Make him chair of Kiwi Rail too, Tony

Dominion Post

Michael Cullen has cost this country literally billions because of his inane financial decisions. The latest election bribe of him and Jim Anderton is all over the news right now:

NZ Post has warned 2012 is crunch time, with the state-owned enterprise needing hundreds of millions of dollars in capital for subsidiary Kiwibank as well as flexibility to cut store numbers and halt post delivery on some days.

In a toughly worded letter to State-owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall, NZ Post chairman Michael Cullen said most short-term fixes had been exhausted.

The only short-term fixes that Michael Cullen knows are to raid the taxpayers piggy banks, pick their pockets, and scratch around down the back of the sofa for spare cash. There is none.

Best that some facts are faced and Kiwibank starts paying its way or it will be sold…and who better to make that recommendation to the Minister than the putz that caused all this grief in the first place.

Tony Ryall can then appoint Cullen to Kiwirail too and get him to turn that around since he blew a billion on buying a clapped out load of scrap steel.


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  • Blokeintakapuna

    Cullen (& Clark) should be tried for State Treason following the shambles they left the country in. Their spiteful mismanagement of the countries finances to fund their social engineering pet projects is far, far worse than all the failed finance companies deliberate mismanagement combined. Sure the votes held them to account – but where is the watch dog oversight into their deliberate economic sabotage caused by spiteful revenge for losing the election?

  • Guest

    1. Spin off half of KiwiBank and/or get them to issue bonds to the public backed against the spinoff, not the postal unit. Perhaps bring in a partner like Freightways or Mainfreight – people who win at logistics and who do the courier side of the business much better.
    2. Introduce third class mail services that are much cheaper, but not time dependent. EG, Lodge on Monday, deliver on Thursday/Friday. NZ Post can then use management science to make the most of its delivery network peaks and troughs through the week.
    3. Remove Saturday delivery unless someone wants to pay more for it – eg Fastpost type delivery and/or a permit post type concession for banks/corporates that like delivery on this date
    4. The self-service kiosks are a good idea. Even better would be ordering stuff prior to going into the postshop to simply pay, then collect from the pre-pay counter.

    • Admin

      Jesus Christ, that lot actually makes some sense. 

    • Cullen’s Sidekick

       Now that you are suggesting some common sense, good ideas, wait for the communists and the toxic Greens to jump up and down.

    • AngryTory

      Nah. to complicated, too statist, doesn’t solve the problem.

      1. Close down every SOE in NZ whose name starts with “Kiwi”.  Fire everyone, pay no redundancy, ban employees from all benefits, etc etc.   Any funds returned to the high-value, high-worth taxpayers who were robbed to pay for them in the first place.

      2. there is no 2. 

  • excuse me

    Kiwibank should never have been set up by the Labour Government when the country already had plenty of well-established, properly-capitalised, private enterprise banks. It was nothing more than a sop to retain the political support of the left-wing orphan Jim Anderton. Now the financial chickens are coming home to roost.

    Kiwibank is a sinkhole for capital that the state cannot afford to maintain indefinitely. Ultimately such capital requirements simply increase Government borrowing overseas. The country has far greater priorities for those borrowed funds than a socialist-inspired additional bank.

    Sell under-capitalised Kiwibank now to the highest bidder who passes the “fit and proper” banking licence tests. And remove this distraction from NZ Post while it concentrates on developing the optimal strategy for its difficult medium-to-long term future.

    • Gazzaw

      You have to laugh at the irony of labour crying political expediency about Banks & Dunne. Just think Anderton & Kiwibank. Fucken hypocrites.

    • MarcWills

      I don’t agree em. It was amazing how the established banks suddenly stopped increasing their fees, opened longer hours, and stopped closing suburban branches once Kiwibank started to show them up. They have also magically discovered that Branch Managers are best placed to make local decisions, rather than referring everything to a head office accountant as they had been doing. I see the Australian banks still made record profits in the last quarter though.

      I think all NZers have benefited from having Kiwibank in our community.

