United Future and asset sales

March 14th, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Some on the left have been pushing a message that did not say they will back before the election, so hence there is no electoral mandate for them. This is, to be frank, absolute crap. I doubt a single voter in Ohariu voted for thinking he might stop National’s . If Ohariu voters wanted to stop , they could have voted for Charles Chauvel. Instead Chauvel lost for the third election in a row.

In this video, Peter Dunne explicitly refers to asset sales and say they are on National’s path but UF will make sure three key assets are never sold – Kiwibank, Radio NZ and “our water”. The reference to our water is to water supply, as made clear on their website here.

UnitedFuture does not intend to wait until it is on the asset sales agenda. New Zealanders would never – or should never – accept a sell-off of the supply of the water, or any of the aspects around it.

A few people have tried to say that as power companies own dams, and dams use water, then somehow the reference to water is actually saying they are against the power companies being sold. Well that is like saying you’re against Coke being sold, as that also uses water.

Further their website stated:

 with regard to Asset Sales, UnitedFuture will insist that:

- The New Zealand Government retains majority control (51%)

- Shareholding by private investors be capped at 15%

- New Zealand household investors are given preferential purchase right at time of issue.

This is clear that they will support National’s proposed (part) sales so long as they remain majority owned, a 15% cap and preferential treatment for NZ investors.

Further Peter Dunne attended a dozen or more public meetings in Ohariu, and he was asked about asset sales at basically every meeting. His response was the same at each meeting – they will support the five partial sales proposed so long as 51% Govt owned, 15% cap and preference for NZ investors, and they will not support RNZ, Kiwibank or water supply companies being sold.

No one thought a vote for Peter Dunne was a vote to stop National’s asset sales. I doubt 57% of National party voters would have voted for Peter if they thought that voting for him would be voting against a core National party promise.

It is a lie invented by the left to try and get around the inconvenient fact they actually lost the election. Peter Dunne’s position before the election on asset sales is exactly the same as it is now.

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27 Responses to “United Future and asset sales”

  1. dime (9,472 comments) says:

    the only thing dunne stands for is whoever can keep him on as a minister

    peter “my income never changes” dunne

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  2. Graeme Edgeler (3,269 comments) says:

    It is a lie invented by the left to try and get around the inconvenient fact they actually lost the election. Peter Dunne’s position before the election on asset sales is exactly the same as it is now.

    More people voted for parties opposed to asset sales than parties supporting asset sales.

    [DPF: If people waste their votes on parties that do not make the threshold, that is their fault]

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  3. Manolo (13,399 comments) says:

    The political prostitute Dunne will always go with whoever offers a higher reward (ministerial salary, perks, etc).
    The discussion topic doesn’t matter. The how much does.

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  4. redqueen (457 comments) says:

    This entire issue has been used by the left as a way of complaining before the election and then after it. Of all the boring issues, this is what they’ve trumpeted to high heavens and what they think will make a serious difference. Fixing welfare problems, providing for proper regulation of financial services, dealing with economic problems? NO! It’s all about whether the National government partially sells down assets which Labour has been using to milk ordinary Kiwis for years…they are just annoyed because they’ll lose a method for stealth tax they’ve got away scot-free with in the past :)

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  5. dime (9,472 comments) says:

    “More people voted for parties opposed to asset sales than parties supporting asset sales”

    lol we won, you lost, eat that.

    How many people voted for the privy council to be abolished? etc etc etc

    People arent stupid. They knew who was going to go into coalition – everyone but labour, greens and NZF. typical arrogance from the left to suggest otherwise.

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  6. toad (3,670 comments) says:

    with regard to Asset Sales, UnitedFuture will insist that: …
    - New Zealand household investors are given preferential purchase right at time of issue.

    Um, where’s that in the Mixed Ownership Model Bill? I can’t see it there. So unless Dunne can achieve it, he should vote against the Bill on the basis of what he promised.

    [DPF: Don't just repeat stupid party talking points. You only write into the law the things that need a law change. The Govt's policy can be implemented without a law change, and will be.]

