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Would you buy shares in…

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 am, August 18th, 2012 - 42 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, privatisation - Tags:

Mighty River, when its water use rights are in doubt?

Meridian, when its deal with its largest customer is in question?

Solid Energy, when it is reviewing all its operations due to the high dollar?

Genesis, when Meridian could flood the market with cheap power if its deal with Rio Tinto falls through, and a future government is likely to sharply increase the cost of its emissions from Huntly?

Air New Zealand, an industry in long-term decline?

It’s not just the Government’s asset sales programme that is a dud, so is its dirty deal with pokie merchants.

Would you buy shares in SkyCity with the Government unable to stop strong new anti-gambling laws and with its dirty pokies for convention centre deal stalled?


42 comments on “Would you buy shares in…”

  1. Chris 1

    So the government is right to sell them off while they can still get a decent price? All of a sudden I’m sold on assett sales.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Nope. It’s the worst time to sell them as it will decrease the money we get for them and we will be worse off after especially as the private shareholders push for higher profits which will cut into maintenance. End result is tat we’ll get higher prices and then the bill to rebuild the whole lot – just like we did with Telecom.

      • Not that it’s even smart to sell them at usual prices either- they’d need to be valued much higher before it made economic sense for the government, and by that time privateers- oh, excuse me, private investors, would no longer be interested.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 1.2

      Don’t know about NZ, but here in Victoria power demand from the grid is going down not up.

      New solar inverters are getting cheaper and cheaper to purchase and energy efficiency has become mandatory due to increasing prices.

      The privatised power companies are responding to decreasing demand by increasing network charges since they realise increasing tariffs only force people to become more energy self sufficient- which they definitely don’t want.

      Only an idiot would buy shares in a private power company under those circumstances.

    • Fisiani 1.3

      Yes yes and yes again. So too will many of the anonymous posters here,



    YOU want to help stop the privatisation of Mighty River Power, and throw a HUGE spanner into this National/ACT Government’s State asset selloff plan? Be one of 100,000 customers to SWITCH OFF (SWITCH FROM) Mercury Energy! (100$ owned by Mighty River Power).



    Two simple ways you can help stop asset sales!

    ‘Keep Our Assets’ is a campaign to get support for a petition that calls for a citizens initiated referendum into asset sales. Already more than 200,000 kiwis have signed!

    The ‘Switch off Mercury Energy’ campaign aims to help stop asset sales by making Mighty River Power, the first publicly owned asset up for sale by the Government, an unattractive investment.

    A 3rd way you can help is to SHARE THIS!

    How will switching off from Mercury Energy help fight against the Asset Sales?
    Mercury Energy is 100% owned by Mighty River Power. Their value and share price is based on the prospect of future profits. A decrease in customers will seriously impact upon potential profits. Any threat to profits makes it a risky investment. Investors won’t want to buy if there is a chance their shares will fall, as happened with Facebook shares recently.
    Ask yourself, would you invest in a company that is losing customers?
    Most importantly, if there is not enough interest in the share offer the Government probably won’t sell Mighty River Power. It will also raise questions about its ability to sell-off other assets.

    What’s involved in switching power companies?

    Switching power companies is very easy. It is free to switch and can be done over the phone or online in less than 5 minutes. All you need to do is contact your chosen company, give them your details and they will do the rest.

    Most companies will offer cheaper prices than Mercury Energy, so you’re likely to save money just by switching! The electricity will still be the same; the only difference will be that your Power Bill will come from a different company. Switching to a different power company will not affect your AECT dividend.

    When Mercury Energy is privatised it will be legally obliged to meet the interests of its shareholders and most likely will raise electricity prices. Mercury Energy is already one of the more expensive electricity companies. Can you afford higher power bills?
    You can save your household money by switching to one of the publicly owned retailers listed below. You should avoid Contact Energy or TrustPower as they are already privatised.

    Genesis Energy: http://www.genesisenergy.co.nz ph 0800 300400
    Meridian Energy: http://www.meridianenergy.co.nz ph 0800 496496
    Powershop: http://www.powershop.co.nz ph 0800 100060
    Energy Online: http://www.energyonline.co.nz ph 0800 086400

    Can a ‘PEOPLE POWER ’ campaign like this work?

    Yes! For example, in 2008 Contact Energy increased power prices 12% and doubled Directors fees. After public outrage they lost over 40,000 customers within six months and their profit was cut in half!

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption /anti-privatisation campaigner’


    • Indiana 2.1

      Glad to see you are fully supporting capitalism and encouraging competition and customers to seek out cheaper suppliers, who have lower labour costs than those that charge higher prices.

      • Who says power company prices have any significant relationship to labour costs? It’s more about how high they think they can get away with setting their prices in relation to the actual cost of electricity.

  3. bill lowe 3

    Why would anyone in their right minds want Government running businesses for. At least with 49% public ownership we will get some decent public scrutiny over business decisions. Look at how well, comparitively to other large airlines, Air NZ is doing. Get the Govt way the hell out of business.

    • IrishBill 3.1

      I don’t understand your point. The government owns nearly 80% of Air New Zealand.