      • excuseme

        OK, so you warmly approve of Government setting up and bankrolling commercial entities that will compete with established, operating businesses. If you are consistent with the approach that you advocate, you’ll willingly close down the Commerce Commission – the legislatively empowered protector / enforcer of our competition laws – and leave that role to politicians of the day.

        That will be good for business and a thriving economy, won’t it? Who will invest in a business, any business, that faces being knee-capped by Government if it’s successful? Have we learnt nothing about the value of a true market economy (despite its faults and foibles in this country) since the demise of European communism? 

        New Zealanders desparately need a written Constitution that spells out clearly the powers and limits of Government – the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. Without it, we wallow in socialist beliefs that Government can do anything, and then fund it to an unlimited extent with our tax dollars. Sadly, we appear determined to become the  Greece of the South Pacific.

  • Gazzaw

    Can you imagine the political fallout if Kiwibank is put on the block? Absolutely essential that Cullen gets to make the announcement in his capacity as Chairman for which no doubt he is being paid a most handsome package.

    Why should our excellent postal services be put at risk because of Anderton’s Folly (aka the AFB). Get rid of it to the highest bidder or close it down – this dog doesn’t warrant a public/private enterprise.

    • Robert Anderson

       Post is stuffed.Think about how many letters you post these days.

      • Gazzaw

        I actually use their services a lot Robert. I am semi-retired these days but utilise Kiwipost for most of my courier work & postage – still cheaper & more professional to post or courier documents than scan them & email them. I spend about $500 per month with them and the staff at my local branch in Greenlane are absolutely tops for service.

  • Wayne

    Labour’s economic legacy to the people of NZ, wonderful! Any left leaning supporter need not bother trying to argue or convince me Labour are the answer for the NZ economy. Quite frankly they should never be allowed near the treasury benches ever again. They are a disgrace.

  • Bunswalla

    It’s astonishing that Cullen says that most of the short-term fixes have been exhausted, and it’s important to separate the postal services from Kiwibank.

    The reason I say astonishing is that Post has developed a new system called PPM – Postie Pay Model – which is going to save a ton of money, BUT IT HASN’T EVEN BEEN ROLLED OUT YET. The two problems that PPM addresses are:

    1. Mail volumes are plummeting, while delivery points (read “letter-boxes”) are increasing – so you have to have more staff to cover a bigger area, calling at more letter-boxes, but delivering fewer letters. The cost-per-item of delivery is rapidly increasing, and putting up the price of stamps won’t help.

    2. Couriers go to almost exactly the same delivery points as posties, so you’re doubling up your cost of delivery. The courier service makes money, but standard post deliveries lose money.

    PPM involves posties doing most of the courier deliveries, using “e-bikes” which have a small electric motor to make it easier to pedal especially up hills, and in many cases towing a small trailer.

    This means a lot of couriers will lose their jobs, but the delivery service is now much more efficient. Not only that, but the current system, which rewards slow posties by paying them overtime and meal allowances if they like to cruise, and punishes fast efficient posties, who want to get their round finisdhed and get on with other things, is being flipped on its head.

    Posties will now be paid for each item they deliver, no matter how long it takes them. So if you’re slow and lazy you’ll either work much longer for the same pay, or fewer hours for less pay. Fast efficient posties will take on more deliveries and be rewarded for it – pretty good system if you ask me.

    Some posties will also call at street collection points and pick up the mail to be sorted and delivered, on their way back to the depot – another very sensible move. They’ll get paid extra for this but it takes another van off the road and further reduces costs. Any large items over a certain size oir weight will still go by courier van, and posties can “tender” for the amount of mail they want to deliver and even the days of the week they want to work.

    The unions are (so far) accepting of the changes, which are being rolled out gradually, and I believe oince fully implemented will change the fortunes of NZ Post very much for the better.

  • Pokerface

    For decades now, I have used a P.O.Box for my personal mail, after losing numerous letterboxes to roaming scumbags.  If it were cheaper hire them, and cheaper to send to P.O.Boxes, I believe the “Postie” would be redundant, and N.Z. Post could make a real profit.

