PDA

View Full Version : If National wins ...



Pages : 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61

elZorro
02-03-2013, 07:38 AM
"Another opinion poll has shown National riding high and holding a big lead over Labour.

The Roy Morgan poll released on Friday puts National on 47.5 per cent, up 3.5 points, and Labour down four points to 30.5 per cent.

A One News Colmar Brunton poll on February 17 gave National 49 per cent and Labour 33 per cent, followed by TV3's Reid Research poll a week later showing National holding 51.4 per cent and Labour 32.6 per cent.

In all three polls National's support is higher than its election night 47.31 per cent.

Labour is also up on its 27.48 per cent election result but the gap between the main parties is still close to the 20 point mark.". :-)

Which goes to show that those who have a landline and are frequently home, with time and inclination to respond to a poll, are happy enough with the current government, MVT.

I don't (personally) think they've really thought about what the country has lost, in terms of budget blowouts, asset sales looming, a lack of business investment, a lack of employment opportunities, a constant tightening up of the public sector, general mismanagement of SOE opportunities in the name of 'the market'.

National continues to rule the roost by doing...nothing. John Key wants a four year term, so the party in power can get more things done. He's unwound a lot more then he's ever done, and in any case a change in power is almost always followed by 2 or 3 terms in NZ. Isn't that long enough for him?

These polls are not preceeded by a statement of facts showing the difference between Labour's last 4 years in office, followed by National's recent four years in office. I bet that would make a very sorry picture. And it's not all due to the recession. It's partly a result of inept management. If we were shareholders of this NZ firm, we'd be asking for the entire board to be sacked.

iceman
02-03-2013, 08:22 AM
EZ does it ever cross your mind that you, Shearer, Labour and commentators like Willie Jackson, Matt McCarten, Rod Oram et al, are out of touch with mainstream NZ ? The argument that Labour supporters don't have landlines doesn't really wash as most of those same people don"t get of their arses and vote either as we clearly saw at the last election ! The fact is that John Key has a firm grip on middle NZ and Labour is being pushed further towards you on the left, fighting with the Greens for extreme left wing voters. Meanwhile middle NZ happily plods along under John Key with no alternative on the horizon :)

POSSUM THE CAT
02-03-2013, 08:50 AM
Iceman it is the idiots voting for idiots educated by Universities in theory rather than life or practical experience. We have a surplus of university educated idiots.

elZorro
02-03-2013, 09:09 AM
PTC: I can't agree with that, unless you think I'm an idiot too.. :)

Iceman has offered no rebuttal to my general comments up above, except that it is hard to get many NZers along to vote. Labour has not provided enough of a clear picture in the past, to motivate those people at election time. They'll have to get moving on this.

Here is the picture: If you want more certainty of a job and a decent minimum wage, for you and your children, if you don't mind paying a fair amount in taxes to help support the country's infrastructure, if you don't want a big chunk of state assets sold, but want spending on education and health, social services to stay at least where they are (in other words you are not afraid of the public sector, but see its value), then vote Labour in 2014.

If you vote National, then the already well off, and big businesses, will thank you. They'll carry on with their tax havens, trusts and various schemes to reduce their own tax burden, and lay it back to employees and even beneficiaries. Unemployment will increase further, unless the market can miraculously find some valuable work here in NZ. They are far more likely to go offshore where profits are easier to find. There will be no noise from National as this process continues. They will not care, they'll be in there helping, just like they are now.

iceman
02-03-2013, 09:18 AM
National continues to rule the roost by doing...nothing. John Key wants a four year term, so the party in power can get more things done. He's unwound a lot more then he's ever done, and in any case a change in power is almost always followed by 2 or 3 terms in NZ. Isn't that long enough for him?

This is not factually correct EZ. Shearer also agrees with this idea. John Key is definitely not doing this for himself as he has also acknowledged that the earliest such a change should come in is in 2017, when his tenure as PM will be coming to an end !!
Not sure what you want me to "rebut" EZ, I don't know where to start

elZorro
02-03-2013, 10:11 AM
This is not factually correct EZ. Shearer also agrees with this idea. John Key is definitely not doing this for himself as he has also acknowledged that the earliest such a change should come in is in 2017, when his tenure as PM will be coming to an end !!
Not sure what you want me to "rebut" EZ, I don't know where to start

Pull apart any of my general comments you like, but they are usually reinforced with facts Iceman.. give me some facts to show where I'm wrong.

Yes, I'm not sure why Shearer wants to see four years as well. Voters see it as a long time waiting for a change, MPs must dread the harder work once every three years. Well, they took on this job, that's the deal.

National is pro business, right? Then what the hell is this IRD policy about?

http://tvnz.co.nz/business-news/tax-work-mobiles-and-laptops-hit-small-firms-ema-5357087

IRD have better things to do than try out stupid new rules that will never be complied with. They don't have enough staff to enforce it anyway. This is not an IRD idea. It has to be National's.

More outsourcing, this time by APN.

http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/apn-looks-india-ad-outsourcing-vy-136651

POSSUM THE CAT
02-03-2013, 10:35 AM
ElZorro I did not say all university educated people are Idiots but certainly more than 50% which is far to many.

elZorro
02-03-2013, 10:58 AM
ElZorro I did not say all university educated people are Idiots but certainly more than 50% which is far too many.

Don't worry PTC, I took no offence. I wasn't a very good student, but I did work hard. I would find it hard drawing a line under someone and calling them an idiot. What definition would I use? Everyone has some surprising aspect to them, and sometimes University isn't the place they'll find it. But anyone going to university or any tertiary centre, and who sticks it out, has to learn one thing. How to apply yourself to a task or a problem. To research, to complete something on time. Combine that with enthusiasm and some common sense, and these people make useful employees and business owners.

Details on the SOEs, Jenny Shipley holding onto the one board that she didn't make a mess of.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/8369143/Playing-with-other-peoples-money

Every National voter's enemy, the RMA. Fees! delays! This article is deeply troubling. The watchdogs are sounding alarm bells. They are doing their job on behalf of all of us.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10868578

Major von Tempsky
02-03-2013, 03:00 PM
Hey, tough luck EZ and PTC, NZ is a democracy and a free country so the majority of the citizens, and the media, are free to totally disagree with your assessments and also to go to uni if they want to :-)
Or are you saying that you would like to abolish democracy, a free media and university education? Which would mean no secondary school teachers, fewer primary school teachers and a majority of the civil service (all these people vote soldly Labour) would be out....

"I don't (personally) think they've really thought about what the country has lost, in terms of budget blowouts, asset sales looming, a lack of business investment, a lack of employment opportunities, a constant tightening up of the public sector, general mismanagement of SOE opportunities in the name of 'the market'.

What budget blowout? Spending on the Chch recovery? Continuing the huge expenditure on Education and Health? Continuing the miserable Defence expenditure which makes us the laughing stock of the world? Sh*t Warbirds over Wanaka could take on the NZDF and beat it!
Do you mean the Government achieving a surplus in two or three years? Is that a Budget blowout? How about Labour spending up large in all directions in addition to what is being spent now? Isn't that a Budget blowout?
Asset sales looming? 49% of 2 or 3 SOE's? To be run more efficiently by private enterprise....
A lack of business investment, balls - take a trip to Auckland, Tauranga and Chch some time. NZ is growing by two or three per cent a year according to the NZIER, most OECD countries would give their eyeteeth to achieve that. A lack of employment opportunities? Try reading the tables at the back of the Economist - NZ has one of the lowest unemployment rrates in the world!
A constant tightening up of the public service? Excellent! Get them into productive jobs instead of bureaucratic make-work!
So is this how Mighty River Power, Meridian, Genesis and Air NZ are making good and increasing profits? By SOE mismanagement? Ha! ha! ha! Balderdash!

elZorro
02-03-2013, 03:26 PM
I think you've been a bit one-eyed in your assessment MVT.

For example, FPA have been allowed to employ 100 new R&D engineers over 2 years, this is a test from the Chinese owners to see what they can do. They'll need to work on F&P and Haier products. So they'll be helping an overseas manufacturer to get things right, and to make good products with an edge. Hello! that was what we should have kept here! Thousands of manufacturing jobs in NZ, including at FPA, have gone, in just the last 4 years. National either helped that process willingly, or they caused it with debacles like the Railways Workshops being chopped out of work, or they stood by and did nothing. They didn't turn up to the manufacturing sector discussions recently, that says a lot.

If National are given another term, we'll see more of the same process, maybe worse, and they'll never meet their surplus target, unless they get very lucky with overseas developments. The SOES will not run more efficiently under the private sector. They'll be so busy pruning costs and doing reports for the market that the really simple opportunities will go begging. They'll forget to act in the public interest. Already we've seen what happens when an outfit like Solid Energy gets itself ready for a partial sale, they went nuts on big left-field projects and left themselves exposed.

If what you are saying is correct, and business is booming, why is the unemployment rate increasing, and why are students staying in tertiary education because they can't find jobs, or leaving? There are more firms retrenching than growing, that's why, and on top of that the public sector is being told to shed staff. Retailers are next.

Labour spent a bit because they could afford to. They ran NZ carefully, bringing as many through with them as they could. Given time and another term, we'd have seen some even greater results I'm sure. I imagine Helen Clark would have been very disappointed after working so hard on the progress that was made. And I don't say that to get your attention, that's what I think.

POSSUM THE CAT
03-03-2013, 11:54 AM
MVT in my education the higher university qualified a teacher was the worse he was at teaching. Especially as not long after I left high school the top bookkeeping teacher in NZ had not even had 5years secondry education let alone gone to university. The one teacher I struck with an MA was the most useless clot I have ever met

elZorro
03-03-2013, 07:18 PM
MVT in my education the higher university qualified a teacher was the worse he was at teaching. Especially as not long after I left high school the top bookkeeping teacher in NZ had not even had 5years secondry education let alone gone to university. The one teacher I struck with an MA was the most useless clot I have ever met

MA? Social sciences, that's why. Although I have to be careful in case someone near to me reads this..
Most, if not all, of my good teachers had degrees.

The old saying "Those who can, do, those who can't, teach" can be trotted out in bars and in informal conversation, but it's not true. It's like any profession or trade, some qualify and are useful, some qualify and are not as useful. Bookkeeping is a really useful skill for running a business. You don't need a degree to do it. School Cert level (NCEA L1)would be fine.

POSSUM THE CAT
04-03-2013, 07:07 AM
El Zorro that MA teacher was teaching English & Social Studies the highest qualified teacher in the school & he was not allowed anywhere near the professional classes.

craic
04-03-2013, 10:07 AM
Had two or three change over from teaching at primary level to the probation service in my time. One came to me with the query, one day. "IMformation and INformation - one is stuff coming in and the other is stuff going out - I can never remember which is which?" Another rushed in to ask "what's two per cent of $35.50? - I'm not very good at maths'. One Interrmediate teacher called us in to tell us that tests revealed that our son was in the bottom 5% of NZ children in his ability to learn (intelligence). He has honours degrees from London University and has held senior positions in Goldman Sachs and with his current employer, The Bank of America. The system seems to rely on children surviving in spite poor parenting and some very poor education.

elZorro
04-03-2013, 10:32 AM
I have a story kind of like that: a senior, well paid technical and IT consultant (with a degree) at a tertiary institution had reason to drill some holes in some thin steel, whilst at work. He kept dropping a drill bit into the technicians for sharpening, but no matter what they did, the drill wasn't working. On closer inspection, the cordless drill was going in reverse. He was still useful in the right sort of areas. People like that need to be employed in big firms. Then they can shine, perhaps.

Here's a Labour press release from today, but I hope people read it despite that. I heard on the Radio this morning that a very long-established advocacy service will have to close because govt funding has been stopped, after 22 years. This is the silent work that National are doing, which will increase the gap between rich and poor. It's happening quietly under our noses.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1303/S00033/minister-sits-backs-as-long-time-successful-service-falls.htm

craic
04-03-2013, 12:32 PM
Read the story a bit more carefully on the regular news. A service that has been receiving $50,000 per annum claims it will have to close if it doesn't receive $100,000 per annum. This particular game has been going on for years. Voluntary groups set up to cure alcoholics, assist brain damaged, or pensioners or someone else. They get some funding and, in the fullness of time, decide that they are indipensable. ALAC has, or had in my time, regional advisory committees to assist with the grading of the many claimants on its funds. Locally we have a Citizens Advice Bureau, Grey Power, RSA, and umpteen voluntary groups who assist beneficiaries and others with claims. But they are seldom needed, the public servants who are paid to do this work here are very efficient and helpful. Why shouldn't they be - their careers depend on it and it is not their money?

elZorro
04-03-2013, 02:39 PM
Read the story a bit more carefully on the regular news. A service that has been receiving $50,000 per annum claims it will have to close if it doesn't receive $100,000 per annum. This particular game has been going on for years. Voluntary groups set up to cure alcoholics, assist brain damaged, or pensioners or someone else. They get some funding and, in the fullness of time, decide that they are indipensable. ALAC has, or had in my time, regional advisory committees to assist with the grading of the many claimants on its funds. Locally we have a Citizens Advice Bureau, Grey Power, RSA, and umpteen voluntary groups who assist beneficiaries and others with claims. But they are seldom needed, the public servants who are paid to do this work here are very efficient and helpful. Why shouldn't they be - their careers depend on it and it is not their money?

Craic, this is not the story that I heard on the radio from the coal-face. Some staff at WINZ are insensitive to the signs of depression, and are turning away people who have been in hospital for treatment the week before. They have not been given training for this, and the advocacy outfits have the experience to add value here. What is the price of one life saved? Obviously less than $100,000 p.a.

On another front, HEET, a government-sponsored outfit that competed with the private sector to install insulation in homes, has been dropped off the funding list and this made over 30 people redundant in Huntly, over the last year. Local community trusts helped fund it, along with Genesis. 5000 homes were fitted out a year. You can argue that they should not have been in this space, but it's an example of another Labour/Green initiative that has been unwound. National enjoys doing this. A big local firm has quickly taken over the space to sell imported agricultural machinery to farmers, poised for those years when they have a tax issue. Progress of a kind.

craic
04-03-2013, 03:48 PM
I am in the midst of the insulation installation in my home. A friend complained that the contractor sacked her son-in-law late last year even though he was a good worker and she was upset. I spoke to the contractor when he came here to do our place. He runs six gangs of men from march through to october and one gang rest of year - that just the business. Nothing whatsoever to say a party "enjoys" doing this. Winz staff do not diagnose depression they respond to the doctors letter that should arrive with the patient. When I was a PO, you would have no trouble finding people who considered me to be the biggest bas**rd on two legs. an equal number would say the opposite. The funding for insulation was one third in all cases and two thirds in some needy cases. It has effectively been cut back to one third in all cases. This is the world we live in. I never heard of insulation till I came to NZ - no one I knew died of cold in Ireland.

BIRMANBOY
04-03-2013, 04:06 PM
Thats because the communication was limited to two potatoes with a string between them:)
I am in the midst of the insulation installation in my home. A friend complained that the contractor sacked her son-in-law late last year even though he was a good worker and she was upset. I spoke to the contractor when he came here to do our place. He runs six gangs of men from march through to october and one gang rest of year - that just the business. Nothing whatsoever to say a party "enjoys" doing this. Winz staff do not diagnose depression they respond to the doctors letter that should arrive with the patient. When I was a PO, you would have no trouble finding people who considered me to be the biggest bas**rd on two legs. an equal number would say the opposite. The funding for insulation was one third in all cases and two thirds in some needy cases. It has effectively been cut back to one third in all cases. This is the world we live in. I never heard of insulation till I came to NZ - no one I knew died of cold in Ireland.

elZorro
04-03-2013, 08:31 PM
Craic, maybe in Ireland the houses are built of stone and more solid materials a bit more often. A bit more background on HEET: it was also a workforce training centre and a curtain recycling place. This was the appeal for the community funders.

The advocacy centre has the same problem that many similar groups have: their status as charities has been revoked by National. In one go their funding options have been clobbered, because many funders look for charity status as a filter for proposals. Other groups are being forced to reapply for their status as providers by June, but the paperwork has not been provided by govt yet. They will, however, be able to use consultants to help fill out the paperwork. This is a thinly veiled attempt to drop back the applicants.

Paula Bennett has put out a reply today. Looks like the CRF fund has been the one that dried up. The point is that the amount of funding available each year is now very low.

http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/top-stories/16289633/advocacy-service-continues-to-receive-funding/

Here's an article that is a load of bollocks.

http://goldstocksforex.com/2013/03/02/nations-must-prepare-for-robots-destroying-the-low-skill-job-market-business-insider/

The profits from this mechanisation are not spread evenly around the populace, never would be. The mechanisation will only continue for as long as we have the resources available to feed it. Any one limitation will bring it to its knees. Like an oil supply. If socialism is a dampener to raging capitalism, then that is probably a good thing, I reckon.

elZorro
05-03-2013, 06:35 AM
Colin James's column for the Otago Daily Times for 5 March 2013
Balancing GDP, environment, values and processes

GDP growth is this government's dominant priority. If polls of consumer confidence, notably Colmar Brunton's for TV1, are a guide, rank and file voters have cottoned on.

Credit growth is the strongest for nearly four years: 3.8 per cent in the 12 months to January, 0.4 per cent in January alone. That's the "spend" part of GDP growth.

The Mighty River Power selldown is partly aimed at the "save" part, to get small savers into the equity market, which is important to balanced GDP growth. The government put out a pamphlet on capital markets last week, the last in its "growth agenda", again underlining the GDP growth priority.

Amy Adams added her bit last week with "RMA2", the next big swag of amendments to the Resource Management Act. On Saturday she will unveil the cabinet's freshwater reform proposals. Toss in major changes to local government. The tentacles of change are proliferating and lengthening.

Ministers are privately saying they are achieving substantial right-leaning economic reform bit by bit without, so far, scaring voters. National's polling has edged down a bit but an incumbent government four years into office in any other rich country right now would die for its ratings. Ministers have got bolder.

The issue is whether their changes are durable. For policy change touching on natural resources that requires ministers to get the balance right: between environmental and economic requisites, between settled and emergent values and between traditional and modern processes.

Take the last first. Look at what the Department of Conservation (DoC) has been doing under chief executive Al Morrison, a former journalist. Morrison has scandalised traditional conservationists by consorting with the enemy in order to achieve conservation objectives under Bill English's sinking fiscal lid.

Morrison laid out his thinking in a speech last August. "Conservation," he said, "is about protecting the things that allow us to live in harmony with nature". The evidence was that "we are living out of balance with the natural environment".

DoC's traditional work is to protect "bits of natural heritage so that future generations can see what New Zealand was like before we arrived" and for recreation and tourism.

But DoC is "also a key player in protecting the integrity of ecosystems that deliver the natural capital that we rely on to survive and thrive". To do that, Morrison said, DoC has to "be prepared to partner with others, including business".

So he got in as an adviser natural compost firm Living Earth founder Rob Fenwick (once a business partner with Murray McCully but don't hold that against him). DoC has since done deals with Air New Zealand and Genesis Energy, among others. On Thursday Morrison is to announce a big deal with a very big corporate.

These are public-private partnerships, serving the objectives of both public policy and private profit, reducing the "airspace" between them (as Morrison puts it), hyphenating "green" with "growth". Reducing that airspace is becoming a more common process. In prisons, for example, the limited number of private operators is a comparator for the public providers and widens the potential for innovation.

Adams' water statement will test another process innovation. She says it has been "informed by" the Land and Water Forum (LaWF) of 58 interest groups from farmers to iwi to environmental groups which sweated blood over three years to build consensus. If Adams has departed significantly from that consensus, that will undermine a valuable process for settling highly contentious issues.

Next, the values balance: received wisdom is that under-35s are more environmentalist than Adams' generation. This may need testing. Under-35s' gadget enthusiasm suggests they are also materialist.

They may be recasting the measure of what counts in the third calculation: how the economy and the environment mesh.

Adams, annoyed, said "environmental groups" had got her RMA2 wrong. She said her changes will enhance protection for the environment.

That is not obvious in her discussion document, which radically changes planning and approval processes to get faster and cheaper consents and explicitly puts economic objectives alongside environmental objectives in place of a single environmental outcomes objective.

Her earlier bill requires councils to weigh economic benefits and costs. Courts will likely interpret those changes as an intention to increase the weight of GDP growth factors. That is the sober, blue-green Environmental Defence Society's judgment.

Adams' plan for national edicts might be an environmental plus but might also undermine pro-environment local status quos.

The question then is: will Adams' broom sweep clean? No, say Labour and the Greens, who will likely reverse much of the change and also say they will enact the LaWF consensus. The issue then will be who turns out to be in step with evolving values.

We can't answer that yet. Meanwhile, we ride the seesaw.






-- Colin James, Synapsis Ltd, P O Box 9494, Wellington 6141
Ph (64)-4-384 7030, Mobile (64)-21-438 434, Fax (64)-4-384 9175
Webpage http://www.ColinJames.co.nz


Colin has been balanced in his comments here, but the theme is that National is getting emboldened. Now we'll see the true colour of their policies. So far, that looks like being a big helping to big businesses.

Major von Tempsky
05-03-2013, 07:51 AM
"The testicles of change are proliferating and lengthening."

Its the normal tendency for people to drift rightwards on the political spectrum as they age - Colin James is just maturing in the normal way :-)

Unhappily for EZ and PtC a growing proportion of NZ voters are older people.....

elZorro
05-03-2013, 08:13 AM
MVT, I think you've got it completely wrong there, Colin sounds like an erudite sort of a person on TV. Those words mean he's not happy about what is happening either. He's alerting those who want to have a deeper look at the changes.

I'd have thought that as you get older, you get more set in your ways. That's not always on the right. Maybe we just start to cut through the noise, in this case National is making the noise, but doing the opposite thing quite often.

craic
05-03-2013, 09:28 AM
Socialism is not "a damper to capitalism" as you suggest. It is a failed philosophy, all on its own. The governments attitude to funding is not some conspiracy against the poor, whoever they may be. It is a recognition that there are dozens of agencies and individuals who set out to do 'voluntary' work to correct some ill that they perceive in society. They gain some public support and then look for public funding and if they get a scrap of that they want more to pay for one-and-a-half staff, then new premises and before long they are calling in the shonky journalists to make an issue of their plight. When I was working, we had new groups and fervent individuals all the time looking for endorsement from us of some plan that woluld end crime and reform all criminals. And that was apart from managers from within who introduced initiatives that were worthless. One of my reasons for retirement over ten years ago was the tiring fact that new faces were regularly re-introducing schemes and methods that had failed in the past and the job got boring.

POSSUM THE CAT
05-03-2013, 09:33 AM
MVT your post above shows how brainwashed you are. I am in my seventies & it is the brainwashed university educated that are pushing us to right wing policies. Have a listen to newstalk ZB this morning how poorly educated in practical things school leavers & university graduates are. I have one child with a practical education that is very wealthy & one with several degrees that cannot get satisfied with any job.

BIRMANBOY
05-03-2013, 11:12 AM
Your'e talking about someone else being brainwashed and you are referring to newstalk ZB radio???? Had an original thought recently? How rich in irony that is!!
MVT your post above shows how brainwashed you are. I am in my seventies & it is the brainwashed university educated that are pushing us to right wing policies. Have a listen to newstalk ZB this morning how poorly educated in practical things school leavers & university graduates are. I have one child with a practical education that is very wealthy & one with several degrees that cannot get satisfied with any job.

