262 thoughts on “General debate, April 22, 2013

  1. I would not have expected that Lithium Ion batteries would be the most economic choice given that weight and volume are not critical factors for stationary power storage. This could work against electric vehicles because they could be competing for the same lithium resources.

    Perhaps this is one application where we could consider cadmium batteries such as NiCads?

    Trevor.

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  2. Using batteries, and Lion batteries at that, sounds a horribly nasty solution.

    The now-emereged-from-bankruptcy Beacon Power use flywheels to do the same things, though there is a snapper at their heels: This KickStarter project looking to do the same for less.

    Mechanical energy storage sounds a much better mechanism for short term needs like frequency management and intermittent source stabilisation, which is pretty much the same thing anyway.

    Of course, responsive demand management is an even better solution to frequency management…

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  3. He doesn’t. You seem to lack the ability to read people, Arana. I’m delighting in the vicious reaction to Gareth’s “Hey, Clint”, over on Kiwiblog and Slater’s blog – joyous music to my ears, that frothy ranting. They’ve really lost it, those righties, seeing the Greens bearing down on them like a freight-truck loaded with vegetables!
    Transparency, that’s what gareth gave us all. You know and I know that politicians consider the effects of even the briefest statements and you and I both know they have advisors to…advise! He’s comfortable enough to be honest with the public. All power to Gareth Hughes. Are we pleased, Arana? I know I am.

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  4. bearing down on them like a freight-truck loaded with vegetables!

    Shouldn’t that be a horse and cart loaded with vegetables?

    Driven by an Amish peasant.

    He’s comfortable enough to be honest

    I know when I’m asked how I’m feeling about something, I go to my spin doctor for the answer. Then I repeat it. In as honest voice as I can muster.

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  5. Arana asks “Why does Gareth Hughes need to consult someone to know if he’s happy about an issue or not? ”

    That’s what happens when you make something up on the fly, and call it a policy.

    They’ve had 14 years to come up with it, and they bring it out AFTER shares have gone on sale.

    How well thought out is the “policy”?

    Russel says the govt WON’T lose dividends.

    Russel says the govt WILL lose dividends.

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  6. Ah, Arana, you ditzy thing! He didn’t inquire whether he felt pleased, did he?

    “Hey, Clint. Are we pleased?”

    I listen with my ears. You, not so much.

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  7. So, he doesn’t know if the party, of which he has more than a passing connection, is pleased?

    Well, Clint knows. Best just cut out the talking head and talk to Clint in future.

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  8. Oh he knows alright, but like any sensible person speaking on behalf of others, he ran it by someone else first. Key, on the other hand, has dropped his party and himself in so much sh*t lately, by doing the opposite – mouthing off without engaging his brain-box, empty vessel that it is.
    Well done, Gareth.

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  9. Hey Clint – if I have no idea of what our position is, should I be electricity spokesperson?

    Hey Clint – do you think we should have put a bit more thought into this rather than making it up as we go along?

    Hey Clint – Russel has said the govt won’t lose dividends, and will lose dividends – which one should I go with?

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  10. I thought a spokesman’s job was to speak for the party? Clint for energy spokesperson. Clint can clearly mix it up “live”.

    BTW: Hey Clint, what should I have for lunch? I do hope Clint is on Twitter…

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  11. Wow, that is hilarious! There’s a point where the sewer gets so filthy it crosses over from soul destroying to comedy :D

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  12. Arana and Photo are a priceless stand-up, knock-down comedy duo. We are fortunate indeed to have them pop up here day after day (minute after minute) to entertain us with their special brand of frizzy Right Wing humour, unintentional though it might be, but still as funny as a fit. Parsing Gareth’s throwaway line (throw it out there, Gareth, you’ll hook some chumps for sure! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ) though you can’t see why, is as rimu says, comedy, gold, silver, whatever. Either way, here’s to the Dyspepsic Duo! Long may they fizz!

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  13. Who said:

    “John Key, Ace Money Trader,sharp as a tack, finger on the pulse of International Finance, forgets things on a regular basis”

    So, Key is expected to remember the details of a phone call two years ago, yet Gareth is not expected to remember if his party is happy or not about the issue of the day?

    Just as well Clint is there, really.

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  14. C’mon Greenfly. Much mirth was – and is – made when Key doesn’t know something when asked, but it seems you can’t take it when it’s your guy.

    Sensitive wee soul, ‘aint ya.

    I found a picture of Clint, BTW:

    http://tinyurl.com/bpel8ck

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  15. Arana’s got you there Greenfly… That picture of a woman’s hands with string tied around the fingers to depict Gareth Hughes being controlled clinched it. I suggest he informs the media without delay that he won’t be taking any direct questions anymore, and they need to be put in writing first. God forbid the right wing can come up with even one example of a Green MP so egregiously seeking advice about whether the party was please or not compared to Keys 143 examples of outright lies! We’d never here the end of it.

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  16. NZ electricity, at US 19c /kw is cheaper than

    Australia 22c
    Belguim 29c
    Brazil 34c
    Chile 23c
    Denmark 40c
    Finland 20.6c
    France 19.4c
    Germany 31c
    Hungary 23c
    Ireland 28c
    Italy 28c
    Netherlands 29c
    Portugal 25c
    Singapore 21.5c
    Sweden 27c
    Tonga 58c
    UK 20c

    There are not many first world countries cheaper than NZ.

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  17. Nice photonz1. We can, evidently, sell power to Tiwai Point for a fraction of the 19c per unit you quote, and the various players that make up the market can still make good profits at that rate. All you’ve managed to demonstrate is that other countries have either different costs of production, or different profitability, or both, and
    that was pretty obvious.
    I’m hoping you will get around to explain why we should, collectively, be paying more for electricity we could be paying less.

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  18. Photonz1 – a few things missing of the top of my head before comparison is meaningful:

    1. compare renewables cost by country rather than flat kWh pricing (i.e. no sense comparing Tonga’s diesel only or Germany’s coal + nuclear to our 90ish% hydro)

    2. compare generation asset age by kWh produced – gives an idea of maintenance component of each kWh.

    3. compare avg cost to supply (incl. factoring distance from generation to consumer etc.)

    3. compare fixed connection / lines surcharge by country

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  19. I was amused by the ability of the right to blow it when handed a nice opportunity to slam the Greens. Had they said, “Well some Green MPs are lacking in media skills”, they’d have made a good point, instead, over at Kiwiblog, Gareth got called variously: moronic, Taliban, cabbage puppet, clown, insect-eyed, doctrinaire communist, nutter, buffoon, pure evil, smartarse prick, midget, glove puppet, thicko, useless piece of shit, luddite Marxist, malcontent and zealot.

    These are the same people always talking about what vile people leftists are.

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  20. photonz1

    There are not many first world countries cheaper than NZ.

    That’s including subsidies to specific industries right photonz1, so has very little meaning in terms of what a household or small business pays in New Zealand compared to the rest of the developed world.

    You must know that already photonz1, which makes your argument that prices are comparable to other counties a sick joke! In 1990 the cost of electricity in New Zealand was the eighth-lowest in the developed world.

    From 1979 to 2009 commercial electricity prices fell in real terms by a massive 37% and industrial prices fell by 3%, offset by huge increases in the cost for the average consumer. In 1990, the cost was 9.2c (NZD) per KWh increasing to 25.5c per kwh in 2010, which is a massive increase of 177%. In the same time period, Australia had an increase of less than 2c per KWh the United States had an increase of only 3c per KWh… And photonz1 doesn’t think that huge increase to the average Kiwi families power bill is a problem.

    You can’t honestly be saying that generation has become 177% less efficient to justify that increase photonz1?

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  21. These are the same people always talking about what vile people leftists are.

    A wee bit of projection on their part, perhaps.

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  22. Armchair critic says “We can, evidently, sell power to Tiwai Point for a fraction of the 19c per unit you quote”

    Of course they can. There’s no costs for lines companies, phone centres, billing, advertising, cook strait cable, and all the other costs associated with having to have another complete company to handle the retail side of power, compared to power for Tiwai Point.

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  23. dbuckley – you may be right about mechanical power storage being best for frequency regulation, etc. I would think that a flywheel storage system which was direct drive (no gears) would handle many more charge/discharge cycles than a battery system. The round-cycle efficiency may be better too. Batteries may have the edge when it comes to storing power for longer periods.

    However where there is water and elevation, pumped hydro storage will be competitive for larger systems.

    The technology that caught my eye for use where pumped hydro is not an option is the gravel battery, which is actually a heat and cold store coupled to a reversible heat pump. The gravel is the storage medium, and is held in big insulated tanks.

    Trevor.

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  24. I would have thought greens would want people to pay more for electricity. Then they might not be so wasteful with it.

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  25. So if there was a way that reduced or eliminated the need for some of those costs, photonz1, we could lead the world in low electricity costs. NZ Power, perhaps.
    Bigger picture, who cares that other countries are on average more expensive to purchase electricity in. Its not the kind of stuff you can bottle and export, so comparisons are only vaguely relevant. What it does do is show that we potentially have an advantage over other countries that we could use. If only National were not so intent on throttling local manufacturing via a high exchange rate.
    Still waiting for you to explain why paying more is better that paying less, too.

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  26. Arnchair Critic says “So if there was a way that reduced or eliminated the need for some of those costs, photonz1, we could lead the world in low electricity costs. ”

    If you want to be world leading in low power prices you’d switch to coal.

    Do you really think power companies can’t be bothered to cut costs to put an extra dollar in their own pocket, but they will to put a dollar in someone else’s pocket?

    AC says “…comparisons are only vaguely relevant.”

    Just busting one of the lies that our power is so much more expensive than everyone else.

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  27. AC asks “Still waiting for you to explain why paying more is better that paying less, too.”

    The power companies currently make a small profit. The Labour/ Green policy will mean –
    1/ lack of investment in new generation
    2/ power shortages
    3/ lack of investment in transmission
    4/ more outages because insecurity of supply
    5/ loss of gst
    6/ loss of SOE dividends
    7/ loss of tax
    8/ loss of investment in our productive sector
    9/ shift of investment out of NZ
    10/ shift of investment to housing
    11/ increase in interest and mortgage rates
    12/ increase in rents and housing unaffordability
    13/ loss of asset value for govt
    14/ loss of investment value for private investors
    15/ loss of investment value for ACC
    16/ loss of investment value for TWO MILLION Kiwisavers
    17/ loss of investment value NZ super -i.e. everyone who will ever retire
    18/ increase in tax, or cuts in services, to make up for govt losses in dividends and tax.
    19/ community power schemes no longer financially viable
    20/ tidal and wave generation no longer feasible – set back 1-2 decades.
    21/ setting up new govt dept. as a middle man when there wasn’t previously one is very costly
    22/ encourages people to be inefficient, rather than energy efficient
    23/ benefit rich high powered users most, poor low power users the least
    24/ solar power or water heating – barely viable for most people – becomes unviable for most people
    25/ self sufficient systems become less financially viable for many more people
    26/ less feasible to insulate
    27/ government and therefore taxpayers have higher debt, so either higher tax or more cuts in govt services, no new schools etc.
    28/ ratepayers in cities including Auckland, Tauranga and Dunedin lose $300-$400 in rates subsidies because their cities own or part own power or lines companies
    29/ loss of jobs in the electricity sector as companies are forced to cut costs.

    So there are just a few of the negative factors that the Greens and Labour have failed to factor in in their rush to make sabotage look like a policy.

    On the positive side, households MAY gain the massive price of a cup of coffee once a week (or only once a month when you factor in extra tax the govt will have to charge to make up for lost tax and dividends).

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  28. One more time. Advantages – Disadvantages comparisons, monetary comparisons and any OTHER comparisons you make and that are being made by other self-interested or ideologically bound market worshipping fools, are not relevant.

    The real value of electrical power generation is value to the nation as a whole directly.

    Having sort of separated it out and being on a path to privatise and separate it further to the benefit of the wealthy and great cost to the nation as a whole, you are quite adamant that the confusion your lot have sown should continue. Greens and Labour are trying to reduce it. I will again assert that it would be better to simply re-nationalize both lines and power, but that isn’t in the cards yet, just the direction of my own thoughts on the issue.

    National’s sabotage of the nation as a whole is subject to this counter-action and will be resisted at every turn here. I know you understand that.

    Take just one item in your rubbish list. “18: Increase in tax or cuts in service to make up for government losses in dividends and tax.”

