Turbulent waters ahead for Government

Anyone feel a hīkoi coming on? Angry protests on the cards? Cracks in the coalition? Iwi/Kiwi billboards and rednecks freaking out on talkback radio?

One flip comment from the PM saying his Government could ignore whatever the Waitangi Tribunal decides about Māori water rights and it’s all on.

The Māori Party formed over the divisive foreshore and seabed legislation and it’s hard to see how they can back a Government that isn’t even willing to let a fair process take place over water.

The Waitangi Tribunal is this week hearing a Māori Council claim over water rights. It’s being heard urgently because those rights will be affected when the Government starts selling power companies which use water to generate electricity.

John Key is determined not to back down or delay asset sales and yesterday said his Government could ignore what the tribunal decides.

That’s asking for legal action which could take years to resolve and it’s also a slap in the face for the tribunal, for Māori, for the Māori Party, and for all New Zealanders who believe in a Treaty based approach.

Key and the Māori Party will get together to talk about it but there are already calls for the party to pull its support for the Government.

There’s no way the Government should start selling shares until these issues are resolved. They not only affect Māori but raise concerns for investors. If the assets end up being sold for less than they are worth would be an absurd outcome. Even just a 10% discount on the price would cost taxpayers $600 million over all the proposed privatised assets.

151 thoughts on “Turbulent waters ahead for Government

  1. Key is simply playing the race card, just a little more cunningly than his predecessor did. The Tory shock jocks and bloggers are having a field day. Watch the polls. Joyce will be beaming.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7 (-1)

  2. It seems that the Maori Party need to decide what is most important: the kaupapa that they claim to stand for.. or the ministerial BMWs they ride around in ?

    It sounds like Key is just stringing them along, hoping that the string will keep stretching & not break (or maybe his one seat ‘majority’ is good enough for him.. he doesnt really care either way ??)

    Kia-ora

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  3. The idea that anyone or any group “own” the water is ridiculous. However, if it stops the asset sales going ahead then more power to Maori, if only to stop gullible people from becoming invested in the casino that is called the stock market.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2 (+2)

  4. Tom Gould

    Key is simply playing the race card

    Similarly one could say that lawyer Kathy Ertel is playing the civil unrest, terrorism, civil war fear card.

    Ms Ertel, who is representing Ngati Ruapani rather than the Maori Council, told the tribunal her clients were “anxious to ensure the public are not dragged into a race riot and that’s what this is leading up to”.

    Neither side is covered in glory.

    I think the long game played by iwi will be getting accessto a large share issue off the state assets.

    Almost a straight out battle between the Mana party and the Maori party, with the Greens ciding with Mana.

    I’m picking the Maori party and influencial iwi to gather up the shares about to be offered in “compensation”.

    Leaving Mana and the Greens outside the main stream of public opinion.

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  5. We have the Maori Council saying they own the water, therefore if you don’t have the right skin colour you don’t own it.

    Then bizarrely we have claims that Key who is playing the race card.

    Then we have people backing the privatisation of the countrys water because it might stop the partial privatisation of three power generators.

    It shows how blinkered the thinking is on asset sales that they they would be happy with a massive privatisation if it will stop a small one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6 (+3)

  6. Well, I did say that the notion of anyone or any group owning the water (that is vital to all living creatures) is ridiculous, and I’m surprised (or perhaps not) that no politician has stated such. However, if the Maori stance stops the asset sales, great. I suppose I should add that if this whole process does actually lead to Maori owning nature’s water, in some way, then that would be a bad outcome (and a ridiculous outcome).

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  7. Also consider the treat by Mana, Greens and NZ First to renationalise sold assets.

    Going to be impossible to renationalise if influential iwi have shareholding in the part privitised state companies.

    So strategically National are playing the long game by locking in significant shareholding (possibly out of the 51% state retained shares)with interested Maori iwi.

    Further seperating the distance between progressive and regressive iwi.

    I expect Mana support to fall away as they represent regressive iwi.

    Mana’s stronghold is in Northland and are not known for progressive leadership.

    Greens need to be mindful that Maori are represented throughout NZL by both progressive and regressive iwi.

    A time not to take sides but work towards a solution that includes ALL iwi in settlements.

    Not just those who happen to own the land around hydro or geothermal powerstations.

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  8. Just because I belong to a river does not mean the river belongs to me.
    I’ve never understood the Greenz stance on these issues…you should be THE voice opposing ANY ownership whatsoever.

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  9. Indeed, samiam. The notion of “ownership” is an artificial, human invented, idea. The rest of nature doesn’t recognise the concept (apart from hunting territories for some species). But some Maori seem to think they should be given control of large and vital parts of nature on these islands. If it’s a ploy to simply ensure that those parts of nature aren’t exploited (i.e. ruined), then that’s fine, but I’m not sure if it is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 (+2)

  10. The way I see it is to look back to the colonisation of NZ by the Europeans. Why did they uproot from their homeland to take such a perilous journey into the unknown? I’d suggest that they saw no hope back where they were, the rich owned everything and the peasants nothing.
    NZ has the very real potential to go the same way with the creation of Iwi ‘elites’. Race based power blocks that will result in Racist Aristocracy and ‘the rest’.
    Do The Greenz support such a future? I’d suggest creating ‘ownership’ of a common (water) is a very dangerous path.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4 (+4)

  11. The right wing ideological asset transfer is turning into a right shambles.

    The economics of selling our assets only work if your a rich national party supporter and intend on buying shares.

    Everyone else loses.

    If the Nats turn this into a a make or break issue for the Govt then we should see them break.

    The Nats have been a dishonest, incompetent and corrupt Govt.

    Its good to see them fall into a hole that they themselves dug ….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4 (+1)

  12. “We have the Maori Council saying they own the water, therefore if you don’t have the right skin colour you don’t own it.”

    Silly thing to say – you can have exactly the same skin colour, or not, and it doesn’t make any difference. What matters is whether you are descended from somebody who has a claim on ‘ownership’ (whatever that might mean).

    ‘Ownership’ is a rather undefined concept – there’s many resources which are not considered ‘owned’, but which people have rights over, which may amount to the same thing.

    “…some Maori seem to think they should be given control of large and vital parts of nature on these islands.”

    Some Pakeha, and some Tau Iwi, not only think they should be given control over large and vital parts of nature on these islands, but actually exercise that control already. Seems for many people this is considered perfectly normal and quite OK until some Maori group asks for the same.

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  13. Sam says “Silly thing to say – you can have exactly the same skin colour, or not, and it doesn’t make any difference. What matters is whether you are descended from somebody who has a claim on ‘ownership’.”

    Yeah right. If you’re the “right” race, you own the water. But if you are the wrong race, you don’t.

    Hard to believe this is the same country that protested against race based rights in South Africa.

    Hard to believe that people arguing against privatisation, want to privatise water.

    Hard to believe people who argue against higher power prices, want to privatise water, meaning higher power prices (no matter who owns the generators – govt or private or both).

    Hard to believe people who argue against carbon emmissions, want to privatise water and make renewable energy more expensive relative to fossil fuel generation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6 (+1)

  14. Sam,

    Some Pakeha, and some Tau Iwi, not only think they should be given control over large and vital parts of nature on these islands, but actually exercise that control already. Seems for many people this is considered perfectly normal and quite OK until some Maori group asks for the same.

    It’s not OK for any group to do so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 (+1)

  15. photonz1

    Hard to believe that people arguing against privatisation, want to privatise water.

    Where have Maori argued that they want to privatize water? The thing is that National is trying to sell something they don’t own… It’s as simple as that. Why should Maori let a hugely important resource be sold by the government to private interests? There’s no benefit to Maori and there’s no benefit to New Zealand in general. Typical of you to try and make it a debate about race though… Racist!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7 (-3)

  16. While any challenge to stop privatisation is welcome, it seems to me that some are using Maoridom purely for monetary gain.
    Keys (apparently) isn’t worried, probably because worst case scenario for him, is that he’ll have to pay off a few greedy people.
    And as Gerrit said, that could actually come from the 51%.

    I admired the honesty of Maori Council co-chair Maanu Paul “We need to sit down and work out how much [the Government] are going to pay us to use our water,”

    I wonder if Mr Paul will be dissapointed if the SOE sales don’t proceed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2 (-1)

  17. Dunno… maybe. My take on it is that in terms of the treaty, THEY are responsible for what happens to the land and the water and the rest. They let us live here, they share this country with us under the terms of the treaty and they allow their rivers to be used to benefit all New Zealand.

    So now what is happening? Some Pakeha has decided to sell the power, sell the generation capability and make it so it benefits other people, not New Zealanders. Not part of the treaty.

    It is in my view, simply a violation of the treaty on its face. An indication of a fundamental failure to understand the central meaning of the treaty.

    BJ

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4 (+5)

  18. It’s not the country of those who consider themselves Maori. It was never such a country. That is all artificial.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3 (-3)

  19. Fin

    The problem is, even if the sales don’t go ahead, Maori may still want to be paid for the water. Photonz is absolutely right – Maori are attempting to privatize ownership of water. Because it seems to suit your goals regarding asset sales you are supporting them. It may not turn out as well as you hope. I have read rumors that a treaty claim was already in the pipeline before asset sales were even thought of.

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  20. Jackal – you’re funny ‘Typical of you to try and make it a debate about race though… Racist!”

    The Maori Council are trying to say Maori own the freshwater in NZ. If you are the “wrong ” race – then tough – you don’t have ownership.

    And you say I’m a racist.

    Keep up the entertainment.

    Oh you are? The Maori Council are claiming ownership of our fresh water, and you say “Where have Maori argued that they want to privatize water?”

    Have you been in a hole in the ground for the last week?

    How can you run a political blog if you’re more out of touch than the average granny?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3 (+2)

  21. BJ says “They let us live here”

    Normally your quite cynical BJ. But I think your gullibility can be summed up by “hook, line and sinker”.

    You are so blinkered about stopping privatisation of just part of three companies, that you’re prepared to back the privatisation of something worth 1000 times more.

    Anybody who is honest would call it what it is – blatant opportunism based on greed.

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  22. It isn’t privatization Photonz… what it means is that these are things that CANNOT BE SOLD without the Maori as a whole agreeing to it. Even if the Pakeha referendum gives National the “mandate” they so falsely claim, the Maori are ultimately responsible for the land and its waters… and that responsibility cannot be alienated by someone handing over money.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4 (+2)

  23. BJ,

    Even if the Pakeha referendum………….

    Didnt think you would play the race card BJ.

    Voters in that referendum contained 60% “Pakeha” and 40% others races including Maori.

    Shame on you to play the race card.

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  24. OneTrack, photonz1 – what you and John Key are doing is confusing the issue of ownership of water itself with that ownership of water rights.