    • Pascal's bookie 3.2

      take a look at wall st, or facebook’s share price.

      Yyayz for teh free merkitz

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      At least with 49% public ownership we will get some decent public scrutiny over business decisions.

      Actually, we’ll get less as it’s unlikely that the privatised company will be open to OIA requests.

      Look at how well, comparitively to other large airlines, Air NZ is doing.

      Yep, doing so much better since the government bought it back.

      Get the Govt way the hell out of business.

      Best option is to get the greedy profiteers (You know, the ones that just crashed the global financial system through fraud and other underhanded means) away from critical business and the best way to do that is government ownership of natural monopolies (power, telecommunications, ports, etc) and ubiquitous services (numerous banking services).

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 3.4

      That is, until the taxpayer has the bail them out of bankruptcy- then its ok.

    • Dylan 3.5

      This article might change your mind.

      The evidence is that getting business in to do Govt work wastes a lot of money.


    • millsy 3.6

      William, you have no idea about modern day western mixed economies.

    • The government doesn’t run any businesses, they run themselves. The government does, however, own several state owned enterprises- for now. >:(

  4. chris73 4

    Power company shares absolutely, in fact am counting the days until I can. Airlines absolutely not. I tend to follow Warren Buffets advice on shares.

  5. Monty 5

    Power company shares are a solid and logical investment. I will be buying five x $2000 lots for myself, wife and three children. And I will be buying in the other floats as they come along. A solid long term investment in quality NZ assets. I still hold my contact energy shares purchased some years ago. These shares together with Kiwisaver, and other investments will help provide the diversification that is sensible, strategic and long term.

    I love the scare tactics the left indulge in. Hopefully it means those of us who do invest will make even more money and the share issue will not be quite so competitive allowing me to buy even more. And make even more money.

    How many leftists will be investing the these share issues through KiwiSaver. oh I love the irony !

    • millsy 5.1

      Do you own rental properties in Christchurch then?

      How would it feel having all those people freeze and black out after black out so you can get higher and higher dividends?

    • Dv 5.2

      Hey Monty.
      I have contact too. They have returned about 4% per year. Less than bank rates.

      That was before tax.
      Dont you think you should wait on wait on the prospectus?

  6. Should the next Labour nationalize the power companies ?/ I believe we should but I would enjoy the debate.

    • millsy 6.1

      They should. But they wont. Hopefully they will try and keep the remaining assets we have and build them up again.

  7. Hamnida 7

    Anyone who buys the shares should be charged with treason.

    • chris73 7.1

      Congratulations, that would have to be one the most dumb-ass comments I’ve ever read on this blog (and thats saying something)

      • lprent 7.1.1

        I thought that as well whilst scanning. However it was expressed as opinion, made a point, conforms to our legal code, he has no history of inflammatory trolling, and passed through moderation. I did however downgrade my respect of the opinions of commentator a notch – which is largely what political blogs run on…

        • Hamnida

          Correction from me – Anyone who steals the shares I already own should be charged with theft.

          Time for binding referendums I think.

          I’ll save the treason for the neolibs who allow the asset sales.

          • Herodotus

            I hope that you have sufficient gaols to house all those kiwi saver contributors perhaps even the MP’s pension fund may also purchase a few. Remember receiving “stolen property” or profiting from a criminal action are also crimes. 🙂

  8. xtasy 8

    Honestly, this is an “obsolete” post. I already own the shares, so do many others, what are you on about? Do never even think along the lines of the cheaters and robbers trying to tell you that you do not own the property that is yours! How perverted to ask people to buy back that will be stolen off them.

    • chris73 8.1

      You already own some shares? How much did you pay for them? Can you use them as collateral? How many dividends do you get off them? Whats the price you could sell them for?

      You’re a brainwashed muppet.

      • millsy 8.1.1

        It seems you despise the concept of collective, community and public ownership.

        Which is a pity, as this nation was built on it.

        • chris73

          Ok so “we” own it, well how does that work then?

          Do the people who paid taxes while it was being built own it? What about immigrants to this country who came along after it was built, do they have any rights to ownership?

          Do the people born after it was built have any ownership of the assets? After all they didn’t/haven’t contributed any money to the building but now expect to have “ownership”

          How about, just as an idea, the govt keep a majority share of the asset and allow kiwis to buy shares in the asset so they can truly own the asset…think that would work?

          • Draco T Bastard

            Ok so “we” own it, well how does that work then?

            It was built by the community for the benefit of the community using community resources thus the community ‘owns’ it.

            How about, just as an idea, the govt keep a majority share of the asset and allow kiwis to buy shares in the asset so they can truly own the asset…think that would work?

            Nope, that won’t work. It will, as the figures show, make most of us worse off while enriching a few.

      • DJL 8.1.2

        The dividend is the differance we pay for power now and after the power co’s are sold.

    • Steve Wrathall 8.2

      “How perverted to ask people to buy back that will be stolen off (sic) them”
      But it won’t cost you anything. Using the logic of the anti-asset salers, if you pay your money to the government, then you still “own” that money. See? You haven’t lost anything, and can skip off down the street gaily whistling the red flag.

