Key to ignore referendum result

The whole Referendum was a farce from start to end.  Signatures harvested through paying collectors with tax payers’ money, missing the mark, having to do it again, Labour and their Green Taliban leaders managed to piss away $9M of your money on yet another pointless exercise.

Prime Minister John Key has indicated his Government will take little notice of the result of the referendum, describing it as a political stunt by Labour and the Greens which has cost the taxpayer $9 million.

Mr Key has said the result would be “interesting” if it showed voters who opposed the asset sales programme totalled more than a million – the number of votes National got at the last election which was largely fought on the issue. The Electoral Commission figures issued last night show that 895,322 voters opposed the asset sales.

Mr Key and Mr English have said in recent weeks that the Genesis sale remains on track in spite of market chatter the sale is now unlikely to proceed as planned.

The CIR has come as the partial assets sales programme is almost over, with Genesis the only remaining company earmarked for partial sale yet to go on the block.

While the referendum is non-binding, Opposition parties hoped a vote against the Government on the issue would persuade it not to proceed with the Genesis sale which is scheduled for the first few months of next year.

It is a corruption of democratic process to use tax payers’ money to promote a referendum driven by opposition parties.  The spirit of a referendum is for a “Citizen Initiated” referendum.

What Labour and their Green Taliban leaders did was nothing but abusing process by holding their own political stage show.  Nothing “Citizen Initiated” about it.  Pure Politics, and cynical at that.


Source:  Adam Bennett at the NZ Herald


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  • CheesyEarWax

    This was political campaign in a non-election year. Heck, even Greenpiece benefited from it, fatting up their email database, at the taxpayer’s expense.

  • Other_Andy

    So the ‘referendum’ shows that Labour, ‘Green’ and Mana voters are against asset sales. Tell us something new….

    • motorizer

      and shows that half the country dont give a shit about the whole thing anyway.

  • cows4me

    John Key should have offered the Melons 9 million to split the money amongst their MP’s. The proviso being that they never engage in politics again, would save the country hundreds of millions.

    • Give this man a Pragmatism Award. Stat!

    • caochladh

      And, stop breeding.

  • toryboy

    Interesting to note that the combined votes in 2011 for Labour/Green/Winston/Hone came to 1032000 whereas only 895,000 votes in the referendum – 140,000 lazy slobs couldn’t be bothered stopping their boozing, drug taking and takeaway eating to walk down to the letterbox! hahahahaha!!!

    Mr Key is correct to ignore it as vast numbers of Tory voters simply ignored it.

  • Pete George

    David Cunliffe and Russel Norman pledge to make CIR binding and they will halt any Labour-Green bills pending petition and vote –
    Labour and Greens pledge binding CIR

    • Cowgirl

      Wow are they going to get a shock at what most people want

  • Whafe

    The true referendum was the last election, unless it was all a dream for me…

  • motorizer

    yeah hey whats the rules with the billboards? they are still up and i find them on the same par as religious ones. they are in your face and being shoved down our throats.

  • Apolonia
  • Clemgeopin

    At least 225,000 NATIONAL PARTY VOTERS voted NO in this referendum!

    See below how that is calculated:

    • johnbronkhorst

      What a ridiculous method of calculation.
      Assumes ALL Labour , mana, green, NZF, maori party voted NO just because of the song and dance their MP’s made.
      But National voters being the only independent thinkers voted the remainder in the NO category. What a load of shit!!!

    • James

      I voted no – I disagreed with selling up to 49% as there should be no limit – the lot of them should have been sold. How many people in the no count felt the same? If you can’t tell then it makes the whole result irrelevant anyway!

    • John

      Basically means more of the country would rather sell assets than have a left Government, hopefully, for NZ, that won’t change.

  • Morgy

    Here’s an idea to really send them into a spin. Accept the result and stop the Genesis partial sale but at the same time recognise that it was the will of the people to overturn the smacking law too and pledge to do so. Basically saying ok….so you want us to listen? We will.

  • steve and monique

    No surprise’s Labour and the green wankers have cost the country money. Imagine how much it will cost if they get power.

    • motorizer

      its the only thing socialists are good at. spending other peoples money.

