web analytics

What’s the sense in selling?

Written By: - Date published: 9:09 am, June 29th, 2010 - 64 comments
Categories: privatisation - Tags:

Papers obtained by Radio New Zealand under the OIA (not yet online) show Treasury told the Government that investing $100 million in extra capital in Kiwibank would bring the Crown a healthy return. Not long after, Bill English and John Key started talking about selling Kiwibank (until Key was reminded of his pre-election promises never to sell it). It raises the question: if people are so keen to buy are our assets, why would we be keen to sell?

Obviously these private would-be buyers think that they would make a worthwhile return on their money if they bought, which implies that if we don’t sell we would be the ones making the worthwhile return instead (or private buyers plan to increase profits by asset-stripping).

It seems to me there are three times that selling a profitable asset makes sense:

– when you’ve got an unsustainable debt problem.
– when you’ve got other places that the capital could be invested more profitably.
– when joining forces with a private company would increase the profitability of your share.

The first condition is not met. New Zealand has low debt by international standards and even compared to where we stood a decade or so ago. And, although we are borrowing at the moment, the debt track sees us return to surplus in a short amount of time without the need for the drastic measures we’re seeing in Europe. Our net debt will peak below 30% of GDP in 2015.

With the other two conditions, we would need to see evidence in individual cases that they are met, but I am doubtful.

The Nats seem intent to spend every spare cent (and borrow more) on tax cuts, which all the evidence shows is a very inefficient way to promote growth and is unlikely to be a better investment than keeping ownership of an SOE.

And, while we constantly hear this mantra that introducing private ownership to SOEs will somehow bring the magic of the market to them and turn them from caterpillars into super-profitable butterflies, no-one seems quite able to explain how that works or why SOEs can’t adopt any more efficient practices that exist without privatisation.

If the Nats want to sell our assets, they need to make the case that the sale matches one of these tests. So far they haven’t even tried, which tells you how weak their case is and that their drive for privatisation is purely based on ideology.

64 comments on “What’s the sense in selling?”

  1. American Gardener 1

    Fair enough – if the conditions for sale are not met then we should not be selling.

  2. coolas 2

    SELL IT being the first reaction to being told Kiwibank needs $100m is telling.

    There are other ways to raise the money

    Maybe it’s the start of the 2011 election campaign

    KEYBANK not KIWIBANK

  3. Pascal's bookie 3

    “If the Nats want to sell our assets, they need to make the case that the sale matches one of these tests.”

    nah. We’ve been discussing, doing, and living with the consequences of privatisation for the thick end of 30 years.

    The cases for and against have been put. The arguments, made. I’m not seeing anything new.

    80 percent oppose. 80 percent.

    Privatisation is a fringe right idea, and anyone pretending to be ‘centre right’ and pushing it in public is a liar.

    That’s the only disussion the left needs to have with the right on the matter at this point in time.

    • Bored 3.1

      We have also seen the result of asset sales over the last 30 years, resulting in asset stripping and denuded services (e.g Telecom, Rail), rentier / monopolist behavoir by buyers, higher prices, no real competition, etc etc.

      The theory was a pig, the result a sow.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Bingo

        Assets sales have left us worse off than we were before. Even “unsustainable debt” isn’t a reason to sell assets that produce a return. The simple fact of the matter is that the country doesn’t need to borrow – all it needs to do is print the money just as the banks do but as it will be without interest then it’s repayable unlike the money from banks. Nationals only reason to sell assets is to make themselves and their rich mates richer at our expense.

      • a human 3.1.2

        “The theory was a pig, the result a sow”
        and still no bacon on the table

      • prism 3.1.3

        A sow is a proud productive member of Planet Earth, unlike other strutting movers and shakers too common to list!

  4. tsmithfield 4

    Maybe the government has caught a whiff of sub-prime disaster potential with Kiwibank. Paper profits are one thing. But I think Kiwibank could be badly exposed to a sudden drop in property values etc given that they have taken on loans that other banks wouldn’t ordinarily go near.

    • Bright Red 4.1

      I love how you just make uup facts, ts.

      Banks aren’t exposed to dropping property prices directly – the mortgage doesn’t drop just because the house value does.

      They are exposed if borrowers start defaulting but that’s more a factor of unemployment than house prices. Even borrowers that are underwater will still have a reason to keep paying their mortgage unless there is a huge drop.

      Kiwibank is not exposed to sub-prime and you misunderstand the problem with sub-prime – it was defaults due to poor people having borrowed too much, losing their jobs, and facing higher interest payments – the falling house values were an effect, not a cause.

      In NZ, house prices are steady and unemployment is forecast to edge downwards. No symptoms of a subprime crisis.

      • tsmithfield 4.1.1

        I’m not saying there will be a sub-prime problem with Kiwi Bank tomorrow. So, to that extent I agree with your analysis.

        However, if the government is looking further out, they might see the potential of such a risk and feel it is better to pass that risk to the private sector, who at least would be taking on the risk by their own choice compared to tax-payers who have no option. Key himself has said recently that he expects more global economic crashes in the future. The way a lot of economies are incredibly geared up, it would not surprise me if that were to occur within the next 5-10 years.

        To that extent then, it is quite possible there will be a major crash in house values over that time, and major unemployment that could affect the ability of many low income borrowers to repay.

        So far as the effect of house values on bank solvency is concerned, this is precisely why the US has changed the rules for banks with respect to asset values. They now account for values at the time of sale rather than the expected recoverable value. Thus most of their housing assets are on their books at the purchase value rather than current value. If this were not the case many US banks would be insolvent.

        • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1.1

          However, if the government is looking further out, they might see the potential of such a risk and feel it is better to pass that risk to the private sector, who at least would be taking on the risk by their own choice compared to tax-payers who have no option.

          Never ceases to amaze how quickly folks forget shit that’s inconvenient.

          Savings and loan crisis

          Bank of New Zealand

          Citigroup

          American International Group

          etc,
          and so on,
          and so forth.

          • tsmithfield 4.1.1.1.1

            True, there are plenty of examples of spectacular failures in the private sector. That is how the private sector purges itself of inefficiency. On the other hand, there are plenty of government department/state owned enterprises etc that will never go bankrupt no matter how inefficiently they are run because the taxpayer keeps getting called on to bail them out (e.g. ACC). I think that is worse.

            • prism 4.1.1.1.1.1

              I think they should try large dose of cod liver oil when purging, it may taste nasty but has omega 3 and I think 6. The private parts will end up clean and healthy. Says so in all the women’s mags which are good at PR and dodgy facts and efficacious emollients. About the same as private business approach to financial health in the economy.

            • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1.1.1.2

              ts, you are still not remembering the inconvenient thing.

              All those failures, and plenty more, got bailed out by the taxpayers. There is no reason to believe that even in your alternate reality where kiwibank goes boom, the taxpayer won’t be on the hook. That’s why I enboldened the pass that risk to the private sector bit. It’s not actually true.

              But anyway it’s fringe right wing idiot stuff. Privatisation. Pfffft.

              • tsmithfield

                Who said I agreed that the taxpayer should have bailed them out. That is just as stupid as the public bailing out publicly owned organisations.

                • Bright Red

                  they need to be bailed out because the country can’t afford the effects of major infrastructure companies or banks falling over.

                  What that means is the private buyers can never lose, they can asset strip their companies into the ground knowing the government can’t afford not to step in

                  • tsmithfield

                    These major type businesses wouldn’t fall over. Some other private enterprise would most likely pick up the pieces and so it would continue.

                    The problem you have identified is “moral hazard”. Think about it. What sort of financial decisions would you make if you knew a rich aunty would bail you out every time you got yourself into the financial pooh?