    WHO pays, ultimately, the money that makes up those dividends and tax Photonz? The electricity consumers. WHO received the tax CUTS that made all the wealthiest people in NZ happy Photonz? WHO got to pay the additional GST Photonz? The wealth redistribution scheme of National remains “upwards” always. It is a matter of taking from the poor and giving to the already wealthy. Which has always been the case.

    Or your number one : “lack of investment in new generation”

    It stops being a matter of relying on “market forces” to invest in new generation. That’s been pointed out before. The government decides what new generation to build, and where, and what it uses to generate with/from. With long term goals rather different from “the bottom line” profit-loss that drives a private or semi-private corporation.

    The entire point of this is that the electricity “market” is not anything Adam Smith would recognize as viable. It is an artificial creation of an ideologically driven bunch of criminally ignorant miscreants who can’t wrap their heads around the idea that their sacred “market” doesn’t work for everything.

    Your list represents a failure to recognize that the tools to make it work are NOT the tools of the market. Yes, it BREAKS the market and its methods. In every way. It reduces money being sucked out of the pockets of New Zealanders in one way and makes the process a bit more transparent in others. Other taxes might WELL have to rise to replace the hidden tax on the people using power.

    Investment in power generation would CERTAINLY be made by government, not by private companies.

    Incentives to private generation and conservation would CERTAINLY be a matter of government policy rather than the spot price of electricity.

    In short, taking hold of our own resources rather than selling them off and buying back the product of our own work, is NOT a market operation. It alters the way one has to look at things. You need a larger depth-of-focus Photonz, and a wider field-of-view.

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  29. BJ,

    If the position you have just stated is also the Greens position, then why not just be honest , transparent and upfront about the reasons to set up NZPower, the nationalisation of the whole electricity industry.

    That reason is ideological (state ownership) and not about returning a now doubtful $300 per household.

    So Greens be transparent and call it for what it really is. A return to state ownership of private assets.

    Why these timid baby step of partial control? Why not go the whole hog and go for the desired final outcome directly in 2014?

    Personally see this swing as the outcome of 30 years of the pendulum in one direction followed by 30 years of the pendulum to the other side.

    For one thing is for sure, in thirty years time the state electricity department will be as bloated and inefficient as the railways and post office (and any other state department such as the state services garage, government printer, ministry of work, etc., etc.) were 30 years ago. Only way to get them to be efficient is to sell them.

    When we start another 30 year cycle.

    Never do we seem to get the pendulum in just the correct position.

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  30. the Greens position, then why not just be honest , transparent and upfront

    Hey Clint

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  31. Yes, Arana dearest? What is it?

    I’m in danger of heading off message. Help! What is my truth?

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  32. Gerrit. If you think the private and SOE energy companies are any less bloated and inefficient than they were 30 years ago, now! then you havn’t had much to do with the energy sector.

    The extra layers of management, sales and “customer service” and duplication of infrstructure for the “competitive” model which were not required under state ownership double the cost, by Photoi’s reckoning. See above.

    I hope that we can re-nationalise, without being burgled again as we were with the railways.

    Photo says. “Of course they can. There’s no costs for lines companies, phone centres, billing, advertising, cook strait cable, and all the other costs associated with having to have another complete company to handle the retail side of power, compared to power for Tiwai Point.”

    Nearly 10 times more. Pull the other one, Photo.

    Unless that is the true costs of all the extra duplication, and inflated management, for the appearance of competition with the private sector model?

    Photo. 1145. You forgot the sky is going to turn rainbow, God will punish us, the 7 plagues of Egypt will follow and a few other consequences.

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  33. bj says “One more time. Advantages – Disadvantages comparisons, monetary comparisons and any OTHER comparisons you make and that are being made by other self-interested or ideologically bound market worshipping fools, are not relevant. ”

    Maybe on your planet.

    For the rest of the world –
    - retirement savings are relevant
    - power blackouts are relevant
    - power shortages are relevant
    - ACC increases are relevant
    - tax increases are relevant
    - interest rate increases are relevant
    - house and rents rises are relevant
    - subsidising rates by hundreds of dollars is relevant
    - the economy is relevant
    - the shift of investment AWAY from the productive sector is relevant

    etc, etc

    After such a blinkered and simplistic view of the policy, laughably BJ says “you need a larger depth-of-focus Photonz, and a wider field-of-view.”

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  34. Arana – if you were spokesperson for a major political party, I’d commend you for checking with your PR guy before answering an important question. Just a chairpeople speak on behalf of their organizations and have to petition that opinion before they speak, a wise politician, such as Gareth Hughes, runs his proposed statements by the team before uttering them. You’ll have noticed the sh*tty mess the PM has landed himself in for ignoring this basic practice. Key ought to take lessons from Gareth on this. The latest revelations about Key’s misleading/ommitting to mentions around dining with Fletcher are a good example of loose lips sinking ships and we are watching the ship SS National make it’s frothy way to the bottom of the political ocean right now. Send out the rescue boats! Ah…cancel that. Too late.

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  35. Kerry,

    If you think the private and SOE energy companies are any less bloated and inefficient than they were 30 years ago, now! then you havn’t had much to do with the energy sector.

    In that case the Greens need to show how the nationalised industry will cut out the current bloat (go the whole nine yards – for greenfly to comment on :-) ).

    Adding an extra layer of governance is not cutting bloat.

    Cutting bloat means total ownership from generation to distribution and running with a set of KPI’s that reflects lowest prices for consumers at a level that will stimulate the economy.

    Problem is setting meaningful KPI’s for a state department that is answereable to an elected minister with vested interest for reelection.

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  36. Gerrit – the Labour/Green proposal has already begun to excise the bloat by deflating National’s chance of being re-elected. With that tumour gone, New Zealanders will enjoy cheaper electricity and the shared feeling that comes from knowing that they are no longer being exploited by the power companies, their executives and a Government that was bleeding them dry, whilst telling them that THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE!!!

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  37. Arana – if you were spokesperson for a major political party, I’d commend you for checking with your PR guy before answering an important question.

    Uh-huh. If it had been Key doing that, I can just see you praising him for thoroughness, as opposed to, say, accusing Key of being a media puppet controlled by spin doctors.

    But I wouldn’t get too worked up about it. It’s not like its revealing something we didn’t already know….

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  38. New Zealanders will enjoy cheaper electricity

    No they won’t, unless you plan on building a lot of coal fired stations.

    Please demonstrate how power will be cheaper. Please also tell us how much more expensive the ETS will be per household.

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  39. Arana says ‘Please demonstrate how power will be cheaper”:

    That’s their major problem – as least one of them.

    They CAN’T actually tell anyone where the savings will come from.

    They CAN’T tell anyone the REAL reasons for price increases. otherwise their lie would be found out.

    They CAN’T tell anyone how much tax will have to increase by.

    And they CAN’T tell ratepayers in Auckland, Tauranga, Christchurch and Dunedin how much their rates will go up.

    They CAN’T tell Kiwisavers how much they will lose.

    They CAN’T tell how much many millions more they will need for ACC fees.

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  40. Against a background important political developments happening right now, Arana’s snagged on what “Gareth said to Clint”.
    It’s that “Home & Away” factor that’s turning your brain to mush over this, Arana.
    Or you have the hots for Gareth.
    Both, perhaps?

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  41. Electricity prices will fall significantly. Russel knows it, David knows it, I know it. The New Zealand public know it. The Electricity Barons know it. Key knows it. Arana and Photonz1 know it, hence the panic (squeak squeak) in their voices.

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  42. Greenfly says electricity prices will fall, but hasn’t got the foggiest idea of where the savings will come from.

    That’s what happens when you make up a “policy” late one night and pull a figure out of the air.

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  43. Electricity prices will fall significantly. Russel knows it, David knows it, I know it. The New Zealand public know it. The Electricity Barons know it. Key knows it. Arana and Photonz1 know it, hence the panic (squeak squeak) in their voices.

    *How* will they fall?

    And even if they did – they might – can you tell us how much a full ETS will cost consumers? Because even if consumers do save on power, then the extra they pay for an ETS might increase their total expenditure.

    In which case, one would rightly question your curious new-found desire to supposedly reduce people’s energy costs. An honest party would inform people if their policies may result in higher total energy costs per household.

    Best clear it with Clint, first.

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  44. What a load of rubbish photonz1. That’s 29 reasons why you think the sky is falling and nothing more. I can tell you right now the sky is not falling and if you don’t believe me , go outside and have a look.
    The money that people don’t have to spend on electricity does not just vanish, it stays in their pocket until they spend it on something else. That is not the monumental disaster you are pretending it is,.

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  45. The money that people don’t have to spend on electricity does not just vanish, it stays in their pocket until they spend it on something else

    Like increased rent, for example. Leave a renter with $300 more per year, where do you think it’s going to go?

    The fiscal illiteracy of many on the left never fails to surprise me.

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  46. Armchair Critic says “The money that people don’t have to spend on electricity does not just vanish, it stays in their pocket until they spend it on something else.”

    Such a simplistic view that only one thing changes – electricity prices.

    While you cover your eyes so you can’t see tax increases, loss of ratepayer subsidies in Auckland, Tauranga, Christchurch and Dunedin (of hundreds of dollars per house), loss in kiwisaver, NZ Super, ACC, interest rate changes, shift in money away from the NZ productive sector to either housing or offshore etc, etc.

    Electricity prices are one of the smallest effects of the policy.

    That’s why business (who according to the Labour/Greens policy will save millions in electricity costs) are strongly against the policy.

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  47. So reducing electricity prices will increase rent and shift money away from the NZ productive sector. C’mon, you”re not even trying, that’s still just a variation of “look out, the sky is falling”.
    I’m expecting you have evidence that small businesses are firmly against this. My National party voting dairy farmer neighbours can see something in it for them, but that’s the only evidence I have that your suggestion is tripe. Hope you have something better.

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  48. So reducing electricity prices will increase rent and shift money away from the NZ productive sector.

    If people have more spare money to spend, it means increased demand. If supply stays roughly the same – as it tends to do in the rental market – what do you think happens to rents?

    For example, do you think house prices are, in part, driven by access to cheap loans? i.e. the buyer has more cash to play with than they otherwise would? If your answer is yes, then cosnsider what tenants with more spending power does to rents.

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  49. Like increased rent, for example. Leave a renter with $300 more per year, where do you think it’s going to go?

    That’s pretty absurd, Arana. Are you a mind reader now?

    I would have thought you’d be the last person arguing against $300 in anyone’s pocket, being a small business maven and all.

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  50. In areas where supply can’t easily be increased, yet demand rises, then prices must rise. It’s not going to affect people’s purchases of Chinese goods, but it will flow through to the rental market.

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  51. Armchair Critic says “So reducing electricity prices will increase rent and shift money away from the NZ productive sector.”

    If you were even slightly familiar with the financial markets, you’d realise how money is easily shifted between various sectors like property, the NZ productive sector, bonds, overseas equities etc.

    More than one large investment company has said they’d move a significant portion of the investments they manage away from NZ if the Greens/Labour policy comes about.

    Personally I have shares in just under a couple of dozen NZ companies, and I would shift a significant portion of that away from the NZ market if the Greens/Labour were likely to enact their policy.

    It would be financially very stupid to leave everything in when there are higher risks, lower returns, and other are moving their investments out.

    Most other investors I know are also receiving advice from their share brokers to look at doing the same thing.

    The uncertainty caused by what is essentially re-nationalisation of private companies makes NZ look extremist to international finance markets (especially when no first world country in the world is going in this direction).

    One on our top Kiwisaver companies estimates the additional risk would put a 1% premium on our interest rates, which would cost on average $1000 a year per house.

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  52. Arana – it’s $300 p/a saving.

    You seriously think that $5.70 p/w is peoples pockets is going to affect the rental market?

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  53. Oh Arana you really are clutching at straws.
    Can I recommend that you quit while you’re behind, or at least hold off until someone at National HQ issues a better press release to parrot?
    If you care to discuss the bigger picture, poll trends show a change of government at the next election is likely. The response you suggest (more of the same recipe we’ve had since 1984 will fix it – if you give us one more term) is going to reverse the trends in the polls and deliver a resounding, crushing victory (much more than the current one seat majority) for National. Right? Voters will see the threat and go “no, I dont want cheaper power, it leads to higher rent.”
    Carry on as you are. Please.

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  54. Hey photonz1, the assumptions you are making about my financially literacy are fascinating. Based on those assumptions I’m drawing my own conclusions about your financial literacy too. For the moment I intend to keep those assumptions to myself, discretion being the better part of valour and all that.

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  55. The $300 will represent more purchasing power. It will find it’s way into many markets.