  • Polish Pride

    Regardless of your views on Asset sales, this is part of our democracy (whats left of it that is) and what should be of most concern is that our politicians continue to act for their own agenda and do not represent the will of the people.
    Ask yourself, if this was a different issue and Labour were in the hot seat and were doing this, would you have the same arguements essentially saying it is ok to ignore the will of the people?
    Before you go on about the smacking bill, yes the same principle applies… The only question is at what point is it enough. At what point do we say the system needs to change so that we the people are actually once again represented by those we put in parliament..
    Your support of National ignoring the referendum is whether you like it or not tacit approval for any future govt to ignore the will of the people and for any govt to do that in favour of their own agenda is not only wrong, it’s a symptom of a broken system.

    • Morgy

      I don’t agree. I believe in democracy. In 2011 we had two choices in terms of an economic platform with MoM being front and centre. National won with 47% of the vote. Labour were a DISTANT second followed by the rest. I don’t believe it is right to re-litigate that result by way of political party initiated referendum. The way to oppose this is to vote National out next time. For the 9 years of Clark, I hated their policies and bribes to get power BUT the majority didn’t. They formed a government. Don’t be fooled PP, this was not a CIR.

      • Polish Pride

        Democracy is not simply a point in time that takes place every three years. It is continuous (or at least it should be.

        Regardless of how the referendum came into being, those that voted were all New Zealand voters.

        The way to oppose this is to vote National out next time.

        Unfortunately this only further highlights how poor our democracy is. Once every 3 years you get to vote a party in or out on the basis of promises they may or may not keep.. Once the results are in you have to then hope they stick to those promises. If they don’t you have to wait for 3 years to pass before you can vote them out and the next lot in and hope they don’t do exactly the same as the last lot.
        That is not Democracy. That is elected dictatorship and that is what you have when the will of the clear majority of the people is simply ignored.

        • ex-JAFA

          So what’s your suggested alternative – referenda on every single issue? At least we could avoid the expense of having any MPs (including the substantial ancillary running costs of the House, the Speaker’s office, their support staff, etc.), as their input won’t be necessary. But if it costs $9M for one irrelevant referendum, what’s it going to cost to run hundreds of (mostly) tedious referenda? Have you any idea how many laws are debated and passed in a three-year term, not just the high-profile ones?

          Micromanagement is never a good idea, and certainly not by a committee of millions who neither know nor care about most issues.

          • Polish Pride

            But if it costs $9M for one irrelevant referendum, what’s it going to cost to run hundreds of (mostly) tedious referenda?
            And there’s part of the problem. The functioning of effective democracy should not be hamstrung by cost, although as you have pointed out like many other things that are needed it simply is. The Auckland traffic problem and transmission gully are both examples of infrastructure initiatives that are needed, that we have the knowledge resources and manpower to do. The problem and the thing that stops us is the cost of doing so. Change the system and none of these things have cost as an issue any longer.
            And yes I am well versed in how our political system works and how many useless unnecessary laws are passed every year in order for politicians to justify their existence.
            I find it laughable that we hold up (true uncorrupted) science as the justification to do many things a certain way but we leave the running of the country and management of our resources to what are essentially overpaid, under-skilled bureaucrats who even at their very best under the current system fail and will continue to fail to deliver on the problems that we need to fix. Instead they tinker around the edges and nothing more.
            Unfortunately because of rising costs the problem is only going to get worse. The problem with you guys is that you see the system and you think within its constraints. You see that something is required but accept that it cannot or should not be done because of cost.
            There comes a point where you have to say these things are required and the system simply cannot deliver these in its current form. The solution then comes and can only come through changing the system…. and it will need to be a fundamental change.
            The alternative is to stick with two opposing political schools of thought and to get absolutely nowhere in real terms for the foreseeable future.
            Rather sad when there is a solution that gives both sides of the political paradigm what they want and solves the big problems we have always faced as a society.
            But instead we will no doubt continue to have small minds running things and being voted into office. We will continue to have the same problems and you will continue to moan and whinge about the exact same things year after year.

        • island time

          It was a non-binding referendum. So it attracts only those who want things to change. The ones who want the status quo do not have a real reason to vote. My guess is that if the referendum was binding, the result may have been quite different. I voted for this a couple of years back in the election – so I saw no need to reaffirm that in a meaningless poll. This certainly is a democracy, but it is open to hijack due to senseless non-binding polls and senseless politicians who initiate the polls.

        • James

          Assets sales are an integral part of National’s economic platform. You can’t say drop this part only due to the knock on effects it will have on everything else. The funds from asset sales goes to education, health and paying off debt; if they drop this then do we need another referendum about how to raise funds / where to cut spending / borrow more in order to pay for their remaining pledges?

