New Zealand Post

Who posts letters these days anyway?

Good grief some people are pathetic, stuck in their old ways.

Some old bastards are protesting because NZ Post is thinking of doing away with their post box.

A hardy group of protesters braved squalls and showers to go into battle for their local post box in New Plymouth today, with one going as far as saying he might chain himself to it.

The protesters chanted slogans and mailed letters telling the New Zealand Post chief executive Brian Roche to keep his hands off the St Aubyn St post box.

Moturoa resident Tom Waite lives nearby the post box, which is one of four slated for removal in New Plymouth this month.    Read more »

Kiwibank dragging down NZ Post

Kiwibank is dragging down NZ Post and Labour’s plans are to lumber it with a budget and likely to fail insurance company as well. Brian Gaynor at the Herald looks at the parlous state of NZ Post

Why does New Zealand Post continue to flounder while Deutsche Post, the German postal provider, has significantly outperformed the Frankfurt sharemarket in recent years and Royal Mail, the UK mail operator, has just had an extremely successful IPO?

A brief assessment of the three post providers shows that the two European companies have clear e-commerce driven parcel and logistics growth strategies whereas New Zealand Post has been adversely affected by the requirement to contribute substantial capital to Kiwibank, its 100 per cent owned subsidiary.

Around the world postal services are adapting and changing to the new global environment and some very successfully including Deutsche Post and Royal Mil, both successfully listed on the stock exchange and piling on the growth rapidly. Meanwhile in New Zealand.

No one would argue against the importance of parcels but what investments has NZ Post made in this area? What has it done to capture the e-commerce trade?

For example, parcels were mentioned only thirteen times in the group’s 2011 annual report whereas Kiwibank was referred to 197 times.

One of the problems with NZ Post is that Kiwibank is soaking up most of the group’s surplus cash and seems to be squeezing out the traditional postal services.   Read more »

A kick in the balls and bloody nose on the way through

Yesterday’s foray into parliament didn’t go so well for the opposition.

Labour were cock-a-hoop, emboldened by the living embodiment of the new Christ figure who leads them. They were helped by an inept performance by Eric Roy.

However their much vaunted insurance policy got panned and then destroyed.

Audrey Young at the NZ Herald reports:

David Cunliffe called John Key’s question stupid, Bill English called David Cunliffe’s new state insurance company idea dumb, and Winston Peters called himself brilliant.

They couldn’t all be right.

With the Speaker away running the New York marathon, Cunliffe still fizzing from his strident speech at the annual conference, and National anxious to puncture Labour’s mood, there had to be a stoush in Parliament’s Question Time yesterday.

Cunliffe started off well but came away with a bloody nose – the answer he gave to what he called Key’s “stupid question” turned out to be wrong itself.

They were arguing about Labour’s new policy to set up a state-owned insurance company, KiwiAssure, as a sister operation to Kiwibank within NZ Post.

Labour says it will reduce the dominance of overseas-owned insurers, keep profits in New Zealand, and bring competition, flexibility and choice to New Zealanders.

Cunliffe implied that National’s opposition to the policy is because it received big donations from the insurance industry in 2005 and attempted to table the Hollow Men documentary on the Nicky Hager book.   Read more »

Another legacy business dying a death by a thousand cuts

NZ Post is another legacy business that is dying slowly but surely.

We should have sold it off like the poms did while the going was good.

New Zealand Post says it will reduce its work force by up to 2000 staff as part of a strategy to reshape the business over the next five years.

Chairman Michael Cullen announced the news at a press conference on a restructure that will result in street deliveries being cut back to three days a week in urban areas.

Cycle-based posties will be replaced by a walking and vehicle service in a change designed to “literally lighten the load” for staff who would increasingly be dealing with parcels.

Chief executive Brian Roche said most posties used bikes, and accepted the changes were likely to be unpopular.   Read more »

Posties and the EPMU

Posties could be saved if the EPMU spends less at Palmers Garden World.

The incoherence award for confusing media releases goes to the EPMU after NZ Post faced up to reality and Minister Amy Adams grew a pair after vacillating for far too long on a modern postal service.  Not that this has pleased the comrades at the EPMU.

In a superbly worded media release it managed to argue for and against itself. Galileo must have been wrong given the EPMU spinning these pearls of wisdom:

“Moving to a three day mail delivery service is not sustainable or justified by current mail volumes, says the union for postal workers, the EPMU.”

