Why the Meridian sale will go ahead regardless of cost

Written By: - Date published: 7:26 am, May 27th, 2013 - 57 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags:

When even the notoriously right-wing NZ Herald Editorial is pleading for Meridian not to be sold (just now), you know that the government’s asset sell-down is in trouble.

Add to that the fact that Mighty River Power shares are languishing three cents below their float rate and that a Meridian float is likely to knock them down further.

And then add the fact that the conflicts of interest involved in the sale of that generator are gathering negative attention from the most establishment corners, and John Key’s determination to continue seems even more bloody minded.

But that assumes that getting the best dollar possible is the plan here. It’s not. The planned sale of Meridian is about making sure this transfer of public wealth to private hands is as irreversible as possible.

Meridian’s huge value is its strategic place in the electricity system – like Mighty River it provides cheap low-carbon peaking power that can’t easily be replaced without resorting to costly to run fossil fuel plants (and suddenly it’s not low-carbon anymore).

It would be very hard to put the electricity system back together with both Mighty and Meridian sold down as both have generation that is very hard to replace. Genesis, on the other hand, has mostly fossil plants that are far more easily duplicated.

All of which means the government needs to get Meridian on the block asap if it’s to poison the well for reversal of its privatisation policy. Which is what it’s doing. And bugger the cost to taxpayers (both present and future), “mum and dad” investors, and consumers.

Of course NZ Power short-circuits this situation by not requiring reintegration of the electricity system to bring generators in line. But National is betting that large multinational shareholders will have much more leverage in negotiations with a future Labour/Greens government if they own the most strategically important generating capacity. Which is why, despite the pleadings of the Herald, the Meridian sale won’t be put on hold.

57 comments on “Why the Meridian sale will go ahead regardless of cost”

  1. Tigger 1

    But Granny is still saying sell, just a different asset (AirNZ). Their masters must want some planes for their toy collection.

  2. Tom Gould 2

    Enormous efforts went into getting the MRP offer across the line, ranging from overt incentives and saturation advertising to less overt pressure on ‘mates’ to calls on old fashioned political loyalty. These tactics are unlikely to work a second time. The smart end of town knows these ‘investments’ are dogs and will stay away from Meridian too. Key has painted himself into a corner, yet again. The Herald is simply being a helpful friend.

    • IrishBill 2.1

      Nah. these will be scooped up by large overseas investors. If, say, a large foreign government investor accumulates a substantial chunk of both Mighty and Meridian then implementing NZ Power will be more politically and financially costly for a future government.

      That’s what John Key and his government are counting on. It’s a cynical play from a government whose main goal is to divest government of economic power and keep that way.

  3. tc 3

    Carry on shonkey, another albatross to adorn your already stinky plumage with dead rats like kim.com, warner bros, conservation mining, tranzrail shares…..quite the collection.

  4. For similar reasons I suspect they will let Solid Energy go to the wall, just so that it can be divested.

    • GregJ 4.1

      Yep – it is interesting to see the rise of Bathurst Resources and its positioning to scoop up more NZ coal resources – no profits as yet but cash rich and attempting to re-incorporate as a “New Zealand” Company (albeit with mainly overseas owners). Must have been some fascinating conversations had when Key opened Bathurst’s NZ operations office in Wellington in March 2012.

  5. Mr Interest 5

    http://www.inthepublicinterest.org/node/457

    Myth #1: Privatization saves money.
    However: Privatization often raises costs for the public and governments.

    Myth #2: Private companies do a better job than the public sector.
    However: Many examples show declines in service quality under private contractors.

    Myth #3: Privatization allows governmental entities to better anticipate and control budgetary costs.
    However: Cost estimates are extremely unreliable and privatization can cause result in unforeseen budgetary consequences.

    Myth #4: Privatization allows governmental entities more administrative flexibility.
    However: Privatization requires substantial administrative resources for monitoring and oversight.

    Myth #5: The public still maintains control over a privatized asset or service and the government retains the ultimate ability to make related public policy decisions.
    However: Privatization can bind the hands of policymakers for years, allowing private companies significant control of a privatized asset or service and the ability to dictate important policy decisions.

    Myth #6: If anything goes wrong, the government can easily fire the contractor or adjust the contract.
    However: Reversing privatization involves huge costs and service interruptions.