    So why do you think the rental market is somehow magically excluded from price signals?

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  56. resounding, crushing victory (much more than the current one seat majority) for National. Right?

    I’m not a National voter. I rarely vote for any political party.

    Most voters are stupid, especially when it comes to economics. If you bribe them, it may well work. It’s often worked in the past. But I would ask why this new-found love of cheaper energy prices, especially gievn your support of a full ETS.

    Are you going to be honest and transparent with voters about their *total energy cost* under Green-Labour policies? If not, why not?

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  57. Armchair says “Hey photonz1, the assumptions you are making about my financially literacy are fascinating.”

    When you scoff at the idea that money would move away from the NZ stock market, you display real financial ignorance.

    Especially when major fund managers have ALREADY SAID PUBLICLY they would do exactly that.

    And small investors are getting the same advice.

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  58. So why do you think the rental market is somehow magically excluded from price signals?

    Straw man.

    What I think is that your proposition is dumb – $5.70 a week is no more likely to be consumed in rents than it is in people consuming new Mercedes-Benzes.

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  59. What I think is that your proposition is dumb – $5.70 a week is no more likely to be consumed in rents than it is in people consuming new Mercedes-Benzes.

    I gave an example of one market. The extra money, which will be in the hundreds of millions if it works as Green-Labour say it will (it won’t), will flow through into all markets. In markets where supply doesn’t increase, the price will rise. You can replace “rental” with any supply-constrained market you like – it’s still true.

    Many on the left have a cost-plus mentality. They really can’t see how increased spending power can drive some prices higher.

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  60. It’s been happening for years now. Renters get rental subsidies. And what do you know – rents go up to match their new buying power! How astonishing! Rental subsidies become landlord subsidies.

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  61. You made too many assumptions and read too much into my comments, photonz1. It come across as an attempt to divert attention away from the subject. That subject being “cheaper electricity”. I can understand why some people don’t want to hear that message, but it’s pretty simple and I reckon it could be quite effective. Of course, I could be wrong.
    Arana, I have nothing to be honest and transparent about. I’m not a member of the Greens or Labour at any level, nor am I a member of any political party. The last time I contemplated joining a political party it was National. So asking me to explain a political party’s position on anything is futile. Do you too wish to avoid discussing the vices and virtues of cheaper electricity?

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  62. The extra money, which will be in the hundreds of millions if it works as Green-Labour say it will (it won’t), will flow through into all markets.

    Agreed. But that’s not what you said.

    You inferred it would flow though to rents; “Leave a renter with $300 more per year, where do you think it’s going to go?”, which is both unprovable and wrong.

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  63. phtonz1

    That’s as nutty as Kerry’s 20% annual food inflation claim.

    That’s right photonz1, the NZ Herald business section is nutty:

    New Zealand power consumers have dealt with some of the sharpest price rises in the world over the past 20 years.

    Kiwi electricity tariffs are now average on a global scale but in 1990 they were the eighth-lowest.

    Over the past 20 years, New Zealand’s average annual power prices have increased more than 15c per kilowatt hour (kwh), from 9.2c per kwh in 1990 to 25.5 at the end of 2010. That’s compared with an increase of less than 2c per kwh in Australia and about 3c per kwh in the United States.

    New Zealanders pay substantially more for power than our neighbours. In 2010, Australians were paying 14.83c, while in New Zealand power was retailing for between 22.7c and 24.97c per kwh. The US price was at 16.04c but Britain’s prices were similar to New Zealand’s, at 27.58c.

    Better luck next time troll!

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  64. The other hole in the logic, Gregor W, is that it’s not “extra money”. It’s just money that would otherwise have gone to the current and future shareholders. If you were one of them you might well be upset, to the point where you engaged in wild flights of fancy and hyperbole. Even though doing so might exacerbate any economic sabotage you were worried about.

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  65. If you were one of them you might well be upset, to the point where you engaged in wild flights of fancy and hyperbole.

    I don’t hold any New Zealand shares. New Zealand is a tiny market, with a reasonably high risk of direct state intervention.

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  66. You inferred it would flow though to rents

    It will. I didn’t say it wouldn’t flow into other areas, too, as I’ve been repeatedly pointing out.

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  67. Do you too wish to avoid discussing the vices and virtues of cheaper electricity?

    *How* are you going to get cheaper electricity?

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  68. It will. I didn’t say it wouldn’t flow into other areas…

    So how much of the $5.70 will flow through to rents, Arana?

    I mean you must have a figure in mind to make such a bold statement that it will drive a broad demand side price correction in the rental market.

    50c p/w? $1.27?

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  69. “When the issue of his crony appointment of Ian Fletcher was first raised, John Key sought to minimise their relationship, passing it off as a casual acquaintance from long ago. He also claimed in Parliament not to be able to recall any contact with Fletcher before the appointment, and to the media that he had not seen him in a long time. He lied:”

    http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2013/04/another-lie-from-prime-minister.html

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  70. So how much of the $5.70 will flow through to rents, Arana?

    Labour are using the justification that it will boost the economy by hundreds of millions, so I’d guess tens of millions.

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  71. No basically, nothing in the scheme of things.

    Certainly nothing that would even register as more than an background noise in rental prices across portfolio 1.1m odd rentals.

    It’s far more likely that the entire extra fiver a week – if it even registers – will be consumed by the purchase of small goods or services. Which is a good thing.

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  72. Jackal quotes “In 2010, Australians were paying 14.83c”

    According to Ausgrid, the 2011/2012 retail prices in Sydney and Melbourne from the main providers per kw were 21c, 22c, 23c, 23c, and 24c. In NZ$ that’s an average of 27.5c – a little different to 14c claimed, and the nutty claim of just a 2c rise in twenty years.

    Ausgrid puts the price rises over that period at 175% for Melbourne and 155% for Sydney –

    see P3 for a graph of residential power rises 1990-2010

    http://www.ausgrid.com.au/Common/About-us/Newsroom/Discussions/~/media/Files/About%20Us/Newsroom/Discussions/2012%20Household%20Energy%20Bills%20%20Sydney%20vs%20Melbourne.pdf

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  73. Well your argument would makes sense if Sydney and Melbourne made up the entire country… We’re comparing countries, not states against countries. You’re being dishonest again photonz1 because you’ve lost the debate.

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  74. gregor asks “So how much of the $5.70 will flow through to rents, Arana?”

    That can be answered. Rents will go up by $19.20 – $26.90

    One of the countries top Kiwisaver companies estimates a 1% rise in interest if NZ is seen to re-nationalise the electricity sector.

    As we have $175B in mortgages, that’s roughly $100,000 per house, so 1% rise in interest averages $1000 per year per house.

    So to cover an additional 1% in mortgage rates the average renter will need to spend $19.20 of their $5.70 refund on extra rent.

    If the renter is in Auckland, Tauranga, Christchurch or Dunedin, the house will also lose another $300-$400 per year in rates subsidies from local body ownership of power companies.

    That will add an additional $5.70-$7.70 to average weekly costs for those houses on top of the $19.20.

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  75. One of the countries top Kiwisaver companies estimates a 1% rise in interest if NZ is seen to re-nationalise the electricity sector.

    Based on what? A wet finger?

    The whole premise is ridiculous as it assumes complete opportunity cost / substitutability between rents and electricity as though it were a zero-sum calculation.

    Why not between electricity and chocolate bars?

    As we have $175B in mortgages, that’s roughly $100,000 per house, so 1% rise in interest averages $1000 per year per house.

    A bit out. Stats from 2010 indicate that there is between 60-80Bn in mortgages on rentals.

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  76. Jackal says “You’re being dishonest again photonz1 because you’ve lost the debate.”

    Anybody with half a brain would realise power has gone up by more than 2 cents in 20 years in Australia.

    Headline “Australian households are paying among the highest electricity prices in the developed world ”

    “A report released by the Energy Users Association of Australia (EUAA) shows average electricity prices have grown by as much as 40 per cent in the past five years.”

    The Australian Energy Markets Commission report in Nov 2011 had average power prices for all of Australia at 24.8c kw which is NZ 30.2c kw – over double your claimed 14c.

    From
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-21/australians-pay-highest-power-prices-says-study/3904024

    Jackal – Someone could tell you the moon has been painted blue, and if that happened to align with green policy, you’d believe it.

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  77. Gregor says “”A bit out. Stats from 2010 indicate that there is between 60-80Bn in mortgages on rentals.”

    You fail to factor that rentals are only 35% of the housing market.

    $175b mortgage debt on 1.7m houses is around $100,000 per house.

    $60B-$80B mortgage debt on 600,000 rentals is $100,000-$133,000 per house

    If we use your figures, the rent increases will be up to 33% higher.

    Gregor says “Based on what? A wet finger?”

    Based on the fact that international interest rates are lower for stable countries, and higher for countries that do nutty things like re-nationalise an industry sector, when the rest of the world is doing the opposite.

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  78. Photonz1, we were debating the increase in power prices here in New Zealand… Comparing two states of Australia to New Zealand doesn’t really cut the mustard.

    There’s also one glaringly obvious fact you seem to be ignoring… Australians earn on average a lot more than New Zealanders. In Australia the median wage is $1067, in New Zealand it’s $887. However they should be concerned with increases in the cost of electricity, just as New Zealanders should be concerned.

    The article you’ve linked to refers to a study comparing Australia with another 91 countries, states and provinces around the world. Page 11 of that study has a graph showing 2011 household electricity prices… New Zealand is ranked 30th highest.

    However that includes industrial and commercial pricing, and with New Zealand having the second highest difference between industrial and residential prices in the OECD (Industry 17.27 cents/KWh – Household 28.10 cents/KWh in 2011), your claims that we have cheap residential pricing is clearly wrong!

    In New Zealand, prices for households have been increasing at double the rate of inflation, faster than most of our major competitor countries. That’s affecting the economy mainly through high commodity prices. It’s also affecting people’s ability to heat their homes adequately this winter… But I guess the right wing isn’t concerned about that eh photonz1.

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  79. HI Arana. I won’t be doing anything to make electricity cheaper in a personal or professional capacity.
    Based on the suggestion that lower electricity prices will increase other costs, do you think a price rise to support higher dividends to councils and the government would be a good idea? We could bat the idea around like what happened with the discussions around raising the minimum wage.

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  80. Sorry photonz1, should have been clearer.
    1.1m rentals with 60-80Bn debt are the figures I garnered from 2010, so between 60-80k average.

    However, the interest rate premise is rubbish.
    Rates will be based on the appetite banks have to lend to the public, not the Govt.
    Banks can’t lend enough money now as consumers have no appetite for debt which is why rates so low. The world is flush with cash that the banks can’t lend ( thanks QE! )

    Any talk of an imminent rates rise due to the effect of $700m of spending substitution – it’s not introducing any new money remember – is talking out their arse.

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  81. Jackal says NZ power prices are ” Household 28.10 cents/KWh in 2011″

    I currently pay 17 cents/kw (15c before gst) – your price is 65% higher than what I paid last week..

    We have cheaper power than Australia, cheaper than the OECD average, and cheaper than the Europe average.

    You complain about power price inflation in total ignorance of the reason prices have gone up.

    It’s not because of generator profits (which for many are much lower than a few years ago).

    I’ll give you a clue. In recent years we’ve invested $9 BILLION in building renewable power and $5 BILLION in grid upgrades.

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  82. Gregor says “Any talk of an imminent rates rise due to the effect of $700m of spending substitution – it’s not introducing any new money remember – is talking out their arse.”

    With all your international finance expertise you’d better go and tell the experts, the government, the banks, and the reserve bank governor that they’ve all been wrong for years about who sets interest rates.

    And while you’re at it, you might want to correct your fundamental error that 35% of 1.7m NZ houses are rentals – not 60% (that’s 600,000, not 1,000,000)

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  83. photonz1

    I currently pay 17 cents/kw (15c before gst) – your price is 65% higher than what I paid last week..

    That’s nice for you photonz1, but the 28.10 NZ cents per KWh is the average households paid across the entire country. You really should stop getting so confused about these things… You come across a bit a fool otherwise.

    The study you’ve linked to states “Figure 3 is a comparison of 2011 household electricity prices”. It has New Zealand between 15 and 20 Australian cents per kilowatt-hour supposedly for “household” electricity prices. However this data for international electricity comparisons from the Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment has New Zealands household power cost at 28.10 NZ cents per kilowatt-hour in 2011. Therefore the study you’ve linked to is using incorrect data. It’s my guess that they’re including industrial and commercial pricing in their comparison.

