web analytics

What a shambles

Written By: - Date published: 8:01 am, September 4th, 2012 - 37 comments
Categories: privatisation - Tags:

I think Mike’s hit it on the head. National’s asset sales policy is dead, it just doesn’t know it yet. Key’s punted for touch, pushed the hard calls out by six months (at a cost of another $10 million to us, thank you very much). But what’s really going to have changed when we get to March 2013? Key’s ruled out giving iwi what they want. So, any sales will be blocked by court injunctions.

You would have thought that Key would have bit the bullet and set aside shares for iwi now, rather than delaying that inevitability for six months so that there can be just five weeks of talks with iwi. That they didn’t suggests a weakening commitment to the asset sales by the government – although certain ministers obviously haven’t reached the point of deciding to throw in the towel entirely.

For the Left, for all of us who have fought these sales, the delay is great news. The issue rolls on but no actual sale takes place. The best of both worlds. Labour and the Greens’ call for the referendum to be held before the first sale now has even more power. They will have the petition completed soon and there will be no reason why the referendum can’t be held before March 2013. If National refuses to allow a referendum before any sales, then that gives another stick to whack them with and puts them even further off side with the public. The Nats aren’t fools. They know this.

Which adds further colour to the decision to delay. If they had pushed ahead now, they would have been able to make the referendum look pointless – as it is they have dramatically added to the potency of the referendum. Maybe, just maybe, Key is even looking to the referendum as an out for this stupid and crisis-laden policy.

How much longer will Key be content to bleed over a policy that makes no sense and has no positive impacts on the economy, a policy that is actually just about giving some rich people a few more gold-plated shares? About six months, I reckon.

37 comments on “What a shambles ”

  1. Carol 1

    Key Inc, is still aiming to divide (Maori, and Maori vs Pakeha) by using the water issue as a reason for delay, rather than the poor market conditions.

    There’s some method in their shambles.

    • mike e 1.1

      they knew before the announcment thats why Brownosely has changed the way RONS are funded.
      That was an argument the greens put up for funding the shortfall in the CHCH rebuild as well.
      A temperory tax of 1,2 and five percent on the welloff for ten years instead of borrowing.

  2. DJL 2

    For the first time I went over to the other side and red a couple of posts and several comments. I have to agree with Carol, its like a big bees nest has been wacked with a stick, they seem pretty angry and are using some language to blame it all on Maori.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Yeah, I went over to kiwiblog last night as well – lots of cries of “racist” over there.

  3. Dv 3

    Gaynor saying to float all the energy companies next year, not smart.

    I might have bought the shares at one stage BUT there is just too much uncertainty about the market.

    World economic scene, Water rights, energy demand, rio tinto wanting to pull out etc

    (as a matter of interest when Manapouri was built, they want to raise the lake 100 feet?. Public protest stopped that!!!)

    Add to that Contact has only returned 4% on average per year since the float.

  4. Poission 4

    The problematic issue with the asset sales,is that it is ideologically driven (as are most nat policy),and make little economic sense.

    The foremost problem is that a second wave of contraction is appearing globally especially in China and the EU.This depreciates the future value of the assets,and places the sale program beyond the Minsky moment.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minsky_moment

    Secondly the policy programs such as employment regulation,and poorly thought out restructuring of public service institutions (read pogroms) have a destabilizing influence on the economy a positive feedback that allows unemployment to become persistent.

    This was one of the fundamental problems identified in one of the keynote papers at Jackson Hole

    eg Reinhart and Reinhart

    Economic contraction and slow recovery might also feed back on the prospects for aggregate supply. A sustained stretch of below-trend investment and depreciation of human capital prompted by elevated and lengthy spells of unemployment could hit the level and growth rate of potential output. The unemployment rate stays high because it has been high, exhibiting hysteresis as described by Blanchard and Summers (1986).

    The forcing mechanism for a reduction in aggregate supply might be policy itself. In adverse economic circumstances, political leaders sometimes grasp for quick fixes that impair, not improve, the situation. Included in the list of unfortunate interventions are restrictions on trade (both domestically and internationally), work rules and pay practices, and the flow of credit. The output effects of crises might be persistent because we make them so, in the manner posited for the Great Depression by Cole and Ohanian (2002).

    The reinforcing or positive feedback creates uncertainty in purchasing,investment,employment opportunity etc.

    • Carol 4.1

      Yes. There was a report on Al Jazeera News this morning on the economic slow down in China, and the end of the mining boom in Aussie as the global economy continues to tank:

      http://njuice.com/583F
      23 Aug 2012

      Australia’s resources minister has said that the country’s resources boom, one of the biggest drivers of its economic growth, is “over”.

