Waste of bloody money

The referendum your tax dollars bought and paid for has passed the threshold for signatures.

A referendum will be held on asset sales after confirmation that a petition under the Citizens Initiated Referenda Act gained the support of 10 per cent of eligible electors.

The petition, organised by the Keep Our Assets coalition and led by Grey Power president Roy Reid, asked: “Do you support the Government selling up to 49 per cent of Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power, Genesis Power, Solid Energy and Air New Zealand?”

Shares in Mighty River Power were first floated on May 10 this year.

The Clerk of the House of Representatives, Mary Harris, today said she was satisfied the petition had more than the 308,753 signatories required on March 12, the day it was delivered. 

The Clerk was originally expected to announce the results at 1pm.

But an embarrassing mistake by Greens co-leader Russel Norman has marred the release for Opposition parties.

Dr Norman tweeted the news this morning, having missed the embargo.

He then tweeted an apology.

He should be tweeting an apology for wasting millions of dollars of taxpayers money, firstly for buying signatures and secondly for having to have the referendum in an attempt to re-litigate an election.

If I was the government I’d send it out in amongst the local body voting papers.

 


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  • thor42

    I agree. Send it with the local-body election stuff.

    They claim that the government “doesn’t have a mandate” for (partial) asset sales”.

    In fact, it does. The government campaigned on it and *won*. It’s a funny old thing called “democracy”.

    But hey – we can actually *smack* the lefties with this.
    Now that the would-be leaders are promising the sun, moon and stars, will they *also* promise to buy back the assets if part of them is sold? If so, then how do they propose to pay for the buyback?

    • Guest

      How many schools, hospitals and other buildings have the sales provided thus far other than healthy sums to individual investors and the broker firms?
      Not to mention the next round that will see people being able to receive full dividends for shares that they haven;t even paid for.
      Nothing like a good close to election bribe though aye.

      • thor42

        Election bribe? Uh…. the partial asset sales were part of *last* election’s campaign and the Nats *won*. So, gee – they have a mandate and they’re doing what they said they would.

        Hardly an “election bribe”.

      • dumbshit

        yeah that reminds me of the interest free student loans and the working for families timing, yeah works well

      • James Howlett

        MRP has not in fact resulted in healthy sums for investors, individual or otherwise. I’m not sure how you class this as a bribe but if so: Worst. Bribe. Ever.

        • Cadwallader

          I happily bought shares in MRP with the intention of retaining them indefinitely. Why worry about the present price?

      • Muffin

        An election bribe? they would have won the election with no need of support partners if they hadn’t gone into the election with this on the table and had just pulled it out afterwards.

    • cows4me

      Communists don’t buy things thor they “acquire” them.

  • Jester

    Blew his load too early! Fucking amateur.

  • tarkwin

    We already had a referendum. It was called the election. Did Russel forget that, or doesn’t it count if he didn’t win?

  • Scott

    Hold the referendum with a snap election while the opposition have no leader

  • Scott

    Hold the referendum with a snap election while the opposition have no leader

    • Cadwallader

      Great idea! Labour could be the three-headed dinosaur it truly is…”The Triceratops Campaign.”

  • BJ

    Well those that voted-in the National Party and the coalition partners’ voters, better have the integrity to support the ‘partial asset sales’ in the referendum – as they did with their vote directly or by association in the 2011 election

    • David

      Well I voted them in, but I never supported Asset Sales on an open market. I supported them because I thought they were the best party and that they might listen to all the calls opposing asset sales as they had then and re-look at it instead of becoming increasingly arrogant and pushing ahead. I had also hopped that those assets if they were sold would be protected for sole NZ ownership , something which has not happened. I’m one who voted them in, but won’t be supporting them over this one and will be Voting against it. I wonder how many more will.

      • thor42

        Well – you made your choice knowing full well that asset sales were part of the campaign.
        If you felt that strongly about asset sales, you should not have voted for them. Simple.

        “Arrogant”? Pushing ahead?

        They are doing what they *said* they would do. They have a mandate.

        What is “arrogant” about that?

        If they halted the sales, you’d say that they were breaking their promise.