POSSUM THE CAT
05-03-2013, 11:18 AM
BIRMANBOY Just shows how brainwashed you are. You give the Impression that you do not listen to anything that does not come out of a university graduates mouth.

BIRMANBOY
05-03-2013, 11:25 AM
Unfortunately I cannot help you regards the impressions you form...however based on your previous posts would appear to be based on bugger all of any substance.
BIRMANBOY Just shows how brainwashed you are. You give the Impression that you do not listen to anything that does not come out of a university graduates mouth.

craic
05-03-2013, 12:26 PM
I have one child with a practical education that is very wealthy & one with several degrees that cannot get satisfied with any job.
I had the situation with on son who was going nowhere in the education system. I let him have his head and he left from the fourth form and eventually completed a full electronics apprenticeship. He then went overseas and moved on and up with an honours degree to senior market data architects position with Bank of America. He is now fairly rich but he can still fix our television or computer.

iceman
05-03-2013, 03:19 PM
All the indications are that National's controversial policy of partial sell downs will end up being wildly popular with a large section of the population, including many that have been and probably still are opposed to sell downs of SOEs and have not been directly involved with the sharemarket before. I will go out on a limb and predict this may indeed assist National in securing a 3rd term, helped by the Opposition continuing to harp on about this long after everyone else happily moves on and just looking like bitter old men/women.

POSSUM THE CAT
05-03-2013, 03:22 PM
craic the boy actually completed the seventh form but played during his seventh form year. Both the boy & girl earned extra pocket money cleaning the tools & cleaning up after my mechanical jobs. The boy could service his own car by the time he finished school. Also he worked after school & holidays doing irrigation repairs, maintenace & installation cycling as much as 12km out to the farms untill he bought his own car. Then he got a cadetship with a computer printer firm in Auckland & went from there. At the moment I think he is employing 5 staff. The girl became Dux of her school got several degrees & in never realy happy she is into computer programing & web development. The boys first computer was a ZX81 & then i think it was an Amstrad.

fungus pudding
05-03-2013, 03:51 PM
All the indications are that National's controversial policy of partial sell downs will end up being wildly popular with a large section of the population, including many that have been and probably still are opposed to sell downs of SOEs and have not been directly involved with the sharemarket before. I will go out on a limb and predict this may indeed assist National in securing a 3rd term, helped by the Opposition continuing to harp on about this long after everyone else happily moves on and just looking like bitter old men/women.

My thoughts exactly. I'll second every word of that.

iceman
05-03-2013, 05:18 PM
National's opposition will be loosing my vote as I'll be leaving the broken down country that is a sold-off NZ.

So yes, you may be right. :)

I am sure you will be making sure you get your shares in the SOE's first though Belg ;)

elZorro
05-03-2013, 06:45 PM
All the indications are that National's controversial policy of partial sell downs will end up being wildly popular with a large section of the population, including many that have been and probably still are opposed to sell downs of SOEs and have not been directly involved with the sharemarket before. I will go out on a limb and predict this may indeed assist National in securing a 3rd term, helped by the Opposition continuing to harp on about this long after everyone else happily moves on and just looking like bitter old men/women.

The recent history of NZ is littered with lessons learned when state-owned assets or enterprises have been sold off. It so often ends badly Iceman. I thought John Key looked decidedly down as he annouced the sale process on TV yesterday. What is it that he knows, that you don't?

I was talking to someone the other day who reckoned the reason the NZ dollar was so high was that NZ had huge investments overseas that Treasury or the Reserve Bank have been making on the quiet over the years (sorry for the inaccuracy of the source). However on scouring the web, I can see no evidence of this, although my impeccable? source had been in Wellington for some years.

It's more likely our dollar is so high because the interest rate is still very high compared to other countries. In Japan for example, funds can be borrowed for 1-2%. Just think what you could do with funds at that rate here.

Which all begs the question, did we ever need to sell these assets down, and will the populace really respond across the board to buy them up, as Iceman hopes?

I suspect No, on both counts.

iceman
05-03-2013, 07:49 PM
The recent history of NZ is littered with lessons learned when state-owned assets or enterprises have been sold off. It so often ends badly Iceman. I thought John Key looked decidedly down as he annouced the sale process on TV yesterday. What is it that he knows, that you don't?

I was talking to someone the other day who reckoned the reason the NZ dollar was so high was that NZ had huge investments overseas that Treasury or the Reserve Bank have been making on the quiet over the years (sorry for the inaccuracy of the source). However on scouring the web, I can see no evidence of this, although my impeccable? source had been in Wellington for some years.

It's more likely our dollar is so high because the interest rate is still very high compared to other countries. In Japan for example, funds can be borrowed for 1-2%. Just think what you could do with funds at that rate here.

Which all begs the question, did we ever need to sell these assets down, and will the populace really respond across the board to buy them up, as Iceman hopes?

I suspect No, on both counts.


I am well aware of the "recent history" EZ and agree with you that many of them have been handled badly. We have also had quite a few Government owned Companies that have turned into disasters, latest example being Solid Energy. We also have PPPs such as Port of Tauranga (and recently Air NZ) that have been outstanding successes. So for the record, I am very much in favour of PPPs for at least some of the companies the Government is looking at selling, rather than selling 100% of these companies.

Why I hear you ask ! Firstly I think they will be more transparent being partly publicly listed and they will be subjected to much more public scrutiny than they are now. I wish more scrutiny had bee placed on Solid Energy.

Secondly I think the Government should not be putting more debt on their balance sheet at present. It is simply too risky in today's World. On the other hand, we have some very real urgency for serious investment having experienced the biggest natural disaster in history, bringing an almost complete destruction to our 3rd biggest and very important city. It now needs a lot of money to be rebuilt and I believe the Government should and will bear a lot of that cost. In my view, that is more important than any other issue currently facing NZ

At the same time, we are dealing with the biggest World wide economic melt down in 70 years which needs to be also managed through. It requires a pragmatic approach to cut backs in unnecessary Government expenditure without jeopardizing the most vulnerable in our society, I think John Key's Government has done a blimmin good job of finding the middle ground.

That's why they consistently poll with around half the population supporting them. National at present is the only real Center party in NZ that connects with the general population.
Having said that, there are many things I don't agree with that they do but I agree with more than I disagree with.

Yes our dollar is far too high for our exporters liking (I'm one of them) but it is also a vote of confidence in the way our economy and banks are on fairly solid financial ground. We are lucky that both Labour and National Governments over the last almost 30 years have been generally responsible in managing the Government's finances. We can and should debate the finer points like we do, but like Norway for example (they have been much more clever in extracting their natural resources and being green at the same time, making their country one of the richest in the World, while we with our stupid overtly extreme green policies missed out on the boom !), we are a fairly centrist country that does not swing wildly from Left to Right each election. It gives investors confidence in our country and unfortunately supports a strong currency. C'est la vie

So to your 2 final questions EZ, I say "yes"on both counts. Time will tell :confused:

craic
06-03-2013, 09:25 AM
Does anyone really think that national will lose the next election? JK has been portrayed as a bumbling idiot who twists the truth to suit and the Govt. as a crowd of idiots on the verge of destroying the country but what are the facts? We are better off than most European countries, hence the strong currency - international finance does not back losers. If you opened the immigration gates to Europeans or just British, the airports would be jammed with planeloads of folk wanting to live here. We travel overseas most years and have decided against any more UK visits - always glad to get home. I wait in vain for the leader of the Labour Party to produce any single policy to improve the Nation as a whole. Every single statement is an attack for attack sake on anything the Govt. does. Doesn't Mr Shearer know anything about the principles of leadership. That there are times to shut up and that there are times to praise your enemy?

elZorro
06-03-2013, 10:03 AM
Does anyone really think that national will lose the next election? JK has been portrayed as a bumbling idiot who twists the truth to suit and the Govt. as a crowd of idiots on the verge of destroying the country but what are the facts? We are better off than most European countries, hence the strong currency - international finance does not back losers. If you opened the immigration gates to Europeans or just British, the airports would be jammed with planeloads of folk wanting to live here. We travel overseas most years and have decided against any more UK visits - always glad to get home. I wait in vain for the leader of the Labour Party to produce any single policy to improve the Nation as a whole. Every single statement is an attack for attack sake on anything the Govt. does. Doesn't Mr Shearer know anything about the principles of leadership. That there are times to shut up and that there are times to praise your enemy?

I seem to remember National and John Key picking away at Labour continuously up until 2008. It worked, in combination with the fact that Labour had already served three terms. As it turned out, Labour had been doing most things well.

Iceman thinks that scrutiny of an SOE by the market will help it. That process didn't work for Pike River, and it might very well have been a big factor in its demise. The relentless pursuit of targets and profitability in each quarterly report.

I think we can see that JK will bend the truth when he has to, no doubt about that. Shearer still needs to look more like a statesman, I agree there. Someone on the left side of things just needs to put the real story out clearly and succinctly, more often.

Can Labour win this next election? I hope they do, they have the policies we all need to move forward as a proud country. As soon as they start believing that too, they can convince the rest of us. Enough of us anyway, to take the reins in 2014.

Major von Tempsky
06-03-2013, 10:31 AM
"to our 3rd biggest and very important city" - Grrrrrr!!! u r treading on very thin ice Iceman!

Christchurch is definitively our second largest city. According to the last Census it had passed Wellington in all 3 population measures for the first time, as a province/stat area/region, as a City, and as the total of all neaby urban areas. Don't let me have to correct you again!
It's also currently the fastest growing area.,,,,

iceman
06-03-2013, 11:49 AM
"to our 3rd biggest and very important city" - Grrrrrr!!! u r treading on very thin ice Iceman!

Christchurch is definitively our second largest city. According to the last Census it had passed Wellington in all 3 population measures for the first time, as a province/stat area/region, as a City, and as the total of all neaby urban areas. Don't let me have to correct you again!
It's also currently the fastest growing area.,,,,

Shame on me ! May be proven right though based on the Census compiled as I was typing my post yesterday, but time will tell. Hope you don't disagree with the "very important city" bit :eek2:

Fred114
06-03-2013, 06:01 PM
Viral video on unequal wealth distribution in US. Pretty much the trajectory that NZ is taking in my observation

http://mashable.com/2013/03/02/wealth-inequality/

fungus pudding
06-03-2013, 06:54 PM
Viral video on unequal wealth distribution in US. Pretty much the trajectory that NZ is taking in my obeservation




That's good. The only way to make us all equal, is to make us all poor.

elZorro
06-03-2013, 07:03 PM
Viral video on unequal wealth distribution in US. Pretty much the trajectory that NZ is taking in my obeservation

http://mashable.com/2013/03/02/wealth-inequality/

Fred114. That is truly horrendous. This could be the sort of chart graphics that Labour should use in their press releases. As the video says, it's not full-blown socialism that's needed, just a leaning in that direction, to redress some of the massive imbalance. How did the top 1% get to that position? Not by paying their share of taxes.

Belgarion, shame on you for suggesting we all buy some MRP shares. My other half is interested, even after seeing my dismal efforts with shares. You're probably both boringly correct.

BIRMANBOY
06-03-2013, 07:20 PM
A cynical observer might mention that if you spent less time "National bashing/baiting" and more time working on "your dismal efforts with shares" you might actually improve your performance but avoidance of the real issues is a common fault among many of us ..so dont feel too bad.
Fred114. That is truly horrendous. This could be the sort of chart graphics that Labour should use in their press releases. As the video says, it's not full-blown socialism that's needed, just a leaning in that direction, to redress some of the massive imbalance. How did the top 1% get to that position? Not by paying their share of taxes.

Belgarion, shame on you for suggesting we all buy some MRP shares. My other half is interested, even after seeing my dismal efforts with shares. You're probably both boringly correct.

elZorro
06-03-2013, 08:37 PM
A cynical observer might mention that if you spent less time "National bashing/baiting" and more time working on "your dismal efforts with shares" you might actually improve your performance but avoidance of the real issues is a common fault among many of us ..so dont feel too bad.

Many thanks once again for your acerbic wit BB. You brighten up most threads you have a go at. Maybe I should have said "dismal but not irrecoverable efforts"..which is my position on shares, one of several investments.

Regarding National baiting: two points,

(1) Yes, the right-thinking person is as easy to bait as any,
(2) I post my real opinions formed over time. Borne out by the reality we can see all around us.

BIRMANBOY
06-03-2013, 09:04 PM
Congratulation ..thats much shorter than normal :)
Many thanks once again for your acerbic wit BB. You brighten up most threads you have a go at. Maybe I should have said "dismal but not irrecoverable efforts"..which is my position on shares, one of several investments.

Regarding National baiting: two points,

(1) Yes, the right-thinking person is as easy to bait as any,
(2) I post my real opinions formed over time. Borne out by the reality we can see all around us.

Major von Tempsky
07-03-2013, 07:59 AM
BB, you're sparking on all eight cylinders :-)

Hugo Chavez is dead, a sad event, now the NZ Labour Party will never be able to draft him in as leader...

Still, there's always Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina - ;-)

No doubt EZ and PtC regard them as wonderfully accomplished socialist leaders....

POSSUM THE CAT
07-03-2013, 10:48 AM
Major von Tempsky why Judge others by your own biased thoughts about other people. There are both left & right biased idiots that live in dream worlds like yours.

elZorro
07-03-2013, 11:13 AM
BB, you're sparking on all eight cylinders :-)

Hugo Chavez is dead, a sad event, now the NZ Labour Party will never be able to draft him in as leader...

Still, there's always Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina - ;-)

No doubt EZ and PtC regard them as wonderfully accomplished socialist leaders....

That was sarcasm in case you missed it.. BB's V8 is perhaps more a clapped-out conversation piece.

Hugo Chavez had some good points, and in the fullness of time a bit of scepticism regarding the USA's place in the world, might be a good idea. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2011/12/2011122813134071641.html

BIRMANBOY
07-03-2013, 11:49 AM
Talking about political engines...here is an image of David Shearer at the recent Labour party conference. EZ you will no doubt recognise the feeling.
http://images04.olx.ca/ui/14/50/58/1347639288_438644258_2-Professional-Small-Engine-Repair-Ltd-Belleville.jpg


That was sarcasm in case you missed it.. BB's V8 is perhaps more a clapped-out conversation piece.

Hugo Chavez had some good points, and in the fullness of time a bit of scepticism regarding the USA's place in the world, might be a good idea.

Fred114
07-03-2013, 03:45 PM
That's good. The only way to make us all equal, is to make us all poor.

"The top 1% own 40% of the wealth" As the video showed, the American perception of inequality was far from the actual distribution. In other words, "To make us all equal" is far closer to what is actually possible, than "to make us all poor". There exists within capitalism some sense of worth for human life. It only remains to be explained how poor Americans get by with so little money.

Major von Tempsky
07-03-2013, 05:02 PM
What socialists have always missed is that the effort to evenly redistribute the cake ends in reducing the size of the cake due to disincentives, evasion, demoralisation etc and a vastly bloated and inefficient and corrupt bureaucracy to try to achieve this redistribution.
What the centre right strives for is an expansion of the cake so that all can have a larger slice.

elZorro
07-03-2013, 06:42 PM
What socialists have always missed is that the effort to evenly redistribute the cake ends in reducing the size of the cake due to disincentives, evasion, demoralisation etc and a vastly bloated and inefficient and corrupt bureaucracy to try to achieve this redistribution.
What the centre right strives for is an expansion of the cake so that all can have a larger slice.

Do you really believe that MVT? How does the cake expand when the economy is nothing more than energy (the lower the cost, the stronger the economy). So here we are in an energy-constrained world. Maui is just about finished, our drills are mostly dead ends, we import most of our transport fuels, shipping costs are getting worse, coal is cheap but too risky long term, and our hydro storage is limited. Our farmers work on a 0.04% energy efficiency, lucky for them the energy inputs are mostly free.

I put it to you that National's reason for being is not to prove the trickle-down theory works, they know it doesn't. It is to look after the top 1% that are in Fred114's video. If you are in that 1%, then great, vote for National and bend our ears about it. if you are working towards getting into the top 1%, then voting for another party (except ACT) will help that process.

iceman
07-03-2013, 10:16 PM
What socialists have always missed is that the effort to evenly redistribute the cake ends in reducing the size of the cake due to disincentives, evasion, demoralisation etc and a vastly bloated and inefficient and corrupt bureaucracy to try to achieve this redistribution.
What the centre right strives for is an expansion of the cake so that all can have a larger slice.

I totally agree MVT. Moving on:
Maui is not "just about finished" , its got YEARS to go.
NZ, Norway,Chile, Iceland and a few other countries have abundant energy of geo-thermal , water and wind. These countries (and a few more) will lead the World in energy efficiency over the next 2-3 decades.

"our farmers work on 0.04 % energy" Are you joking, Probably the most efficient farmers ithe World. Explain yourself please !

I am nowhere near the "1%"you talk about in your Chaves like rant EZ and in fact I don't think any Kiwis would fit into that profile. I would love Kiwis to be in there but there are too many negative people like you in NZ for that ever to happen :(

elZorro
08-03-2013, 06:31 AM
I totally agree MVT. Moving on:
Maui is not "just about finished" , its got YEARS to go.
NZ, Norway,Chile, Iceland and a few other countries have abundant energy of geo-thermal , water and wind. These countries (and a few more) will lead the World in energy efficiency over the next 2-3 decades.

"our farmers work on 0.04 % energy" Are you joking, Probably the most efficient farmers ithe World. Explain yourself please !

I am nowhere near the "1%"you talk about in your Chaves like rant EZ and in fact I don't think any Kiwis would fit into that profile. I would love Kiwis to be in there but there are too many negative people like you in NZ for that ever to happen :(

Iceman, in response: it wasn't a rant, I don't follow Hugo Chavez (see info below), I'm not a rabid socialist as you suggest. I'm not a negative person either, like yourself I'm an exporter of a portion of output, but I get frustrated when I see National undoing the good policy that Labour had installed during their last term. I genuinely liked the direction of NZ back then.

If there is a larger slice to be had in NZ, we'll have to wrest it off some other country. It's unlikely a whole lot of cheap energy will turn up over here. So R&D becomes important, and if you can show me that National has helped this process along, rather than tried to kill it off, then I'd like to see it.

Maui was found in the 60s-70s, an internationally big gas field. To get at the smaller portion of oil, the govt set up take or pay agreements for the gas, to get it used up and increase the oil offtake. We converted clapped out cars to CNG, on which they ran poorly. We ran the gas to Huntly and used it for electricity at 30% efficiency. Huntly used a lot of that gas up, and the easiest gas has gone, along with most of the oil. Maui might have a few years left, it had a reprieve as it was meant to be shut down by now. But it's a shadow of its former self.

I agree that we need to look harder at things like solar energy, geothermal, wind, biofuels. Anything that is more carbon neutral. Again , some govt R&D in that direction would be refreshing. Doubt if we'll ever see National party hacks thinking like that though.

I'm afraid those figures about the energy efficiency of farming are about right. Since the Sun has enormous energy of up to 1kW per square metre in full sun in summer, you can look at figures for NZ and see that each hectare on a farm receives millions of dollars of energy in a given year. $3-4 million of energy, and farmers manage $3000 of profit per hectare if they have a good dairying year, a lot less for most farmers.

The reason for this is that our major crop (rye/clover etc) is about 2% efficient at converting the sun to animal energy, and the animals we send out to crop the grass are also about 2% efficient (on average). There is the number, and if you ask Agresearch, they'll have to confirm it. It's the same figure worldwide, but perhaps NZ is a bit better than average. It's still really low.

Solar panels (PV) are getting so cheap that some of the poor performing hillsides facing North should instead be generating raw electricity, or heating vast salt vats with mirrors. Even a PV panel is 20% efficient, it beats farming by a long way. Farmers continue to buy their electricity off the grid instead of generating their own. They'll figure it out soon enough.

From Wikipedia, about Chavez:


Although he publicly used strong revolutionary rhetoric from the beginning of his presidency, the Chávez government's initial policies were moderate, capitalist and centre-left, having much in common with those of contemporary Latin American leftists like Brazil's president Lula da Silva (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/wiki/Luiz_In%C3%A1cio_Lula_da_Silva).[135] (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/#cite_note-135)[136] (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/#cite_note-Ellner_2005-136) Chávez initially believed that capitalism was still a valid economic model for Venezuela, but that it would have to be Rhenish capitalism (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/wiki/Rhenish_capitalism) or the Third Way (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/wiki/Third_Way) that would be followed rather than the neoliberalism (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/wiki/Neoliberalism) which had been implemented under former governments with the encouragement of the United States.[137] (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/#cite_note-Hard_Talk-137) He followed the economic guidelines recommended by the International Monetary Fund (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/wiki/International_Monetary_Fund) and continued to encourage foreign corporations to invest in Venezuela,[138] (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/#cite_note-138) even visiting the New York Stock Exchange (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/wiki/New_York_Stock_Exchange) in the United States in an attempt to convince wealthy investors to do so.[139] (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/#cite_note-139)[140] (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/#cite_note-140) To increase his visibility abroad, Chávez spent fifty-two days of his first year as president outside of Venezuela, travelling the world meeting various national leaders, such as American President Bill Clinton (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/wiki/Bill_Clinton), Governor of Texas George W. Bush (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/wiki/George_W._Bush) and Chinese Premier Jiang Zemin (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/wiki/Jiang_Zemin).[141] (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/#cite_note-141)
Whilst he was remaining fiscally conservative, he introduced measures in an attempt to alleviate the poverty of the Venezuelan working class. Chávez immediately set into motion a social welfare program called Plan Bolívar 2000 (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/wiki/Plan_Bol%C3%ADvar_2000), which he organised to begin on 27 February 1999, the tenth anniversary of the Caracazo massacre. Costing $113,000,000, Plan Bolívar 2000 involved 70,000 army officers going out into the streets of Venezuela where they would repair roads and hospitals, offer free medical care and vaccinations, and sell food at cheap prices.[142] (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/#cite_note-142)[143] (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/#cite_note-143)[144] (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/#cite_note-144) Chávez himself described the Plan by saying that "Ten years ago we came to massacre the people. Now we are going to fill them with love. Go and comb the land, search out and destroy poverty and death. We are going to fill them with love instead of lead."[145] (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/#cite_note-145) In order to explain his latest thoughts and plans to the Venezuelan people, in May he also launched his own Sunday morning radio show, Aló Presidente (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/wiki/Al%C3%B3_Presidente) (Hello, President), on the state radio network, as well as a Thursday night television show, De Frente con el Presidente (Face to Face with the President). He followed this with his own newspaper, El Correo del Presidente (The President's Post), founded in July, for which he acted as editor-in-chief, but which was later shut amidst accusations of corruption in its management.[146] (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/#cite_note-146) In his television and radio shows, he answered calls from citizens, discussed his latest policies, sung songs and told jokes, making it unique not only in Latin America but the entire world.[147] (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/#cite_note-147)

Major von Tempsky
08-03-2013, 07:19 AM
Hmmm, hmmm, a blow for the devoted admirers of that devoted socialist today - front page of today's Press - Chavez's fortune increased to and by $2 billion since he became President in 1999. Good piece of socialist work that ;-)

Oh and PtC I can't let your assumption tamely glide past that Cristina Fernandez-Kirchner and Peronism are "rightwing"! The financial media would be rolling around laughing! The main thing about Peronism is nationalism but the unions are all Peronista and the government has nationalised umpteen companies. Rather intriguing is that Cristina has appointed one of her mates as Government Statistician in effect and he makes what are obviously bullsh*t announcements on what the rate of inflation is, horribly understated, and, get this, anyone who disputes it with other data is clapped in prison! Ha! ha! ha! That's socialism for you - remember "1984" and "Animal Farm"?