    • ratmuncher

      “The people” who’s “will” you count were only 30% of actual potential voters. The rest of us, the yes, or ambivalent, are actually people too and have a “will”. Key is democratic.

      • Polish Pride

        “The people” who’s “will” you count were only 30% of actual potential voters. The rest of us, the yes, or ambivalent, are actually people too and have a “will”.
        You assume that all of those opposed to asset sales voted!?!
        That is a massive assumption to make.
        Their are many who believe the system is well and truly broken and therefore do not see the point in voting. But this is another issue.
        If you want to run with that argument however then it is easy to nullify Nationals majority at the election once you take into account all those that did not vote….

        • ratmuncher

          Ha! No it doesn’t there are more than enough parties for the discontented even anarchists. The non voters have give an implicit nod to the status quo. Not voting means not interested, let things happen as they may…

          • Polish Pride

            “Not voting means not interested, let things happen as they may…”
            Says who ? You?
            And there are no parties for those who understand the system is flawed and by its very design simply cannot fix the real problems facing society.

          • ratmuncher

            You only need 5% to make a difference – form a party.

          • Polish Pride

            there are better more effective ways to change first the narrative and then the system.

    • rockape

      Have you forgotten that referenda are non binding there fore the democratically elected Government has a right to ignore them and carry on with the policy it was democraticaly elected to carry out . National made no secret about its policy to sell some assets to buy others.

  • LeftRightWrong

    Lets be honest even if this were a purely citizen initiated referendum and gained a vast amount of more votes Key would still ignore it. He would stick to his “mandate” regardless because its gone beyond what is right or wrong and is about principal now.

    • John

      If the majority had not wanted the PARTIAL asset sell down he would not be in power.

      • LeftRightWrong

        Bullshit. The asset sales being tied to a National election was very crafty and clever, slightly underhanded if you will.
        They could have pinned nearly anything to the election with the performance that Labour was showing and still win. What would be interesting (but we will never know) is how many people decided that they wanted to vote for asset sales AND National and how many people disagreed with asset sales but couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Labour or other opposition parties.

        • John

          Oh puleeaase

          • Polish Pride

            There’s no Oh puleeaase there at all John. There were a number of people opposed to asset sales who voted National through a belief they would be the better party to steer us out of the GFC . There are also those in Peter Dunnes electorate who voted for Peter when his policy was not to sell assets.

          • John

            The bottom line is, only around 30% of voters voted “no sale”, I know referenda 101 has a get out clause in the excuses for not winning section that states “many people did not vote because it was not binding” but you can put money on the majority of non voters either, being yes voters or not having an opinion. anyway lets call it a draw.

  • timemagazine

    Wouldn’t the 9M not be better spend helping the poor and the hungry kids the left loves to use as a political football?

    • rockape

      Nah all thats important is getting a left government in power sod the poor , sod workers, sod NZ.

    • Eiselmann

      There’s no votes for Labour/Greens in actually solving the problem of hungry and abused kids….that’s why they are so anti everything that National is doing to address these issues , the last thing Labour/Greens want is for the poor to say National have done more for them.

  • rockape

    I want a citizens referendum on wither the Green party should be banned in NZ, bet that gets more than 50%.

  • Col

    Noddy Norman, Curryleaf, Winston, Hone and the rest of you who carry on moaning, as you would say it’s not a far result you only have one seat more than us you can not govern, it is not a true refelection of what the people want, this is how you see the seats in the house, well MR Key just told you to fuc&(& off.

  • Sofia

    1,297,281 vote in Referendum, with 67.2% voting against the asset sales.

    If you pretend the Referendum voting was truly representative it interprets through as being –
    14.51% against asset sales still voting for National, and sacrificing the assets, because they obviously didn’t trust Labour or any other fucking party with their vote!

    Quite a large win for Key!

  • John

    TVNZ proclaim “The majority of voters say they did not want to see the partial sale” that should have been “The majority of the less than 50% of voters who voted say they did not want to see the partial sale”

    • ex-JAFA

      Or even more accurately and succinctly, “A minority of voters say they did not want to see the partial sale”. But that wouldn’t fit the Leftorium’s agenda.

    • Morgy

      I know we shouldn’t be surprised but FFS, no wonder many are now turning to the blogosphere to get their news. And they say Cam isn’t a journalist?!