                    Except in this case the “rich aunty” is the taxpayer guaranteeing to bail out various public and private entities because they are deemed “to big” or “too important” to fail. What a crock.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      So your argument for privatisation only holds in some fantasy universe where there are no bailouts, no business gets too big to fail, and politicians will just wear the shitstorm that would occur should such institutions be allowed to fail.

                      That’s awesome I suppose, for certain instances of awe.

                      In this, actually existing universe, the risk is not passed to the private sector.

                    • tsmithfield

                      OK Pascal. I will agree with you completely if you can answer one simple question for me.

                      If you study the cronology of recent market crashes you will find they have been getting progressively bigger. Consequently, it is reasonable to assume that the next crash is likely to be bigger again than the previous one. Given that the next crash may well come quite soon and given that most nations will still be up to their eyeballs in debt from “rescuing” everyone from the last one, tell me this:

                      Who is going to bail the world out next time the market crashes?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Well we know it won’t be the private sector, because they have never done so yet. Your idea that other banks would have stepped in to save the failures in 08 fails when you notice that in fact they didn’t/couldn’t. They were too big for the private sector to save, and too intrinsic to the economy to be allowed to fail.

                      So the question is, who should we make pay for any bailout deemed necessary?

                      I say the bond and stock holders in the first instance, the the executives and directors in the next instance, and the people that benefited most from the system that failed after that. I agree that moral hazard is a problem, but that stems from the fact that we letting the corporate bureaucrats get away with it. A few high stakes mofos sent the poor house and a few outright nationalisations, and we’ll soon see directors taking their duty to shareholders seriously. Bailouts must not be without severe cost to those that caused the failure

                      What is a stupid idea, is bailing out institutions and leaving the same people and systems in place, largely untouched. I think we can agree on that.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Pascal, I actually agree that there was little option but to bail out the system in the recent crash.

                      However, what irks me is that we should never have got the that situation in the first place. This has been the result of many decades of many countries living well beyond their means to fund lifestyles that couldn’t be afforded. The result is a highly over-leveraged system that is very vulnerable to the slightest thing going wrong. It seems to me the over-leveraged nature of the system has if anything got worse and the debt has been transfered to sovereign nations. The recent jitters re Greece et. al. have not been solved and the can has been kicked down the road…for now.

                      Had the system been allowed to function within reasonable parameters from the word go then it would have been safe for organisations to fail without having the same devastating effect on economies. Thus, recessions would have been a part of the normal economic cycle, like breathing and exhaling. Recessions would not have had the same dramatic impact as we have just experienced, but would be much more mild.

                      The problem of who is going to bail the system out next time is very real and is not a question only being asked by myself.

                      And yes. I agree with your last point entirely.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Pascal, just a further point to my last post.

                      You haven’t really answered my question. That is because the next crash is likely to be at the sovereign state level rather than the level of individual businesses, as that is where the debt has been transferred to.

                      So, the big question is who is going to bail out sovereign states when most countries are geared up to the eyeballs anyway? Don’t count on China as that has been identified as a bubble likely to burst in the not too distant future.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Pascal, I actually agree that there was little option but to bail out the system in the recent crash.

                      Ha. 🙂 So I guess in your comment at 1:16 you were just saying a whole bunch of shit you don’t believe for some reason to do with ideological convenience or cognitive dissonance or some such.

                      I certainly agree that there are real problems with the way things were and are. I don’t think that we can look for answers purely within economics. Economics is useful, but never complete. It is descriptive and what it describes is always dependent on a host of presuppositions about how we think of what an economy is. Those are political and linguistic questions and changes there is where the answers will come from. I have no idea what they might look like.

                      But to get a bit more specific re sovereign debt, there are funny things going on. Even within the norms of economic talk of the last half century or more, I’m led to understand that if there is a sovereign debt crisis it’s going to show up where? What’s the metric according to market based thinking? Long term bond rates. That’s where. US rates are at what? About 3 percent I’m told, which doesn’t sound like the markets are skittish.

                      And yet the people that have been telling me about efficient markets and all that are now telling me to be afraidy, and that we need Austerity, and that the poor must be punished to protect the investments of the wealthy from the inflation boogey man who isn’t showing up, at least in the US. Even though they’ve been doing all the things I’ve been told we can’t do because it causes inflation. Seems causes doesn’t mean the same thing to economists.

                      Inflatio-boogey showing up here though, strangely enough, with our pure RB act which Must Not Be Touched and our government that is cutting taxes and, ahem, *capping* spending and such like.

                      Ireland has launched it’s own austerity drive to avoid the dreaded sovereign debt monster, Spain not so much. What do those bond markets think about that? Weird shit.

                      I’m starting to think that the ivory towered economists telling me to be afraidy are protecting their models in spite of the data, and that we should be more mindful of the needs of the poor than of the wealthy. For a change.

                      Everybody likes change.
                      Except for them what don’t,
                      (but they’ve never had it so good
                      and there’s no pleasing them.
                      So fuck’em).

                      Afterall, even if we ignore justice, morality, common decency and all that squishy liberal leftie bidness, (which I don’t, but I don’t need them to make the argument), there are many, many, many, many more of the poor than there are of the rich, and if it does turn to shit, and all that wealth evaporates and what some poet called the gossamer threads of social contract all burn away, well, I’ll be standing with the mob.

                      Your mileage may vary, of course.

                      I guess I’m saying that if the elites want to take away our pensions, savings, security, work conditions, healthcare, welfare systems, environment, and all the rest of it, to secure their next bailout, then the system will break one way or another.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      You haven’t really answered my question.

                      Oh, I thought I did here:

                      So the question is, who should we make pay for any bailout deemed necessary?

                      I say the bond and stock holders in the first instance, the the executives and directors in the next instance, and the people that benefited most from the system that failed after that

                      They may not need to pony up immediately, even without a revolution.

                      As an example, if you take a lookie at this chart,

                      http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2010/06/chart_o_the_day.php?ref=fpblg

                      you’ll see just who and what is responsible for the US deficit monster. Now think about who benefited mostly from that policy with the big flashing “it was me what dunnit” sign on it’s forehead.

                      Funny about how with these Austerity Measures that are becoming so popular these days with the Serious People; we are being told that Everything Is On The Table, which is code for welfare, health and pensions.

                      Why not ‘less stupid fucking wars’ and ‘taking the tax from the people with the money’. Are crazy ideas like that on the table? They better be, coz like the man sang

                      Them belly full but we hungry
                      A hungry mob is an angry mob
                      A rain a fall but the dirt it tough
                      A pot a cook but the food no ‘nough

                      You’re gonna dance to jah music, dance,
                      We’re gonna dance to jah music, dance,

                      Forget your troubles and dance,
                      Forget your sorrows and dance,
                      Forget your sickness and dance,
                      Forget your weakness and dance

                      Cost of livin’ gets so high
                      Rich and poor they start to cry
                      Now the weak must get strong
                      They say oh, what a tribulation
                      Them belly full but we hungry
                      A hungry mob is an angry mob
                      A rain a fall but the dirt it tough
                      A pot a cook but you no ‘nough

                      We’re gonna chuck to jah music chuckin’
                      We’re chuckin’ to jah music, we’re chuckin’

                      Belly full but them hungry.
                      A hungry mob is an angry mob
                      A rain a fall but the dirt it tough
                      A pot a cook but the food no ‘nough
                      A hungry mob is an angry mob

                    • tsmithfield

                      Yeh. This was I case where I was deliberately overstating the strength of my views to be a bit provocative. Undoubtably it will give felix another reason to gripe. 🙂

                      However, it is what I would believe in an ideal world.