POSSUM THE CAT
08-03-2013, 10:59 AM
Major von Temspsky go back and read the post I take it you are replying to. You are giving the impression that you are so ill educated that you cannot understand that there are as many if not more right wing dill brain politicians as left wing politicians. Or should I say brainwashed.

iceman
08-03-2013, 11:26 AM
Hmmm, hmmm, a blow for the devoted admirers of that devoted socialist today - front page of today's Press - Chavez's fortune increased to and by $2 billion since he became President in 1999. Good piece of socialist work that ;-)

Oh and PtC I can't let your assumption tamely glide past that Cristina Fernandez-Kirchner and Peronism are "rightwing"! The financial media would be rolling around laughing! The main thing about Peronism is nationalism but the unions are all Peronista and the government has nationalised umpteen companies. Rather intriguing is that Cristina has appointed one of her mates as Government Statistician in effect and he makes what are obviously bullsh*t announcements on what the rate of inflation is, horribly understated, and, get this, anyone who disputes it with other data is clapped in prison! Ha! ha! ha! That's socialism for you - remember "1984" and "Animal Farm"?

I have been doing business in Argentina for a few years. Under Cristina, who is an avid socialist, it has become nearly impossible to do business there. Rampant inflation of around 25-30% (real, not Government statistics), AR$ FROZEN at around US$1 =AR$ 4.5 while the real value on the black market is more like 7. This is killing exporters. Corruption higher than ever before with any company directors that speak out shut down by the tax department, normally within 48hrs of speaking against the Government. Union leaders sent to football World Cup, paid for by Government. Unions going to peoples homes to threaten their families if they do not agree with the militant approach by nearly all Unions. I could go on and on but please don't get me started. Need to chill out in beautiful NZ before heading to Argentina on Tuesday, when the "fun" starts !

craic
08-03-2013, 12:00 PM
As I was saying before - You dont't know how lucky you are, boy - in a John Key led New Zealand.

elZorro
08-03-2013, 05:30 PM
Barf........

BIRMANBOY
08-03-2013, 07:55 PM
Almost there on the shortening of posts EZ...one less word ( you can leave the full stops if you like..that way we'll know its you) and we have achieved perfection.
Barf........

elZorro
08-03-2013, 08:08 PM
Almost there on the shortening of posts EZ...one less word ( you can leave the full stops if you like..that way we'll know its you) and we have achieved perfection.

Apart from having a go at other posters, can you ever provide a counter argument or offer anything concrete BB? Put aside your pub-talk comments that have no substance, and most of you right-wingers don't have clue about what's really going on.

Who's leading the country really? Because it's not John Key. Maybe no-one is leading it, that's why we're sliding further into an imbalance.

Maybe David Shearer isn't a statesman yet, but he at least has a chance to develop into one.

Major von Tempsky
08-03-2013, 08:35 PM
"we're sliding further into an imbalance."

Is that why tax revenue was reported as half a billion more than expected today for the first 7 months of the year and significantly closed the Budget deficit... ;-)

elZorro
08-03-2013, 08:52 PM
"we're sliding further into an imbalance."

Is that why tax revenue was reported as half a billion more than expected today for the first 7 months of the year and significantly closed the Budget deficit... ;-)

And the full story is: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/129974/government's-books-in-better-shape-than-forecast

The deficit is $600 mill less than they thought. So we're still going backwards, right? Most economists don't think National has a hope in getting it back into balance by 2015. Doesn't matter, they'll pretend it's going to happen, until just after the next election. Fairy dust.

Meanwhile the drought that is all too obvious out here in the provinces is going to clobber about a billion off farm incomes, so far. So there's some expected prov tax and terminal tax that the govt won't be getting, for sure.

Major von Tempsky
09-03-2013, 06:55 AM
But all those statements you have just made are directly applicable to the Labour Government in Australia! :-0

iceman
09-03-2013, 07:19 AM
And the full story is: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/129974/government's-books-in-better-shape-than-forecast

The deficit is $600 mill less than they thought. So we're still going backwards, right? Most economists don't think National has a hope in getting it back into balance by 2015. Doesn't matter, they'll pretend it's going to happen, until just after the next election. Fairy dust.

Meanwhile the drought that is all too obvious out here in the provinces is going to clobber about a billion off farm incomes, so far. So there's some expected prov tax and terminal tax that the govt won't be getting, for sure.

I think you may be right EZ that it will be very difficult for the Government to get back to surplus 2014/2015 and the drought will make that ambitious goal even more difficult. But life will go on even if we miss it a little, our credit rating is unlikely to be further reduced thanks to responsible management of Government finances. After all it is not easy to wind back the ridiculous and unnecessary expenditure Clark & Cullen had made almost structural in Government spending before NZ wised up and sacked them. Core Government expenditure rose 60% during their tenure so it does take a while to steer the ship on the right course again. John Key is achieving it slowly despite a World recession and a huge natural disaster. No need to be as negative about NZs prospects as you and your Leftie mates are. That includes Labour, the Greens and the Winston Peters First party. That negativity about everything the Government does will make sure Kiwis won't vote for them. For Shearer to become the statesman you want him to be, he needs to come up with positive and believable policies to drive NZ forward. So far he hasn't.

craic
09-03-2013, 07:28 AM
You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
(and thats my last word for several days as I am off to enjoy the delights of Onehunga and I am not taking anything as sophisticated as my laptop into that place)
Maybe David Shearer isn't a statesman yet, but he at least has a chance to develop into one.[/QUOTE]

iceman
09-03-2013, 08:36 AM
You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
(and thats my last word for several days as I am off to enjoy the delights of Onehunga and I am not taking anything as sophisticated as my laptop into that place)
.[/QUOTE]

LOL. Enjoy it Craig. I am off to Argentina on Tuesday so will leave countering and debating EZ and PTC to you, MVT and BB for a few weeks :)

elZorro
09-03-2013, 10:46 AM
I think you may be right EZ that it will be very difficult for the Government to get back to surplus 2014/2015 and the drought will make that ambitious goal even more difficult. But life will go on even if we miss it a little, our credit rating is unlikely to be further reduced thanks to responsible management of Government finances. After all it is not easy to wind back the ridiculous and unnecessary expenditure Clark & Cullen had made almost structural in Government spending before NZ wised up and sacked them. Core Government expenditure rose 60% during their tenure so it does take a while to steer the ship on the right course again. John Key is achieving it slowly despite a World recession and a huge natural disaster. No need to be as negative about NZs prospects as you and your Leftie mates are. That includes Labour, the Greens and the Winston Peters First party. That negativity about everything the Government does will make sure Kiwis won't vote for them. For Shearer to become the statesman you want him to be, he needs to come up with positive and believable policies to drive NZ forward. So far he hasn't.

Thanks for the reply Iceman. I'm not negative about NZ's prospects at all, I'm just more ambitious than National are. You were saying that core govt expenditure rose 60% under Labour's tenure. Without checking that, I'll go along with the figure, and it would have been Labour's reaction to the last govt sector culling under National. But you are only looking at one metric.

In the middle of this is a chart showing the extra spend, yes it's about 60% above inflation, over 9 years.
http://www.policyprogress.org.nz/tag/fifth-labour-government/

The increased employment reduced some social benefit costs, yet increased taxes and cash turnover in the economy. As govt gets back at least 50% of every dollar it expends on wages and salaries (and 50% of everything an employer spends on wages and salaries), the net increase in real costs would have been only 30% over the tenure, or less. Of course the tax take went up really well, resulting in a surplus in the budget for several years. Anyone with commercial buildings and retail enterprises did better also. That meant they had to pay more taxes, and employed more staff.

National's policy of screwing back the core govt expenditure only adds to the net budget deficit most likely, because of downstream effects. So that is not the reason for reducing costs there. It's a policy that helps to justify lower taxes for the small high-income section of NZ. But it also restricts growth in the economy, the dead opposite of what National is saying they are working on.

David Shearer is quickly getting better at fronting the camera, perhaps the only way most of us will judge him.

Anyway the next week will be interesting but less challenging, as the leftie fringe on ST (and you forgot to include the venerable Fred114 I think) battle it out with a shallow BB and the outspoken MVT, who I suspect has more than one foot in the past. A bit about Aussie Labor's comparatively small deficit (http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2012/12/21/budg-d21.html). :)

iceman
10-03-2013, 08:38 AM
National's policy of screwing back the core govt expenditure only adds to the net budget deficit most likely, because of downstream effects. So that is not the reason for reducing costs there. It's a policy that helps to justify lower taxes for the small high-income section of NZ. But it also restricts growth in the economy, the dead opposite of what National is saying they are working on.

National has reduced income taxes for all workers in NZ during the last 5 years EZ. After tax wages in NZ have risen close to 20% during that time. So your claim is not supported by fact.

elZorro
10-03-2013, 08:43 AM
Steven Joyce was interviewed at length on Q&A by a ruthless Corin Dann, this morning. John Key wouldn't have stood up so well, but there were holes in Mr Joyce's arguments nevertheless.

Callaghan Innovation has started annoucements on previously decided grants for big business. $25mill spread amongst just a few firms.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10869669

A board member's firm snaffled some of it. That firm looks to be an establishing competitor for Gallagher Group's PEC.

http://www.callaghaninnovation.govt.nz/news-events/2013/03/06/2012-technology-development-grants-recipients-announced

Tru-Test also features for nearly $4mill of R&D part grants over 2-3 years, which is curious as they've also bought out a business recently, happy enough to pay over $60mill in goodwill.

Two non-scientific positions available at Callaghan. As the scientists predicted, the effort is going into desk jobs at this stage, and there has been no talk of the doubling in funding that will be needed to keep all the current staff. https://careers.callaghaninnovation.govt.nz/list.aspx?Coid=2034

POSSUM THE CAT
10-03-2013, 08:47 AM
Iceman all tax cuts were not equal. The tax cut for some would be more than the total wage for others. But the GST increase was the same if notmore as a proportion of income. You only use the figures that support your own point of view.

iceman
10-03-2013, 09:34 AM
Iceman all tax cuts were not equal. The tax cut for some would be more than the total wage for others. But the GST increase was the same if notmore as a proportion of income. You only use the figures that support your own point of view.

Of course not everyone got the same dollar amount in tax reductions. Yes the GST went up when income tax went down. A good idea. The fact remains that the average after tax income in NZ has grown rapidly during National's term. That is not my "point of view" but a very welcome fact ! I can;t understand why left wingers don't celebrate the average worker in NZ getting increased take home pay !

Major von Tempsky
10-03-2013, 09:52 AM
Because left wingers are quite happy to see an overall smaller cake so that workers get a smaller slice (but equal!) and a lower standard of living.
Weird and illogical isn't it? But that's left wingers for you, cut off their noses to spite their face.

On a slightly different tack, allegedly we have 300,000 dedicated weirdo leftwingers who have signed a petition against selling 49% of Mighty River Power.
What happens when over 300,000 have put their names down to buy shares in Mighty River Power? muse muse...

And I bet some have signed in both places....

POSSUM THE CAT
10-03-2013, 09:55 AM
Iceman the average worker got a small increase in take home pay YES but a much larger increase in GST expenditure that in effect his disposable income would by less than before the change. For most a 1.5 cent tax decrease in exchange for a 2.5cent GST increase

iceman
10-03-2013, 09:59 AM
Iceman the average worker got a small increase in take home pay YES but a much larger increase in GST expenditure that in effect his disposable income would by less than before the change. For most a 1.5 cent tax decrease in exchange for a 2.5cent GST increase

You ignore pay increases during that period. The average after tax pay has gone up substantially for most workers in NZ. This is a fact and we should celebrate it.

MVT, in answer to your question, I guess most Greens supporters that signed the petition will not buy shares and continue their troglodyte lifestyle. The Labour supporters that signed will buy shares and possibly become very happy shareholders and National voters at the next election :)

elZorro
10-03-2013, 11:39 AM
Since there are more PAYE people on the books? (Steven Joyce today), but less jobs or people employed, I assume contractors have given up their enterprises and are seeking employment. A lot of part-time jobs have disappeared, especially in retail. While the average take-home pay might have increased, it would be interesting to see what the median pay rate has done. That example I had the other day of a middle-aged, competent commerical painter being paid $16.50 an hour on wages, how does that stack up?

I have signed up for an interest in MRP, mildly embarrassed that I was part of a 300,000 strong group. I see that if it behaves like Contact Energy, I'd lose half my dough. It's good and bad that a strong NZ interest is being shown, we're so clever at buying back what we already owned, with our tax-paid spare cash. I also signed the Labour referendum.

Major von Tempsky
10-03-2013, 02:43 PM
Bit more bad news for you Labour boys - Labour in Western Australia has just been horribly thumped, swing of 6% to the sitting Liberal-National government, heh, heh, heh.

elZorro
10-03-2013, 07:10 PM
Because left wingers are quite happy to see an overall smaller cake so that workers get a smaller slice (but equal!) and a lower standard of living.
Weird and illogical isn't it? But that's left wingers for you, cut off their noses to spite their face.

On a slightly different tack, allegedly we have 300,000 dedicated weirdo leftwingers who have signed a petition against selling 49% of Mighty River Power.
What happens when over 300,000 have put their names down to buy shares in Mighty River Power? muse muse...

And I bet some have signed in both places....

The total tax take since 2008 dropped back quite a lot, and is only now recovering. It's still well below where Labour left it in 2008. So National has managed to produce a smaller cake every year since they got into office. That's the reality, MVT.

Those of us who have signed both the call for a referendum and the MRP offer interest form, are probably more interested in seeing both sides of the argument, rather than being desperate to buy shares.

Labor in Aussie are at a different part of their electoral cycle I think. Hard to compare with NZ. I'm more interested in figuring out which party has performed better for the country in the last decade or so. No contest.

Major von Tempsky
10-03-2013, 07:30 PM
Are at a different part of their electoral cycle? Ha! ha! ha! That's weasel words for you. I bet if an Aussie Labour politician came out with that the media would make a laughing stock of him/her.

Ok, so if National win the next election as the polls keep saying then surely that shows it's no contest that National have outperformed Labour over the last decade (9 yrs is close enough to a decade).

I mean you do believe in democracy don't you? Or aren't the voters allowed to settle it?

elZorro
10-03-2013, 07:58 PM
Are at a different part of their electoral cycle? Ha! ha! ha! That's weasel words for you. I bet if an Aussie Labour politician came out with that the media would make a laughing stock of him/her.

Ok, so if National win the next election as the polls keep saying then surely that shows it's no contest that National have outperformed Labour over the last decade (9 yrs is close enough to a decade).

I mean you do believe in democracy don't you? Or aren't the voters allowed to settle it?


Not at all. It's well known that unless the party in power manages very badly, they'll get two and maybe three terms before NZ voters will want to swing a bit the other way. I don't agree with the statement that there's not much between the parties. They have different ways of doing things, and Labour is a bit more truthful about what they're up to.

So until towards the end of 2014, we'll be discussing how likely it is that National will cling on for a third term. It looks to me as though the press are starting to ask some very tricky questions of National, and they have a lot of messy loose ends at the moment. Take away the misguided perception that National are invincible for 2014, and you'd have to be a bit unhappy with how things are going so far this year, MVT.

Yes, the voters will decide. I said in 2011 that a lot more people were going to lose their jobs if National got back in. Unfortunately I was right about that.

I'm having trouble finding a simple Treasury chart on govt income over the last 15 years to prove my case, but this latest report shows that the improved tax take in the last 7 months was due mainly to the same income being earned by fewer higher paid workers, with some at the bottom end being chopped out of work altogether. Shareholders also paid a bit more tax from dividends etc.

http://www.treasury.govt.nz/government/financialstatements/monthend/pdfs/fsgnz-7mths-jan13.pdf

I did find these two charts though. National has been able to create the biggest annual budget deficit ever seen in NZ, from the look of it. Just last year. It added a lot to our external borrowings.

POSSUM THE CAT
11-03-2013, 06:34 AM
Iceman you now mention wage rises yes large ones for the top end of town but minute for the bottom end and we all pay the same price increases.

elZorro
11-03-2013, 06:51 AM
Rodney Hide on businesses. An ACT point of view. There are a few half-truths in there.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10870282

I'm all for bigger businesses too, seen in the light of government grants applicants, as long as they keep employing in NZ at the same or better levels, keep paying their fair taxes, and this means they have to set the business up for ongoing profits. Not many do, they seem more interested in capital gain ideas. Smaller businesses are more likely to collectively take on new staff numbers and provide broad or flexible training.

Most of the public comments are a lot more on the mark than Rodney was.

elZorro
12-03-2013, 06:35 AM
Looks like National now has an 'out' over the 2014-2015 budget surplus. It was only theoretically going to be a very small one, prone to major error margins. So even a billion dollar drought loss in farmer income would completely swamp it.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/8411045/Drought-raises-fear-of-return-to-recession

That's the funny thing about manufacturing, it doesn't use up a lot of space, it's worker intensive, and generally it carries on in all weathers.

elZorro
13-03-2013, 06:41 AM
More indications that the cost of energy and the performance of an economy are strongly linked.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/8416640/Expert-gives-the-good-oil-on-energy-options

Electricity prices continue to move up here, the reason not being the raw costs (which have in some cases lowered -coal-) but future costs to upgrade the network apparently.

POSSUM THE CAT
13-03-2013, 08:31 AM
elZorro The amount of money the electricity companies spend on marketing would probably be a bigger cost.

slimwin
13-03-2013, 08:39 AM
Our company is paying triple at spot price at the moment. Drought not govt causing this.

elZorro
13-03-2013, 08:57 AM
Our company is paying triple at spot price at the moment. Drought not govt causing this.

My firm just buys at standard rates, we're not energy intensive. But Genesis have just advised that my power costs are "changing". Read: going up again.. Once a year they go for a bit more cashflow. A bit like local body rates. Spot prices can be a lot lower when there is plenty of rain, so I guess your company does well most years.

A good point from PTC: when we just had the NZED and I think only one major electricity retailer? there wasn't much need for marketing. Who pays for that? The 'efficient, competitive' market model is flawed when it comes to a benevolent power supply for a small country, with its infrastructure built by the state originally.

Simon Power is trying to talk down electricity prices at the moment. I won't be holding out much hope he'll have any success, but it sure sounds good doesn't it.

POSSUM THE CAT
13-03-2013, 10:54 AM
elZorro wait until the Maoris are charging for every Cubic Metre of water that flows out of lake Taupo. The Maoris were given Lake Taupo and the right to charge any commercial enterprise for use of its Water. By John Key's National Govt. So what is this going to do to power prices. There are far more court cases to come. Wise people said sort out the ownership and charging rights to water before floating these companies.

elZorro
13-03-2013, 07:57 PM
Don't panic PTC, it'll probably never happen.

Here's an item every right-winger will be wishing away, a letter written to Solid Energy by Simon Power just a few months into office (May 2009), strongly suggesting they borrow heavily in line with their credit rating. Which they did, with gusto. Now they've had to close mines and shed jobs. If they'd been conservative, they could have ridden out a downturn in coal prices.

Even more telling is David Shearer reminding Bill English in Parliament that this policy was the EXACT OPPOSITE of what they've been telling the rest of NZ. You can't trust National, that's the take-home message.

http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/govt-admits-pushing-solid-energy-increase-debt-5368106

elZorro
14-03-2013, 06:36 AM
Here's a bit more about the penny-pinching car-park taxes National proposed. David Cunliffe is also right on the money here, about there being more important things to sort out.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1303/S00212/park-tax-costs-more-to-collect-than-brings-in.htm


“We know the Government’s books are in trouble but they won’t be fixed by penny-pinching or trying to get spare change from the back of the couch. We need bold reform such as a capital gains tax and research and development tax credits to help fix the books,” says David Cunliffe.


Although this link below shows that Labour thought of the new tax first, and that it was unpopular. Some sensible reasons behind it though. I notice the tax was only to be applied where there was serious traffic congestion, Auckland and Wellington.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10870834

elZorro
15-03-2013, 06:41 AM
Belgarion - maybe it's the end of the golden weather. Had to happen sometime.

More from the Solid Energy hearings.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10871232

Callaghan Innovation's CEO has been chosen.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10871246

The IRD has been clamping down on taxpayers, in a bid to bring more into the coffers. The carpark tax idea is just an example. Next it's employees meals and accommodation when they're paid to be away on jobs. These types of ideas will just slow business down, and without the compliance of admin departments and overworked business owners, are uncollectable anyway.


http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/8426771/Warning-for-all-over-car-park-tax-plan

POSSUM THE CAT
15-03-2013, 08:45 AM
Belgarion Choice 2 is correct

elZorro
15-03-2013, 04:39 PM
Well there are lots of mixed messages. Manufacturing is not in crisis, well not if you're involved in the building and construction sector anyway.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/business/8430001/Welcome-boost-for-manufacturing

But this is all internal stuff. What about exports? How is National helping there? I'm beginning to think Business NZ is only ever going to toe the National Party line. Are they basically a lobby group for them?

Major von Tempsky
17-03-2013, 08:30 PM
Yes I noted that manufacturing report and I meant to post it here but ran out of time - off to a well overdue holiday at Te Anau and the fjords :-)
I meant to quote extensively from it as the statistics directly contradicted what PtC and EZ have been saying here i.e. despite all the left wing puffery manufacturing employment and output are expanding.
So you are now reduced to only talking about manufacturing exports? Ha! ha! ha! ho! ho! ho!
But full marks to EZ for honesty "manufacturing is not in crisis".

elZorro
18-03-2013, 06:23 AM
Enjoy your holiday MVT.

I've lost track of the politicians who have stated that we'll never get rich as a country selling houses to each other, although the Aussie banks will enjoy it. We always have a need to send high-profit goods overseas. In the 50's and 60's it was milk products, wool and meat to the UK, mostly. That model has been risky and only moderately profitable for many years now.

We all know some manufacturers who have had a decades-long spell at exporting, but who have succumbed to cheaper overseas products curtailing their local manufacturing. Nationals' policy is to stand by and watch this, basically.

Labour's policy is to re-energise small businesses to have a look at some new areas for manufacture, and to then protect their IP in some niche markets. A much smarter and more useful vision.

Bill English spies an additional 'out' to the budget surplus model.


English sees growing drought debt for economy18 March 2013
While rain had a welcome impact over the weekend Finance Minister Bill English estimated the drought could cut $2 billion from the national economy, twice the figure estimated a week ago.
Radio New Zealand reported that the extended dry spell has led to the entire North Island being officially declared as affected by drought, forced dairy farmers to dry off herds earlier than usual and cut milk production.
English told Television New Zealand's programme Q+A the drought could knock 30% off NZ's growth rate in a year. The Government will be getting advice from the Treasury in the run up to the Budget on May 16.
English said the latest advice is that somewhere between $1 B and $2 B will be cut from the national income, and as every week goes by, the prospect of it being the higher figure grows.
Radio NZ said last night that rain was spreading in parts of the country after months of drought but is not expected to last more than a couple of days.
Yesterday Northland, Auckland, Waikato, western Taupo and Taranaki had spells of rain, while light showers fell in Wanganui and Manawatu and a smattering in Wairarapa and Wellington.
A rural economist and Federated Farmers say New Zealanders could soon be paying more for milk and other dairy products as a result of drought.
ANZ rural economist Con Williams said milk prices may rise by up to 20% meaning a two-litre container of milk selling for $3 would cost $3.60.
Williams said overseas buyers are speculating New Zealand will have a shortage of milk as a result of the drought and have been prepared to pay a premium for milk powder at the last three dairy auctions.

