According to Labour the 2011 election was a referendum on asset sales

March 13th, 2013 at 9:53 am by David Farrar

said in January 2011:

Election Will Be A On – Goff

Mr Goff said Prime Minister John Key had made this year’s election a referendum on whether New Zealanders wanted to see their most important strategic assets sold.

Labour and the Greens are using taxpayer funds to try and relitigate the election result. As the Labour Party Leader said, the 2011 was to be a referendum on asset sales. It was the most debated policy of the campaign with 11 months of campaigning about.

I do look forward to seeing media asking David Shearer if he agrees with his predecessor that the 2011 election was a referendum on asset sales.

Well done Inventory2 for finding this gem at Keeping Stock.

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41 Responses to “According to Labour the 2011 election was a referendum on asset sales”

  1. Brad (75 comments) says:

    It was actually Lew who found it

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  2. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    A referendum on asset sales is perfectly legitimate. If you don’t like the outcome, may I suggest you propose a law change.

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/AboutParl/GetInvolved/Referendum/Summary/2/c/f/00CLOOC_ReferendumProposals_1-Citizens-initiated-referenda.htm

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  3. David Farrar (1,900 comments) says:

    Oh well done Lew then.

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  4. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Labour and the Greens are using taxpayer funds…

    National is using taxpayer funds to promote asset sales. Why no mention of that?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/8317558/Key-defends-100m-asset-selldown-cost

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  5. RightNow (6,995 comments) says:

    I’m really looking forward to the referendum.
    There’s a formula I learned after the anti-smacking referendum that will explain the results.

    1) subtract the number who vote against asset sales from the number of possible voters
    2) the remainder is the number of people supporting asset sales

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  6. tvb (4,491 comments) says:

    In the final week of the campaign the Labour Party spoke of little else. They lost badly but they continue. The Government is fully entitled to continue. So far the Labour Party has gained little traction on this issue.

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  7. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    A referendum on asset sales is perfectly legitimate. If you don’t like the outcome, may I suggest you propose a law change.

    Yes, but are two? After all, as pointed out, Goff declared the general election in 2011 to be a referendum on the asset sales. So really the Opposition are trying to hold a referendum on a referendum outcome.

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  8. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    So far the Labour Party has gained little traction on this issue.

    Labour – focusing on the things that are really important since 2008

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  9. Paulus (2,656 comments) says:

    Winston says he will re-nationalise each partial asset sale company.
    Silly Arse.
    Shearer will neither confirm or deny similar, unless he needs Winston in his Cabinet.

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  10. Keeping Stock (10,404 comments) says:

    At least that removes Winston and NZ First from any post-election wrangling with National. If Winston’s bottom line is re-nationalisation of MRP et al, we have no need to fear John Key ever having a change of heart with regard to Peters.

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  11. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    @ross69:

    National is using taxpayer funds to promote asset sales. Why no mention of that?

    Perhaps because it’s not newsworthy that the Government uses taxpayer funds to implement Government policy.

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  12. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Perhaps because it’s not newsworthy that the Government uses taxpayer funds to implement Government policy.

    I said “promote”, not implement. Obviously the distinction was too fine for you. :)

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  13. Warren Murray (312 comments) says:

    I agree that National won a clear mandate. I also agree with Ross69 that National IS using public funds to promote its policy – so what? Parties on each side of the argument are using their limited public funding to promote their position and if they didnt spend it on this issue, it would be spent on something else, so there isnt an addtional cost being borne by the taxpayer – till now. The sticking point, and it might seem like splitting hairs to some, is that the cost of running the referendum isnt being funded from Labour and Greens’ Parliamentary funds, so they are putting the country to considerable expense. AND they will skirt the spending limits in the CIR Act while they promote their policy in the period up to the holding of the referendum.

    Watching Bill English ysterday, he could barely contain his glee in pointing out that in a few days the number of registrations of interest amost matches the number of signatures that has taken months to collect. If his smile was any wider, I feared the top of his head would topple off.

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  14. Keeping Stock (10,404 comments) says:

    bhudson said

    After all, as pointed out, Goff declared the general election in 2011 to be a referendum on the asset sales. So really the Opposition are trying to hold a referendum on a referendum outcome.

    Quite so bhudson. Remember all those asset sales protests in 2011, the fake stop signs etc. There were more anti-asset sales billboards erected by Labour in 2011 than there were billboards with Phil Goff’s beaming visage.

    But as usual, the Left refuses to accept the referee’s decision. Even left-leaning commentators such as Duncan Garner acknowledge that John Key had a mandate for the Mixed Ownership Model to proceed from the day he advised Sir Jerry Mateparae that he had the numbers to form a government. It’s called democracy, except when the Left doesn’t like the democratic outcome.

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  15. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    After all, as pointed out, Goff declared the general election in 2011 to be a referendum on the asset sales.

    And, as you know, about a third of voters opted for National. Hardly a ringing endorsement of their policies. But if you’re right, the referendum on asset sales should be a resounding yes in favour, right?

