuine, etc. – but still had a policy of upping the arms shipments to Indonesia at a time when Indonesia was murdering tens of thousands of East Timorese.
                6., 7., 8. … ad infinitum examples like point 5. 

                To reverse-paraphrase you – ‘if you don’t have good enough policies then the people are pointless’. Actually, it’s worse than that. Having ‘quality people’ front shonkey policies is a well known advertising recipe for successful con jobs – think Colin Meads.

                Edit: Of course, all other things (i.e., policies) being equal, a ‘quality’ person/MP is clearly to be preferred.

            • gobsmacked

              I’m a social democrat. So I vote Labour.

              It’s not NZ Idol. Elections are about us, not them. I want a better (lefter) government, so I’ll vote for one.

              The fact that Labour MPs fail to perform well as opposition to the bastards, doesn’t make me switch to the bastards.

  3. PeteG 3

    Just 9.2% of people feel better off under National

    That’s not surprising as we try and stutter out of a prolonged recession. Most people understand that.

    What’s not clear is how many of those who don’t feel better off under National think it’s because of National. Polls suggest they either don’t blame National much, or are put off more by Labour’s extended clustermuck-ups.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      That’s not surprising as we try and stutter out of a prolonged recession. Most people understand that.

      Actually the GST increase hurt a lot of people, particularly those on less than $29K p.a.

      Half of New Zealanders in other words. Most of them understand that.

  4. Campbell Larsen 4

    It’s a shit poll – not really worthy enough to comment on- a sample size of 750 vs a population of 4.4 mil plus makes crystal ball gazing seem like a precise science.

    • gobsmacked 4.1

      Every single poll on asset sales has shown a majority opposed.

      Then the same polls, asking the same people, show that many of those who oppose asset sales are not intending to vote Labour.

      You want to dismiss it as “only 750”? OK, then “only” hundreds of people say they oppose a core government policy, but won’t vote for the opposition.


      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Yeah there’s a wee bit of an ongoing disconnect there and it is a big problem for the Left.

  5. Deadly_NZ 5

    And now it seems that bill is in talks with the Chinese re Asset sales and they have 6 billion to spend. Now why does that number sound suspicious?? OH yes of course that’s what the NATCS will sell our NZ OWNED family silver to the Chinese. Now you all know what it’s like trying to get ant thing done on many call centres that link to the Philippines. Imagine what it would be like getting anything done if the Chinese own it. The day after they buy in, I expect a price increase of about 10%, and yearly increases of about the same. They got to get their money back. And Smarmy Key and Blinglish will asset strip NZ so when we finally boot them out it wont matter the country will be fucked. Our natural beauty will be ruined by Open cast mines and our deep blue seas will be black with stain of oil, that leaks from the hundreds of foreign owned oil & gas rigs. And the South Island will be mined for it’s iron sands by the Chinese who will buy the National Govt. for 6 Billion Dollars.

    The Stakes have suddenly got very high They cannot be allowed to win.


  6. Tom Gould 6

    Their own focus group work showed that asset sales alone is not enough to make them change their vote. Simple as that, I guess.

  7. I cannot understand these crazy polls ,are they really what the public thinks.

    Asset sales ,unemployment ,low wages and work conditions bloody awfull.
    The money scandals just go on and on. Key is a consistent liar all this and more yet the polls have these crooked bastards way out in front. either these polls are completely wrong or the general public is loony .I can believe both .

  8. NickC 8

    RE this disconnect between asset sales and voting intentions: People simply don’t see it as the big issue that Labour see it as. Most recognise that there is nothing wrong in principle with selling a revenue generating asset in return for a lump sum (otherwise why would anyone ever sell their house), and the xenophobic overtones about foriegn investors dont resound with most people, who are quite happy with NZs role in a global economy. The guarentee that government will retain majortiy ownership aleviates peoples fears about ruthless coroporations making all the decisions.

    It isnt that people dont make the connection between opposing asset sales and Labour. Labour is doing everything to brand the anti privitisation campaign in bright red with Phil Goffs face all over it and there is no success.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Most recognise that there is nothing wrong in principle with selling a revenue generating asset in return for a lump sum (otherwise why would anyone ever sell their house)

      Dumb example, the house that people live in is not a “revenue generating asset”.

