Bludging airport ratbags want a big handout

Our pinko mate has the correct response to this latest round of corporate bludging.

Well that’s easy. No.

What is he saying no to. This outrageous corporate bludging.

Wellington ratepayers are likely to contribute a lot more than the $1 million they have already spent on the proposed airport runway extension, if it is ever built.

Infrastructure investor Infratil has confirmed it is keen to proceed with the $300 million project but only if central or local government pays most of the bill.

Speaking at the firm’s annual meeting this week, chief executive Marko Bogoievski said the runway would not become a reality unless local ratepayers and taxpayers also chipped in to the tune of $200 million.

Infratil owns two-thirds of the airport, with the rest owned by Wellington City Council. 

It isn’t like Infratil is short of coin either.

Infratil has a strong focus on returning money to shareholders with a target of giving back 20 per cent after tax.

For the last financial year, its bottom-line profit was $3.4 million but its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and fair value adjustments were $527.6m.

Infratil could also soon be sitting on an extra $450 million cash after listing a chunk of fuel retailer Z Energy on the stock exchange later this month.

Why use your own money when you can pick the pockets of “other people”? Bludgers.


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  • drummerboy

    i honestly hate companies like this.

    • Ducky

      Ifratil is a f%#@*&^ bludging blood sucking company.

  • maninblack

    they have deep pockets.. this is bludging at its finest based on blackmail of the city needing a better airport..

  • Ghost

    So the project is 300 mil, Infratil own 2/3’s, the Council own1/3, but Infratil want the council (ratepayers) to fork for 2/3’s of the cost…….. yeah, that seems fair (tui)

    • Ducky

      yes, Infratil thinks we are drunk on Tui and perhaps we won’t noticed that they want us ratepayers to pay 2/3 of the cost and they can then cream off 2/3 of the profit???

  • Josh Metcalfe

    Let’s look at it from their point of view.
    1. Wellington Airport is a solid performer at the moment
    2. But it would take years to recoup the investment in a runway extension
    3. Rising fuel costs have already seen airlines cut some services to Wellington.
    4. If the government wants it done, they need to shoulder some of the risk too.

    • Michael

      Look at it from Infratil’s POV:

      1. If we don’t ask the question, we won’t get an answer.
      2. If we get a yes, brilliant.
      3. If we don’t get, a yes what have we lost?

    • James

      If it doesn’t make an economic return then it means that people don’t value it enough to be worth doing. That is all an economic return is – the value that people place on something above the cost to provide it.
      So if it makes an economic return then it means that people value it and, as the return is high enough, there is no need for ratepayers to have the pockets pinched for it. If it doesn’t make an economic return then it means that people don’t value it. If people don’t value it then you shouldn’t make them pay for it.

      It is very simple.

  • peterwn

    I feel brassed off about it. I thought there was some semblance of commercial reality to the proposal, now it is obvious that it is a commercial turkey. This aspect should have been identified and made public several years ago. A million dollars has been spent looking at the idea. Its economic viability could have been assessed for $10000 at the most, or even at the cost of one used envelope (to scribble on) and one hours staff time.

  • Rebecca

    Wellington Airport is a business and it has lots of ways to fund commercially viable propositions apart from Council handouts. Debt would be one option, or the sorts of bonds that Wellington Airport is currently refinancing to the tune of $100M. Another is sale of shares, either to existing shareholders or to others if existing owners really do expect needed capital to come from somebody else. Tried and true. So why would Council pay more than its share unless there are special non-commercial reasons why Council wants this more than other shareholders? A vanity project, perhaps? Or too much already invested to risk voter anger if it now gets canned? $200M seems a bit steep to avoid egg on face for a few Council apparatchiks. What we do know is that Infratil has shown considerable ingenuity when it comes to transferring public value to private pockets. They’d say this is their job, in which case on the public end it needs to be “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me” etc etc. So if Council has to invest $200M, why not let that be in the form of new shares? That’ll take all the heat out if it, surely.

  • nudgy

    Paraparaumu should have been developed as the region’s main airport years ago but vested interests stopped this. Wellington airport is a shitter and always will be.

  • Mr_Blobby

    Wellington is yesterdays city, why are we even talking about this.

    Start the process of relocating the Government and related bureaucracy to Auckland.

    Start up a purpose built area South of Auckland and North of Hamilton, leave the shaky city to Sir Bob and his friends.

    Any more money spent on Wellington will be a big white elephant like te papapapapapa and a waste.

    • James

      Fuck off – keep the government and associated leaches out of Auckland. The further away the better. Perhaps stick the capital in one of the sub-Antarctic islands or, if more infrastructure is required, then Stewart Island.
      Auckland doesn’t need more people – and especially scum that exists solely to siphon cash out of hard working peoples’ pockets.

      • GazzW

        I’d far rather that Auckland seceded.

      • Hazards001

        Yeah we already have Len Brown and all the CCO’s under his grasping, gouging claw, last thing we need is another drove of oinkers cluttering up the trough.

    • Clive

      I wouldn’t go on about shaky city too much.. Auckland is sitting on 48 dormant volcanic cones.. all this earthquake business could well set them all off.. last erupted 250 years ago which is a blink in a volcanoes life…..

  • cows4me

    May be a dumb question but is Infratil the only kid on the block. Surely a council should seek tenders/offers from all comers. Get the contractors to sharpen their pencils. If there are a couple of interested parties get the best deal for the ratepayers not the extortion artists.

    • Hazards001

      They own 2/3rd’s of the airport. They’re not the contractor.

  • Johnny T

    I’m not convinced long haul flights out of Wellington are really necessary given the demand. There aren’t even flights to the islands out of Wellington, just not the demand. Runway extension not needed.