Business

Thanks McCully, a legacy of law suits

Former NZ Foreign Minister Murray McCully

Murray McCully has left a nasty little landmine, and guess who else is involved? Quote:

Taxpayers could fork out more over the Saudi sheep deal – with the Government now facing legal action over the troubled project.

An Auckland-based company has started legal proceedings against the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Mfat) in the High Court, the Herald can reveal.

That raises the possibility of more costs related to the controversial, and still unfinished, project.

The company, Laurium Asset Management, helped put the Saudi businessman who now owns the agrihub, Hmood Al Khalaf, in touch with the National Government.

However, it was left out of the eventual deal, and later wrote to Mfat asking why its intellectual property had been used as the basis for the tender.

Laurium has now started early-stage legal proceedings, with a conference scheduled at the High Court at Auckland this month.

An Mfat spokesman confirmed the legal action, but wouldn’t comment further given the matter was before the High Court.

Laurium Asset Management director Graeme Leversha also declined to comment, saying company policy was to not confirm or deny any legal proceedings. End quote.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

It’s not me, it’s you

Have you ever tried to end your relationship with Vodafone?

Early last year I tried to organise the installation of fibre broadband through Vodafone but, because I live up a private drive, it was not a straightforward matter. For some reason, Vodafone imposed a time limit on the whole process of three months. Unfortunately, we simply couldn’t get everything organised (neighbours, a plan as to where the channels will be dug etc)  in time. So, sadly, as the deadline passed, I came to the conclusion that maybe my relationship with Vodafone was not as it used to be, and I needed to think about moving on.

So, I contacted Spark. We began the same process, but Spark did not put a time limit on the procedure. Without going into too much detail, it took eight months (from June last year until the beginning of February) to get the installation done, but we did it. As I was to become a Spark customer once the fibre installation was complete, it was then time for me and Vodafone to go our separate ways.

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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

The elephant in the business chamber

A lot of people refer to Jacinda Ardern as a student politician. Some may think this unfair, but it has never been so obvious when you look at the way she treats business.

Business confidence fell immediately after the current government were appointed. This is hardly surprising as Labour, and particularly the Greens, have long been known as no friend to business. The Greens are notable for policies that can be fairly described as anti-business.

Jacinda, however, thinks that this attitude is unfair, and has referred to it as “the elephant in the room”. This from Newsroom:  Quote:

In a pre-Budget speech Jacinda Ardern took her critics head on, telling the crowd of business leaders that flagging business confidence didn’t match reality, Thomas Coughlan reports.

Businesses should feel better about the economy and align their perceptions with the positive reality says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Delivering the now traditional pre-Budget speech to the Business New Zealand audience, Ardern said business confidence was “the elephant in the room”.

Business confidence has been low since the Government took office. One of the leading business confidence surveys conducted by NZIER found businesses had turned pessimistic about economic outlook for the first time in two years after Labour assumed office.

On Monday ANZ’s monthly business confidence survey reported pessimism grew in April. 23 percent of businesses were pessimistic about the economy, up from 20 percent in March.

Ardern said businesses should look at other metrics of confidence in the economy, which have been positive. End of quote.

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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

Why are wages not increasing?

Have you tried to get a tradie recently? Everyone is flat out. Builders, electricians, painters, plumbers, you name it; all of them are working long hours and have months of work ahead of them. Some are talking burnout. I’m not surprised. There are not enough of them by a long way and the enormous demand for building and renovation in today’s property market will probably see most of them gainfully employed for years.

Then there was an article at the weekend about chefs suffering depression, from working long hours. Nurses are suffering burnout because of staffing shortages. Engineers cannot be found for love or money. Unemployment is at 4.4%.

All of this is the perfect recipe for significant wage increases. It is economics 101. When demand increases, supply gets more expensive. But that is not happening in today’s labour market. And no one seems to be quite sure why not.

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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

How dare they make a profit?

With all the hoo-hah about petrol prices and ‘price fixing’ and so forth, the media breathlessly reported the end-of-year results for Z Energy. Quote:

New Zealand’s largest fuel retailer has revealed a rise in profits and increased its dividends to shareholders, as it defended the nature of the market.