  9. stever 9

    Here’s a challenge that appeared in one of the comments in The Guardian article


    “And, out of interest, does anyone know of any research into privatization that shows it to be generally effective at improving a service, increasing efficiency and leaving its lowest level workers with a living wage? All I read currently is that the investors get richer, the management can pay itself what it likes, the customers pay more and more for worse service and the lowest level workers are told they need to find a second job just to survive because they are a valueless kind of replaceable resource.”

    No one there seems to have been able to produce such evidence—can we do better? Can anyone find evidence that privitization works in the terms above?

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Nope, all I’ve seen is that the privatised company makes bigger profits. As profit is a dead weight loss that means that the community is worse off after privatisation.

  10. tc 10

    Shonkey and the hollowmen are loving this, more for them to gobble up.

    The system was more efficient, and in real terms, cost consumers less in the old NZED days, we need to go back to that and eliminate the gravy train of regulation, legal and audit costs and put profits either into the network or government not private investors hands.

    The free market is a red herring argument in a country of 4+ million people when it comes to essential utilities which includes telco. You just can’t get the scale and we generate enough power now it just needs better distribution by closing Tiwai point which we subsidise anyway a some more wind power to support baseload in the north island.

  11. Are YOU a Mercury Energy customer?

    Are YOU opposed to the proposed privatisation of Mighty River Power – the first of the State Owned electricity assets up for sale under the Mixed Ownership Model Act 2012?

    You’ve marched down Queen Street and signed the referendum against asset sales?

    Want to now take the action which CAN’T be ignored?

    SWITCH OFF MERCURY ENERGY! (100% owned by Mighty River Power)


    (Work out which of these suppliers works best for you – http://www.powerswitch)

    If Mercury Energy offer you a ‘sweetener’ / ‘incentive’ / (BRIBE) to stay with them – give those details to the supplier to whom you are considering switching, and ask what THEY can do for you if you switch to them.



    (If you have already switched from Mercury Energy – you can still help – because you are bound to know friends, family, workmates who ARE still Mercury Energy customers?

    YOU are the centre of a little Universe and YOU can do a HUGE amount to help us reach our 100,000 Mercury Energy customer target!

    Want to find out more?
    Check out SWITCH OFF MERCURY ENERGY on facebook.

    We are finalising draft SWITCH OFF MERCURY ENERGY leaflets (intend to get 50,000 printed)
    and posters.

    We will be seeking financial assistance for printing costs (approx. $3000 – which will be 300 people giving $10 each).

    A dedicated bank account is being set up, and office-holders / ADMIN will be elected at our upcoming meeting to ensure our organisational framework is ‘open, transparent and democratically accountable’.

    SWITCH OFF MERCURY ENERGY meetings are being held each Wednesday night
    7.30 – 9.30pm at the Grey Lynn Community Centre, 510 Richmond Rd, Grey Lynn Auckland.

    If YOU support this campaign and want to get actively involved – you are very welcome!


    UPDATE! WANTED! 100,000 customers to SWITCH OFF MERCURY ENERGY! Went on Radio Live last night and gave a campaign a HUGE plug. Host agreed it was a good idea.

    This morning – whipped up a quick ‘graffiti’ banner – black on yellow:

    “WANTED! 100,000 folk to
    STOP the SALE of Mighty River Power!
    It’s PEOPLE POWER time!”

    Took banner to Grey Lynn Farmers’ Market this morning (Sunday 19 August 2012) and displayed it nearby.

    VERY positive response to our BOLD campaign call!

    Discussed issue with a number of the public and stall holders, and encouraged folks to SWITCH OFF MERCURY ENERGY, tell their families, friends, workmates to SWITCH OFF MERCURY ENERGY – and to come to meetings.

    Got offers from stall holders to have SWITCH OFF MERCURY ENERGY leaflets at their stalls and to take to other markets.

    (Trust me – this campaign is going to build like an anti-privatisation tsunami – once we get out leaflets and posters out to the public!)

    Caught up with Green MP Denise Roche in passing at at the market – and she confirmed that in Wellington – they’d already heard about our campaign!



    To get 100,000 customers to SWITCH OFF MERCURY ENERGY is ABSOLUTELY DOABLE!

    Mercury Energy has 400,000 customers – 70% being in the Auckland region – so getting 100,000 customers out of 300,000 Auckland customers to SWITCH – is a BOLD but achievable target!

    By the time all those people, groups and organisations who have signed the referendum against asset sales, and marched down the street against asset sales get fully behind this campaign to SWITCH OFF MERCURY ENERGY! we can STOP this National/ACT Government’s asset sale agenda! IN IT’S TRACKS!

    Come on folks!

    Help to SHARE this information!


    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’


  12. burt 12

    Air New Zealand, an industry in long-term decline?

    Funny, I was saying that in 2009 – but nobody wanted to listen back then.

    Have you forgotten that it was propped up without a specific mandate as we were all required to buy shares in it.

    Are you suggesting that public ownership is a way to save non viable long term businesses from being …. long tern non viable business by extracting tax payers money to prop them up?

  13. Lanthanide 13

    If aviation is an industry in long-term decline, then you should be buying shares in solid energy due to the same underlying reason.

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