Join the Signathon this weekend

Over this weekend 24-25 November, the Keep Our Assets coalition is mounting a major nationwide collection drive to reach the signature target needed to force a Citizens Initiated Referendum on the Government’s proposed state asset sales.

The Green Party has already collected 164,000 signatures, and the overall coalition tally is now around 310,000. We estimate we need another 80,000 signatures to cover those that are duplicates, not on the electoral roll or otherwise invalid, and hope to get them all this weekend through a Signathon.

Can you help to collect signatures?

The Signathon site has over 300 collection points – there are places you can help everywhere.  Just pick the one that’s most convenient for you, sign on to collect, and turn up at the location on the day.

If you can’t make it to one of the Signathon collection points but still have a bit of time to collect signatures on the weekend you can always download and print some petition forms yourself.

Every extra person who collects signatures over the weekend will take us closer to stopping the asset sales.

67 thoughts on “Join the Signathon this weekend

  1. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 16 (-10)

  2. The vast majority of New Zealanders oppose asset sales. They know it doesn’t make sense to flog off these strategically vital and highly profitable assets.

    National does not have a mandate; in 2011 40,000 more people voted for parties that oppose asset sales than support them. It is only the deals National cut with ACT and United Future that are allowing these sales to proceed.

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

  3. It depends how the question is asked. “Do you agree with a partial float rather than having to pay more in tax? Do you agree with a partial float, thus keeping money in NZ, rather than borrowing more and sending it to foreign banks”

    We spend money on a referendum. The government ignores the result, as all governments do. The Greens get their “free” party political broadcast.

    And some wonder why politicians are not trusted….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 10 (-4)

  4. We spend money on a referendum. The government ignores the result, as all governments do….

    ..then that government is turfed out in the next electoral cycle as a result of their arrogance and subsequent voter backlash, potentially saving the country from billions of dollars of further looting.

    I’d call that value in terms of risk mitigation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2 (+12)

  5. Indeed “how the question is asked” can influence the answer. I doubt you would be able to load it with such propaganda/BS as you apparently would like to.

    “By the Government’s own estimate, it would lose $360 million a year in profits from asset sales—$200 million in dividends and $160 million in retained profits. That is a low estimate, based on the average dividend return of $258 million in the past six years from the assets the Government intends to sell. Even accepting the Government’s estimates on sales revenue, the reduced interest on debt is only $266 million a year. That means the Government would lose $94 million net each year from selling the assets.”

    Even if the Nact-Duns ignore us, by doing so, they will have sealed their fate..

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

  6. The election was only a referendum on which set of incompetent chair polishing dictators we have next.

    With the ABC club and Shearer imploding Labour in a fit of pip, it doesn’t even look like we have that choice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 (+6)

  7. @Arana 12:17 PM

    It depends how the question is asked. “Do you agree with a partial float rather than having to pay more in tax? Do you agree with a partial float, thus keeping money in NZ, rather than borrowing more and sending it to foreign banks”

    Arana, the evidence (as opposed to the Government spin) is that the energy companies currently return more to the Government in dividends than will be saved in interest by retiring debt with the proceeds of the the asset sales.

    So neither of the question wordings you pose actually reflects the economic reality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1 (+8)

  8. “We’ve had the referendum. It was called “the election””

    Surely then, it would have been called “the referendum”?

    Arana is clearly wrong.

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

  9. To be fair Arana, you do have a point re phrasing though.

    I would much prefer something along the lines of your pitch (slightly amended): “Do you agree with a partial float rather than having to pay more in tax? reversing tax cuts that have forced the country to borrow to meet it’s operating expenses?”

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

  10. @Gregor W 2:25 PM

    Which is why, when the referendum wording was being finalised, care was taken to ensure neutral wording.

    Contrast the so-called “smacking” referendum where the wording was loaded, ambiguous and misleading in order to achieve the outcome desired by the proponents.

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

  11. When you are presented with the petition, Arana, rememeber,
    signing trumps whining.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1 (+7)

  12. then that government is turfed out in the next electoral cycle

    So, if we had a referendum against a Green government to, say, increase dairy, and the Greens ignored it, they’d be turfed out.

    We don’t run the country by referendum.