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  16. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    It’s called democracy

    CIR are an integral part of democracry. So what’s the problem?

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  17. TMC (75 comments) says:

    Apologies if this isn’t the main thread but it is somewhat related – Winston was also saying Kiwisaver is an option to buy back the shares in power companies. This is not the first time he has said that. Can someone explain if and how that is even possible? Isn’t Kiwisaver essentially a private retirement savings account? Yes, there are government contributions but did I not read some fine print? Can the government go in and raid/nationalise my retirement savings from the bank or whomever is managing it? It’s not the same as the superannuation fund.

    And what if my Kiwisaver investments include shares in the the assets? Will I be buying them from myself?

    Bottomline – his threat to use Kiwisaver makes me want to immediately cease contributions. I can’t believe it’s possible and he’s probably only talk shite like normal but then I don’t want to be contributing for years on end only to have some nutjob like Peters take it at some point.

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  18. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Watching Bill English ysterday, he could barely contain his glee in pointing out that in a few days the number of registrations of interest amost matches the number of signatures that has taken months to collect.

    Come on Warren, you’re surely not that dense. David Shearer and Russel Norman have “registered”. The only problem is, they haven’t. Many of those that have registered clearly won’t be buying.

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  19. Cunningham (845 comments) says:

    ross69 (2,125) Says:

    “And, as you know, about a third of voters opted for National. Hardly a ringing endorsement of their policies.” So fucking what? How is it Nationals fault that the left voters are lazy bastards who cannot even be bothered getting off their fat ass’s and participating in a democratic election? If those people could have swayed the election then tough shit. They had their chance. The left need to stop crying and suck it up.

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  20. RightNow (6,995 comments) says:

    ross69 (2,125) Says:
    March 13th, 2013 at 10:57 am

    After all, as pointed out, Goff declared the general election in 2011 to be a referendum on the asset sales.

    And, as you know, about a third of voters opted for National. Hardly a ringing endorsement of their policies. But if you’re right, the referendum on asset sales should be a resounding yes in favour, right?

    Excellent, an implicit endorsement of my referendum analysis.
    So ross69, if there was a 49% turnout to vote in the referendum, and all of those voted against asset sales, you’ll be here admitting 51% support for asset sales won’t you?

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  21. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    I can’t help but notice Labour lost the 2011 election.

    So why are Labour still pushing against asset sales?

    Did the voters come up with the wrong answer, in the 2011 “referendum on asset sales”? :???:

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  22. Manolo (14,024 comments) says:

    Have you seen the light, dear lefty friend RRM? :-)

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  23. Right of way is Way of Right (1,122 comments) says:

    The Labour party, champions of democracy, just as long as you remember to vote exactly how we tell you to.

    It’s always a little bit messy when the people vote in a way that is contrary to your core beliefs. If I may quote a certain high ranking former Labour Finance Minister. “We won, you lost, eat that!”

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  24. Pete George (23,677 comments) says:

    Shearer has a different approach to Goff then, he doesn’t want Labour’s position on buying back shares with Winston to be judged in the next election, he will make up his mind after the election.

    Mr Peters said his NZ First party was renowned for going into negotiations “knowing what we want and getting what we want”.

    “Borrowing money would make economic sense because the returns would make that totally feasible, but there are other resources,” he said.

    “You’ve got the superannuation fund, KiwiSaver or a number of avenues or options you could exercise.”

    Mr Peters said it would make sense to borrow to buy back shares, and commentators who said it did not make sense were “unreconstructed economic morons”.

    Mr Shearer said, “We won’t rule it out but we won’t rule it in either.” Labour would not be able to make any commitment on it before an election.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10870867

    We know all about trusting Winston, but can we trust Shearer?

    That’s a remarkable non-stance and incredibly hypocritical – any post election decision would have zero mandate.

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  25. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    manolo – I’m some sort of leftist. I happen to think the current Labour Party is a bit of a f*ckup since being freed of Helen’s Iron fist.

    Headless chooks come to mind for some reason.

    (Purebred Rhode Island Reds are redder than sensible money-making Red Shavers or Gingernut Rangers, but they aren’t very smart :-) )

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  26. Warren Murray (312 comments) says:

    Ross I’d hit pause before assuming how many ppl will put their hand in their pocket to buy a stake. Unlike you, I think the number will be quite high> Certainly it will be public knowledge before the referendum is actually held.

    My point is that a huge # of people have shown some interest in the opportunity in a short period of time. I wonder how many ppl who signed the petition will register, or even buy shares. Why would u do so?

    Personally, I dont agree with the govt’s policy, but as sai earlier, it has a clear mandate. I didn’t sign the petition, because it is a (n expensive) stunt and an abuse of process. I might buy some shares, but will study the Company’s info before making that decision.

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  27. Keeping Stock (10,404 comments) says:

    ross69 said

    And, as you know, about a third of voters opted for National.

    ross; the right to vote is precious. And I have no sympathy whatsoever for those who choose not to vote or who simply can’t be bothered. If you don’t vote, don’t moan.