Yet, forgetting what they wrote only two sentences beforehand, EPMU postal industry organiser George Collins adds this wonderful insight:  Read more »

Make him chair of Kiwi Rail too, Tony

Dominion Post

Michael Cullen has cost this country literally billions because of his inane financial decisions. The latest election bribe of him and Jim Anderton is all over the news right now:

NZ Post has warned 2012 is crunch time, with the state-owned enterprise needing hundreds of millions of dollars in capital for subsidiary Kiwibank as well as flexibility to cut store numbers and halt post delivery on some days.

In a toughly worded letter to State-owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall, NZ Post chairman Michael Cullen said most short-term fixes had been exhausted.

The only short-term fixes that Michael Cullen knows are to raid the taxpayers piggy banks, pick their pockets, and scratch around down the back of the sofa for spare cash. There is none.

Best that some facts are faced and Kiwibank starts paying its way or it will be sold…and who better to make that recommendation to the Minister than the putz that caused all this grief in the first place.

Tony Ryall can then appoint Cullen to Kiwirail too and get him to turn that around since he blew a billion on buying a clapped out load of scrap steel.

And so the weasel-words start

Just three days old and Labour’s new privatisation policy is in tatters.

Labour’s finance spokesman David Cunliffe says his party’s plans to allow private investment in state-owned enterprises’ subsidiaries would not extend to NZ Post-owned Kiwibank.

Mr Cunliffe said last week that if Labour returned to Government it would increase the state’s capital investment in growth-enhancing projects through partnerships with business, iwi, local government and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

“We can unleash state-owned enterprises to create and grow new subsidiaries with private partners and shareholders,” he said.

But he drew the line at private investment in existing state-owned enterprises or their subsidiaries, including Kiwibank.

“We’ve made clear that that policy would only apply to subsidiaries and we’ve also made clear that we plan to build Kiwibank up as a publicly owned bank.

“So there is no plan, and we would exclude the possibility of diluting equity in Kiwibank.”

What a bunch of no dicks. Clearly the total emasculation of Labour under Helen Clark has continued. I just can’t believe they’ve released a policy, one which clearly includes Kiwibank and now they are weaseling out of the policy.

I guess that means that Silent T can’t even count on his own vote for the leadership of Labour.

That makes the policy worse than useless. It makes Labour worse than useless.

Good…Labour now supports privatisation

Since everyone else has taken leave of their senses to go have a cry, I’ll take up the debate. Seriously its rotten bad luck and all that, and terribly sad for 29 families but really to suspend discussions and daily life is really just sooky behaviour.

Now, let there be no more carping, mewling and whining from Labour about privatisation anymore. They have now embraced it. I think they announced this during the Pike River disaster in the hope it would fly under the radar. But for other sooky media, bloggers and politicians it just may well have. Rumour has it that Cunliffe had two speeches… one when the news was buried by other events, and another that didn’t signal any economic changes.

Labour will make bold changes to the economy including allowing public-private partnership for transport, considering an “inbound transactions tax” and allow private shareholders to own shares in subsidiaries of state owned enterprises, finance spokesman David Cunllffe said today.

In a speech to the Institute of Policy Studies in Wellington Mr Cunliffe said Labour would not go on a spending spree, but would reduce net debt and build a stronger capital base.

He said private equity in SOEs’ subsidiaries would not dilute taxpayer equity or lead to wholly or partially privatising the SOE.

In some respects this is a little strange because they pulled out of endorsing PPPs and now they are back in.

Predictably there are some upset pinkos which means this policy is actually a good one from Silent T.

It is good in the sense that it finally removes the scales from the eyes of Labour with regards to privatisation. No Right Turn points out the details behind the policy on privatisation.

Which is technically correct – instead we have a partially privatised subsidiary. But by permitting that, he effectively gives away the farm. To point out the obvious, Kiwibank is not an SOE, but a subsidiary of one (NZ Post). And this policy means he has no objection to selling it to rapacious Aussies. More generally, by allowing part-privatisation of SOE subsidiaries, he removes any grounds to prohibit it in the SOEs themselves. The result is to open up space for National to do exactly that.

Yep, good idea. Move ACC to be a subsidiary of an SOE. Kiwibank is already primed under Labour’s policy….I’m sure there are even more. Time to get cracking.

In fact make one big SOE…call it…oh I don’t know…something like…NZ Government Limited…then make all other departments subsidiaries of the new Super SOE….presto…and all under Labour’s cool new privatisation policy.

Then the government can post out share certificates in the all the new SOE subsidiaries and let people decide for themselves whether they want to maintain “their” investment in those SOE’s or sell them down.