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

  13. We don’t run the country by referendum.

    To quote your first post “We’ve had the referendum. It was called “the election”. You lost. Twice.”

    Make up your mind, Arana.

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

  14. I would much prefer something along the lines of your pitch (slightly amended): “Do you agree with a partial float rather than having to pay more in tax? reversing tax cuts that have forced the country to borrow to meet it’s operating expenses?”

    That’s my point, isn’t it? You can easily get most people for or against something simply by phrasing the question in a certain way.

    So saying that “54% oppose” doesn’t mean much. If they were really that opposed, National would have lost the election.

    They didn’t.

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

  15. When you are presented with the petition, Arana, rememeber,
    signing trumps whining.

    I did sign it. The silly student didn’t appear to know who Snaggle Puss was….

    There was some amusement value, certainly. Yuff these days….

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

  16. Hardly being obtuse. You cherry picked a clause out of my statement by omitting “voter backlash”

    I’m correcting you.

    So saying that “54% oppose” doesn’t mean much.

    Do you realise how absurd this sounds? The same logic could be applied to an election result.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 (+4)

  17. @Arana 3:22 PM

    My 2:51 PM comment, while in reply to Gregor W, was actually in response to you. Care was taken to ensure neutral wording in the asset sales petition.

    BTW, did you learn your commenting strategy from photonz1?

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

  18. Do you realise how absurd this sounds? The same logic could be applied to an election result.

    No, the election decides the government. The answer to your polling question doesn’t mean much because it’s easy to phrase the question to produce a desired result.

    You know it. I know it. Stop being obtuse.

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

  19. ensure neutral wording

    “Neutral”. Who are you trying to kid? There’s nothing neutral in politics. Simply by asking the question you’re making an issue out of it.

    For people to make a reasoned response, they’d need a cost/benefit analysis. Else they’re most likely making an emotive or uninformed response.

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

  20. BTW, did you learn your commenting strategy from photonz1?

    You mean I need to coat everything in sugar syrup lest someone gets offended when some oink from the working classes calls a spade a spade?

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

  21. The answer to your polling question doesn’t mean much because it’s easy to phrase the question to produce a desired result.

    Hence toads point.
    The referendum has been worded to avoid ambiguity.

    To reduce election to a binary ‘yes’ or ‘no’ decision on a party’s entire manifesto is absurd, particularly from someone who claims to understand marketing.

    You know it. I know it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 (+4)

  22. Hence toads point.
    The referendum has been worded to avoid ambiguity.

    See my response to Toad above.

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

  23. Arana – You’re making a big assumption (and a flawed one) that voter behaviour is in any way rational.

    There is plenty of research that indicates otherwise.

    Your position appears to be in essence that we should never question the actions of our government after an election because (a) more than half of voters (as opposed to electors) voted for them and (b) even raising a question somehow irrevocably taints the outcome.

    Is this what you are actually trying to say or am I totally misreading your sentiments?

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

  24. Stripped of its flim-flam the asset sales are ostensibly to pay for the eathrquake (they are really to allow the world’s top 0.1% tio plunder the public purse, hence the TPP and its provisions); ultimately we, the little people, will foot the bill through a variety of mechanisms. So the real issue is how do we pay, and there are basically three methods to raise the money.

    The cheapest, quickest way is by a dedicated earthquake tax, similar to the Queensland flood levy. The only cost of this is the collection cost, estimated to be about 3-4% (Beacon Institute estimation for a $10B revenue.

    The next cheapest way is to borrow the money. At 5% compound for 10 years we would pay an extra 67% interest over the principal, considerably more than a simple tax.

    The NACTs preference is asset sales. In this case we get less than we would by either a tax or a loan, and on top of that we pay the new owners their profit IN PERPETUITY.

    I don’t include printing money as an option, all that happens then is that the banks sequester the cash for their purposes.

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

  25. National intended to sell off assets in its second term – this was known back in 2008 well before the earthquake.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 (+2)

  26. It was people of New Zealand as elected them though…

    What that says about our electorate is more than a little frightening.

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

  27. The curse of having to rely on elections is that we have little, if any, say in the individual policy mix. We’re offered a “take it or leave it” package deal and have to rely on an effective coalition partner to get any changes and the chance of getting one of those is pretty remote.

