Who’s walking the talk on economic sovereignty?

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, October 10th, 2011 - 27 comments
Categories: monetary policy, overseas investment - Tags:

Who said this on the double downgrade: “We have this ongoing challenge of a negative investment balance – the profits and dividends that go back to the foreign owners of New Zealand assets. We need to generate the kind of savings that will help New Zealand buy back those assets. A good example would be the Z petrol stations that were bought off Shell (by The Cullen Fund and Infratil).”?

No, it’s not David Cunliffe or Russel Norman, whose parties have policies to tackle the problem of profits flowing offshore – ie. no asset sales, capital gains tax, restrictions on foreign ownership of land, reforming monetary policy, a stronger Kiwisaver, and restarting the Cullen Fund.

It’s Bill English whose party has gutted Kiwisaver, suspended contributions to the Cullen Fund, ruled out a capital gains tax, refused to act on monetary policy, and has an asset sale policy which, by his own estimate, would see $2 billion of high profitable assets go into foreign ownership.

Partial credit to English for identifying the problem, I guess but, seeing as he’s proposing policies that will make the problem worse and ruling out policies to fix the problem, he fails the national standard in economic sovereignty.

Just another example of National’s rhetoric bearing no relation to its policies and actions.

27 comments on “Who’s walking the talk on economic sovereignty?”

  1. marsman 1

    Double Dipper Double Speak.

  2. Afewknowthetruth 2

    ‘Partial credit to English for identifying the problem, I guess but, seeing as he’s proposing policies that will make the problem worse and ruling out policies to fix the problem’

    Problems caused by mainstream economics ( private ownership, fractional reserve banking, leveraging, hedging, GDP, the conversion of resources into waste etc) cannot be fixed by mainstream economics.

    The entire system is going down….. even the trolls on TV One (which I watched for about 3 minutes today) are starting to admit it!!!

    And didn’t Mervyn King (BoE) say a couple of days ago what is coming may be worse than the Great Depression? Just change ‘may’ to ‘will’.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Standard and Poors says Key comment is full of shit


    Mr Key claimed Standard and Poor’s had said at a meeting last month that “if there was a change of Government, that downgrade would be much more likely”.

    The next election is on November 26.

    Standard and Poor’s sovereign rating analyst Kyran Curry, who attended the meeting in Auckland, said that would not have happened.

    “In Auckland last month, I might have talked about the importance of the Government maintaining a strong fiscal position in the medium term but I would never have touched on individual parties.

    “It is something we just don’t do,” Mr Curry said. “We don’t rate political parties. We rate Governments.”

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 3.1

      So Key’s argument seems to be ‘we are crap, but S&P says they are more crap’. Of course, S&P never said such a thing- and are keen to set the record straight.

    • mike 3.2

      And the list of people saying ‘I know for a fact that John Key is a liar’ gets longer.

      • mik e 3.2.1

        Full of talk and no delivery on promises.Look at TREMAINS statuesque ODT cartoon sums it up

  4. Afewknowthetruth 4

    The saboteur on the other side of the world is having a similar level of success to Key.

    ‘Cameron’s ‘can-do’ Britain has 20,000 fewer companies
    Matt Chorley: Businesses are closing down at an alarming rate’

    Whoever gains office in November will have the biggest shit storm in history to deal with, as the energy and resources needed for present economic arrangements go into severe decline.

    Back to the garden.

  5. ak 5

    The most blatant lie from Key yet – and to parliament no less. Black and white, no wriggle room at all. As the spokesman notes, it is utterly inconceivable that a rating agency would go anywhere near politicking of any kind.

    On top of the blant recent news censorship, just imagine the screaming hurricane of abuse from the Right had Helen tried anything remotely like this.

    Surely it’s crystal-clear now, as if any further proof were needed, how far the corruption of our media has gone ever since the ludicrous cheerleading of Orewa One back in 04.

    Near-total totalitarianism. The street’s the last avenue.

    • AAMC 5.1

      “Near-total totalitarianism. The street’s the last avenue.”


  6. Just another example of National’s rhetoric bearing no relation to its policies and actions.

    Sometimes it might, that’s the problem. English has a history on Kiwibank.

    That’s why it’s important to have a party in position to save Kiwibank and not allow Aussiebank.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      You mean like Labour, the Greens and Mana?

      • Pete George 6.1.1

        No, I mean someone in a position to make a difference, you know, actually in government.

        One party can be in a position to debate, moderate and draw a line.

        UF rules out Kiwibank, Radio NZ and water for asset sales

        “To this point there has not been a proper national debate beyond National saying yes and Labour saying no.

        “We need a conversation that is more detailed and drills down into what New Zealanders really think are acceptable bottom lines,” he said.

        “New Zealanders, I believe, are not definitively pro-asset sales, but under certain conditions, it is no longer the bogeyman issue that Labour would have you believe.”