    Myth #7: Companies are chosen for privatization contracts on the merits, not based on political or financial connections.
    However: Government for profit opens doors to unscrupulous behavior by politicians and businesses.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      +1

      Exactly and I do wish more people would realise that. Privatisation costs us all more just so that a few people can be richer and have more power over us.

    • Peter 5.2

      Myth: Private firms will take full responsibility for all government functions
      However, they only want the profitable bits and will off-load the rest back to the state.

    • ghostrider888 5.3

      Yep

    • Roy 5.4

      Nice summary.

  6. Winston Smith 6

    Because its a better plan then the Greens can come up with (which the polls seem to indicate…)

    • Suitably Clueless 6.1

      Ha! Do you really believe that? Is that the mantra you use to get your brain to quiet down so you can sleep at night? ‘The polls say that everything is ok, it’s not an attempt at privatisation by stealth, it is just good fiscal management’ it just really doesn’t roll off the tongue like counting sheep does. The referendum will go to parliament, but unfortunately it is too late for MRP, all your shilling would have been worth if had you been one of the anointed 2% that now own a large share of one of our utilities. Now clean up the spittle, go for a walk and see what is happening to your country with these munted US/UK austerity policies. I note there is no such thing as austerity at the top of the pile, just numpties who don’t care about society, their fellow species, the environment, their next generation, and have absolutely no appreciation of history and how it can teach us lessons.

      Sorry for the spiel and rant, but the lack of intellectual vigour and critical thinking in most of your statements made me flame you like this. You seem an intelligent chap, use it, don’t just parrot Patrick Gower’s crap on the rest of us.

      • ghostrider888 6.1.1

        Like

      • Winston Smith 6.1.2

        I don’t have a large share (at least not what I consider a large share) but I have some shares and will be buying some meridian shares

        and yeah the people are now beginning to wake up to the reality of a green-led governemnt

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.1.2.1

          Yes, if current polls are correct, it’ll be a reality, and they’ll be running the economy, which they’ve done a better job of since 6th December 1935. Always lower public debt, always more productive.

          Since a rising tide lifts all boats, this will even be good news for maggots like you.

          • Winston Smith 6.1.2.1.1

            the greens have done a better job since 1935?

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Yes, you must be right, because they’ll be the only party in government, won’t they?

              Wake me up when you can muster a reality-based argument.

              PS: On second thoughts, who wants to sleep forever?

        • Steve Withers 6.1.2.2

          Winston: I find almost everyone who thinks a Green government would be bad doesn’t know very much about the Greens. Honestly…..most people I have spoken to who say the Greens are bad aren’t able to accurately describe even one policy in support their belief. I call it a “belief” because without anything verifiably correct to support their view, their view can’t be anything but a faith statement.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.2.1

            But the Greens are tree hugging commies and Russel Norman is an economy destroying witch man

      • paul andersen 6.1.3

        good post ,agree completley,

    • Okay, you determine this from a single poll, the year before election year? That is like claiming Don Brash would win the election, what the media spin usually isn’t the reality in election year. Better to have the Greens and Labour, than Business Roundtable Inc, run by foreign corporations, for foreign corporations.

  7. Suitably Clueless 7

    Ha! Key thinks that his welfare ‘reforms’ will be one of his governments legacies. Can’t argue with that at all.

  8. KJT 8

    Come on. Do you really think that National have New Zealander’s best interests at heart with their privatisations.’

    The fact that they went of the deep end over New Zealand power shows the real motives.

    The reasons for the privatisations is to secure funding for the party from those who expect to make a killing from the power companies, add to Key’s million dollar retirement fund in Hawaii, and secure a bit of cash for the general account, so that National can paper over the loses from their bumbling incompetence and do a bit of pump priming before the election.

    They have no problem with fire sale prices. It just means their cronies can make more money of them later.

    • Winston Smith 8.1

      “add to Key’s million dollar retirement fund in Hawaii”

      – Yeah good thing no other politician has a retirement fund in the USA…

  9. Mr Interest 9

    Quotes from

    Silent Theft – The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth
    By David Bollier

    http://www.community-wealth.org/content/silent-theft-private-plunder-our-common-wealth

    What is the Commons?

