Will Key sign pledge not to sell Kiwibank?

Written By: - Date published: 11:42 am, November 23rd, 2011 - 97 comments
Categories: bill english, john key, labour, phil goff, privatisation - Tags: ,

Phil Goff has signed a pledge that Labour will not sell Kiwibank if it becomes government. Other party leaders have been invited to sign as well. I expect the Greens, New Zealand First, Mana, and the Conservatives will (who knows about the Maori Party).

But will Key sign? He refused to sign a similar pledge in 2008. National is secretly itching to sell Kiwibank, Bill English got caught out admitting as much saying in 2008 that, under National Kiwibank would be sold sell Kiwibank “eventually, but not now”.

97 comments on “Will Key sign pledge not to sell Kiwibank?”

  1. chris73 1

    John Key doesn’t need to sign a pledge because unlike Phil Goff John Key hasn’t sold any assetts…yet

    • Blighty 1.1

      huh?

      you are aware that this election is all about National’s policy to sell assets and Labour’s policy not to, eh?

      • Markm 1.1.1

        No Blighty this election is not all about the sale of a minority share holding in some state assets.
        Labour may be trying to make it so , but the polls say otherwise.
        Anyway what value has a pledge from Phil Goff saying “when I am Prime Minister” got.
        You and I know he is never going to be Prime Minister and probably won’t lead Labour beyond the next caucus meeting

        • Tom Gould 1.1.1.1

          @ Markm, please try to keep up. Anyone will tell you, except Trader John, that selling 49% is as good as selling it all. Besides, the big banks have been very cute in seeding the line that they don’t want Kiwibank because it is full of ‘rats and mice’ accounts. Garbage. They want it alright. And what about Post? Will that be on the block? MonKey has already started the sales pitch, ‘we are heading into tough economic times’. Roger ran the same lies. Watch out, folks. Fool me once, shame on you John, fool me twice, shame on me?

      • Fortran 1.1.2

        Is the sale of parts of some assets the only difference between Labour and National.
        Appears to be the only thing on the agenda.
        Becoming tiresome and boring.
        What other policy advantages does Labour offer. 2 days to go so—–

        • Dr Terry 1.1.2.1

          What else has Labour to offer? Intelligence, sensible and workable policies, conscience and compassion, – all the kind of things you would know nothing about.

        • Roger 1.1.2.2

          Labour’s policies are everywhere, in the newspapers, on RNZ’s website it it outlined through their thorough series of questions regarding many important issues. They are just underneith National’s responses reading “Declined to answer this question”.

  2. Ms X 2

    John Key will only say, “as long as I’m PM”, which leaves the door wide open. It’s his outlet for anything unpopular that’s ahead. He obviously isn’t long term in politics.

    • bob 2.1

      In fairness – that is all he can say. As it is all Goff can say – unless you are saying that goffs pledge is a binding document for labour for the rest of time?

      thought not.

      • Ms X 2.1.1

        Goff says “Labour will never….” which is not quite the same thing.

        • bob 2.1.1.1

          Actually he said in the pledge “my party will never …” – One can assume that it will not be his party for long after the election.

          Anyone here actually seeing Goff heading labour into the next election ???

  3. tsmithfield 3

    If Goff were truly repentant he’d sign a pledge to buy back all the assets he was party to selling off.

    • felix 3.1

      If Key really thought selling strategic assets was a good idea he’d be promising to sell everything the govt owns.

      See how stupid that argument is, t?

  4. queenstfarmer 4

    It’s curious that Phil Goff now feels the need to make a specific pledge not to sell Kiwibank, when his entire campaign policy is not to sell any asset, ever. Is Phil signalling that perhaps some assets are no longer off limits? Because why else would he single out one?

    After all, no current party leader has been involved in selling more assets (lock stock & barrel) than Phil Goff. He also supported selling AirNZ shares to Qantas when last in power. Could he perhaps be signalling a return to his earlier positions?