                      The problem with the amount of debt in the world is that it is beyond anyone to bail it out now if/when it all goes pear shaped, which is actually quite scary. More money can always be printed of course. However, that has major inflationary implications of course. So it doesn’t really solve anything. Think of how well the poor are off in Europe at the moment with the major reduction in the value of the Euro, for example. The price of petrol and other imports must be going through the roof.

                      Unfortunately, the prospect of no more bail outs might be forced upon us whether we think bail outs are a good idea or not.

            • Craig Glen Eden 4.1.1.1.1.3

              Acc are not Bankrupt far from it so stop making up shit, for Pete sake!

        • Alexandra 4.1.1.2

          ” However, if the government is looking further out, they might see the potential of such a risk and feel it is better to pass that risk to the private sector,”
          The problem I have with your theory tsf is that no such argument has been presented by the government. Indeed all the evidence points to Kiwibank being in very good heart.

          “Key himself has said recently that he expects more global economic crashes in the future.”
          On one hand the government plays up the recovery as its own achievement. On the other it warns of more recession to come. Are we or are we not out of recession? All commentary indicates that Kiwi bank has weathered the storm, just past. Hocking off kiwibank because of a future risk that may or may not be realised is at best an over reaction. At worst is just spin to support your ideology.

          • tsmithfield 4.1.1.2.1

            I agree. It probably is in very good heart…at the moment.

            • prism 4.1.1.2.1.1

              ts You remind me of a guy that used to hang out with a sandwich board – Repent the end is nigh. He stuck to his task, and was out every day. He was a true believer – put all his effort into thinking about it and not in living a positive life.

              There is a lovely sketch by the Python team or is it Rowan Atkinson and friends. ‘A mighty wind’ is a theme. The time of the ending of the world is foretold and they gather and wait… At the end it’s ‘Same time tomorrow lads’?

              • tsmithfield

                Prism, there have been numerous examples of banks getting into trouble recently. Have a look at the failure rate of banks in the US. Why are you so confident that Kiwibank will never get into trouble?

              • insider

                It was Secret Policeman’s Ball. Peter Cook was in it too. Might have been his originally

                capcha – reminds 🙂

  5. Nick C 5

    If the government owned a chain of corner dairies would you sell it?

    • Bright Red 5.1

      It doesn’t. And if it did, there would have to be a reason to sell other than privatisation for its own sake.

    • felix 5.2

      Could you give me some more info about these dairies please?

      Such as the reason for their establishment, their position in the market, their prices relative to the competition, the effect they have on the prices of the competition, their profitability, who gets the profits, the benefits to consumers, the benefits to small communities, the services they provide over and above those provided by the competition, etc.

      Of course if you just want to discuss blind ideology then ignore the above.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      Ah, corner dairy’s – a small but natural and unnoticed monopoly. Like hospitals, schools and libraries you won’t find more than one servicing the same area.

    • Jum 5.4

      Great idea. Then Kiwibank and a postage counter could be installed in there when the *s try to sell off NZ Post in many of the smaller towns because they’re trying to ruin the very reason Kiwibank has been so successful and then try to sell Kiwibank off as underperforming! *s.

      Well they reckoned without people who give a damn about other people.

  6. jcuknz 6

    Did it not used to be because few of us saved enough to keep ownership in NZ? Though now with Kiwisaver I would hope that is no longer the situation. But the way investment is [dis]organised in NZ I am not suprised that so few put their money into shares and so many go for something they can see like a house. A far as Kiwibank I don’t object to a minority part of it being sold to raise capital for its progress so long as those shares remain in NZ hands for ever, and maybe any other SOE etc. Selling overseas simply builds up a continuing expense that we have to try and cover by exporting goods, which we are failing to do, have failed to do for ages, and yet ‘they’ want to sell more and increase our burden. Complete madness from my point of view.

    Is the only way out of this dilema that inflation reduces our past debt so that today and future captial will be able to pay it off in dollar terms?

  7. National already have the chosen few to buy Kiwibank and other SOE’s.

    That is why the tax breaks were given to high earners so they can snap up the shares when they are floated on the sharemarket.

    Who cares about a country,who cares about it’s people when there is money to be made…Not John Key and his cronies that’s for sure, in their eyes we are just here to keep the country working.

    Went to 2 interesting lecture on economics in Auckland by Jim Stanford, Canadian Economist, check out his website, http://www.economicsforeveryone.com you can even download some important chapters for free. Good value and very interesting, no mumble jumble, just straight talking.

    • Jum 7.1

      Margaret,
      “That is why the tax breaks were given to high earners so they can snap up the shares when they are floated on the sharemarket.”

      Very good point. And the real ‘mums and dads’ are paying twice as much in GST, etc. so they have no chance of buying any shares. The gap between rich and poor is widening fast. We need to get rid of this government before it gets any worse.

      • jcuknz 7.1.1

        >>>are paying twice as much in GST<<<
        Typical leftwing nonsense for the faithful …. the extra 2.5% GST on my super comes to about $15 while it will rise by $31 in October. Other increases would have happened irrespective of the budget. I will loose out on my Nat Prov Super becuase that has always come tax paid, but that was the gamble from way back when [ was it Muldoon running things?] and we stopped getting tax concessions?

        • BLiP 7.1.1.1

          Registered your car yet?

          • jcuknz 7.1.1.1.1

            GST has gone up 2.5% or an increase of 16.6R%, depends on how you look at the increase, I prefer the first figure. Other rises we are or will experience would have have happened anyway so really are not part of the picture in my book … though I appreciate that some think that way.
            I will not find out the new cost for my vehicle until January 2011.

  8. Con 8

    Kiwibank is more than just a bank. It’s an anti-monopoly measure. When Kiwibank was gearing up to launch, they advertised that they would be offering really competitive interest rates, and they planned to grab a huge share of the mortgage lending market in that way. They did grab a big share of that market, but crucially their low rates forced all the other banks to cut their lending rates as well, saving borrowers approximately one zillion dollars. And let’s remember, those other banks are generally foreign-owned, so that change had a net effect on NZ’s balance of payments.

  9. BLiP 9

    There is already a component of privatisation in KiwiBank. Any personal loans are actually funded by GE Money . . . given that company’s track record it seemed a silly move at the time. Perhaps it was just the opening gambit.

    • Jum 9.1

      As a budget adviser I dealt with them. They liked offering people money they couldn’t afford to pay back. Who brought them on board? I hope they’ve changed their spots.

      (There is a 15 year contract on water with United Water – parent coy Veolia – in 7 councils in NZ. Perhaps that is just the opening gambit – given JKeyll and Hide want to sell off our water assets, management of quality and supply and are trying to pretend that is not privatisation.)

    • jcuknz 9.2

      If people do not read the fine print and work out what they can truely afford it is their problem not the finance company. I was very happy to take advantage of GE Finance, and still have their card and credit limit from when I purchased computer and camera gear on no interest terms …. I worked out what I could afford and took advantage of the offer at a time nobody else was offering such terms.
      My only argument was when on going overseas to visit family for a couple of months I sent them post dated cheques and they innitially tried to dun me a $25 charge for breaking their rules which I hadn’t read … they relented after some correspondence.

  10. Brian Drury 10

    why isnt assett selling called what it really is
    siezures and sales
    surely even national can see having soes making a profit and
    giving them a return can provide money for tax cuts for their overseas owners
    asset sa;lles are little more than piracy
    and should be treated as such

    • Jum 10.1

      Captcha ‘incomes’!

