Labour’s Fortress NZ policy

I’ve been catching up on the weekend political shows.

Shearer has repeated Cunliffe’s out of left field policy to give Ministers the right of veto over private business transactions, like the proposed takeover of Fisher & Paykel by Haier.

This is absolutely startling policy.

What sort of signal would this send to the rest of the world?

This is economic policy by opinion poll.

God knows what sort of impact this would have on our Free Trade Agreements, let alone the impact on householders who’ve invested money in Kiwi companies on the sharemarket.  The premium on their investment could be destroyed with the stroke of a Ministerial pen.

Of course Labour’s also promised to subsidise unprofitable jobs like those at KiwiRail and Solid Energy, while the Greens want to keep the jobs at Solid Energy but leave the coal in the ground.

These policies alone demonstrate Labour and their Green buddies are not fit to govern.


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  • johnbronkhorst

    Definately loopy policies by Labour….blocking sale F&P….shareholders own the company, some New Zealanders and some foreigners. So labour is proposing to block the sale of PRIVATE property (shares)…whats next close trade me if labour don’t like what you are selling? At a tangent…….if you want to look at policies that are working, look no further than the govt…….”300 new jobs at Tegal”…Yahooxtra today….OH but we don’t want to look there do we mr shearer, because you might have to admit Bill English is right, “some jobs are lost and some are created in this economy”…poor paraphrasing, by me.

  • botti

    Hugh Fletcher seems to support more intervention in this respect:

    I”t’s a tragedy that New Zealand has been so indifferent to the desirability of having major NewZealand-headquartered-and-controlled corporates,” Fletcher said.
    When he became a director of the firm 34 years ago, Fletcher was the No 10 corporate, measured by share market capitalisation. And it is the only company of the ‘‘top ten’’ to have survived from that time.

    He puts it down to “lousy [economic] macro and micro-economic policies of successive governments” that have created a hostile environment for businesses.

    “Politicians haven’t cared about the tradeable sector nor have they cared about whether or not corporates exist.”

    The former Labour government should never have allowed the sale of Fletcher Challenge Energy to Shell and Apache in 2001, he said.

    The Australian Government did not allow a similar sale of oil and gas producer Woodside to Shell, nor did the United States Government allow the sale of multinational energy corporation Chevron to the Chinese: “No one else plays the naive rules that we play,” he said.

    He doesn’t think the current National government is doing much to help corporates or the manufacturing sector either.

    “The elephant in the room is that over the past 30 years we’ve run a current account deficit and our net foreign indebtedness at 70 per cent of GDP is extreme.” There were many monetary levers that could be enforced to drive a wedge between the interest rate paid to foreigners and the interest rate required to control inflation, he said. ‘‘We are refusing discuss them.”

    • Hard1

      Top post , Botti.

    • Lofty

      Excellent post botti….. Unfortunately tyre are few who actually understand it, I am picking.

    • parorchestia

      People who think like this have never heard of the Boston effect. It was thought that Boston was doomed by the flight of major corporates to the sun belt and the word was that active programmes were needed to prevent their leaving. But deeper analysis showed that Boston was doing just fine – lots of new industries were springing up to replace those few leaving. The departure of big firms opened up opportunities for new firms. And the exciting whirl of new industries encouraged other industries to set up in the city.
      So that’s what I wish for NZ – dynamic growth and innovation, just like Boston. And we can have design and R&D done here – high quality jobs – and let assembly be done elsewhere – as these are low quality jobs.

      • Botti

        The only quibble I’d have with that is that we need low skilled jobs too as a significant portion of the population are low skilled. That’s not going to change – as Charles Murray points out in Real Education – ability varies and half the population is below average. You need jobs that those people can do rather than go on welfare.

        • Kimbo

          …which is where “McJobs” and the service industry come in.

          May not be a great long-term future for some, but for many it gives them a practical pathway to learn the skills to progress to management, and maybe lay a foundation for their own small business. Which is why Sue Bradford’s bill abolishing youth rates was such a pernicious piece of legislation, killing off the chance for many academically-challenged kids (who still have skills and promise in other ways) to even get a foot on the bottom rung of the employment ladder.

          Ability, or at least what the education-factory professionals rate as ability is often over-rated. People can surprise others, even themselves if they can see the opportunities that are available, or even better, create for themselves.

          The alternative is to carry them.

      • Kimbo

        Dead right, parorchestia!

        There has been a train coming down the track in this country for over thirty years with low-tech assembly and factory work in its sights. Those jobs belong in the 3rd world – it will lift them out of poverty and begin to address some of the issues of social injustice that the left are always bleating about – but usually end up reinforcing due to their stupid protectionist economic policies.

        Frees us up to do the complex and high tech and value added stuff, that depend on a a sophisticated democratic society that we have as a competitive advantage over much of the world.

        Even the rubbish about the Chinese buying F&P overlooked the point they weren’t primarily buying bricks and mortar – they were buying a culture and way of doing things that would not be the same if you tried to move it wholesale back to China. If they want to make money out of the F&P purchase (and if they have skin in the game, they most certainly do!), then they keep the really important stuff with the high-end skills and pay here in NZ!

  • Apolonia

    North Korea here we come………….

  • toby_toby

    “What sort of signal would this send to the rest of the world?”

    Don’t do business in NZ.

    • botti

      what about the examples cited by Hugh Fletcher below by the Australian & US governments?

      • phronesis

        If you can’t tell the difference between selling a strategic asset to your allies and selling it to a likely future enemy then you should join the green party.

        • botti

          well Shell is a Dutch –British multinational. I wasn’t aware they were likely to be future enemies of Australia.

  • cows4me

    What grade one arseholes and people actually vote for these idiots. Obviously shagger and his two bob mate, silent t , have a huge problem with something known as property rights. I wonder how these idiots would feel if someone came and kicked down their front doors and claimed ownership of their homes. These socialists are sounding more like dangerous lunatics everyday.

  • Goldie

    Not to mention wanting to be the only country in the world to apply the Emissions Trading Scheme to agriculture – a fantastic way to kill the industries that provide 2/3rd of NZ exports by value. Or opposition to road infrastructure. Or wanting more paid holidays, preganancy leave etc (naturally paid by business). Face it – Labour isn’t merely indifferent to business – they hate business.

  • Allan

    The Labour team are all a bunch of economic cretins who would not have a sound business or economic management head amongst them. Their interventionist policies hark back to the Soviet realm which we all know ended in total bankruptcy for the Soviet Union. The more these Socialist idiots come out with this utter claptrap the more it is evident that for the future of NZ they and the Communists of the Green Party must remain out of Government. If they ever get into Government the future for NZ would be a very bleak one.

  • The policy is contrary to NZ’s WTO commitments.

    Labour often does this, announcing policies that are illegal according to existing trade agreements (local content quotas on TV and radio was the last one, which Marian Hobbs eventually had to be told was unworkable, not least because CER would mean any NZ content would automatically include Australian).

    Populist meaningless nonsense in the realm of NZ First.

  • Lofty

    I must say that these illiterate pretenders frighten me…..

  • Alloytoo

    Isolationist policies lead to just that, Isolation.

  • AnonWgtn

    Wait a bit – this is Greenpeace policy – ban everything

    • parorchestia

      except chaining yourself to possum-destroyed native trees.