    The American commons include tangible assets such as public forests and minerals, intangible wealth such as copyrights and patents, critical infrastructure such as the Internet and government research, and cultural resources such as the broadcast airwaves and public spaces.

    We, as citizens, own these commons. They include resources that we have paid for as taxpayers, and resources that we have inherited from previous generations. They are not just an inventory of marketable assets, but social institutions and cultural traditions that define us as Americans and enliven us as human beings. Public education. Community institutions. Democratic values. Wildlife and national forests. Public spaces in cities and communications media.

    Astonishingly, Americans are losing the right to control dozens of such commons that they own. While business and technology tend to be the forces animating this silent theft, as we shall see, our government is complicit in not adequately protecting the commons on our behalf. When it is not being seduced by what has been called the legalized bribery of campaign contributions, politicians may gamely try to defend our common assets, and occasionally succeed. ………

    A reckoning of what belongs to the American people is a first step to recovering control of common assets and using them either to generate new revenues for public purposes or to protect them from market exploitation. At a time when the public purse is raided for all manner of “corporate welfare,” an analysis based on the “common wealth” offers some powerful ways to leverage assets that we the American people already own.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    It would be very hard to put the electricity system back together with both Mighty and Meridian sold down as both have generation that is very hard to replace.

    Nope, it would be easy – re-nationalisation without compensation.

    • SpaceMonkey 10.1

      Throw the TPPA in with that and it might be a different story.

    • Easy to do too, since NACTs have created the state dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, all we need is to vote in a workers government that repeals all this autocratic asset stripping going back 30 years and return the assets to the public domain where each shareholder is a registered voter. While we are at it we would nationalise the land and honour the Treaty retrospectively. We could compensate for loss of private assets on a case by case base subject to a means test. Corporates that have backed the NACT regime would have all their assets expropriated. Mums and dads left destitute by their greed would be granted a student allowance in liberal arts. Self-employed would be given the option of staying self-employed. Capital flights would be free and booked in advance. Any suits with suits would be denied entry and deported to Guantanamo. Any visits by Rimpac allies would be blockaded at the harbour mouths. Drones would be re-directed by hackers back to their US bases. We would rename our major cities after our mythic heroes and not Pommie toffs or false idols. In that way our art, language and culture would mimic our economic liberation. Easy really.

  11. vto 11

    In the not too distant future when building a house we will all wander down to the local hardware shop and pick a power unit off the shelf. We will then head home and screw it onto the roof and thereafter be happily provided all our power by wind and sun etc and never need a leaching power company again.

  12. coge 12

    If you want a sustainable green eco friendly investment, that actually produces an ongoing profit. Look no further than Meridian.

    • Suitably Clueless 12.1

      coge, we invested in these assets over a generation ago, why should the few invest in these assets at the detriment of everyone, and dilute their ownership in this country of ours? I don’t have $8000 spare and if I did, I would have a bajillion other uses for that money, so should, funnily enough 98% of the rest of us kiwis. Invest in an export related company or tourism, they can be sustainable.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      Profit is the dead weight loss that economists have been warning us about for centuries. They just have failed to realise it and placed the blame on taxes instead.

      • prism 12.2.1

        I understand that taxes were reviled because they were imposed to raise money by the Leader to spend on wars that would both conserve and increase his powerful position. Of course taxes are used for building strong communities with healthy businesses these days. Whoops..I think I had a dream….

        • kiwicommie 12.2.1.1

          The taxes these days are used for a war on the poor and unemployed, and government hand outs for National’s business mates. 😉

          • Winston Smith 12.2.1.1.1

            The taxes these days are used for a war on the rich and self-employed, and government hand outs for the Greens’s benes mates.

            – Probably happen after the 2017 election

            • Draco T Bastard 12.2.1.1.1.1

              Small businesses have always done better under left governments.

            • prism 12.2.1.1.1.2

              Have you had a definite word about that W Smith? That would be great for those struggling whether Green or not. And many of them are self employed – no-one will give them a job so they have to do everything themselves for no better wages than a worker.

            • kiwicommie 12.2.1.1.1.3

              If by ‘rich’ you mean foreign owned corporate monopolies, and by ‘self-employed’ currency speculators – then sure.