    My understanding is that what the claimants are claiming before the Waitangi Tribunal is that they have water rights, acquired through centuries of continuous usage of lakes, rivers and streams and dating back to well before the signing of the Treaty, that have not been extinguished. They are not claiming that they own the water itself.

    Anthony Robins has a good post on this, and the dangerous semantic game Key is playing to confuse and divide the public on the issue, over here at The Standard.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3 (+3)

  25. I am talking about the referendum on Asset Sales Gerrit, and I didn’t specify “Pakeha” as meaning “white”. To me it means “non-Maori” and that includes Pacific Islanders, Indians and Chinese. The Maori could vote unanimously against or for the referendum and that vote would not be any “40%” of the vote in the referendum (still to be held), unless a hell of a lot of people stayed away.

    The issue here is that this is wrong. The Maori portion of the referendum is actually very important. They have in my view, a veto.

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  26. “If you’re the “right” race, you own the water. But if you are the wrong race, you don’t.”

    Rubbish. If you are descended from a member of the previous owners, you have a claim. Doesn’t matter if all the rest of your ancestors are Chinese or Spanish. This is how inter-generational property rights work in our society. If you are going to complain about this, you might as well tell me I can’t inherit from my British grandfather as this is ‘race-based’ (which it is in a sense – not a single African has any claim to my grandfather’s property – how racist!). If you don’t like our traditions around inheritance, fair enough. But don’t start jumping up and down about Maori when the same principle is applied to us all.

    Tony – “It’s not OK for any group to do so [assert control over natural resources].”

    Fair enough, if you are a socialist please spell out how you want things to be shared. And where then, is your railing against the Pakeha and Tau Iwi that control large amounts of New Zealand’s natural resources? Perhaps you’ve similarly attacked them and I’ve missed it – point me to your comments about this and I’ll take your complaints against Maori groups seriously.

    “Anybody who is honest would call it what it is – blatant opportunism based on greed.”

    Bloody Maories, Eh? How dare the greedy buggers assert their property rights. They should adopt our caring and sharing ways – you never see a Pakeha trying to make a buck out of something they hold rights over.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1 (+3)

  27. ” Blatant opportunism based on greed.”

    Photonz’s World and Welcome to it.

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  28. ” Blatant opportunism based on greed.”

    Actually the global norm – at least those parts of the world where free-market capitalism holds sway. But in the eyes of many, when Maori practice it, it becomes despicable.

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  29. They have in my view, a veto.

    Wow, BJ, I certainly hope your view stays with you. That any particular group of people (particularly grouped only through a claim of ethnicity) would have a veto on all natural “resources” in a country is completely ridiculous and undemocratic.

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  30. Sam,

    I’m against any group asserting control over the commons. I can’t say it any clearer than that. I’m also against any group destroying or degrading the commons.

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  31. Tony – what do you define as ‘commons’ those that are, or those that ought to be?

    Or in other words, are you actively opposing those that have previously grabbed control of natural resources, or do you, like many, only get up in arms when a marginalised group tries to get in on the action?

    “particularly grouped only through a claim of ethnicity”

    So its not so bad when the commonality of the group lording it over natural resources is based on their being rich? Why?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 (+1)

  32. BJ,

    blockquote>I am talking about the referendum on Asset Sales

    Wow, I missed that referendum BJ, did we have one or are you refering to the collection of signatures to instigate a referendum?

    Last “referendum” that was binfing was the last election.

    Correct terminology for non Maori in NZL is Tau iwi.

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  33. greenfly,

    Not if they were theirs originally and still are, Tony.

    People alive today “owned” nothing 800 years ago. Who gets to decide who “owned” what, originally (whatever that means)?

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  34. Sam,

    I’m not sure why you insist on misreading me though I should not have used the word “particularly” as a claim of ethnicity is no better or worse than any other arbitrary grouping.

    Yes, I oppose the grabbing of natural resources by any group, at least in principle. I add that last bit because I haven’t thought through the implications of that yet and it may be that “control” of commons by a group dedicated, by way of their normal lifestyle, to ensuring that the commons is not degraded by the actions of a single species, may be acceptable (I said “may be”). I note only that they are called “resources” by humans as though they are there to be exploited rather than being there as part of the complex web of nature to support all life on this planet, and any attempt to control more than one’s fair share (which would allow other life forms to be sustained by those resources), or controlled in a way that harms others, should be opposed.

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  35. completely ridiculous and undemocratic.

    This is a reflection of the treaty Tony, not a reflection of the way I think things would be in an ideal society. The treaty itself divides us into these groups and the way I read it, the Maori signatories are in the position of the owners of a house who have allowed the sheriff to assert control over them AND their (uninvited but it’s OK if they live with us) ungrateful guests.

    They still have rights that their guests do not have, because of the treaty.

    Want a different result, we need a constitutional convention with the Maori as EQUAL to the entire lot of everyone else.

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  36. Guests?? I am a born New Zealander I am Tangata Whenua. A pox on anyone who would suggest otherwise.
    What are we discussing here? Water purity or Racial purity?

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  37. How much is the Green party prepared to pay Maori for “their” water?

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  38. Tony – who should decide who owned what?
    There’s this treaty, eh, signed by the original inhabitants and the new-comers. Let’s look at that, and see what it says about ownership!
    You honour treaties, don’t you?

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  39. We need a constitution with equal rights to all born New Zealanders.

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  40. I figured “guest” is more polite than “alien invader” Samiam, and while I sympathize with your view, the treaty divides us even as it unites us and it is inherently going to continue to do so until there IS a Constitutional Convention and something reasonably sane results. The latter not being a guaranteed result of the former.

    So we can continue to pay gazillions to the legal profession (that has absolutely NO intention of helping us SOLVE this problem as long as they can milk it), or we can do the convention thing. However, going in, the Maori have to have the same position they had when they signed the treaty.

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  41. The piece over at the Standard referred to above is utter drivel, or should I say, dribble.

    It talks (correctly) about water use by private or corporate users, and it’s metering, and the allocation of water (rights) to farmers. This is water use, once you’ve flushed it down your toilet or irrigated a pasture with it,, the water is not available for further use without some processing.

    But, as I have already noted, hydro power stations do not use water; after the water has flowed through the power station it then can be metered or allocated or left to flow into the sea, the water is still fully available, or allocatable, or whatever. The power behind the power at a hydro station isn’t water, it’s gravity. Water is just a convenient way of leveraging gravity.

    Thus this current spat should not even be being considered.

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  42. My point Gerrit, remains. In my view they have a veto right over any sale of any land or water or water rights or mineral rights or fishing rights to anyone outside NZ. A veto that is not extinguished by the government “selling” our assets.

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  43. BJ,

    In my view they have a veto right over any sale of any land or water or water rights or mineral rights or fishing rights to anyone outside NZ

    What you are saying is that we dont live in a democracy.

    If the will of the people is subject to the an over riding influence by a seperate group of people is not a democracy.

    Welcome to dictatorship.

    Where you are fudging the issue by saying “to anyone outside of New Zealand”.

    Well it is anyone inside of NZL that is subject to a dictatorship.

    Not my vision of a democracy.

    Bit like an unelected senate.

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  44. samiam,

    We need a constitution with equal rights for all New Zealander, born here or not. Why do you think that someone granted citizenship (or even just granted indefinite residency) but not born here is inferior to someone born here?

    bj,

    Your previous posts read as though it was your considered opinion regardless of the treaty, not that it was just your interpretation of the treaty and profoundly felt. Regarding the treaty, it is clearly not clear (is there a full copy of the original, anyway and were both translations identical in meaning?), since there are judgements made on its provisions in each individual case.

    However, going in, the Maori have to have the same position they had when they signed the treaty.

    Who signed the treaty that is alive today?

    greenfly,

    I’ll answer your question with a question, if I may. Do you think all treaties should be honoured, regardless of their content or the conditions at the time of the signing? Please also define “original inhabitants”. To give a more direct answer, I can certainly envisage treaties that should not be upheld.

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  45. @Tony
    Actually I do make a distinction between born New Zealanders (Tangata Whenua) and other naturalised Kiwis. The latter may become citizens but may never become Tangata Whenua, their kids however can be. Quite what differences in rights that might entail I’m not sure, but personally I do see a distinction.

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  46. samiam,

    I hope you end up seeing no difference in rights. Both groups of people will have the same responsibilities and should have the same rights. The naturalised Kiwis have deliberately chosen this country and some may have undertaken the move at considerable emotional and financial cost. I don’t think they should be treated as second class citizens in some way. Giving a name to one group (Tangata Whenua) will certainly have emotional appeal but doesn’t, of itself, mean anything.

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  47. Toad says “They are not claiming that they own the water itself.”

    Utter nonsense.

    “Maori own the water”

    What do you not understand about the quote from the Maori Council co-chairman Maanu Paul ? (from Herald, TVNZ etc)

    The same claims have been made repeatedly on radio, tv, newspapers etc – all week.

    There have also been claims for 100% Maori ownership of the govt owned power generators.

    And there have been claims for partial Maori ownership of the generators.

    And we have been told that these claims of private ownership of generators and water, are to stop private ownership of these assets.

    When it’s blatantly obvious they would love privatisation, if they can get these assets for free.

    It’s hilarious that there some here so blinkered that they’ll back full privatisation of the countrys water if it will throw a spanner in the works of part privatisation of some generators.

    Even though it would result in
    – much higher power prices no matter who owns the generators
    – renewable energy becoming LESS cost effective compared to fossil fuel generation.
    – higher costs for water supply across the country.
    – higher costs for fruit, meat, vegetables, cereal – in fact pretty much all foods and all manufactured products.

    Yeah – lets privatise water. Great idea.

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  48. Gerrit

    To the extent that the treaty of Waitangi tribunal dictates what the government can and cannot do, you do not live in a “democracy”. That is already quite clear. Things here are NOT all equal, and my closest approach to this is that if a Constitution is adopted, the Maori will wind up with a separate house, like the Senate or the House of Lords, that has powers that cannot be overturned by the rest of us… that is Maori by birthright. Then you can have one LAW for everyone, because then the inequality will be constrained to the making of laws, but we ain’t anywhere near that yet.

    BJ

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  49. dbuckley, iwi have an interest in the operation of hydro dams – because they impact on the water flow level of the river and the capacity of the river to provide traditional taonga protected under the Treaty. Similarly an interest in the threat to the waterways from overstocking and dairy farm and stock management practice – though this is not part of the claim in relation to the SOE sale process.

    The argument would be that under the Treaty iwi have a claim to compensation for impact on waterways of the existing dams of the power companies – that should be known to investors before the privatisation begins.

    Iwi are simply taking advantage of Treaty clauses in SOE legislation to make the play for compensation before any part sale.