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  28. PaulD (97 comments) says:

    The way Key talks about a clear mandate you’d think National had a majority in the House without needing hangers on like Banks for his vote.

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  29. Mark (1,489 comments) says:

    Elections are never a mandate for one particular policy as they are decided on a aide range of issues. To claim that National has or doesn’t have a mandate on asset sales is simply irrelevant. what does matter is that National has the votes to put its policy frameworks in place and Should get on with it. Certainly the electorate cannot complain they did not know it was nationals intention. The policy was clearly spelled out and they still won the right to govern. They now need to get on with the sales. Labour and the Greens political grandstanding does not change the fact that they do not have the votes to stop the sales.

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  30. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    If you don’t vote, don’t moan.

    I totally agree. But I did vote, so am allowed to moan. :)

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  31. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    How is it Nationals fault that the left voters are lazy bastards who cannot even be bothered getting off their fat ass’s and participating in a democratic election?

    Everyone who didn’t vote is a lazy lefty bastard? Since you clearly have a well-honed crystal ball, can you tell me Saturday’s winning lotto numbers? :)

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  32. MT_Tinman (3,249 comments) says:

    Keeping Stock (8,636) Says:
    March 13th, 2013 at 11:52 am
    ross69 said
    And, as you know, about a third of voters opted for National.
    ross; the right to vote is precious. And I have no sympathy whatsoever for those who choose not to vote or who simply can’t be bothered. If you don’t vote, don’t moan.

    I disagree KS.

    The right to withhold your vote is as much part of the democratic process as is the right to exercise your vote

    I did vote (for the good guys) last election but admit freely the Joyce-designed tactic of Vote for John Key because he’s a nice fellow almost had me not voting at all, the alternatives being equally horrible.

    I suspect a large number of those non-voters last election were National supporters not as strong of stomach as I.

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  33. Keeping Stock (10,404 comments) says:

    So you are ross69. But unfortunately for you, not enough people who share your worldview could be bothered with going to their local polling place on election day 2011, and John Key was able to form a government. We’ll do it all over again next year, and if the punters don’t like it, they have the chance then do do something about it.

    Isn’t democracy a bastard?

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  34. Cunningham (845 comments) says:

    ross69 (2,127) you are the one saying National should pull out because those people didn’t vote. So it seems to me that you are suggesting if they had voted (i.e. they would have voted left), National would not have been in Government and these would not go ahead?

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  35. Nigel Kearney (1,047 comments) says:

    So Labour said one thing a couple of years ago and is saying something different now. Big deal. And the leadership has changed since. The fact that National are going against the wishes of most New Zealanders is not a decisive argument against, but is a point that Labour are perfectly entitled to make.

    Asset sales are the right thing to do but have always been unpopular, mainly because of the intense media campaign against it combined with National doing a piss poor job of explaining why asset sales are a good idea. Merely claiming a mandate, rather than trying to explain what the actual benefits will be, is a big part of the problem. And winning an election when the other side is led by Phil Goff is hardly a mandate for any single policy. The particular campaign strategy adopted by the other side doesn’t change that.

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  36. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    Ross69:

    I said “promote”, not implement. Obviously the distinction was too fine for you.

    Yes, so fine that it is pointless. Floating shares on the NZX requires promotion by law. But I suppose you be happy with an unadvertised float.

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  37. minto57 (197 comments) says:

    A minority Goverment is hardly a mandate for plunder.
    But you will spin for all its worth
    The simple fact is the majority of registered voters did not vote for for the National party either by staying away or voting for the losers(ones unable to form a goverment)
    And you do not learn, twice bitten twice shy so they say.
    Key only won the first on a vague promise not repeat the previous mistakes With the Labour party so lost that it no longer represents working new zealanders it had to be a shoe in
    A better scenario would have been a 25 % sell down something akin to Air New Zealand the exemplar but I guess there no allowing for the greedy

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  38. Pete George (23,677 comments) says:

    The simple fact is the majority of registered voters did not vote for for the National party

    Two simple factrs:
    1. That’s irrelevant.
    2. It would be impossible to govern of that was the required mandate to pass legislation.

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  39. MarkF (102 comments) says:

    The simple fact is the majority of registered voters did not vote for for the National party

    What a totally absurd comment! Name me one administration in New Zealand, say since WW2, that has had over 50% of ALL registered voters vote for it? The answer will be none so by your logic all administrations on any part of the political spectrum have be governing and making decisions without a mandate to do anything.

    That really makes sense, NOT.

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  40. stigie (1,308 comments) says:

    A very good point that RightNow says at 11.11am, if the left think that National does not have a mandate to sell 49% in the energy companies, that means the asset sales petition should have to get over 50% to have a referendum.
    Do the left see it this way ? I bet they fucking dont !!

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  41. Black with a Vengeance (1,865 comments) says:

    Remind me again how the Maori party and United dunne campaigned on asset sales?

    And I’ll remind you how National didn’t win a clear majority to claim a mandate.

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