Key on Campbell Live

May 31st, 2007 at 8:21 pm by David Farrar

I didn’t see Campbell Live on Monday. I didn’t even know who was on it. But then later that night I started getting calls from friends as far away as Queenstown. And they were all asking me if I saw John Key on Campbell Live, and raving about how well he came over. And these were my non political friends!

Finally when my parents also started going on about it, I figured I’d better try and see it. And thankfully TV3 does have it online, in three parts. So if you have a spare 25 minutes, go have a look.

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51 Responses to “Key on Campbell Live”

  1. phil u () says:

    the ‘money-quote’ in this one is..

    campbell to key..

    “..aren’t you just labour plus tax cuts?..”

    then watch key blush/squirm..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  2. simon g () says:

    Yes, he is very good on TV.

    If people look less and listen more, they’ll notice he’s agreeing to keep many of Labour’s policies, and fix problems by “pouring money” into them (his words).

    He is succesfully persuading New Zealanders to change their leader: out with the tired and old, in with the new, young, and fresh. And that’s it. That’s as deep as it goes.

    He isn’t making any attempt to persuade people to change the country’s direction. He believes in winning votes, not in winning the argument. Probably because to argue for something you have to believe in it, and he doesn’t really seem to believe very much at all.

    This strategic emptiness may well be enough to win the election. But it’s a surefire way to lose the next one.

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  3. mo more () says:

    …you wish, phil…(!)…

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  4. tim barclay () says:

    He is very accomplished. There has been some training for sure. The over excited school boy is going going gone. There is still that little nervous smile but that is being worked on. By next year he will be unstoppable.

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  5. James () says:

    Phils right unfortunately….and when Key did his spineless worm impression when he said he believed in a minimum wage…..goodbye National….and any chance of Liberty and economic sense.

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  6. simon g () says:

    “By next year he will be unstoppable.”

    And going where?

    Plenty of petrol, no map.

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  7. PaulL () says:

    I thought he did a good job of staying away from the pitfalls, and still expressing what National stand for. More private sector involvement/less public monopoly. Tax cuts. Those messages were very clear.

    On the things he agreed to keep:
    – minimum wage. What, any National politician has ever suggested removing it?
    – nuclear free. To what benefit would we change that? He didn’t mention power v’s weapons however.
    – troops to Iraq. Who would send troops now?
    – sell Kiwibank. That one hurt a bit more – I would sell it. But not that big a deal – he didn’t rule out selling any SOE’s – why get fussed over Kiwibank v’s the power companies? You could make them more commercial without stampeding the horses
    – interest free loans. He didn’t make a statement either way
    – Kiwisaver he avoided – I suspect the ultimate policy will lower paperwork for business, provide a better subsidy for the poor to get into it, and perhaps find some way of mitigating the employer subsidy (maybe a tax cut?)
    – climate change. Do it to yourself, or have someone else do it to you. At least when you do it to yourself you have some control over how it is done

    Bottom line, I would rather elect John Key moving to the middle than Helen Clark moving to the middle. The detail of their policy will always be different. It isn’t like it is possible to elect Rodney Hide prime minister in NZ at the moment. Comparing John Key against some fictitious ideal is a waste of time, you have to choose between the options that are viable.

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  8. dad4justice () says:

    Mr Key came across well and he did not make the wimpish geek Campbell cry like the big bad witch Smellongrad did. However, he did not ask him the most important question being, are the National Party going to stick up for the role of the father against a regime of feminazi scum? Funny how Judy Turner is the only MP to publically support men in this country. I suggest you get a backbone Mr Key and tell your eunuchs to forget the pendulum theory ( and stop kissing beasts) , as it isn’t going to swing back because radical feminists have smashed the clock. Are National going to treat mothers and fathers the same ? Can we expect male suicide rates to climb as a result of the present callous status quo ? Would a real man – please stand up , please stand up , please stand up…..

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  9. toby1845 () says:

    I thought he dealt with Campbell’s sneering line of questioning quite well.

