Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Unwarranted risk

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  • DeepRed, in reply to Euan Mason,

    So we'll see these oligarchic power companies holding prices down for kiwi Mum & Dad non-investors at the expense of their private owners. Yeah, right.

    Unless of course, they happen to be these mum & dad investors.

    And does anyone see the resemblance between the following quotes?

    Bill English: "I just want to emphasise that it is not our best guess; it's just a guess."

    Jenny Shipley: "I made it up."

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4155 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to insider,

    We the taxpayer don’t own any local lines.

    That is an embarassing mistake on my part. Thank you. I can only plead some confusion stemming from largely public ownership of generation.

    For future reference.

    Maybe that ongoing intervention is creating more of a problem than it;s solving by distracting powercos from the basics?

    I agree that the intervention we see isn't necessarily achieving its intended outcomes. But the scope and kinds of intervention is inherently limited by the current model too.

    Ownership might be a disincentive in effective social intervention because govt will always be counting the dollar impact on its businesses around rule changes.

    I think any intervention has complex effects on the government's financial position (eg, tobacco excise). I don't know that I find that particularly persuasive.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2936 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Mr Magoo,

    More cuts than an A&E on Friday night

    jonkey can fix that. Close A&Es on friday nights, simple.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4669 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Dunster,

    All the sane commentators are against these sales. It's also very interesting to see how many are also against keeping the POAL facility in Auckland, rather suggesting it is moved out of the central city.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 126 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Not owning Telecom hasn't stopped it aggressively intervening in that market

    But that "intervention" has involved dumping money in the pockets of Telecom's foreign shareholders.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4420 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I'd suggest that Labour should be working with the other opposition parties to put together a plan to acquire these firms back for the NZ people:

    - swap (by legislation) ordinary shares for non-voting stock
    - revisit regulation: Pricing and selection of electricity sources by a carbon-minimisation model, rather than the current pseudo-market. Forced retirement of fossil fuel assets. For AirNZ, regulation of regional service and fares
    - a better ownership model such as a worker/consumer co-op, with government and former shareholders providing capital as a long term loan

    Of course, an expectation that this might happen in the future would deter "investors" from buying shares in the first place.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4420 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Sacha,

    the opposition is broader than Labour. thankfully.

    It is, and may I say what a wonderful job National are doing as an opposition.
    At every opportunity they attack Labour, thus stifling labours voice. Rather than arguing their own policy, National are opposing the people of New Zealand, they are opposing any form of public broadcasting, they are opposing any social growth with the idealogical mindset that the individual is greater than the whole, they are opposing public good over private profit. They did it before and they are doing it now.

    Their name, National, is a misnomer, a charade. They are for the wealthy few at the expense of the Nation. They should be called The Parasite Party, they are fleas sucking the blood of the People, the pillagers of the Nation's wealth.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4669 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    At every opportunity they attack Labour, thus stifling labours voice.

    a whimper don't take much stifling :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16485 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Graham Dunster,

    All the sane commentators are against these sales.

    And moreover, any commentators beating a drum for them are beating it very quietly. It's a bad, confused policy that will hamstring future governments.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18708 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    We the taxpayer don’t own any local lines.

    We did. Once. And if you want an example of how "spreading the wealth" worked when it was divested then you will find no better example. $1500 worth of line shares vamoosed into the hands of the few within days. Once the limit was reached the rest were forcibly stolen. And now Gerry wants Chch to sell their cash cow which they kept rather than flog off.

    Ideology. Pure and rancidly simple.

    What time is the revolt gathering to begin my brothers and sisters??

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1491 posts Report Reply

  • John Armstrong, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    National are opposing the people of New Zealand, they are opposing any form of public broadcasting, they are opposing any social growth with the idealogical mindset that the individual is greater than the whole, they are opposing public good over private profit.

    Not to shift the blame here at all, but National are not doing all this alone. They are doing it with the aid, or at least compliance, of two coalition partners, at least one of which must be very uncomfortable with much of it. As Sacha pointed out in another thread, change doesn't have to wait till 2014.

    Hamilton • Since Nov 2007 • 126 posts Report Reply

  • Mr Magoo,

    Good luck with that Ross. NZ are a nation of apathetic and intellectually disinterested voters. We have a lot of good points to but anything to do with economics or politics is just not on that list.

    Sure they will vote National out eventually but only because they would have done that no matter who was in....

    In a few years National will promise tax cuts and/or a whole bunch of other rubbish and back they will come. Of course NZ, as every time in the past, will be a little weaker and a little less better off with more of the pie in the stained pockets of the wealthy.
    The problem is that this sort of damage the right do every time they get in cannot be properly undone easily.

    Since Apr 2010 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to John Armstrong,

    change doesn't have to wait till 2014

    I'm heartened that more and more political actors seem to be waking up to that. Pressure on Dunne and the Maori Party as you say should be part of it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16485 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Sacha,

    Baubles of office says no.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Big ups to our James Butler for this pertinent observation:

    Dudes, an election gives a mandate to *govern*. Governing may include lying, cheating, breaking promises and generally being dicks

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16485 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Sacha,

    I don't think we should be letting them off that lightly ;-)

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Luke Williamson,

    And as for the "Mum and Dad" investors crap . . . most of the population is struggling to keep food on the table and the mortgage paid, and will not be chucking a few spare thousands at SOE shares

    Totally. Did anyone not get this?? The reason we have low investment in our own stockmarkets is NOT because there are no stocks worth buying, but because NZ does not have a culture of saving and investing in anything except property. Australia is exactly the opposite, has the highest rate of Mum and Dad investors in their local stockmarket in the world because they have compulsory super savings. If any such thing existed here, there would almost be a case for the asset sales, because the super funds would snap them up and they would fund retirement. Then foreign investment driving the prices up would actually make most NZers richer (until it came time to pay power bills). But we don't have that, and we bloody well should. First. While there still are state assets that we could all be in the IPO bonanza for, instead of buying into them after all the fucking capital we have already sunk into them after years of paying the interest on the loans it took to build them has been sucked out by foreign investors.

    There's nothing good about this government's economic plans. Nothing at all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8315 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    Totally agree. That the staggering financial illiteracy on display has not been called out forcefully is tragic.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16485 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    I’d suggest that Labour should be working with the other opposition parties to put together a plan to acquire these firms back for the NZ people:

    Opposition parties and Grey power are getting involved as Peters suggested will happen.
    Saw this in Harold this morning.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6005 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Sacha,

    Cheers. To be fair, no-one on this thread has been throwing around the m-word quite as freely as has been seen on Twitter today. But it's a point worth making that our political system explicitly allows governments to do what they want, and to claim otherwise is disingenuous. The election party vote question is, more-or-less, "Which party do you want to form the Government?" - no more and no less. That is the only mandate.

    I'm sure there are tons of ideas of various qualities around about if we could / whether we should constrain government more closely. Ideally, a robust MMP system has that effect. But the options open to us now are limited to making enough noise that National or its coalition partners get nervous about their re-election chances, because that's the only mandate that can be withdrawn.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Super fund Muldoon spectre National disaster revenant.
    I can shorthand now. The same things cropping up over and over...must stop caring.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • insider, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Do you include the $1b loss in value from unbundling legislation?

    Wellington • Since Sep 2011 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to BenWilson,

    Australia is exactly the opposite, has the highest rate of Mum and Dad investors in their local stockmarket in the world because they have compulsory super savings.

    And compulsory voting and but, really high power bills now it's all privatised. Friends in Melbourne said their bill skyrocketed as we know will happen here.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6005 posts Report Reply

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