    • felix 4.1

      “Because why else would he single out one?”

      Because we know National want to sell that particular one, that’s why.

      • Pete George 4.1.1

        Goff’s pledge is just a gimmick.I wonder if he makes a pledge not to sell everything else that’s state owned seeing as he’s said Labour won’t sell any assets.

        Key has made it clear Kiwibank won’t be sold while he’s Prime Minister. Just about every other party is against it as well, except Act.

        Not selling Kiwibank (or Radio NZ or water resources) is one of United Future’s core election policies.

        • Blighty 4.1.1.1

          then Hairball won’t have a problem signing the pledge, will he?

          • Pete George 4.1.1.1.1

            Why should he? Will Goff sign a pledge not to sell Radio NZ? Water resources?

            This is a very odd late campaign issue for Goff to try and raise, it’s a non-disputed non-issue. He would have been better off publicising something Labour have a different policy on rather than a ‘me too’ pledge farce.

            • felix 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah he probably would if you asked him.

              You know why? Because he’s 100% sure that he’s not going to sell them.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.2

          Just about every other party is against it as well, except Act.

          Except that time when Blinglish assured an apparent supporter that Kiwibank would be sold eventually just not now.

      • queenstfarmer 4.1.2

        It’s not their policy. But even if that is your view, how would Phil’s “pledge” change Nat policy? It can’t and won’t. Phil’s special “pledge” for Kiwibank would only make sense if he was saying Kiwibank was more “protected” than the other assets he has failed to give such a pledge for, thereby laying the groundwork for a possible sale of other “unpledged” assets. But of course, there is no obligation for MPs to make sense in an election campaign.

        • Fortran 4.1.2.1

          Kiwibank needs more capital injection to keep it solvent within the banking rules. NZ Post has annually injected more taxpayers money to keep it tradeable. In other circumstances it would be shut down as not viable. It has the largest ratio pool of sub-prime mortgages – ie possible bad debts, as other lenders would not support the commercial values of these mortgages – hence Kiwibank. Similar to Freddy Mac and Sonny Mae in USA who there were forced by legislation to give mortgages to people who could not support such. But in USA you could get a mortgage on welfare, as such. At least you cannot here ????

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.1.1

            So, who’s lies are you repeating now?

            The amount of profit they have may not be enough to grow but they do have enough to keep trading.

            • Jared 4.1.2.1.1.1

              Did you read the article? “enough to keep trading” as long as they are supported by the government and NZPost in subsidizing their capital and running costs. Are they actually viable as a stand alone bank? Unlikely.

          • Vicky32 4.1.2.1.2

            “Similar to Freddy Mac and Sonny Mae ”

            Er, that should be Fannie Mae! Did you not know that?

        • felix 4.1.2.2

          What qsf? Phil isn’t trying to “change National policy”, he’s trying to make Key clarify it.

          Bill English is on record saying Kiwibank will be for sold at some point. The only question is when.

          If Key won’t commit National to not selling it in this term, it’s safe to assume it’ll be sold this term. And that’s why he won’t sign.

          • Pete George 4.1.2.2.1

            Key has made it clear(again this morning on RNZ) that Kiwibank won’t be sold during the next term nor while he’s Prime Minister.

            He also made it clear no other assets will be part sold without going to the electorate on it.

            • felix 4.1.2.2.1.1

              Nah he didn’t. And if you think Key’s verbal promises are worth squat then you’ve had your head in the sand for the last 3 years.

            • freedom 4.1.2.2.1.2

              i heard that interview and that is not what was said and you know that is not what was said.

              He said there were no current plans for other sales of assets as long as he is PM. There was no mentioning this term of Government and there sure as heck were no assurances that other Assets won’t end up on the block. You were possibly confused as throughout the interview Key made a number of false starts to his sentences. If memory serves, the questions he stumbled at the start with were . . .i think it was pretty much all of them. So don’t feel bad that you got a bit flummoxed by the cacophony of graunching gears as he tried to remember which version of the most recent prevarications he was delivering,

            • Dr Terry 4.1.2.2.1.3

              Poor Pete George, how blatantly and naively trusting you are! Three years and you have not yet recognised this man for what he is.