      A better example would be that people sell the house that they own freehold and then rent it back from the new foreign owners for a high price.

      Guess why that hardly ever happens – because its dumb financially. Yet you are pushing us to sell an asset which makes us significantly more in ROI than the debt costs us in interest.

      Right Wingers suck at economics.

      • Nick C 8.1.1

        It could easily apply to a property investor who owns multiple properties: Should he ever sell any of his houses?

        The example also applies to the family house however. Say I wanted to move from my first house to my second. My options are 1) Keep the old house and use it as a revenue generating asset or 2) Sell it and use the money to pay for the second. Under your principle I should choose option one; I should save enough for a deposit and get another mortgage. Most people however choose option two.

        Also the insults which you both throw at the end of your comments, apart from being unnessesary are reflections on the fact that you lend far more importance to this issue than the 18% of voters who oppose SOE sales but would vote National. If you reject my explanation how would you explain it? It’s not like voters lack a variety of anti privitisation parties: Labour, Greens, NZF, Mana etc

        • Draco T Bastard

          1) A house is not a revenue generating asset. Sure, you can rent it out and become a parasite but it’s still not generating revenue (ie, being productive). Although, if you do decide to become a parasite, you now have a valid comparison as what you’re doing is now the same thing – taking capital away from someone else for nothing. The person you’re taking money away from receives no benefit relative to the amount they’re paying, they have decreased capital with which to work and you have the ability to kick them out.
          2) This is, of course, the moral option.

          Selling businesses and assets to foreign owners is bad for our national economy because, get this, our return on capital diminishes which increases our national deficit. When I was at Uni doing economics I had a professor throw up a chart showing this to be true (I really need to make another version of that one day).

          People simply don’t see it as the big issue that Labour see it as.

          I suspect the reality disconnect explanation is the correct one but obviously that’s just a guess as I’m not psychic. People do think it’s important they just haven’t yet realised that Nact plan to sell and probably have the buyer lined up.

          Also the insults which you both throw at the end of your comments, apart from being unnessesary…

          Pointing out that you’re a fucken moron isn’t an insult – it’s merely a statement of fact. As they say, truth hurts.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      and the xenophobic overtones about foriegn investors

      It’s not xenophobic you moron. It’s a rational decision as foreign investment is bad for us.

  9. ZeeBop 9

    Why do you hate NZ so much? We need profits! So what if families can’t to buy milk for their kids! Why do you hate taxpayers so much? I bet you’re one of those people who finds out their dying and make sure the taxpayers don’t get your home by getting a will out. How dare you, we need to grow our economy by taking on more debt, so much debt that we leave child open to buy up all our farmland, and when we have finished with the farm sell off, we sell our first born too. Geez why do you hate NZ so much, why won’t you give up your first born? Milk prices are set by the market and so we all know that means making farmers pay the cost of their pollution will drive up those market set prices. If we don’t sell milk, the rest of the world will get their farmers to and have them pay the environmental costs, Yea-gads man they might save the environment while they are at it! How will we then call NZ 100% pure with all our pollution of water ways etc. The few left who do believe the branding won’t anymore.

  10. JD 10

    How about “Vote Goff, get Winston”


    • Campbell Larsen 10.1

      More accurately “vote left and get your country back”

      • Bored 10.1.1

        Thanks Campbell, in the words of Johnny Rotten “Ever get the feeling that you have been had?” The larceny has been going on since 84.

      • JD 10.1.2

        Sounds like something straight from the Ministry of Truth

        • Puddleglum

          What, like ‘Vote National and get a brighter future’?

          • Jim Nald

            “Key wanna sell our assets
            We wanna kick his ass”

            Any individual or organisation against asset sales can use that, or any variation of that.
            You read it here first.
            I’ve posted this a couple of times and here it is again to make it resonate.

  11. Chris 11

    Everyone is still missing the bleeding obvious – Labour will not will as long as Goff remains as ‘leader’. Simple really.

