Obfuscation after the fact

The whole point of Question Time is to ask questions of minister and to get answers. Russel Norman seems to think that the point of asking questions is to ignore the answer and immediately tweet something completely different nanoseconds after he sits down.

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Now if you listen to the answer from Tony Ryall you can see that Russel Norman is actually lying.

Of course his loyal adherents simply retweet his bullshit without even knowing how wrong his tweet is.


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  • Peter Wilson

    and if the SOE’s were earning 18.5% that would mean we power users are being ripped off with high prices!

    • In Vino Veritas

      Quite so Peter. I believe that Southern Hydro was sold in late 2005 for about $1.4bn AUD. Wouldnt that have been under Labour’s watch? From memory, Labour don’t sell state owned assets, do they?

      • Hakimofphut

        Contact Energy was sold in the Bolger/Shipley  years

      • Phar Lap

        yes sold to the Americans ,the South Island power grid,by Clark Cullen Goff.Plus all the full supporting existing Liebour Mps still sucking the public tit.Also lest we forget Cullen allowed the Wellington power grid to be sold to the Hong Kong Chinese.Cullens comments at the time “,it was not a strategic asset”.

      • Gazzaw

        But Auckland International Airport was a strategic asset.

      • In Vino Veritas

        Hakim, who cares? My point is, Labour are being hypocritical, again.

  • Anonymous

    Why’s Norman rabbiting on about percentage and returns. He couldn’t care less about those capitalist things, his stance is purely idealogical, i.e. the government should own most things.

  • Phar Lap

    Russel Norman that Aussie Commie has lot to answer for,with all his schisms and heresies and malice.He always masquerades as a goodie two shoes in fact he is so crooked when he dies he should be screwed into the ground,or at least sent back to Aussie as NZ public enemy number one.

  • Anonymous

    Accounting Mumbo Jumbo.
    The question is, what is something worth. The answer is what someone is prepared to pay on the day you have to sell.
    You take a $100 asset at cost that is returning 18% ($18) and say we think a good return is say 6%. This then enables you to revalue the asset to $300 that is returning 6% ($18). Add a lot of zeros to that and you end up with some pretty big sums.
    So you have an asset at cost that is returning 18.5% and a cost of borrowing at 4.5% a net profit of 14% if you have borrowed 100%, as we all know the Dams were built and paid for many decades ago by our grand parents. The assets were probably remortgaged many times over by successive Governments to bail out various failed policies.
    Ever wonder why electricity prices have gone up so high so consistently and successive Governments have not intervened.
    As we all know these sate owned assets are in fact monopolies and they do what any good monopoly does.
    The new owners will probably do there own sums 100% borrowing 6% return 6% cost of borrowing 0% profit. Increase the return to 8% and make a profit and a healthy one off capital gain on a self funding investment.
    So yes we should take into account major one off items, non cash items, revaluations and changes in accounting methodology. Remember in accounting 1+1 doesn’t need to = 2.
    The only loser is the consumer. That’s you and me.

    • jay cee

      ok i admit it i’m a bit thick when it comes to accounting,creative and otherwise but could the above be told in plain english? 

      • Anonymous

        In Plain English
        It is not about left or right, it is about good investment decisions, why sell off your house for example and rent it back from the new owner and pay off his mortgage.
        If you could borrow money from the bank at 4% and then invest it in a low term safe investment and get an 18% return what would you do?

      • Peter Wilson

        From a non accountant: say you’re a landlord and have held 3 properties for 5 years, making a profit each year of an average 8%. (Rent received minus Mortgage and other costs). This year you decide to sell your properties, giving your bank balance a healthy boost. Can you rely on the same boost next year? Of course not, it’s a one-off.

    • Anonymous

      You need to watch the vid again Blobby…they have not returned 18% in real terms. That figure is inflated as Ryall explains.

    • James Gray

      Funny how instead of rebutting the arguments, you refer to them as mumbo jumbo

      The assets made 18% in the last few years as a result of things that are unlikely to reoccur

      The assets will likely make 4.1% in future (less than the average cost of borrowing, at 4.5%)In order to challenge these arguments, you would need to make a case that the assets are likely to make more than the average cost of borrowing, and the 4.1% figure is incorrect.

      I can refer to the numbers on my bank’s web site as “mumbo jumbo” all I like, but the eftpos terminal will eventually still say “Declined”

    • In Vino Veritas

      Hmm. The major argument against asset sales is the loss of future dividend streams, whatever they may be. This is essentially a false argument, since the sale price of the asset includes future revenue streams discounted to todays dollars (for non financial types, a dollar in a years time is worth less than a dollar today – inflation for eg, erodes value).Effectively, the government is selling future income to collect it today.
      It’s sort like the capitalisation of benefits, available in the 80’s, that was mentioned in the inequality article which was leapt upon by Labour.

  • maninblack

    Russell ‘the commy’ Norman is a deceitful prick. He should bugger of back to Aussie.
    He is a complete socialist using populist green policy to push his mega left wing agenda. He is one very dangerous MP.

  • One thing that I think will become apparent is that John Key would have told his people to _only_ make comments they can back up with facts and figures. Because the hyenas will gleefully descend on any National MP who makes an off the cuff comment on this issue that may not be 100% accurate.

    The result will hopefully be that those attempting to attack them on the issue will do stunned goldfish impressions.

  • Colin

    Does that 18.5% include Fletcher Building, who’se majority shareholder is the New Zealand Treasury????

  • MrV

    If politicians refuse to listen to facts and explanations perhaps their ears could be surgically removed, might provide a better incentive to actually listen.

  • grumpy old man

    FFS. And the loonys want Norman to be running the country.

  • Bob

    Russel Norman… a c-an’t that is a waste of space. How about he pisses off back to OZ. Didn’t listen to the answers, carried on down his predetermined track hoping for a sound bite and ended up having to make up one of his own and tweet it.

    He can go on the same list of worthless losers that Pedro and Dunky are on.

  • Andrew McMillan

    Tony Ryall’s answers were clear and concise. It is unfortunate that the Green Party’s co-leader doesn’t display the necessary financial comprehension to understand them.

  • Guest

     If you bough some asset for $100 10 years ago, and get $20 per year out of it, you are generating 20% return. If the market risk for the asset becomes 10% (so the market deem the asset as less risky, maybe they are shares for companies that has proven itself rather than a startup), and you try to sell it, you will get more than $100 for it, you should not settle for less than $200 (for 10% return). If you use that $200 to pay down some 12% debt, it is perfectly reasonable, you will save $24 in interest payment per annum, which is better than the $20 dividend payment you get. It is completely meaningless to compare the 20% (which is based on historical costs and has no market relevance), with the 12%. To say you are selling asset which generates 20% to pay down 12% debt is idiocy at its finest. You are selling asset with expected return of 10% to pay down debt that costs 12% per annum.