    As to Kiwibank, there is a very simple solution for National: don’t sell it, but require it to meet its own costs. Then it would be forced to compete with those big, bad foreign banks on a level playing field.

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  10. Grant (a new one) () says:

    I thought he came across bloody well, and like you DPF, I’ve heard plenty of positive comments regarding both style and content.

    I think that NZers are tired of the edgy style of the Labour leadership: the arrogance and smarminess of Cullen, and the grim and ghoulish countenance of Clark. To many people that I spoke to, Key came across as a middle of the road straight shooter,without the hectoring and agressive style that Clark currently uses, and I believe this is the type of person that people prefer to have as PM.
    I don’t know what you’re on about Phil, I didn’t see any blushing or squirming going on, but then again, some people will only see what they want to see.
    Also, an aside to John Campbell: Lose the theatrics mate. Go back and have a look at some of your old interviews from say five years ago. They were bloody good. The current campy persona ill becomes you.

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  11. MrTips () says:

    I thought he smelt like a bottle of 1997 Tony Blair…

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  12. Berend de Boer () says:

    John Campbell savaged him. Key wasn’t able to come up with ONE policy difference. Yes, substantial personal tax cuts. By changing working for families so people are the same (and maybe, maybe) better off.

    The Nation is tired of Clark, that’s why Key will win. But other than the face, no one will notice a difference in the policies.

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  13. Lance () says:

    Politics… the art of the possible.

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  14. iiq374 () says:

    Have to agree with the sale of KiwiBank; only because it is now a bit harder to say just shut it down.

    http://iiq374.blogspot.com/2007/06/kiwibank-real-one.html

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  15. PaulL () says:

    “John Campbell savaged him.” Sorry Berend, but I can’t recall John Campbell ever savaging anyone, he’s more a Jack Russell than a pit bull.

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  16. pedro () says:

    iiq374, you’re full of shit mate. You can’t just make all those claims about kiwibank and not back them up. TSB is a fantastic bank, but it doesn’t have the national presence to provide an alternative to the australian banks; now thanks to Kiwibank there is an alternative.

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  17. Clueless () says:

    I thought the whole show was a load of bull. He was given the opportunity to sit with John Campbell and have nice soft questions asked of him for 30 minutes. I’m sure Helen Clark would never have been afforded the same opportunity.

    And everything John Key said was wishy washy “that’s for the caucus to decide” when he was asked for any policy or substance. All of the things he said were so general that no one would disagree.

    I just hope the media pick up on the fact that there aren’t any policies before the next election.

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  18. Horace () says:

    In the first part of that footage Key suggests a National/Greens coalition or similar is possible. He gives this as an example of his pragmatism. I think he likes the idea of Carbon Credit Trading as it’s similar to what he did for twenty years pre-parliament, not because it he has any strong environmental values. As long as Key is in power NZ could make some good money out of Carbon Trading. But under anyone with less experience, it could turn into a disaster. I’m not sure how a party who wants to reform the RMA can work in with the environmental ideals of the Greens.

    In part two he is genuinely excited about helping children and helping people who were like him, as a child. His emotion and genuine intent turns on when he talks about the real life examples, but turns off when talking about the policy. But at least we can see that the intent behind the education policy is sound and that he is committed to the family structure. His attitude on the smacking bill has changed: He is not afraid to say he smacked/smacks. There is no trace of the PC liberal guilt, no apologetic flinching, and he is clear he will change the law if necessary.

    He says he doesn’t mind going against public opinion when necessary, and calls it “leadership”. This is dangerous ground and the one area he cannot be trusted. He turns his pragmatism on and off with no apparent pattern. He says he doesn’t like interest free loans for students, then says he must listen to the people on that one. So when is he compelled to listen and when can he do as he pleases? This is the same kind of stunt Labour likes to pull.