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  50. Tony

    Don’t Maori have a right to be consulted, and claims related to resolved, before resources are on sold onto the market – to rich locals and global corporates alike?

    After all, democracy does not mean the right of the majority to steal the property of a minority. If the government is prepared to sign legislation protecting the rights of foreign corporates from local democratic sovereignty (TPP) action, why not local iwi – rights under SOE legislation to have Treaty claims resolved before sale etc?

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  51. Good on Maori for throwing a spanner in the works.

    National selling our assets works against ordinary New Zealanders and our country.

    And Maori should be compensated if what was once given ( or taken under ministry of works or public works legislation ) for the benefit of all New Zealanders is then sold to overseas and private owners.

    The way the asset sales process is starting shows what a useless job the nats are going to make of it.

    Like the national party in general this going to leave most people worse off.

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  52. Tony – dismissing our treaty eh? Is that because it doesn’t suit you? Tony, 2012, decides that thr Treaty of Waitangi doesn’t suit *stamps little foot, and consigns it to the dustbin of history.
    Really, Tony?
    You don’t think the treaty is a good’un?

    “greenfly,

    I’ll answer your question with a question, if I may.”

    Well, Tony, that’s bad form.
    “Do you think all treaties should be honoured, regardless of their content or the conditions at the time of the signing?”
    Somewhat facetious, your question. We’re talking about a specific treaty. Stick to that, eh!
    “Please also define “original inhabitants”.

    Why? The two parties to the Treaty ‘defined’ their status perfectly clearly. Not good enough for you? Keen to ‘redefine’ one of the parties, are you?
    “To give a more direct answer, I can certainly envisage treaties that should not be upheld.”

    Well, that’s very clever of you, Tony. The Treaty of Waitangi then, time for a ‘redefinition’? Hope you are going to get the go-ahead to do that from both parties, as is standard practice when ‘redefining treaties. Not thinking of some unilateral act, are you?

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  53. BJ,

    Things here are NOT all equal, and my closest approach to this is that if a Constitution is adopted, the Maori will wind up with a separate house, like the Senate or the House of Lords, that has powers that cannot be overturned by the rest of us… that is Maori by birthright.

    Thar is scarily not far away from a communist or fascist state.

    If that is where you want to be burden by go ahead.

    You will have to prise my democratic freedom from my cold dead hands. See you across the ramparts.

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  54. “”What you are saying is that we dont live in a democracy.””

    Gerrit. Are you being funny?

    61 People forcing through legislation that is, not only, clearly against the wishes of a large majority, but also obviously against their best interests. IS NOT DEMOCRACY!

    A democracy does not consist of being graciously allowed to choose between two similar dictatorships every three years.

    A democracy is when the majority decide policy, not a minority of a few and their corporate funders.

    Several hundred thousand Maori voting on something is still closer to democracy than 61 thieving arseholes in Parliament.

    Unlike the present National party, and many Pakeha and recent immigrants, Maori have along history of being generous for the common good.

    It has become a common principle that when, something Maori have allowed to be used for the common good, is to be privatised they have first refusal or compensation, which is only fair if you are an advocate of “property rights:. Which most of the RWNJ;s claim they are. Except when it is ordinary peoples, or Maori, property rights, it seems. Hypocrisy much!

    I am pleased that Maori are opposing further “enclosure of the commons” for the benefit of a few thieves,and to the detriment of the rest of us.

    In fact if you take the total number of votes, more than half voted for parties opposing asset sales..

    Anyone Pakeha who grew up around Maori know that Tau-iwi is a derogatory term. Most of us find it insulting. Including Maori with Pakeha ancestry.

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  55. SPC,

    Rights are not intrinsic, they are made up by humans and not always democratically. But I agree that the Maori claim should be worked through before the asset sales go ahead (if they do go ahead).

    Greenfly,

    Your post was a bit disjointed but, as I understand it, the Treaty was thrown together undemocratically in a few hours, with a Maori translation that was not exact and there is no full record of the Treaty. It was “agreed” by some of those that were around a century and a half ago. Do you think it should be the equivalent of the ten commandments, written in stone and forever unchallengeable by all people who live in this country?

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  56. Tony – your understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi is seriously flawed. I suggest you go and talk to someone knowledgeable from the ‘other party’ (unless you’re Maori, which I’m entirely confident in predicting you are not) and increase your understanding. It’s not often we hear such a shallow view as yours, on the matter of the Treaty. It’s almost cute, if it wasn’t so trite.

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  57. greenfly,

    What is flawed about my understanding? Can you suggest a good source for a better understanding?

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  58. Kerry,

    What BJ was proposing is even more undemocratic than what we have now.

    Not saying what we have currently is democratic in my view, but BJ’s senario would have absolute rule (veto rights) by a minority (around 15% of the population) over the majority.

    Remember you can only join this minority by birth.

    No voting will be considered.

    You happy with that?

    If yes, than I will see you across the barricades as well.

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  59. Gerrit shows all the traits of someone whose ancestors stole Maori land and then used the imperial army to suppress Maori objection.

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  60. The Maori Party must surely be aware of how John Key their coalition partner really feels about partnership with them – useful for supporting subsidiarity – break up of collective state provision via separate delivery to Maori (whanau ora etc). National is really using the threat to abolish the Maori seats to force the MP into coalition with them while they are in the full and final settlement of Treaty claims mode – and one that includes failure to fulfill even such existing agreements as clauses in SOE legislation.

    It’s interesting that undermining the ownership of the common is allowed when it involves the right (of private landowners) to overstock land and in this and other ways consequently pollute the waterways – or to sell the common ownership of the production of electricity from the use of dams on the waterways – but when Treaty claims of iwi are involved, those not Maori are then encouraged by National to object.

    But then those who allow the waterway pollution, and wish to over-ride objections to National failing to observe due (legal) process in flogging off assets over the objections of the majority of the people … well they wish to gather support for this by implying that they are protecting us from Maori claims (made under terms of existing SOE legislation). And this while planning to agree to clauses in the TPP that would grant effective veto to foreign corporations over domestic government (local sovereignty) decision making.

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  61. The Dominion Post, that well known champion of Maori and the collective against private ownership … decides that just maybe taking what John Key says on this seriously, as photonz does, is not credible

    “The Maori Council claim being heard by the Waitangi Tribunal this week is complex. It is not, as Mr Key has attempted to paint it, about whether Maori “own” water. It is, as lawyer Mai Chen pointed out in this newspaper yesterday, an issue of whether the Treaty guarantees Maori guardianship, control and authority over the use of water, as well as geothermal resources. That relates directly to the operations of Mighty River Power, which produces most of its electricity from hydro and geothermal sources.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/editorials/7276441/Editorial-Court-needed-for-water-claim

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/7272091/The-murky-issue-of-rights-to-water

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  62. nznative says “Good on Maori for throwing a spanner in the works.”

    If they are succesful at claiming ownership of water, or even rights, then that means electricity, water, and everything that requires them (food production, manufacturing) will be more expensive for everyone, REGARDLESS of if the assets are sold or not.

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  63. SPC,

    You, Kerry and BJ show all the traits of people who’s ancestors fought for democratic freedom yet are now willing now to throw it away.

    You would also be happy to have an unelected body (to which membership can only occur by birth) having veto powers over the rest of the democratic process.

    For that is what BJ is suggesting and Kerry is endorsing.

    if we lived in a true democracy this whole question of water ownership would be put to binding referendum.

    As a democratic person you surely would favour such a referendum?

    And while we are at it, I support a binding referendum on state asset sales.

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  64. SPC,

    For your information my ancestors travelled the seas in long boats and settled in the British Isles, Iceland, Greenland, and Nova Scotia. They travelled to great Russian rivers down to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

    They set up the modern social democratic states of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.

    Their blood runs through the viens of the now free people of the Baltic states formerly under the tyranny of communist Russia.

    That is my ancestory.

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  65. ooohhhh scary Maori huh photonz?

    Its the National party which is the real danger ………..

    Selling our assets which makes our country poorer.

    Selling the peoples assets against the wishes of the people.

    Giving tax breaks and money to the rich who will buy the peoples assets.

    Giving tax breaks and money to the rich which leaves a hole in the Govts accounts which they then use as an excuse to sell our assets.

    Dishonest, Greedy, rich National party ministers and members are the real threat to your average kiwi.

    The asset sales being a prime example.

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  66. … and instead of our National troll photonz1’s frustrated fear mongering the real fact of the matter is, to quote Kerry T :

    ….”It has become a common principle that when, something Maori have allowed to be used for the common good, is to be privatised they have first refusal or compensation, which is only fair if you are an advocate of “property rights:. Which most of the RWNJ;s claim they are. Except when it is ordinary peoples, or Maori, property rights, it seems. Hypocrisy much!

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  67. Not off-topic, but why do you think so many people are heading for Australia? Because they have had enough of the Maori “problem” taking up so much tme and effort, and he continual looking backward when we should be focussing, as one people, on the future. Instead, we have discussions like this where Kerry and BJ seem to be saying that kiwi apartheid is relly a good idea. What happened to ideals of equality that the Green party say they stand for? Does that only apply when you want to tax some rich prick or similar?

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  68. Gerrit, why conflate the position of others by lumping them together when they do not actually say the same thing?

    A second house for Maori, or a constitution establishing Treaty rights protected by the Supreme Court, or simply a Treaty of Waitangi select committee in the parliament including Maori electorate MP’s (and others) are all simply different ways to ensure that a government follows due process when they take actions impacting on existing (already recognised or on potential claims already acknowledged) Treaty commitments.

    If the government of the day showed respect for due process – operating within the confines of precedent (democratic mandate is co-dependent with) this would not be necessary.

    Does a government have mandate form an election result to sell assets in this case, if they gave reassurance to voters they would do so within due process and/or established a coalition agreement with the MP on this basis?

    Does a government have mandate to sign the TPP (without a referendum) if such a Treaty involves sacrificing democratic sovereignty?

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  69. Gerrit, the Latvians, Estonians, Lithuanians and Finnish people are of different stock to Vikings (Norse and Danes and Normans well known in British and Irish history).

    Yes, the Tsars and many of the boyars (“other minor gods”) were descendants of Vikings, I wonder what Putin’s ancestry is. It’s not that Slavic a name.

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  70. Experts on the economy and free trade have warned that Prime Minister John Key’s comments about Maori water rights will come back to bite him if he does not resolve those rights before embarking on asset sales.

    Free trade expert Professor Jane Kelsey, of Auckland University, said if subsequent decisions on water rights drove down the share price or dividends of the energy companies, they could claim the Government had undermined their investment and breached obligations to them under international investment agreements.

