The politics of Envy. One of the Left’s go-to stategies



In the NBR, Dr Oliver Hatwich writes

A day after the Labour/Greens’ bombshell announcement on energy policy last week, Greens co-leader Dr Russell Norman delivered another ‘argument’ in favour of nationalising the electricity sector: executive pay.

Releasing figures for executive remuneration and payments to the boards of energy companies, Dr Norman told The Sunday Star Times, “I think most New Zealanders would be shocked that the reason their power bills are going so high is not just the super profits to the companies, but also the super salaries that are going to their senior management.”

Dr Norman’s claim is both correct and irrelevant. It is correct because all salaries paid by companies must come from the revenue they generate. It cannot be any other way, so well done to the Greens for spotting an absolute truism.

But Dr Norman’s point about executive pay is also irrelevant in the discussion on electricity sector reforms.


If the Greens slashed to zero CEO and board payments for Contact Energy, Mighty River Power, Genesis, Transpower, and Meridian Energy, households would still save only about 11 cents a week. Whoop dee doo!

To link the debate about the best market structure for the electricity sector to the question of executive pay makes one wonder how sincere the Greens really are about their proposals. Are they driven by the wish to develop and discuss good economic policy? Or is it only about scoring political points?

Asked and answered, I would think.

It will be interesting to see if the Greens and Labour can keep this issue alive in the voters’ minds right up to election.  Having announced it for maximum economic damage to the MRP share float, they now have to pretend it is a real policy they are actually going to implement when they get to government.

I doubt $7 a week, per household, is going to make much of a difference to voting patterns.  But now that Labour and the Green Taliban have shown how low they will go to capture that disaffected 7% of voters, I can only think that the “NZ Power” hand grenade was but the first of many to come.

They’ll have a taste for more of it now.


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  • Steve R

    “I doubt $7 a week, per household, is going to make much of a difference to voting patterns. But now that Labour and the Green Taliban have shown how low they will go to capture that disaffected 7% of voters, I can only think that the “NZ Power” hand grenade was but the first of many to come.”

    Never underestimate what a uneducated voting public will do . The socialists know this and that is why We only get half truths , lies and these policies that verge on treason from them .

  • The stupid ignorant poor people in our country have an enormous capacity for envy so I am sure Russel is onto something.
    Only last Thursday I was having a coffee (long story) with a member of the underclass – father a gang member, in a women’s refuge from age 4, violent home, long term unemployed etc etc – real Once Were Warriors stuff.
    Anyway he was telling me about how “they” actively keep people like him down in so many ways; I could not help thinking that if he drank less booze, stopped smoking drugs, took some training courses to upskill and found a job his lot in life would be greatly improved. But no, much cosier to sit on the couch smoking drugs, getting drunk, pocketing a benefit and howling at the moon about how “they” keep the poor downtrodden.

    • Steve R

      You should have pulled your glok out and shot him

      • Hazards001

        Wrong redneck

        • Steve R

          Why is it that every time I mention that drains on society should be lined up and shot , some one labels me a redneck ?

  • blokeintakapuna

    Definitely a case of self hoisting petard and making one’s bed and now having to sleep in it. Pull up a chair and count the flip flops as the election draws near.

    The spiteful destruction of everyone else’s wealth for their own personal gains though is the first “bombshell” for me. The second “bombshell” is that they think they have some kind of public mandate now to run for government?

    Speaking of which… How will Iwi / Maori Party justify joining with a “potential coalition partner” that deliberately sabotages their investment and wealth Mana, costing them millions in lost investments?

    • NotForTurning

      We cannot repeat often enough that a “coalition of the losers” – any government that excludes the largest party in parliament – will widely be seen as illegitimate

      • Patrick

        That will not stop them for a second – just look at big sis Julia Gillard at the last election. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Labour & Greens couldn’t give a flying wotsit as long as they get the big chairs in the beehive.

      • Honcho

        Has any green party member ever held an electorate seat?

        I can not get my head around how the voting public can clearly see these people are not up to the task of representing their electorate, yet party vote for the bugger’s muddle anyway.

        • Eiselmann

          Fitzgerald held Coromandel iirc

          • Goldie

            Only because Labour tactically voted to get her in.

          • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

            Goldie – I understand, Hippie Norman is going to cut a nasty deal with Commie Sheep. Green hippies will be voting for Labour in marginal seats and defeat as many National MPs as possible. Paula Bennet will be gone in her seat. Commie Sheep is not dumb as you all make out. He is 100 times cleverer than the dumb Naked Emperor who stupidly trusts every one.

  • NotForTurning

    A couple of millions NZ zlotys per annum is simply not a large salary by worldwide standards.