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

  28. @SPC 9:35 PM

    National intended to sell off assets in its second term – this was known back in 2008 well before the earthquake.

    Exactly. National’s tax cuts were not just about giving handouts to their wealthy mates. They were also about creating the sort of fiscal deficits that made the asset sales they are ideologically wedded to less politically unacceptable.

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

  29. In Switzerland, a real democracy, not a pretend one, 50000 signatures are all that is required for a BINDING referendum. Despite twice our population.

    It is no coincidence that they are also one of the most stable, equal and prosperous countries on earth.

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

  30. Kerry says “It is no coincidence that they are also one of the most stable, equal and prosperous countries on earth.”

    It that because they own so many of those banks that BJ loves so much?

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

  31. The Swiss make the banks work for them.

    “e financial sector comprised 11.6% of Switzerland’s GDP and employed approximately 195,000 people (136,000 of whom work in the banking sector); this represents about 5.6% of the total Swiss workforce. Furthermore, Swiss banks employ an estimated 103,000 people abroad”.[13] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banking_in_Switzerland

    Whereas in the most other countries, everyone works to prop up the banks.

    “The gap is being filled by the Bank of England and the Government, which are providing alternative liquidity. Throw this in, and the grand total of public money is somewhere in the region of £1.3 trillion, or not far off the the UK’s annual GDP”.
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jeremywarner/100001204/banking-crisis-has-cost-uk-taxpayers-more-than-a-quarter-of-gdp/

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

  32. Enjoyed the Wikipedia article, and was amused to note I’ve worked for both the major Swiss banks.

    It would be great for New Zealand to be a banking centre as it is an activity that doesn’t generate shed loads of co2 or require digging up the country.

    But last I heard the green followers were complaining about off-shore banking facilities that we provide that are exactly the sorts of things necessary to enlarge our banking sector?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 (+2)

  33. The way the Swiss run their banks? Or the way we run ours? DBuckley… the differences are pretty stark. Not to mention that if we do what I reckon we should the role of banks will diminish…. rather markedly. That they are 11% of ANY economy is a pretty poor showing IMHO, as they do after all, cost money.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/dec/14/new-economics-foundation-social-value

    Overall I would reckon that 2% is as high as is reasonable in a proper economic system… but we certainly can’d have one of THOSE breaking out anywhere.

    :-)

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

  34. The NEF report that the article in the Grauniad refers to is fundamentally flawed: it attempts to find some logical link between what a person is paid and what a person is worth.

    Additionally, if that report held water, then we are wasting our time and money educating people: the more educated you become, the less suited you are to what the NEF think should be the well paying jobs.

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

  35. Kerry says “The Swiss make the banks work for them.”

    Yeah – they allow numbered accounts (pretty much illegal across the rest of the world), so people can have anonymous accounts.

    And even if there’s been tax avoidance or evasion, or other criminal activity, they don’t allow customers bank information to be handed over.

    That’s why they hold one third of all the worlds money that’s outside the country of origin (US $6.4trillion).

    Even if the interest rate is 3%, that tax on that is more that it costs to run NZ (compared to NZs tax take on bank interest which barely even shows up on our books).

    Are you suggesting we try to profit from world’s richest tax evaders, organised criminals, and dictators?

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

  36. DBuckley – I don’t take the study seriously, but I DO take seriously the enormous amount of money being sucked out of the economy to service the egos and smooth over the errors, of bankers and financiers. I can well understand how someone – ANYONE – doing an honest days work for an honest days pay is worth more to society than they are… in general. I also stand by my 2% opinion. What are they now…15% ?

    They aren’t worth the paper they print “for us”.

    BJ

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

  37. Switzerland is stable and profitable because ??? Certainly they do better than we do at a number of things, and they are famous for housing some banks which are both well thought of and notorious as havens for ill-gotten gains.

    No DBuckley… I would not want us to become a banking center. Not until I have salted the ground where Goldman-Sachs previously stood… and more to the point, not until we have converted to using real money. Of course if we DO use real money, the banks will shrink to a fraction of their current size and power, having little role in its creation.

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

  38. “were complaining about off-shore banking facilities that we provide that are exactly the sorts of things necessary to enlarge our banking sector?”

    The sort of things Photo is talking about above?

    The difference is that the Swiss made sure they profited from their banks.