    You must realise that the low cost of electricity for industrial and commercial purposes is offset by high prices for residential and small business customers?

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  84. Just checked my last bill. I’m paying about 27 cents per kWh, when all charges are factored in.

    Please don’t suggest I change companies, that’s not the point.

    Mind you, I still don’t see what is “green” about wanting lower electricity (and, by implication, energy) prices.

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  85. Tony

    Mind you, I still don’t see what is “green” about wanting lower electricity (and, by implication, energy) prices.

    Could possibly be to do with the fact that the current bidding system doesn’t take into account how the power is being produced, and hydro is effectively competing pound for pound against more environmentally damaging forms of generation. Sending a proper price signal (increasing market competition) that takes into account the actual cost to produce electricity will cause more environmentally friendly generation to be used, because it’s more cost effective.

    Cheaper power will of course equal increased consumption… However you also need to consider the economic and socially beneficial impact more affordable power will cause. In other words, increased consumption will potentially adversely affect the environment unless current generation is offset by using more clean and green forms of energy production. The Greens will have plans to implement more renewable energy sources, NZ Power appears to be one of them.

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  86. jackal – thanks for the link to NZ power prices over the last 20 years.

    From your link, average household power prices per kw in NZ were
    - 17c in 1990
    - 20c in 1998 at the time of the Bradford reforms.
    - 28c in 2011.

    So from 1998-2011 household power prices rose 40%, just ONE PERCENT above inflation.

    And from 1990-2011 household power prices rose 60%, TWO PERCENT BELOW inflation.

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  87. Thanks, Jackal. It’s a shame we’re left to speculate on the green aims of the Greens policy.

    I wouldn’t necessarily want to see increased hydro (dams destroy habitat), so I’m not sure about the incentive to build greener electricity generation (though I’m also not sure the policy would do this); I’d rather the incentives were geared towards decreased electricity use altogether and decreased use of environmentally damaging capacity.

    Yes, cheaper electricity will result in increased consumption (directly or indirectly) and that will definitely adversely affect the environment, though the way the energy needed to support that consumption would certainly affect just how bad that impact is.

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  88. Yeah, photonz1. Because all those big brained financial experts have been dead on for the last 5 years or so when it comes to macroeconomic policy.

    Feel free to keep drinking their koolaid there, buddy.

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  89. You are right about the 1.1m being off though.
    I took a rental population rather than rental dwelling figure from Stats NZ.

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  90. Interesting that the Cinderella BERL report saying how wonderful the Green/Labour power policy will be….does not include negative factors like loss of tax, loss of dividends etc….because they weren’t part of the brief given to them.

    No wonder BERL research is now talked about as a paid conclusion with facts selected to fit.

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  91. Seems like the Labour/Greens NZPower initiative is running out of steam.

    Serious questions are being asked in terms of implementation, planning and execution but all we are getting is a junior green MP’s making a fool of them-self on TV (Who is Clint?).

    Where is Russel Norman to drive home the advantage and explain how the policy will be implemented, when consumers can expect their $300, what laws will be changed to break existing long term supply contracts, etc., etc.

    So far we have had the big bang, but no follow up in regards application of force to achieve purpose.

    As Paul Simon said so elegantly

    Slip slidin’ away
    Slip slidin’ away
    You know the nearer your destination
    The more you’re slip slidin’ away

    The Greens are loosing the strategic advantage gained in the beginning of the policy announcement and the leaders of each party is absent.

    Where is Russel Norman? Shearer is overseas (massive mistake if he and Labour were serious about this NZPower strategy).

    So come on all your Green MP. Tell us how and when this policy will be implemented.

    Key has taken the front foot by claiming that it will take more then 4 years to implement the NZPower policy.

    Where is the rebuttal based on sound planning and action steps? Where is Russel Norman (did I asked that already – oops sorry)?

    And please don’t let Gareth Hughes be interviewed again and leave the political advisory “Clint” at home.

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  92. I think you are right, Gerrit, about the heat having been lost, however, that may not be a serious problem. The idea is settling in people’s minds and the loopy reactions from Key, Joyce and so on are still in the air, so letting that hang there will work to our advantage as much as the silence works against us, in my opinion. Most ordinary people do not need a detailed explanation of how it will be costed, etc, it’s the pollies and commentators who are calling for that. Ordinary people know full well that the power companies have been gaming them. They are hearing Shearer and Norman saying, we’ll change all that and you’ll get your electricity cheap. That’s all they need. The Greedy Right :-) are regrouping and forging a strategy to discredit the idea and it might be in fact, a good thing for the Left to hold its council in the meantime. They’ve already fired-off a potentially crippling shot. Now they are waiting. I reckon what’s needed now is for the grassroots to speak up. Letters to the editor, talk back (that has already gone the Left’s way, big-time) and so on. Speak up, little people. The power is in your hands :-)

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  93. Success is going to be measured on the uptake on MRP shares.

    If the uptake is 100%, at even a discount $2.30 odd, then the strategy of releasing this state control direction by Labour/Greens is wasted.

    Come 2014 election it could be a major downer for the left parties.

    Labour is defending like crazy with the Leader MIA, Robertson back-footing by clarifying that only electricity will be state controlled (yeah right — remember Auckland airport shares?).

    And Parker is busy defending his 2006 position versus the Labour/Greens 2013 position.

    With Key having taken the initiative by declaring it will take 4 years to implement (2018 at the earliest and after the 2017 election), where is Dr Normans rebuttal?

    I can understand not getting into the nitty gritty of the state control NZPower function, but a more definitive statement then the current smoke and mirrors policy is called for.

    Ask yourself what the strategy for the Blues will be in the run up to the 2014 election based on the limited facts placed before the public by Labour/Greens.

    It does not take much to see a resurrection of the dancing cossack type adverts, promoting the fear that the KiwiSaver funds off the good kiwi battler, will be raided (true or not but NZFirst is promoting it), KiwiSaver funds will be stagnant by removing market confidence in investment in New Zealand, a return to the bad old days of state control as seen between 1960 and 1980 (remember the ferries, the road cartage restrictions, the overseas funds required to buy a car, the union stranglehold over construction projects, MRP scheme, etc., etc.)

    Add to that that savings in New Zealand will be diverted from investing in growth and back into housing (a safer bet then loosing share value to a new government bent on state control) and you have a recipe for an election loss by Labour/Greens.

    Now add the conflict with water rights by Maori into the mix plus increased ETS prices and you may well have a negative electoral position based on not being able to fund the $300 promised.

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  94. The “leaders” sprayed and ran, leaving ill-prepared underlings to face enemy fire.

    They certainly landed a blow, but the follow-through has been hopeless. There is clearly very little policy behind this announcement and it shows. It’s backfiring already as many in the media haven’t bought it and they’re exposing you.

    No one has yet explained *how* they are going to make power cheaper.

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  95. “They certainly landed a blow” – yes, Arana, they did and that “blow” has knocked the money-men around something terrible. The public though, have not been “hit”, they’ve been shown an option no one was considering. They loved the sound of it and are mulling that over now. In the background, the money-men, after their initial “chicken-littling” and attack on those who presented the offer (They’re insane! Insane I tells ya!!! squawk!) are regrouping to attack. The public are watching, sympathetic to Labour and the Greens, I believe, sensing that at last someone is taking on the elite corporate$$$ and changing the game. They like that. Quietness from the Greens and Labour could serve that process well. They’re keeping their powder dry and maintaining their decorum, something National threw away in the first instance. I see Key is trying to seem Prime Ministerial, but the Fletcher breakfast development is further revealing him as a shyster and few believe his face is real – it’s all masks and fake smiles from Mr Lengthening Nose.

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  96. Gerrit – the MRP uptake won’t be the measure of success you claim, imho. Those who will buy in will be mostly National supporters. They will bet on national getting back in and their investments being thus saved. The people who are going to be heartened by the proposals from the Greens and Labour are those who aren’t planning to invest in MRP, who didn’t vote last time but will vote Left this election. They will bring in a new Left Government, who will implement these proposals. The MRP investors will lose out in every way, except they’ll enjoy cheaper eletricity prices. Win-win, as they say :-) I think the proposals have already achieved their purpose. The margin between left and Right was already tiny. All it takes is something like this and National are out on their shiny suit-pant-seats. Done and dusted, I reckon.

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  97. There will always be a certain sector of the community would will respond to “free lollies”. But any political party, including National, can offer free lollies.

    The same people easily swayed by free lollies can be easily swayed back again when they are told about higher ETS charges. National will repeat, over and over, about the cost of ETS and how *total* energy charges will be greater under LabGreen.

    And what you going to do? Your stance has always been about energy conservation and added fees for saving the planet, not lower prices. You won’t be able to maintain both arguments and you’ll get crucified in the debates.

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  98. Greenfly,

    Remember that implementation of NZPower will take 4 years. As outlined in the linked document provided by Solka above.

    The Greens have two election to contest BEFORE the scheme is implemented. Long time before the benefits trickle down to the consumer.

    Biggest problem I see is the structure where NZPower sits between the generator, and the distributor.

    A huge double up of resources. Surely if NZPower was either the generator or the distributor we would see real savings? The structure is adding a ticket clipping middleman.

    I always envisaged users collaborating together in communities of electricity purchasers and negotiating directly with the generators for supply.

    I would restructure the electricity industry into state owned generator/transmitters selling directly to community groups.

    Tried to read the PDF document but it is so big that it is taking too long to download and be made readable.

    Want to find out how the Greens will allow private generation by individuals, communities and business.

    True I agree with energy conservation but I dont think NZPower structure as outlined by the Greens is the way to do it. No incentive to save and no incentive for the fixed line charge cost to be held in check.

    You may end up with cheaper electricity charges but higher fixed line charges.

    With no incentive to save there is no energy conservation.

    Biggest marketing mistake has been the promise of the $300 “free” electricity. The Greens should have marketing NZPower as saving energy first. Not as a middleman ticket clipper that is going to return $300 per annum to a household.

    Still see the future as micro generation and feel that the NZPower proposal does not encourage that development.

    I’m more interested in this type of technology (one where one does not have to build dams and large structures to harness fast flowing water)

    http://www.fieldlines.com/index.php?topic=144906.0

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  99. Gerrit – the labour/Greens don’t have to have their programme in place before the election. They merely have to have said, this is what we will do. they have done that. people know now what the significant difference between Left and Right is now. Before, it was unclear. I believe the all important voting block, the one that didn’t go to the booths last time, like this proposal and will vote this time around. That signals the end of National’s tenure. It’s done already. Sit back and relax, there’s no point in fighting it :-)

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  100. Arana – the public have lost interest in the ETS. National can bang on and on about it, but it’s old hat. No one will take ay notice. Electricity prices however, are of immediate and intimate concern. Labour and the Greens chose the best vehicle to ride to victory on. You are miffed, understandably.

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  101. Gerrit – the labour/Greens don’t have to have their programme in place before the election. They merely have to have said, this is what we will do.

    Naive, Greenfly.

    That is not all they have to do, because National can offer free lollies, too. They can also kill your lolly scramble by outlining the higher total energy cost under LabGreen.

    And you have no answer, because you want a full ETS. They don’t care about the initials “ETS”, they care about the dollars in their pocket, and National will easily be able to run the line there will be less of them under LabGreen. Because you don’t want lower energy costs – you want energy conservation.

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  102. More news in today’s paper that investors have been spooked by proposals that the government will intervene in private markets.

    There is fear that such a policy will lead to lack of investment, costing jobs and damaging the economy.

    Some observers said the policy was merely postuing ahead of elections,

    (from today’s ODT and BBC, reporting on Robert Mugabes new policy).

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  103. Greenfly,

    Problem is it is not the 2014 election, it will be the second election (2017) before the benefits trickle down.

    Long time between drink to carry the hopes of a section of the voting public dying of thirst.

    A strategic weakness.

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  104. Gerrit said: “Problem is not the 2014 election…”
    True. That’s in the bag. The public, I contend, are as thirsty for the underlying message, that the wealthy elite aren’t calling the shots anymore, as they are for cheap electricity. The worm has turned. The elections beyong 2014 will look after themselves.

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  105. Arana’s wrong. Quibbling about the ETS is messy and passe. The ‘cheap power’ message is immediate and clear. The latter wins hands-down.

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  106. Gosh, a free lolly scramble! What strategy. What cunning. How on earth will National ever counter that! Free stuff. This has never, ever happened before in New Zealand politics! Dear God, whatever will they do? Pure genius.