    • MarcWills

      They have difficulty finding affordable space now for the number of post boxes they have. There is a limit to the number that can be provided, it’s not even possible to contemplate a doubling of the numbers, let alone the number required for your proposal.

  • In Vino Veritas

    Short term fixes? Spoken just like a labour party diehard wanting to win the next election. As Chairman, I’d have thought his role (and his Board) was to examine mediumlong term strategy, not band aid solutions.

    Solution – run down Kiwibank book to zero. Repay depositors money when it falls due. Wind down to non-trading entity. Use remaining cash to fund NZ Post. (1) There’s been no sale of Kiwibank, (2) Kiwibanks massive capital requirements are redundant.

  • Cullen’s Sidekick

    To overcome this crunch, I suggest a “rich prick postal usage levy of a moderate 3 cents per dollar” on high income earners to restore social justice in this country.

    • Richard B.

      I can also add some other Rich Prick Taxes that would solve all of the problems in NZ. Afterall, the Rich Pricks need to pay a bigger share of the tax burden, bigger then the current highest tax rate.

      Rich Prick Postal Tax – to subsidise NZPost – 3 cents in the dollar
      Rich Prick Convention Centre Tax – so we do’t have 500 pokies- 10 cents
      Rich Prick Crafer Tax – so we can sell farms to Fay – 10 cents
      Rich Prick Fuel Tax – to Pay for Loopy Rail Loop – 10 cents
      Rich Prick Christchruch Tax – 10 cents
      Rich Prick Parental Leave Tax – to pay for 6 months parental leave – 5 cents
      Rich Prick Prison Tax – To repair all the provincial prisons – 5 cents
      Rich Prick Mining Tax – So we can close down every mine in the country to please the tree huggers – 15 cents

      Have I forgotten any?

      So thats 68 cents in the dollar for the Rick Prick tax, plus any income tax paid.

      I think I might suggest this policy to Hone.

      • Phar Lap

        Well promoted except you forgot one.Make all cigarettes illegal close the factories.Then levy all taxpayers 20cents to pay for the billion and a half dollars smokers  pay in tax yearly. That will get things up to 88cents in the dollar.After that all the wrongs in NZ will be made right. Hone will be interested in the ciggy tax,thats his baby.

  • AnonWgtn

    As the experts love Kiwi Bank – easy retain 51%, and sell off to Mums and Dads the 49% balance.

    • Gazzaw

      Even Mums & Dads aren’t that stupid.

    • In Vino Veritas

      Anderton had no expertise in anything….  OK, not quite true, he and his cousin made supermarket trolleys in the dim dark passages of time – you may remember them, you couldnt push them straight if you tried. And they were bloody great heavy things. I also seem to recall he ran a dairy. But then, my memory may be failing me.

      • Bob202

         I think you might be mistaking Arkwright from Akwright from Open All Hours. lol

      • Bob202

         errrr. rather mistaking Anderton from Arkwright.

      • Gazzaw

        “you couldn’t push them staight if you tried”

        Are you talking about their trolleys or what?

  • Seems to me

    It seems to me that mamangement at NZPOST are a tad confused when it comes to their Postshops. Seem they have decided not to do merchandising in the Postshops. You know that profitable deal of flogging of greeting cards, postcards, magazines.
    Undertsand from someone “in the business” that the space will be allocated for people to lineup to get to the counters.   mmmmm there seems something wrong with that vision.

    Oh, and they are spending a truckload on redesigning the stores.

    Wonder if they had considered getting some professional advice from succesful marketeers?

    Just a thort

  • BR

    Cullen’s purchase of the train set is a financial analogy to Saddam Hussein’s troops setting fire to the oil fields prior to being kicked out of Kuwait.


  • Robert Anderson

    Well if you lived anywhere in the BOP you would appreciate the rail. Without it our roads would be unuseable. The number of trucks now is staggerring and they run nose to tail on all the main roads. Containers, logs, petroleum, tar,you name it. Rail thankfully removes hundreds of trucks per day from our roads. If we stopped subsidizing trucks then rail would do even better.