What if they threw an asset sale & nobody came?

Written By: - Date published: 7:58 am, August 13th, 2012 - 49 comments
Categories: privatisation - Tags:

A TVNZ poll matches the results of the TV3 poll on whether people would buy shares in the asset sales. Only 50% say they definitely have $1,000 to spare to buy what they already own. Only 13% say they would “very likely” use that money to buy those shares. Hardly the ‘vast majority’. Most of us would end up dispossessed.

If and when the sale of Meridian Energy happens, watch for National to crow at the number of investor information packages it sends out. When that happens, remember that in the QR National float they sent out a million packs but only 80,000 people ended up buying shares.

49 comments on “What if they threw an asset sale & nobody came?”

  1. marsman 1

    ‘Harmos warned that the process could be hijacked by political agendas, which would be at the expense of intelligent, fact-based debate.’ So whines the self-serving chairman of the NZ Stock Exchange Andrew Harmos (Stuff today). His own arguments for the State Asset sales are anything but intelligent or fact based but are based on greed for a Government handout to prop up his failing empire.

    • tracey 1.1

      And no one is more impatial than tge head of the nzse who are the major winner… :rolleyes:

    • Tom Gould 1.2

      NZX is a private company, right? So it’s like the CEO of McDonalds saying ‘eat more burgers’?

      Besides, how are ‘mum and dad’ investors to decide, with the Herald headline at 5.30am saying “Meridian’s profit rises despite challenges” which by 9.30am had become “Meridian profits hit hard – down 52pc”.

      Looks like the spin machine is kicking in, albeit late.

      • Akldnut 1.2.1

        Would you like to upsize with that order – we’ll throw in a complimentry share or two to sweeten the deal.

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    Spread the word, any kiwi that buys these shares if the sale proceeds is a scabby bastard negating previous taxpayers financial contributions and dissing the workers and engineers that built the hydro schemes.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Quite likely there will be many kiwisaver funds buying shares, so you’re painting rather a large proportion of the population as scabby bastards.

      • Tiger Mountain 2.1.1

        Call as you see it Lanthanide, my concern is about individuals who might make a personal decision to buy and I know a couple in my neighbourhood, not for unsuspecting Kiwisaver members who go with the flow.

        Silence is often condoning.

      • Te Reo Putake 2.1.2

        While you are technically right, Lanth, I think the point TM is making is that Kiwis who actively choose to fence the stolen shares are scabby etc’s. I’m going to fight the good fight myself tomorrow at my footie club’s finance committee meeting, where the question of ‘investing’ in the shares will come up. I think the majority will say no, particularly as the last time we put up large amounts in a hair brained financial scheme, we lost the lot. Thank you, Nathans Finance.

        • Tiger Mountain

          Interesting TRP, it is good to bring things back to real world consequences of the stuff we talk about on blogs.

      • mike e 2.1.3

        Lanthanide(sounds like some sort of poison)Robbing Peter to pay Paul.
        Goldman Sachs gets a giant commission to prepare and sell unethical for a start.
        Goldman Sachs the most unethical company on earth.
        They have got off SEC charges of fraud because they destroyed evidence in the corruption investigation .

    • Fortran 2.2


      I suppose that means me, and my chosen Kiwisaver Manager !

  3. Carol 3

    Meanwhile, the NZX chairman Andrew Harmos is looking nervous:


    New Zealand risks scoring “the most enormous of own goals” if the partial sell-down of state-owned assets flops, warns NZX chairman Andrew Harmos.

    First, the number of publicly listed companies was threatened by an increasing trend for private equity takeovers and scant new listings.

    “The slowing corporate birth rate is a fascinating, if unfortunate phenomenon,” Harmos said.

    He also noted that cautious investors were increasingly putting their money in term deposits and conservative KiwiSaver funds, rather than equities. Of the $12 billion now stashed in KiwiSaver, only $1b was invested in the New Zealand sharemarket.

    “If we don’t do something about it, we will wither on the vine.”

