Michael Cullen

Sir Michael Cullen ?impressed? with Andrew Little, not so much with Robbo now

Michael Cullen’s support of Andrew Little must have sounded a bit like a balloon deflating.

A former supporter of Grant Robertson, he is now backing Andrew Little.

Sir Michael Cullen has returned to the Labour fold after eight years of self-imposed exile as a Government appointee to NZ Post with a warning to the party’s finance spokesman, Grant Robertson.

Sir Michael was at the Labour party conference over the weekend as a delegate.

Cullen said he had been wary of being actively involved while he was chair of NZ Post because it was a state-owned enterprise. However, his time had ended last Monday and he was now a free man.

Cullen had supported Grant Robertson in the last leadership campaign but said he was impressed with present Labour leader Andrew Little. “People are very happy we’ve got a stable, united caucus and remarkable lack of deep division.”

Read more »

I bet Cullen enjoyed kicking James Shaw

Sir Michael Cullen must have enjoyed himself giving James Shaw a kick in the slats.

Green Party co-leader James Shaw said the move opened the door to partial privatisation.

“This deal makes it harder for the Government to use Kiwibank to drive competition in the banking sector,?as the Green Party announced we’d do, because the Government can’t direct the Super and ACC funds in the way it could have directed Kiwibank,” he said.

The Greens announced last week they would inject $100m of capital into the bank, and allow it to keep more of its profits to foster a faster expansion.

“The fact is the Government forced Kiwibank’s hand and today’s announcement will make it easier than it was before to move Kiwibank into private ownership.” ?? Read more »

Watching the Media party and Labour scoff rats over Kiwibank is hilarious


The Media party and opposition politicians really don’t know what to say about the government’s announcement yesterday that Kiwibank was selling down 45% of Kiwibank to the Super Fund and ACC.

The fact that it was Sir Michael Cullen announcing it meant that rat-swallowing was the order of the day.

You see the left-wing have been telling us for years that the reason Bill English was able to steer us through the global financial crisis was because of the brilliant state of the books that Michael Cullen left them in.

They can’t hardly start attacking this scion of the left and hero of Clarkism now can they? ? Read more »

It’s not Kiwibank up for sale, it’s NZ Post selling down its shareholding

Labour MP Michael Cullen comments on his meeting with the SFO after the Privileges Committee, Parliament, Wellington, New Zealand, Monday, September 22, 2008. Credit:NZPA / Ross Setford

Troubled state-owned New?Zealand Post is?selling 45 per cent of Kiwibank, 25 per cent to the?New Zealand Super Fund and?20 per cent to ACC.The deal values Kiwibank at $1.1 billion, NZ Post chairman Sir Michael Cullen said. Both entities are owned by the New Zealand government.

“There’s no sale of Kiwibank outside Government ownership,” Cullen said, adding that if there had been a sale into private ownership it would have “almost certainly led to a higher price”.

Read more »

Panama Papers: Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story

The left wing has been quick to attempt to blame John Key for the situation outlined with the theft of private documents released yet again by a complicit media.

But as Richard Harman of Politik points out in his daily email the facts don’t line up with the left-wing blame game over the Panama Papers.

While the Prime Minister was sticking to his briefing notes at his weekly press conference yesterday on the question of the 11,000 offshore trusts registered in New Zealand, it appears the Clark Labour Government may have enabled their presence here.

The 2007 rewrite of the Income Tax sets out how overseas people can set up in trusts in New Zealand and pay no tax provided that none of the income in the trust originates in New Zealand.

In 2005 Labour’s Finance Minister, Michael Cullen, tightened up reporting requirements for the trusts but emphasised that their activities would remain tax free.

He said: “”Foreign trusts will be required to have an IRD number, keep records for New Zealand tax purposes, provide certain information when they are first set up in New Zealand or appoint New Zealand trustees, and provide information to Inland Revenue on a regular basis.

Under New Zealand law, foreign income derived by non-residents is outside the New Zealand tax base, and rightly so. The government has no intention of changing that.?Because they are not taxed here, foreign trusts that are set up here do not have to file New Zealand income tax returns or keep records if they receive only foreign-sourced income.

Read more »

Michael Cullen’s economic sabotage keeps on performing to plan

Labour MP Michael Cullen comments on his meeting with the SFO after the Privileges Committee, Parliament, Wellington, New Zealand, Monday, September 22, 2008. Credit:NZPA / Ross Setford

Labour MP Michael Cullen comments on his meeting with the SFO after the Privileges Committee, Parliament, Wellington, New Zealand, Monday, September 22, 2008. Credit:NZPA / Ross Setford

Troubled Government-owned rail operator Kiwirail may reveal whether it’s any closer to running without support when it reports on its 2015 results.