    We made sure they profited from us!

    More banking here, under our current bunch of clowns, would simply mean more money leaving the country

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

  39. I think we need to be a little more clear what we mean by “banking”.

    What the Swiss are (mostly) doing is commercial banking, like what Kiwibank do. You make money on transactional activity, bank chages, and overnight investment at low interest rates.

    What Goldman Sachs et al do is investment banking, a/k/a merchant banking, a/k/a gambling.

    I’m very keen we become a tax haven where people put their money, like Switzerland, commercial banking. Like Mark Knofler noted, money for nothing, get your chicks for free. Jobs, taxation income. Good stuff. Can do it today. Do not need to attempt the impossible.

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

  40. So, most opposed smacking, they held a referendum to say so, the government ignored it, and were returned to office.

    And smacking wasn’t even a policy platform. How very undemocratic.

    But you agreed with the law, so that makes it different, huh.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 (+2)

  41. In regard “that” petition:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_citizens-initiated_referendum,_2009

    Prime Minister John Key described the question as “ambiguous” and pointed out that it “could be read a number of different ways”. Leader of the Opposition Phil Goff expressed concern that the question “implies that if you vote ‘yes’ that [sic] you’re in favour of criminal sanctions being taken against reasonable parents — actually nobody believes that.”

    Both John Key and Phil Goff stated that they did not intend to vote in the referendum, with Key calling the question “ridiculous”.

    In contrast, this referendum has been worded in such a neutral manner that i am finding many supporters confused by it, with them having to seek clarification before signing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2 (-2)

  42. Saying people did not know what they were signing is another form of arrogance.

    I think most people knew what it was about.

    Greens, just like any other politicians, should not only follow referendum results they agree with.

    There were many people who disagreed with the “anti-smacking law”. Including most who have no intention of abusing their kids.
    I didn’t like, the giving police more power to harass poor people, part.

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

  43. The ‘save the assets’ referendum is as clear as a bell to every one.
    The ‘for God’s sake let us smack our children when ever WE want to’ was a confused disgrace.

    That’s the difference.

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

  44. greenfly says “The ‘save the assets’ referendum is as clear as a bell to every one”

    Yes – we had it last year. It’s was called an election and the whole country got a chance to have their say.

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

  45. @photonz1 12:02 AM

    It’s was called an election and the whole country got a chance to have their say.

    And a majority of voters voted in that election for parties that oppose the asset sales.

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

  46. Photonz1 will be as excited and thrilled as I am that, thanks to the petition for a referendum, the whole country will once again have a chance to have their say. In fact, in my mind’s ear, I hear him squealing with delight!
    Democracy – it’s like a much-longed-for bonbon.

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

  47. And a majority of voters voted in that election for parties that oppose the asset sales.

    And a majority of voters voted against the Green Party, and will do so again next election, even if the Greens are part of government.

    You appear to hold FPP ideas when it comes to democracy.

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

  48. Saying people did not know what they were signing is another form of arrogance.

    Indeed it is. The referendum also aligned with the polls on the issue.

    The idea that people didn’t understand it is telling. It means the politicians who say it think voters – their own voters, in many cases – are stupid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 (+2)

  49. Kerry Thomas

    Yeah. The “anti smacking” law has been so effective.

    Being that there are many more people living in hardship, and financial problems are the biggest factor in family violence, your conclusion that the anti-smacking legislation hasn’t been effective is entirely wrong.

    A better indicator as to whether the law change has worked is the amount of children in CYF’s care. There has been a steady reduction in the amount of children in the custody of the Chief Executive, from 6,136 in 2008 to 5,020 in 2011. That’s a decrease of approximately 15% since the law was enacted in 2009.

    Arana

    You appear to hold FPP ideas when it comes to democracy.

    Whether FPP or MMP the majority of people who believe our assets shouldn’t be sold should be listened to. It would be entirely undemocratic for National to simply ignore the referendum petition.

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

  50. I understand the lowering of children in CYF’s care is the result of staffing cuts, not less need.

    And, as we know an increase in violence in NZ is due to an increase in poverty and lack of hope, we should have been addressing those instead of obsessing about parents who tap their kids on the butt occasionally.
    Anything more was already illegal.

    You can’t say the Government should take notice of a democratic vote, only on the issues you personally agree with. That is NOT democracy.