    • Jim Nald 11.1

      Fk the presidential-style campaigning
      Vote for a team of representatives who will protect and indeed promote our interests,
      not the ruling parties who are rorting and ripping us off.

  12. Colonial Viper 12

    David Mahon NZ Investment Banker and NZ Economic Saboteur on National Radio

    [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ckpt/ckpt-20110527-1706-chinese_frustration_with_nz_rising_-_banker-048.mp3" /]

    This guy has the freaking nerve to suggest that we should sell our power generation assets to the Chinese so that we can curry favour with them and maybe they will give NZ “priority” because we will be sending a “strong signal” of…what? Being chumps who act against our own interests of economic sovereignty and energy independence?

    What a short termist deal cutting commission seeking asshole. He clearly understands nothing about how the Chinese think. Which is in multiple generations.

    Well Mr Mahon, “veteran” investment banker that you are, how easy would it be for the NZ Government to purchase a share of some of China’s choice strategic energy assets, say their coal, their oil, the 3 Gorges Dam, their gas supply contracts with Australia or any of their nuclear power stations?

    Don’t tell me, it would be IMPOSSIBLE right? Because the Chinese aren’t stupid enough to give up their strategic hard energy assets to foreigners for worthless electronically printed USD. But they’d love to see if us Westerners in NZ are dumb enough to sell our family silver to them, especially for worthles USD that they have piles of.

    Mahon even does himself better during the interview, he says that the Chinese value our ag/hort technology and know how a lot and we should sell it off to them.

    Fuck this asshole. He better talk to the Scandanavians who at the moment are losing hundreds of millions of dollars because the moment China got their wind turbine technology, China decided that it was going to own that market for itself.

    This guy is unbelievably driven by the quarter on quarter John Key deal cutting mindset, he wants a slice of the action no matter the cost to our economic and energy sovereignty, and bloody well deserves a dozen lashings for being a traitor to this country.

    And of course, Mary whats-her-name interviewing him has no freaking idea of anything and provides nary a challenge to his self serving bullshit.

    • Carol 12.1

      Yes, I heard that on the way home tonight and thought it was all terribly convenient that guy was talking on the same day that Bill was talking up Chinese & SE Asian investments to solve our debt problems. They said that China had “helped” out the US with it’s economic problems by investing in the US, lending them money etc. They said on RNZ that now the US was becoming less significant for China (why?) and it was looking now to invest in Aussie & NZ.

      My questions are:

      How much has Chinese financial support helped the US economy in the long term? And how much has it just helped Chnia to be more economically dominant internationally?

      Why is China now less interested in the US & more interested in Aussie & NZ?

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        How much has Chinese financial support helped the US economy in the long term?

        The Chinese was a drug dealer who needed a customer for the piles of product he was collecting and the US was the client who needed a dealer to feed his addiction.

        Neither have come off unscathed but obviously the drug (i.e. debt) dependent addict is the one who is more stuffed.

        • Carol

          Thanks. Sounds like more of the same unproductive economic international economic fiddling.

          On RNZ, Checkpoint tonight I also heard some critical comments from brian Gaynor about how some international “investment” wouldn’t be that positive for NZ.

          • Colonial Viper

            Thank goodness. Gaynor is not always my favourite but at least he uses his noggin.

            • Carol

              Yes. I think Gaynor’s point was about the folly of selling of SOEs.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Selling any business or asset to foreigners is bad for our economy and eats away our sovereignty.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      He better talk to the Scandanavians who at the moment are losing hundreds of millions of dollars because the moment China got their wind turbine technology, China decided that it was going to own that market for itself.

      And the Russians. China had a license to build 200 SU-27 aircraft but, after building 105, cancelled the deal. They got hold of a few, reverse engineered them, and became a direct competitor. The tech transfers from the West helped.

  13. JD 13

    Gotta love the xenophobia on this site. The mindsets getting more and more like ‘national socialism’.

    • Carol 13.1

      It’s not hatred of foreigners, it’s hatred of wealthy corporates ripping us off. I’m quite happy to have immigrants come to NZ from diverse countries, especially if they want to contribute to doing something productive in the country. I don’t want foreign interests ripping of our resources in order to make themselves richer & us less well off in the long run.