      Isn’t internal piracy domestic terrorism? Therefore, this government is committing a terrorist act on its own citizens. Isn’t there some sort of law against that.

  11. Lucy 11

    Ive reposted an updated version of a previous comment here as the Stop Privatisation thread is not displaying properly.

    If you want to see who’s behind the Privatisation dreams and Public Private Partnerships the National Party are spouting about take a look at the World Bank website and their Disney fantasy promotion on Public Private Partnerships.

    http://wbi.worldbank.org/wbi/about/topics/public-private-partnerships

    Their site looks pretty innocent until you watch a BBC clip about the World Bank and what they get up to. You can watch that clip at

    http://www.youtube.com/15jonathan

    The BBC talk to Joseph Stigletz about the World Bank rigging the Russian elections. Joseph Stiglitz is Formerly Chief Economist of the World Bank and at the time of the alleged rigging of the Russian elections Stiglitz was in Clintons Cabinet as the presidents Cheif Economist.
    Joseph also talks about how the world bank do not help the people but actually work against them for their own corporate inhterests and Stiglitz should know he was one of them.

    As you might be aware the World Bank is a private for profit Bank. Who benefits from their business I don’t really know but here you have a powerful multinational company thinking they have the right to rig a countries election and doing it.

    When you see the National Party want to follow World Bank protocol of privatisation i.e. Public Private partnerships,water and health privatisation well that puts a completely different spin on who the National Party represent and why we should not vote for them.

    There is a video playlist on water privatisation in other countries at this link

    http://www.youtube.com/15jonathan

    Spread the word by mouth, email folks, becuase our corporate media are not going to tell Kiwi’s whats actually going on.

    When National got into office one of their first moves was to threaten the jobs of TVNZ staff and you can bet in difficult times those people want to keep their jobs so our media have been coerced into silence here. If they loose their Job with TVNZ the only other well paid media jobs are with the corporate owned media.

    As Brad Friedman of bradblog.com would say “Be The Media”. We have to start telling NZ what the media will not. Leaflet drops megafones etc etc. Get the word out any way you can. If some people don’t want to know just keep talking as a percentage will listen and the truth will soon take precidence in the public arena.

    [lprent: The Stop Privatization post works fine for me. ]

  12. john 12

    Privatization is the base supporting floor of the neo-liberal ideology which usurps societies’ decision making away from the people to wealthy elites (One here is the business round table and their Act Party lackeys). Privatization is antithetical to democracy removing financial means,and hence power to act for the good of all, from the people’s Government into the hands of private wealth. Here’s a link to Noam Chomsky’s observations on the destructiveness of private greed over the wellbeing of the people, otherwise known as the Public.Neo-liberalism eventually creates a feudal system based on huge inequities in wealth and income and can destroy itself, as per current crisis, ’cause such societies are unstable and people who could have made a difference are powerless,have no money or position. If you have no money or wealth you’re nobody! As in the USA
    http://www.newstatesman.com/south-america/2010/06/chomsky-democracy-latin

    • Bored 12.1

      Thanks John, that was brilliant big picture stuff. I was reading somewhere else http://energybulletin.net/53255 about a man who regards those who cant see the big picture as “microbes”. Lost in the detail of the current structure and missing the point.

  13. Jum 13

    Great information sharing. Thank you to The Standard and supporters.

    Information will set New Zealanders free if we can just spread it around New Zealand and our friends overseas who can pass on what privatisation has done to their countries.

  14. tc 14

    It makes perfect sense if you want to line the pockets of business and shareholder interests at the expense of the consumer for a service/product that was formerly publicly owned.

    That’s the only ‘sense’ you’ll find in the NACT world and they’ve got the msm on a short leash so don’t expect any profound outbursts of objectivity from the 4th estate.

  15. Bored 15

    Heres what happened in Toronto in protest against selling things and neo lib economics in general… http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10655240&pnum=0 , a few black blocks wrecked $900mlln security laid on by the authorities.

  16. Kia-ora
    We went through all these arguments in the 80’s. All the externalities and disadvantages to privatisation were predicted at the time. Of course all these concerns were ignored so the biggest daylight robbery in NZ ever could continue.

  17. burt 17

    OK, so who wants to sling $100m into a bank that’s heavily into mortgages in a fickle property market that could have a second dip and is not seriously predicted to make any significant gain in a hurry. Oh and don’t forget about the still relatively unstable job market and general economic adjustment waves that are still going on worldwide. Also don’t forget reduced household liquidity as the ETS starts kicking in.

    Come on we need to agree to stump up… it’s got Kiwi in the name remember, and it’s our money that built it from the ground up, so hey just put more of our tax payers money into the ideological dream that gave us the peoples bank.

    Was never any noise about funding growth under Labour, why are these Nats being so public about how a state asset conducts it’s business?

    • felix 17.1

      “so hey just put more of our tax payers money into the ideological dream that gave us the peoples bank”

      Quite right, we should instead just throw money hand over fist into the ideological fantasy that private enterprise gives the best outcomes in every circumstance.

    • burt 17.2

      Indeed felix, people should know by now that public money is well spent on risky business that competes with international organisations who’s balance sheets show more assets than the NZ economy.

      Oh and spent our money quietly, don’t tell us how many millions are being invested because we all know that if it has Kiwi in the name it just needs more and more money to fund it’s TV advertising campaigns telling us that we own it.

    • jcuknz 17.3

      So long as the borrowers repay their loans what does it matter to the bank if there is a second dip. If property ownership is a short term business venture then some will loose out but it shouldn’t be a problem for the long term home owner to ride out a second or third drop. Property is still way ahead of other investment opportunities in the long term when you consider the rent not going out as you repay the mortgage.
      A government owned bank, or a citizen’s bank [assuming some of it is sold to permanent NZ residents] keeping interest rates down for the house owner is a good thing and frees up money to build the ecconomy.