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  7. Pete George (22,867 comments) says:

    More people voted for parties opposed to asset sales than parties supporting asset sales.

    Yes, Conservatives tipped that but didn’t get any seats.

    Two parties campaigned strongly on it, National for and Labour particularly against – they bet the election on the issue. We know who won that contest.

    But we don’t know if the vote was anything like based on asset sales being not preferred but considered more acceptable than Labour.

    The political prostitute Dunne will always go with whoever offers a higher reward (ministerial salary, perks, etc).

    That’s not true, he hasn’t always gone with anyone. And in the last election he clearly indicated he would go with National and not with Labour, which ruled out any “higher reward” if Labour and associates had got just a few more votes. So your accusation is bollocks.

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  8. Nick R (497 comments) says:

    Sounds like someone is getting nervous that Dunne will do a U-turn here…

    [DPF: Jesus Christ, why can't people debate issues without trying to psych-analyse motives here. It is a coward's way of avoiding a debate on the issues.

    For the record I do not have one iota of doubt that Peter will be good to his word]

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  9. Pete George (22,867 comments) says:

    Dunne did a video yesterday on “on legislative and policy decision-making.

    Discussing the nature of being a one-man parliamentary caucus from a vibrant and engaged Party. The challenge of being incorrectly labelled an “Independent MP’ and how policy is formulated and displayed by UnitedFuture.

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  10. Pete George (22,867 comments) says:

    Sounds like someone is getting nervous that Dunne will do a U-turn here…

    I doubt it, it’s just countering the convolutions of the opposition, who try to rubbish Dunne for doing a U-turn since the election (he hasn’t) and in the next breath try to pressure him into doing a U-turn.

    Apart from the usual niggly knockers Dunne has a reputation for being straight and reliable.

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  11. mikenmild (10,766 comments) says:

    Why should there be preferential purchase rights for NZ investors? Isn’t that a subsidy to some NZers at the expense of all taxpayers? Surely the objective should be to attain the maximum price from the sales – that is why the companies are being sold isn’t it, to maximise returns?
    BTW, I laughed out load at “one-man parliamentary caucus”!

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  12. dime (9,472 comments) says:

    “That’s not true, he hasn’t always gone with anyone. And in the last election he clearly indicated he would go with National and not with Labour”

    Very brave of him! National were only polling at 50%.

    When was Dunne last in opposition?

    When did his income last go down?

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  13. Pete George (22,867 comments) says:

    Very brave of him! National were only polling at 50%.

    And barely scraped in – possibly thanks to Dunne.

    It’s quite a job selection process with much more negative attention (and lack of attention) than most. And he had a lot more pressure than just about everyone else – his seat, his career and his party all on the line, and he fronted up and said he couldn’t back Labour’s policies.

    If you consider the alternative, if he’d said he’d just go with the best offer and ended up being the 61st vote for a cobbled together Labour led coalition, some of his critics here would be throwing the same old crap but with a lot more venom.

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  14. meh (165 comments) says:

    I voted for PD, and part of that vote was based on the fact he would support asset sales with the attached conditions. It’s just charles trying to stir up ****, he needs to face facts the voters of ohariu-belmont do not want him representing us.

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  15. dime (9,472 comments) says:

    PG – National was a safe bet.

    His party was on the line? no offence but his party is like you and 7 other dudes.

    Also – its not like the guy is so honorable he wouldnt change his mind if labour had won.

    “i have thought long and hard about this. its been an agonising decision but i think im better in government than out. i will offer confidence and supply and in exchange i will be the revenue minister. the union party do see some things differently to labour but im sure we can work together in the interest of this great county. also, my income will stay the same. a sweet 200k a year”

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  16. Pete George (22,867 comments) says:

    Also – its not like the guy is so honorable he wouldnt change his mind if labour had won.

    I don’t believe he would have done ‘changed his mind’ and it was a party position anyway, not just his. And I (and a lot of other people including politicians across the house) regard him as one of the more honourable politicans.