    She also warned that Mr Key’s statements about water rights and Treaty issues could be used against him in such a situation because investors could claim they had relied on such assurances.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10819268

    A senior Treasury official has acknowledged that Maori rights in water and geothermal resources are a risk to the value of energy companies, and says that will be made clear to investors when Mighty River Power shares go on sale this year.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10819500

    Apparently getting the assets sold off in a rush (and then not even at the peak of the sharemarket asset valuation cycle), is more important than getting a good price and doing so with due process legitimacy and real democratic mandate. This is about imposing an outcome before the government is removed from power – and one reason is to enable opportunity for tax free CG to those with the money to invest and to increase the number of investors who have benefited from this – so they might also oppose the later introduction of a CGT.

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  71. photonz1

    If they are succesful at claiming ownership of water, or even rights, then that means electricity, water, and everything that requires them (food production, manufacturing) will be more expensive for everyone, REGARDLESS of if the assets are sold or not.

    You’re simply fear mongering photon. Maori haven’t said they will charge for the use of water… However as kaitiaki it’s in their best interests to have a financial value associated with the precious resource. This would hopefully help to alleviate the widespread abuse of water through overallocation and pollution that is rampant throughout New Zealand, largely because it’s currently free for polluting industries and regional councils have failed in their duty to protect it.

    People who have historically gathered sustenance from water are most effected by the (largely european) abuse of the resource, and therefore Maori have a vested interest in seeing water respected. Foreign owners with a profit motive at the forefront of their little minds will have even less reason to respect our water. Over 20% of the worlds replenishing freshwater resources have already been permanently destroyed!

    There’s also no legislation and therefore reason they wont use the water for things other than hydroelectric generation… Perhaps even sell it to China or use it for fracking up the place… So much for our clean and green advertising campaign, what a waste of money.

    Gerrit

    You, Kerry and BJ show all the traits of people who’s ancestors fought for democratic freedom yet are now willing now to throw it away.

    You would also be happy to have an unelected body (to which membership can only occur by birth) having veto powers over the rest of the democratic process.

    The democratic process happened at the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi whereby the Crown agreed that Māori retain customary rights to indigenous freshwater. In fact this is a ruling that has already been made perfectly clear by the Waitangi Tribunal, and John Key is simply wasting millions of dollars. National cannot simply ignore legally enforceable laws and the founding document of New Zealand just because they’re ideologically blinded by their greed.

    Maori do not have veto powers over the rest of the democratic process… You’re essentially trying to turn the debate into one based on racism. Calling the Waitangi Tribunal and perhaps the justice system undemocratic just shows how juvenile the rightwing can be when things don’t go their way. Any functional democracy has various avenues whereby democracy can take effect, and having various institutes that can correct mistakes is essential to democratic functionality.

    It just so happens that National has chosen not to consider what the majority of New Zealanders want in selling our power companies without a proper mandate, which is the antithesis of the democratic process.

    If the Waitangi Tribunal rule in favour of the Maori Council and Sir Eddie Durie predictably walks all over the Crowns lawyers, which results in halting asset sales, the Waitangi Tribunal will in fact be fufilling the wishes of the majority of the population. Therefore the decision would be in accordance with democracy, opposed to the totalitarian attitude of the Crown in trying to ram through highly unpopular policy.

    The strange thing here is that National previously said asset sales would only go ahead if there was a good economic case, which was dependent on Europe recovering properly from the recession. Europe hasn’t recovered, the market couldn’t be flatter and therefore National is breaching its own conditions by pursuing unviable and economically unsound asset sales, which have been historically proven to be a complete failure for New Zealand.

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  72. Foreigners biding up the price of local farmland increase the cost of food production, selling the SOE’s on the basis that in future profit-making be the major purpose of the SOE will also drive up power prices – yet from some all we hear/read are apologetics for these two things and yet bleating that Maori claim to their “property” rights might increase costs to “us” – as if this is the one thing we should not stand for.

    The only difference in these three cases is that in one case the property rights of Maori iwi (that does not include non Maori) is involved.

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  73. greenfly,

    I guessed as much; you can’t say where my view is flawed so you obfuscate. I suspected as much from your first complaint of my view as your post was devoid of constructive content.

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  74. You are a very, very clever man, Tony. You’ve seen right through my empty words. As I did yours. We’re practically twins!

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  75. Gerrit. Maybe manning the barricades is what we should be doing now.

    As you know I have advocated Swiss style referenda for a long time.

    I was talking about the hypocrisy of RWNJ’s getting their tits in a knot, about Maori making money from the commons, when asset sales are tau-iwi stealing them.

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  76. How’s this for naive…..

    “Maori haven’t said they will charge for the use of water…” says Jackal

    NZNative says “Selling our assets which makes our country poorer.”

    Yeah right. The SOEs have paid an average dividend of $400m per year for the last five years. The $200m average return from half of that on $6 billion of assets (3% return – and a fraction of 1% of govt income) is made out to be some golden goose.

    It gives us all 14 cents per day per person – not even as much as the interest paid on the same money.

    And not even 1% of the average of $50 per person that the govt spends on us every day.

    The fact that some people think that the income from the generators is crucial to the future of NZ, only proves the level of finaicial ignorance in New Zealand.

    A 2 cent change in petrol price has a bigger impact on every kiwi than whether we get an income from generators or pay off debt.

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  77. Respected economists state the asset sales are a bad idea.

    National troll and the Nats say its good ( but they lie and twist everything ) .

    I know who I believe.

    Certain things like electricity are very strategic for a country.

    Private business and the motivation for profits take no account of what is good or best for a country.

    The Nats have already shown themselves to be incompetent and doing a piss poor job at trying to flog off our assets.

    Just like running the country they are making a mess of it.

    Another good reason to stop the theft/sale

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  78. Kerry,

    Problem i see is that in a true democracy, where binding referendums are held, is that an issue such as the water rights being owned by Maori may well decide rule that they dont.

    That would not be acceptable to a minority.

    So while we have the TOW we will never have a true democracy.

    What B J was advocating was worse and while SPC is suggesting an interseting alternative it is still instigates veto powers to a minority through the supreme court.

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  79. photon

    The $200m average return from half of that on $6 billion of assets (3% return – and a fraction of 1% of govt income) is made out to be some golden goose.

    Only a fully fledged RWNJ would think $200 million is a small amount. $200 million is also an underestimation… $868 million will be lost per year rising to more than $1 billion after 2014 under National’s mixed ownership model.

    We already know that the lost revenue is more than will be saved from paying off debt even by Nationals accounting, so there’s really no economic argument for the partial asset sales. That’s why some of the leading economists have come out and slammed Nationals idiotic policy.

    If you believe so vehemently, why don’t you march down the street in support of asset sales photon?

    Gerrit

    What B J was advocating was worse and while SPC is suggesting an interseting alternative it is still instigates veto powers to a minority through the supreme court.

    If it goes to the supreme court (mainly dependent on whether John key decides to ignore the Waitangi Tribunal) and the decision is in favour of the Maori council, the Court will simply be upholding the Treaty of Waitangi… They will be recognizing a contract that was entered into way back in 1840.

    What you’re arguing for is that Maori should not be allowed any property rights and for some reason not be allowed to pass any cultural inheritance onto their descendants because of the colour of their skin. Such an argument makes you look like an old racist fool Gerrit.

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  80. jackal says “Only a fully fledged RWNJ would think $200 million is a small amount.”

    Only someone financially illiterate would think $200m is a reasonable return on $6000 million of assets.

    That’s an appalling waste of taxpayers assets.

    And they don’t even lose that much. Of the $200m of private dividends, $60 million will be paid back to the govt in tax.

    And any of your “leading economists” who haven’t factored that in, wouldn’t pass high school accounting.

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  81. Gerrit, I did mention a third option – a Treaty of Waitangi select committee in the parliament including Maori electorate MP’s (and others). This would at least allow/ensure public consultation to place a focus on due process whenever government plans any action impacting on existing (already recognised or on potential claims already acknowledged) Treaty commitments.

    This is merely good procedure, because Maori will seek Court redress otherwise – even within current limitations (no constitution). Government mandate includes operating within the confines of legal right.

    In terms of democrartic mandate alone – does a government have mandate from an election result to sell assets in this case, if they gave reassurance to voters they would do so with due regard to Treaty rights in existing legislation and claims yet to be decided on and/or established a coalition agreement with the MP on this basis?

    In terms of mandate the real issue that John Key brings to the public is unintended – does the government have mandate to sign the TPP without a referendum, if such a Treaty involves sacrificing democratic sovereignty by establishing the primacy of corporate property rights? If he allows this, while dismissing Maori water rights claims, one has to ask – on what basis?

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  82. How come photonz with his national party trolling never mentions this:

    .”It has become a common principle that when, something Maori have allowed to be used for the common good, is to be privatised they have first refusal or compensation, which is only fair if you are an advocate of “property rights:. Which most of the RWNJ;s claim they are. Except when it is ordinary peoples, or Maori, property rights, it seems. Hypocrisy much!”

    You’ve shown in the past that you support child abuse photonz1, now explain why you support theft ?? >>>>>

    National and John Key are showing just how useless they are with this asset sales/theft debacle …..

    And now to cover their incompetence they are playing the racist card.

    John Key may have been good at gaming the financial markets and being a player in a corrupt system which has brought the world economy to the brink of ruin through fraud and greed.

    But greed and working a system for personal enrichment do not a good prime minister make ……..

    As we are seeing.

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  83. photon

    Only someone financially illiterate would think $200m is a reasonable return on $6000 million of assets.

    Where on earth did you come up with $200 million from photon? Please stop making shit up. Take into account the $266M reduced interest payments if all the proceeds were put to paying off debt and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the shortfall. Even Nationals budget puts the loss at $94M per year by 2016, which Peter Dunce has recently said will be met by increased taxes.

    If 49% of those assets are worth $6 billion (National and Treasury haven’t made up their minds yet) a return of only $360 million per year (the Greens calculation) is 6%, which isn’t too bad. In fact the lowest return posted last year for SOE’s was Solid Energy at 7.5%. Only a complete moron would think that’s not a good return photon.

    The other issue is that privatising those companies, even partially will mean power prices will go up even faster than the 8 to 9% per year we’ve seen since 2000. Therefore it’s in the best interest of the average New Zealander to not let a bunch of rightwing crooks sell our assets to their rich mates.

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  84. Much of the estimated future profit in owning the power companies and SE is from the rising value of the existing power generation asset (as new renewable energy costs more and sets price and value to generation) and rising value to coal.

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  85. Meridian Energy made an after tax profit of $303 million in 2011… Mighty River Power made $127 million, Genesis Energy made $266 million, Solid Energy made $96 million and Air New Zealand made $85 million for a grand Total of $877 million. 49% of that is over $429 million in after tax profit.