  18. jcuknz 18

    >>>the ideological fantasy that private enterprise gives the best outcomes in every circumstance.<<<
    The skill comes is working out which will and which won't … a hard exercise.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • The Third Referendum.
    Let's Do This Again: What else can Jacinda do in a political environment so bereft of imagination and courage but seek a continuance? If she trades upon the extraordinary personal qualities that she has, miraculously, carried with her into the office of Prime Minister, then I, for one, will offer ...
    1 hour ago
  • Corruptly protecting their own
    How corrupt are the New Zealand Police? This corrupt: On 10 February 2019, Police attended a family harm incident. The suspect attempted to run the attending officers over in a driveway with his car, narrowly missing them, before fleeing the scene. A short pursuit followed, ending when the suspect stopped ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 hours ago
  • Some welcome improvements
    Parliament's triennial Review of Standing Orders was released today, and it contains a number of welcome, if minor, improvements. The ones that caught my are: A move to encourage "pre-legislative engagement" - the government consulting widely on legislation before it is introduced - by promising easier passage (e.g. with ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 hours ago
  • How climate change made the melting of New Zealand’s glaciers 10 times more likely
    Lauren Vargo, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington Glaciers around the world are melting — and for the first time, we can now directly attribute annual ice loss to climate change. We analysed two years in which glaciers in New Zealand melted the most in at least four ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 hours ago
  • E-bikes are the new cars- why don’t transport policy makers treat them seriously?
    Caroline Shaw, Anja Mizdrak E-bikes are everywhere. Sales are booming and predicted to overtake sales of new cars in a few years. There were three times as many e-bikes and e-scooters imported into NZ in 2019 alone as there are e-cars in the entire country. You can’t go out in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 hours ago
  • Josh Van Veen: A path to victory for NZ First
    New Zealand First is facing a difficult struggle to get re-elected, but Josh Van Veen, who was once a researcher for Winston Peters, argues that there is still a very significant section of cultural conservatives who oppose mass immigration and political correctness and might yet be won back over to ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 hours ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – The Burnham report shows why we can’t trust NZ’s military
    Can we trust New Zealand’s military? There must now be serious doubt, given the landmark report released on Friday concluding the investigation into allegations made in the book Hit and Run by Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson about a 2010 SAS killing raid in Afghanistan. The most recent Colmar Brunton ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    22 hours ago
  • More British war crimes
    In New Zealand, we've just had the report of the Hit and Run inquiry, which found that a New Zealand led raid had accidentally killed civilians, including a child. meanwhile, around the same time, the British SAS was conducting its own raids in Afghanistan, and theirs were a hell of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Climate Change: The risk assessment
    In addition to establishing a process for setting emissions reductions plans, the Zero Carbon Act established a process for managing the risks of climate change. The first part of this is the preparation of regular risk assessments, looking at the risks to our economy, society, environment, and ecology. The first ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    24 hours ago
  • Amnesty International on transparency
    Over on The spinoff, Amnesty International's Meg de Ronde has a response to Friday's release of the Hit and Run report. And in response to Attorney-General David Parker's claim that the government was being "transparent" by releasing the report, its titled "we shouldn’t have to work this hard to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #31
    Story of the Week... Opinion of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review...  Story of the Week... Rising Seas Could Menace Millions Beyond Shorelines, Study Finds As climate change raises sea levels, storm surges and high tides will ...
    1 day ago
  • Labour offers nothing
    There's an election next month, so you'd be expecting political parties to be telling us what they stand for and what they'd do if they'd win. But while the Greens have given us a detailed policy platform, and National has talked about roads and austerity, Labour, currently leading the polls ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • The Disinformation Game
    "Who's youse accusin' of innference?" Without the timely intervention of a team of top American political consultants and campaign experts, Boris Yeltsin would never have won his second term as President of the Russian Federation. The Russians waited 20 years to return the favour.WHEN IT COMES to the disinformation game, ...
    1 day ago
  • Does Trump Want to Win?
    As polling day in the American presidential election draws closer, things are looking bad for Donald Trump. The polls show that he is tracking well behind his Democrat rival. Most people assume that the President will be striving might and main to avoid what looks increasingly likely to be a ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 day ago
  • July ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Our health professionals do an amazing job. Image credit: Wikipedia – Cardiac surgery.  Finally, I have got back to these rankings. A long period in hospital and computer problems meant the June 2020 rankings were abandoned. Now, with a new personal defibrillator implanted in my chest and a new hard ...
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #31
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, July 26 through Sat, Aug 1, 2020 Editor's Choice The four types of climate denier, and why you should ignore them all The shill, the grifter, the egomaniac and the ideological ...
    2 days ago
  • Four possible scenarios for the Australian and South Korean travellers
    Over the last few days, reports have emerged of people travelling from New Zealand and testing positive for Covid-19 upon arrival at their destination. First in South Korea and now in Australia. What might these positive tests mean? They’re false-positives As Toby Morris and I have explained before, there are ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • Operation Burnham: cover-up
    Former National Minister - Wayne MappYou could tell that the Hit and Run book by investigative journalists Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson was right on the money by the way former National Party Minister of Defence, Wayne Mapp, reacted to its now largely vindicated claims.Even though the recent inquiry into ...
    3 days ago
  • Vindicated
    So, the Hit and Run inquiry has reported back, and found some appalling shit at NZDF and NZSIS. And while they quibble a few of the details - the name of a dead child - they basicly uphold Hager and Stephenson's version of events. The SAS went to those villages. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The Holistic Perspective of Bryan Philpott
    We are failing to think though the interdependencies in an economy. We miss economist Bryan Philpott (1921-2000). I miss him personally – we used to have such great discussions – but this column is about how the nation misses his economic experience and wisdom. We tend to ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Heron lets National off the hook
    Michelle Boag - LeakerThe Heron report (PDF) was released yesterday, and it was a bit disappointing to say the least. It correctly found that former National Party president Michelle Boag and National Party MP Hamish Walker were politically motivated in leaking peoples private medical information, but didn’t look further into ...
    4 days ago
  • Seymour & Shaw: Winning the anti-shenanigan vote
    On different trajectories and from different ends of the political spectrum, last night’s One News/Colmar Brunton poll has the Green Party and ACT converging around the five percent mark. And, as odd as it may sound, they head into the election campaign with a lot in common.Putting the Greens and ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Places to go, people to see
    While there's news today, I'm off to Wellington to attend Armageddon on the weekend. Normal bloggage will resume on Monday. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Who Ya Gonna Call? Labour and the New Zealand Economy.
    Truth In Advertising: Labour, it would seem, is the party that knows nothing about running the economy right up until the moment that it does. HOW DID LABOUR acquire its reputation for being a poor economic manager? As with most things political and historical, it’s a long story.In the beginning, the ...
    4 days ago
  • The Trump EPA is vastly underestimating the cost of carbon dioxide pollution to society, new researc...
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections Government rulemakers looking to decide how much money to spend to avoid adding more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere need a good estimate of what a warming climate will cost in social damages, for example through more extreme weather events. That point makes ...
    5 days ago
  • Close Motonui too
    Low methanol prices and unclear gas supply are threatening the future of foreign nultinational polluter Methanex's Traranki methanol production facilities: A long term “softening” in methanol demand could have a considerable impact on Taranaki if it contributed to methanol producer Methanex quitting the region, New Plymouth MP Jonathan Young has ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Arguing About China.
    Fact Check: New Zealand’s own relationship with China might, however, be salvageable if our own Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade was willing to equip its minister, Winston Peters, with a few facts. Legislating for the protection of national security – the very action our Foreign Minister is decrying – ...
    5 days ago
  • Collins blunders on expat policy
    I hope we can all agree that charging only certain returning expats for isolation costs is the right call. Instead of a blanket fee, which may have resulted in a small number of Kiwis deciding not to return home because of financial reasons, the Government has chosen to implement a ...
    5 days ago
  • Rediscovering their principles
    Back at the beginning of this government, the Greens made a foolish decision to support the Electoral Integrity Act - demanded by Winston Peters to keep his own backbench in line as part of his coalition deal with Labour - as an act of good faith within the coalition. It ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Radiation: August 1 Views
    TUESDAY AUGUST 4Grand Designs UK (Three, 7.30pm).  ...
    5 days ago
  • Radiation: August 1 Views: Artefacts, art and Grand Designs