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

  51. The whole “anti-smacking thing turned into a farce because of extremists on one side who called those who opposed the law “child bashers”, and those on the other side who wanted the “right” to beat their kids black and blue. Both were equally wrong.
    But, I think we did get a slightly better law in the end, because of the referendum.

    Actually a good example of why we should have binding referendums, to force politicians to make well considered, well researched, well explained and less ambiguous law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2 (-2)

  52. Kerry Thomas

    I understand the lowering of children in CYF’s care is the result of staffing cuts, not less need.

    Where did you get that information from? The figures I have show that CYF’s had 2849 staff in 2006, by June 2011 it had increased to 3097. Please don’t make shit up Kerry Thomas, it just makes you look like a fool!.

    You can’t say the Government should take notice of a democratic vote, only on the issues you personally agree with. That is NOT democracy.

    Newsflash! The referendum question was; “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?”

    The law change concerned the removal of parental correction as a defence for assault against children. You are still allowed to use reasonable force to ensure your child’s safety… The law change makes it more difficult to beat your kids to death and get away with it.

    If you’re arguing that you should be allowed to beat your kids, you’re more deluded than I first thought.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2 (-2)

  53. Whether FPP or MMP the majority of people who believe our assets shouldn’t be sold should be listened to. It would be entirely undemocratic for National to simply ignore the referendum petition.

    Not really.

    They could reasonably argue that a part float is part of a wider fiscal strategy i.e. to deepen New Zealands capital markets and not add to external debt levels. This, in turn, keeps interest rates lower than they would otherwise be, meaning kiwis with debt are better off.

    They could argue – reasonably – that the referendum reduces a complex issue to one question, whereas the government has been elected to govern and must do so balancing a range of questions and different answers.

    This is nothing but politicians – in my view – abusing process and public funds in order to run an extended marketing/election campaign. It proves that Green politicians are just like every other politician.

    They are no different. Their actions define them.

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

  54. Jackel.

    Indulging in Photostats too, you know, the ones that only tell half the story, now. Are you?

    http://www.labour.org.nz/news/pressure-mounting-on-cyfs-staff
    Quote. “The number of cases deemed serious enough to warrant CYFs intervention has also risen, up 42 per cent since 2008 to almost 58,000.

    “Despite that the number of frontline staff has flat-lined with just 50 extra social workers being taken on over the same period.

    “Given 21 of these have been placed in hospitals, and rightly so, it still means there are not enough social workers to deal with the huge increase in demand for their services.

    “I am told new staff – who previously would have had supervised time on the frontline before acting as independent social workers – are now being thrown in the deep end.

    “Those working with CYFs are also reporting the turnover of social workers they’re dealing with is high. Unquote.

    Note: The number of frontline staff has flatlined.

    We have seen the same thing with mental health staff. A lot more panels, managers and paper pushers and overloaded front line staff.

    I would say the lack of credibility is in your own imagination, like Photo’s.

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

  55. Arana. Things like this are too important to be left to politicians.

    That is why we need binding referendums, with a realist number of signatures required. Not so high that politicians can basically get away with anything.

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

  56. Arana

    They could reasonably argue that a part float is part of a wider fiscal strategy i.e. to deepen New Zealands capital markets and not add to external debt levels. This, in turn, keeps interest rates lower than they would otherwise be, meaning kiwis with debt are better off.

    They could argue that, but they would be wrong! The partial asset sales proposed by National will increase external debt levels over the long term. That will mean less money for infrastructure spending and potentially an inability to service government debt.

    I actually agree with Kerry Thomas on this, we need binding referendums that are properly worded. The anti-smacking referendum wasn’t, the stop asset sales referendum is. Therefore it should be binding.

    Kerry Thomas

    Indulging in Photostats too, you know, the ones that only tell half the story, now. Are you?

    You do realize that Photostats has an entirely different meaning to your smart ass comment Kerry Thomas?

    Besides, you’re wrong! The figures I’ve provided are statistics from CYF’s gained from an OIA request… There’s no reason to think they’re incorrect. They show there has been an increase of 248 CYF’s staff between 2008 and 2011.

    First you say:

    I understand the lowering of children in CYF’s care is the result of staffing cuts, not less need.