              • Jared

                I seem to remember a Labour Party ignoring a petition to take GST off Fresh Food and Veges last election. Whats changed? They need the poor to vote for them this time more than ever.

    • freedom 4.2

      qsf , i believe the most fitting word to describe your comment is ‘ obtuse’

    • mik e 4.3

      Air New Zealand is not any where near as profitable as the energy companies and could be a liability but Air NZ is a vital link for tourism and high value exports.Like Singapore we should be thinking long term and keeping some ownership in Air NZ

  5. Rumours are that Key will resist “signing the pledge” – he likes a tipple far too much.

  6. felix 6

    Reckon he’ll come up with some flimsy reason not to sign.

    “I’m not at all bothered about the contents of the pledge, but as a matter of principle I won’t be bullied into signing things.”

    • Blighty 6.1

      I think Key’s got it right, felix. What if two well-known New Zealanders were married and they signed a pledge not to sell Kiwibamk and 15 years later their child was killed in a car accident?

      • ianmac 6.1.1

        Or have their conversations secretly recorded?

      • felix 6.1.2

        Damn straight, Blighty.

        Today it’s a pledge not to sell the bank his finance minister said they definitely do want to sell, but if he signs that then tomorrow Labour could be asking him to sign death warrants for small children.

        It’s a slippery slope. Matter of principle.

    • Lanthanide 6.2

      The government is too focussed on New Zealand’s economy to do whatever it is my opponents are talking about today.

      He’s already used it a couple of times, to bat down gay rights adoption issues and answering questions about the tea tapes.

  7. randal 7

    kweewee will sell anything especially if it doesnt belong to him.
    its in his nature!

  8. freedom 8

    does anybody actually believe that a person who is the leader of a political party cannot state the views of that party.

    Key could easily state : National make a commitment to never sell NZ state owned assets to overseas interests or allow those Assets to be sold to overseas interests.

    Of course this will never occur as to do this the National caucus would have to sign off and before that the members would have had to have voted, and when he sees he does not even have a mandate from his own members . . . ?

    I know plenty of national voters (oh the dark places friendships take us) and very few of them, i would say under half, support the sale of assets and even fewer support the idea of selling them overseas.

    • Just as well they aren’t going to be sold overseas then, isn’t it. They are likely to be snapped up in NZ.

      • freedom 8.1.1

        mr George
        does your prescription of Deludicate come with instructions? i think you may be overmedicating

        also, as you are so concerned for the future of NZ, care to comment on where you stand with your mayor’s consideration of using private Security Guards to evict the Occupy Dunedin Camp ?
        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10764842

        no wishywashy bs Pete, a straight answer please

        • Pete George 8.1.1.1

          I don’t think it was necessary or a practical way to deal with things. Anyway, that was two weeks ago, things have moved on from there.

          I was at a meeting last Saturday with Occupy, the mayor, social agencies and University representatives and others discussing what could be done together. Been making good progress since then with some of the participants.

          • freedom 8.1.1.1.1

            so to be clear, YOU do not support the use of private security forces to abuse the human rights of free people and over-ride the considered decisions of the New Zealand Police Force ?

      • The Voice of Reason 8.1.2

        Jeez Pete, do you ever think before commenting? Who owns the previously privatised assets? The only ones with any significant Kiwi ownership are the bankrupted AirNZ and KiwiRail which had to be rescued from their foreign owners. Just because the initial sale is to rich NZers does not mean the assets stay in NZ. In fact, history shows us they do not.

      • kriswgtn 8.1.3

        They are likely to be snapped up in NZ.

        by whom,

        the minimum wage earners???

        dont u get it??