    In this interview, he appears to be an average man emotionally and an above average man intellectually. He cannot turn metaphor into charisma and relies on low level symbols to stand at their face value alone – urging people to see that which they possibly can’t. This will turn away people of greater emotional and life experience and those who do not understand the approach – perhaps citing him as “young and naive” or even “inexperienced”. It will draw in average liberals and teen/early twenties voters though. I cannot see how the whole rambling affair was a written speech or a setup, so I conclude that what you’re occasionally seeing is real pieces of John Key, not a cynical attempt at targetting a demographic. While John Key’s level of emotional experience may be average, it is still at a point where he may make serious errors under it’s influence once he mixes it with his style of “pragmatism”.

    On the other hand, he can attack well, and the post budget reply is an example of this. But attack is not especially exceptional for people at his level of politics or a good singular tool for exceptional leadership. He has not demonstrated the skills of a visionary leader. He is not the kind of charismatic leader that can inspire people into a sense of common cause and lead them somewhere new. He comes across well because there is only the coldness and emotional vacuum of Helen to compare to. He doesn’t so much win against her, it’s more a case of not being able to lose. His lack of charisma means he will only ride the people momentarily, then resort to force of legisaltion when he wants to do something else. Warmth, is not charisma.

    Finally, Key says he is not Labour lite, but defines his party more or less as Labour without the overbearing State or the social engineering. This could always change under a greens coalition or Key’s “pragmatism”. He suggests it isn’t National occupying Labour territory, it’s Labour occupying National territory. Which turns into the same thing for the voters.

    There is no big policy talk in this interview, but it is still too early for that. If he did it now, Labour would steal it as fast as they could.

    My overall impression of this interview, if the attitude of Campbell live is anything to go by, is that urban liberals are making the turn toward John Key’s National Party and are looking for assurances that they’re making the right decision. I think they are, but only because they are getting more or less what they already have in a different coloured wrapper and not because it will be ultimately better for NZ. I think they’ll make the full turn, and rationalise away all their misgivings and compromises on values – in the liberal style. The question is whether a Liberal Blue party will stay coherent for more than a single election win.

    Keep an eye on Key’s “pragmatism”. You would think he wouldn’t use it to scare people before the election after doing so well in the polls and in interviews, but I don’t believe he has it fully under control – and he likes risk.

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  19. iiq374 () says:

    pedro – before Anderton decided to waste millions of our dollars guess which bank already did *everything* that KiwiBank was promised to do.

    Already offered banking through every Postshop
    Already was (and still is) 100% kiwi owned

    Except it was (and is) profitable.

    What it didn’t have was the massive marketing budget nor the subsidisation of claiming existing post shop revenues as its own.

    But if it wasn’t for Anderton and Clarks need for it to be 100% state owned then guess how the profile of a Kiwibank could have been done one hell of a lot cheaper.

    Also which statements did I make that weren’t qualified?

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  20. iiq374 () says:

    pedro – before Anderton decided to waste millions of our dollars guess which bank already did *everything* that KiwiBank was promised to do.

    Already offered banking through every Postshop
    Already was (and still is) 100% kiwi owned

    Except it was (and is) profitable.

    What it didn’t have was the massive marketing budget nor the subsidisation of claiming existing post shop revenues as its own.

    But if it wasn’t for Anderton and Clarks need for it to be 100% state owned then guess how the profile of a Kiwibank could have been done one hell of a lot cheaper.

    Also which statements did I make that weren’t qualified?

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  21. PaulL () says:

    I hope the right manage to swing in behind Key before the election. If we are going into the election with people on the right constantly critiquing, as well as those on the left, we have no hope. The opposition are over there….

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  22. iiq374 () says:

    Oh and lets look at TSB’s fee structure:
    Premier, Personal Cheque & savings account transaction fees:

    Activity fee: Free
    ATM fee: Free
    EFTPOS fee: Free
    Monthly base fee: Free
    Manual/teller transaction fee: Free
    Account administration fee: Free
    Fastbank fee: Free

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  23. simon g () says:

    Key-watch update:

    “The Green Party is being wooed by the National Party with the prospect of a cabinet seat after next year’s election.