        • David

          Yes I did Thor and I support most of what they have done, but as i said not this one. I took my risk, and as I said I hoped that they would look again after all the debate about. They did not.
          No I would not say they are breaking their promise, the ones who want to hammer them would. I for one would say they are listening to the people who electred them and have the wisdom and confidence to perhaps admit that something is not popular and re-consider. Wisdom.
          Arrogance is sticking to the same old line when people are saying other things, and it can not be denied that there are a lot of people out there opposed to sales. How amny and if they really had the mandate that they are insisting they have will now be found out. If they win the referendum, then they have a mandate and keep going, if they don’t??

          • John Q Public

            What exactly did you not like about selling just under half these assets?

          • David

            Simple really, I would have liked to have seen some format, and io don’t know what or how but most things can be done if they try, where by the shares are held in NZ and the profit stays here. Money leaving the country is the worst possible scenario. At the end of the day it does not matter if the money stays here thru government ownership or private ownership, but all these companies making profits here and then moving the money out of our circulation and into some overseas bank or share holders pocket is where we are going wrong. The same goes for buying overseas products, and anything that keeps manufactureing in NZ is good.

          • John Q Public

            But you expect foreigners to buy our products?

          • David

            Actually in an ideal scenario they would only buy our excess and not our core products that we used to feed, cloth, house etc the people living here, our internal economy. The excess would be sold at what the overseas market demands, the internal component likewise. And with the money we make from selling the excess we could then use it to then fund imports. After all do we really want hungry kids here who can’t eat lamb, while we send it all overseas, or fish etc. Manufactuers would be incouraged to produce in NZ for the new Zealand market if they want to sell here and use locally sourced materials first.

          • onelaw4all

            Not au fait with that economic thang, huh, Dave?

          • Muffin

            Why would a company sell something here for a dollar when it can get 3 overseas? If it was forced too because it was based here it would just move, capital has a knack of finding the best return.

          • David

            Most of them have already moved anyway. It might be cause here is the best place to produce something, or the resources are here, or it may be that they simply want to sell into the NZ market. Why should people overseas pay less for our primary products than we do here?. There has to be an element of corperate responsibility in it in making NZ a better place to live for everyone.

          • Muffin

            Corporates do not have to make this a better place, they make money. The people are responsable for making this a better place. I suggest if you dont like how the ‘remaining’ companies do business here you dont use them……………..might run short of a few things though like milk. I also suggest you car/oven/ipod would be far more expensive if all countries did what you propose

          • Cadwallader

            Under the Statute of Westminster the poms allowed us to have our own government. The statute provides that our government will exercise the “peace, order and good government of NZ.” What the fuck does owning a hydro scheme have to do with that?

          • David

            If its in the best interests of the country then it would come under being a good government. If you want to sell all of it, then go join ACT and you can go to their annual conference when they next find a telephone booth to hold it in.

          • Cadwallader

            No; I choose not to belong to any party. The reality is that, as with local government, the less we have the better. Governments are not elected to compete with their component parts, ie the citizens.

      • tarkwin

        Asset sales were a corner stone of Nationals election campaign. They did what they said they would and you gave them that mandate.

        • thor42

          Exactly! Too late to cry about it now.

          “Wahhhhh … I want my vote back!”

        • David

          I’m neither crying about it now or demanding my voted back. I’m just saying it was one of many issues that I made my mind up over who to vote for and not the sole issue. I did not want them selling, but I weighed up all the issues, and people involved and decided that on balance they were the best option this time. Now I have a chance to have a vote on one issue and it will go against them. Everytime they talk about everyone who voted for them also voting for asset sales, they are wrong. Its that simple. There was no mandate on one issue, there was a mandate over a number.

          • tarkwin

            Rather naive of you David, that’s like saying “I voted for Russel because I like trees” and then realising you ended up with a communist mad man who wants to stop any industry and send us all back to the caves.

          • David

            Rubbish, or are you one of these voters who will vote for everything a party puts up and have no opinion of your own beyond what the party tells you, because that what it sounds like. That makes you no better than a staunch unionist in my book because you have no opinions, just the party line.
            I know exactly what i voted for, I voted for the party that I believed offered up the best package of policies in the last election and I will make the same decision next time to vote for what ever party offers what I consider are the best policies for the country. I do not vote for a party based on one policy. how can any intelligent person do so. The only people who do that are those are indoctrinated to a party.

          • BJ

            “I do not vote for a party based on one policy. how can any intelligent person do so”.