POSSUM THE CAT
18-03-2013, 08:41 AM
Drongo Methinks you live up to your name

elZorro
18-03-2013, 09:19 AM
Methinks you should probably shut your mouth for 1.5 years. They have rationale for doing it (they won) and are doing just that. No suprises.

They (National) are doing what? Mostly nothing, apart from trying hard to get some immediate cash into the coffers.

The only smart thing from National I've heard for a while was the idea that farmers could sort out more co-operative storage for water in some areas, which is then drawn down in times of drought. India thought of this centuries ago. And all it does is allow farmers to continue to make low annual profits and tax-free capital gains from vast acreages of our land base, at low employment densities.

National have no mandate, they got in mostly on the basis that only three years in office wasn't seen as a fair go by most voters, and Labour were in disarray at the last election, with not enough clear policy differences.

Four years in, there are now clear comparisons between Labour's and National's results. It's not pretty for National's hopes at the next election.

Major von Tempsky
18-03-2013, 04:23 PM
The trouble is that the moronic Luddite Greens are going around stopping the best from winter rain storage schemes (see what happened to the original CPW (Central Plains Water scheme re Canterbury). If the voters, taxpayers and ratepayers would give the Greens the bums rush then drought would be a problem of the past.

Incidentally, all you guys are wasting your time on here.
If you had bought a median property in St Martins, Chch, a year ago, you could sell it now for 124% gain. Beat that!

POSSUM THE CAT
18-03-2013, 06:41 PM
Belgarion pity it did not get past as it would have got rid of most of the young nationals

elZorro
19-03-2013, 06:00 AM
Colin James's column for the Otago Daily Times for 19 March 2013.


Solid Energy and a public-private muddle


We have an extractive economy which depends on commodity exports. That makes the drought a big deal. It makes Solid Energy a big deal -- made bigger by a public-private muddle.

The drought is big for farmers. It is big for the rest of us because most exports are of what is extracted from grass grown with rain, from forests, from the sea, from underground and from the landscape, exported as pleasure for tourists.

More advanced economies mainly export what they do with what countries like ours extract. The value they add each hour of work is higher than ours so their people are better-off.

John Key and Co want us to extract more, particularly milk and petroleum. One of Amy Adams' departures from the Land and Water Forum consensus is an enthusiasm to dam nice rivers (with public funds) for water for farms.

But in an extractive economy a commodity price fall cuts our material standard of living.

When the coal price plunged last year Australia's media numerously reported coal mines closing and firms in trouble in Queensland. Solid Energy had lots of company.

But because Solid Energy is a public entity, its trouble is political. Government politicians blame Don Elder for runaway ambition. Opposition politicians blame ministers for being poor overseers.

Elder thinks big and wide. He is solid energy, megajoules of it. His ambition to build a mineral resources conglomerate, which ministers batted away, made waves behind the scenes at the time and attested to his restless lateral thinking and entrepreneurial instincts. He is an effervescent, stimulating fellow.

Elder was the man to deliver what state-owned enterprises (SOEs) were told to do when they were corporatised: act commercially, that is, as private-sector firms do. But, unlike a private firm, Solid Energy can raise capital only from the government (that is, taxpayers). When it wanted capital to spread its risk from reliance on a single commodity ministers said no.

Bill English wanted to strip taxpayer capital out of Solid Energy, not put more in -- just as he will strip 49 per cent of taxpayer capital out of Mighty River Power next month. (A referendum will likely later tell him he didn't have a mandate to do that.)

Without more capital, Solid Energy could expand only out of retained earnings (great while the price was high but only while it was high) or joint ventures or with more debt. Even without expansion, ministers drove the board to raise the debt ratio beyond its comfort level so Simon Power could extract higher dividends. That, ministers thought, would drive commercial efficiency and add to revenue to help English's fiscal consolidation.

So, when prudent private-sector firms around the world were deleveraging during and after the global financial crisis (GFC) and now have cash in the bank, Solid Energy had to lift its leverage and so its, and our, risk.


In short, a public entity, an SOE, was expected to act as if it was a private entity, a firm, but had to do so under the thumb of public-sector ministers who made a careful public-sector (fiscal) decision but a dubious private-sector one.

The cabinet is more comfortable when there is a sharp line between the private and public sectors and it favours the private. So it cuts core public sector jobs and constrains SOEs and its half-step to "mixed-ownership" will inject some private-sector oversight. English often says that a real job is created only when a (private) business hires someone. (At the extreme, that logic says a nurse in a private hospital is a wealth-creating job and one in a public hospital is not.)

But actually, no private firm is an island -- it sells to the public, the public regulates it through the government, to which it pays taxes (or should), and it uses public infrastructure, including roads and schools.

And actually, the public sector does create wealth -- education, for example, adds to wealth, intrinsically for the educated, and, by building human capital, to all of us. And as the GFC kings showed, the private sector can destroy wealth and, as a result, jobs.

In fact the cabinet is not as ideological as its rhetoric. There are no plans for more private prisons: their value is as a monitor and comparator for the public operator and as an innovator, not as an automatically better operator. Don't expect large numbers of "partnership" (charter) schools. Key lavished taxpayer money on private rugby and private Sir Peter Jackson. And "mixed-ownership" is, well, mixed.

The private and public spheres are not distinct. They mesh, overlap and often blend. Drought-stricken farmers needing public-sector handouts know that. Private-sector-loving United States lavished public money on big "private" firms during the GFC.

Solid Energy's past and Mighty River's future suggest a need to rethink the public-private relationship -- not just on the cabinet side of politics but on the public-sector-loving Labour-Greens side. So far, neither side has really done that deep rethinking.

-- Colin James, Synapsis Ltd, P O Box 9494, Wellington 6141
Ph (64)-4-384 7030, Mobile (64)-21-438 434, Fax (64)-4-384 9175
Webpage http://www.ColinJames.co.nz


John Key was just on TV3: National's new fallback position on Solid Energy is that after Treasury and National suggested the SOE increase their dividend, and borrow money from the banks for any expansion plans, that the Aussie banks can take some of the loss. After all says John, the banks make a lot of money out of us. Can the SOE be saved at all? John would like to think so. Novopay? Steven Joyce has a big announcement today.

The budget surplus: can we get there in 2015? - a lot of shifting about, they'll try, it's only the difference between two very big numbers (about $70billion). But remember National is the party bringing NZ back into budget surplus, with an $18billion hole caused partly by the earthquakes etc.

Yes John, we remember, Labour had several years on the trot of budget surpluses, and you guys wanted it all returned to taxpayers. Labour used it to pay off debt and employ a lot of people, giving the economy a further hand up at the same time.

craic
19-03-2013, 08:18 AM
Remarkably similar philosophy to my own except that I did, in the early stages, invest in dodgy people and ventures until I had learned a couple of hard lessons. Then, I worked out that everything on earth has a numerical value and can be compared against all others similar. I have a simple equation for shares that excludes the same factors as MVT.I am happy with National Superannuation - had it not been there, I would still be working in my old job over ten years since I retired. Some others older than me are still there.
If Labour wins we all emigrate.
Somewhere the government is perpetually business friendly and non socialist.
Austria, Switzerland, Singapore, Bahamas,....any other suggestions?

All that superannuation stuff is BS. If you are competent and saved and invested all your life you shouldn't need the State crutch.
I'd be quite happy to totally lose my 65+ super....

Although one has to except all those unfortunate people who invested in dodgy finance companies and dodgy enterprises and were defrauded.

I followed the principle that I never invested with a finance company because there was no capital return. A principle that has worked brilliantly for me, nearly all NZ's 53 finance companies went down in a heap. I used to look at the constant stream of mail from companies like Nathan imploring me to invest. As it got more and more frenetic I thought they must be just about to go down. Obligingly they then did. No more nuisance mail from them.
Nor did I buy shares in the companies of any of the 1987 villains like Petrecevic or shady characters like the Hotchin brothers or high flying speculative real estate ventures. Also worked brilliantly for me.

POSSUM THE CAT
19-03-2013, 08:53 AM
Drongo are these power companies in the same state as Solid Energy & they still have not sorted out the Maori Claim to own the water especially in lake Taupo.

Major von Tempsky
19-03-2013, 01:59 PM
Right on Drongo, the statistics are there - the economy has been growing, is growing and will grow, new jobs have been created and NZ has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world.

But enough of that - breaking news!

Our squeaky clean, honest David, leader of the New Zealand Labour Party has been caught with his pants down!
He has been shown to have not declared on the Parliamentary Register of Interests, a certain bank account he has in New York with over $50,000 in it and is refusing to say how much is there!
PM John Key has declared that is an unfortunate "mistake"! heh heh heh!

elZorro
19-03-2013, 02:26 PM
Right on Drongo, the statistics are there - the economy has been growing, is growing and will grow, new jobs have been created and NZ has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world.

But enough of that - breaking news!

Our squeaky clean, honest David, leader of the New Zealand Labour Party has been caught with his pants down!
He has been shown to have not declared on the Parliamentary Register of Interests, a certain bank account he has in New York with over $50,000 in it and is refusing to say how much is there!
PM John Key has declared that is an unfortunate "mistake"! heh heh heh!

The news is not as exciting as you might think MVT. It was news yesterday, and the amount could be only slightly above $50k, maybe interest has affected it in the meantime. If it was a heap of money, why is one of David's assets a section at the beach, not a property in Hawaii? It's about as good as John Key will get for dirt, this side of the election.

Meanwhile Novopay's cost has just jumped up by $6mill.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/8441443/Novopay-Schools-to-get-6m

Major von Tempsky
19-03-2013, 03:18 PM
If it was only just above $50k he wouldn't be refusing to quantify it!

Now tell me EZ, if you had a bank account above $50k would you have forgotten about it?

Course not! Ha! ha!
(and if it's old stale news then why was it the lead story on TVNZ1 Midday News today? you're so busy spinning EZ you'll make Tony Blair ashamed!)

elZorro
19-03-2013, 05:37 PM
If it was only just above $50k he wouldn't be refusing to quantify it!

Now tell me EZ, if you had a bank account above $50k would you have forgotten about it?

Course not! Ha! ha!
(and if it's old stale news then why was it the lead story on TVNZ1 Midday News today? you're so busy spinning EZ you'll make Tony Blair ashamed!)

Like I say, I don't think it would be much over $50k.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/6186105/Politicians-relax-with-family

I watched vainly on TV3 news at 6 for the item, it was way down the list at about 25 minutes past.

Anyway, if I and a couple of others didn't put up some spin for Labour, you right-wing liberals would have a field day. No fun in that.

elZorro
19-03-2013, 09:11 PM
Thanks for those charts Belgarion. I'd think the RHS of the top chart would look even worse in the 2011-2012 year, and it's interesting to see the recovery rate from various recessions. The trend seems to be they're harder to climb out of. Or is National just making hard work of it?

The high-tech sector will be worth more to NZ than either tourism or dairying within a few years, according to the data.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/8446576/Tech-sectors-value-tipped-to-outstrip-tourism-by-2020

Major von Tempsky
20-03-2013, 02:34 PM
So, according to Belge, National are responsible for every dip in the world economy....u must be joking.

Anyway another interesting item on today's TVNZ1 Midday News.....applicants for shares in Mighty River Power have now passed 400,000 (rather greater than the number who signed the petition against selling off 49% of MRP. The petition is now set to be laughed out of court when it comes into Parliament :-)).

fungus pudding
20-03-2013, 03:26 PM
So, according to Belge, National are responsible for every dip in the world economy....u must be joking.

Anyway another interesting item on today's TVNZ1 Midday News.....applicants for shares in Mighty River Power have now passed 400,000 (rather greater than the number who signed the petition against selling off 49% of MRP. The petition is now set to be laughed out of court when it comes into Parliament :-)).

How have they managed to apply for the shares?

POSSUM THE CAT
20-03-2013, 03:28 PM
Major von Tempsky Even if you think its a stupid Idea. It would be even stupider to not register an interest. In case all those opposed are ignored by a Stupid bigoted National Party. Who in their right mind is going to pay big money for this. As it has been admitted that Maori can still take a case to the courts for the ownership of water. The Maori case in the courts was that the float should be delayed until the ownership of the water was sorted out.

elZorro
20-03-2013, 06:02 PM
It's a small survey, but Labour can take a bit of heart from this.

http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/nbpol/1986599594-support-for-national-down-in-latest-poll

Here's some perspective on costs to govt: Novopay is costing tens of millions more than planned, and might have to be dropped in a few weeks, with the old supplier Datacom getting the go-ahead again. The whole cost was going to be about $100mill over 8 years. At the bottom of another article today in the press: how much IRD writes off in unpaid tax each year.


IRD write-offs
• In the year ended June 2011, $785.4 million of tax debt was written off because taxpayers were unable to pay.
• That was an increase of more than $118 million from the amount written off in June 2010.
• For year ending June 2009, $722.3 million written off.


So why were National playing around with a parking tax? Not for revenue, well, I hope not. They have more important issues.

Major von Tempsky
21-03-2013, 08:00 AM
Hmmm,latest Herald-Digi poll, National unchanged on 49%, Labour up 4 to 36% at the expense of its potential coalition allies. And in answer to a direct question 49% think the country is going in the right direction.
Spit the pips out of that one.... :-)

Major von Tempsky
21-03-2013, 05:06 PM
Interesting aricle in today's Press (and no doubt other papers) by Vernon Small, an astute observer, that Shearer's secret NY account contains at leat $100, 000 and probably a half million or more.
Rather a challenge to overlook that 3 years in a row....

fungus pudding
21-03-2013, 05:17 PM
Interesting aricle in today's Press (and no doubt other papers) by Vernon Small, an astute observer, that Shearer's secret NY account contains at leat $100, 000 and probably a half million or more.
Rather a challenge to overlook that 3 years in a row....

But a good place to leave it if your going to promote policies to lower our dollar. h
Hard to think why anyone would leave money rotting in an account unless speculating on the currency. Nothing wrong with that, but how on earth could you forget it was there?

Major von Tempsky
21-03-2013, 08:56 PM
Anyone watch the live continuing coverage on Sky News of the Australian Labour Party leadership spill? Fascinating stuff!
Superficially not much happened, the challenge seemingly evaporated. But underneath - hoo boy!
Last time when Rudd did challenge only a few MPs backed him. This time Simon Crean (a former Labour leader) backed him and has been sacked as a Minister for his trouble. And, the media who are very good at ferretting this stuff out and being leaked to, say that 47 MP's back Rudd and he only needs 51 to be successful. The polls say Rudd is way ahead of Gillard and that Rudd is the only possible Labour leader who has a chance of staving off a Coalition electoral victory. A poll taken after tonight's putative spill say 51% of the public want Rudd as Labour leader, 19% only, want Gillard and 13% want Crean with smaller numbers for other possible contenders. Naturally the polls will be lower for Labour after this and Crean's sacking - how long before just 4 more MP's switch sides? Gillard claims that this finishes the leadership spill festering sore but as you can see in fact it has got a lot worse for her and is just a matter of time with this momentum.
Hmm, paper this morning says Rudd was expected to win the leadership by a narrow majority if he had run.
But heigh-ho, why win by a narrow majority with all sorts of bitter infighting only to lose the gen election in Sept when you can stick around to October and take over the leadership easily with all your enemies being blamed for losing the election? Its a no-brainer!
Lord it while you can Gillard!

PS - on a different topic why pack such a sad over the balance of payments? There has been huge amounts of foreign exchange coming in as earthquake settlements (capital account of the BoP), and as we now have a floating NZ dollar any BoP problem can only be a temporary phenomenon.

elZorro
24-03-2013, 08:18 PM
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10873038

Yip ... current national govt is doing a great job ... [heavy sarcasm]

Brian Gaynor had a good article out today, too.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/brian-gaynor/news/article.cfm?a_id=14&objectid=10873028


The Australian economy has created 676,600 new jobs while the New Zealand economy has lost 22,800 over the past four years.

Brian Leyland gives a good overview of the cost of power in NZ. We're paying too much, and it's inefficient.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/8466937/Electricity-market-ripping-off-consumers

I heard the other day that Tiwai smelter's secretive price is about 3c to 5c per kwHr. Still a margin above cost.

Update from Tim Hunter April 2013: using the annual reports, the average price they pay now is about 5.9c per kwHr, some of it being spot market.

elZorro
26-03-2013, 12:34 PM
Telecom may be sacking up to 1500 employees, full and part time, contractors.

On top of this, National continues to screw down DOC, not allowing for inflation, ever tighter budgets, and so some front line and many back-room jobs must go. They'll save only about 1/3 as much as they state, by doing this. Downstream effects will be felt. Out of work will be graduates of our universities, who trained for this highly important and specialised work, who probably treat the job as a salaried position.

The gaps will be filled by retired farmers and trampers by the sound of it. National don't really care about conservation, that's the message.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/8473289/140-DOC-jobs-axed-in-restructure

Major von Tempsky
26-03-2013, 12:44 PM
But they do care about wasting our taxes, unlike Labour. And reigning in the waste at the Families Commission and women who are on the DPB who then go on to have another on the DPB...and another...and another...all by different fathers.
NZ would have been another Greek/Cyprus/Spain/Portugal basket case by now under Labour....

elZorro
26-03-2013, 08:20 PM
But they do care about wasting our taxes, unlike Labour. And reigning in the waste at the Families Commission and women who are on the DPB who then go on to have another on the DPB...and another...and another...all by different fathers.
NZ would have been another Greek/Cyprus/Spain/Portugal basket case by now under Labour....

Are you trying to get my attention MVT? How many are on the DPB? Do you think they enjoy being there? More important, what is National doing for this struggling country of ours? They are concerned about reducing taxes for the well off. This, they are doing well at. As far as keeping most of us employed and well paid, they are doing badly. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10873868

Given a few more years in office, they will be able to scuttle most of the public service, at which point they will be able to say how useless it is in delivering outcomes. I know we need the public service intact. I will do all that I can to help ensure National get taken out at the next election. More input from the public sector might have spotted the ruinous financial sector rorts. South Canterbury Finance will cost taxpayers $800mill, alone (http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/8471186/SCF-failure-costs-taxpayers-805m). All on National's watch. That's what they should have been looking after, not a few million in savings here and there. National failed to help the economy recover quickly enough, and rolled over SCF's guarantee as soon as they got into office. About the same time as they removed the R&D tax credits.

Major von Tempsky
27-03-2013, 05:45 PM
Careless, sloppy emotional stuff.
When Roger Douglas floated the dollar it settled at 44 US cents now its at 84 US cents. That's a 91% increase in the NZ dollar's US purchasing power and in US dollar terms our GDP has increased by 91% plus probably a third in natural growth.
"As far as keeping most of us employed and well paid". 6.9% unemployed - what's that if it's not keeping most of us employed?
Obviously the ones who keep getting pregnant enjoy being on the DPB. Then there's heaps more who could get a job and off DPB and won't or refuse to move out of Ruatoria.
That's a gross cost for South Canterbury Finance not the net cost after several years of receivership vastly reduced that amount.

elZorro
28-03-2013, 06:22 AM
MVT, I guess I should have stressed the words "well paid" because it looks like real wages are on the way down, not up.

The SCF figure is the net figure, they managed to find about 50% of the money that was paid out to the original lenders by the govt, under the guarantee. Allan Hubbard had strongly suggested to the govt that they take an offer on the table to limit costs to $400mill, but they knew better. So there went another $400mill lost by the taxpayers, by the sound of it.

On TV this morning, an angry building contractor who was sent yet another leaked document from a govt department, this time EQC. One of the factors behind this leaking public service will just be that some of the old hands who know how to look after all this sort of information, will have been let go. In the last 10 years or so, it has become commonplace to simply flick out an email with really important info on it, instead of mailing it. Right there is the risk of emailing, say, a speadsheet with extra tabs hidden behind it. A business owner would make sure this never happened, but his/her staff might not be so careful.

EQC runs on a 15% levy from all fire insurance and home contents/home insurance. It's limited to $100k for land, $20k for contents, and they had an AAA rating in August 2011. But from all the noise that is being made, it looks like here is another govt. department that is a bit shy of the funds needed to make good on their promises.
Here's a page from the EQC website which spells it out. (http://www.eqc.govt.nz/what-we-do/eqc-insurance)

All this noise is only going to help Labour do their job in turning around public opinion. They won't even have to say much about this one, the private sector will do it for them. If I was owed $700,000 from a govt department for work I'd done at a fair price, I'd be grumpy too. He's going to have to give back at least 33% of it in taxes anyway.

I'll need to deconstruct this later, but here is some new govt spin on R&D, and they've also attempted to head off Labour's better ideas yet again. No increase in funding for Callaghan Innovation, I know what that means. Which side of the next election does National intend to give half of the staff the bad news?

http://business.scoop.co.nz/2013/03/27/increase-in-business-rd-welcomed/ (http://business.scoop.co.nz/2013/03/27/increase-in-business-rd-welcomed/)

Major von Tempsky
28-03-2013, 10:02 AM
I carefully read the EQC beat-up in the paper today and found that EQC is not being entirely unreasonable in this case they are simply not paying for work
which contractors have started without any agreement from EQC.

I also did a straw poll at my Christchurch tennis club on Tues and found (a)no-one was worried about alleged privacy breaches (b) people were worried that the unfortunate clerk who made a simple error may be pressured into suicide, like the nurse in the UK, by media and Labour Party pressure (c) that Bryan Staples is a w*nker and should destroy the email as he has several times promised to.

Jay
28-03-2013, 12:28 PM
Mr Staples was backtracking or least trying to change the subject on 7 sharp last night from the emails to how much he is owed,

elZorro
28-03-2013, 06:09 PM
Not a great day for National MPs:

Telecom removes 1200 jobs by June 2013, mostly middle managers who will be on the dole:

Solid Energy gravy train mentioned by the Unions, whose members got very little of the excesses, Elder let go permanently:

EQC managed another data leak to the public, and had all of their email closed off by an embarrassed govt:

Rio Tinto/ Tiwai makes even more threatening noises and forces the govt to offer a sweetheart power pricing deal. (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10874174)

Insight from Pattrick Smellie. http://business.scoop.co.nz/2013/03/28/meridian-on-rio-tinto-were-not-dealing-with-grandma/

Pattrick Smellie also writes on Callaghan Innovation, a bit of inside info there. But he's failed to mention the funding issue, it's only half as much as it needs to be for the current staff. That's why the ex-IRL people are grouchy.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/8483427/Callaghan-Innovation-needs-a-chance

Here's an older article about CI: from the policy being supplied and the funding anomaly, it seems that IRL's old function will simply disappear. CI will only liaise between the universities and the private sector, these are the parties that will do any research. They can handle that from Wellington. The blue-sky research that IRL did will stop, unless universities get funded enough to have a go at it. So what used to be the NZ-based career path for science academia for generations, has been chopped off by National. We'll read about it soon enough.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10848349

Major von Tempsky
31-03-2013, 12:05 PM
But Telecom has nothing to do with National, and Elder must answer for himself, he made the decisions.
EZ is still having trouble coping with Board governance and the difference between 1949 and now in the economy and NZ society.

craic
31-03-2013, 12:32 PM
Henry Ford put a million village blacksmiths out of work. Then the telepnone develops - when did you last see a telegram boy racing around on his bicycle? Telecom, by its very nature, is going to shed workers and in a few short years will be as far from where it is now as it is currently from the old Posts and Telegraphs. One of my in-laws was an engineering student with scolarships and sponsorship from P&T and years of training overseas and on and up to the top of that tree. He was happy when it stopped being run as a Govt. department and he eventually moved to private industry. If the present govt. has any gumption, they will let Rio Tinto or whoever walk away from the smelter. You would have a chinese buyer in there overnight. Any reduction of the electricity price to keep jobs means it is just another subsidised work scheme. And Labour would be able to claim that it was their idea.

iceman
01-04-2013, 12:11 AM
Actually hugh it is you that is having the problem (AGAIN!) ... The National govt appointed the board of directors from their own ranks and it is they that had the responsibility to monitor and control Elder's grand schemes.