    Meanwhile, your “cheap power” message is fours years away whilst your higher weekly energy bills, via ecotaxes, would be imminent.

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  107. Russel Norman says government won’t lose dividends.

    Green policy says they will.

    Who is telling lies and who is telling the truth?

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  108. Clint knows alright. Everyone knows. Power bills are too high. Labour and the Greens are promising to lower them considerably. Clint will vote for that. So will everyone else.

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  109. Lolly scramble, Arana? You’re frothing again. Is Pharmac a lolly scramble?
    People love the idea of a Labour/Green Government managing the power companies in a way that benefits the consumer(them)rather than the fat-cat executives and their companies.
    Oh yes, we like that, we do.
    It’s a winner.

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  110. Tony

    I wouldn’t necessarily want to see increased hydro (dams destroy habitat)…

    Labours policy release (PDF) on NZ Power states:

    Each generator will be paid a fair return for their actual costs. The fair return will be calculated by NZ Power on the basis of their historic capital costs, possibly adjusted by inflation, plus operating costs like fuel, depreciation and maintenance.

    Obviously NZ Power will be looking towards cost reductions, so hydro would take precedence over gas fired power generation for instance, because in terms of cost effectiveness there’s no question that hydro is better than gas.

    However in terms of new capacity, hydro isn’t the answer, wind generation is. That’s why the last six large instillations have all been wind turbines. NZ Power will likely also need to consider the environmental impact from new capacity projects in determining long term contracts. In effect the subsidies that polluting power generators have enjoyed will likely halt.

    Arana

    *total* energy charges will be greater under LabGreen.

    [...]

    They can also kill your lolly scramble by outlining the higher total energy cost under LabGreen.

    Got any evidence to support those claims Arana… Or are you just waffling nonsense again?

    Gerrit

    KiwiSaver funds will be stagnant by removing market confidence in investment in New Zealand.

    Rubbish! Only 9% of Kiwisaver funds are invested in New Zealand. If the right wings fear mongering about NZ Power causes a lack of private investment, then the government should step in to ensure our savings go towards supporting New Zealand businesses instead of foreign ones that actually have lower returns than those available here.

    The so-called independence of the Guardians and the low level of return on our $20 billion investment needs to be challenged.

    Where is Dr Normans rebuttal?

    Dr Norman doesn’t need to counter the claims of the ever deluded John Key… Four or five years to implement the NZ Power policy is obviously a complete over-exaggeration.

    Long time between drink to carry the hopes of a section of the voting public dying of thirst.

    You’re talking about setting up an office with enough people to negotiate contracts and set prices… There’s nothing difficult or time consuming about that.

    Electricity companies separating their retail arms into separate, standalone companies might take some time, however that shouldn’t delay the initial price reductions for the average consumer. Consumers will have around two years before the 2017 election to ponder if they like cheaper power prices or not, and you already know the answer to that one.

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  111. Yes, Greenfly. “Cheap this, free that, subsidised this” certainly appeals to one demographic. Always has, always will. The very same demographic, in fact, that can be swayed by a competing lolly scramble.

    Therein lies your problem. Your lollies are a long way off, yet your hard medicine would be immediate. National will run a competing lolly scramble.

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  112. Got any evidence to support those claims Arana…

    Well, it’s difficult given the fact the policy releases consist of fluff policy discussion documents, which are essentially a wishlist.

    However, a full ETS does increase the cost of petrol, which increases the price of everything else. Joyce puts it at $500 per household p/y.

    Is it true? Doesn’t really matter, does it. It’s as true as $280-$300 savings on power. The question is “which figure does the easily-led voter *respond* to”?

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  113. The Greens campaigned to save asset values.

    The Greens want to destroy asset values.

    Who is right?

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  114. jackal says on Kiwisaver “The so-called independence of the Guardians and the low level of return on our $20 billion investment needs to be challenged.”

    Jackal displays appalling ignorance again.

    Kiwisaver is owned by those who put the money in – it is not OURS.

    Nor does it have $20 billion in it.

    Best head back to financial kindergarten and find out the difference between “our” NZ Super Fund (which has $20b in it) and Kiwisaver, which currently has significantly less.

    Even your claim about the Super Fund getting a low return is made up nonsense.

    From today’s business news “The New Zealand Superannuation Fund reached another month-end high of $22.1 billion in March, returning 1.76% in the month and 16.3% in the last 12 months.”

    See
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/business/254317/another-month-end-high-super-fund

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  115. Arana

    Well, it’s difficult given the fact the policy releases consist of fluff policy discussion documents, which are essentially a wishlist.

    So no evidence then, just more baseless claims from Arana who appears to be attempting to steal the frogblog troll crown from photonz1.

    National will run a competing lolly scramble.

    You mean a lolly scramble to ensure the commission on Mighty River Power shares is double for overseas investment companies compared to New Zealand institutions? If you think that kind of lolly scramble has mass appeal for New Zealanders Arana, you’re clearly deluded!

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  116. photonz1

    Best head back to financial kindergarten and find out the difference between “our” NZ Super Fund (which has $20b in it) and Kiwisaver, which currently has significantly less.

    It’s a mistake photonz1… No need to get all nasty to try and retain your precious troll crown. Besides, my argument applies equally as well to the NZ Superannuation Fund.

    As an aside, do you happen to know what percentage of our Kiwisaver funds are invested in New Zealand?

    Even your claim about the Super Fund getting a low return is made up nonsense.

    I guess the University of Auckland is wrong then when they say:

    Measured against the hurdle rate means that, in the nine years to 30 June 2012, the
    Guardians had made a very modest accumulated contribution to the government’s
    balance sheet over the whole period. However, for the reasons described below, the
    Guardians have not come close to compensating taxpayers on a risk-adjusted basis for
    the 100% leveraged strategy.

    From Updating the NZSF investment performance numbers to 2012 (PDF).

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  117. The Greens say they don’t want assets to be sold to foreign investors.

    The Greens have just scared off all the small NZ investors.

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  118. You mean a lolly scramble to ensure the commission on Mighty River Power

    No, a different lolly scramble. Well, two or three lolly scrambles.

    So no evidence then, just more baseless claims from Arana

    Joyce’s figures.

    That’s the thing about figures. You throw one out, Joyce just comes out with a bigger one.

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  119. Russel Norman says “It’s not smart economics” to give up SOE dividends.

    Green Party says they will give up 2/3 of SOE dividends.

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  120. Jackal says “As an aside, do you happen to know what percentage of our Kiwisaver funds are invested in New Zealand?”

    Yes – a lot more than if the Greens/Labour policy is enacted.

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  121. Tony, the document that Solkta linked to contains the material on how this policy is linked to conseravtion of power and support for generation of renewable energy in place of non-renewable.

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  122. Arana

    No, a different lolly scramble. Well, two or three lolly scrambles.

    You mean the lolly scramble of a tax payer funded irrigation subsidy of around $400 million for farmers who were likely to vote National anyway?

    The problem you have Arana is that National has failed to deliver on its promises, with claims that their lolly scramble is bigger and better already proven false.

    photonz1

    Yes – a lot more than if the Greens/Labour policy is enacted.

    Got any evidence for that, or are you resorting to the same baseless waffling as Arana?

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  123. with claims that their lolly scramble is bigger and better already proven false.

    New lolly scrambles, silly. All will be revealed.

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  124. Arana

    New lolly scrambles, silly. All will be revealed.

    Once again for the dim-witted… Nationals promises are entirely unbelievable. That’s because of Keys track record for telling porkies! The public knows that National is only working for the benefit of corporate and private interests (most of them foreign), which has come at the expense of an equal and decent society here in New Zealand.

    Nationals over the top protestations about NZ Power clearly displays their allegiance to big business instead of the average Kiwi family who has struggled under a right wing administration. If I was a National MP, I’d already be contemplating packing up shop and looking to limit the damage caused by the rocks their neoliberal ship is badly stranded on.

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  125. Once again for the dim-witted… Nationals promises are entirely unbelievable. That’s because of Keys track record for telling porkies

    Bless.

    The demographic who fall for free lolly scrambles don’t ask questions. They don’t spend their lives obsessing about “foreign corporations and private interests” – that’s the domain of the neo-Marxists.

    They just want to know how big the lolly is, and whether they recognise the person talking about it…

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  126. Jackal,

    Dr Norman doesn’t need to counter the claims of the ever deluded John Key… Four or five years to implement the NZ Power policy is obviously a complete over-exaggeration.

    I do not need to make stuff up!!

    Read

    http://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/empoweringnz_final.pdf

    page 10

    Quote

    It will take time for NZ Power to be fully
    implemented. MED’s 2006 review envisions a two
    year pre-launch timetable, followed by NZ Power
    gradually replacing the existing wholesale market
    over the following two years.

    Guess it depends on what is meant by “gradual”

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  127. Yes, Arana. “tax-cuts here, tax-cuts there” certainly appeals to one demographic. Call it the “Tory Lolly-scramble” if you will, but it’s the same old ploy.
    You know, I’m laughing my *rse off over your protestations here. You snitchy Right-wingers have always crowed, “Don’t take our money off us as tax, leave it in our pockets so we can spend it and stimulate the ECONOMY!!!”
    This is exactly what Labour and the Greens propose, but you’re having a wee meltdown about it.
    LMAOx10

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  128. Yes, Arana. “tax-cuts here, tax-cuts there” certainly appeals to one demographic. Call it the “Tory Lolly-scramble” if you will, but it’s the same old ploy.

    Glad you’re finally getting it. Anyone can throw a lolly scramble. And you can be sure all parties will.

    “Don’t take our money off us as tax, leave it in our pockets so we can spend it and stimulate the ECONOMY!!!”

    Sure, but you’re not doing that, are you. You want to raise envirotaxes, although, once again, I’m certainly glad you now appear to understand the benefit of lower (stealth) taxes.

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  129. Speaking of LOL, Greenfly, I did have a little chuckle at your comment:

    “Quibbling about the ETS is messy and passe”

    Refer:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10846094

    Made me imagine this scenario:

    Ken: “I charge the government with ecocide! We’ll burn in hell! Buuuuurrrrnnnnnnnnnn…….”

    Clint: “Psst….yo, Ken. Global warming doom is now passe. We’re switching back to a Marxist class war narrative”.

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  130. Gerrit

    Guess it depends on what is meant by “gradual”.

    The actual Ministry of Economic Development Review of the New Zealand Electricity Market (PDF) states that; “depending on legislative and restructuring requirements” the entire process for a phased in approach could take 24 months (page 20 Implementation timeline). However there’s also the option of a Single cut-over date, which I presume is quicker.

    If you read what is actually claimed:

    Mighty River Power expects it would take at least four years for the Labour and Green party electricity policies to be enacted and Prime Minister John Key said this morning he didn’t think it would ever happen.

    Clearly the Labour and Green parties cannot start the enactment process until they’re elected, so it appears we’re talking about 2014 onwards… I guess that’s why you were a bit confused there Gerrit, when you wrote:

    it will be the second election (2017) before the benefits trickle down.

    Somebody else who’s also confused about when things occur is John Key, who said:

    With an election not likely till late next year, this would mean five years before any major change in the power market.

    The next election will likely be held in November 2014. If we use the Ministry of Economic Development’s timeframe for a phased in approach, then it will be implemented by November 2016. That gives voters an entire year of cheaper power prices to consider whether they like NZ Power or not… It’s my guess most have already made up their minds.

    MED predicts it will take a single buyer system four years before it buys and sells ALL wholesale electricity… However consumer benefits will begin when contracts kick in after two years.

    MED also state:

    An amalgamation of existing SOEs would be relatively straightforward to implement, and could be achieved within ~ 12 months.

    Therefore I expect the policy will be enacted a lot quicker than MED’s estimates for a phased in approach of two years. Labour and the Greens have another 19 months up their sleeves to work on the implementation of NZ Power, and there’s always the use of urgency to ensure the legislative changes required speed up the process.

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  131. You know you’ve stuffed up with late night policy made on the fly when political commentators on your OWN side are saying this ……

    “Indeed, the whole release smacks of ad hockery and raises worrying questions about the quality of both parties’ strategic (as opposed to merely tactical) thinking.

    In the face of the firestorm their energy policy’s release has ignited, both parties appear stunned, and there’s obvious uncertainty about how to proceed.

    “Clint – are we pleased?”, neatly summarises the Labour-Green predicament.

    “Having stepped off the banks of neoliberal orthodoxy and into the currents of radicalism, they cannot, now, simply decide to turn around and wade back to shore. ” …… from Chris Trotter

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  132. In fact the enactment of the legislation will take six months or 12 months from initial preparation, which somewhat puts into perspective the dishonesty of those hysterically protesting against cheaper power prices.