        Mr Dunne said UnitedFuture’s role as a support partner is not just to contribute its own policies, but to help keep a government to a reasonable, centrist path.

        “UnitedFuture says let’s start with three no-go areas where there would be no asset sales, not now, not ever:

        “They are Kiwibank, Radio New Zealand and the supply of water.

        Balance of power politics can be much more powerful than sideline politics.

        • Lanthanide

          I like how United Future supported National’s retrospective legislation on police surveillance and it was up to Labour and ACT to get it moderated.

          • Pete George

            I like how you aren’t aware what actually happened. Don’t believe everything Charles and Greg say. Chauvel was either lying or making things up to boost his own ego.

            Looks like Charles muight have been doing more than bullshitting about Peter Dunne’s involvement, he may have been a bit naughty about trumpeting his own involvement.

            • Lanthanide

              Or we can look at what actually happened:


              United Future is the only party to offer to support the bill. Leader Peter Dunne said he would ”far prefer” the Search and Surveillance Bill which was introduced to Parliament in July 2009 and enables covert filming had been passed by now.

              ”But I think that we are in a situation that given the Supreme Court ruling and the number of cases that are potentially effected, we’ve got to do something to revert to the status quo while the major bill is passed. So I’m supporting an interim legislation that would effectively take us back to where we were before the court ruled. That should be in place for a limited time only to allow Parliament to pass legislation next year.”

              I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised if someone who won’t commit to voting for the party they’re standing for, doesn’t actually keep up with what the party itself stands for.

              • “Support” can include discussion and modifying through due process.

                I kept up, this was posted here last week:

                Once the original proposals were made public, it became obvious that the provisions regarding retrospective application and the twelve month temporary life of the Bill were not going to fly with the public, and that change was required.

                Although I was not part of the select committee which gave brief consideration to the legislation I did have a number of discussions with my Ministerial colleague the Attorney-General (whose office just happens to be next to my mine, so our conversations were frequent).

                We agreed from a very early stage that the best outcome would be to drop the retrospective provisions and to limit the life of the Bill to just 6 months, provisions which have ultimately come to pass.

                While it may not suit some people’s preferred narrative of these events, the Herald’s editorial is a fairly accurate summary of what happened.


                And this suggests Charles was fibbing about his own importance.

                • Lanthanide

                  “Dunne said he would not oppose sending the bill to a select committee if there could be a guarantee it would still pass before the election.”

                  It looks to me like Dunne fully supported the bill as-written and didn’t require any changes to be made to it. It wasn’t until public opinion backed up all of the other parties that Dunne changed his tune. He’s covering his ass, it’s pretty clear.

                  • Unlike you I’m not guessing, I know for a fact you’re mistaken. I’ve talked to Peter Dunne about it (and passed on my concerns about the retrospective aspects), I’ve seen what he has publicly posted and I’ve seen how it has been reported and editorialised.

                    Do you know what select committees do?

                    • mik e

                      PG you are just part of the problem willing to suck up to national at any price name me any policies other than meaningless house keeping that untitled future has ever achieved. No will be the answer other Than giving national another mouth to spin out of and don,t try and WORM your way out of this by splitting hairs.Peter Dunne is just another Kronic liar

                    • mik e – you obviously have no idea about my intent and resolve. If elected I’ll be working hard locally and will be promoting Dunedin interests as my priority, in contrast to the party policy wonk standing for Labour. I haven’t had to grease my way up a party and to repeat talking points.

                    • Lanthanide

                      “I haven’t had to grease my way up a party and to repeat talking points.”

                      So you’re saying United Future have low standards.

                    • mik e

                      Thats because you don’t have a party just a one man band with one supporter who lives outside his electorate who,s obsessed by saying nothing and doing nothing but agreeing with everybody except me obviously

        • Draco T Bastard

          But UF may not be in government in a few weeks time whereas the parties that I mentioned have a reasonable chance to be.

  7. Cloaca 7

    Mervyn King is Governor of the Bank of England not the New Zealand Reserve Bank. The UK is in a very different position to New Zealand.

    Standard & Poors only do what their US owners require if it. If US is downgraded so shall everybody else be downgraded. What is good for US is good for the US, and nobody else matters.

  8. numeric 8

    The numbers are in !

    The Rugby World Cup is having a depressing effect on business in NZ


    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      What a pathetic article. It mentions an email survey and then rambles on about how confidence is dropping and then mentions that a number of businesses feel that the RWC is depressing the economy with no data to back that up.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        Talking to people involved in organisations who would know, there is widespread and tacit acceptance that if you were off the beaten track in terms of RWC punters and activity, the World Cup has probably ruined your numbers for the quarter.

        Its that bad.

        Of course, if you happen to be one of those selling beer downtown Auckland or in Queens Wharf Wellington, life has been bloody sweet.

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