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  17. dime (9,472 comments) says:

    “regard him as one of the more honourable politicans.”

    isnt that like being the least smelling turd?

    sorry pete, i like ya but youll never convince me on Dunne. Hes all about maintaining that 200k

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  18. minto57 (197 comments) says:

    Well if he maintains his position he will be remembered for it.

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  19. KevinH (1,132 comments) says:

    Election results for Ohariu 2011:

    http://electionresults.org.nz/electionresults_2011/electorate-35.html

    National polled a resounding 18,764 party votes, substantially more than anyone else, therefore the conclusion is the electorate supports National’s asset sale programme.
    I haven’t added the balance of votes for all the others because it is irrelevant.

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  20. Pete George (22,867 comments) says:

    Paul Matthews @nzcspaul
    Chief Executive of NZCS, the New Zealand Computer Society (the professional body of the IT sector). Personal opinion only.

    Meeting with Hon Peter Dunne (Revenue Minister) was good. Very reasonable man who seems to “get” what our sector’s trying to do

    @Gazza_R Yup. He understands that the software taxation thing would act as a handbrake on innovation and is committed to seeing it through

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  21. GConnell (20 comments) says:

    Preferential rights for NZ investors still appears unenforceable. Key has been questioned on this extensively in parliament, and he’s avoided giving a clear answer each time. It would appear that this is because there is no answer to the question. Free trade agreements prohibit the government from offering preferential sales to NZlders. “We’ve said we’ll do it, so we’ll do it” Is far from good enough a position to that question. As for mandate, legally, sure, National can sell shares in the SOEs as outlined (ignoring the preferential sale issue), but how this sits with the electorate is a completely different issue. I would argue that National knows fully that they are about to enact a very unpopular set of privatisation polices, and that they are more than aware that the majority of the public oppose them. They are going ahead with it because it fits their current ideological model, and because they can now argue a mandate, after their election victory. It’s as clear as day however, that NZ voted for a smiley faced John, not Asset Sales.

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  22. mikenmild (10,766 comments) says:

    I didn’t realise that preferential sale to NZers was possibly illegal; I just thought it was stupid.

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  23. Pete George (22,867 comments) says:

    I would argue that National knows fully that they are about to enact a very unpopular set of privatisation polices,

    How are you sure about that? Sure, polls show a majority prefer no asset sales, but they didn’t feel strongly enough against them to vote less for National – their vote increased.

    The numbers, and I suspect the depth of feeling, are quite a bit softer than against the anti-smacking legislation.

    In two and a half years when a few assets have been part sold and the sky hasn’t fallen in the number who would switch their vote on it may not be many. Especially if Labour have wasted another rebuild term.

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  24. Joel Rowan (99 comments) says:

    It’s an interesting assertion that most New Zealanders are opposed to asset sales. I am also opposed to asset sales. But I am less opposed to asset sales than to more taxes, for example.

    As an aside, this is why citizens initiated referenda cannot be binding (especially not on matters to do with the budget) because the government’s options become too constrained, or they are forced into a position which leads only to detriment for the economy (such as huge taxes on companies and high-earners).

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  25. mikenmild (10,766 comments) says:

    I’m sure Peter Dunne is sincere in his support for asset sales. I am equally sure he would sincerely in favour of for buying them back if that was what a Labour-led government wanted after 2014.

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  26. wiseowl (766 comments) says:

    Dunne is in to whatever is best for him.The people of Ohurrywho let us all down every time they tick his box.

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  27. freddos (54 comments) says:

    Dime is such a joke. He never makes any legitimate points on Dunne – just goes on about appearances and how he doesn’t understand how centrist politics works. Oh and the salary jabs – that’s a unionist’s last resort and always looks so pathetic and petty.

    I bet Dime couldn’t give one example of Dunne flip-flopping. In fact, that’s a challenge. Find us evidence of Dunne explicity saying one thing and then changing his policy completely to ‘maintain that 200k’.

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