      His comments come after BHP Billiton posted a 35% dip in profits and delayed plans to expand its Olympic Dam mine.

      There are concerns that a slowing global economy may hurt demand for coal, metal ores and other commodities.

      A slowdown in its mining sector, one of the biggest employers, is likely to dent Australia’s economic growth.

      “You’ve got to understand, the resources boom is over,” Martin Ferguson told ABC radio on Thursday.

    • fnjckg 4.2

      its moments like these, you need minskys

    • Bored 4.3

      So true it is ideological: there is however another thing behind this, and that is international capital as represented by the IMF and the banks who loan to our government and major corporates. The ideology they promote is reflected by NACT, it is lip service to the dogma at the temple of the money changers.

      These money men (and remember where Key came from) pull the levers behind the throne, they want our assets on the block for sale and will withhold money to our government unless Key plays ball. They don’t care if it is a fire sale, so much the better for them. Second stage economic contractions wont save us from the money men, it suits their cause.

      Consequently when you see Nact running a Maori issue, think smokescreen. Or bennie bashing, think smokescreen. If you see Labour becoming non committed to buying back or other strategies be sure they have been nobbled by the money men too. The asset sales WILL go ahead, referendum or not.

      • Dr Terry 4.3.1

        On the TV News tonight (5 Sept) Key said that the asset sales are not a matter of national concern.
        Maori hui dismissed with a lie about being in Japan (when in fact he will be back one day before, we were told).

  5. Simon says 5

    But I want my gold-plated shares.

  6. Carol 6

    Hone’s press release on the delay is here:

    http://mana.net.nz/2012/09/govt-backdown-a-victory-for-the-people/

    “Government’s decision to delay the sale of state assets until at least March 2013 is a back-down of massive proportions and a victory for all New Zealanders, many of whom have been working furiously to get together the numbers needed to force a referendum to stop asset sales”

    “Even investment brokers are advising against this deal because of the lack of clarity around water ownership rights and that plays into the hands of the majority of New Zealanders who can see that the only people who will benefit from the sale will be overseas investors profiting from electricity price rises paid for by Kiwis”

    “I’ve also worked very closely with the New Zealand Maori Council on this issue since before they announced they were pursuing this claim and this is a real victory for them too, particularly given the buffeting they took from the Prime Minister and from some rather smug iwi leaders whose only idea of Maori rights is how quickly they can get themselves on the right side of the Prime Minister”

    “Certainly iwi have a role in this” said Harawira. “The challenge is for iwi leaders to ask the Prime Minister to allow Maori the time and space to discuss the full implications of the Tribunals recommendation that Maori have rights – ‘the closest equivalent of which, in the English sense, is ownership’.”

    “There needs to be a full and open consideration of the rights and responsibilities that Maori have to water and the importance of water to the nation as a whole” said Harawira “and that can’t be done in 5 weeks, nor should it only include the PM and half a dozen selected individuals meeting behind closed doors”

    • BernyD 6.1

      Go Hone Harawira !

      • fnjckg 6.1.1

        Hone is appearing more statesman-like, measured and cautious in his discourse
        and receiving some fine MSM coverage
        anyway,
        bet there is an even bigger hole in the budget forecasts (weather) now JOHN!

        • Sunny 6.1.1.1

          Has anyone noticed that any time Hone is shown on MSM we get treated to a shot of his Mum as well? About as subtle as most MSM opinion shaping….

          • tc 6.1.1.1.1

            They’d put Jake the muss from ‘once were warriors’ up if they thought they could get away with it.

        • TheContrarian 6.1.1.2

          “Hone is appearing more statesman-like, measured and cautious in his discourse”

          Indeed,

          “foolish dickhead”

          “The guy is such an idiot,”

          “I’m not going to stand by and watch a blonde, blue-eyed redneck kick around poor people who, out of desperation, bond together because they see nothing in the blonde, blue-eyed society to give them a sense of hope for their own or their children’s futures.” 

          “It’s not going to be deep-blonde white-boy Todd that’s going to be affected”

          “He wouldn’t know a gang if it kicked him in the nuts.” 

          Statesman like! 
          http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/hone-harawira-fires-up-over-racist-bill-5032884

    • Bored 6.2

      Hones words some rather smug iwi leaders whose only idea of Maori rights is how quickly they can get themselves on the right side of the Prime Minister indicate not all is well within the Maori Party. Good words from Hone after this in his understanding that water is important to the nation as a whole, and that Maori have consequent responsibilities.