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  133. photonz1

    You know you’ve stuffed up with late night policy made on the fly when political commentators on your OWN side are saying this.

    You missed out some of the best bits from that blog post photonz1, here’s one of them:

    Rather than subtracting voters from National’s 2011 tally, Labour and the Greens must augment their own by adding to it as many of the votes of those who sat out the last election as they can attract.

    Radicalism is the key to making “the politics of addition” work. Rather than be frightened by the hostile reaction to Energising New Zealand, Labour and the Greens should learn from it. Radical policy announcements appear to have an effect very similar to those machines paramedics use to resuscitate heart attack victims. With a series of radical jolts, the twenty percent of New Zealand voters whose political hearts temporarily stopped beating in 2011, can be brought back to life in 2014.

    Nor should the Labour-Green Opposition be afraid of the criticism that will inevitably be heaped upon them.

    Trotter is right to highlight the fact that both Labour and the Greens weren’t prepared for the reaction from National concerning this issue. It was astounding, not just because of it’s audacious claims, but because they were so obviously wrong! Basically the opposition weren’t prepared for National completely losing the plot.

    However it’s not just the NZ Power announcement that has caused such an overreaction by many right wingers… It’s the fact that polling now indicates that NActUF will no longer be the government after the next election. That has caused them to become nasty, and that nastiness will assuredly turn even more voters away from supporting the neoliberal agenda.

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  134. Jackal says “It’s the fact that polling now indicates that NActUF will no longer be the government after the next election.”

    Anybody who relies in a poll just halfway though an election cycle to predict the result of the next election is a fool.

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  135. Jackal says “Basically the opposition weren’t prepared for National completely losing the plot. ”

    No – they weren’t prepared for all the ramifications they hadn’t thought about from such an ill prepared plan.

    So badly planned, that –
    - Gareth doesn’t know what he is supposed to think
    - Russel is saying there will be no loss of dividends while Green policy says there will.
    - they forgot the plan has already been soundly rejected as a bad idea by Labour.

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  136. photonz1

    Anybody who relies in a poll just halfway though an election cycle to predict the result of the next election is a fool.

    Which would make the right wings overreaction to such polling mean they’re fools eh photonz1.

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  137. So hastily pit together, that the Greens and Labour completely forgot to factor in a HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS of gst into their calculations.

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  138. The Right’s reaction to “Clint – are we pleased?”, neatly summarises their cognitive limitations. It’s very difficult to explain a joke to someone who lacks a funny-bone. Similarly, the “Clint Moment” can’t be translated into Tory. It just doesn’t fit.

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  139. photonz1

    So badly planned, that –

    - It was proposed as a solution by MED in 2006.
    - Has caused National to completely lose the plot.
    - Kept Labour and the Greens in the headlines for a week.
    - Caused the right wing to obviously make shit up in order to try and discredit it.
    - Has received widespread support from those who study the power industry.
    - Has received widespread support from many business insiders.
    - Has received widespread condemnation from those who have a vested interest in asset sales.
    - Will lower the cost of electricity for the average consumer, thus;
    - Received widespread public support that will increase the amount of people voting for Labour and the Greens at the next election.

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  140. greenfly says “The Right’s reaction to “Clint – are we pleased?”….”

    Even far left commentators are referring to “hey Clint” as proof the Green Party policy “smacks of ad hockery”.

    A stuff up is a stuff up.

    If you desperately keep spinning it the way you are greenfly, you’ll get dizzy and fall over.

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  141. Jackal – so badly planned that Russel Norman says it won’t cost SOE dividends and the Green Party policy says it will.

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

  142. Murray Kerr writes:
    Between 1996 and 2004 I worked as a controller in the electricity industry. I was involved in the setting up of the electricity market. When the market was being set up, I was of the opinion that it was just a method of indirectly taxing the people that already owned the assets.

    My parents’ generation paid for these assets to be built. The politicians have now “sold” them back to the taxpayer that already owned them.

    The market has many faults, the greatest of which is that a generation company entering a bid for the supply of electricity at a low bid is finally paid the top bid for the electricity he has supplied to the market. This is unlike any other auction process I know of.

    I have personally seen incidents where a generation company has spilled water at a hydro station to force a thermal station to generate. It was more profitable to do this than it was to generate using the cheap hydro energy.

    The market is not working, we are too small as a country to have an efficient market.

    I was going to buy MRP shares as I am a good Tory and could see a dollar to be made out of the way the market works.

    The Labour policy will remove the ability of power companies to gouge the market as the consumer will be purchasing within the market as a bulk consumer.

    This policy will make the market less profitable for the generation companies.

    As a consequence of this policy I will now not be buying MRP shares as the profit margins will not be there.

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  143. I’ll indulge you then, photonz1. Do you think Gareth didn’t know how he felt, when asked by the interviewer?

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  144. Gosh! Those potential share-buyers have lost their nerve, haven’t they?
    Just watched the TV3 news and it seems there’s great pull-back and disquiet, despite what some (insider) commenters have been saying.
    What gives???

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  145. Do you think Gareth didn’t know how he felt, when asked by the interviewer?

    Maybe we should ask Clint.

    That’s the problem with television, it tends to record body language that gives a much wider perspective.

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  146. You’ve made this claim a number of times now photonz1:

    Russel says the govt WON’T lose dividends.
    So badly planned that Russel Norman says it won’t cost SOE dividends and the Green Party policy says it will.
    Hey Clint – Russel has said the govt won’t lose dividends, and will lose dividends – which one should I go with?
    Russel Norman says government won’t lose dividends.
    Russel is saying there will be no loss of dividends while Green policy says there will.

    Where exactly has Dr Norman said that the government won’t lose dividends from this policy?

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  147. It looks like Hone Harawira can’t be bothered turning up for work, didn’t even help with marriage equality.

    A great example of a true freedom fighter……

    Bwaaah ha ha hah haarr!!

    He’s in Hawaii!!

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  148. Since you’ve a preponderance for repeating yourself photonz1; where exactly has Dr Norman said that the government won’t lose dividends from this policy?

    Both Labour and the Greens have said that dividends will reduce. Being that government dividends are 2/3 of the total, reductions to private shareholders will likely be in the vicinity of 20 to 30 million per year. That’s a 3 to 4.5% reduction of the dividends paid out to private shareholders in 2012 by the five main generators, and photonz1 thinks that’s some sort of massive disaster.

    That’s also before taking into account increases in revenue, + 18.6% in 2012. A 3 to 4.5% reduction certainly doesn’t justify words like “sabotage, communism, vandalism, terrorism” or any of the other descriptions the right wing has been studiously using to try and blame the failing asset sales agenda on Labour and the Greens.

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  149. Tony, the document that Solkta linked to contains the material on how this policy is linked to conseravtion of power and support for generation of renewable energy in place of non-renewable.

    Thanks, Janine and solkta. Yes, the document does address this though it’s far from convincing and, although it is in a section that includes “sustainability” in it’s title, the section contains nothing about sustainability (unless they are using the naive assumption that if the infrastructure harvests renewable energy, it must be sustainable).

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  150. Jackal says “reductions to private shareholders will likely be in the vicinity of 20 to 30 million per year”

    And there you have it in a nutshell.

    The Greens are claiming they will be able to return $700 million to consumers from this $20-$30m.

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  151. It seems that Labour and Greens are going for clean, renewable and affordable energy.

    This by insulating rental property to reduce demand for power so that renewable energy becomes sufficient to supply the market and a single buyer for energy on the market.

    This when combined with a phase down of pot lines at the smelter makes this very doable.

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  152. Jackal asks “where exactly has Dr Norman said that the government won’t lose dividends from this policy?”

    When Joyce said the Green/Labour plan would lead to millions lost in SOE dividends and company tax, Russel Norman retorted….

    “Minister Joyce’s release on the Greens and Labour’s electricity announcement is full of basic inaccuracies: he says that NZ Power would exempt electricity companies from corporate tax and dividends, which is completely false and not backed by anything in the discussion document.”

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  153. greenfly says “Gosh! Those potential share-buyers have lost their nerve, haven’t they?”

    Message from Clint “pipe down greenfly – don’t give it away. We’re trying to dress this up as policy – not sabotage – though perhaps the cat’s already out of the bag”

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  154. SPC – it will take a bit more than that. The aluminium smelter and the power station that powers it are at the South end of the South Island. The thermal plants which need to be shut down are near the other big load center – Auckland. Because of various grid and HVDC limits, the power available from shutting down the smelter cannot be delivered to the Auckland area to replace the thermal plants.

    We need to add more transmission capability or increase the non-intermittent North Island renewable generation.

    Trevor.

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  155. photonz1

    Your cognitive dissonance is really acting up lately photonz1… Surely you must realise that the (up to) $700 million per year in reduced end user costs comes from revenue, not directly of dividends or profits?

    And there you have it in a nutshell.

    The Greens are claiming they will be able to return $700 million to consumers from this $20-$30m.

    WTF!

    The $20 to $30 million per year is one-third of the estimated $60 to $90 million in reduced dividends. That’s an overall reduction of 9 to 13.5% of total dividends per year leaving 86.5 to 91% of the dividends to still be paid out.

    I’m not sure how I can explain that any simpler for you to understand photonz1… Let’s just move on eh!

    Dr Norman said:

    He [Steven Joyce] says that NZ Power would exempt electricity companies from corporate tax and dividends, which is completely false and not backed by anything in the discussion document.

    Which is translated by the deluded photonz1 into:

    Russel is saying there will be no loss of dividends.

    Massive cognitive fail there photonz1.

    In refuting Joyce’s ludicrous claims, Dr Norman has stated that electricity companies won’t be exempt from paying corporate taxes or dividends… Dr Norman hasn’t said anything to the extent that there will be “no loss of dividends” as you have repeatedly claimed.

    Exempt from payment means making no payment at all photonz1, even you should comprehend that. Dividends will reduce slightly (approximately 3 to 4.5% for private shareholders), they will not stop entirely.

    Your argument has become so unhinged that I’m somewhat concerned for your mental health photonz1… Perhaps you should give it a rest for a while?

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  156. Jackal – so how do you hand back $700 million in savings when you’re only cutting profits by $60-$90 million?

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  157. Seldom do you hear anything as financially ignorant as this…..

    Jackal says “Surely you must realise that the (up to) $700 million per year in reduced end user costs comes from revenue, not directly of dividends or profits?”

    Duh!!!

    If I reduce my prices, it doesn’t reduce my costs – not by a single dollar.

    The only thing it reduces is profit, company tax and gst.

    If you are still confused, just think of a lemonade stall. If a batch of lemonade cost $95, I make a profit if I sell it for $100, or a loss if I sell it for $90.

    Lowering the price, doesn’t change the fact that it still costs me $95 to produce the batch.

    Even my ten year old understands that, and has done for years.

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  158. Photonz1 slaps down his “Dr Norman said” card, but it’s a wet bus-ticket.

    Is that all you’ve got, photo?

    Disappointing.

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  159. Photonz1′s stock-in-trade is to call his opponents, ‘idiots’, ‘stupid’ or ‘confused’; ‘more ignorant that his 10 year-old’, and every other demeaning insult he can muster. He runs those slights constantly, against individual commenters here, the Green MPs and the Party in general. Some people engage with him, hoping for meaningful discussion. I find him to be very unpleasant and dismiss his views out-of-hand as a result of his boorish manner. I think you, Solkta, have formulated the best-of-all-times response to photonz1′s diatribes with your trademark “quack” and I thank you for recognising it’s suitability for clearing the atmosphere here on Frogblog.

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  160. greenfly – if your complaint about personal attacks is even slightly genuine, the first person you would complain about is yourself.

    Few things are more hypocritical than greenfly complaining about personal attacks and lack of genuine discussion.

    Except perhaps complaining loudly about it, then praising solkta for it.

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  161. Here’s how much Labour and The Greens believe in this “policy”: Norman and Shearer are nowhere to be seen. Labours underlings are very busy trying to change the subject.

    How very curious.

    What’s gone wrong?

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  162. Arana – they’ve certainly gone into hiding.

    It means they don’t have to answer questions about the miracle of getting $700m savings out of just $60-$90m of cuts.

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  163. “Gone into hiding”!?
    How stupid you are, photonz1. How ignorant, how confused – more confused even than your own 10 year-old.

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  164. Arana says “Looks like it’s unraveling faster than the “cheap homes” disaster as the numbers are exposed.”