    Harmos acknowledged that there was a lack of companies in which to invest, but said this was partly because of the disproportionate number that were wholly owned by central and local government.

    That gave the Government the “unique ability” to create investment opportunities for New Zealanders through mixed ownership.

    Harmos warned that the process could be hijacked by political agendas, which would be at the expense of intelligent, fact-based debate.

    And it looks to me like Harmon is blaming local and central government services (necessary to a thriving and equitable society) for the lack of development of new and successful businesses.

    I think there have been some very innovative and successful start-ups in NZ, but as soon as they become successful, a big overseas corporate swoops in and takes it over.

    Something needs to be done to stimulate successful and sustainable, NZ owned businesses.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      I think there have been some very innovative and successful start-ups in NZ, but as soon as they become successful, a big overseas corporate swoops in and takes it over.

      That’s exactly what happens.

      Something needs to be done to stimulate successful and sustainable, NZ owned businesses.

      Ban foreign ownership.

  4. AmaKiwi 4

    Like NZ, the Greek government wants to sell the state owned Public Power Corp.

    Unlike NZ, the unions have a strategy which could stop the sale: rolling blackouts.

    Kiwis have internalized powerlessness. “We have to be polite boys and girls and play by their rules.” No matter that their rules are autocratic, unfair, and undemocratic.

    Their system depends on us being compliant. We can STOP asset sales, but not until we decide to recognize our power and decide to use it.



  5. captain hook 5

    kiwis have given everything away for a second hand jap car and a trip to macchu piccu or mongolia.

    can a magpie change its spots?

  6. tracey 6

    I have read folks sayi g that people not having money to buy is not the same as being against asset sales. They miss the point. People not having the money to buy makes the vacuous mum and dad claims moot. This govt knows mums and dads dont have the spate cash but were happy to pretend they did for political gain. Mr nzse didnt contradict that bit of myth in his plea for a factual debate…

  7. Observer Akl 7

    Should we send a get well card to the NZ Stock Exchange? So sad that “… the number of publicly listed companies was threatened by an increasing trend for private equity takeovers and scant new listings.”

    The wealthy get big payouts when their firms are sold on. They take the money and run. And why not?

    The scant new listings is likely to be down to the fact that there is less spending power among the commons to support new Business.

    But it is not all bad news for our wealthy brethren – the landlords of domestic premises are heavily subsidised by the commoners. This because, the rents are simply too high for people on minimal rates of pay – not to mention those who are unemployed.

    Businessmen pride themselves on their self reliance and competence, while at the same time holding out their hands for very large, weekly donations (plus other “$incentives” ) from the less well off.

    Everyone knows that a better distribution of wealth, which places less cost and more spending power in the hands of the numerous Commoner, will give Business the boost it needs. Replace the flawed “trickle down” with the “flood up”.

    Meanwhile, the only safeguard for the numerous Commoner is to hold on to the paid for Assets he built and already owns. They are his property.

    While keeping his current Assets out of the hands of rogue parliaments, he should move towards building more housing right now – for it too is an essential Asset and a crying need.

    The NZX should stop itself from seeking to suck on the public teat, and act like a true Business. It is pitiful seeing them want to be like those “despised” beneficiaries whom Key and Shearer so dislike.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      With the advent of high frequency trading and other market manipulation by big players (see the Faceberg IPO and subsequent collapse), stock exchanges are now irrelevant meeting places for computer algorithms to trade with computer algorithms.

  8. Tracey 8

    It seems the NZSE is actually saying, contrary to usual ideology, we want government in business insofar as we want govt to sell stuff so we can thrive. Boo freaking hoo

    • sootz 8.1

      So true Tracy. All I can say to Mr Andrew Harmos is diddums, ring Toyota they care. End of the day, you are all just a bunch of gamblers. When it all falls apart you expect us the tax payer to bail you out. Mr Harmos, go fuck yourself.

  9. deuto 9

    If and when the sale of Meridian Energy happens ….