    National leader, John Key, says it is possible the Greens could be offered the position of Environment Minister under a National-led government.”

    (Source: NBR, Radio NZ)

    So that’s the ACT party, the Maori party, the Green party, United Future … come in Winston, you’re next! What a happy Cabinet.

    In other news, National have released their 2008 campaign slogan:

    ‘His name’s John Key, and he’s whatever you want him to be!’

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  24. iiq374 () says:

    Versus:
    http://www.kiwibank.co.nz/rates/transaction_fees.stm

    Sorry too complicated for me to bother turning into a readable format.
    But wasn’t Kiwibank supposed to give us fee free?

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  25. iiq374 () says:

    Versus:
    http://www.kiwibank.co.nz/rates/transaction_fees.stm

    Sorry too complicated for me to bother turning into a readable format.
    But wasn’t Kiwibank supposed to give us fee free?

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  26. iiq374 () says:

    But I suppose that is always the danger of letting an administration that has already bankrupted a bank twice start another one with other peoples money…

    And they have shown such accuracy in other cost preditions around 20Free and Student Loans too, so who would have thought?

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  27. Redbaiter () says:

    “The opposition are over there….”

    Well that’s the problem isn’t it. Who knows whether they are in fact “over there”. It seems that many think the “opposition” is just as well represented within National.

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  28. Ruth () says:

    Paul said:”I hope the right manage to swing in behind Key before the election. If we are going into the election with people on the right constantly critiquing, as well as those on the left, we have no hope.”

    They have swung in – look at ACT’s polling as an example. The carping is mainly from anons in the blogosphere and talk radio. “Ordinary” NZ is far less polarised.

    You made a good comment about Key not being an imaginary ideal earlier. Exactly – we have to deal with reality, not comic book fantasies, as those on the right are constantly telling everyone. Some of them need to take their own advice.

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  29. pedro () says:

    “But wasn’t Kiwibank supposed to give us fee free?” jesus it would a be a stupid socialist freebee if it didn’t charge fees. Its fees are reasonable, and the service it provides is good. I am aware that you can bank in postshops with TSB, being both a kiwibank and tsb customer. However if you read that story about TSB you will see why they can’t just suddenly expand into a national presence: they can only lend against deposits, and so while very healthy organic growth is possible, they are not able to aggressively expand and market their products. To be a credible alternative to aussie banks a bank needs to be able to quickly respond to economic trends. TSB is not capable to do this because it is focused (and required to focus by those who control it) on maintaining great service for a small customer base, rather than engaging in widescale expansion. Yes, I think you need to provide evidence that kiwibank is a dead duck, constantly being propped up by government capital injections, enjoying no commercial success.

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  30. Bubbsie () says:

    Cull KLARK by XMAS, I like it !! and KULLEN too.. bring it on

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  31. iiq374 () says:

    pedro – the quick rebut; so how much extra organic growth would a $500 million capital injection versus a capital adequecy ratio of 0.16 have bought?

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  32. iiq374 () says:

    Sorry – misplaced 0, $50 million

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  33. iiq374 () says:

    I’d also refer you to:
    http://www.nzpost.co.nz/NZPost/Images/NZPost/PDF/FinancialStatement.pdf

    particularly:
    The Parent increased its investment in Kiwibank with the injection of $35m additional equity (30 June 2005 – $15m).
    Kiwibank received deposits from the New Zealand Post Pension Plan during the year. As at 30 June 2006, the New Zealand Post Pension Plan was
    holding $17.3m on deposit with Kiwibank (30 June 2005 – $14.4m).

    Payment services fee revenue and expenditure are accounted for under a management agreement whereby Kiwibank manages the payment services
    activity of the Parent. Payment services activity consists of collection business, eBill electronic bill presentation and payment business. Payment services
    expenditure includes personnel, property, IT support, marketing and other adminstrative expenses.