            So I guess that means you will abstain in the referendum?

          • David

            Why, the referendum will be about one policy. I’m voting about that policy and that policy only.

          • BJ

            It amounts to voting against National

          • David

            So?. If I don’t like their policy I will vote against them.

          • BJ

            Do you really think that this policy can be taken out of the equation and not affect the rest? You might as well have voted Greens

          • David

            No it can’t be taken out without affecting the financial policies, but it can be taken out of the equation and the rest altered to suit. Are you seriuously saying that they could not have made the changes in cracking down on long term unemployed WITHOUT selling off assets, or sold off the state houses on inner city suburbs because they had not sold of the power companies. Bollocks!.

          • tarkwin

            So, if a political party campaigns on a platform, wins the election and then stays true to it’s word, does what it said it would do, refuses to be swayed by the likes of Russel the hypocrite (remember the anti smacking bill?) and pushes ahead with what it was elected to do you think this is wrong? As an aside, I personally am not in favour of asset sales but have a more pragmatic out look than you.

          • David

            You sound like me though tarkwin, not in favour of them, but also not going to march down the street about them, or not vote for the best party because of them.
            That was all that I was saying, that all those who insist that the result of the election was that everyone only voted for the one issue and gave a clear mandate based on it might get a surprise. What if the referendum reverses the mandate and the public vote against asset sales? Will national taker that as a countries vote of no confidence?. I’m sure those wanting to score points will suggest that. Or will they be pragmatic about it, admit they don’t have a mandate and stop?, or be arrogant and continue without a mandate and get punished at the next election?. We will only know after the referendum, but personally I would hope the second option. Neither the first or last will the country any good.

          • tarkwin

            It is worth remembering that they are selling less than 50% of the shares which means they retain control of the company. If we must go down this path it is the best way to do it. If Russel was honest he would have an anti smacking referendum at the same time – it would cost bugger all more, but that would take honesty and integrity which are not his strong suits. Personally I wish he would just stop whining and piss off back to Aus.

          • David

            Totally agree to both parts of your comments tarkwin.

          • BJ

            I had mixed feelings about partial asset sales but it was never a game-changer – look what the alternative would have been. Where would we be under a Labour government over the last two terms? If you are suggesting that National will get punished at the next election if they forge ahead regardless of a referendum outcome I’d suggest those National voters who couldn’t stomach this policy should have been upfront with their vote back in 2011 instead of now ‘cutting of their nose to spite their face’. A general election vote declares backing a party and encompasses all of its policies whether they all sit well or not – otherwise it’s like gambling and having a bet each way.

          • David

            I agree BJ, and i’m not saying they would get punished for the policy, more if they would get punished for ignoring a referendum if the vote goes against them and they still push on. If I recall, and others will know, but didn’t labour ignore a referendum result?. Helen was in the end perceived as being arrogant. Would they same happen to John Key?. I’m not sure his stance today is the best political move, as it has certainly come across as arrogant today to dismiss it all and dismisss voters having their say.

          • BJ

            The crucial thing here is that the partial asset sales (whereby Government retains control and half any financial benefits) have been continually disingenuously called asset sales by the opposition and the media such that even yourself refers to them as such and it evokes a much stronger emotive trigger each time it’s reinforced than if the truth be told – it’s only really half(49%) as bad as you imagine!

          • onelaw4all

            You seem to forget NZ’s firmly entrenched and increasing love affair with redistributionist spending, or do you think that should be dealt with instead?
            If so, do you think that is electorally viable at this point of time?

      • GazzW

        Where do you think $7 billion can be found if the sale is restricted to NZ investors?

        • David

          Then maybe they should have given us a more realistic set of numbers if you are saying that they could only get the 7 bil that way, when after all they said they were putting nz investors first, or that was the impression they were giving.
          Besides the 7 bil was a figure they put forward to sweeten the deal, it was one they made and they decided on as part of what became their version of an election bribe.

      • BJ

        The National Party have integrity and you do not. Voting for a political party is about weighing up their policies that you feel strongly for or against and arriving at a personal consensus for which party’s policy you can ‘live with’ the most.

        Hoping they would change their minds on policy once in Parliament is giving all future governments license to renege on anything they said pre-election – do you really want that?