        Most people are on the bones of their asses as it is clownfuk

        get ur head out of your asshole

  9. “Labour Party leader Phil Goff has pledged that a Labour government will never sell Kiwibank.”

    Bizarre, Goff can’t make a credible pledge on behalf of all future Labour governments. It could be out of his hands in a week.

    • The Voice of Reason 9.1

      Happily, it will also be out of United Follicle’s hands in 3 days.

    • freedom 9.2

      If i am not mistaken, he has a clear mandate from Labour Party members not to sell State Assets.
      So yeah, he can.

      So could Key if National actually had the spine to ask its members instead of high-handedly walking over their own Party member’s rights . What is worse?
      A PM who does not ask his Party for a mandate, or a Party that does not care if it is asked?

      • Pete George 9.2.1

        Since when was a party mandate in perpetuity? It’s bollocks to make a decision on behalf of all future Labour governments. Roger Douglas might make a comeback and go back to his party of origin.

        • wtl 9.2.1.1

          Sure, but he (Roger Douglas) won’t get elected and thus there will be no such Labour government.

          In case you mised the point: By making the pledge, no future Labour party can sell Kiwibank without taking a big hit for going back on the pledge, which will strongly reduce their chances of being in government. Is this an iron-clad guaranteed? Of course not. But at least the voters know where Labour stands on the issue. And even if Goff is no longer leader of Labour, I expect he has the support of all his colleagues to make the pledge, so it is a very good a guarantee indeed.

        • freedom 9.2.1.2

          it used to be called integrity. I realise your party is heavily handicapped in its comprehension of that term, what with not having any, but there are still those out there who believe when a party says ‘ we will help people’ they intend to stay commited to that proposal.

          obviously perpetuity is a very long time, but so is 72 hours.

          p.s. i still await your reply to my question earlier, regarding the comments by the Mayor of Dunedin

          • Pete George 9.2.1.2.1

            I hadn’t noticed that question, hard to follow everything on here. Replied now.

            72 hours? I’ve already achieved better than expected this election, making very good progress – do you think your expectations will be met?

            • freedom 9.2.1.2.1.1

              my expectations are at a disturbingly low level thanks to the diminished standard of Leadership and the hysterically inept media this country has been subjected to the past three years. My only expectation is a higher than normal turn out by the poor and those who are normally not inclined to vote.

              On this i have a fair amount of confidence due to the reality that NZ is slipping from our grasp.

              This is not from a TV special report, or an article you can skim in the newspapers or a post to react to in the blogshere. It is only accessible if you sit and listen to people with whom you would not normally spend your day. Talking to strangers, even in their own neighborhood, may be the single most important effort any voter can make towards their own edification.

      • The Voice of Reason 9.2.2

        It was policy under Clark. It’s policy under Goff. It will be policy under whoever the next leader is. And the leader after that. And so on ….

        More mindless drivel from Pete G, the candidate so unconvinced of his own talents he won’t even vote for himself.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.3

      Actually, I’m pretty sure he can. Selling state assets is bad for the country and the history now proves that. Going off and selling them after learning this lesson would actually be really stupid and, although Labour isn’t exactly connected to reality (they keep pushing capitalism and growth), I’m pretty sure that they’re not that stupid.

  10. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10

    I have just signed a pledge not to fuck pigs.

    The burning question of the day is: will Phil Goff sign it? And if not, why not?

  11. Doug 11

    Labour just love signing things Art of course, experts at it.

  12. insider 12

    Didn’t Goff pledge to sell his flat in Wellington? How did that go?

    • alwyn 12.1

      He also pledged not to use the VIP transport as it cost to much. He said taxi’s were good enough for politicians.
      I notice that he travels in a very up market taxi at the moment, even if it had to travel from Christchurch to Nelson just to take him to the airport.