    SATURDAY AUGUST 1Artefact (Prime, 7.30pm). The series presented by Dame Anne Salmond screened on Māori Television, but is totally worth revisiting if you saw it the first time. Dame Anne tells the stories of taonga that highlight the history of Aotearoa. Further reading: this 2013 interview with Dame Anne by the lovely ...
    5 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Film industry bosses get their way with reformed “Hobbit Law”
    Have unions and the Government sold workers short with their attempt at fixing the so-called “Hobbit Law”? Unionist Ian Powell argues that the union movement has been outmanoeuvered, and the Government has agreed to a new piece of anti-worker legislation that retains the principles of the previous National Government’s hated ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Even studies from endemic fluorosis areas show fluoride is not harmful at levels used in fluoridatio...
    Most of the claims made by anti-fluoride propagandists are simply wrong. Image source: Fluoridation and the ‘sciency’ facts of critics Anti-fluoride propagandists continually cite studies from areas of endemic fluorosis in their arguments against ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #30, 2020
    6 days ago
  • It’s complex
    An article in the EETimes suggests that advances in autonomous vehicles are not moving as quickly as expected because those working on them have confused complicated problems with complex ones. Engineering can only take you so far in complex worlds. Complicated systems tend to have fairly predictable inputs, processes and outputs. Complex systems (like ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Kindness wins after all
    Last week, after Judith Collins announced that National would be cruel and vicious to kiwis caught overseas by the pandemic, and rob them at the border if they returned home, Labour looked like it was falling all over itself to cry "me too". But now, it looks like kindness has ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Safe arrivals
    If entry into New Zealand from abroad is safe, it should be allowed.  People arriving from places that are Covid-free, or no more risky than New Zealand, and who get here on flights that do not intersect with risky places, should return to normal travel arrangements. Currently, the Cook ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand research shows what a fat, healthy right whale looks like!
    Liz Slooten Scientists from the University of Otago, working with colleagues from around the world, have found that New Zealand right whales are doing much better than right whales in other parts of the world. The research was published as the feature article in the journal Marine Ecology Progress ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    6 days ago
  • A once-in-a-generation change
    Back in 2019, the government asked for a comprehensive, independent review of the Resource Management Act and associated legislation. That review has now reported back and recommended a complete repeal and re-enactment. Despite the headlines, this is not a "scrapping" - we're still going to have a resource management law, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Data analysis skills are in hot demand – what should be doing about it?
    By Associate Professor Mik Black, Department of Biochemistry, University of Otago The increased availability of complex biological data sets means that analysis and computation are becoming critically important skills for New Zealand’s future scientists. Because of this, we need to be doing everything we can to help our students develop ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    6 days ago
  • Are we doomed if we don’t manage to curb emissions by 2030?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Is humanity doomed? If in 2030 we have not reduced ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • Interfering with the watchdog
    Britain's spy agencies are supposedly overseen by various watchdogs, including the investigatory powers tribunal. But it turns out that MI6 at least has contempt for those watchdogs, and attempted to interfere with the operations of the tribunal by concealing evidence from its judges: MI6 has been accused of “inappropriate interference” ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • What planet is the WHO on?
    Daphna Whitmore So far this year over 7.4 million people have died from preventable communicable diseases. There were 4.3 million children who died under the age of five. Nearly one million people have died of HIV/AIDS in the past six months. A similar number of people have died from malaria ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Tiny asteroid whizzing past Earth today
    Four weeks ago I wrote about the last time a sizable asteroid hit our planet – the ‘Tunguska Event’ of 1908, when an object about 50 metres across exploded above the Siberian taiga – but smaller cosmic rocks shoot close by Earth fairly frequently. In the past 42 hours ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • No extradition to tyrannies
    Last month, China imposed a new "national security law" on Hong Kong. The law imposes a penalty of life imprisonment for secession, subversion, and "colluding with foreign forces" - which basicly means peacefully advocating for democracy or independence. It has been used to crush peaceful protests and interpreted by the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Killing The Nats With, Of All Things, Kindness.
    Powerful Connection: Neoliberalism is the antithesis of everything that has traditionally been associated with the feminine aspects of human nature. Kindness and compassion, nurturance and inclusiveness: such qualities have no place in the neoliberal order. When Jacinda proclaimed her determination to practice the “politics of kindness”, she was, wittingly or ...
    1 week ago
  • A tight timeline
    The bad news: Jacinda Ardern still wants to bill exiled kiwis for returning home. The good news: it would require a law change, which the Greens won't back, so she'll need to go grovelling to National. The other good news: she's running out of time to do it. This ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Questions for the Media to ask – if they have a spare moment or two
    . . For the mainstream media, today (22 July) was even a better day than yesterday. More Sex. More Politics. More Sex AND Politics. Yesterday, the msm dealt with Andrew Falloon. The obscure backbench MP had been found to have sent pornographic images to at least four women. The woman’s ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Colin James: Does history tell us anything about the 2020 election?
    If you want to understand what is happening in this year’s election campaign, it’s worth looking to the past for guidance. Colin James delves into recent contests and finds some interesting parallels.   July 28 is 53 days before the 2020 election. Just 53 days before the 2017 election ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Wildfires off to slow start in much of the West, but trouble expected starting in mid-July
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters Wildfires burned much less acreage in the U.S. than average during the first half of the year, but with hot and dry conditions expected over much of the nation in the coming months, fire activity is likely to ramp up. ...
    1 week ago
  • A necessary challenge
    Today a full bench of the High Court is hearing Andrew Borrowdale's challenge to the legality of the COVID-19 lockdown. That lockdown ended two months ago, so the point seems moot - but it was never about ending it. Instead, as Andrew Geddis points out, its about a key principle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Filling the policy void
    So far, this has been a relatively policy-free election campaign. The government has been trying to keep a low profile, on the basis that anything they say will only piss someone off, so better to say as little as possible. When its not knifing its leader, National has promised roads, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • This is dangerous for our democracy
    I hardly ever comment on polls, because horse-race politics is superficial and boring and most changes are statistically meaningless and so unworthy of attention (let alone the excitement they provoke amongst mathematically illiterate political journalists desperate to fill airtime). But we've now had two polls in a row showing Labour ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reported back
    The Finance and Expenditure Committee has reported back on its inquiry into the operation of the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020. As you'd expect, they find that the law was "necessary and appropriate", but would like to see a permanent replacement providing for health emergency powers as the Health ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #30
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... John Cook in the News... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... Major new climate study rules out less severe global warming scenarios An analysis finds the most ...
    1 week ago
  • The Change in the Political Debate
    It hasn’t taken long for the advent of Judith Collins as National party leader to change the tone of the political debate. After several days of headlines and airwaves dominated by reports of a National MP sending pornographic images to young women, the National leader had had enough of that ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Green and Act get on the Kombucha
    Don Franks An already fired up general election looks like getting even edgier. When final votes have been counted, a rather unlikely coalition government now seems possible As National and Labour implode with sexual proclivities while New Zealand First fling their last toys from the cot, others show more maturity. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #30
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, July 19 through Sat, July 25, 2020 Editor's Choice The Climate Expert Who Delivered News No One Wanted to Hear From 2009: How a scientist known as the “father of global ...
    1 week ago
  • Socio-Economic Responses from COVID and Beyond…
    There’s ultimately two key narratives overall that are seeking to take front row in order to reshape the world as a whole going forward from the COVID pandemic. The first is a very desperate attempt to reimpose “a return” to what is perceived as “the old normal”, quite impossible. ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Searching for Misha: the life and tragedies of the world’s most famous polar bear
    Henry Anderson-Elliott, University of Cambridge On the morning of August 31 2017, I didn’t meet a remarkable polar bear. It was my third week of fieldwork-based out of Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, studying the conservation of the bears on the Svalbard archipelago in Norway. Having spent a few days transcribing interviews in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Radiation: July 25 Views: Punk, People and Stars
    SUNDAY JULY 26Country Calendar (TVNZ 1, 7.00pm). Tonight, kiwifruit growing in the King Country. Crazy!Normal People (TVNZ 1, 10.30pm). Holy cow, if you thought it was slow on a binge-watch, imagine what it's like in weekly doses. Nevertheless, it's like Richard Linklater's Boyhood – you don't really see the scope of ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Level 1: The Doom of National