    So $200 lost revenue per year is well off the mark photon.

    In 2011 Meridian Energy had total net assets of $4.9 billion, Mighty River Power $2.9 billion, Genesis Energy $3.6 billion Solid Energy $519 million, Air New Zealand $1.5 billion for a grand Total of over $13.4 billion. 49% of this is $6.57 billion.

    However this amount does not take into account any value for water resources, the human capital as well as the time and effort put into building those enterprises up from the ground, which seems to be something the rightwing elitists are incapable of doing for themselves in New Zealand… Much easier to try and steal the people’s hard work.

    References:

    Meridian Energy: http://www.meridianenergy.co.nz/assets/PDF/Company/Investors/Reports-and-presentations/Annual-reports/2011/16-0-1142-MER-FinancialsOnline.pdf

    Mighty River Power: http://www.mightyriver.co.nz/PDFs/Results/Annual-Reports/Mighty_River_Power_Limited_Annual_Report_2011.aspx

    Genesis Energy: http://www.comu.govt.nz/resources/pdfs/gp/gp-ar-11.pdf

    Solid Energy: http://www.coalnz.com/index.cfm/3,186,393/solid_energy_annual_report_2011.pdf

    Air New Zealand: http://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/assets/PDFs/2011-airnz-annual-financial-report.pdf

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  86. Tony – your understanding of the TOW does seem weak from the comments you’ve made – suggesting there’s no complete copy and pointing to differences between the Maori and English versions (the former is incorrect and the latter is irrelevant as the English version was barely used – the Maori version was the copy signed by the vast majority of signatories).

    I’d start by reading Claudia Orange’s The Treaty of Waitangi, I also thought Peter Adams’ book Fateful Necessity was pretty good for understanding the politics around the British government that lead to them signing the treaty, but this is out of print and a bit hard to find.

    When you say I’m misreading you, I’m not. I may be reading what you are putting in type, rather than what you actually think, but what I’m getting at is that there are many who seem passionate about protecting the commons from Maori and apathetic about protecting the commons from others. I asked you to point me to some sign that you don’t fit this category – by showing me evidence of your activity in opposing non-Maori enclosures, but so far you haven’t.

    On Democracy – you’d have to take a pretty simplistic view of representative democracy to see ‘one person – on vote on everything’ as a viable system. No serious democratic theorist has ever promoted this as it leaves minorities unprotected. How you protect minority cultures is open to question, but let’s for heaven’s sake not hear calls for ‘equal rights for everyone’ as if it’s OK for the Pakeha majority to hold an effective veto over Maori – based purely on numerical dominance – and calling this ‘democracy’.

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  87. Jackal says the SOEs in 2011 returned ” a grand Total of $877 million”

    But Jackal failed to tell you he included the one-off sale for $500m of Tekapo power station. Sold by Meridian, included in their profits given to govt, and paid for by Genesis with debt.

    That’s like claiming you earn $20,000 more every year, because your wife got a $20,000 bank loan and bought your car off you.

    The common figure reported for returns to govt by the SOEs over the last five years is $400m per year.

    And that matches the fact that the total return to govt since they were formed 13+ years ago is $4.65b.

    From Herald “The SOEs have paid $4.65 billion to the government since they were formed. Solid Energy’s predecessor CoalCorp was set up in 1987 and the power generators in the late 1990s.”

    So it’s pretty obvious that over 13 or more years, the average return to govt from ALL SOEs is under $400m.

    Jackal tries to claim that 49% of this being $200m is “well off the mark”.

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  88. nznative says “You’ve shown in the past that you support child abuse photonz1″

    nznative – do you think juvenile name calling and making up untrue offensive remarks does anything to progress your arguement, or just gives people an insight to your personality?

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  89. Sam,

    Thanks for the constructive comments. I have read the English version of the Treaty but don’t read Maori so I will have to find a good translation of that. Thanks for the pointer.

    I’m against destruction of the commons, which is what our industrial economy does. I think that what might be termed the traditional Maori approach to the commons (though I’m not sure that was true of the first Maori) is good, and I’d be moderately happy with that if that was the general approach of the people of New Zealand. Unfortunately, I don’t think ceding control to Maori (though I’m not totally sure how that would be manifested) will stop the destruction of the commons. However, from another angle, ceding control to one group of people on any basis (including the basis of some claim to ancestry), would be very worrying. Better, in principle, to have it under democratic control (though that begs the question of how to ensure democratic control).

    Your notion of a Pakeha majority is similar to drawing arbitrary divisions between people. It implies that all Pakeha think one way and all Maori think one way. Minorities could be protected by equal rights but it will always be impossible to accommodate all minority views. However, true democracy would not see administrations (governments) form that represent only one group of people or include minority views that hold more sway that much more widely held views. For example, why does a group that has more than 20% of the vote have no place in government when one that has 1% of the vote does? I’ve read that true democracy is impossible in groups larger than about 200 people. If so, then I hold no expectation for a better democracy here, though one can always hope.

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  90. Photon, that’s net profits after liabilities. Genesis Energy purchased Tekapo A and B from Meridian Energy, which is included in Nationals Mixed Ownership Model Bill. Are you saying that Meridian Energy didn’t make any profit from the sale, and that Genesis Energy hasn’t included that $500 million loan (could you provide a reference?) in its liabilities?

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  91. “It implies that all Pakeha think one way and all Maori think one way.”

    No – just the possibility of one culture imposing its views on another. Cultures are, after all, essentially specific groups of methodologies.

    Problem with arguing against ceding control of the commons to Maori is that very little commons has ever existed in New Zealand as a whole – commons existed in Maori society under hapu control – each hapu had its own commons. Since the colonial government took over, little commons have existed, and what does exist has been steadily broken up and sold to corporates and individuals. I agree that the commons should be under democratic control (though I don’t necessarily see an arbitrary institution such as ‘New Zealand’ as the best repository for the commons) but as that seems highly unlikely in the short to medium term (it means instituting a form of socialism), one needs to take a position as to who will control resources here and now and not fall into the trap of excluding certain groups and thus implicitly backing others.

    There’s a translation of the Maori text of the treaty here:
    http://www.trc.org.nz/sites/trc.org.nz/files/%20Te%20Tiriti%20o%20Waitangi.pdf

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  92. Jackal – The govt owned Tekapo under Meridian last year and it owns Tekapo under Genesis this year.

    The govt is NOT $500 million better off because a power station swaped from one of it’s SOEs to another – as you’re trying to claim.

    The banks loaned Genesis $500m who gave it to Meridian who passed it onto govt. The govt has $500m in it’s pocket, and it’s SOE has $500m more debt.

    Trying to claim this as real profit (and in particular ongoing profit) is rediculous.

    That would be like me owning two companies. One gets a bank loan to buy an asset off the other, and me claiming the proceeds as profit.

    When like the govt, I own EXACTLY the same assets as I had previously.

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  93. photon

    The govt is NOT $500 million better off because a power station swaped from one of it’s SOEs to another – as you’re trying to claim.

    By the same token, the govt isn’t $500 million worse off either. So why are you trying to deduct a loan, which is already included in the liabilities, from the equation?

    Trying to claim this as real profit (and in particular ongoing profit) is rediculous.

    It’s a net profit for 2011 dumbass! I never said it was ongoing. You include acquisitions and sales in annual reports.

    But Jackal failed to tell you he included the one-off sale for $500m of Tekapo power station.

    Tekapo A and B were sold for $821 million resulting in a gain on sale of around $175 million. Are you going to link to where you got that $500 million figure from or not?

    It’s a bit silly that you want to count it as a liability to Genesis Energy but not a profit for Meridian? I think you’re just trying to sidetrack the debate with your usual disinformation photonz1.

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  94. photonz1 supported this child abuser : http://childabuseinnz.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/paedophile-discharged-without-conviction-because-he-makes-people-laugh/

    …. thats not making stuff up and I’ve been sickened and disturbed by photonz’s obviously warped personality ever since …..

    Mind you the child abuser was drunk and the national party which means by default photonz would rather support the booze industry than abused children.

    … Selling our assets to the rich at the expense of average kiwis sits well with such personality types …..

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  95. The fantasy of ‘The Noble Savage’ is alive and well here isn’t it. That Maori have some intrinsic greater/higher morals regarding the environment. I wish it were so. History would suggest otherwise, upon arrival on these fair shores the brown immigrants set about killing and eating everything they could. They had spectacular success, the only thing that stopped them ravaging even more was the lack of guns and chainsaws. The white mutherfukkers, of course, took up THAT challenge in their own good time. Both had a shameful attitude with predictably hideous results.
    As a youth I watched our extensive pippi beds get strip-mined to destruction…who by? The local Marae of course. I remember my Dad going down to politely suggest they might only take a small amount…. F-off whitey,this is OUR kaimoana, was the predictable reply.
    Fast forward to today…there is a reef offshore…who goes there EVERY day to strip it bare? The local Maori (yes I know the boat).
    Forgive me, if I have no more faith in the brown than I do in the white, yellow, black, whatever.
    Further more assuming I’m completely mistaken and they do have some intrinsic connection that I’ve, as yet, failed to grasp. I’d bet you a green lollipop that the emerging Maori elite will devour any benefit and the masses will get pissed upon from a great height.
    The commons must be kept as a privilege, not a right, or worse still…a possession (especially a by racial birthright!)
    Gee how many down-ticks will this earn me!

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  96. samiam,

    I agree with you. However, a people who have come through the early period of not giving a damn for the biosphere have learned that they have to give a damn. All I’d say is that those Maori I’ve met who understand the value of the environment do seem to have a good approach to living with it. I have no expectation that the majority of maori, like as I have no expectation that just about all people in the developed world, will actually see the environment as something that can’t continue to be raped and pillaged. The view from the minority of Maori is just as good as the view of the minority of environmentalists. Perhaps those two minorities need to get together.

    I think it’s probably all moot, anyway. This global industrial consumer society is in its death throes, though it will take a lot more of the environment that sustains us down with it, before it’s done. Discussions here will make no difference.

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  97. jackal shows a lack of financial understanding that borrowing money from a bank and paying it to yourself is not real profit “It’s a net profit for 2011 dumbass!”

    jackal says “$868 million will be lost PER YEAR rising to more than $1 billion after 2014 ”

    Then contradicts himself “I never said it was ongoing. ”

    The average annual income the govt gives up with partial privatisation is $200m (an average of the last 13 years – not some dreamed up figure from a single year that pretends a half million dollar loan is profit and that returns are double what they normally are).

    For 4m people thats $50 per person per year, or 14 cents per day.

    Countered by 4 cents a day in tax clawed back, and 17 cents a day in saved interest.