    • aerobubble 12.2

      Key as a rule either has delivered or is going to deliver what he accuses Labour of.
      i.e. higher debt, higher taxes, unstable government (what could be more unstable that
      the whole of the ACT mps falling on their swords). So wise up, if Key is out front
      shouting his arse off about Labour, he’s making a commitment to deliver it himself.

  13. freedom 13

    seems the gnats want to discuss broken promises from history.

    here is a more recent one: “I will not raise G.S.T.” any guesses who said that?

    or this little lie that seems to be overlooked most days
    http://waterpressure.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/press-release-sue-henry-spokesperson-housing-lobby-stop-privatisation-of-state-housing-assets/

  14. MsM 14

    I want John Key and his National MPs and canidates to sign a pledge that any government they are part of next term will not sell more than 49% of state assets. I understand it is currently not their policy to sell more but policies can be changed after the fact with nothing more than a whoop sorry apology. See GST.

    Sign the pledge Key!

  15. Gosman 15

    Interesting that I had a discussion with a left leaning individual just the other day where he argued that partially privatising Kiwibank to raise capital for expansion was a sensible idea and was better than selling part ownership in any of the power companies.

    This is where Labour’s policy of opposing Asset sales falls over. Kiwibank needs a massive capital injection in the next few years if it has any hope of properly competing with the major Aussie owned banks. The major options are to take on more debt or selling equity. So is the Labour party now stating they are willing to take on even more debt?

    • tsmithfield 15.1

      Exactly.

    • felix 15.2

      Lot of assumptions there about the type of banking system we want, how that decision is best made, and how Kiwibank fits into the picture.

      We actually have plenty of options.

    • Colonial Viper 15.3

      Kiwibank needs a massive capital injection in the next few years if it has any hope of properly competing with the major Aussie owned banks.

      Fucking bullshit.

      KiwiBank asked for a mere additional $100M. A small fraction of the shortfall from National’s ‘tax swindle’.

  16. Gosman 16

    Is Labour advocating any change to the banking system then? I missed that part of their policy if so.

    • freedom 16.1

      There are other parties out there Gosman.
      There are plenty of alternatives for restructuring the finances of this great and wondrous nation that do not involve the enslavement of our grandchildren.

      simply, most of them translate as a few end up with a little less, whilst the many receive a lot more

    • felix 16.2

      The fuck would I know about Labour’s policy on banking?

      Ask them yourself, Gos.

    • Colonial Viper 16.3

      After Labour wins on Nov 26 I will be in Cunliffe’s ear asking him to arm KiwiBank to the fraking teeth.

  17. Drakula 17

    I am not usually an advocate of capital punishment but politicians breaking their promises ?

    I will have to make an exception.

    It should be a clause written into our bill of rights!!!!!!!!

  18. infused 18

    Well they are really out of ideas aren’t they.

  19. Nick C 19

    Doesnt this just show how much the left have sunk? The ‘lets force politicians to sign pledges committing them to the same economic policy for eternity’ approach is very common amoung right wing groups like ‘Americans for Tax Reform’ in the US. Its part of what has lead to the complete political deadlock; even when the obvious solution is to compromise in some situations the politician knows it will instantly end his or her career. In the end both sides are completely committed to the ideological agenda of their most extreme supporters and the political system breaks down.

    The pledges are effective because they make it look like the politician has some sort of secret agenda by not signing the pledge, even when there are perfectly valid reasons behind not signing any given pledge besides not wanting to immediatly impliment the policy.

    If you disagree: Would you have Goff sign pledges to do all sorts of other things? E.g. to not raise the top tax rate beyond 39% (as is Labour policy)?

    • felix 19.2

      I love it.

      The guy with the Republican Party elephant avatar thinks Labour are too much like the American right wing.

      Get a grip mate.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.3

      There’s a difference to doing things for ideology and doing things because of the facts. Selling state assets is ideological and irrational while keeping them is based upon the facts that show selling them is a really bad idea and it happens to be one of those facts that will never change – as history has shown.