    . . “The Martians had no resistance to the bacteria in our atmosphere to which we have long since become immune. Once they had breathed our air, germs, which no longer affect us, began to kill them. The end came swiftly. All over the world, their machines began to stop ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • This is how you deal with criminal fishers
    In October 2018, Sealord's fishing boat Ocean Dawn repeatedly bottom-trawled in a Benthic Protection Area on the Chatham Rise. It was a crime which devastated a pristine marine environment. And today, they've been properly punished for it: Sealord has today been ordered to forfeit a $24 million fishing vessel for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I’ve been talking to conspiracy theorists for 20 years – here are my six rules of engagement
    Jovan Byford, The Open University With prospects of a COVID-19 vaccine looking up, attention is also turning to the problem of anti-vax ideas. According to a recent survey, one in six Britons would refuse a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. Although vaccine hesitancy is a complex problem with ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Coronavirus lockdown reduced seismic activity around the world – new study
    Paula Koelemeijer, Royal Holloway and Stephen Hicks, Imperial College London Seismic activity doesn’t just come from earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides. Everyday human activity also gives rise to vibrations that travel through the ground as seismic waves, something we call “anthropogenic noise”. When pandemic lockdown measures brought daily life to a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A victory for women
    Last night, the Equal Pay Amendment Act 2020 was passed unanimously by Parliament. The Act updates the 1972 Equal Pay Act to create a bargaining framework for equal pay claims and hopefully avoid the need to take them to court. It doesn't go far enough - there's no pay transparency ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Doing the right thing
    The New Zealand government has done the right thing and granted journalist Behrouz Boochani refugee status: Eight months after arriving in New Zealand, acclaimed author Behrouz Boochani has been granted refugee status. The Kurdish-Iranian writer joins a small group of successful applicants – with almost two thirds of asylum ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Is The Left Not Opposing The West’s New Cold War With China?
    Carve-Up: 120 years after the Eight-Power Intervention of 1900 the racist assumptions of the Western powers vis-à-vis China have hardly changed at all. They still arrogate to themselves the right to dispose of the future of the Chinese people as they see fit. There remains the same racist assumption that ...
    2 weeks ago
  • To charge or not to charge, that is the question
    Both Labour and National are talking about requiring people arriving in New Zealand to pay $3,000 of the cost of the mandatory managed isolation/quarantine period. The policy has been criticised as “shameful”. There are petitions against it. I have some concerns about the politics behind the proposal, but I’m neither ...
    PunditBy Simon Connell
    2 weeks ago
  • CovidCard carrying Kiwis?
    Dave Heatley New Zealand’s COVID Tracer app is “on track to achieve nothing”, according to Sam Morgan. The numbers support him: only one in six of those eligible to download and register the app has done so, and each app user has scanned just 2.5 QR codes since the app ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealander’s rally for human rights in the Philippines
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity and Migrante Aotearoa are jointly holding a rally to speak up for human rights in the Philippines. The human rights situation in the Philippines has deteriorated significantly since President Duterte came to power in 2016. As many as 27,000 people have been killed in police operations during ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Mañana Politics
    Just where in the economic spectrum does the current National Party stand? In government, a political party is so busy it rarely has time to have a political ideology (neoliberals and communists excepted). Most policy is driven by necessity, instinct (which, I suppose, is a kind of ideology) ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • In 2020, As In 1984, Young And Old May Vote Together.
    Together, Not Apart: In political terms, 2020 represents the exact reverse of 1984. Then, the tide was running with the challengers. Now, it is running with the incumbents. If Labour and the Greens can plausibly guarantee to keep us working and keep us safe, then traditional demographic voting patterns will ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Media Link: “A View from Afar” podcast series launch.
    Hosted by Selwyn Manning and EveningReport.nz, ” A View from Afar” is a podcast series dedicated to exploring current affairs, international relations, political events and military-security issues from somewhat uncommon angles. In this first episode we continue the coverage of the Portland protests first offered on these pages. The conversation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Drawn
    A ballot for five Member's Bills was held today and the following bills were drawn: Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill (No 2) (Shane Reti) Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion (Safe Areas) Amendment Bill (Louisa Wall) Lawyers and Conveyancers (Employed Lawyers Providing Free Legal Services) Amendment Bill ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Govt connecting kiwis to affordable, healthy food
    Funding for innovative projects to connect Kiwis with affordable, safe and wholesome food, reduce food waste, and help our food producers recover from COVID-19 has been announced today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “COVID-19 has seen an increasing number of families facing unprecedented financial pressure. Foodbanks and community food service ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    45 mins ago
  • Getting infrastructure for housing underway
    Eight shovel-ready projects within Kāinga Ora large-scale developments, and the Unitec residential development in Auckland have been given the go-ahead, Minister for Housing Dr Megan Woods announced today. Megan Woods says these significant infrastructure upgrades will ensure that the provision of homes in Auckland can continue apace. “The funding announced ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Napier walk and cycleway to improve safety
    The Government is funding a new separated walking and cycleway path along Napier’s Chambers and Ellison streets to provide safer access for local students and residents across Marine Parade and State Highway 51, Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Police Minister Stuart Nash announced today. Funding of $2.7 million has been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • PGF creates more than 10k jobs, success stories across NZ
    More than 13,000 people have been employed so far thanks to the Coalition Government’s Provincial Growth Fund, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has today announced. The number of jobs created by Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investments has outstripped the 10,000 jobs target that the Government and Provincial Development Unit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Inaugural seafood awards honour sustainability
    Scientists and innovative fishing operators from Stewart Island and Fiordland to Nelson, Marlborough and Wellington have been honoured in the first ever Seafood Sustainability Awards. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash has congratulated the winners of the inaugural Seafood Sustainability Awards held at Parliament. “The awards night honours six winners, from a wide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Climate resilience packages for regions
    The Government is providing an investment totalling more than $100 million for regions to protect against and mitigate the effects of climate change, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones have announced. Six regions will receive funding from the $3 billion allocated to infrastructure projects from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Southern Waikato shovel ready projects get the green light
    Three major local projects at Te Kuiti and Otorohanga have been given the money to get moving after the impact of Covid 19, says the Minister of Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  The projects range from a Sports Centre for Te Kuiti, a redevelopment of the Otorohanga  Kiwi House and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • New Zealand extends Middle East and Africa peace support deployments
    The Coalition Government has extended three New Zealand Defence Force deployments to the Middle East and Africa by two years, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today.  “These deployments promote peace in the Middle East and Africa by protecting civilians and countering the spread of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt progress on climate change essential, risk assessment shows
    The release of the National Climate Change Risk Assessment shows that the progress this Government has made to solve the climate crisis is essential to creating cleaner and safer communities across New Zealand. “Because of this report, we can see clearer than ever that the action our Government is taking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • $10m sport recovery fund open for applications
    The second round of the Community Resilience Fund is now open for applications for sport and recreation organisations experiencing financial hardship between 1 July and 30 September 2020. “The fund opens today for five weeks – closing on September 6. The amount awarded will be decided on a case-by-case basis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Rakitū Island declared latest predator free island
    Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today declared Rakitū Island, off the coast of Aotea/Great Barrier Island, predator free. “I’m delighted to announce that with rats now gone, Rakitū is officially predator free. This is a major milestone because Rakitū is the last DOC administered island in the Hauraki Gulf Marine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding to restore significant Māori sites in the Far North
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $8.75 million to restore significant historic sites at Ōhaeawai in the Far North, upgrade marae and fund fencing and riparian planting. Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcements following a service at the historic St Michael’s Anglican Church at Ōhaeawai today.  Just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Big boost for Chatham Islands’ economy
    The Chatham Islands will receive close to $40 million for projects that will improve its infrastructure, add to its attraction as a visitor destination, and create jobs through a planned aquaculture venture, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has announced. “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the islands, first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More initiatives to reduce energy hardship