Belg both Dr Elder and Chairman Palmer were there a long time before the Key Administration came to power. The "grand schemes" were started under and encouraged by Labour. But of course the National Government has had a responsibility to monitor SE's activities since they came to power, however realistic it is to expect Government Ministers to do that. I think we would all be better off if running such businesses was left to private enterprise !

I will be highly pi..ed off if the Government moves in with ANY kind of subsidy to Rio Tinto to keep Tiwai going. Let them walk away if they want, which they will never do. The asset is far too valuable for them to walk away from it as once they do that, it will have very little market value for later sale. Giving the smelter owners any kind of support is what I would expect from Labour, not National !

elZorro
01-04-2013, 01:34 PM
I was about to post the same article Belg, this is a very tricky spot the govt has got itself into. Between now and the next election they have to square off one of the asset sales, and it needs to be a good one, to partly fix the budget deficit. They'll need Rio Tinto to agree to a deal of any kind before they can get a good price for MRP. They are going to have to act like Labour would to protect those jobs at the smelter, even though that's not the reason for the action - they literally have to protect the deal. High prices and high demand for the power that's left over are also in the govt's best interests: they get a portion of the profits, and all the GST. It's a lot of cash.

Minimum youth rates are going to be $11 an hour for the first 6 months of employment from May. This might redress the balance back towards younger staff being employed. As we figured out a while back, Labour's idea of abolishing the youth rates when there were plenty of unemployed people left who were perhaps keener to hold the jobs near the minimum pay, resulted in a striking loss of jobs by youths within a very short time. The policy itself was a good one in theory, but the response of younger staff and particularly employers looking for faster results for wages spent, meant it didn't work as intended.

Making sure that most businesses are profitable would be a better way of boosting wages, and that is not done by screwing back the economy. I've heard that competition for construction labour in the microcosm of Christchurch is resulting in almost monthly pay increases around the $25 an hour mark. That's great, as long as the end-users of the goods are paying enough for the business owners to make a profit too. $25 an hour shouldn't be the limit of the hope for an increase in provincial wage rates, but of course it is well above the miserly $13.75 minimum adult wage being set by National.

elZorro
02-04-2013, 06:44 AM
More from Colin James on the asset sales.


Colin James's Otago Daily Times column for 2 April 2013

The second-term jewel has lost some sparkle
Mighty River Power pre-registrations 440,000, anti-selldown petitioners 390,000. The selldown wins. Or does it?

Two years ago the political calculus was: do the selldowns well, make a lot people feel they have won something and show most of the rest the sky hasn't fallen in and selldowns will cease to be a third-rail issue.

After the 2011 election ministers claimed a selldown "mandate": (a) they had been re-elected (even if pro-sales beat anti-sales parties by only 61-60) and (b) they were re-elected despite anti-selldown parties having made the issue No 1 in the media (except briefly for John Key's over-the-top reaction to the tea party recording).

Some political scientists agreed ministers had a mandate, that the election result trumped the persistent large majorities in opinion polls against the selldowns.

This was nice theory built on outdated reverence for representative democracy and parliamentary supremacy at a time when the means for, and interest in, wider citizen participation in decisions, or at least in the argument leading up to decisions, is growing.

The mandate National actually has, with its two on-life-support single-MP parties, is to govern. (The Maori party, in its public statements, is now more an opposition than a governing party.)

Included in the mandate to govern is a mandate to change things according to the tenor and direction indicated in the government's first-term behaviour and in its campaign positioning, to the extent voters took that positioning on board.

That direction, tenor and campaign positioning included fiscal caution and a deregulatory, pro-private-enterprise programme. Selldowns are in both those streams.

So if the government had sold down Mighty River pronto and not made mistakes or muddled its message, the politics likely would have settled into acceptance of such selldowns.

But ministers took a while to sort the detail and enact the empowering legislation and mucked it up by not transferring from the State-owned Enterprises Act the section binding the Crown to abide by Treaty of Waitangi principles. They reversed on that but by then the fuss had revived the Maori Council which went to the Waitangi Tribunal and the courts.

Meantime, the persuasiveness of three arguments for selldowns eroded: that they would replace costly debt as a way of funding capital projects; that they would lift efficiency and so lower or contain electricity prices; and that they would help contain net debt below a magical point of the 30 per cent of GDP above which the rating agencies (those barefaced contributors to the global financial crisis) would throw the book at Bill English.

The tradeoff between dividends and debt interest is marginal at best and maybe negative over time in a low-interest environment. The efficiency gains are marginal, because there is competition and the electricity SOEs operate commercially anyway. The 30 per cent figure lost its magic as rich countries zoomed far above it and the finance markets declared New Zealand a desirable place to park shekels, thereby driving the dollar into the stratosphere.

Moreover, the selldowns don't add capital to the enterprises. That can happen only if the government puts more in or lets the private shareholding climb above 50 per cent.

The only argument that still holds much water is that the selldowns deepen the sharemarket and might encourage some not-so-well-off households into shares and lift their savings ratio. That is a plus but at a paltry $2500 a person a limited plus. And households are shopping again and raising house mortgages, not on the pre-2008 level of wildly outspending earnings but also not demonstrating a strong new savings habit.

Meantime, the Supreme Court has etched on tablets of stone ministers' pledges to negotiate water rights with iwi in good faith. As a result, if iwi think ministers don't so negotiate, expect more court actions. That might have affect share prices over time.

Next, note that Air New Zealand and Solid Energy are off the selldown list, at least this term, and Meridian can be got on it only with a taxpayer subsidy to Rio Tinto. Later this decade Tiwai Point might shut anyway, which would cut the price of electricity and so the yield on, and price of, Mighty River and Genesis Energy shares.

In that event, the shares might lose their sheen. If those still holding them then felt aggrieved, that might be a new line of disapproval of selldowns.

And later this year comes the citizens-initiated referendum. There is a strong probability a majority will vote against selldowns. That won't stop the first sale but what will it say about the second? (What if, as in Switzerland and many United States states, such a vote forced government action?)

The selldowns seemed so straightforward, a jewel in the government's second term. But from November 2011 to April 2013 the sparkle has dimmed: 440,000 to 390,000 might turn out to be the sort of win ministers have when they are not having a win.





-- Colin James, Synapsis Ltd, P O Box 9494, Wellington 6141
Ph (64)-4-384 7030, Mobile (64)-21-438 434, Fax (64)-4-384 9175
Webpage http://www.ColinJames.co.nz

Major von Tempsky
02-04-2013, 09:59 AM
Oh! The nostalgia! Colin James? I remember him when he was writing the same sort of article in the media in the 1960s when I was a teenager.
Is he dribbling? Is he on life support?
Jonathan Hunt used to say behind his hand "Psst! Don't criticise him, he's secretly on our side!"
And so he was...and is...like Rod Oram....

craic
03-04-2013, 12:13 AM
So Rio Tinto are about to fold and the chinese are to build a 220 million dollar plant in Pokeno? I must say that Pokeno is one of my favourite places in NZ. Nice to stop ther on my way to or from AK and buy some bacon and sausages and maybe an ice cream. Used to get petrol there but the Swift can get all the way to AK and back to thames on a single tank.

elZorro
03-04-2013, 06:39 AM
Oh! The nostalgia! Colin James? I remember him when he was writing the same sort of article in the media in the 1960s when I was a teenager.
Is he dribbling? Is he on life support?
Jonathan Hunt used to say behind his hand "Psst! Don't criticise him, he's secretly on our side!"
And so he was...and is...like Rod Oram....

Both Rod Oram and Colin James are seasoned commentators, Colin more so. I think you'd find it hard to deconstruct what he's said there. He might be older, I don't think he's past it. If the press thought so, they wouldn't put him on TV so often.

Russel Norman was just on TV doing a good job too, the press increasingly concerned about National's handling of Rio Tinto's plant prospects in Southland. They say 700 direct jobs and another 3500 depending on it. Not to mention the cheaper supply of aluminium to manufacturers in NZ.

Russel pointed out that John Key shoulder-tapping an old school friend to head the GCSB, the main secretive post that NZ has, is not a good look. That's being polite. Running the country by making jokes all through parliamentary question time and not answering questions, is not a good look either. Being PM is a really important position, it's not a game, John. You should treat the taxpayers with respect.

elZorro
05-04-2013, 06:29 AM
Couldn't agree more. His flippant and arrogant behaviour is appalling ... real "masters of the universe" stuff that would make Enron proud. I'm sick of it. Statesman? You've got to be kidding!
The background gets more interesting, as John Key was also the person who scrapped the original four person shortlist a few days before. http://www.3news.co.nz/Labour-demands-spy-boss-investigation/tabid/370/articleID/293028/Default.aspx

Major von Tempsky
05-04-2013, 07:16 AM
You guys are so obviously politically prejudiced!
Have a look at the qualifications and career path of Fletcher - so obviously the best candidate for the job.
Now settle down there, find another beat-up.

iceman
05-04-2013, 07:51 AM
You guys are so obviously politically prejudiced!
Have a look at the qualifications and career path of Fletcher - so obviously the best candidate for the job.
Now settle down there, find another beat-up.

My exact words MVT. I don't understand what the beat up is about. The spy boss reports directly and only to the PM. Why wouldn't the PM want to have a say in who gets the job and why shouldn't he ? Anything else would be absurd !

fungus pudding
05-04-2013, 08:18 AM
My exact words MVT. I don't understand what the beat up is about. The spy boss reports directly and only to the PM. Why wouldn't the PM want to have a say in who gets the job and why shouldn't he ? Anything else would be absurd !

It's just political b/s with not a thing behind it. But it does show Grant Robertson is far better at drumming up a storm from nothing than David Shearer will ever be, or Phil goff ever was. Shearer and Cunliffe could be the losers from all this, not Key.

fungus pudding
05-04-2013, 04:03 PM
That's not how it works in our democratic system!

The current PM has made an appointment based on cronyism.

The appointment was supposed to be approved by him - not made by him!

The list of possible candidates was supposed to be compiled by apolitical people and the recommendation made by them. The current PM was supposed to just accept the recommendation but could object if there were good reasons to do so.

Now we have a dangerous situation from a security perspective where the new appointment is beholden to a soon to be ex-PM who can ring him up at any time and influence him and/or get nods from him.

In banana republics - this is how the security forces come under the control of a dictator.

This national government is becoming as bad as the Muldoon government in its totalitarian style!

This unconstitutional behaviour by this national government is both scandalous and DANGEROUS!

The P.M can make that appointment without reference to anyone if he chooses - even Rennie says that P.M did nothing illegal or unethical, but does say it was unusual and if it had been left to him then there would be no political reaction. It's just nonsense.

POSSUM THE CAT
05-04-2013, 06:29 PM
Fungus Pudding lets save the costs just have John Key as dictator then

elZorro
05-04-2013, 07:51 PM
FP, John Key did overstep the mark this time.

More good points about the smelter deal affecting the MRP deal.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10861020 (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10861020)

gv1
05-04-2013, 08:59 PM
Ah...maybe both of them working for one world order.(one world Govt) No wonder JK is voting against his parties core values.

iceman
06-04-2013, 05:54 AM
That's not how it works in our democratic system!

The current PM has made an appointment based on cronyism.

The appointment was supposed to be approved by him - not made by him!

The list of possible candidates was supposed to be compiled by apolitical people and the recommendation made by them. The current PM was supposed to just accept the recommendation but could object if there were good reasons to do so.

Now we have a dangerous situation from a security perspective where the new appointment is beholden to a soon to be ex-PM who can ring him up at any time and influence him and/or get nods from him.

In banana republics - this is how the security forces come under the control of a dictator.

This national government is becoming as bad as the Muldoon government in its totalitarian style!

This unconstitutional behaviour by this national government is both scandalous and DANGEROUS!

Do you really believe that Government Ministers never have a say in appointments to senior positions ? Ministers in our democratically elected Government appoint positions such as Police Commissioners, Defence Force Chief, Spy Boss and no doubt some others.
I think this is completely proper and bears no rsemblance to a Dictatorship and certainly nothing "scandalous and dangerous" about it.

No wonder Labour gets no traction with the general population when these types of beat ups, irrelevant to 95% of the population, is all they have to say !!!

elZorro
06-04-2013, 09:37 AM
Quite so, Belgarion. Another political appointment here. http://www.sharechat.co.nz/article/30c3e4d4/national-party-insider-appointed-to-takeovers-panel.html

iceman
06-04-2013, 10:34 AM
Quite so, Belgarion. Another political appointment here. http://www.sharechat.co.nz/article/30c3e4d4/national-party-insider-appointed-to-takeovers-panel.html

From the Herald today:
" senior sources have claimed Sir Bruce Ferguson was directly approached by Helen Clark to be Chief of Defence in 2001. Sir Bruce did not return calls yesterday, but the appointment had raised eyebrows because he was chosen over more senior personnel.

And

""Helen Clark went out there and shoulder-tapped people, said 'you're in the job'. I didn't do that," Mr Key said.
RadioLive host and former Labour MP John Tamihere agreed with him.

Tamihere should know. This is a non issue :t_down:

elZorro
06-04-2013, 05:58 PM
Could John Key's honeymoon with the media be drawing to a close?

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/8518306/Hissy-fit-at-media-just-doing-its-job (http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/8518306/Hissy-fit-at-media-just-doing-its-job)

craic
06-04-2013, 08:27 PM
Wishful thinking.

elZorro
07-04-2013, 07:33 AM
Wishful thinking.

Andrea Vance (and Simon Cunliffe) continue to point out their distaste of the cronyism Key's govt displays, and note where media support for this attitude comes from, in the SST today.

More on the Tiwai Point issue from Rod Oram and Charles Anderson: National not likely to be able to offer a very good deal for the power without losing a lot of face, and the other point being that the saved power could run 2 million electric vehicles in NZ. We just need to spend $100mill on new reticulation first.

But the most interesting article would have to be on Treasure Islands, pg A10. The leaked hard disk data and the story of Michael fay and David Richwhite starting up a tax haven in the Cook Islands, the Winebox enquiry, them moving overseas to leave European Pacific still operating helped by NZ lawyers drafting new laws in the Cook Islands. A new company was formed by one of these lawyers, also to deal in tax haven services. It was strongly connected to the $650mill (ex-Caxton) Spencer family, it's called TrustNet. The Spencer family were secret majority owners between July 1990 to September 2004, when it was sold to Singaporean lawyer David Chong.
(http://www.portcullis-trustnet.com/en/about_us/about_group/board_of_directors/)
The leaked hard disk shows the details of 80,000 individual customers, including some of their evasions. It has taken a team of reporters from around the world to work on the data, as it was a varied database in 260GB of hard disk files.

In 2005, the SST revealed that John Spencer's son Berridge and daughter Mertsi were secret National Party donors (they both now reside overseas, one in Dubai, one in the UK). But this new information from a leaked hard disk puts a new light on that sort of party funding.


Amongst the many emails printed in Nicky Hager's book The Hollow Men, whose authenticity National has never denied, is correspondence linking Key, former leader Don Brash, and Kirk to many meetings with wealthy New Zealanders who had expressed an interest in giving National money.
Such as this one from former Business Roundtable chairman Rob McLeod to Key and Brash, concerning the wealthy Spencer family:
"Berridge and Mertsi Spencer have been talking with me about the possibility of increasing their financial contribution to your election campaign. They are also very keen to meet John after hearing about him from you. I was therefore wondering whether it might be possible for the three of us to have dinner with the two of you at some stage in the near future at their residence at Clifton Road in Takapuna? You guys are doing great, keep it up.''
Key relied:
"Sure, love to do that. I will speak to Don and see if we can get a date that suits all of us."


Hager details many such meetings in the book between Key and potential donors, during which Hager says Brash and Key worked as a team. "Until the diary got too full in the last weeks of the campaign, collecting the money was always a priority,'' Hager wrote.


Winston Peters commented to the SST about last week's revelations:


"This environment is one that has gone on with significant complicity from many western governments". He said politicians were complicit in the illegal behaviour by allowing it to continue. Peters said the current government was one which was happy to "beat up on beneficiary fraudsters, but won't tackle white collar fraud".

Link to an article by Nicky Hager. (http://www.icij.org/offshore/trusted-service-provider-blends-invisible-offshore-world) Also today in Stuff: (http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/8515361/Money-trail-leads-home-to-New-Zealand)

craic
07-04-2013, 08:39 AM
It is still wishful thinking to believe that enough people share your direction and will oust Key and his colleagues and install the soggy blankets that Labour have at the top.

iceman
07-04-2013, 09:43 AM
It is still wishful thinking to believe that enough people share your direction and will oust Key and his colleagues and install the soggy blankets that Labour have at the top.

Been waiting for EZ to say something about the comments from IMF Chief Cristine Lagard about the management of the NZ economy. He obviously won't as he's to busy reading Nicky Hager and Rod Oram, so here some of it goes:

"All I can tell you is the IMF is very supportive of what is being done by the Government in that respect.

"If you look at the numbers, if you look whether it is growth, whether it is employment, whether it is inflation, whether it is debt, overall it is very stable and it is also very promising.

"If you compare the potential growth rate of New Zealand and thee forecasts we have which I will not disclose because they will be disclosed in a couple of weeks time, it's certainly a lot better than what we see in other parts of the world.

"An economy grew on the basis of its components - resources, manpower, capital, financial markets and policies and policies and the policies we believe are sound and solid."

elZorro
07-04-2013, 10:45 AM
Welcome back from your sojourn overseas Iceman. You're right, I missed that article.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10875936

Like many other business owners facing their terminal tax payments tomorrow, I'm wondering whose share of the infrastructure costs I'll be paying, hence my interest in the tax haven issue. I'd like to see Labour promoting a crackdown on tax havens and tax avoidance. Let's face it, it won't affect any of their normal voters negatively. But could you imagine National promoting a policy like that? A CGT needs to be brought in too. Then we'll see some sensible market direction over here, the sort that results in increasing, rather than decreasing, employment figures.

The US has the same problem, they cannot keep ahead of the new entrants to the workforce. And why? It's to do with this Asian conference/junket Key's on.

Just as a small example, some uni students are using my workshop for free to help produce a prototype device that's a bit high-tech. The parts have come in from China, they'll check its performance here, and then they hope to sell it internationally. But they are already looking to get it manufactured in China, to meet a competitor's pricing. So will there be any jobs in NZ from this effort, even if it works? Not really.

fungus pudding
07-04-2013, 10:46 AM
Been waiting for EZ to say something about the comments from IMF Chief Cristine Lagard about the management of the NZ economy. He obviously won't as he's to busy reading Nicky Hager and Rod Oram, so here some of it goes:

"All I can tell you is the IMF is very supportive of what is being done by the Government in that respect.

"If you look at the numbers, if you look whether it is growth, whether it is employment, whether it is inflation, whether it is debt, overall it is very stable and it is also very promising.

"If you compare the potential growth rate of New Zealand and thee forecasts we have which I will not disclose because they will be disclosed in a couple of weeks time, it's certainly a lot better than what we see in other parts of the world.

"An economy grew on the basis of its components - resources, manpower, capital, financial markets and policies and policies and the policies we believe are sound and solid."

Yes. Ez being the least objective poster I have ever encountered, believes everything about Labour is good, and everything about National is bad. According to one previous post he/she doesn't think Oram is biased ! Now that really does require a large set of horse-blinkers. Truth is of course both main parties usually have good and bad in their policies, but current bunch of Labour pollies are no-hopers hell-bent on promoting populist policies that will do nothing except gain a few votes. They need a thinker or two in the ranks. Constructive opposition is a great thing, but it escapes them. They seem to prefer destructive opposition.

POSSUM THE CAT
07-04-2013, 01:37 PM
Fungus Pudding the free trade deal with China was promoted as gods gift. I have to agree they were correct. But to China not to NZ.

Major von Tempsky
07-04-2013, 05:25 PM
Try reading the Business section of today's Sunday Star Times, Poss old chap.

It points out that in the last 5 years NZ exports to China have tripled and the Chinese Ambassador to NZ acknowledges that next year NZ exports to China will exceed NZ imports from China.
Poss, I think you have the anti-Midas touch....

elZorro
07-04-2013, 05:58 PM
MVT, those figures sound good, and I know that some of it is due to higher dairy farming exports like complete dairy platforms, live heifer cows etc. It should not be expected that this will keep going forever, because cows breed, and most parts of dairy platforms can be replicated. The Chinese are also buying more of our cheap raw pine logs, as exports from the USA dwindle, due to their housing resurgence. It could be the figures include income from Chinese tourists as well. But certainly the figures are heading in the right direction at the moment. If this were the only story for 2008-2013, it would be expected that local manufacturers and primary industry would be paying higher taxes than in 2008, and employing more staff. We know that's not happening - perhaps because the new margins are lower. Chinese-type lean margins are often the new rules for exporting. FP thinks I'm not objective? let's say I'm keeping my one good eye fixed on what John Key and Steven Joyce are up to.

Major von Tempsky
07-04-2013, 07:52 PM
"All I can tell you is the IMF is very supportive of what is being done by the Government in that respect.

"If you look at the numbers, if you look whether it is growth, whether it is employment, whether it is inflation, whether it is debt, overall it is very stable and it is also very promising.

"If you compare the potential growth rate of New Zealand and these forecasts we have which I will not disclose because they will be disclosed in a couple of weeks time, it's certainly a lot better than what we see in other parts of the world.

"An economy grew on the basis of its components - resources, manpower, capital, financial markets and policies and the policies we believe are sound and solid."
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde speaking today at Bo'ao in China about the NZ economy.

elZorro
07-04-2013, 07:58 PM
Why is it that no-one on the 'right' has been able to either spot, or fix, the typo in the press release? You can't even trust reporters to get it sorted these days. Try some proof-reading.. and yes, I'd already read the item. It's spin, worth a quick look only.

iceman
07-04-2013, 10:00 PM
Why is it that no-one on the 'right' has been able to either spot, or fix, the typo in the press release? You can't even trust reporters to get it sorted these days. Try some proof-reading.. and yes, I'd already read the item. It's spin, worth a quick look only.

Probably because we do not edit direct quotes EZ. I will leave that to you Lefties to do, edit quotes until they meet your approval eh !

elZorro
08-04-2013, 06:47 AM
Too late, MVT fixed it Iceman..

The NBR reports on the tax haven story, they're happy to report that it's embarrassing, but so far no claims of illegality have been made. That's all right then. It's likely that 1/3 of the world's wealth is held in tax havens.

http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/peters-winebox-features-accounts-25-million-offshore-banking-files-leaked-ck-138281 (http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/peters-winebox-features-accounts-25-million-offshore-banking-files-leaked-ck-138281)

I like John Key's response to the idea of NZ being able to pay for purchases in China with NZ$, skipping the normal bank spread on US$ conversion. Unless we're converting to Renminbi instead.