    An interesting article in the Business section of the Herald online this morning – Meridian’s profit for the year ended 30 June was down 52% – or 28% if adjusted for the loss of the Tekapu revenue (sold to Genesis) and a one-off settlement to NZ Aluminium Smelters. Doesn’t bode well for a partial sale (hopefully).


    Low rainfall, the sale of some of its assets to Genesis Energy and a one-off dispute settlement in the previous year saw Meridian Energy’s net profit fall 52 per cent to $106.1 million in the year ended June 30.

    The result, which excludes unbooked movements in the fair value of financial instruments, largely reflects the lowest rainfall in Meridian’s South Island hydro catchments in 79 years of record-keeping, and the loss of output from the Tekapo A and B hydro stations.

    The impact of low hydro inflows is best illustrated by the fact that the result was achieved on a 25 per cent increase in total revenue to $2.57 billion, despite the reduced asset base. Hydro generation was down 22 per cent to 9.79 Gigawatt hours for the year, while wind generation rose 17 per cent to 1.38GWh.

    Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and changes in the fair value of financial instruments were down 28 per cent to 476.6 million, from $659.9 million, largely because the average price of electricity generated rose by 138 per cent to $98.79 per MWh in the year just passed from $41.57 per MWh the previous year.

  10. deuto 10

    And another possible spanner in the works on Stuff this morning


    A Lake Taupo lobby group is calling for the Mighty River Power share float to include a warning it may face a water use review, after claims it is causing erosion by holding lake levels too high for too long.

    The move casts another cloud over the part-privatisation of the state-owned enterprise, planned for later this year. It has already been threatened with delay after a Waitangi Tribunal hearing – and a likely legal challenge – over water rights.

    Waikato Regional Council has called for submissions on whether to review Mighty River Power’s consents next year, amid claims it has breached undertakings to maintain Lake Taupo close to natural levels. …

    The more spanners the better.

  11. Pete 11

    This was always meant to be a raid of pots of money that the government can’t otherwise get its hands on – the ACC investment portfolio and and the Cullen fund. Mum and dad investors is just window dressing.

  12. Tracey 12

    Anyone’s blind trust lining up to buy them… it would be great to get that question put tot he PM… or even if he is lining up for his $1000 worth, he and Bronagh?

  13. AAMC 13

    Mum & Dad likely won’t line up to buy, but with the continued bleeding in Europe, Chna’s slow down, USA’s sideways crawl, investors are now paying Germany, Switzerland and Holland to hold their money in 2 yr bonds, Fed, BoE, BoJ, ECB printing liquidity into banking institutions who are speculating rather than leading to the deleveraging over indebted private sector.

    The big players and the real money are looking for tangible stores of wealth, like electricity generation in a first world country accustomed to being able to turn it’s lights on.

    The buyers will be there, it’s just it’ll be hedge funds not Mum’s & Dad’s…

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1


      The sale of our assets was never for the mum and dads but to help ensure that the rich maintain their power over us, their power to appropriate our work to their benefit.

  14. tc 14

    What a self serving whining Twat Harmos is, if the NZX was half decent it wouldn’t have most of these issues. Weldon did SFA for his fat package over the years leaving investors with little confidence in it’s integrity.

    Let’s see Feltex, PPCS/Richmond Meats, Finance companies etc and a commerce commission that simply rubber stamps consolidations which removes entities and encourages monopoly practices, TelstraClear to Vodafone being the most recent.

    The ASX is considering merging with a large asian board so how can the NZX seriously expect to command respect when it lacks the teeth, enforced regulations, management and scale investors require.

    Of course it rocks for the 1%’ers as that’s what the SOE sales are designed to benefit.I know Oz investment planners who wouldn’t touch any NZX listed company with a barge pole as it’s known as a cowboy market.

    Note the way Shonkey’s quite happy to talk it down allowing his banksta mates an even bigger killing which he’ll say…’ we made it available, like we said we would’ forgetting to mention they’d make it unattractive also.

    NZ….you are being conned.

    • Georgecom 14.1

      “Harmos recognises that there is a lack of compabies listed on the NZX in which to invest”. His simplistic answer is this is due, partly, to central and local government owning a disproportionate number.

      Wrong. Its due to the lack of companies listed on the NZX. Nowt to do with the number owned by government. Where are all the new companies Mr Harmos.

      Don’t simply expect the state to bail out the NZX and investors by selling off our collectivly owned assets. Thats a lazy bludgers approach.

      Go out and do some hard work growing business and getting them to list publicly. The problem is with private business getting itself onto the NZX and being run properly. Nothing to do with state ownership of some companies.

  15. Wayne 15

    Actually 13% of all people over 18 (I assume) is quite a lot, around 400,000 people. Investing does reflect lifecycles quite well. For instance students and youg people under say 24 are not likely to be buyers, given their other priorities. Neither are most beneficiaries likely to be buyers. Together I guess that accounts for around 800,000 people.

    It is also worth noting that 50% of national superanniutants have no other income, so therefore no capital for investment. That is another 400,000 people. But that also means 400,000 superannitants who do have money to invest.

    So who are likely buyers? It is going to be predominantly people aged 40 plus, and will include superannuitants who want secure investments. If 400,000 peple did actually invest that would be pretty impressive. Once people know the loyalty share option and the likely dividend yeild it is going to look quite a bit better than 2.5 to 3% from the bank. And for people wanting a predictable income, presumably most superannuitants with at least some money to invest, it is going to be pretty attractive

    And on top of that will be KiwiSaver Funds, which will cover perhaps another million people.

    Now I know many people here say we all already own them equally, but that is the essence of the socialist argument and is not one that has much appeal to National. But I guess it does for Labour and the Greens.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      National wants to take assets owned by everyone, and concentrate that wealth in the hands of the few.

      And of course, the richest, with the biggest incomes and the biggest kiwishare contributions, will have the capacity to buy the most.

      Actually 13% of all people over 18 (I assume) is quite a lot

      What fucking bullshit

      It happens to leave out 87% of people. Which is what I would call “quite a lot”

    • fatty 15.2

      “Now I know many people here say we all already own them equally, but that is the essence of the socialist argument and is not one that has much appeal to National. But I guess it does for Labour and the Greens.”

      True…at the beginning of your post you mention that students, beneficiaries, young people and superannuitants will lose their assets so the rich older people can take them.
      That is theft of wealth, from the vulnerable people in society, to the privileged. This policy is taking resources from those who are suffering and giving to those greedy people who already own too much, it is the essence of greed and is not an ideal that has much appeal to Labour and the Greens. But I guess it does for National.

      • crashcart 15.2.1

        All so they can pay for tax cuts that were a huge benefit to the wealthy and not bother with a CGT which would hurt the wealthy. mmmmmm seing a bit of a familiar theme here.

        • John

          You are forgetting that we all own the debt too. Those poor students, beneficiaries, young people and superannuitants will also be relieved of their share of the debt. The sort of decisions we elect a govt to make.

          • Draco T Bastard

            The debt that we wouldn’t have had without the tax cuts and excessively stupid spending has engaged in.

          • Colonial Viper

            Those poor students, beneficiaries, young people and superannuitants will also be relieved of their share of the debt.

            How big a cheque are beneficiaries and student debtors going to get from this?

            Or are you simply FULL OF SHIT

          • Lanthanide

            Except the proceeds aren’t going to be used to repay debt, they’re going into “new assets” like schools, irrigation schemes for farmers and whatever else makes a good soundbite.

            And, over the long term, the government has already admitted that we’ll be in a worse revenue position after accounting for the lack of dividends, as soon as 2016, than if we hadn’t sold them.

            • Tracey

              EXACTLY, the “repay debt” spin was replaced with education and health investment a long time ago, it’s interesting tho that some are still basing decisions on the former meme.

  16. xtasy 16

    “Only 13% say they would “very likely” use that money to buy those shares.”

    That is 13 per cent too many!

    But one knows who they might be – John Key’s biggest fans and solid supporters.

  17. Wayne 17

    A key point of my post is that people have investor lifecycles. Sure young people won’t be significant buyers, but they will graduate, will get jobs, promotions, etc. Over time many will become investors and savers. And it is at that stage they will buy shares (and will also be in the top tax bracket). Markets recognise these facts. Superannuiants invest, using their life savings, and secure investments will be good for them – certainly better than the finance company alternatives they have had.

    And the whole point of Kiwisaver is that everyone in super scheme will become an owner, either directly or through a managed fund.

    However, if you are a socialist you prefer the state to own market based assets, rather than the private sector (induividuals, funds etc). And that is the case even where there is a competitive market, which there is in electricity, although the state ownership is currently around 80%, which in my view is too high.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      Over time many will become investors and savers.

      No they won’t as all the ‘investment options’ would have been taken up by the previous generation and the only way to have any ownership after that will be to inherit it.

      However, if you are a socialist you prefer the state to own market based assets,

      Infrastructure isn’t a ‘market asset’. It’s a social asset that’s there to benefit society as a whole not just for a few people to get income from everyone else without working.

  18. The present government is selling these “assets” to subsidise the share market.  Roger Douglas threw our entire economy into turmoil because Muldoon used to subsidise farm production.  At least farmers produce something useful and of value share markets don’t they are nothing but a drain ont eh collective wealth, LOTTO without the community contributions

    Roger put that to the sword, the entire farming industry suffered awfully but they got over it.  It is time to do the same to the share market.

    Your retirement savings are being used for the same nefarious purpose.

    By 2020 Kiwisaver investments will be worth more than the entire capital value of the NZSX


    And Draco T is right the things these crooks are selling aren’t “assets” they are infrastructure – it is time for those opposed to the sale to stop using the exploiters language and start referring to them as DTB as social assets or better still Infrastructure.

  19. AmaKiwi 19

    Yes, we should change the campaign to “No infrastructure sales.”

    Labour and Greens would do well to never again refer to assets again.

    It’s our infrastructure. I’ve passed your excellent idea to Shearer, Parker, and Cunliffe.

    • tc 19.1

      I’d settle for Labour/Greens hammering a theme like ‘selling an 18% ROI asset for 4% debt cost’ type message as they need to focus on the financial swindle the hollowmen are pulling.

      Most folk don’t get the ‘I’ word, I prefer power or electricity, keep it simple so the sheeple can grasp the impact of a rising power bill.

      You’d hardly think there was a campaign since the election Shearer has been so quiet on the matter, I mean seriously the bloke looks uninterested along with Parker who comes across as the lucky prize winner (look mum I got finance ‘ rather than making serious points with verve and brevity.

    • tc 19.2

      I’d settle for Labour/Greens hammering a theme like ‘selling an 18% ROI asset for 4% debt cost’ type message as they need to focus on the financial swindle the hollowmen are pulling.

      Most folk don’t get the ‘I’ word, I prefer power or electricity, keep it simple so the sheeple can grasp the impact of a rising power bill.

      You’d hardly think there was a campaign since the election Shearer has been so quiet on the matter, I mean seriously the bloke looks uninterested along with Parker who comes across as the lucky prize winner (look mum I got finance ) rather than making serious points with verve and brevity.

  20. Wayne 20

    Electricity obviously has social benefit, but we all buy it in a competitive market. No one gives it to us or subsidises it, like happens with state owned housing for instance. So it it is not really a social asset. If electricity is infrastucture, so are telecoms and the internet, so that doesnt really help.

    Transpower is not for sale because it is both a monoply and really is core infrastructure. The four state generators do operate in a market, so a partial float makes sense, and is a pattern common in many countries, which is why governments of both left and right have gone down the path of sales.

    That is surely one of the reasons why David Shearer has said there wont be any re-nationalisation.

  21. Balanced View 21

    13% very likely + another 21% quite likely. Add to this proposed kiwi saver investment and I’d say that a “vast majority” of kiwis would be owners.

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    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    5 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    6 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    6 days ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    6 days ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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