  • Hazards001

    Norman has a lot of cheek. Considering the wet back import is a scum bag list MP pulling in a leaders wage who is he to diss the salaries of his betters?

  • Phar Lap

    One would think the pest known as Russel Norman would keep his Stalinist head down.His gang of unelected green losers in parliament get paid millions for sabotaging the NZ economy.

  • AzaleaB

    On another tangent, the downside of globalisation is that we compete on the global stage for talented CEOs. This costs much mullah. To keep good NZ managers who can go overseas for big money, or attract overseas talent requires big salaries. We could always pay peanuts as Wussell would like.. and get monkeys ( sorry, my mistake. There is a shortage of monkeys as they have lifetime employment in the Beehive already:))

  • Patrick

    Wee Wussel has a point – the same measure should be used to quantify the worth of Members of Parliament, in the last week we have had a group shamelessly wipe millions off the bottom line of a taxpayer owned company. The same bunch of economic saboteurs each get paid hundreds of thousands per year, gold plated pensions for life, swanky air travel, flash hotels etc etc. Maybe a cost benefit analysis needs to be done on Norman & his mates – are they really providing value for money to the taxpayer of NZ?

    • SJ00

      Yeah good point. Russell how much is a CEO of a large company worth, and how much is a opposition MP which got 12% of the national vote worth? I’m all for the CEO’s salary to go down if you take yours down as well. How about you earn what you say is so hard to live on, the average or minimum wage, get rid of your houses, bach’s, offshore bank accounts and join the real world like you want EVERYONE else to do. Knobnuts.

    • flashman

      Yeah and there are some ex politicians-turned-CEO learning that a CEO’s job isn’t as easy as it looks when you’re criticising from parliament.

  • johnbronkhorst

    So Russel…..How much is a CEO worth? Who is responsible for BILLIONS in assets and their maintenance, 100’s of millions of profit for the companies owners and the jobs of 100’s sometimes 1000’s of people and therefor the financial well being of their families?
    I mean compared to the leader of a MINOR OPOSITION PARTY with NO power or responsibility for anything?

    • Mediaan

      He should have been sued by the taxpayer for loss of goodwill and respect from China, after his disgraceful whiney protest with a flag during the visit of a very senior Chinese representative.

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    Tories of NZ – Naked Emperor’s regime is coming to an end….John Minto is angry and that is a sign, the Tories should duck for cover…..

    About 1500 people have marched up Auckland’s Queen Street during a
    national day of protest against the Government’s pending partial sale of
    Mighty River Power. People from all works of life, both old and young, unified and chanted long and loud that “Aotearoa is not for sale’. Veteran activist John Minto said the share sales programme would mean New Zealanders would “end up with a country that is a shadow of what it should be”. “It is a bad deal for the tax-payer,” Minto said. Despite widespread opposition to the proposed sale of Mighty River Power, the Government is still going ahead with the move. “I am not surprised by that move [from this Government],” Minto said. “This is a policy that is hoisting a pile of parasites on the
    community. There will be more opportunities for the rich … this Government doesn’t care.”When real patriots like John Minty Minto and Matt Vomit McCarten are angry, it is not a good sign folks……

    Watch out for the Morgan poll next week…My spies say, National has dropped to 33%

    • Mediaan

      Utter nonsense.

      1500 as usual will mean 240 plus 40 unionists with a large number of children taken along.

      There is no logic in the Save Assets slogan. They are now public assets, they will still be public assets but partly in a different form. Partly in cash from the sale.

      Minto is not stupid. He is a high school teacher. He knows this. He also knows Labour sold much more of our assets in their time than this government has or will in an equivalent time.

      His being angry is routine for these occasions.

      BTW, interestingly, one of the most vicious nasty sets of rebel soldiers in Central Africa is apparently called the Morgan Mai Mai, or similar.

      • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

        Couple of shocks. Never knew Minty Minto is a high school teacher…Second shock you are saying the crowd would have been 200+

        I am getting information that all over the country people are agitated and protesting on streets….Mediaan – be afraid pal, people have vote power.

  • Goldie

    Russel Norman keeps repeating the barefaced lie that generation companies have been making “super-profits”, secure in the knowledge that the useless MSM won’t call him on the lie.
    Of course, when John Key can’t give a clear answer, the media is all over it – shock, scandal, horror! But Russel Norman lies through his teeth, and not a peep from the useful idiots of the MSM.

  • The people they are trying to appeal to don’t care about or even understand that there is a bigger picture; all they care about is themselves and they will vote for who ever promises to give them more money! Our only hope is that the rest of us are intelligent to see through it!