Major von Tempsky
08-04-2013, 07:06 AM
"and yes, I'd already read the item. It's spin, worth a quick look only."

You're getting desperate EZ, really desperate :-)

Why would a neutral, professional International civil servant resort to "spin" in favour of the NZ National Party?
Doesn't add up.

westerly
08-04-2013, 08:22 PM
Interesting following the debate between EZ on the left and his right wing opponents. Back in the dark ages of the 1960s and 70s the National party under Holyoake and Muldoon was more centre than right and the average person was better off with a National Govt. Labour tended to come into power when austerity measures were required took unpopular actions and was promptly tossed out
With the advent of Roger Douglas followed by Ruth Richardson with their neo-right policies of less tax, less govt less unionism and sell off of Govt. assets a new National party has emerged well right of centre. Labour under Helen Clarke was constantly attacked by the new right with the nanny state tag.
John Key is carrying on with the neo-right policies which have brought extreme wealth to a few, more doing ok thanks, and large numbers struggling to maintain a reasonable living standard.
Whether the centre left has the ability to counter the less tax less Govt mantra of the right time will tell. In the meantime I am well and truly on EZ 's side

Westerly

elZorro
09-04-2013, 06:18 AM
Thanks for those comments Westerly, it's a great oversight on NZ politics you provided. There are a few other lefties here on the thread, like Possum the Cat and Belgarion. With your backup, I'm going to 'wheel out' Colin James once again :):


Colin James's Otago Daily Times column for 9 April 2013

Cruiser Key and an inconvenient question

John Key cruised into his job. He didn't do the apprenticeship a Helen Clark or a Jim Bolger did before becoming leader of his party, then Prime Minister. That is one reason he misses some points of proper process.

The apprenticeship he did do was doing deals. Doing deals is how politics and government are done in Washington where money talks and talks big and Key has a soft spot for the United States (viz his Korea mistake on Sunday). A deal-making mentality is another reason he misses some points of proper process.

A deal is a deal. How you get it matters a lot less than that you get it. Key got in a family connection, Ian Fletcher, to run the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), which broke the law by spying on Kim Dotcom and thereby mucked up Dotcom's extradition.

He got Sky City to talk turkey about a convention centre for Auckland, which was great news for tourism. That earned himself, his ministers and officials a polite ticking off from the Deputy Auditor-General but he professes not to see -- or doesn't see because he didn't do the apprenticeship -- that beneath the politeness the report was critical of the deal-making process. Deal makers don't rate politeness.

And that is the nub of the Ian Fletcher affair. In this country doing policy deals has since 1912 been tightly circumscribed by written and unwritten rules.

Whether Key gets the real import of Iain Rennie's carefully polite "surprise" and "issues of perception" language about the GCSB appointment is not clear -- though the embarrassed "body language" reporters noticed last Thursday suggest it probably did get through.

If not, Key could get some interpretative help from Rebecca Kitteridge, whose report on the GCSB he will release when back from China. As cabinet secretary, Kitteridge has -- has to have -- a deep knowledge of the constitution and all its protocols and conventions on proper process, including on appointing senior public servants.

The point is that New Zealand's rules about high-level core public service appointments are the world's purest. (Crown entity and state-owned enterprise boards are a different matter and governments may, and do, freely appoint toadies and hacks.) That purity is one reason this country persistently ranks No 1 or 2 in clean-government surveys.

A single transgression isn't a hanging offence. Key did not bring the democratic house down by phoning breakfast-companion Fletcher and inviting him to apply to be GCSB boss. Every cabinet transgresses once or twice.

But the price of purity is eternal vigilance. That is why, to Key's progressive irritation and eventual irascibility, the media followed up Grant Robertson's initial revelation by way of a question in Parliament and then probed Key's evolving explanations and bit-by-bit ownings-up. The "knuckleheads", as he called journalists on Friday (echoing his over-the-top "slippery slope" allegations over the John Banks "tea party" recording in the 2011 campaign), were doing their democratic job.

Key can arguably be forgiven his initial incomplete (and thereby misleading) response to Robertson because it was a trap question, tacked on to another about the GCSB and an example of the game-playing that has degraded question time. But he tacked on to his initial offhand response a gratuitous insult about Robertson's intelligence, which diverted Parliament into points of order that ended in Labour MPs Trevor Mallard and Chris Hipkins being thrown out.

And, come the following Tuesday when he knew he would be questioned at the post-cabinet press conference, he could have been expected to have got the story straight. Not so. It went downhill from there as the knuckleheads sensed and documented another "brain fade".

Again, a memory lapse is not a hanging offence. Even the famously retentive Clark had one from time to time. The issue is not a faultless memory but whether (a) memory lapses happen more often than one would expect of a Prime Minister on top of the job or (b) a memory lapse is convenient, that is, amounts to obfuscation.

After his first brain fade on the GCSB last year Key got himself better briefed for press conferences and other questioning. He began to look more the executive Prime Minister most expect than the guy who got the job without apprenticeship. That has been undone somewhat by the Fletcher affair.

Does it matter? At the cabinet apex is triangle of Key and two superministers, Bill English, who sees to strategy and reform, and Steven Joyce, who sees to GDP growth. Though, as Business New Zealand's and other organisations' scathing assessments of the Resource Management Act reforms suggest, sometimes policy workability and political saleability are sacrificed for speed and single-mindedness, it is on the whole a very effective trio.

And Key cruises on, his popularity high. The political risk is that too many rule breaches and brain fades will cause him to lose altitude. Who then would cruise National into a third term?

-- Colin James, Synapsis Ltd, P O Box 9494, Wellington 6141
Ph (64)-4-384 7030, Mobile (64)-21-438 434, Fax (64)-4-384 9175
Webpage http://www.ColinJames.co.nz

craic
09-04-2013, 08:15 AM
Once again. The idea that John Key will "lose altitude" is wishful thinking - too many Kiwis travel, and see the other parts of the world and come home and echo the words of Fred Dagg "You don't know how lucky you are Boy, you don't know how lucky you are"

fungus pudding
09-04-2013, 08:46 AM
Once again. The idea that John Key will "lose altitude" is wishful thinking - too many Kiwis travel, and see the other parts of the world and come home and echo the words of Fred Dagg "You don't know how lucky you are Boy, you don't know how lucky you are"

Aint that the truth!

elZorro
10-04-2013, 06:32 AM
I'd have thought Fred Dagg's alter ego (John Clarke (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Dagg)) had his tongue in his cheek with those words. Back then, we were a backwater. The Fred Dagg episodes were often done with an unmanned camera in a paddock or park, because there was no money for extra filming. John left NZ for Aussie to further his career, in 1979. He's still popular over there.

More manufacturing jobs lost in the provinces, although technically this could be more of a reshuffle to one site.

http://tvnz.co.nz/business-news/over-100-workers-set-lose-jobs-rotorua-s-sealed-air-5400104 (http://tvnz.co.nz/business-news/over-100-workers-set-lose-jobs-rotorua-s-sealed-air-5400104)

elZorro
10-04-2013, 05:52 PM
In a bid to save $10mill annually, Tony Ryall says they're looking at allowing a big UK based firm to manufacture all hospital meals for NZ in Auckland and Christchurch. Spotless are another firm who have been beavering away gaining a toehold in the services business. (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10876642)They're from Australia, they work by learning all about the local service providers and some of the inside info, then undercutting them.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/8533473/Hospital-food-service-cuts-could-hurt-workers

This could make 1,000 NZ workers redundant, although some work would magically appear in the main two centres. So next time you're feeling very scared and are in a public hospital waiting for a meal, rest assured that your every care and reheated meal has been sorted out by someone on minimum wages working in a big plant hundreds of miles away. In the basement of your hospital, the old kitchen facilities will simply have been mothballed or scrapped.

But hey, the govt's saved some money, and some wages. Again, I repeat, haven't National found some far more important things to sort out, that will employ NZers, rather than push them onto the dole queue?

craic
10-04-2013, 09:32 PM
Well, when you look at the dole queue you can have the satisfaction of knowing that they are all labour voters. National voters just go and get a job.

elZorro
11-04-2013, 06:34 AM
Well, when you look at the dole queue you can have the satisfaction of knowing that they are all labour voters. National voters just go and get a job. Ha, very funny Craic. I wonder if anyone has done any research recently on the voting characteristics of employed NZers versus unemployed NZers? I'd think that based on your premise, a lot of the 1000 Telecom sackings coming up will be National voters. We'll see how many of them get a job. Maybe they'll change into Labour voters in 2014. Spoke to a part-time teacher yesterday - underfunded schools mean it's a stressful job, almost enough for that person to walk away from a career. What I'm getting at is - the tightening of belts and lower employment stats are showing up everywhere. National is pulling the economy back with its levers, there is no way the private market will want to take any financial risks while that's happening. Just like the sharemarket, no-one wants to climb in while it's dropping.

craic
11-04-2013, 09:09 AM
All the village blacksmiths and all the coopers and all the night cart drivers and tram drivers and all the other occupations, to numerous to name, that fell to progress and we still have a National government? Ithink that there may be something wrong with your reasoning or maybe your arithmetic, ElZ, or is it just more wishful thinking?

BIRMANBOY
11-04-2013, 10:44 AM
Reasoning?? EZ?? now theres some wishful thinking. Beside that he probably thinks a cooper is a British car and a night cart driver is one of those guys who race old bangers at the track.
All the village blacksmiths and all the coopers and all the night cart drivers and tram drivers and all the other occupations, to numerous to name, that fell to progress and we still have a National government? Ithink that there may be something wrong with your reasoning or maybe your arithmetic, ElZ, or is it just more wishful thinking?

elZorro
11-04-2013, 12:56 PM
Craic and Birmanboy, the market is going to solve all the unemployment problems? It will evolve some interesting jobs to match the skills of the NZers out there, all by itself? The market cares mostly about profit, and profit can be easily obtained by dropping back on staff in many areas.

I've seen Spotless operating from up close a few years back, and I was unsettled. Here's a glimpse of their NZ website. (http://www.spotless.com/nz/Services/Services.htm) All these services, they'll tailor a package to suit the premises. This means they'll have to learn all about some quite specific tasks that engineers and food providers etc do, add that into their task list, and of course the accountants at these places think that's a great idea. They start out cleaning, then move into many other areas. This displaces other contract firms and employees, and of course there will be some loss of local experience and knowledge. The costs will be lower, but the level of service has to drop. Ultimately you'd have to expect that something major will happen, that means any savings were a false hope in the longer term. This will not worry Aussie-owned Spotless.

BIRMANBOY
11-04-2013, 01:24 PM
EZ the inherent problem with your incessant whinging about job loss(all due to National of course), is that you are living in the past. You are yearning for the good old days in the 50"s and 60"s when everybody had a job whether you deserved it or not. Get with the times..we'll never be able to return to the golden days because we have moved into a new era where lean business is better and more imperative than Govt. controlled and subsidized subsistance work. The days of indolence and 30 minute smokos and 3 people doing 2 peoples jobs are unsustainable. When NZ was insulated from the world we got away with low productivity and slack practices because the economy was protected by import licensing, high customs tariffs and Govt controlled import licenses. Thats gone my friend..along with bell bottomed trousers and winklepickers (which I well remember). Instead of countless monotonous whinging posts about something you cannot control it would be refreshing to see some PRACTICAL thoughts about how to make gains in todays environment...not the way you wish it was...but the way it actually is. But thats probably asking to much..however think about it.
Craic and Birmanboy, the market is going to solve all the unemployment problems? It will evolve some interesting jobs to match the skills of the NZers out there, all by itself? The market cares mostly about profit, and profit can be easily obtained by dropping back on staff in many areas.

I've seen Spotless operating from up close a few years back, and I was unsettled. Here's a glimpse of their NZ website. (http://www.spotless.com/nz/Services/Services.htm) All these services, they'll tailor a package to suit the premises. This means they'll have to learn all about some quite specific tasks that engineers and food providers etc do, add that into their task list, and of course the accountants at these places think that's a great idea. They start out cleaning, then move into many other areas. This displaces other contract firms and employees, and of course there will be some loss of local experience and knowledge. The costs will be lower, but the level of service has to drop. Ultimately you'd have to expect that something major will happen, that means any savings were a false hope in the longer term. This will not worry Aussie-owned Spotless.

elZorro
11-04-2013, 03:00 PM
BB, the govt is making it harder for every service and retail business in the country, by dropping their staff payroll wherever they can. It's a roll-on effect that they must surely be aware of. It will reduce their tax income, so in turn they'll have to drop more taxpayer services off. If there was some fat there, it wasn't much. Otherwise, why would they be playing with hospital food for $10mill p.a? The tax take should be 6000 times that figure, and Labour showed that it could be increased from about 50Billion to over 60Billion in just a few years. They did it by first ensuring more people were employed, and contributing. I have already suggested ways of making NZ businesses more profitable, in line with the ideas that Labour already have. It's not my fault that you choose not to read those posts.

BIRMANBOY
11-04-2013, 03:21 PM
EZ, I'm sure your'e a lovely man and your family love you...but its a futile and soul destroying operation and is beyond my patience. Brick wall. One way traffic and the windows are dirty and the wipers arent working.
BB, the govt is making it harder for every service and retail business in the country, by dropping their staff payroll wherever they can. It's a roll-on effect that they must surely be aware of. It will reduce their tax income, so in turn they'll have to drop more taxpayer services off. If there was some fat there, it wasn't much. Otherwise, why would they be playing with hospital food for $10mill p.a? The tax take should be 6000 times that figure, and Labour showed that it could be increased from about 50Billion to over 60Billion in just a few years. They did it by first ensuring more people were employed, and contributing. I have already suggested ways of making NZ businesses more profitable, in line with the ideas that Labour already have. It's not my fault that you choose not to read those posts.

elZorro
11-04-2013, 03:55 PM
BB, check your typing, two mistakes at least. And another one in point of fact. The National Govt is just as tight-fisted when it comes to getting their own offices cleaned. They've set the budget for it so low, that half the number of Spotless contract cleaners are used to do the same job as previously, and they're all on the minimum wage. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10865001

elZorro
12-04-2013, 06:40 AM
A Telecom insider now working for Forsyth Barr reckons 1750 jobs will have to go at Telecom, all before the next election.
http://tvnz.co.nz/business-news/telecom-seen-slimming-down-match-vodafone-5402782 (Not the govt's fault, but where will they go?)

87 FTE workers in Waikato Hospital's kitchens in fear of their jobs (total food budget just $6.5mill p.a), as overseas owned Compass inspects the facilities (the govt's fault).

A wave of enthusiasm hits SMEs in the Christchurch rebuild area. I just hope the business owners manage to make a profit out of it. But certainly, this will be a good employment area, and suitable for those who are more mobile and have a trade of some kind. (the govt will highlight this industry).

iceman
12-04-2013, 09:19 AM
A Telecom insider now working for Forsyth Barr reckons 1750 jobs will have to go at Telecom, all before the next election.
http://tvnz.co.nz/business-news/telecom-seen-slimming-down-match-vodafone-5402782 (Not the govt's fault, but where will they go?)

87 FTE workers in Waikato Hospital's kitchens in fear of their jobs (total food budget just $6.5mill p.a), as overseas owned Compass inspects the facilities (the govt's fault).

A wave of enthusiasm hits SMEs in the Christchurch rebuild area. I just hope the business owners manage to make a profit out of it. But certainly, this will be a good employment area, and suitable for those who are more mobile and have a trade of some kind. (the govt will highlight this industry).

You're right these job losses at Telecom have nothing to do with the Government and are probably well overdue.
I read yesterday that Holden in Australia is laying off 500 people in addition to the 150 recently laid off. This is despite Governments under Howard/Rudd/Gillard having pumped A$ 2,000 million dollars, yes A$2 BILLION into the company over the last decade. EZ do you think this is tax payers money well spent or a disastrous waste ?

On our side of the Tasman Bill English confirms today that he is on target to balance the books for 2014/2015 and as long as voters stay sensible at the ballot box, he aims to cut net Government debt from 30% of GDP to 20% by 2020. A great achievement on the surplus and a great goal for debt reduction. My children and grandchildren will thank Key & English for this great work :)

POSSUM THE CAT
12-04-2013, 09:41 AM
iceman Your grandchildren will not thank you when they are earning one yuan a day this is a race to the bottom.

iceman
12-04-2013, 07:45 PM
iceman Your grandchildren will not thank you when they are earning one yuan a day this is a race to the bottom.

Yes PTC, nothing but doom and gloom eh ? I wonder where I should tell my children to move to, to get away from our awful situation. UK, Europe (Ireland/Spain/Cyprus etc), USA, South America ?

No, luckily my children and their friends don´t share your pessimism and look forward to a great and bright future in our lovely country.

Unlike the pessimistic view that we will be " earning one yuan a day", I believe NZ will grow significantly on the back of China´s increasing need for soft commodities and high tech industries and high paying jobs will be spawned here in NZ as a result.
In fact NZ is already doing this with tripling of exports to China since we signed the FTA.

I buy into the sentiment in this article/speech rather than your gloomy outlook:

[URL="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10877056"]

We don´t know how lucky we are

elZorro
12-04-2013, 07:58 PM
You're right these job losses at Telecom have nothing to do with the Government and are probably well overdue.
I read yesterday that Holden in Australia is laying off 500 people in addition to the 150 recently laid off. This is despite Governments under Howard/Rudd/Gillard having pumped A$ 2,000 million dollars, yes A$2 BILLION into the company over the last decade. EZ do you think this is tax payers money well spent or a disastrous waste ?

On our side of the Tasman Bill English confirms today that he is on target to balance the books for 2014/2015 and as long as voters stay sensible at the ballot box, he aims to cut net Government debt from 30% of GDP to 20% by 2020. A great achievement on the surplus and a great goal for debt reduction. My children and grandchildren will thank Key & English for this great work :)

Where to start Iceman? This post of yours might be a bit OTT. The subsidies to Holden keep those huge training facilities in place, and cost $17 pp p.a. Surely a lot of the subsidies get spread around and at least half comes back as taxes.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/business/companies/kim-carr-defends-subsidies-to-holden/story-fndfr3g3-1226615441880 (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/business/companies/kim-carr-defends-subsidies-to-holden/story-fndfr3g3-1226615441880)

Key and English (don't forget Joyce) - what will their legacy be? That between them they put the frighteners on enough people to screw the economy of the entire country down, they never met their theoretical budget settings that were put up as the reason for this madness, and they succeeded in widening the gap between rich and poor, while exporting some of our best talent overseas, as they had no sensible employment options here.

POSSUM THE CAT
13-04-2013, 08:23 AM
Iceman exports to China trebled but would they have also trebled without the free trade agreement? Also how much have imports from China increased, I would suggest a 1000% So are you anticipating becoming a Chinese Citizen.

BIRMANBOY
13-04-2013, 11:02 AM
Could you change your Avatar name please...your'e giving felines a bad name. Having trouble with your maths as usual. Imports from China increased by 14% from last year (NBR). To China up 16.6 % on last year so its all growing gradually. Is there something wrong with trading with China? Whats your point? Are you implying we shouldnt have a Free Trade Agreement? If you are your thinking is stuck in the past. Free trade agreements are part and parcel of international trade and if we didnt have some proactive people pushing us along we would be sinking further and further into the category of (nice place to visit but not worth doing business with). The next step is the only jobs available will be Tourism and how likely is it that will support the economy.
Iceman exports to China trebled but would they have also trebled without the free trade agreement? Also how much have imports from China increased, I would suggest a 1000% So are you anticipating becoming a Chinese Citizen.

stanace
13-04-2013, 11:57 AM
Particulrly if we keep bashing them and robbing them!

POSSUM THE CAT
13-04-2013, 01:50 PM
BIRMANBOY you are just using the period that suits you. 14%of 100 million is a lot more than 16.6%of 50 million Please quote all figures over the whole period. My figures are for example only. Also if my memory is correct your breed is a manufactured breed.

westerly
13-04-2013, 07:35 PM
iceman Your grandchildren will not thank you when they are earning one yuan a day this is a race to the bottom.

Iceman and Fungus Pudding keep telling us " we don't know how lucky we are"
Perhaps we do and have no wish to go down the road National is following. John Key's vision is to turn Canterbury into a giant dairy farm and have a million Chinese tourists a year visit.
Then Iceman's children and friends can look forward to future employment prospects like milking cows, waiting in restaurants on tourists or even pulling rickshaws. Tourism is not a provider of many well paid jobs.

Westerly

elZorro
13-04-2013, 08:05 PM
Like you Westerly, that's what I can't handle about National: their dim-witted attitude to what constitutes a place worth living in. We need interesting jobs for all who want to work. Fair pay. Incomes that aren't too widely spread. A role for the State in evening out any oddball trends. To hold on to State Assets that have worked well for us in the past, and if possible make them even more profitable, now their purchase costs have been written off. To force the private sector to take on the bigger risks, not take the Nation's low-hanging fruit.

slimwin
13-04-2013, 08:26 PM
I've had a few beers now.

Just wondereing if anybody else finds this thread repetitive and boorish?

It's very clear what side of a very large wall everybody is standing on and I can't see anybody changing anyones minds.

Yet, I still look just to see how fundamentalist people are...

elZorro
13-04-2013, 08:51 PM
I've had a few beers now.

Just wondereing if anybody else finds this thread repetitive and boorish?

It's very clear what side of a very large wall everybody is standing on and I can't see anybody changing anyones minds.

Yet, I still look just to see how fundamentalist people are...

Thanks for that post Slimwin. I think it's great if people can see that there really is some difference in policies between National and Labour. Then the next problem is choosing a side, because National will never share the bench with Labour. It's all very well being centrist, but we don't have a party that sits there all the time.

I don't think you've posted on this thread for a month or so. In which case, your contributions are sorely needed, so we don't all get too repetitive. For my part, I'm still learning things before posting, so I'd hope I haven't added to a lacklustre theme. Maybe you think I'm boorish, but I'm not illiterate, rude, clownish, a peasant, rustic, churlish, loutish, a bumpkin, or ill-bred. Which implies that maybe you have chosen that particular word in error, Slimwin. :)

slimwin
13-04-2013, 09:30 PM
Quick google of boorish has proved it the wrong word. Apologies. Certainly not directed at anyone. I just don't see value in debate with out a result. I value debate though! Bored was probably what I was thinking.

I don't hold much cred with posting opinion articles from either side. That's what they are. Opinion.

I tend more right as I get older. From my work, more young people do to. Thats never going to mean much.

I would have thought learning implies having an open mind and not accepting opinion as fact though.

Well, perhaps a small dig there...

elZorro
14-04-2013, 09:25 AM
An apology was not really required Slimwin, but thanks for that.

When data does get put up on the thread, it has generally been more favourable to the previous Labour term of office, and it has been pointed out numerous times that the GFC occurred right at the end of 2008, the start of National's term. That has been unfortunate for NZ, as Labour's more Keynesian approach (in my opinion), would have helped us get through the following years a bit easier, as a group.

Those on the right have argued that these opportunities for some businesses to thrive while others fall into natural decay and are replaced, is healthy, and a sign of good market forces. I just wonder if anyone is doing the numbers on the worth of manufacturing businesses (in particular) as training facilities, as a much better option than the dole for tax revenue, as exporters, minimal users of land and water resources normally, and efficient users of capital.