    Then you try to back this totally incorrect assertion up with:

    Despite that the number of frontline staff has flat-lined with just 50 extra social workers being taken on over the same period.

    Jacinda Ardern is likely correct that only 50 of those 248 new staff are frontline. She is also likely correct that child protection notifications coming into Child Youth and Family have increased by almost 70%. This would be partly due to changes in the way cases are reported and the fact that Police are taking a much more active roll. We will likely see that number increase again if mandatory reporting is implemented.

    I would say the lack of credibility is in your own imagination, like Photo’s.

    Get real Kerry Thomas. You were wrong, why not just admit it?

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  57. That is why we need binding referendums, with a realist number of signatures required. Not so high that politicians can basically get away with anything.

    I’m okay with it if we do away with general elections and politicians entirely. If all we need is the will of the people, then so be it.

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

  58. They could argue that, but they would be wrong! The partial asset sales proposed by National will increase external debt levels over the long term. That will mean less money for infrastructure spending and potentially an inability to service government debt.

    You do not know this. For example, you don’t know the capital investment required over the next few decades. For all you know, we could be just around the corner from an alt-energy revolution.

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  59. Arana

    You do not know this. For example, you don’t know the capital investment required over the next few decades. For all you know, we could be just around the corner from an alt-energy revolution.

    You mean there are no projections as to the governments capital investment going into the future? Don’t be stupid Arana. The thing you need to realize is that National’s argument is based on their projected short term governance. After the next election, there is no economic benefit to New Zealand from selling our assets.

    I know that without income from our best performing SOE’s any future government will have difficulty in servicing the huge debt National has intentionally got New Zealand into. I know that projections show that capital investment into infrastructure will be more than it has been in the past.

    Just like all the other countries around the world, any clean energy revolution will require government investment, capital investment that will not be as readily available if we sell our assets.

    We should keep our power companies, because they are required to ensure clean energy developments are beneficial to all New Zealanders, not just those rich enough to invest. If we sell our assets, any benefit from a clean energy revolution will be syphoned off by the already rich and foreign investors. Whereas if we keep our assets, any clean energy developments will benefit all New Zealanders.

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

  60. No. Not wrong Jackel. That is why you gave the staff numbers from 2006 and not 2009. That is the sort of trick Photo is fond of.

    Frontline staff numbers have been cut in almost all departments, except treasury, in the last 3 years as National tries to cover up the budget hole due to their tax cuts for millionaires..

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10578733
    FOR THE CHOP

    CYFS service centres

    * Whangarei: 43 staff
    * Grey Lynn: 62
    * Manukau: 24
    * Tauranga: 19
    * Hamilton: 30
    * Napier: 19
    * New Plymouth: 13
    * Palm. North: 39
    * Wellington: 20
    * Nelson: 35
    * Christchurch: 34
    * Dunedin: 25
    * Total staff: 363

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  61. Kerry Thomas

    No. Not wrong Jackel [sic]. That is why you gave the staff numbers from 2006 and not 2009. That is the sort of trick Photo is fond of.

    Despite what you want to believe, there are some areas where National has in fact increased the amount of public workers and expenditure. Here are the actual figures for CYF’s staff:

    2006/2849, 2007/2775, 2008/2848, 2009/2786, 2010/3024, 2011/3097.

    Of these employees, here’s the breakdown of field social work line:

    2006/1166, 2007/1179, 2008 1175, 2009/1153, 2010/1186, 2011/1203.

    That means the average yearly staff employed by CYF’s increased by 311 between 2009 and 2011. This is despite a reduction in the amount of at risk young people receiving services.

    CYF’s is legally required under the OIA to provide the correct information, so if you’re able to categorically show that these numbers are incorrect, I would make a formal complaint to the ombudsman.

    You’re correct that National has made many public workers redundant to try to make up the shortfall from their tax cuts for the rich, but this does not appear to be the case for CYF’s.

    Please don’t liken me to photon again Kerry Thomas… I might make some mistakes, but I don’t purposefully mislead.

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  62. Sorry. Likening someone to Photo is a bit too mean.

    I am not arguing with your numbers. But, again, an increase in front line social workers is not what we are seeing on the ground.

    We are seeing less frontline people with a bigger caseload and more , panels, assessment teams and managers.

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