    Now I’m sorry with the latter I will have to wait until I get home to dig the interview with Kiwibanks CEO out of inFINSIA but I believe the correct percentage was that the latter currently makes up 80% of Kiwibanks revenue. Now given that these payment services existed before Kiwibank these reflect a capital injection into that project.
    Equal to 80% of its revenue – every year.

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  34. iiq374 () says:

    jesus it would a be a stupid socialist freebee if it didn’t charge fees.
    And yet that was the promise made, and not kept.
    Despite other banks proving it actually is feasible.

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  35. iiq374 () says:

    (Although I won’t entirely disagree; just that it was a promise reneged despite the specific alternative continuing to offer it)

    And by lending only against deposits they are (oddly) the one bank that is following the Reserve Bank advice – you would instead prefer your banks to all be able to “quickly respond to economic trends” and, say, over-extend the local credit environment so that asset bubbles can eventuate?

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  36. James () says:

    And the State need to be involved in banking why….?

    Even if Kiwibank was a raging success it should still be sold because its not the States job to be running banks.To do so requires that the State steal money from people to fund it…..exactly the sort of activity that the State was created to prevent…Until people wake up and realise that this is wrong and damaging to us regardless of any precived benefit that a few get at the expense of the many this country will continue sliding downward…

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  37. pedro () says:

    James you may have an ideological objection to the state owning a bank, but whats far more of a breach of fundamental econmonic sense was the legislative envorionment which didn’t puit ownership caps on our banks, thus allowing them to be sold overseas. Besides there is no sound econmic principle behind your objection, just paranoid distrust of anything which has a whiff of government.
    Where was it promised that kwibank would be absolutely fee free? It may be an absurd detail in some random press release but it was never the staple facet of kiwibank’s key objective, which was to offer a highly rated and financially rewarding alternative to australian banks.

    jig, until you verify those figures I won’t comment, but they don’t sound right. Naturally capital expenditure is required for growth, and with a strategy totally different to TSB its not particularly productive to compare them on every statistic.

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  38. simon g () says:

    Current National leader, in the Herald today:

    “If it becomes an environmental debate then I think it’s very possible actually National and the Greens could work out some sort of relationship.”


    He claimed Labour’s record on the environment had been poor and National could easily agree to everything the Greens currently had in their agreement with Labour. (emphasis added)

    Meanwhile, Don Brash has a new job, campaigning for the opposite side of the debate, aiming “to truly make a difference to Resource Management in New Zealand. There is much to do.” And he doesn’t mean protecting snails.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0705/S00558.htm

    So where do you folks think National should stand on the Resource Management Act, and environmental protection? With Jeanette or Don?

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  39. iiq374 () says:

    pedro – that’s a pretty impressive effort to get 2 out of 3 letters in the pseudonym wrong; most lefties stop at one ;-)

    with a strategy totally different to TSB its not particularly productive to compare them on every statistic
    Not with a different strategy; how you finance your strategy is different to the strategy itself. It is a component of how effective you are at implementing your strategy so the comparitive still holds.
    It especially still holds when Kiwibank comes up short on all the measures – kind of makes it hard that it’s a trade off…

    I’ve tracked down which one I need to look in – but unfortunatly will need to wait until I can find the hardcopy:
    http://www.finsia.edu.au/cms/data/live/files/23642.pdf

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  40. Horace () says:

    “So where do you folks think National should stand on the Resource Management Act, and environmental protection? With Jeanette or Don?”

    I would back the policy as it stands.

    One would assume that National would stand behind their policy,

    http://bluegreens.org.nz/2005Campaign/RMA2005.pdf

    Don Brash sounds to be holding true to that one, so I wonder what Key is talking about.

    Does it mean the policy is now defunct? It certainly looks that way. The contradiction is large. Or does it mean the old rifts in National are still there, between the conservatives and rightwingers and the bluegreens? Will John Key be the leader of National for long under those conditions? Will he even win the election despite his positive public image, or will people get sick of it after a few months and still vote labour/greens?