  13. BLiP 13

    Heh! Speaking of The New Zealand Fox News Herald, it appears to be winding up an even more pro National Ltd™ agenda, just going by today’s print version. The apparent target market appears to be women. The front page banner promotes a classic celebrity tear-jerker cancer story which, needless to say, refers readers to its sister publication, TheWoman’s Weekly. Half of Page 3, a tabloid’s prime spot, is taken up with a full colour shot of a dancing whale seen off an Australian coast line. Scattered amongst the rest of the crime/All Blacks/tech-savy children/fluke health checks saving lives, are two main stories announcing that National Ltd™ will be announcing a “think about the children” and “think about the mums” policies. Only National Ltd™ can get ink when announcing that it is going to announce stuff. The “think of the mums” announcement of an upcoming announcement is subsequently featured in a double-spread further in. No mention of the fact, of course, that the heralded women’s health iniative is most likely going to be a PPP. Classic.

    Meanwhile, the political polls which came out over the weekend merit a single paragraph sideline sub-story. At least the selection of Marama Davidson gets a brief mention, even if its just a paragraph.

    (NOTE TO SELF: Get help with addiction to the cryptic and cancel subscription.)

    • ghostrider888 13.1

      Read Online; faster and more discretion possible.

      One day, a week or so a go, thought I’d catch up on the ‘lines’ of the local newspaper; took about 15 minutes to parse A Week Of It, Geez.

    • unicus 13.2

      Isnt it time that the real culprits for the destruction of what once passed as the 4th estate in this country were exposed to public scrutiny – the individuals on the Boards of Directors of Fairfax APN and the rest of the surrogate National Party propaganda machine monopolising public discourse . Exactly who are the people deciding the political direction of our country through their positions as media executives and directors . What are the financial and political interests of these people and how suitable are their characters to behave as the gate keepers of public information .

      Its time to name and shame these despicable charlatans

      • BLiP 13.2.1

        Its us – the consumers – we are the despicable charlatans for putting up with it.

  14. Mr Interest 14

    Hummmmmm, I wonder if Meridian sale has got anything to do with this:

    Smelter NZ’s Biggest Bludger

    – Murray Horton

    Every time that Rio Tinto, the gargantuan mining and processing transnational which owns 80% of the Bluff smelter, feels that its charmed existence in New Zealand is going to become less cushy, it threatens to pull the plug, close the smelter and walk away. Last time it did so (in 2008) was because of the Labour government’s proposed emissions trading scheme. This time it is trying it on as a tactic to try to pressure Meridian over its power price contract, which has already been negotiated and is due to take effect in January 2013. It has succeeded in whipping up a storm of uncertainty among its workers, the union representing some of them, the Southland public and their local body politicians

    (the above taken from http://www.converge.org.nz/watchdog/31/04.html )

  15. ghostrider888 15

    Postpone.
    Legislate to separate the retail and investment sections of banks and brokers again

  16. Ennui 16

    Now if I was Rio Tinto I might just buy a controlling interest in the power sector……

    • ghostrider888 16.1

      to make Aluminium at a loss

      • prism 16.1.1

        Ghost888
        Now that’s an interesting tax concept, make a profit on electricity shares and pay high price for electricity giving a good profit which can be transferred to a low tax or no tax entity, have the aluminium plant make a loss because of the high price of electricity which then offsets other profits somewhere, perhaps in NZ. And then claim for a tax loss and perhaps get a refund too.

        I think I put a snippet from the Ankh-Morpork city books on the site a while ago. Very amusing that the accountants guild did not pay any tax, and then claimed a tax refund of a large amount anyway. Terry you’re the bright spark that lights the way.

  17. veutoviper 17

    “Add to that the fact that Mighty River Power shares are languishing three cents below their float rate”

    The MRP shares opened at $2.47 this morning, held at that for the morning, dropped to $2.44 at midday, then to $2.42 – and as at 2.30pm are now at $2.38 after reaching a low of $2.36.

    Early days but ….

  18. Adrian 18

    If you want to strike a blow for the left ( a symbolic one at least ) lets all put in an offer with a sharebroker for MRP for say $1. 75 a share. If enough people do it it becomes the new price. Love to see Key squirm if anybody has the guts to interview him. P.s, if it gets close you can just cancel the offer if you don’t want to buy.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    8 hours ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    9 hours ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    14 hours ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    23 hours ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    1 day ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    3 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    3 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    4 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    5 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.