      • Jared 19.3.1

        Selling a minority stake is not the same as selling an asset whole. Lets make that clear. Air NZ has survived just fine with a minority shareholding.

        • Draco T Bastard 19.3.1.1

          The loss is still the same whether it’s all of the asset or just some of the asset. We lose income, we lose control (NZ law prohibits the majority shareholder from doing stuff that is detrimental to the minority shareholders so no cutting prices to tide NZers over a tough patch) and a few people get to bludge off our hard work (which is the real reason why National and Act want to sell our assets – the see the potential to benefit their preferred few).

        • Colonial Viper 19.3.1.2

          Air NZ has survived just fine with a minority shareholding.

          Hey are you expecting private shareholders of our power companies to run down their capital for extra profit and eventually crash them, just like they did to Air New Zealand?

          • Jared 19.3.1.2.1

            Air NZ under a 100% listing suffered, no doubt. Thats why a minority IPO listing is more appropriate. The government still retain decision making with their 51%. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous.

            • Crashcart 19.3.1.2.1.1

              I notice you completely ignored DTB’s answer that pointed out having a majority share does not give you complete ability to ignore minority share holders. As proven when Air NZ wanted to move jobs off shore and the government couldn’t stop them because it would go against the interests of the minority share holders. Even with a higher than 51% shareholding the government was not able to enforce a social policy on the company.

              • Jared

                I never said the Majority Shareholder can completely ignore minority shareholders, the penalty is that Shareholders can force the majority shareholder to buy back their shares at fair value if they disagree with the decision of the majority shareholder.

                What you are referring to is Major Transactions which require a special resolution of 75% or more. In AirNZ’s case it was about purchasing $4.6 Billion worth of new aircraft, not shifting their workforce overseas.

                However, with a minority shareholding, what Colonial Viper is scaremongering could not happen.

                • Colonial Viper

                  However, with a minority shareholding, what Colonial Viper is scaremongering could not happen.

                  Unless the NATs let the minority shareholders do so, which they will.

                  And English will facilitate this happening by granting the minority shareholders the majority of the seats on the Board of Directors. So effective control goes over to the minority foreign shareholders.

                  Easy, done, run into the ground.

                  Ready for the next Labour Govt to have to buy them back and rehabilitate them at further cost to the taxpayer.

                  • Jared

                    Oh right, yeah, totally….so where does English say he will grant minority shareholders the majority of the seats on the board?

                    Or are you just full of it again

  20. Afewknowthetruth 20

    The agenda of the Rothchild financial empire is to eliminate competition wherever possible and establish covert monopolies via high street brand names ordinary folk do not associate with the name Rothschild.

    Goldman Sachs and their key man in this part of the world (pardon the pun) work closely with the Rothschild empire to facilitate the long term agenda of complete control of society by money-lenders and global corporations.

    The bulk of the populace is now in the hands of corporations and depend on them for food, energy, entertainment and financial transactions etc. but are oblivious to it all and think what they are experiencing is normal. (That delusion of thinking that current arrangements are normal particularly applies to people like Pete George, Gossman, Gormless etc.)

    There are sectors of society that currently fall outside the global corporate empire which need to be eliminated or controlled, i.e, people producing their own food, collecting their own water, generating their own power etc.

    The period following the coming election will mark a watershed for NZ society: there will either be a revolution in thinking and rejection of historuc ‘norms’ or NZ will be morphed into an overtly fascist state which will become increasingly reppressive as energy and resources decline in availability.

    .

    .

    .

  21. Afewknowthetruth 21

    While we are on the topic of money and banking, a short time ago I was accused of presenting an atypical graph when I pointed out the collapsing value of Japan’s share index.

    So here is our closest major trading partner:

    http://au.finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=%5EAORD

    Anyone manage to spot the trend?

    (Oh, I nearly forgot: it’s just a cycle and we will all be on the road to prosperity soon.)

    PS Only one p in repressive.

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