    I actually think the government should look at intervening to build cheap housing if the NZ housing market remains vastly overpriced.

    And aspects of the Labour scheme have merit. Though their pricing is dubious and the huge cost to the taxpayer is unnecessary.

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  165. The reason both Arana and photonz1 are commenting here in Frogblog is simply to undermine the confidence of Green supporters. All else is padding. Their constant criticism is designed to cast doubt in the minds of other readers. Just though you’d like to know :-)

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  166. Having just complained loudly about personal insults and lack of meaningful discussion, Greenfly says

    “How stupid you are, photonz1. How ignorant, how confused – more confused even than your own 10 year-old.”

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  167. The housing market isn’t over priced. The land market, in some areas, is overpriced. Most (not all) of the reason for that is by design:

    Smart growth planning.

    It’s supposed to be expensive. This encourages intensification. There is plenty of cheap land outside the main centers not subject to intensification planning.

    We don’t have a housing crisis. We have a “jobs in the regions” crisis.

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  168. Arana says “The housing market isn’t over priced. ”

    I disagree. Current affordability is way above the historic average.

    We need to be a lot smarter and build much cheaper houses (yes, along with sorting out land issues, intensification, regionalisation etc)

    And a major priority is to get investment money shifted away from rental housing into the productive sector.

    Unfortunately the Greens/Labour power sabotage will encourage the opposite.

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  169. 298K Dunedin

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/property/residential-property-for-sale/auction-570891703.htm

    Overpriced?

    If people choose to live in Auckland, that’s their problem. The Auckland plan is to intensify land use and the way they are doing that is to drive up land prices by forcing a lot of people into a limited area. Great for train fans, of course.

    Affordable, in Auckland, is an apartment.

    Affordable, in Dunedin, is a three bedroom house with plenty of room.

    You make your choices.

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  170. Way to connect two completely separate issue, photonz1.
    Make sure you through a Mugabe nugget in there for good measure ;)

    However, you are quite correct in stating the housing price issue is not just related to the availability of land for new builds. It’s a deeply complex issue that requires a wide variety of responses at a regional, not necessarily a central government level.

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  171. Gregor says “Way to connect two completely separate issue, photonz1.”

    Wrong – the shift of investment from equities into housing since the 1987 crash is a major reason for overpriced houses.

    Since the 1990s Australia has encouraged investment in their productive sector and their sharemarket capitalisation is now 400% larger than it was then.

    Ours has stayed the same size.

    We need to encourage more investment in the productive sector – even the Greens say that. But then they come our with late night sabotage – er they call it “policy”, that does the very opposite.

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  172. People should be critical of you misrepresenting what Russel Norman said photonz1… Especially because you’re entirely unapologetic even when caught out blatantly lying!

    You’ve continuously lied and misrepresented in order to curb any real discussion about left wing policy here on frogblog, which is of course your main goal as a right wing troll. I just hope that the lack of respect people show for you here isn’t mirrored in your everyday life photonz1.

    In other news, the NZ Herald unusually ran an article today concerning the latest oil and gas accident called US: Barge explosions kill three (+ video). However the article only alludes to three people being injured, stating:

    Authorities say three people were brought to the University of South Alabama Medical Center for burn-related injuries. The three remained in critical condition Thursday morning (local time), hospital spokesman Bob Lowry said.

    I’ve not read any other report that says the three critically injured have died. Is this another issue with the NZ Herald outsourcing its sub-editing to India? The difference between critically injured and dead is important.

    Ironically the NZ Herald could run an article every other day about an oil and gas disaster if they wanted to. In November 2009, there were 1632 deaths that were related to the oil and gas industry. Why National continues to promote such a dangerous and environmentally damaging industry is beyond me… Surely the profit motive can’t be that strong?

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  173. Jackal says “In November 2009, there were 1632 deaths that were related to the oil and gas industry. Why National continues to promote such a dangerous and environmentally damaging industry is beyond me… Surely the profit motive can’t be that strong?”

    It’s promoted so that when you go to the shop, it has food on the shelves (because the trucks have fuel to get it there).

    Greens want to be able to drive their car, use plastic products, buy food etc.

    The difference is they want someone else, somewhere else, to take all risks involved so it’s hidden away so they can PRETEND to be cleaner and greener.

    If you don’t want to take the risks for your OWN fuel – don’t use it.

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  174. photonz1

    If you don’t want to take the risks for your OWN fuel – don’t use it.

    More psychobabble! Increasing the use of public transport is what the Greens are all about. That would reduce our reliance on foreign imports of fuel, which would in turn potentially reduce the amount of deaths associated with the oil and gas industry.

    1632 deaths worldwide in just one month is entirely unacceptable don’t you think photonz1?

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  175. It’s very odd.

    Labour appear to have gone very quiet on their “Big Kahuna” power policy. Robertson is back-pedaling hard, so much so Trotter has called him on it:

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/04/25/hey-julian-we-are-not-pleased-grant-robertson-calls-off-labours-assault-on-neoliberalism/

    The Standard has gone dead quiet on the issue. Norman is nowhere to be seen. And Shearer is not even in the country.

    wtf?

    Presumably, they’ve got some early response from those who matter and it’s not good?

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  176. Wrong – the shift of investment from equities into housing since the 1987 crash is a major reason for overpriced houses.

    Wrong – poor regulation skewing tax advantages, government inaction, financial illiteracy, the easing of inflation leading to higher real disposable incomes and access to cheap credit are the major reason for overpriced houses. The shift from equities to housing over time is the predicable result, not the cause.

    The major hike above long run averages in housing prices happened well after 1987 – thirteen years in fact.

    According to the Reserve Bank, affordability actually slightly improved in real terms between 1987 and 1994 readjusting to long terms trends after that time. About 2000 is when unaffordability began to skyrocket, principally on the back of cheap credit, easier lending criteria and sustained low inflation.

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  177. Trotter:

    “In military terms, Grant’s behaviour is akin to that of the General who orders a whole regiment of his troops into a vulnerable forward position, only to inform the enemy that he will be sending no further troops forward in support. The unfortunate soldiers in the now dangerously exposed salient are thus presented with two stark choices: retreat in good order to a more defensible position, or, risk being surrounded by the enemy and wiped out.”

    Like lambs in a shark tank….

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  178. Arana

    Presumably, they’ve got some early response from those who matter and it’s not good?

    You mean the response from government MPs who threw around words like sabotage, communism and Muldoonism? Or are you talking about the the response from right wing propagandists who used words like vandalism, terrorism and likened Labour and the Greens to a Mafia?

    The only people who should be hiding are the ones that made such idiotic outbursts. Meanwhile the response from those who really matter, the voting public, is yet to be gauged. Are you looking forward to that Arana? I know I am.

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  179. Merely establishing further that the NZLP leadership is stacked with despicable cowards who are traitors to their constituency doesn’t mean the policy isn’t a pretty good one.

    In fact, like the rabid outbursts of Joyce and co., watching Shearer and Robertson backpedal on the strength of right wing hysteria proves to me that the policy may well have considerable merit.

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  180. “Pawn Sacrifice” is out there in no-mans land, lobbing grenades. But heavy artillery is retreating fast.

    What’s the reason for that, Jackal?

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  181. The reason is because under MMP, Labour or National party *must* occupy the middle. Robertson knows it. They place a support party to the left, and one to the right, and play them off against each other.

    National are clearly delighted. By Labour siding with the Greens, National can now push Labour further off the ball and out to the left.

    I suspect Labour have got some response. And it’s not good. Those on the left love it, of course, but the left of the party won’t let them occupy the middle. That risks losing them the election as the swing vote goes with National.

    Thing about Rogernomics, you see, is it couldn’t happen under MMP. The great irony. Radical policy agendas are a lot less likely to happen under MMP.

    Due to the weighting of the center.

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  182. Arana

    “Pawn Sacrifice” is out there in no-mans land, lobbing grenades. But heavy artillery is retreating fast.

    What’s the reason you’re likening politics to war Arana? Do you perhaps feel a bit angry at the success of the Labour and Greens policy and cause so many right wingers to totally lose the plot? Or are you just simply pissed that the latest polling shows National will lose the 2014 election?

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  183. I don’t support National. National will lose in either 2014 or 2017.

    Politics is war. A war of ideas.

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  184. Jackal says “Increasing the use of public transport is what the Greens are all about. ”

    And what will power that transport?

    Oil that comes from someone far away so you don’t have to take any risk for your energy use yourself?

    Or electricity that comes from new generataion that isn’t built because you’ve scared off all new investment?

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  185. Who do you support then Arana, the Act party?

    Nobody.

    “I think it’s a terrible shame that politics has become show business”

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  186. photonz1

    Oil that comes from someone far away so you don’t have to take any risk for your energy use yourself?

    We already produce around half the fuel we use and there’s currently a large expansion in production ability underway that along with more efficiency and better public transport (electrification) could potentially mean we don’t need to import any fuel at all.

    We certainly don’t need to undertake deep sea oil drilling, which is highly dangerous, to meet our energy requirements.

    Having more people use public transport will mean they use less cars, which will reduce our reliance on foreign fuel. Do you want to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels or not photonz1?

    Or electricity that comes from new generataion that isn’t built because you’ve scared off all new investment?

    Where is your evidence (not just right wing opinions) that NZ Power will “scare off all new investment” into electricity generation photonz1? Because as far as I can tell, you’re simply making shit up again.

    Arana claims that she doesn’t support any political party, and yet is on a political website every day promoting National and Act party policy while belittling Labour and Greens… Your stench of dishonesty almost rivals photonz1.

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  187. Arana claims that she doesn’t support any political party, and yet is on a political website every day promoting National and Act party policy while belittling Labour and Greens

    For the simple reason I reject left wing economics. I tend to agree with Labour and The Greens on personal-social issues, such as gay rights, drug reform, prostitution law reform, etc. National and ACT are closer to my economic views.

    But it’s all just show business, really.

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  188. Jackal says “Having more people use public transport will mean they use less cars”

    The Greens hope that in a decade or so, if there is big investment, Auckland rail might carry as much as 100,000 people a day.

    Which means it won’t be carrying the other 95% or Aucklanders

    jackal asks “Where is your evidence (not just right wing opinions) that NZ Power will “scare off all new investment” ”

    - Contact Energy has recently invested $2.5 billion in renewable energy, which their CEO says wouldn’t have happened under the Green/Labour policy.

    - Infratil (half owner of Trustpower) just cancelled $100 million of bonds this week because of the Greens/Labour policy.

    - Investors have pulled out of Contact, Trustpower, Infratil, and Mighty River Power offer because of the Greens/Labour Policy.

    - Kiwisaver providers have said they would invest less because of the policy

    - International and NZ fund providers have said they would shift money out of NZ because of the policy.

    - NZ Shareholders Assocoation say a large number of their members (small investors) will no longer put their money into generation assets.

    If you can’t see investment being scared off, you need to take your fingers out of your ears, take off your blindfold, and come out from under your bed.

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  189. photonz1, you wrote:

    …scared off all new investment.

    You’ve then claimed there are a number of examples of people having opinions that investment will reduce and others making decisions based on those unsubstantiated opinions.

    Nothing you’ve highlighted shows that ALL new investment will be scared off… Idiot!

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  190. Arana says “For the simple reason I reject left wing economics. I tend to agree with Labour and The Greens on personal-social issues, such as gay rights, drug reform, prostitution law reform, etc. National and ACT are closer to my economic views.”

    Careful you don’t cause a brain meltdown in those can’t function without pigeonholing everyone into simple categories.

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  191. Jackal says “Nothing you’ve linked to shows that ALL new investment will be scared off”

    I didn’t realise you were that anal.

    We’ll see if there’s anybody stupid enough to invest billions in new generation that the Greens won’t let them get a return on.

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  192. photonz1

    We’ll see if there’s anybody stupid enough to invest billions in new generation that the Greens won’t let them get a return on.

    NZ Power will be structured to ensure there will be a fair return photonz1, haven’t you even read the policy documents?

    There’s nothing in the MED proposal that states ALL investment into new generation will be scared off, or any other reputable research document for that matter.

    There will likely be a 3 to 4.5% reduction in value for privately held dividends. It’s completely insane to think that will scare off ALL new investment photonz1.

    When your only resort is to continuously lie photonz1, you know you’ve lost the debate.

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  193. Jackal says “NZ Power will be structured to ensure there will be a fair return photonz1, haven’t you even read the policy documents?”

    Fair return?

    The Greens blow their own policy statement to bits when they label profits (which averaged UNDER 5% last year), as excessive.