        • David

          Parties change their policies all the time with coalition politics as the partners put their own spin on things.
          As for the national party having intergrity… sorry going to laugh all the way to tomorrow on that one. NO POLITICAL party has integrity.
          But I also agree with your comments about weighing up which party to vote for.

  • DLNZ

    How does 10% of voters justify having a referendum? A full referendum costs $30m and with 300,000 signatures thats $100 each. Send them the fucking bill, then we’ll have a referendum.

    • Bunswalla

      Comment of the Day

      • Super_Guest

        Seconding.

  • CheesyEarWax

    The referendum were held when they took the signatures. How many didn’t sign and walked by VS how many stopped and signed? I bet the former is more.

    • thor42

      True!

      If you don’t vote in an election, then you have made your choice clear.

      Similarly, the vast majority of voters have chosen *not* to sign the referendum.

      So, we have already actually had TWO referenda on the partial asset sales – the election and this petition – and the referendum itself will be the THIRD.

      How many more do the dickheads on the left need?

      • Muffin

        If the referendum comes back in the nats favour will Russell the sneaky communist fuck off back to where he came from? Could add it into the question?
        ” do you agree with a partial sell down of state companies to pay for schools and hospitals and telling Russell Norman to fuck off”

  • David

    What happens if the people vote in the referendum and the result is that they had no mandate to sell from the majority?. Will the National party be buying them back out of party funds on the basis that there was no mandate after all?. You are making it sound like the election was a one issue referendum, rather than an election for the best party to lead the country overall. Elections are never about one issue, but a lot of issues and personalities.

    • Mickrodge

      I’m afraid you’re looking at this through rose tinted glasses David.

      As is probably expected, there will be a suitably loaded question in the referendum given it is being driven by the “nays” & I have little doubt it will be in favour of the nays. Hardly a surprise there given they pick the question & have essentially promoted their cause for a couple of years at least.

      Russel, Winston, Hone & the winner of Labour’s Next Top Leader will all proclaim victory & demand the sales be scrapped & the government has failed & is corrupt & out of touch & blah blah blah blah. And after all of that…

      Like every CIR before it the referendum will be ignored by all &
      sundry as an expensive sideshow & the bill will be sent out to Mr & Mrs A
      Taxpayer for prompt payment.

      Here endeth the lesson

      • David

        so you’ve watch Yes Minister too then mockrodge. Unfortuneately I probably have to agree. As I was taught you can make statistics say what ever you want them to.

  • drummerboy

    New Zealanders will vote in favor of assets sales, and here is why; you would have to have been living under a rock for 2 years not to have seen green party patsies in red shirts with a clipboards wanting your signature every where you go. If everyone in NZ saw these patsies and only 300,000 signed, then its clear who will win the referendum.

    • thor42

      Exactly. The hundreds of thousands who di NOT sign made their views clear by not doing so.

      Like I say – the referendum itself will actually be the *third* “referendum” on asset sales. What a joke.

    • David

      I don’t support the greens and I did not sign the referendum, but I also do not support the selling off as it is being done, so I would not be so confident just yet.

      • Euan Ross-Taylor

        But did you vote for National knowing that they campaigned on selling a minor share in some assets? You can’t go around having a referendum on every piece of legislation because some people disagree on it. The process was open and fair. People could have voted differently if they were really concerned and no doubt some did. Democracy is a majority rule (in this case via MMP) and the majority voted for the party campaigning on selling assets.

        • David

          Ye s Euan, I voted for them knowing it was a major plank, but also knowing that they would in all reality form a coalition of some sort and in almost every election so far from both sides deals have been made, election platforms watered down in the interest of getting a partnership and that will always happen. There was a lot of talk about it and while it was not a vote stopper for me, it was one of their policies I was not happy with. You can’t have a referendum on every bit of legislation because if you did we would not need to guys in Wgton in the house. We could all voted for every bill (actually that might be cheaper and easier than what we have.. maybe someone should do the numbers!), but on something like this where the issue is one that has divided and is about the fundamentals of what we have as a country then I would expect less idealogy comes into it an a more cautious approach. I had prioir to the last election seen a lot of that and seen National re-look at items due to opinion. For that I applaude them.