    No one can make a rational decision to support John Key’s National until new policy is released that coincides with the words of their leader.

    My guess is they will totally become Labour Lite to win the election.

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  41. Horace () says:

    Should read:

    I would back the National policy as it stands.

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  42. NX () says:

    simon g said: and he doesn’t really seem to believe very much at all.

    John stated he wanted to be a politician since ten years of age & he had lively debates with his mother on political issues. So that doesn’t sound like someone who ‘doesn’t believe in very much’.

    But Simon probably sees “strategic emptiness” after years of the ideologically stubborn Klark. Buried under her years of pragmatic leadership lies a feminist, flag-burning, change the anthem, ditch the monarchy, anti-American, anti-christian, authoriarian nut bar.

    John isn’t driven by silly issues like changing the parliamentary pray, but by making the economy more competitive – which is how it should be.

    Initially I wasn’t a John backer preferring for National to keep Dr Brash. But after his brilliant performance on Campbell Live he’s won me over!

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  43. pedro () says:

    “pedro – that’s a pretty impressive effort to get 2 out of 3 letters in the pseudonym wrong; most lefties stop at one” jesus mate thats a bit precious, you obviously didn’t design it for instant recognition and with the underline and all. Sincere apoligies, but don’t see it having much to do with my being “lefty”.

    The 80% (which I question) may seem like a lot, but you have to consider the nature of the bill payment business. When we pay our genesis bill at NZ post its hundreds of dollars, but the actual percentage of that which is a profit is miniscule. Also, has the bill payment service expanded under kiwibank management.

    Despite all the technical talk, you have yet to prove that kiwibank is absorbing taxpayer money without producing anything.

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  44. iiq374 () says:

    Sincere apoligies, but don’t see it having much to do with my being “lefty”.
    I wouldn’t normally have thought so either – but if you troll back through David’s archives you’ll notice an odd trend that most of the identifiable right get it correct, most of the identifiable left get it wrong. Don’t know why, don’t really care – agree with it being difficult, and would take more to offend me anyway :D But it is a curious correlation.

    When we pay our genesis bill at NZ post its hundreds of dollars, but the actual percentage of that which is a profit is miniscule.
    Yes – and wouldn’t all be shown as revenue either unless the accounting is *really* dodgy… Because only the fee would be shown as revenue, not profit until the deduction of costs ;-).

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  45. iiq374 () says:

    And you still also seem to miss the other point that even if Kiwibank was performing wonderfully, there was always a far cheaper more efficient way of achieving the same result.

    But that the ideological blinkers of private = bad, state = good somehow prevented that route being taken.

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  46. pedro () says:

    “the ideological blinkers ” no no I don’t have any problem with private business, i just don’t have any opposition to government owned business, equally. Why is this always assumed? THe main problem is the fact that these private businesses are also overseas businesses, contributing hugely to the current account deficit without actually providing something for NZers that they couldn’t provide for themselves. Unfortunately the only force capable of taking on the australian banking monopoly in NZ is the government.

    “And you still also seem to miss the other point that even if Kiwibank was performing wonderfully, there was always a far cheaper more efficient way of achieving the same result.” What is this magical method? Private ownership? How is this necessarily better, unexceptionably superior? Could this in fact be a case of the ideological blinkers?

    “Because only the fee would be shown as revenue, not profit until the deduction of costs ;-).” Thats what I thought, but I wondered how the figure 80% could eventuate: still wanting those hard facts :)

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  47. toby1845 () says:

    pedro: “Yes, I think you need to provide evidence that kiwibank is a dead duck, constantly being propped up by government capital injections, enjoying no commercial success.”

    How about putting up the cost of postage from 40 cents, to 45 cents, to 50 cents, to offset the wages of the Post Shop staff who handle Kiwibank transactions, and other Post Shop/Kiwibank costs?

    How about requiring Kiwibank to pay market rates for the premises and services that it uses?

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  48. Fred () says:

    Key is that rarest of beasts…..a garden variety socialist with good teeth.

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