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  194. Before the free trade agreement with China (which the Greens opposed), it took a decade to increase exports by $1 billion.

    In the just four years since the FTA, exports to China have increased by $5 billion (equivalent to 50 years of increase at the pre-FTA growth rate).

    In the last three months they’ve increased another 32%, and China has now overtaken Australia as the biggest buyer of NZ exports.

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/china-overtakes-australia-nzs-biggest-export-market-buying-more-meat-dairy-logs-bd-139242

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  195. Charles Chauvel. Very effective it was, too.

    How do you figure that given the odious Chauvel was an MP from 2006 to 2012?
    Or was your statement a study in irony? It’s hard to tell.

    More to the point the opportunity cost was Peter Dunne. I’m not sure what’s worse.

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  196. Not very successful in the 2005 general election though Arana, which Labour won.

    I’m not sure how “I don’t vote for anyone” is reconciled by “I vote against Labour”.

    You’re obviously a right winger Arana, why are you trying to deny it?

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  197. Not very successful in the 2005 general election though Arana, which Labour won.

    It seems to be a quirk of the system I only get one vote and can’t decide governments.

    I’ve never been sure what a “right winger” is, but if I am one, then I would not deny it. We’ve had this discussion before and established I’m somewhere between classic liberalism and neoliberalism.

    If that allows you to place me in a box which you will then, presumably, drop from a great height into the fiery pit, then I’m at least happy that I’ve been of some help :)

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  198. Don’t tell me you voted for the Libertarianz Arana? LOL! If you did, then perhaps you can let me know what the deluded Richard McGrath meant when he said “smacks of economic dyslexia” to describe NZ Power? Because as far as I’m aware, there’s no such thing.

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  199. How do you figure that given the odious Chauvel was an MP from 2006 to 2012?

    He didn’t become our local MP. I regard that as a victory. Dunne, as much as I often disagree with his policies, is a good local MP.

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  200. Fair enough. But given that Chauvel never came within a mile of winning Ohariu – given you could put a a dead dog up and be guaranteed a win as long as it was listed as Peter Dunne – it’s hardly a victory.

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  201. Jackal summonses all the intellect he can, and says…….. “Photonz1 says quack!”

    If he says it twice does that double his intellect?

    Or halve it?

    In the meantime we’ve earned $700m more in exports than we imported in March.

    Equivalent of jackals benefit for 46,000 years.

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  202. Anyone else who wants join in with an animal noise – feel free. It’s such a fantastic display of the epitome of Green intellect.

    As someone once said, it’s the online equivalent of a forehead tattoo that says “vacant”.

    Perhaps Russel and Metiria will join in with an e i e i o.

    You greens must be so proud. One day,(only after a lot of study), someone might graduate to an “oink, oink”.

    Why not use animal noises in election debates – that will win over the public.

    In the meantime, PLEASE, PLEASE keep up the animal noises.

    Every time you make them, they’re such a fantastic advertisement for the intellect behind the Green Party.

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  203. Gregor W

    But given that Chauvel never came within a mile of winning Ohariu.

    Actually Peter Dunne only won by 1392 votes, which is a slim 4% majority on Charles Chauvel. Being that United Future’s support since the 2011 election has decline 20% if the latest Roy Morgan poll is to be believed, with Labours support increasing by 29%, based of the current trend it looks likely that Chauvel will be the next MP of Ōhariu after the next election. The wet duck that is Peter Dunne needs to go.

    Photonz1 says quack quack quack!

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  204. it looks likely that Chauvel will be the next MP of Ōhariu after the next election

    Call me psychic, but I think Chauvels chance of winning Ohariu is is somewhere approaching zero.

    Given he lives in New York.

    Quack.

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  205. You obviously follow politics closer than I do there Arana. I’m not sure who Labour will stand in Ōhariu next, so can’t tell you who the next person it will be to represent the area in parliament… I’m also still wondering, did you vote for Act or National at the last three elections? Don’t tell me it was for Act… LOL!

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  206. I dare say they’ll stand someone who is in the country and is on the party list. You do realise Chauvel has quit parliament, and no longer lives in New Zealand?

    Jackal, I don’t belong to, or support, political parties. Many people who do become “the faithful”. They lose objectivity.

    I take each issue as it comes. I can just as easily support the Greens on drug reform as I can support Labour on gay marriage as I can ACT on taxation.

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  207. I voted against Chauvel and Hughes by voting for Dunne. Not that I agree with Dunne on much in terms of policy, but he is a good local MP and stands up for local concerns, such as Transmission Gully.

    I lodged a protest vote as my party vote. The party seemed like a happy bunch :)

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  208. So, you voted for Peter Dunne in your electorate knowing he would likely support National… You also gave your party vote to either UF, National or Act, knowing that Act would also support National. How does that reconcile with:

    I don’t support National. National will lose in either 2014 or 2017.

    Interesting that you right wingers have such difficulties giving a straight answer… Are you perhaps ashamed of who you voted for Arana?

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  209. You’re still having problems with my distinction, aren’t you.

    Are you perhaps ashamed of who you voted for Arana

    As I say, I don’t vote “for” anyone. I did put a cross next to the Legalise Marijuana party, however :)

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  210. So, you support the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana, but have never written anything here to that extent. Instead you’ve attacked the Greens on nearly every single blog post they’ve recently made, even though the Greens also want marijuana decriminalized… Something doesn’t quite ad up there Arana.

    What’s your argument for marijuana to be legalized or decriminalized btw? Here’s mine.

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  211. So, you support the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana, but have never written anything here to that extent.

    Yes. I haven’t written much about health, the arts, or justice, either. My main issue – and interest – is economics and the level of state control.

    I agree with your article. National and Labour have got it wrong. Don Brash and the Greens are right.

    Drug use should be treated as a health issue, not a criminal issue. If someone wishes to smoke, it’s their business, not the states, as they aren’t harming others. Just like alcohol, marijuana should attract sufficient taxation to cover health and education issues.

    To me, the matter is quite simple. Treat it the same as alcohol. The benefits, to the individual and society, outweigh the negatives, which can be managed.

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  212. Good stuff Arana. As a taxpayer, I don’t want my money going towards supporting a war on pot that has obviously failed. Now we can expect photonz1 to have a rip-roaring debate with you about those issues. He/she is vehemently opposed (bordering on fanaticism) to decriminalization.

    I suggest a well placed quack should suffice as your response.

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  213. Jackal – FYI Ohariu is a blue seat so it’s highly unlikely that a Labour benchwarmer will fill it.
    Furthermore, a 4% majority which looks slim on paper, is a mile in politics.

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  214. At the last election, Katrina Shanks for National got half the votes Charles Chauvel did… Ōhariu is definately not a blue seat. Dunne isn’t safe, which is why he’s been trying to get his face into the news recently with ill advised changes to how the police conduct their business. He thinks telling people where speed cameras are will somehow reduce speeding… What a plonker!

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  215. Jackal, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

    Ohariu is like Epsom in that strategic voting is in play. National voters were in danger of splitting their vote, thus handing the seat to Chauvel, so the signal from National in the last election was to vote Dunne, not Shanks.

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  216. @greenfly 5:40 PM

    Dunne and dusted.

    Actually, I don’t have too much problem with Dunne, apart from him swaying in political wind. I suspect if the political winds change, as seems to be happening, Dunne will find some reason to change his allegiance to Labour and the Greens so he can continue to be the Eternal Minister of Revenue.

    But I also suspect the good voters of Epsom did not expect to be electing a corrupt and deceitful Member to Parliament and hence to Cabinet through their tactical vote.

    Or do Nat supporters just tolerate corruption if it keeps their team in power?

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  217. Thing about Ohariu.

    People have been promised Transmission Gully since the 50′s. The notion is deeply ingrained in this electorate. Dunne understands this. If Dunne is to hold his seat and side with Greenbour, then he will make it a condition.

    The locals get a lot of bang for their buck with Dunne, you see. What does Chauvel or Hughes offer?

    Party puppetry.

    Like I say, Toad, all politics is local.

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  218. Chicago School. Absolutely. What are you offering? Neomarxism?

    Chuckles…

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  219. Ōhariu is definately not a blue seat.Dunne isn’t safe…

    Jackal – a little research for you.

    1978-84: National
    1984-90: Labour (Peter Dunne)
    1993: Labour / United NZ (Peter Dunne)
    1996-2008: United NZ / Future (Peter Dunne)

    Since his election in ’84 on a split vote courtesy of Bob Jones, Dunne consistently supported to Rogergnomes until he quit in ’94 because he had no mates left in the NZLP and went independent.

    Ohariu has been an extremely conservative electorate since the 70s as it’s very white and very wealthy – 40 years of blue (or faux blue) and nearly 30 years of Dunne is what backs up my earlier comment.

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  220. @Arana 6:27 PM

    People have been promised Transmission Gully since the 50′s.

    It always has had a tragic cost-benefit ratio, and any economic analysis reveals it is a stupid roading development.

    If the people of greater Wellington want to pay for it, then let them. But why should I as an Aucklander?

    That said, I think it will be a Dunne deal by the next election, and the Greens will by then probably need to move on to focus on more environmentally and economically sustainable transport projects for the future rather than reflecting on mistakes of the past.

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  221. It always has had a tragic cost-benefit ratio

    Hasn’t stopped people called for Auckland rail.

    In any case, don’t you believe in global warming?

    If the people of greater Wellington want to pay for it, then let them. But why should I as an Aucklander?

    Why do you expect me to pay for your rail loop?

    That said, I think it will be a Dunne deal

    Dunne’s ability to do deals is why he holds Ohariu.

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  222. Gregor W

    40 years of blue (or faux blue) and nearly 30 years of Dunne is what backs up my earlier comment.

    I don’t think you can really say it was faux blue while Dunne won it for Labour for all those years Gregor, but I guess we’ll have to wait untill the 2014 election to see who’s right or wrong with their predictions… Clearly 30 years of doing very little is 30 years too long.

    The reason I think Dunne is done and dusted is because his percentages have been steadily declining… There was a difference of 183% in 2002 between Dunne and the next candidate, 84% in 2005, 8.9% in 2008 to only 4% in 2011. That’s what you would call a statistical trend. Meanwhile support for Shanks has also declined. Looks like Ōhariu might be turning red in 2014 folks.

    Arana

    Why do you expect me to pay for your rail loop?

    It will be Aucklander’s who pay for it through their taxes Arana. It should be funded because it will return far more than it will cost, which is more than can be said for Transmission Gully.

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  223. Toad – The arguments for and against various road rail and other transport decisions are marked invariably by stupid economic analysis. The case for Transmission Gully has nothing whatsoever to do with “economics”.

    I have pointed out before here, that there have been roads for a lot longer than there have been cars, and that the establishment of a new ROUTE from Wellington Northward is a serious and important consideration when the notion of sea level rise is combined with the fact that current road North is only a couple of meters above mean high water. We are going to need that route, and developments along it, to house people displaced by the ocean. Wisdom should have us planning for what is going to happen because of the failure of the wisdom of so many others.

    Similar considerations apply to rail. We have to build and improve it because we are GOING TO need it, not because current profitability/benefits/costs analysis shows a positive number.

    The reasons to move up and away from the coastline apply to a lot of things, and I am scared for Te Papa but one looks at Wellington as a port and we are (I think) going to need ports that continue to function with both more violent weather and deeper oceans. Being on the lee side of those Mountains makes it likely that Wellington will continue to be a safe harbour for a long time after Petone is made over into Venice South and Porirua becomes Venice West. People displaced are going to want and need housing with access to transport of some flavor.

    What arrangements and plans are there? Someone has to THINK about this and not tell us all that this or that measure will only save commuters x amount of minutes getting into central Auckland or whatever other excuse they give for NOT thinking.

    Can’t say that the rail line is going to stay where IT is either, as there’s a huge amount of infrastructure that is going to need protection from the ocean. Wellington will either need a hell of a dike (and there’s a big earthquake risk with that), or the railyards and station are history.

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  224. That’s right, BJ.

    They can create all the spreadsheets they like, but Wellington still needs one road in and out that isn’t underwater.

    The current road is congested and isn’t up to the demands placed upon it by the population level. There’s already strong public transportation usage in the region, but we still need a suitable road.

    http://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/transmission-gully/background.html

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  225. I don’t think you can really say it was faux blue while Dunne won it for Labour for all those years Gregor…

    Jackal – if you think the Labour government of ’84-’90 wasn’t right wing, I have a bridge to sell you ;)

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