      • Bryan

        so you want your cake and eat it to look at the result from mighty river the other day , the Govt shared ownership with Kiwis super funds and private investors who had not been allowed to invest in these power companies like they are in so many countries.
        last year the Govt got 119 million the company made 164 million this year , so they got 51% thats 84.630 million so 35 less than last year plus the income from the sharing of ownership which has enabled them to make massive investment in health and education not just spend it on admin junkets and liberal dreams

        • David

          And when the sale money is gone its gone… i’d sooner get a steady income than win lotto and blow it all in a year.

  • Col

    Aussy Noddy Norman at it again, just when I was feeling good today his name comes up again. I think he is a Nomad as he seems to be wandering around, but a lost nomad.

    • And he has just turned up on Larry Williams. Dickhead!!!!

      • Col

        Yes I heard that, weak piece of piss he is.

        • Tude

          He seemed to be more self assured than usual though. I get the feeling he is enjoying being the ‘only’ leftist leader out there….
          that makes me concerned.

          • Col

            If he keeps going left, I hope he sticks his head up his own ass. Has got to a stage in govt any idiot can cost this country money, for no reason, Nats went to the polls got voted in, end of subject, oh no said Noddy Norman only one vote in it, that’s not fair.

  • thor42

    DPF over on Kiwiblog has a great bit on Labour’s and the Greens’ hypocrisy on referenda –

    Quote –
    “Labour’s SOE’s spokesman Clayton Cosgrove said the asset sales programme must be halted until after the referendum.

    “John Key must respect the democratic process. Over 327,000 Kiwis have called for a referendum. Their voice must be heard,” he said.

    DPF’s comments –
    “What nonsense and hypocrisy.

    If Labour and Greens are now claiming a referendum trumps an election, then why did they vote against allowing parental correctional smacking when 87% voted it should not be a crime? They voted down a bill
    to allow it, just weeks after the referendum. National voted against also, but at least National has never claimed a non-binding referendum should trump an election policy.”

    End quote.

  • Kiwikea

    I’m assuming that Aussie Wussel wanted the result of the smacking referendum to be followed as well.
    Oh wait, only when it suits him….

    • thor42

      Exactly!

  • Guest2

    Why the hell is Russel Norman claiming victory here WO?????????????????????????????????????????????

    he is claiming all the glory – what a desperate man

  • BJ

    Electing a party into power is putting ones hand up in a show of support – for anyone to now withdraw their hand is skulking off as a coward would.

  • Goldie

    Referendum my arse.
    National should just go straight to a snap election with a simple question for voters: you support National (inc. partial asset sales to raise money for infrastructure) or you support Greens-Labour-Winston1st-Hone Harawira.

  • JeffDaRef

    I wouldn’t do it with local body elections – that’s becoming a lefty borefest, so while the response rate is likely to be poor, the numbers are likely to go strongly against.
    I’d give it a freestanding postal ballot, publicise exactly how much its all costing and then when the likely <20% response comes back it doesn't really matter what the outcome is the lefties will have taken a pounding on the waste of money to run it.

  • OT Richter

    I voted for National because I agreed with the vast majority of their policies, but did not agree with asset sales. Voting for Labour wasn’t even an option as they were (are) a bunch of half-wits with not a decent policy amongst them. I will think hard about how I vote in the referendum, and I suspect there a lot of others that firmly support National, but not asset sales.

    The much-repeated “the election was the referendum” will be proven to be wrong.

    • David

      I had the same reasons OT. That’s two of the “mandate” gone. How many more are like us out there??

    • Harvey Wilson

      I was poo-pooing the referendum as a waste of time, but now I’m gonna vote for asset sales just to counter your vote.

      • OT Richter

        I had better vote then to counter yours.

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    Bros – Wait for the stinking Hippie and the losers of the left to hang onto this and milk it to death. By the way, why there is no comment about the FatCon’s new party? I am seriously thinking of joining FatCon’s party and get a high list ranking….FatCon is confident of getting 5%. I am sure that there are 5% idiots in this country who will vote for FatCon…First in the queue will be garden gnome Campbell….

  • mike

    Does that mean the election was “fake”? Because I’m sure National campaigned on Asset Sales…

  • Cadwallader

    This is nothing more than Red Norm doing a “Shane Jones” with our $$$$!! He is a total arsehole.

  • longjohn

    I wonder how many trees died as a result of this waste of time and money. Russel will have to live with that!

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