      Every headline today I have seen basically talks the same rubbish; resounding vote against (NZH), two thirds of voters oppose asset sales (stuff). Technically they are all correct but the major headline has to be: ELIGABLE VOTERS ENDORSE NATIONALS MADATE – ONLY 30% OPPOSE ASSET SALES

      • johnbronkhorst

        Yes because if more opposed asset sales….they would have VOTED!!!
        It means, that over 50% don’t care enough to put a tick in a box and post it away….for FREE.

  • Mr_Blobby

    “The spirit of a referendum is for a “Citizen Initiated” referendum.”

    It may well be but it does not change the fact that every Government has ignored the results of every referendum to date.

  • notjaffa

    Referendum, what referendum? Our voting papers never arrived, but we are registered.

    • Bryan

      so how many did not arrive and were they got hold off by labour and greens and filled in and sent back but when you look at the response from the 2.9 million people that could have voted effectivley 33% said No which is the present labour vote so the greens % didn’t even count

      so even as a percentage all the so called labour and greens voters based on recent polls of 33 and 11 that’s 44% they only got 33% to say no

      its not a good look for labour if you brake down the 33% as say 8% greens that leaves labour part of it only 25% !!! sorry cunicliffe you stuffed up and where are you going get the money to buy back the power companies from the Chinese shark investors that you told on Bejing Radio last week you would allow a lot more to come in to NZ

  • S R P

    Referendums can be manipulated by the question and peoples ignorance.

    The question should be ” would you prefer to keep the assets and thus not have the money to invest in health, education etc or would you prefer the country borrowed more money to fund these social needs?

    I’m sure if you had a referendum asking ” should we reduce the tax rate to 5% ? ” you would get an overwhelming yes as well because the other side of the coin ie a broke government and country that would thus follow is not explained in the question.

    I heard a caller on talkback the other day moaning that the” taxpayer” shouldn’t have to pay for the government delegation attending Mandela’s funeral but it’s the government who should pay. She had not made the connection that they are both one and the same. Where does she think the Governments money comes from.

    This is the type of intellect that we have to deal with and they cannot be trusted to make informed decisions in things like referendums.

    • justin

      Hmm unfortunately democracy is one vote for all, numbskulls included. My fear is that Nats will look arrogant (like Helun’s mob before they got turfed out). JK has indicated that it’s only Genesis left (about a billion). This should be shelved, minimal change in the $75billion government debt. However this is a tangible decision that will have people thinking National are not government for the people.
      Like it or not the referendum result is in.

      • S R P

        Yes , I agree . A no win situation is looming. . Shelve the sell off and look weak or go through with it and look arrogant. Either way he will be damned.
        Are you sure we can’t get a referendum underway banning “numbskulls” from voting ??

        • justin

          Revolution? Hell Yeah. You can have the north island and I’ll take the south.

  • thor42

    Check out this great post at “No Minister” –

    Quote – “In the 2011 General election the National party and their coalition supporters received over 50% on a voter turnout around 75%.

    That was after an unprecedented naming of the date some 10 months out and after maintaining a clear promise to sell no assets or part shareholding in the first term and an equally clear policy to sell up to 49% shareholding in 5 SOEs in a second term.

    The melons and the socialists have constantly claimed that result did not give a mandate for the partial sale process in spite of the leaders of melons and socialists promoting that vote as a referendum on “asset sales”…

    “Fast forward 2 years, following a massive publicly funded campaign to collect 10% of registered electors to gain a CIR, and only successful at the eleventh hour after a concerted second collection surge to overcome
    the apathy.

    That was followed by an equally intensive campaign to get their vote out in the referendum 44% (just over half those who voted in the GE 2011), voted 67% against 31% to disapprove of the partial share sales.

    Suddenly that is a comprehensive vote of no confidence bringing calls from XXXXwetback and thumbhead for the National led government to cease the process with only Genesis energy and Solid Energy remaining.”

    Great stuff, and it goes on and gets even better!

    • S R P

      Great post and link thanks.
      All John key has to do is keep asking Labour and the Greens if they took any notice of the referendums when they were in charge.
      Hypocrisy of the highest order…………

      • LeftRightWrong

        Doesn’t make it any better. Bullshit if labour ignored them (if they were relevant) just as this one would be bullshit if National ignored it (if it were relevant).
        Tit for tat is a pathetic bullshit excuse for politics.
        I’m of sick of National supporters saying “but labour did it wah wah wah” and the same goes for Labour supporters.