Wellington-headquartered Z Energy reported a historic net profit after tax of $263 million for the 12 months ended March 31, 2018, an increase of $20m over the previous financial year. The NZX-listed company said its final dividend was 10 per cent up on 2017. End of quote.

Well, pardon me for breathing, but isn’t that what companies are supposed to do? Make a profit and reward shareholders.

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In solidarity with the those in the world’s most despised demographic, WH has decided to ‘come out’ as an old, white, male. WH enjoys exercising the white male privilege, that Whaleoil provides for him, to write the occasional post challenging climate change consensus; looking at random tech issues that tweak his interest, as a bit of a tech nerd; or generally poking the borax at anyone in public life who goes on record revealing their stupidity. WH never excelled on the sports field because his coaches never allowed him to play in his preferred position on the right-wing.  WH also enjoys his MG.

Face of the day

Today’s face of the day is the minister of myths. He holds a made-up position for a made-up problem.Quote:

[…] Shaw, who is the Minister for Climate Change, was in Invercargill for the Southland Federated Farmers annual meeting on Friday to talk about climate change.

[…] While there were those who would say imposing extra costs on themselves to become environmentally sustainable was pointless, Shaw argued it would be a source of “incredible” economic value if farmers saw it more as an investment.of quote.

 

 Stuff

 

Contribution via Whaleoil staff and interns

Sorry Jacinda, but you’ve broken another promise

Jacinda Ardern thinks that whacking Kiwis with GST on online purchases isn’t a new tax.

She’s wrong.

I haven’t had to pay it before on online offshore purchases, and now I will have to pay it. That is a new tax. She is dancing on the head of a pin: Quote:

Applying GST to online purchases under $400 from overseas is not a new tax, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

Speaking to Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking this morning, the Prime Minister said GST had always been applied to those purchases, but never collected.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

No cost benefit analysis, just virtue signalling on oil and gas exploration ban

Oh dear, the government really is in the kack with the revelation that there was no cost benefit analysis done on the prime minister’s decision to ban oil and gas exploration.

Jenna Lynch at Newshub reports:

The decision to ban future oil and gas exploration was made without a cost benefit analysis to back it up, Newshub can reveal.

It’s one of a number of admissions revealed in parliamentary written questions pointing to a lack of evidence behind the decision.

I am not aware of a cost-benefit analysis using the Treasury’s CBAx tool being undertaken in relation to the decision to grant no further offshore oil and gas exploration permits,” Megan Woods said.

Treasury developed the CBAx tool as a common way to assess the pros and cons of policies across government agencies.

Dr Woods’ office told Newshub officials did not think it was appropriate to use the Treasury tool in this case as there were too many unknowns about how much gas and oil was actually out there.

“Searching for petroleum offshore is a low probability of success event but high impact if found, so trying to model the costs and benefits in a traditional option analysis spreadsheet would have required substantial assumptions to be made,” a spokesperson for the minister said. End quote.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

You’d think they would have done the visit before they screwed their business over

Megan Woods has been to see Methanex, New Zealand’s single biggest user of gas, and a massive export earner for New Zealand. You’d have thought the minister would have bothered to go see Methanex before making a decision that will root their business in New Zealand. Quote:

Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods is off to Taranaki to meet Methanex, a major gas user potentially affected by the Government’s decision not to offer any new offshore exploration permits.

The Canadian-owned company converts gas to methanol and consumes about 46 percent of New Zealand’s gas.

The Government’s decision not offer any new offshore exploration permits in an annual tender process has raised questions about the future supply of gas but ministers have said existing permits still allow exploration.

Dr Woods told TVNZ’s Q+A programme on Sunday that she was visiting Methanex in Taranaki on Monday.

She said one of the things that Methanex was heavily dependent on was the extension of an existing gas permit in Taranaki next year.   

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

Brian Fallow says the exploration ban is a pointless, self-righteous policy

Brian Fallow writes at the NZ Herald: Quote:

Resounding cheers greeted Jacinda Ardern and James Shaw when they went to Victoria University last Thursday to explain that morning’s announcement that no more offshore oil and gas exploration permits will be granted.

Gratifying to their ears, no doubt — but entirely undeserved.

This policy is self-righteous nimbyism, environmentally pointless, economically costly and politically counter-productive to the Government’s own agenda on climate change.

What matters for the climate is how much fossil carbon is consumed, not where it is produced. End quote.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.