In the SST today, there's a story on Tom Sturgess, who with other capital partners like Craig Heatley (Sky TV founder, Woosh etc) owns A&G Price, Electrical Supply Corp, Masport, Viking companies, NZ Insulators, Blue Star Group, Lone Star Farms, bought up the troubled Geon Assets, and others. He says that if the outputs look sexy, he won't look at them. (Think Moa Beer for example). Mr Sturgess has done well over the years, as you'd expect. The current exchange rate makes these companies hard to take a profit from at the moment, but that can change.

By stepping in where others have feared to tread, these proud established companies have been able to trade through, keeping their staff employed. That's what NZ needs (in my opinion), a commitment of capital to an enterprise which looks past the next year or three.

slimwin
14-04-2013, 09:58 AM
Hey, I just approved of one of your posts for the first time I think?

Any talk of who could have done better in the GFC is of course only speculation and that dreaded opinion word.

I have a lot of friends in Europe who are fund managers,bond traders etc. As one pointed out to me, our high currency is the sign of a strong economy and a nice problem to have.

Major von Tempsky
14-04-2013, 07:22 PM
May I just say how surprised I am that none of the usual suspects here has gone into battle against Maggie Thatcher.
The Times had a thoughtful article republished in NZ dailies pointing out that the divisions in UK society were much greater in the 20 years before Thatcher than they were in the 20 years after her. It noted that the Miners Union had completely overreached itself in demanding (a) that all pits be kept working no matter how uneconomic (b) that UK factories had to use the pits output no matter the price or subsidies involved and (c) the final straw came when the MU demanded a non-negotiable 35% wage increase just 2 years after getting another large increase.
Interesting also that the media on TV tonight pointed out that a large number of the protesters in the UK hadn't even been born when Maggie was in power...what does that say?

slimwin
14-04-2013, 08:10 PM
It says a lot of people get their political leanings from their parents and not reasoned thinking. Very much like religion.

elZorro
14-04-2013, 09:07 PM
Thanks for the vote Slimwin. Might I suggest that another reason for our strong dollar is not that we're doing anything particularly clever, it's just that we're not printing any extra currency when we need it, to pay off our loans and internal bills. Japan and the USA are doing just that. It makes NZ's currency an easy bet for foreign traders, no wonder they like it.

MVT - while I can remember that Maggie Thatcher had to be fairly tough and too right-wing for my liking, perhaps there was a need for some market-sorting-out back then. I remember they found out their ships were flammable in the Falklands. Britain now seems to have the same problem we do: lots of youths unemployed.

Major von Tempsky
15-04-2013, 11:07 AM
Interesting article from Oz here, all the commentators and Hawke and Keating are saying class warfare and the politics of envy are dead in Australia. One relevant fact - percentage of the Oz labour force in unions is 18%; percentage of the Oz labour force who are self employed 19%.
http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/pm-is-missing-the-point-about-class-warfare-20130414-2htrn.html

elZorro
16-04-2013, 06:04 AM
Interesting article from Oz here, all the commentators and Hawke and Keating are saying class warfare and the politics of envy are dead in Australia. One relevant fact - percentage of the Oz labour force in unions is 18%; percentage of the Oz labour force who are self employed 19%.
http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/pm-is-missing-the-point-about-class-warfare-20130414-2htrn.html

I wouldn't think the figures are too different over here, and I'm all for more people taking control of their employment prospects and starting an enterprise if they can. But it's not easy, and govt has a part to play in encouraging the evolution of business practice. This would take the shape of positive reinforcement, a few small carrots. National tends to wave a stick instead.


Colin James's Otago Daily Times column for 16 April 2013


Want to lift welfare? Start with a house

Last Thursday Paula Bennett was pleased with herself for getting her you-must-work welfare bill through Parliament and Bill English was pleased to confirm that you-the-taxpayer are still on course to get him a budget surplus.

The two are linked. And both are linked to a two-dimensional housing tangle.

Bennett's line: work is good for the soul and self-worth which leads to a better life, initially qualitatively (earning your income gives a sense of control of your life) and eventually quantitatively (once in work, there is a prospect of getting higher wages).

Bennett backers believe this improvement trickles down qualitatively and quantitatively to the children of those "encouraged" into work. Bennett says any work at any legal wage meets her criteria.

So she has imposed sanctions on those required to work who don't work or don't look hard enough for work.

English backs Bennett -- in fact, is a prime driver and overseer of the policy shift -- for two conservative reasons, one moral, one fiscal.

Labour's Jacinda Ardern (who comes from a conservative moral background as does English and talks of the "dignity of work") says Bennett has broken a "social contract". That contract said "those who use" "social security" (note, "security", not "welfare") "are expected to look for work, while the government focuses on job creation, training and placing job seekers into employment".

She says sanctions will force those sanctioned on to charity. She didn't add, but might have, that that is a cost on society, as taxes are. The only difference is the way the cost is paid. Costs squeezed out of one corner of an economy often turn up in another.

That fits the conservative argument on child poverty (conservative, in the Burkean sense of valuing community, as distinct from Margaret Thatcher's famous libertarian "there is no such thing as society"): that not investing in those children dumps costs on the health and education systems and eventually the benefit benefit and in some cases the "justice" system -- and deprives businesses of future able workers.

Ardern has yet to offer an "instead" in place of her "against". Some on her side of the argument despair of her but they might be premature. Ardern is aiming her substantive response for the end of the year.

Meantime, English is talking up the fiscal outlook, which is the envy of most rich countries. But that is only part of his economic story.

Take this statement in Thursday's speech: "We have reduced tax on work, savings and company profits, while increasing taxes on property investment and consumption."

Actually, raising GST is a one-off tax on savings, since from that point on what you have saved will buy you less than it would have before the tax went up. English thumped up GST from 12.5 per cent to 15 per cent in 2010. After that your savings buy you 2.22 per cent less.

That is encouragement to save? Small wonder households have reverted from a brief period of just-and-no-more saving to spending more than they are earning.

And small wonder they are putting savings into houses. English and John Key make much of low interest rates. One benefit is that businesses can borrow to invest more cheaply. A disbenefit is that savers get less from banks and bonds -- rentable houses are a better bet.

Surprise, surprise, house prices are back up above the 2007 bubble peak. It is not a bubble -- yet. But it has got the Reserve Bank's Graeme Wheeler edgy: he is not ruling out regulating banks' house lending ratios.

The government's response to the house shortage and especially to a shortage of "affordable" houses is to hammer local councils to release more green land to developers.

Small problem: developers aren't going to build "affordable" houses. The margins are smaller than for houses for the affluent and the middle classes.

Still, there is a kernel in the government's argument. Economists say that even through the boom years there was a shortage of supply, which has worsened since 2007. That accounts for the lack of a price collapse, as in overbuilt Ireland and Spain.

So there may be a case for some government involvement to get more affordable houses and rental houses built, as once governments of both stripes did, to better match supply and need. A likely spinoff would be less child poverty -- and more money to go round to pay for the jobs Bennett wants her beneficiaries into.

Meantime, soaring house costs eat up incomes. Households have reverted to spending more than they are earning. This is a long way from the sound economy English insists he is building. We are still one of the most indebted countries on earth. The economy is still badly distorted.

So, while Bennett and English might get the government books nicely in order in May 2014 in time for re-election six months later, that is only part of the story. English will need the whole of a third term to demonstrate the real economic change he said he was aiming for at the start of his first term.







-- Colin James, Synapsis Ltd, P O Box 9494, Wellington 6141
Ph (64)-4-384 7030, Mobile (64)-21-438 434, Fax (64)-4-384 9175
Webpage http://www.ColinJames.co.nz

elZorro
17-04-2013, 06:47 AM
Another article showing just how little faith National has in SMEs. We're going to be fed some hype about increasing our export earnings in the budget. And the way we're going to do that? Spend a bit less than $40mill a year on some tourism ideas, because we'll be awash with Chinese tourists soon (OK, that may be right), and we'll also be encouraging more foreign investment. Nothing in there about encouragement for our existing small businesses. http://tvnz.co.nz/business-news/budget-inject-funds-into-international-growth-agenda-5408108

Major von Tempsky
17-04-2013, 09:47 AM
We used to have a good description for constant whingers in the Army..."You'd moan if your ars* was on fire and you'd moan if I p*ss*d on it to put it out".

Seems very obvious that the value proportion of total exports from SME's is tiny and also the potential expansion of this tiny share is also tiny.
And we are bound by International Agreements we have signed up to from subsidising exports. Or are you advocating NZ becomes Argentina?

elZorro
18-04-2013, 06:56 AM
And I thought I was shining a light on the govt's actions (not their words). A lot of that $40mill a year will be spent on inbound tourist advertising overseas.

Labour's R&D tax credits for example, aren't subsidies. They are inducements for businesses to create new products ready for exporting. I just exported some new gear off overseas yesterday, in this case the NZ owner of the IP has had no govt incentives, but clients like that are a rare breed. I don't think I'd have held that customer if I was as negative as you think. What are you doing to help our exports?

The National Govt has led the way, business responded in 2012.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10878185 (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10878185)

But as an aside, I know of one deal done in 2013 that was nearly the size of all the M&A in the year before, so maybe there's a turnaround happening.

elZorro
19-04-2013, 05:35 AM
I like the sound of cheaper power prices, so the Labour-Green policy idea released yesterday caught my attention. It was noted by the press too.

http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/labour-green-power-plan-attacked-truly-wacky-5410437 (http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/labour-green-power-plan-attacked-truly-wacky-5410437)

Predictably Steven Joyce and Simon Bridges (and Business NZ) had some specially chosen sound bites to scare people off this 'wacky' idea from a Labour-Green coalition. It is far from a crazy policy.

Hydro power is being made for 0.5c a kWHr, we're paying over 22c + GST in our homes for that same power, at times. We have a fair idea we're being ripped off already, and this will simply get a bit of that margin back. Prices can go back up again when we can all afford it, and when we need to expand the power supply grid. At the moment they're considering mothballing all of the older Huntly power station, there's one good way to bring prices down, because it was used to set higher prices. It's a bit scary in terms of continuity of power perhaps, at this stage.

iceman
19-04-2013, 08:00 AM
It was noted by the press too.


Indeed it was: [URL="http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/blogs/bull-dust/8568124/Labours-crazy-new-energy-policy"]

elZorro
19-04-2013, 08:56 PM
Indeed it was: [URL="http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/blogs/bull-dust/8568124/Labours-crazy-new-energy-policy"] And I quite liked Colin Espiner. He's not putting all the facts straight though. Some of the following comments spell it out. Rio Tinto get to negotiate for their power rates, and they're about 25% of retail prices. This model could easily work. We need to be capitalistic in areas where we can compete, and socialistic where NZ's population, resources and geographical isolation make us uncompetitive.We need to be capitalistic in areas where we can compete, and socialistic where NZ's population, resources and geographical isolation make us uncompetitive.

CJ
20-04-2013, 08:25 AM
And I quite liked Colin Espiner. He's not putting all the facts straight though. Some of the following comments spell it out. Rio Tinto get to negotiate for their power rates, and they're about 25% of retail prices. This model could easily work. We need to be capitalistic in areas where we can compete, and socialistic where NZ's population, resources and geographical isolation make us uncompetitive.We need to be capitalistic in areas where we can compete, and socialistic where NZ's population, resources and geographical isolation make us uncompetitive.
Tiwai doesn't have to pay for transmission (except for a short direct cable), distribution or retail. And for the generation, it is buying in bulk so of corse it's prices are a lot lower than retail.

elZorro
20-04-2013, 12:42 PM
Tiwai doesn't have to pay for transmission (except for a short direct cable), distribution or retail. And for the generation, it is buying in bulk so of course its prices are a lot lower than retail. Granted, but their cost is one quarter of the consumer retail price? Generations of taxpayers had to cover the capital cost of Manapouri, Rio Tinto didn't have any costs there. But the point is that Manapouri has an asset or replacement value, yet its capital cost has been paid off. This unit, and other hydros like it, generates 70% of our power, for 0.5c to 1.0c per kWhr cost.

For many years successive governments have used their control over power generation to levy a bit of extra tax. Retail prices in particular have not been as competitive as in other countries, and the GST rate of 15% has not helped end-users. Labour/Greens are simply setting up a proposal to tax a bit less, in the hope that it will stimulate the economy. And it should do. Lower income earners spend most of their income, so power savings will normally be spent in other retail areas.

I'm pleased to see the Greens and Labour standing together on this idea, it's a powerful message. If they want to achieve results in the next parliamentary term, the first step is to win the elections.

slimwin
20-04-2013, 01:10 PM
It's a powerful message alright. Either party is happy to pursue their own self interests by using economic suicide.

fungus pudding
20-04-2013, 01:21 PM
It's a powerful message alright. Either party is happy to pursue their own self interests by using economic suicide.

Don't you mean econmic treason? Although I hope it turns out to be suicide.

POSSUM THE CAT
20-04-2013, 02:36 PM
Why not solve the problem simply Sell Manapouri to Rio Tinto the wanted to build & own it in the first place

fungus pudding
20-04-2013, 02:52 PM
Why not solve the problem simply Sell Manapouri to Rio Tinto the wanted to build & own it in the first place

What problem would that solve? And how?

craic
20-04-2013, 03:13 PM
How long will the Labour Party take to find a charismatic leader with positive policies and not the negative "anything the government does, we will undo - without any consideration of whether it is right or wrong" I know that all the main parties, from time to time elect leaders that are without substance or appeal and only hang around for a limited time. But if they really expect to win the treasury benches, then they need their star performer to walk on stage now, not after most of the audience has left. I expect to do well out of Shearers pronouncement on nationalising power simply because the fleeing investors from that sector may boost the demand for Telecom shares.

elZorro
20-04-2013, 04:49 PM
How long will the Labour Party take to find a charismatic leader with positive policies and not the negative "anything the government does, we will undo - without any consideration of whether it is right or wrong" I know that all the main parties, from time to time elect leaders that are without substance or appeal and only hang around for a limited time. But if they really expect to win the treasury benches, then they need their star performer to walk on stage now, not after most of the audience has left. I expect to do well out of Shearers pronouncement on nationalising power simply because the fleeing investors from that sector may boost the demand for Telecom shares.

Craic, are you saying John Key is charismatic? He's still popular enough though. David Shearer is getting better at the job, he'll be fine by 2014.

The power cost saving proposal is not radical, it just means the govt and MRP/CEN make a little less profit. $300 per household p.a. implies the retail saving will be small percentage-wise. Today someone rang up for a phone survey about my opinion on various matters affecting NZ. Sensing it could be political in nature, I said yes to a 35 minute survey. I'm not sure who commissioned it, Nat/Lab/TEL/SKY, but the questions were around those NZ issues, and who would I vote for in an election held today. Possum, I did my best :).

craic
20-04-2013, 05:37 PM
JK leaves Shearer for dead as a leader. He is popular. Have a look at the drop in the NZX when Shearer made his pronouncement, albeit with a certain Green hand up his back working the strings. There will not be a $300 reduction - what will occur is that the price will remain the same or increase and the excuse will be that the price would have increased by more than $300 had they not taken the steps they took.
Craic, are you saying John Key is charismatic? He's still popular enough though. David Shearer is getting better at the job, he'll be fine by 2014.

The power cost saving proposal is not radical, it just means the govt and MRP/CEN make a little less profit. $300 per household p.a. implies the retail saving will be small percentage-wise. Today someone rang up for a phone survey about my opinion on various matters affecting NZ. Sensing it could be political in nature, I said yes to a 35 minute survey. I'm not sure who commissioned it, Nat/Lab/TEL/SKY, but the questions were around those NZ issues, and who would I vote for in an election held today. Possum, I did my best :).

elZorro
21-04-2013, 10:32 AM
FP, wasn't it you who said watch Face the Nation or Q&A to see a poor performance by David Parker? I watched both and David Parker was well prepared for any questions. Like the Greens, their research on these matters goes back many years. I thought Rachael Smalley's questions showed a big lack of understanding of economics on the part of whoever posed them for her. That explained Parker's responses, he probably couldn't believe the inane questions.

In the SST today, a good writeup on the need for a systematic approach to R&D in NZ, and while those giving their views are part of the current system, the data implies the SME sector in NZ needs prodding. They're spending only 0.6% of GDP on R&D, and the OECD average is 1.6%, nearly three times higher.

I was most impressed by an article written by Jesse Medcalf on the facing page (D7), giving his views on the importance of IT career support at Secondary and Tertiary levels. He showed great perception about the new world 7th formers (year13) are entering.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/8577142/Education-not-in-sync-with-IT-goal/

slimwin
21-04-2013, 12:55 PM
But think of the jobs it will create. We'll need a whole new govt dept to run it too!

elZorro
21-04-2013, 03:12 PM
But think of the jobs it will create. We'll need a whole new govt dept to run it too! Won't it be a renamed Electricity Authority (http://www.ea.govt.nz/about-us/careers/)? Already there. In any case, say 10 staff, 1 mill cost p.a., half of that coming back in taxes, not a big price to pay for hundreds of millions of savings in power for the retail consumer. Don't forget that's the target, not existing wholesale users. Small SMEs will benefit too, of course. MRP and all of the other electricity SOES have a team of database analysts, doubling up on each other's work no doubt, keeping an eye on the trends in power use, figuring out their power deliveries in the weeks and hours ahead, working out how best to supply the cheapest power to the end-users who are paying at a fixed rate. If we still had the NZEC, there would just be one team doing that work, and it would have saved us all some costs. Like these costs.
(http://tvnz.co.nz/business-news/power-bosses-salaries-top-1m-5412754)
Too right - I think it's time we had an option like the big power users, to buy on the spot market, or to negotiate a deal (like we think we can with the banks, on interest rates).

By the way, there are some charts being pointed at by National, showing that the power prices went up when Labour got in around 1999, just after National's power reform (Max Bradford). The power prices had dropped a bit, and then started climbing. The key bits of information missed out, are that the SOEs probably started figuring out how they could work together after a few years, the new normal. And more importantly, the giant Maui gas field started running down about the same time. This put the price of wholesale gas up (it doubled) and of course Huntly was then used to set the lowest spot base price, while running on gas. We were using most of the power available back then, and there were rolling blackouts in dry winters. So Huntly often featured in the spot pricing, because it had to run full bore at 1000MW to conserve the hydro lakes.

Nowadays the E3P side is used, and of the four older 250MW turbines in the main structure, one is mothballed at the moment. The other three appear to be getting looked after for longer-term use.

elZorro
21-04-2013, 05:27 PM
What are the chances I was one of those polled by TV1? :) http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/national-s-popularity-slips-seven-year-low-poll-5413152

CJ
21-04-2013, 06:31 PM
What are the chances I was one of those polled by TV1? :) http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/national-s-popularity-slips-seven-year-low-poll-5413152TV3's poll is a lot more positive for National. I dont think a poll has developed yet. The next lot of polls will be interesting now that Labour/Greens have made a move and they have also shown that they are willilng and able to work together.

elZorro
21-04-2013, 08:12 PM
Yes, CJ, maybe a Labour/Green coalition has a real chance this time. I did find out who polled me, it was UMR. Here's their research for all of 2012. It shows that the public are starting to get a bit disenchanted with the govt, steadily.

http://umr.co.nz/sites/umr/files/umr_mood_of_the_nation_2013_online_0.pdf (http://umr.co.nz/sites/umr/files/umr_mood_of_the_nation_2013_online_0.pdf)

elZorro
22-04-2013, 06:53 AM
Bryan Gould has written an article that was published in the Herald on Friday. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10878341

Major von Tempsky
22-04-2013, 02:29 PM
Bryan Gould has been around the clock so many times and learnt so little there must be rubber strips flapping off his tyres as well as peeling paint.
He was a Labour MP in the UK for Yonks and yonks and his thinking has never advanced since about Harold Wilson circa 1964. He's bl**dy lucky to still get published let alone still breathing.

iceman
22-04-2013, 08:10 PM
Bryan Gould has been around the clock so many times and learnt so little there must be rubber strips flapping off his tyres as well as peeling paint.
He was a Labour MP in the UK for Yonks and yonks and his thinking has never advanced since about Harold Wilson circa 1964. He's bl**dy lucky to still get published let alone still breathing.

Wrong MVT. Bryan Gould eyes a comeback in NZ as this week´s version of the Labour Party has moved far enough to the extreme left to include him right smack bang in the middle of it !

I had to read this statemen from David Parker (defending why he as a Minister in 2006 opposed their newly announced policy) several times as I did not believe my eyes : " However, Parker told BusinessDesk much had changed in seven years, and that the only reason for continuing with the market arrangements at the time was because there was a shortage of new generation, and the changes could discourage such investment from occurring."

In other words, investment was sorely needed in new generation and only the private sector could fund it. Now that several billions of dollars have been invested by private investors, the time has come to nationalise it.
This is something one would expect from the late Hugo Chaves or Cristina Fernandez Kirchner.

Good luck to Labour to explain this to the average and not so silly NZ voter, once the dust settles on the headlines about power price reductions. No mention yet for the average punter on the fact that the sugegsted poer savings will be eaten up and some, by implementation of Labour/Green ETS alone. This purely populist, misdirected and economically destructive policy will not withstand the coming scrutiny.

fungus pudding
22-04-2013, 10:50 PM
Wrong MVT. Bryan Gould eyes a comeback in NZ as this week´s version of the Labour Party has moved far enough to the extreme left to include him right smack bang in the middle of it !

I had to read this statemen from David Parker (defending why he as a Minister in 2006 opposed their newly announced policy) several times as I did not believe my eyes : " However, Parker told BusinessDesk much had changed in seven years, and that the only reason for continuing with the market arrangements at the time was because there was a shortage of new generation, and the changes could discourage such investment from occurring."

In other words, investment was sorely needed in new generation and only the private sector could fund it. Now that several billions of dollars have been invested by private investors, the time has come to nationalise it.
This is something one would expect from the late Hugo Chaves or Cristina Fernandez Kirchner.

Good luck to Labour to explain this to the average and not so silly NZ voter, once the dust settles on the headlines about power price reductions. No mention yet for the average punter on the fact that the sugegsted poer savings will be eaten up and some, by implementation of Labour/Green ETS alone. This purely populist, misdirected and economically destructive policy will not withstand the coming scrutiny.

Don't expect too many voters to look past the $6 a week - even though there is no guarantee they will get that, but whether they do or don't the govt. will miss out so have to pick it up from another tax. Labour has shown before how easiky the voters can be bought. (Think Cullen - remove interest from student loan.)

elZorro
23-04-2013, 06:36 AM
Don't expect too many voters to look past the $6 a week - even though there is no guarantee they will get that, but whether they do or don't the govt. will miss out so have to pick it up from another tax. Labour has shown before how easiky the voters can be bought. (Think Cullen - remove interest from student loan.)

Leopards don't change their spots do they? This sort of stuff has been well covered already. Labour performed brilliantly in building up the number of SMEs, budget surpluses, and tax income in their last three terms. They had every right to see that tertiary students, who had gone through completely state funded in the past, had a small rebate on their interest costs, now they were funding about 1/3 of their education costs themselves. There were also a lot of other good initiatives that were allocated some of the new tax base.

Conversely, National has reduced their tax base, and their voters would like to see it reduced further. The govt is probably still meddling too much, it will probably always be meddling too much, nothing new there from this faction. Meanwhile more NZers are unemployed, SME numbers have dropped, manufacturing has continued a decline but it's much faster, and we are looking at a surplus of power generation for the first time in many years. As for budget deficits, National has set some records there.

Major von Tempsky
23-04-2013, 03:05 PM
Rubbish, Cullen ran down and ran down the Budget surplus he had inherited until in his last Budget projecting beyond the election it had become a deficit.
Illogical and intellectually dishonest opportunism EZ. You know that the deficit would be much bigger now if Labour was in power and I bet you are not willing to identify what Labour would cut to balance the Budget.

elZorro
23-04-2013, 05:45 PM
Rubbish, Cullen ran down and ran down the Budget surplus he had inherited until in his last Budget projecting beyond the election it had become a deficit.
Illogical and intellectually dishonest opportunism EZ. You know that the deficit would be much bigger now if Labour was in power and I bet you are not willing to identify what Labour would cut to balance the Budget.

MVT, you forgot about this post from Sept 2012.

http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/showthread.php?8606-If-National-wins&p=382027&viewfull=1#post382027 (http://www.sharetrader.co.nz/showthread.php?8606-If-National-wins&p=382027&viewfull=1#post382027)

Labour's policies would have helped keep any deficits smaller, because there would have been a bigger tax base. No reduced taxes for the well off, because they didn't need them and had other options to reduce tax, (and will try them all). There would also have been a lot more employed through this last period, also helping the domestic economy and retailers, while reducing social security costs.

If they had been left in place, the very clever R&D tax credits and similar policies would have spurred the manufacturing sector on with new exports from SMEs. We all need a bit of direction sometimes.

POSSUM THE CAT
23-04-2013, 06:27 PM
Major von tempsky do not forget that the higher GST also cut into retailers because the lower incomes got F/all in compensation for the increase.

slimwin
23-04-2013, 06:53 PM
Major von tempsky do not forget that the higher GST also cut into retailers because the lower incomes got F/all in compensation for the increase.

Er,hasn't retail rebounded in the last few years or am i reading the wrong countries news paper?

elZorro
23-04-2013, 07:14 PM
Er,hasn't retail rebounded in the last few years or am I reading the wrong country's newspaper?

Maybe you don't know anyone who runs a retail store Slimwin, they might look busy, but generally it's a race to the bottom. 2-3 years out of date - but the trend is a bad one. These small net profits don't include owner drawings. FP would know more about this.

JBmurc
23-04-2013, 09:18 PM
This is what Mark Warminger a portfolio manager at Milford Asset Managers, one of the countries best performing Kiwisaver managers had to say.............>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


The Labour and the Green Party announced plans to establish a new agency, New Zealand Power, which would act as a single buyer of wholesale electricity. The plan would cut the nation’s power bills by up to $700 million a year, lowering household power bills by up to $330 a year, and giving the economy a $450 million annual boost according to Labour and Green Party analysis. This analysis is naďve and does not take into account the full direct and indirect costs.

NZ currently has $253bn of external debt and each 0.01% movement in the cost of debt adds $25m in interest payments. The uncertainty caused by the Labour/Greens Nationaliation by stealth policy is likely to add up to 1% to the cost of debt for New Zealand, due to lenders requiring an increased return for lending to a nation with political and economic instability. The cost of capital for all New Zealand companies will rise due to the same factors. A 1% increase in debt servicing costs for New Zealand’s overseas borrowing, in time would add up to NZ $2.5bn a year to the debt bill.

In addition to higher financing costs for the economy as a whole, the Government would receive around $450m a year less in dividends from the state owned power companies. The state owned power companies would need to write down asset bases by around 30% on an asset base of $15bn. This equates to $4.5bn of capital destroyed.

Vote -Labour / Greens = 3rd world NZ ///\\\\

positives on having a far left gunament would be a much weaker NZD ....

fungus pudding
23-04-2013, 09:38 PM
Er,hasn't retail rebounded in the last few years or am i reading the wrong countries news paper?

Yes it has. It's a horrible game, but recently it's been slightly less horrible, and looking to improve a lot in the near future in line with many NZ businesses.

elZorro
23-04-2013, 09:55 PM
JB, that article doesn't really make sense. Why would the fact that retail NZ pricing for power could be dropped a bit, because the govt in turn takes a drop in returns, mean that the interest on overseas borrowings goes from say 4% p.a. to 5% p.a? It might do that anyway, and there would be no way of knowing what caused it.

The big picture is that the economies of the world depend on cheap energy for profits and growth, in one form or another. Here we have cheap hydro and the sun and climate for farming. And yet we are paying a lot for our home power needs, even though the hydro plant was paid off long ago. The splitting up of the energy assets and the better profits made by each generator, have created a larger asset list - but it's only real for as long as the profits stay over-high.

This is a political argument, no doubt. Should some of the assets that were paid for by the taxpayers from previous working generations be sold off in our times to some well-heeled investors for a small one-off state profit, with the risk that control moves offshore later? Or should we use these public works as they were intended, to provide a solid base for growth in our economy in perpetuity?

If the latter is applied, every NZer gets the benefits, it would be the gift that keeps giving.

Here's a small bit of extra detail that I like. NZPower will also tender for new generation. A lot like ECNZ, they used their overview to decide where best to site new power generation, for the good of NZ.

elZorro
25-04-2013, 06:57 AM
Here's a taste of the results of ETS policy from National: forestry isn't the exciting investment we were hoping for.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10879544 (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10879544)

While the Super Fund still has a lot of bigger forestry blocks, China is only interested in our raw pruned/unpruned logs. It's hard to even make a dollar growing, tending, harvesting and transporting them to a port. A long time to wait, 30 years for not much. So they've caved, China can buy some of the smaller blocks that are least profitable.

A stronger ETS policy would stop cheap ETS credits from Russia killing the market for them here. A few have made windfall profits from the ETS scheme in the past, but deforestation is the next move. What to use that land for afterwards: that's another problem. It could be farmed at a loss, that would perhaps be OK for land banking and to defray taxes, and National has made sure that no ETS applies to farmers until at least 2015.

I'm intrigued by the National party's new byline. 'Less Debt, More Jobs'. I can only assume what is meant by this, is that we need to put aside any memory of better times in the recent past. When National reduces the recent debt they organised, we'll have more jobs, perhaps that is the message. It's not a great one, is it?

If they go into the next election with that slogan, here's what we'll quite correctly see amended on all the hoardings:

Major von Tempsky
25-04-2013, 07:50 AM
You're flogging a dead horse - ETS is dead, read The Economist. The price of carbon credits is down to $3 a tonne and going lower.

But the market is alive! Long live the market! Its the only efficient and long term sustainable mechanism!

It's the left wing w*nkers who try to rig the market and tax the market and regulate the market and strangle it with red tape who are the problem.

elZorro
25-04-2013, 08:12 AM
MVT - ETS, or something like it will be popping up again in the future, the fast-melting icecaps are proof of that.

Here's an idea from the Democrats, what if the Reserve bank printed the money we need to pay our debts. It has been done before.

http://www.democrats.org.nz/OurNews/MediaReleases/tabid/111/selectedmoduleid/545/ArticleID/727/reftab/106/Default.aspx (http://www.democrats.org.nz/OurNews/MediaReleases/tabid/111/selectedmoduleid/545/ArticleID/727/reftab/106/Default.aspx)

fungus pudding
25-04-2013, 01:50 PM
You're flogging a dead horse - ETS is dead, read The Economist. The price of carbon credits is down to $3 a tonne and going lower.

But the market is alive! Long live the market! Its the only efficient and long term sustainable mechanism!

It's the left wing w*nkers who try to rig the market and tax the market and regulate the market and strangle it with red tape who are the problem.

Interesting stuff really. Anyone who is unsure of the merits or otherwise of ETS should attend one of Moncton's lectures while he is in the country. A fascinating experience.

elZorro
25-04-2013, 05:36 PM
Interesting stuff really. Anyone who is unsure of the merits or otherwise of ETS should attend one of Moncton's lectures while he is in the country. A fascinating experience.

FP, when you say 'the merits or otherwise" of ACC or ETS, you won't be going to a Lord Moncton lecture with an open mind, because it's well known he is a conservative politician and part of a global climate change denial group. Lord Moncton would have told you what you wanted to hear as a liberal supporter - nothing to worry about, and the govt must steer clear of any role in ETS.

Let me guess, the climate is changing and it's always changed. The bit that is missed out, is how fast it is warming now. Lord Moncton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Monckton,_3rd_Viscount_Monckton_of_Bre nchley)gets a special mention in this paper on the global climate change denial movement. I've mentioned the Koch family before. ExxonMobil are just as bad, although they have put some money into biofuels.

http://scottvalentine.net/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/dunlap_cc_denial.302183828.pdf (http://scottvalentine.net/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/dunlap_cc_denial.302183828.pdf)

westerly
25-04-2013, 05:44 PM
Rubbish, Cullen ran down and ran down the Budget surplus he had inherited until in his last Budget projecting beyond the election it had become a deficit.
Illogical and intellectually dishonest opportunism EZ. You know that the deficit would be much bigger now if Labour was in power and I bet you are not willing to identify what Labour would cut to balance the Budget.

Rather amusing all this talk of the far left, by those somewhere far right of Key's so called centre right. Cullen ran a surplus from 1999 to 2008. Key came in and it has been all downhill since then. To say that the deficit would be larger if Labour was in power is impossible to forecast.. To balance the budget bring in CGT. push up income tax on high earners and sit back and listen to all the squeals about how wealth will flee the country and knowbody will invest etc.

Westerly

elZorro
25-04-2013, 07:01 PM
Rather amusing all this talk of the far left, by those somewhere far right of Key's so called centre right. Cullen ran a surplus from 1999 to 2008. Key came in and it has been all downhill since then. To say that the deficit would be larger if Labour was in power is impossible to forecast.. To balance the budget bring in CGT. push up income tax on high earners and sit back and listen to all the squeals about how wealth will flee the country and nobody will invest etc.

Westerly

I think you're right there, Westerly, it's time investors understood that there is no easy money coming their way - the safe way to earn returns domestically at least, is to have a well employed economy. Labour showed that in their last three terms. Have a look at this chart that I dropped out of Treasury reports. It shows that Labour managed to remove all the old core debt from the govt books by 2008, and also nearly removed the New core debt (not sure what these are). One thing I do understand is that National then borrowed all this back again plus a lot more (yes they had some excuses for that), and proceeded to reduce the crown net worth from over $100billion to under $60billion by 2012. So $40,000 million has been lost on paper.

CJ
26-04-2013, 09:13 AM
I agree with a CGT but not the hobbled version Labour wants.

craic
26-04-2013, 09:51 AM
The reason that there is no capital gains tx in NZ is that the one group who would be hit hardest are farmers. Imagine what it would have done to the dairy industry where there have been massive capital gains. Every time a farm changed hands, father to son, a crippling tax would have been imposed, a similar situation to the stately homes of England where most families had to turn over the home to the National Trust instead of maintaining a viable family farm/business that usually supported a village and all that jazz. Go there now and see the many museums and the villages turned into holiday homes and 'escape to the country' middle classes. John Key would not be "one of the hardest hit" as he is intelligent enough to be able move his assets faster than most hungry Labour Tax Bandits. The VAT system we use is the fairest of all - if you spend money, you pay a tax.

Major von Tempsky
26-04-2013, 12:10 PM
"Lord Monckton is a climate change denier"?

Rubbish. No one is denying the climate changes all the time, always has, always will.
There are several issues (a) what part (if any) of the climate change is caused by man's activities (otherwise known as ethnocentric climate change) ?
(b) why have the Greens IPCC and media changed the teminology from "Global Warming" to "Global Climate Change" if that isn't a backward step in the face of evidence that the world average temperatures haven't changed over the last 12 years?
(c) why, given that natural gas has much lower emissions than coal and diesel, the Greenies aren't backing natural gas and fracking
(d) why aren't the Greenies attacking China, given that it now produces more emissions than USA and India combined. in the way that they attack Western democracies
(e) why are the IPCC models so wrong? (see The Economist)
(f) why aren't the Greenies backing nuclear power, given that it has zero emissions?

And so on. I've left out several other embarassing issues for IPCC gullible believers.

elZorro
26-04-2013, 12:14 PM
The reason that there is no capital gains tx in NZ is that the one group who would be hit hardest are farmers. Imagine what it would have done to the dairy industry where there have been massive capital gains. Every time a farm changed hands, father to son, a crippling tax would have been imposed, a similar situation to the stately homes of England where most families had to turn over the home to the National Trust instead of maintaining a viable family farm/business that usually supported a village and all that jazz. Go there now and see the many museums and the villages turned into holiday homes and 'escape to the country' middle classes. John Key would not be "one of the hardest hit" as he is intelligent enough to be able move his assets faster than most hungry Labour Tax Bandits. The VAT system we use is the fairest of all - if you spend money, you pay a tax. You forget about ordinary businesses, they would also have a CGT. I'd be fine with that. Because I intend to make good profits each year by having a niche business, and if at the end I also pay a one-off tax on capital gain, no problem. Farmers as a whole, are making a very poor return on capital employed. They only carry on with it for the lifestyle, maybe someone else does most of the work, and good commodity cycle timing ensures a tax-free capital gain is made eventually. These inefficient businesses use up a lot of our capital employed, and our land area. No wonder we have such a poor GDP per capita. A CGT would start to fix this issue, maybe we'd see more investment in niche manufacturing for example.

elZorro
26-04-2013, 12:42 PM
"Lord Monckton is a climate change denier"?

Rubbish. No one is denying the climate changes all the time, always has, always will.
There are several issues (a) what part (if any) of the climate change is caused by man's activities (otherwise known as ethnocentric climate change) ?
(b) why have the Greens IPCC and media changed the teminology from "Global Warming" to "Global Climate Change" if that isn't a backward step in the face of evidence that the world average temperatures haven't changed over the last 12 years?
(c) why, given that natural gas has much lower emissions than coal and diesel, the Greenies aren't backing natural gas and fracking
(d) why aren't the Greenies attacking China, given that it now produces more emissions than USA and India combined. in the way that they attack Western democracies
(e) why are the IPCC models so wrong? (see The Economist)
(f) why aren't the Greenies backing nuclear power, given that it has zero emissions?

And so on. I've left out several other embarassing issues for IPCC gullible believers. You can't deny Lord Moncton is a anthropological climate change (ACC) denier, MVT. He has no formal qualifications that are suitable to be an expert in this area, and he makes up stuff about how important he was to Maggie Thatcher on climate issues. The ACC science is well proven and is becoming more proven all the time. You may as well say that evolution didn't happen. The world's oceans continue to rise, but the speed of that rise is unprecedented in modern history of the last few thousand years, maybe millions of years. Gas is a climate polluter too, just not as bad as coal or condensate, but the answer is to use only nuclear, photovoltaic, biofuels, wind and wave, hydro as our energy sources. Keep all the non-carbon neutral energy sources under the ground or seas, where they belong. But the losses to major industries using these energy sources is what keeps Lord Monckton on the gravy train. You and FP turning up to the lectures only delays the changes needed.

fungus pudding
26-04-2013, 01:23 PM
I agree with a CGT but not the hobbled version Labour wants.

Exactly. If not structured properly it will do a lot of harm. e.g. a factory owner who owns his business premises and outgrows them should be allowed to buy and reinvest without tax. It's as huge step at the best of times. A small investor with a couple of flats who transfers with his job should be allowed to buy and sell. Farmers who are expanding to bigger properties. CGT should be an exit tax applying to funds only when they are released to be used as income. So a repatriation clause is essential in my view, particularly if they want to encourage savings and self reliance. So far share investors have been able to 'rebalance' without tax and pay tax only on holdings intended for sale, but Labour's scheme will tax all transactions and the disincentive of that is damaging. I hope they think it through (if they ever look like gaining power) more than the proposal before the last election. Although I have a feeling the Greens will insist on seeing every transaction as a gain.

Jay
26-04-2013, 02:47 PM
Quote */CGT should be an exit tax applying to funds only when they are released to be used as income. So a repatriation clause is essential in my view*/
While I essentially agree, would this not be difficult to manage - another 400 - well qute a few, officials needed plus the loopholes smart accountants etc would find.

fungus pudding
26-04-2013, 03:24 PM
Quote */CGT should be an exit tax applying to funds only when they are released to be used as income. So a repatriation clause is essential in my view*/
While I essentially agree, would this not be difficult to manage - another 400 - well qute a few, officials needed plus the loopholes smart accountants etc would find.

No. There are no loopholes to find although there will always be the question of whether the transaction is subject to income tax or CGT - but that situation exists now. Overall the best thing is to forget about it. CGT does stop things happening in the economy and discourages saving, and while it's easy to nab CGT on income producing assets, it's difficult on many things, such as antiques, collectables, metals, vintage cars etc. which seemed to fall under Labour's proposal - and if it doesn't, it will drive money there because it's easier to hide.

fungus pudding
27-04-2013, 09:03 AM
Conclur completely. It should be like GST. Very simple to the point that it stops the left and right playing with it (except to raise or lower the actual rate!)




Fungus, I really hear that there is is a need for such a reparation clause. The two big problems I see are a) it adds a huge amount of complexity from which those with good laywers and accountant will dodge around and b) there is a hugh hole in annual CGT revenues as they are delayed into future years and even escaped altogther should govt be lobbied hard enough (and yes Im thinking farmers). I think a low rate is the answer.

I'd favour a low CGT rate of say 5% for at least the first five(?) years and steadily rising until the ECONOMY is rebalanced. Even just 5% is going to be enough to send the message that wasting precious capital buying low yeild assets and hoping for a tax-free capital gain just doesn't cut it as a "savy investment".

I'm not sure but I think different rules apply to repatriation in the USA with different states having different rules, some allowing a time period (18 months? ) to use the funds. There doesn't need to be any complications. Under any system some transactions will be subject to income tax as now, others currently not taxed would be subject to CGT. Forget about rebalancing the economy. It will produce some revenue but lose some as well as it will slow the economy. Always has and always will. For that reason I agree that a low rate is better, but nil is best. Then again Labour have not said if the proposed tax is over the rate of inflation as is the case in most systems. Neither have they said losses would be deductible, as is the case elsewhere. I guess final details will depend on the Greens, but it's a long long way off before anything happens.

janner
28-04-2013, 06:30 PM
Nil is not best. It is in my opinion a serious problem overly affecting "investment" decisions for the pletheroa of small to medium investors in NZ.


Here a great idea for a TV debate ... Gareth Morgan vs. John Key on CGT ... With a panel to ensure any b.s. is buzzed and correct at the point in time. Hell I'd pay money to watch that!

Agree with you on Nil is not best..

Totally disagree with you on the CGT..

The present day taxation system has been added to and amended .. Twisted and turned... to suit the Govt. of the day since income tax was first introduced to fund the Napoleonic Wars..

With Revenue Men Hunting down the " Moon Rakers "..

Time and technology has moved on since then..

The Tax Department has not.... The man with the " Pince-nez " and Quill has been replaced by a man with a calculator.

The present tax system does not tax all equally.. As the system when it first came in did not ..

Today we can electronically extract Tax on SPENDING.. You spend... you pay..

With no rebates or claw back .. Call it what you will.. you SPEND.. you pay..

Simple.. Cheap..

You save .. and receive a dividend or interest.. The company or interest payer, pays the tax.. They are spending..

You spend the income from dividends.. You pay tax..

Every one at the same rate.. For every thing..

Please note :- I did not use the word FAIR once.. :-)

janner
28-04-2013, 06:32 PM
Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.. It is not the people trying their best to work the tax system.. It is the Tax System that is wrong..

elZorro
30-04-2013, 09:29 PM
I can't figure out how your tax idea would work Janner. If you had to buy $100,000 of raw goods and turned it into $101,000 of sales, you'd pay the same tax as someone else who was able to sell the goods for $300,000. The other party could obviously afford the spending tax, but you could not.

Here's Graeme Wheeler from the Reserve Bank on why manufacturing has had some issues. Interesting charts. He concludes that the answer is in making business capital more productive. I think he likes a CGT.

http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/speeches/5150125.html


Concluding commentsGlobalisation, outsourcing, and international supply chains, along with competition from low cost producers and rising global demand for services, mean that the relative importance of manufacturing has been declining in all but the poorest countries for the past 40 years. New Zealand is no exception. Although the exchange rate is an important headwind for some manufacturers, the overall relative decline in our manufacturing sector is much more than a simple exchange rate story. Looking ahead, total manufacturing output is expected to increase significantly as a result of the NZD$30 billion Canterbury reconstruction.
There are no simple solutions available to the Reserve Bank on the exchange rate challenges we face. The causes of the over-valuation partly lie in the spillover effects of policies in countries most severely hit by the global financial crisis. The Bank will intervene when circumstances are right. We will use the OCR as circumstances require and we’re exploring the scope to use macro-prudential instruments that address increasing challenges to financial stability associated with ongoing increases in house prices, and that can also support monetary policy. But further efforts to improve the level and productivity of capital that labour works with, to reinforce ongoing fiscal adjustment, to re-examine the factors that diminish and distort the incentives to save and invest, and to reduce dependence on the savings of others, have to be a major part of the solution.

fungus pudding
01-05-2013, 07:40 AM
Nil is not best. It is in my opinion a serious problem overly affecting "investment" decisions for the pletheroa of small to medium investors in NZ.


To expand on my original quote, nil is best unless your prime residence is included, with a repatriation clause as all investments should have. Normally this would mean it functions as a sort of death duty. Otherwise - guess where a lot of money gets directed, for the wrong reasons. But still - nil is best. It's really no more than an envy tax.

elZorro
01-05-2013, 05:28 PM
To expand on my original quote, nil is best unless your prime residence is included, with a repatriation clause as all investments should have. Normally this would mean it functions as a sort of death duty. Otherwise - guess where a lot of money gets directed, for the wrong reasons. But still - nil is best. It's really no more than an envy tax.

FP, other countries have a limit on the amount of capital that can be used in the prime residence, and anything above that can have a CGT levied on it. So there's one of your arguments blown out of the water. Is CGT an envy tax? What about calling it a Fairness tax?

Owning property and renting it out is one of the simplest businesses around. But knowing that in many cases, every imaginable and legal source of losses in that business are being defrayed against another normal PAYE income, to be followed by a (probable) tax-free capital gain, and where the normal annual income until that point could not really justify the capital being used - it beggars belief that we allow such a system. This capital-intensive industry is a poor employer, many properties are not maintained properly, and arguably it keeps property prices higher than they should be. IMHO.

elZorro
03-05-2013, 06:47 AM
A caution from Tim Hunter about overseas investors.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/8616100/Overseas-buyers-come-with-hidden-baggage

We need to see more investment by NZers in some growth/export businesses. At the moment, profits in XRO etc are being taken off the table to fund the MRP part selloff. These are low-risk options, and don't show the sort of nous needed by investors to get the country very far ahead.

Pro-National Business NZ continues to have a go (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10881118)at the Labour-Greens idea to save costs on household power. I hope Labour dig in deep here, this is the sort of thing that will get more voters involved in 2014, because of its direct and real impact on household spending.

When large power users like Fonterra and local councils come to the end of their supply contract, what do they do? They tender for supply. They don't just roll over. Why should collective households be any different? Chopping and changing between similar supplier offers on the internet won't bring prices down to the level they should be. Prices posted on the internet are always retail or marked-up prices. These are the prices a business would like to achieve. They'll take less if pressed.