    The extremes of the arguement have us gaining or losing around 7 cents per day per person, which compares to the $50.00 per person per day that the govt spends on services.

    It’s sad that the country is so financially illiterate that many people think our future is critically dependant on such an insignificant part of our income.

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  98. Aside from anything else, encouraging ordinary Kiwis to play in the casino called the Stock Market is just irresponsible, especially in this period of economic uncertainty (to put it mildly). So, having not actually made the financial case for the sale, our so-called leaders also encourage rash behaviour.

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  99. Tony says “Aside from anything else, encouraging ordinary Kiwis to play in the casino called the Stock Market is just irresponsible”

    No – what is irresponsible is encouraging Kiwis to stay out of the stockmarket.

    It’s the engine room of every major economy, and without a stong stockmarket, NZ’s economy will always be running on three cylinders.

    (and nearly 2 million Kiwis already have money in the stockmarket through Kiwisaver).

    If you think it’s gambling then you’re obviously breaking all the most elementary investment rules and perhaps you’d be better off putting all your eggs in a nice safe finance company.

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  100. ” the four SOEs potentially up for partial sale generated total dividends last financial year of NZ$732.5 million and shareholder (government) equity stood at NZ$9.642 billion. “ This implies a combined (and very raw) dividend yield of 7.6% last year.”

    and regarding the private sector and the share market ….

    “* In December 1986, all of the top 10 companies originated in the private sector and had a total sharemarket value of $20,712 million.

    * Thirteen years later seven of the 10 companies started in the private sector and had a market value of $13,044 million.

    * Today, only four of the top 10 have a private sector background and their sharemarket capitalisation is just $10,866 million.

    Wealth going down. Time to consume more public asset” ……

    It seems the Nz share market and private sector business men destroy wealth in a very efficient manner, or do they just find a manner to channel it into their own bank accounts???.

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  101. Photon

    The average annual income the govt gives up with partial privatisation is $200m (an average of the last 13 years – not some dreamed up figure from a single year that pretends a half million dollar loan is profit and that returns are double what they normally are).

    We’re actually interested in what the companies will be returning in the future, not thirteen years ago FFS! If you’re going to calculate future lost revenue based old figures from over a decade ago, it’s no wonder you’re up shits creek without a calculator.

    Last year the companies earmarked for privatisation made net profits of $877 million. Even before Meridian sold Tekapo A and B it made on average $300 million per year, in 2011 it made $303 million.

    You still haven’t shown any calculation for the $200 million in lost revenue or the $500 million loan Genesis Energy supposedly took? Just making shit up to suit your agenda again eh photon.

    Then contradicts himself “I never said it was ongoing. ”

    The lost dividends going to the government is ongoing, the 2011 calculation on net profits is not. You’re such a moron photon.

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  102. photonz1,

    The NZX 50 is well below its all time high of five or so years ago (which is about when it started). The S&P 500, in the US, is below the high it set in 2000. The Nikkei Dow is less than half of its all time high. The recent Facebook investors took a pasting. The stock market stopped being a reliable investment, a long time ago, unless you’re doing it full time and can withstand huge losses. The recent bull run has been built on nothing but emotion and a bumpy roller coaster ride. You’re welcome to indulge, if you want, but government should not be encouraging the ordinary citizen to partake.

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  103. The share market is a place where those with the inside information get to fleece the poor mugs and little investors who think its a level playing field

    Just look at what happened last time our railways were sold and asset stripped …… The rich boys made out like bandits, the little investors got shafted.

    Nothings changed.

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  104. Recognizing a right to veto (which is I think inherent in the treaty) is not the same as granting a right to do whatever they please. I do agree with you Samiam, but I wasn’t into the “Noble Savage” meme. Just looking at the way the treaty seems (to me) to mean they have that right.

    As for THEIR being able to misuse or dispose of a resource, I would regard that as being subject to the approval of the OTHER house in parliament, or something like that.

    I’ve been mucking about with computer upgrades for a while so a fair few posts have been unanswered here, but perhaps this clarifies something for the people who rubbished the notion earlier.

    BJ

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  105. Tony says “The recent bull run has been built on nothing but emotion and a bumpy roller coaster ride.”

    In NZ it’s been on the back of companies making much higher profits. Shares can fluctuate substantially short term. But over time they reflect how much money the company makes.

    As Buffet says, shares prices are a popularity contest in the short term, and a measuring contest in the long term.

    In Australia, 43% of adults own shares, and most are financially literate and make better retruns than they’d make anywhere else.

    In NZ, only around 10% of people own shares, and most others are financially illiterate, and wouldn’t know how to invest in the sharemarket with a low risk strategy.

    So it’s no surprise that over the relative size of the Australian sharemarket has increased 600-700% compared to the NZ sharemarket over the last two decades.

    But encouraging people to stay ingnorant and out of the sharemarket, you’re condemning the NZ economy to the slow lane.

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  106. Jackal says “If you’re going to calculate future lost revenue based old figures from over a decade ago, it’s no wonder you’re up shits creek without a calculator.”

    Better than adding in a $500m bank loan, pretending that SOE profit has doubled, and deluding yourself that we can magic up an additional $500 profit out of thin air EVERY year into the future.

    Or your could delude yoursel that the after making $400m per year for the last decade, SOEs are suddenly going to double or triple the money the they make, despite zero change in electricity useage, and no change in prices.

    Then YOU start calling people a moron – that’s funny.

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  107. You have a lot to say for one who supports child abusers photonz.

    Key has admitted today that the first asset theft/sale is going to be delayed :-) .

    This stems from nationals incompetence and desperation.

    They are desperate to ram through as much of their right wing unpopular damaging policy’s as they can before the next election when the country will dump them.

    And because of their desperation and haste they are even more incompetent than usual.

    Its also comes down to Dunne and Banks voting with them and keeping them in power.

    John Banks is the perfect complimentary coalition partner for the nats and he’s always good for a cup of tea .

    He and the nats share the same values and operate to the same rule book ….. the rubber one which bends a lot.

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  108. photon

    Better than adding in a $500m bank loan, pretending that SOE profit has doubled, and deluding yourself that we can magic up an additional $500 profit out of thin air EVERY year into the future.

    What $500 million bank loan by Genesis Energy photon? There’s no mention of it in their annual reports. There’s no $500 million (what you claimed was the purchase price… moron) added to Meridian Energy’s balance sheet, who made an after tax profit of $303 million in 2011, the same year the sale went through.

    The five SOE’s net profit for 2011 was $877 million, 49% of that is over $429 million in net profit. The loan and profit from the Tekapo A and B sale is including in the annual reports. Why don’t you read them so you don’t look like a complete fool!

    I’m not pretending it’s doubled… you’re figures are simply wrong! Using figures that are thirteen years old to calculate future revenue might be realistic in RWNJ land… But it doesn’t cut the mustard here.

    Or your could delude yoursel that the after making $400m per year for the last decade, SOEs are suddenly going to double or triple the money the they make, despite zero change in electricity useage, and no change in prices.

    You’re completely off the planet photon. New Zealands electricity consumption increased dramatically from 33.2 billion kWh in 2001 to 39.24 billion kWh in 2011, so usage obviously changes. Electricity also gets more expensive for the public (around twice as fast as inflation) every year even with the main generators being owned by the government. Partial privatization will make electricity even more expensive for the consumer, which will increase profits.

    Many New Zealanders already cannot afford to heat their homes photon, which directly effects our productivity and adds billions to our health costs. The rightwings plan is to make things even worse in the name of profits, and that’s one of the reason why most New Zealanders don’t want our assets sold.

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  109. photonz1,

    The ASX is 30% down on the high of 2007. Another great investment. Australians would have done better to leave their money in a savings account, and that may well apply for the next few years, too. In case you hadn’t noticed, the whole world is entering the “slow lane”, if it’s not already there.

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  110. Jackal says “Even before Meridian sold Tekapo A and B it made on average $300 million per year, in 2011 it made $303 million.”

    You’re making up complete nonsense. They made $184m in 2010, $89m in 2009, and $128m in 2008.

    And surprise surprise. After making $303m profit in 2011 on the back of the Tekapo sale, they’ve made just $9m in the following 6 months.

    Jackal says “What $500 million bank loan by Genesis Energy photon? ”

    The one they talk about in their press release about buying Tekapo. They borrowed around $500m and issued $300m in bonds to pay for Tekapo Here’s their quote

    “The purchase price for the Tekapo Stations of $820,996,030 was paid in full today (1 June 2011). The purchase price was funded using Genesis Energy’s debt facilities and the net proceeds from the Company’s recent Capital Bonds issue.”

    Jackal says “New Zealands electricity consumption increased dramatically from 33.2 billion kWh in 2001 to 39.24 billion kWh in 2011″

    No – that’s not dramatic – it’s less than 2% increase per year. And in the last year there’s been zero increase.

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  111. Tony – shares are volatile short term. And there’s been few times more volatile than the last five years.

    But long term shares almost always beat any other investment. Here’s the longer term ASX graph

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:All_Ordinaries.png

    If you hang on for a few years you get good returns, and the whole time, you also get your dividends.

    I’ve got shares that I bought at the worst possible time at the peak in 2007 that are still worth less than I paid for them, but for five years I’ve been getting a 10% dividend (what return would I be getting following your advice of sticking my money in a bank for 5 years, compared to 10% x 5).

    When I sell them in 15-25 years time I have little doubt they’ll be worth several times what I paid for them, along with fantastic dividends over several decades.

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  112. photon

    You’re making up complete nonsense. They made $184m in 2010, $89m in 2009, and $128m in 2008.

    Well I guess the Comu is wrong then:

    That figure has been swelled by large capital returns, particularly from Meridian when it sold dams in Australia and the Tekapo A and B dams last year. Even before those events it was paying dividends of about $300 million a year, Comu said.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10764315

    And surprise surprise. After making $303m profit in 2011 on the back of the Tekapo sale, they’ve made just $9m in the following 6 months.

    Got a link for that? The thing is photon, if you don’t want to count the $175 profit from the Tekapo sale, you can’t count the Genesis Energy financing to purchase either. That would give a figure closer to the Greens calculation of $360 million initially lost per year from selling 49% of those five assets.

    Jackal says “What $500 million bank loan by Genesis Energy photon? ”

    The one they talk about in their press release about buying Tekapo. They borrowed around $500m and issued $300m in bonds to pay for Tekapo Here’s their quote.

    You mean this press release (PDF), where they don’t mention a $500 million loan at all. Stop making shit up.

    No – that’s not dramatic – it’s less than 2% increase per year. And in the last year there’s been zero increase.

    33.2 to 39.24 annual kWh is an increase of 18.2%… On the scale of things, I think that’s a lot.