      The elephant in the room for the Maori Party seems to be that Hone now represents a real voting option for non iwi / hapu Maoris (i.e urban maori, non “titled” maori families etc). I do not know if these people feel alienated from any Treaty settlements, in their position I would. Seems from my viewpoint (and I am happy to be corrected) that settling claims with exclusive groups can only create “propertied” relationships in which the rank and file miss out to the “entitled”. This is exactly what the “right” would desire, the creation of more propertied private interests.

      • tc 6.2.1

        I’ve always thought that’s a fundamental plank of the hollow men strategy, divide and rule. The way the Maori landscape is that’s pretty easy for them to do and look ‘tough’ to the rednecks in the process cutting a shonky deal…win win in their view.

        Hone will pick up many disaffected Maori voters if he keeps calm and plays it smart with plain and consistent messaging. He’s been true to his ideals and voters know what to expect from him.

      • Murray Olsen 6.2.2

        Plenty of “iwi/hapu” Maori are taking a fresh look at Hone and Mana. More than a few pakeha are looking at them as a principled option as well. I may be overly optimistic here, but I sense the beginning of something.

        • Clashman 6.2.2.1

          I’m an upper-middle “class”, mid-aged, educated, male Pakeha from a relatively priveleged background ( and a little aprehensive about admitting that here). I voted Mana in the last election at this point am likely to vote for them in the next one too.
          Unfortunately I am the “black sheep” in the little world sphere in which I operate. There are so many with outdated entrenched positions on many things, that I fear it might take until the baby boomers are all but gone before we see any real traction for a party like Mana.

          • Carol 6.2.2.1.1

            And yet, Hone is a boomer….???!!!

          • Murray Olsen 6.2.2.1.2

            I’m probably considered a middle class baby boomer as well. I prefer to think in class terms rather than age groupings. My interests lie squarely with what I would call the working class, i.e. those who must sell their labour power to survive. In that sense, although I sell intellectual labour power and get a fairly good price for it, I’m working class.
            I really dislike the emphasis that someone like Bradbury puts on blaming baby boomers. People who have indulged in greedy behaviour and want to ruin the planet don’t do it because of the year in which they happened to be born. However, I will agree that a lot of aging dead wood needs to be kicked out of parliament, but some of the younger ones aren’t so hot either.

            • Carol 6.2.2.1.2.1

              Yes, when you look at what bomber actually says, his disdain for boomers is largely focused on aging conservative MPs and MSM journos.

              But there are also many neoliberal MPs in parliament, and some journos who are younger.

              • Clashman

                Probably its just I’m in an industry dominated by wealthy (greedy) baby boomers who seem to be anti everything. Anti-poor/bene, anti-Maori, anti-gay, anti-enviroment, anti-youth, anti-immigrant etc
                I hope I’m wrong about my previous comment but from where I’m viewing the landscape….
                No offence intended to any LWBB’s, the rightys’ can get fucked tho.

                • Bored

                  My good lady, as pakeha as myself, tells me she is going to vote for Hone. I still need to get over the “no pakeha boyfriend” bit, but he is making all the right noises.

          • Clashman 6.2.2.1.3

            Actually I’ll re-phrase that first sentence from 6.2.2.1.1 – I’m a middle aged educated Pakeha from a relatively priveleged upper-middle “class” background. I despise the word class as it is used in this context, I can’t believe I used it to describe myself.

  7. BernyD 7

    They should be arguing for a “Permanent” clause that all these shares are only sold to or onto Taxpayers, they are NZ maori ragardless of their skin colour or political allegiances.
    Answer all the citizens concerns , and keeps NZ/Maori/Taxpayer ownership.
    It’ll slow the sales down, but Kiwis can keep investing in NZ.

  8. Matthew 8

    CAn anyone tell me what the ‘ten million’ that it ‘will cost’ is being spent on? It seems everytime someone farts it costs us ten million. This concept of pulling figures out of thin air is getting ridiculous, because they always estimate high, & if it comes in under, the money just vanishes anyway….
    but apart from that, good job !!

  9. felix 9

    As much as anything else this whole debacle is a true measure of all John Key’s much-touted skills as an economic expert, financial genius, and a real-world dealmaking moving and shaking businessman. Fail.

    He’s run into the Peter Principle, promoted to his level of incompetence, unable to perform the one single task he’s charged with.

    vto said it best a while back. He will fail at the peak, it’s written in his character.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago