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What to sell?

Written By: - Date published: 12:15 pm, August 22nd, 2012 - 24 comments
Categories: accountability, Privatisation, radio - Tags:

It makes no sense to sell the assets National want to sell.  But the particular economic cases just keeps getting worse.

This week it appears things went disastrous.

Bill English had to admit that Solid Energy is unlikely to sell.  It’s having to review its entire operation as coal prices drop and the dollar stays high.

Meridian is in a game of chicken with Rio Tinto as it does its regular attempt to screw NZ down.  15% of our electricity use is a big chip to play.

Mighty River’s biggest customer Norske Skog is looking at halving production, which could set the entire electricity market back until 2016.

On Friday the Waitangi Tribunal is expected to put out its latest report on Water Rights, which will have a huge effect on both Mighty River and Genesis.  It’s highly unlikely to deliver the message that Water Rights and Asset Sales are separable that the government want to hear.  Expect court action if the government pushes ahead.

Recently retired Air NZ CEO Ralph Norris says now’s a terrible time to sell Air NZ, with the airline industry at the bottom of a cycle.  Some would say its a troubled industry as peak oil continues to bite, but Air NZ seems safely near the back of the queue – only ahead of Solid Energy.

And surely you can’t flood the market by selling 3 power companies in quick succession?  Even without the red flas to investors highlighted above.

It would have been great to hear how the government expects to get out of this fine mess.  An explanation of how they’re going to cope when they’ve already booked the $6 billion “guess” of revenue asset sales are meant to bring in the budget.  Where do they go now?

But no, as usual accountability is nowhere.  As is now usual we had Morning Report with their succession of “Minister X refused our invitation to speak”, and no alternate spokesperson, not even a press release.

We vote them in and they’re accountable to us.  That’s the theory, but it seems they think they’re only accountable to themselves, because they’re certain of their own rightness, no evidence needed.

So we had a nice interview with Clayton Cosgrove, and Nine to Noon had an excellent analysis from Mike Williams.

All the while Key and his mates were too busy to talk to us:

24 comments on “What to sell? ”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    It’s a pity for National that they specifically singled out these 5 assets and ruled out Kiwibank.

  2. Tom Gould 2

    And still their media lapdogs look the other way. Imagine what it would be like if we actually had a normal functioning media doing their proper job in an open democracy?

  3. Matthew 3

    WHy on earth would we want to sell Kiwibank? Its not like the Aussie banks arent doing eveything to screw people out o fmoney, without kiwibank we would be totally at their mercy.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Yes, we know, but Blinglish did say that Kiwibank would be up for sale in the future when asked before the 2k8 election. Selling our assets has nothing to do with being good for NZ but it being good for the capitalists who then get a nation of serfs to keep then rich.

  4. Tracey 4

    And so it begins to emerge for those of us who have been asking for years WHAT IS THE PLAN, and then when only one plan emerged (mine/oil and sell assets) we asked WHAT IS PLAN B?

    THERE IS NO PLAN B and they have been basking in the sunlight of money already spent to show they are doing things to make us a better place to live.


  5. sell treasury and all the useless wonks in it for whatever we can get and contract out the work to cheap accountants in delhi. will save us 500 million in running costs straight-away and save us a fortune in crap advice over the long term.

  6. Richard Christie 6

    What to sell?

    Sell those that perform and return a profit to the national ledger, that return should go to private sector colleagues and old school mates.
    Hold those that cost the tax payer money.

    It’s simple, and it always has been.

  7. Carol 7

    Well, Key in the House today, reckoned that the asset sales plan was still on track:


    David Shearer: Given that Bill English, his finance Minister, has said: “We would only take any of these companies to the market if they are in good shape for investment and Solid Energy right now certainly isn’t.”, what impact will the delay and potential cancellation of the sale of Solid Energy have on his Government’s ability to deliver a balanced Budget?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: There may not be a delay. It has always been the Government’s view that this is a 3 to 5-year programme. It has always been the view that Solid Energy is likely to be the last cab off that rank, because the energy companies are in better shape to go to the market. As the member might be aware, Solid Energy is experiencing some issues at the moment because of the falling coal price, but these things move around.

    What was that about lying sociopaths?

    NRT: Numbers out of his arse

    or psychopaths?

    NRT: Numbers out of his arse

    • Dr Terry 7.1

      Key talking about things moving around – only somebody “shifty” would know all about that!

      As for “this fine mess” we have long known National’s answer, “We will muddle through”(backed up be a lot of guessing).

  8. BernyD 8

    As we are in a knowledge based economy …

    Why don;t they sell their brains ?

    Probably get a good price for the fleshy parts,
    If they ar serious they should be contracting their “Brighter Future” to the rest of the world 🙂

  9. Dr Terry 9

    Brains? Even if, as is unlikely, they do possess brains, brains must not be equated with intelligence.

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