    Keep in mind that people will currently not be increasing their usage because National has ensured inflation outstrips wage increases. In fact 16 to 20 year old males are getting paid less money in the hand today than they were in 2006.

    Also, more New Zealanders are permanently leaving than ever before. Arrivals and departures of permanent and long-term (PLT) migrants since National has been in power has resulted in a net loss. Less people means less power being purchased. Don’t try to win the debate because your team has buggered up the economy photon.

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  113. photonz1,

    That’s a great belief system you have there (that the present suppressed economic period, unusual post recession, will somehow get back on track and offer the usual returns we’ve seen in the past). I hope it comforts you, but I would not recommend anyone without your savvy and beliefs to “invest” in the stock market.

    Instead, I’d recommend Richard Heinberg’s “The End of Growth”, for a sober look at our situation.

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  114. Jackal – you are confusing a dividend for a profit.

    If you don’t understand the difference your should give up commenting on financial matters until you do.

    The figures for Meridians after tax profit come directly from their latest annual report.

    They made $184m in 2010, $89m in 2009, and $128m in 2008.

    However the dividends paid to govt have been
    425.4% of profit in 2006
    152.8% of profit in 2007
    149.1% of profit in 2008
    127.4% of profit in 2009

    A similar thing is happening in Dunedin where council owned companies go further and further into debt to pay the level of dividends the council demands.

    In recent years they have paid millions of dollars per year HIGHER than the profit they make, and got further into debt.

    Just like Meridian (whose liabilities have gone from $1.1b in 2006 to $3.6b in 2010).

    Jackal says “33.2 to 39.24 annual kWh is an increase of 18.2%”

    Duh – what’s does 18% increase over ten years work out as an annual increase? (could it be less than 2% per year just like I said?)

    Time for you to go back to school for maths lessons Jackal.

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  115. Tony says “That’s a great belief system you have there (that the present suppressed economic period, unusual post recession, will somehow get back on track and offer the usual returns we’ve seen in the past)”

    Actually many returns since 2008/2009 have been absolutely stunning.

    NZX shares up 150%
    Ryman up nearly 200% from it’s low
    Large property trusts like Argosy up 80%, Kiwi Income 40%, Goodman 45%, Augusta 45%
    Mainfreight up 250%
    Trademe up nearly 40% (in less than a year)
    Infratil up 40% etc.

    Of course to get the very best gains you needed to be buying when everyone else was panicking. Many of these companies with big gains are very low risk.

    But if you just keep adding to good companies by “dollar cost averaging” you can do nicely in the long term.

    I’ve got shares I bought in 2007 for $1.15 that dropped to 45c. So when I invested the same sum of money I got 2.5 times more shares (meaning my average price paid drops to under 65c – much closer to the lower price than the higher price)

    I’ve kept adding even more when the level was low, and even though the shares are still only 70c (still way below what I initially bought them for), I’m now well into profit (and been getting a very good dividend all along).

    The sharemarket has companies that range from high risk to very low risk – in many aspects lower risk to your capital than sticking it in a bank.

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  116. As I say, photonz1, a belief system. Now you are even quoting gains over 3 years, when the loss over 5 years or even 12 years was too short a period to bother about. All that is irrelevant; your belief is in business as usual for ever. That will always remain a belief.

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  117. photon

    Duh – what’s does 18% increase over ten years work out as an annual increase? (could it be less than 2% per year just like I said?)

    Time for you to go back to school for maths lessons Jackal.

    It’s the same figure put another way. You can divide it into weeks or days if you like to try and make it less significant.

    Similarly the profit from those five SOE’s can be divided down until you’re blue in the face, but it doesn’t discount the fact that the governments revenue stream will be far worse off if our assets are sold.

    Did you realise that we’re just haggling about how much money will be lost? By arguing that they’re only returning $200 million per year, you’re undervaluing the potential sale price. I wonder why you would want to do that?

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  118. Tony says “Now you are even quoting gains over 3 years,”

    That was to point out that
    – just because there’s a recession doesn’t mean that equities won’t give a good return.
    – by dollar cost averaging the down turns INCREASE your long term returns.

    No investment is 100% safe. People have lost money in banks, bonds, investments companies, property, the stock market, and by putting it under their mattress.

    With the stock market at least you can choose a high risk or low risk company, it’s very easy to spread your money around and diversify, you can dollar cost average, it’s easier to be inflation proof, and it’s very fluid so if you want your money out today (or 10%, 20%, 50% out), you can have the cheque tomorrow.

    And if you follow the basic common sense rules, your capital is much safer than most people think.

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  119. jackal says “Did you realise that we’re just haggling about how much money will be lost?”

    As I’ve said before, the extremes of the arguement are about whether kiwis will gain or lose 7 cents a day out of the $50 a day per person that the govt spends on us.

    Either way it’s not particularly relevant. What’s important is to get our sharemarket working better and stronger.

    And getting people to invest into assets that produce things and make money, instead of property or not saving at all.

    The best thing about the asset sales so far is that it’s ot people thinking about investing in the productive sector.

    As a story in our newspaper said last week, if you’re on a benefit and smoke a pack a day, then you have the ability to invest $5800 a year if you stopped.

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  120. And if you follow the basic common sense rules, your capital is much safer than most people think.

    Just the reverse, photonz1. Most people accept the meme that, at some point, the economy will get back to “normal” cycles, and the stock market will be a safe long term bet. However, it’s beginning to look as though economic growth is merely a government statistic. Once the big investors realise this, and once governments stop giving them free money, the stock market will bomb, even lower than in 2008/9. Global markets never really recovered from the dot com bust and, as the global economy deteriorates (because of a refusal to accept the finiteness of this planet), capital will be lost hand over fist. The stock market is a mug’s game, but you’re welcome to continue in it. What governments should not be doing is encouraging the ordinary person to dive in.

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  121. Tony,

    The stock market is a mug’s game,

    Hopefully you are like me and dont have a kiwisaver account, for if you did where is your kiwisaver money invested?

    How “safe” is your investment?

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  122. photon

    As I’ve said before, the extremes of the arguement are about whether kiwis will gain or lose 7 cents a day out of the $50 a day per person that the govt spends on us.

    Looks like you’re calculations are a bit out of whack there photon. $360 million is $82 per person per year, $1.50 per week or 22 cents per day.

    Even if we use your figure and by the same token, $199 million went on people who are Unemployed, which equates to $45 per person per year, 87 cents per week or 12 cents per day… Yet you still go on and on with your beneficiary bashing. I guess welfare for the already rich is OK in your book.

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  123. photon

    As a story in our newspaper said last week, if you’re on a benefit and smoke a pack a day, then you have the ability to invest $5800 a year if you stopped.

    Somebody on the Unemployment benefit gets between $7105 and $10,608 K per year to live on photon. If you think they can save and invest between 55 to 82 per cent of their benefits you’re clearly off your rocker.

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  124. Tony – your doom and gloom prediction for the world econmomy is a prediction that has been made every few years, starting over a century ago.

    Here we are in the middle of the worst recession in 80 years, and our unemployment rate is just 6% and flat screen tvs are being sold in record numbers.

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  125. Jackal says “If you think they can save and invest between 55 to 82 per cent of their benefits you’re clearly off your rocker.”

    If you think there’s no one on a benefit who smokes a pack a day you’re clearly off your rocker.

    Jackal says “Looks like you’re calculations are a bit out of whack there photon. $360 million is $82 per person per year, $1.50 per week or 22 cents per day.”

    That’s a fail of school economics jackal. You count a loss you say will be $360m, but totally fail to count any gains.

    (to use your figure) Of the $360m in private dividends, the govt will tax back $108m, leaving $252.

    And with $6b they will save interest of $240m at 4%, $360m at 6%, or $450m at 7.5% (the historical average interest rate of the last few decades).

    So even using your figure of $360m (instead of $200m which is the 49% of the average SOE profit over the last decade), by the time you have tax claimed back ($108m) and interest saved ($240m at current record low rates), you have a total gain of just $12m per year. (that’s $3 per person over a whole year, or 6c per person a week, or less than 1 cent a day.

    Wow – the countries future relies on this 1c?

    Even using what you say is the Greens figure of $360m in lost dividends,

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  126. photon

    That’s a fail of school economics jackal. You count a loss you say will be $360m, but totally fail to count any gains.

    I believe that figure includes interest payments already photon… But continue to whittle the revenue down if you like, and at the same time devalue the assets even further. By the end of the rightwings bungling of their privatisation agenda they wont be worth a thing.

    And with $6b they will save interest of $240m at 4%, $360m at 6%, or $450m at 7.5% (the historical average interest rate of the last few decades).

    7.5% is not the historic average of interest the government pays on money it borrows. You’re so far up shits creek without a paddle photonz, I wonder if you’ll ever make it back to the real world. The average interest on the money the government borrows is under 4%, more than four times less than those companies are currently returning.

    So even using your figure of $360m (instead of $200m which is the 49% of the average SOE profit over the last decade), by the time you have tax claimed back ($108m) and interest saved ($240m at current record low rates), you have a total gain of just $12m per year. (that’s $3 per person over a whole year, or 6c per person a week, or less than 1 cent a day.

    If that’s the case, then why is the government bothering to sell them at all? A gain of $12 million is only $2.72 per person per year… hardly worth the political damage National is taking over the deal. However your figures are still wrong!

    Those state-owned assets have made an average total shareholder return of 18.5% over the last five years… More than four times as much as the government can currently borrow money for.

    There were $889 million dividends paid in 2011 from the governments assets ($811 million in 2010).

    The Crown receives cash returns from its companies by way of dividend payments. In 2010/11, the Crown received $889 million of dividends from the commercial priority portfolio, a 9.5% increase on the previous year.

    In aggregate, for the last five years the commercial priority portfolio has paid approximately $3.1 billion in dividends to the Crown. Figure 9 shows the dividend payment trend for the past five years, with the three generator retailers and Air NZ contributing the majority.

    So that’s an average of $620 million of dividends (not net profit) going directly to the government per year over the last five years. This is despite huge investments and capital expenditure over the same time period by Air New Zealand and the power companies in question. The Tekapo transaction actually meant Genesis effectively paid no dividend for 2010/11… and you still have no link to that fictitious $500 loan?

    http://www.comu.govt.nz/resources/pdfs/apr-11.pdf

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  127. Gerrit,

    Correct, I don’t have a Kiwisaver account. I don’t expect to retire, in the conventional sense. I have no investments other than savings accounts.

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  128. photonz1,

    At least you think we’re still in a recession. That it doesn’t worry you is quite remarkable. The unemployment rate is 6.7%, not 6% and only kept that low by part-time and low paid work, as I recall from news items concerning the last unemployment rate announcement.

    I haven’t heard arguments about the end of growth before, though there have been plenty of warnings about limits to growth. Clearly, on a finite planet, your happy 10% returns can’t go on for ever. As I say, read Richard Heinberg’s “The End of Growth” to get a different perspective (though there are other recent books that address the same topic).

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  129. Jackal says “So that’s an average of $620 million of dividends (not net profit)

    I notice you failed to quote the VERY NEXT paragraph that qualifies the $3.1b over 5 years, in that $902m was because of special dividends including $521m for the sale of Tekapo.

    When you take that out, you are left with $2.2 billion over 5 years, or …wait for it….surprise surprise…. around $400m per year.

    Just like the media has been reporting.

    Jackal says “The average interest on the money the government borrows is under 4%,”

    Five years ago the govt was paying nearly 8% on 2 year bonds. Even last year in April they were paying nearly 6% on a 10 year bond.

    You’d have to be extremely foolish to base your finances on the assumption that record low interest rates will continue for years into the future.

    Jackal says “Those state-owned assets have made an average total shareholder return of 18.5% over the last five years… ”

    I notice Russel used those figures as well but suddenly went quiet about them when economists started sniggering.

    Probably because the Green Party “never sell” policy destroys getting even a single dollar of return from any increase in company value. Forever.

    Under green policy, if the company value goes up $100 million, NZ gets no benefit from it. It could go up $10 billion, the country still gets nothing – not even enough to pay for a single childs vaccination.

    If Russel really believes the return is 18.5%, then he’ll have to explain why under Green Party Policy, the vast majority is locked away where it can’t benefit anyone, and we can only ever use 3-4% of it.

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  130. Tony says “Clearly, on a finite planet, your happy 10% returns can’t go on for ever.”

    You don’t have to grow to get a good return. Many of the shares I have are in companies whose size stays pretty static – they just give out a decent dividend year after year.

    Over the recesion many companies have got smaller but become more profitable by becoming more efficient.

    It’s a great example to those who think it’s imposible for a govt to cut spending but get better results.

    If they took off their blinkers they’d see that it’s something top companies are doing every year.

    That’s why you can buy a 2 litre car for $30,000, when in 1980 a 2 litre car cost $30,000 (over $100,000 in todays money).

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  131. Photonz, your figures are very impressive but ultimately meaningless in my mind. the elephant thats just round the corner (or might be already in the room) is Peak Oil. The mother of all energy crises is a statistical certainty.
    For me that’s THE deal breaker. Selling energy companies on the face of peak oil is an act of criminal insanity.
    Sell Air New Zealand, who cares, but don’t sell energy companies!

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  132. photon

    Five years ago the govt was paying nearly 8% on 2 year bonds. Even last year in April they were paying nearly 6% on a 10 year bond.

    Interest on government debt has been falling since the last round of privatisation in the 90’s at 6%. Could you link to where you attained that 8% from?

    You’d have to be extremely foolish to base your finances on the assumption that record low interest rates will continue for years into the future.

    You would have to be foolish to base your figures on income from thirteen years ago. But you’re right, since National caused the governments credit rating to be downgraded twice, interest on govt debt is likely to increase, which will be even more of a liability because National has got us badly into debt from their mismanagement… Over $80 billion or 38.5% of GDP.

    If Russel really believes the return is 18.5%, then he’ll have to explain why under Green Party Policy, the vast majority is locked away where it can’t benefit anyone, and we can only ever use 3-4% of it.

    You’ve gone off on a tangent again photon. The return from those companies is currently more than the govt interest on debt, it’s as simple as that. Russels figure is correct. Go through that document again and add each companies dividend payout, and keep in mind that Genesis made no dividend because of the Tekapo sale.

    The other thing is that National has dramatically undervalued those SOE’s. According to the Comu their commercial value in 2011 totaled just over $16 billion… 49% of that is $7,848 million, yet National say they will get around $6 billion. That’s $1.8 billion less than their commercial value.

    The reason for this undervaluation is so that National can sell our assets to their rich mates cheaply, and then suddenly their value will increase again. We’re seeing the same con as that played out in the 90’s which has caused over $40 billion in lost revenue to the government so far. No govt debt was previously repaid by selling our assets.

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  133. Samiam,

    With new energy developments at micro level such as this

    http://www.idealog.co.nz/magazine/22/one-blade-wonder

    the elepant in the room are more like dinosours.

    Dinousours in old style energy companies with massive infastructure requirements.

    Strategically the energy companies as we know them will disappear and any mug investor buying shares in them is on the losing end.

    The state will end up with an albatross, like the railways, around its neck with 20 century technology.

    Future will be micro no macro energy sources.

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  134. The dead dinosaurs are what’s powering our lifestyles today. Love your wind turbine, oh gee, it’s a beautiful day today…not a breath of wind!

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  135. photon

    It’s a great example to those who think it’s imposible for a govt to cut spending but get better results.

    If they took off their blinkers they’d see that it’s something top companies are doing every year.

    Society is not a business and should not be run as such. Once you start prioritizing money over social responsibility, you lose sight of the bigger picture.

    Last year National reduced Housing and community development funding by $253 million, despite a housing shortage and the serious issue of housing affordability. The cost transfer of this will cause more people to live in inadequate accommodation, which will increase health problems associated with inappropriate and overcrowded housing etc. Such funding cuts could in fact cost more in increased health and productivity losses.

    National did this to ensure that landlords could exert a premium for their badly maintained and unhealthy rental properties (59% of New Zealand houses are not maintained properly), which is bad for the poor but good for the rich. What the rightwing fail to understand is that there are more profits to be made when the government values the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders, not just a small percentage who have been lucky enough to gain an advantage.

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  136. photonz1,

    You don’t have to grow to get a good return

    Most companies are always looking to grow their businesses. But the economy as a whole has to grow to service the total debt, which is what virtually 100% of our money supply is. That’s why low growth or no growth is so painful.

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  137. Jackal says “You would have to be foolish to base your figures on income from thirteen years ago. ”

    You have shown you don’t understand even elementary financial concepts like the difference between
    – income figures that are 13 years out of date, and the average income over the last 13 years (until today),
    – profits and dividends

    – then it’s no surprise that you’re completely befuddled by everything else.

    Jackal says “not just a small percentage who have been lucky enough to gain an advantage”

    As the saying goes, “The harder I work, the luckier I get”.

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  138. regarding the private sector and the share market ….

    “* In December 1986, all of the top 10 companies originated in the private sector and had a total sharemarket value of $20,712 million.

    * Thirteen years later seven of the 10 companies started in the private sector and had a market value of $13,044 million.

    * Today, only four of the top 10 have a private sector background and their sharemarket capitalisation is just $10,866 million.

    Wealth going down. Time to consume more public asset” ……

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  139. OneTrack,

    There will not be single source of micro energy (not electricity alone) generation.

    Each individual house or street, suburb , village, etc. will build to suit their requirements.

    Be it wind, thermal, wood, solar or a combination of all.

    For example you may have an extensive garden and large compost bin. The decomposition process creates a heat producing reaction (cant recall what it is called) and this heat is easily transferred through plain old plastic pipe through a heat exchanger to heat a home.

    There are many many more such a simple electricity generators that need very little running water and a 2 meter drop to operate efficiently.

    Or gas turbine generators that use naturally produced methane gas to generate electricity for a suburb.

    Storing electricity is still the biggest problem.

    My point was that national power generation and the dependent grid distribution systems are going the same way as copper cabling for the communications industry.

    Replaced by local devices, independent of a macro national operator.

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  140. Gerrit.
    Probably a place for micro generation, but most forms of generation are much more efficient in a larger scale. Like you I do not think there will be one solution.
    Unfortunately we seem to be attempting to follow the USA. I can see a Government, in corporate pockets, banning micro generation to ensure power co profits. We have already seen Governments upping their take from SOE’s so the private companies can compete. In some parts of the world private collection of, even, water is banned to ensure water supply monopolies make money.

    If Photo had bought many of the shares on the NZ market in the 80’s, including blue chips, he would have lost his shirt.
    Shares, like other, non-productive, speculative investments depend on growth in resource use for returns.
    As Ron Brierly showed us so well, funding capital through shares is economically dysfunctional.
    Stable reasonable earning companies are sacrificed for shareholders short term gain all the time. Like NZ Air NZ in private ownership.
    Shareholders normally contribute nothing to a company beyound the original float. Major shareholders have all the rights of an SME owner without the responsibilities.

    While it is true the value of a whole market may go up over time. At times in the past faster than other investments, it is not the same shares in the same companies.

    A lot of the shares that were available in the 80’s have never recovered.

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  141. Looks like the Mighty River Power sale may have hit some impassable rapids:

    Maori claiming ownership of the Waikato riverbed have confirmed they will seek a legal injunction to stop the sale of Mighty River Power.

    And they’re considering charging the electricity company rent – and back rent – for the three hydro-dams already there.

    A number of Mighty River power dams sit on the Waikato riverbed, and the people of Pouakani say they own the riverbed there.

    With ownership comes rights – like the right to charge the electricity company for usage.

    A Supreme Court ruling has just opened the way for Pouakani to claim for the riverbed.

    Poukani leader Tamati Cairns says selling off Mighty River Power before the claim is dealt with is akin to confiscation.

    The riverbed under claim houses three Mighty River Power dams:

    Maraetai I

    Maraetai II

    Waipapa

    They have been there for almost 70 years which could mean back-rent, or compensation too.

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  142. I’m with Kerry on the value of micro energy. The average 600 sq m property does not receive enough renewable energy during the winter to meet its energy requirements when averaged over days or even weeks, as there can be periods of still, cold, cloudy days. Providing enough storage to ensure a reliable supply is just not cost effective, so grid connections are here to stay, along with utility scale generation.

    There are large economies of scale, not least because of the option of using alternative technologies on a large scale that simply can’t be used on a small scale – think pumped hydro storage or molten sodium batteries. Larger wind turbines are much more cost-effective than smaller turbines, not least because they can reach higher where wind speeds are greater. Utility wind turbines can be located where there are strong winds, whereas the average property owner is stuck with the wind resource available on their property – usually selected to be away from strong winds. Geothermal heat cannot practically be transported far from its source, so the only practical use for excess above local heat needs is to use it in utility scale generators.

    I like the idea of generating methane gas from surplus biomass and using it to fuel generators. Where I disagree is in the use of the generated electricity – it should be used in transport applications, i.e. the gas turbines power ships or trains, or the methane (CNG or LNG) used to fuel planes and other transport directly. There are a wide range of alternative renewable energy sources for utility electricity generation which are less suitable for transport use, so transport is going to become a bigger problem than electricity generation.

    Micro energy comes into its own where grid connection is impractical, such as on islands or isolated communities.

    Trevor.

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