  14. Afewknowthetruth 14

    The merit in re-electing National is that National will probably implode of the NZ economy, empty the coffers, sell off everything they can, and reduce the majority of NZers to peasant status somewhat faster than Labour would.

    Peak Oil, climate change and collapse of fiat currencies etc. will take their toll whoever is in power. So it probably comes down to a choice between ‘slash and burn’ under National and ‘death by a thousand cuts’ under Labour. The final result will be much the same.

    Only when present economic and social arrangements have collapsed will the general populace wake up from the consensus trance they are currently in, and start doing what actually needs to be done.

    • Jum 14.1


      An idiot answer if ever there was one. When New Zealand has been taken to the cleaners do you seriously think New Zealanders will be given any choice on how to deal with what’s left. We’ll be told what to do and how high to jump.

      This year will determine whether NZ wants to be New Zealand or to be another state of Key’s America.

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1

        Yep, which is why I keep calling for NZ to develop our own weapons and to build up our defense forces so that they can actually defend us. ATM, we’re sitting ducks.

  15. swordfish 16

    Good post, Eddie.

    Foreign Ownership of Farms is another (closely-related) issue where a clear majority of New Zealanders Oppose. Particularly so with the Over-60s (who have been the least likely to vote Labour/Green in recent years). Labour needs to relentlessly push its opposition on this issue at Grey Power meetings up and down the Country. The Over-60s need to know that NZ First is unlikely to make it back into Parliament.

    (1) Asset Sales/Privatisation
    (2) Foreign Ownership of Farms
    (3) Brash Extremism
    = Three mutually-reinforcing issues that the Centre-Left need to hammer home this Election.

    According to polls, Women are particularly opposed to all three.

    There are also some nominally minor issues that the Greens might capitalise on. SAS troops in Afghanistan (and, of course, recent revelations on their dodgy operations) may seem like a minor issue, but younger/middle aged Women appear to be strongly opposed (again, this opposition outstrips Left support among this demographic – so something the Greens could run with).

  16. Georgecom 17

    It’s an issue that needs to be constantly pushed and chipped away at. If the % of people opposed is that high it should, over time, translate across into some form of vote swing. Agitate, educate, organise. An issue has been identified, keep talking about it and unveil the alternatives, organise events and focus on the issue.

  17. anne 18

    It has to be remembered also that J Shipley and JK and the asian, cant remember her name,the one that took many flights to china and also her hubby and spent tax payers money, all of the above are up to their hairy armpits on this one and all expect to make healthy dividends from prospective sales of SOE’S.

    • Jum 18.1


      On 14 April 2011, Herald, John Key was quoted as saying ‘Power had made a big contribution in his role as SOE minister. “including work on the development of the Government’s proposed mixed ownership model”.

      Power gave up his state-owned enterprise portfolio in order to avoid potential conflicts of interest.’

      ‘He said he would seek a role where he could participate in substantial changes to existing structures. I’m more in the category of let’s turn this thing upside down and see what falls out.’

      I would suggest that New Zealanders may be the ones who will ‘fall out’. Not only are the assets going to be sold but Power will be managing them in his role as a lawyer.

      I do hope the people of Rangitikei are happy about that. Maybe they have the money to scoop up those assets that belong to us which Power will be helping to strip and sell off in his private capacity.

      I’m sure the NActs just love the plan coming together, all under the noses of Key’s many New Zealand fans whether they be business roundtable or the fundraising dame Horton or the asset strippers Fay/Richwhite, etc etc.

      (It was Pansy Wong).

  18. anne 19

    Thanks for your clearing up of pansy wong,you have hit the nail on the head,its a scary prospect should nat/act be the government.
    Powers involvement is interesting though,it has a stench of insider trading.
    I can not understand why these sorts of rorts are not put out into the public arena,we know there is corrupt practices and yet the blindfloods are still on.
    If politicians can claim amunity in parliament,then the public can claim it outside of parliament and demand a full truthfull explanation through media sources.

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