Kiwirail has struggled to meet income targets set in a 10-year, $1 billion turnaround plan and a public meeting today may give an idea of how big the gap is, as well as provide insights into the company’s direction.

It produced improved figures in its year-to-June figures, significantly up on 2013-14. But the Government said it expected to keep pouring $200 million a year into the business to keep it going.

Difficulties the rail operator face include possible shrinking income from major freight client Solid Energy, which is undergoing a selldown.

During May’s budget, Finance Minister Bill English warned the current level of support was not sustainable and KiwiRail had to improve its performance.

It was pure treason really. ?How anyone could put the blight of Kiwirail on our economy just to burden an incoming National Party instead of doing what’s right for the country just shows the depths to which Labour can go when given any degree of control.

I think history won’t look kindly on Cullen. ?It was petulant in the extreme.


– NZN, via 3 News

Shut KiwiRail down

Labour MP Michael Cullen comments on his meeting with the SFO after the Privileges Committee, Parliament, Wellington, New Zealand, Monday, September 22, 2008. Credit:NZPA / Ross Setford

Labour finance minister Michael Cullen’s final act of economic sabotage was to buy a failing, gutted and highly over-priced train set in the form of KiwiRail. ? As taxpayers, we’ve pushed well over a billion dollars into it. ? And the news is only getting worse.

Finance Minister Bill English says KiwiRail hasn’t been able to generate the levels of income it was supposed to as part of the 10-year, $1 billion plan to turn the business around.

“They’ve found it very difficult to reach targets for growing their business.”

While some of it is explainable, with weather-related infrastructure problems and issues with customers like Solid Energy, some of it means further work needs to be done. Read more »

Sir Michael Cullen accepts housing crisis is of Labour’s making

Sir Michael Cullen (boy that title must grate hard core Labourites) has shanked Andrew Little and Phil Twyford and smiled while he did it.

He must be embarrassed that his party is full of intellectual pygmies.

The last Labour government should have started collecting better data on who’s buying up Auckland property, says former deputy Prime Minister Sir Michael Cullen.

Sir Michael, who was a Labour minister of finance from 1999 to 2008, said it was good the country was going to have some better information soon when the National-led government begins collecting more data.

“It’s a pity we haven’t done that and I accept that probably the last Labour government should have done more in that regard,” he told Q+A today.

He said if a lot of people offshore were buying into the Auckland market, then that would be a factor in pushing prices up.

“Now, of course, if we were better able to address the supply issue of more houses, then that wouldn’t be quite so important, but in the current context of constrained supply, then that does become the important issue.”

Read more »

Grant Robertson as the next Michael Cullen?

After failing to win the Labour leadership contest last year, Mr Robertson reinvented himself to become a finance spokesman who could reach the standards set by former Labour finance guru Sir Michael Cullen.

Incidentally, Sir Michael is a supporter and mentor of Mr Robertson and, of course, both of them have Dunedin links. Sir Michael was the long-time MP for St Kilda and Dunedin South and Mr Robertson was born in St Kilda and educated in Dunedin.

In his first major speech before a business audience in Dunedin yesterday, Mr Robertson showed he was open to new ideas and suggestions. While criticising Prime Minister John Key and the Government for a hands-off approach to the economy, the creation of jobs and Auckland’s housing issues, the Wellington Central MP also started offering some hints of where Labour may look in future to gain support.

Labour needs to get Mr Robertson before as many business audiences as possible, as quickly as possible, as his message about regional support is sure to resonate well.

Read more »

Rat cunning from Amy Adams, Labour will be left staring at goats again

The government has appointed Sir Michael Cullen to head up the first?review of New Zealand?s security and intelligence agencies.

A former Deputy Prime Minister and a respected lawyer are to lead the first regular review of New Zealand?s security and intelligence agencies, Acting Attorney-General Amy Adams announced today.

Ms Adams says she intends to appoint Sir Michael Cullen and Dame Patsy Reddy to carry out the review.

?This will be an important and challenging review, and I?m pleased Sir Michael and Dame Patsy have agreed to lend their expertise to the task. They bring complementary skills and experience to the role. Sir Michael is a former member of the Intelligence and Security Committee and has knowledge of national security issues. Dame Patsy has extensive governance experience and legal expertise,? Ms Adams says.

Read more »