    The Government is delivering more initiatives to reduce energy hardship and to give small electricity consumers a voice, Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods said today. “In addition to the initiatives we have already delivered to support New Zealand families, we are responding to the Electricity Price Review with further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Turning the tide for hoiho/yellow-eyed penguin
    Government, iwi, NGOs and rehabilitation groups are working together to turn around the fortunes of the nationally endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguin following a series of terrible breeding seasons.  The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage helped launch the Five Year Action Plan at the annual Yellow-Eyed Penguin symposium in Dunedin today. “I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Taskforce ready to tackle tourism challenges
    The membership of the Tourism Futures Taskforce has now been confirmed, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced at an event at Whakarewarewa in Rotorua today. “The main purpose of the independent Tourism Futures Taskforce is to lead the thinking on the future of tourism in New Zealand,” Kelvin Davis said. Joining ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Investing in the tourism sector’s recovery
    More than $300 million in funding has been approved to protect strategic tourism businesses, drive domestic tourism through regional events and lift digital capability in the tourism industry, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. A $400 million Tourism Recovery Package was announced at Budget 2020, and with today’s announcements is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Permits to be required for exporting hard-to-recycle plastic waste
    From 2021 permits will be required for New Zealanders wanting to export hard-to-recycle plastic waste. The Associate Minister for the Environment, Eugenie Sage, today announced the requirements as part of New Zealand’s commitments to the Basel Convention, an international agreement of more than 180 countries which was amended in May ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Growth in new building consents shows demand is still high
    The building and construction sector is still showing strong growth, with the number of new dwellings consented up more than 8 per cent compared to last year, reflecting a welcome confidence in the Government’s COVID-19 response package, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “While it is still too ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $23 million for Bay of Plenty flood protection
    Government investment of $23 million for Bay of Plenty flood protection will allow local communities to address long-standing flood risks and provide jobs, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced in Rotorua today. These projects are being funded by the Infrastructure Reference Group’s (IRG) shovel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rotorua benefits from over $62 million boost
    Investment for projects that will create hundreds of jobs in Rotorua were announced today by Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. These projects will provide opportunities for economic development in a region that has been hard hit by COVID-19,” Winston Peters said. Fletcher ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Increased counselling support for all students
    For the first time, primary schools will have access to funding for counsellors for their students, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. “A major investment of $75.8 million will provide greater access to guidance counsellors to help primary and secondary school students deal with mental health and wellbeing issues,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Report of the Government Inquiry into Operation Burnham released
    Defence Minister Ron Mark today welcomed the release of the Report of the Government Inquiry into Operation Burnham and related matters, and the Government response.  “I thank the Inquiry for their thorough and detailed report, on a highly complex issue. I accept the recommendations of the report, and fully support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 1BT funds create jobs and lasting benefits
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced $6 million of One Billion Trees funding for seven regional initiatives to create jobs and provide long-lasting environmental and economic benefits. The projects range from improving one of the poorest-quality water catchments in Otago to restoring 52km of waterways around Hokianga Harbour. Six of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Kawerau projects to receive $5.5 million from Provincial Growth Fund
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters today announced $5.5 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) for two Kawerau projects and says this is a significant boost for the people of Kawerau. “These projects will bring much-needed investment and will create up to 60 jobs for locals,” Mr Peters ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $5 million for Kaingaroa Village Redevelopment
    Kaingaroa Village in the Bay of Plenty is to get $5 million to help fund a comprehensive upgrade of its infrastructure, facilities and housing, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. Mr Tabuteau travelled to the remote village to make the announcement, telling Kaingaroa residents how the funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $18 Million Funding Boost for Bay of Plenty Business Park
    The Rangiuru Business Park project near Te Puke is getting $18 million from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This is all about unlocking the potential of this region. When it’s finished, the Rangiuru Business Park will be the Bay of Plenty’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Town revitalisation and aquaculture investments create jobs in Ōpōtiki
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has today announced that a $26 million investment in Ōpōtiki will see important public amenities upgraded and further progress made on new aquaculture opportunities. “The people of Ōpōtiki have been waiting decades for real investment in key infrastructure, and support for the incredible aquaculture opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister congratulates the Cook Islands community for its 9th year of Language Weeks
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio wishes to congratulate the Cook Islands community throughout Aotearoa for the 9th year of Te ‘Epetoma o Te Reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani, the Cook Islands Language Week.  “This is a proud milestone that reflects on the huge effort made by the Cook ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Construction underway on longest section of Glen Innes to Tāmaki Drive Shared Path
    Aucklanders in the Eastern Suburbs will soon have more ways to get around, with Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter kicking off construction on Section 2 of Te Ara Ki Uta Ki Tai, the Glen Innes to Tāmaki Drive Shared Path today. The Glen Innes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 350,000 More Measles Vaccines for Massive Immunisation Campaign
    The Government is stepping up the fight against measles and protecting hundreds of thousands more young adults by investing up to $40 million for a year-long measles-catch-up campaign and $23 million to fully fund and develop the National Immunisation Solution, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced at Mangere ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Operation Burnham report released
    Attorney-General David Parker has today released the findings of the Government inquiry held into Operation Burnham and related events. The operation took place on 21-22 August 2010 in Tirgiran Valley, Afghanistan, and was carried out by NZSAS troops and other nations’ forces operating as part of the International Security Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Locally-led solutions at centre of new community resilience fund
    From tomorrow, community groups around New Zealand can apply to a $36 million fund established to encourage locally-led solutions as communities rebuild and recover from COVID-19, announced Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni and Minister for Community and Voluntary Sector Poto Williams. “The Community Capability and Resilience Fund (CCRF) builds ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Securing healthy futures for all Māori
    The Government has committed to improving Māori health and wellbeing over the next five years. The Associate Minister of Health (Māori Health) today released Whakamaua: Māori Health Action Plan 2020-2025 which sets the pathway towards achieving healthy futures for all Māori. “As kaitiaki of the system, the Ministry of Health ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Porirua Development delivers more new public housing
    The first of nearly 70 new state homes have been opened in Cannons Creek, Porirua by the Associate Minister of Housing, Kris Faafoi, as part of an increase in public housing being delivered through the Porirua Development.  “Completion of the first 10 of 53 new two and five bedroom homes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New standards for existing marine farms provide consistency
    New environmental standards will make the re-consenting of existing marine farms more consistent across the country.  The new regulations for the National Environmental Standards for Marine Aquaculture (NES-MA) will come into effect on 1 December, Environment Minister David Parker and Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash said.   “The NES-MA removes complexities and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government signs Accord reinvigorating commitment to Far North iwi
    Today marks a milestone as the Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta co-sign an Addendum – with the Iwi Chairs of Te Rarawa, Ngāi Takoto and Te Aupōuri – to the Te Hiku o Te Ika Iwi-Crown Social Development and Wellbeing Accord (the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Veterans Support Amendment Bill No 2 passes third reading
    The Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill (No 2) passed its third reading today and will become law, announced Minister for Veterans Ron Mark.  This amends the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 in response to recommendations from the 2018 review of the operation of the Act by Professor Ron Paterson.  “Veterans have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Racing Safety Development Fund open for applications
    Minister for Racing Winston Peters says race courses can improve safety with this year’s first round of funding from the Racing Safety Development Fund. The Racing Safety Development Fund makes available $990,000 for distribution over two funding rounds for the 2020/21 financial year. “The racing industry is integral to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Boost to agri-education with reopening of Taratahi
    The Government’s commitment to increase primary sector jobs and opportunities has been further boosted today with the re-opening of the Taratahi Agriculture Centre, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The Wairarapa-based training centre is reopening its doors after two years to deliver industry taster and familiarisation courses, to help workers displaced ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago