The $9 million waste of money dates

October 1st, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

3 news reports:

A citizens-initiated into National’s will be held by postal vote in November.

Prime Minister John Key confirmed the referendum will cost about $9 million and is the cheapest option to hold the non-binding vote. Voting in person would cost taxpayers $39m.

That’s a relief!

Voting will be open from November 22 and close on December 13.

By which time there may only be one sale to go! Ridiculous. Phil Goff said the 2011 election will be a referendum on asset sales. He was right.

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37 Responses to “The $9 million waste of money dates”

  1. scrubone (3,074 comments) says:

    Waste of money and massive own-goal.

    Every time the Greens open their mouth on it they contradict themselves on the smacking referendum.

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  2. scrubone (3,074 comments) says:

    Not to mention that it was the opponents, not the supporters who pushed the issue as the No. 1 issue at the last election. By their own definition, they lost the debate.

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  3. Cunningham (828 comments) says:

    “Phil Goff said the 2011 election will be a referendum on asset sales”

    Why oh why aren’t the MSM asking Labour whether they agree with this statement by Goff?

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  4. queenstfarmer (751 comments) says:

    I’m sure Labour won’t mind at all if John Key gives a similar response to that which Labour gave after the last referendum:

    Labour deputy leader Annette King said the referendum had allowed everyone to have their say.

    “It’s now up to the Government to determine what the next steps are. Labour is yet to see evidence that the current Act needs to be changed. It is going to be reviewed at the end of the year and we will wait to see the outcome of that.”

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  5. James Stephenson (2,077 comments) says:

    I’ll be drawing an extra box on my vote:

    C) Should have sold 100%

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  6. OneTrack (2,753 comments) says:

    As far as the Greens and Labour are concerned, it is only taxpayers money and it’s for the cause ( ie “get Key”).

    Russel confirmed himself that taxation is not a burden, so you should be happy to pay your taxes, so that the left can spend it for you on their personal grandstanding.

    And you thought you were paying your taxes for hospitals and schools. Hah.

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  7. Redbaiter (7,852 comments) says:

    “I’ll be drawing an extra box on my vote: “C) Should have sold 100%”

    Yep, if the choice is right or left, National always prefer to go left.

    You can’t draw the voters to an idea if you don’t have one yourself.

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  8. OneTrack (2,753 comments) says:

    “Why oh why aren’t the MSM asking Labour whether they agree with this statement by Goff”

    You know the answer to that already.

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  9. WineOh (575 comments) says:

    So two of the three share issues will already be complete by the time this referendum goes ahead… remind me what again this will achieve?

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  10. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Asset sales are an incredibly dumb idea. No surprises then that a fair share of commenters here support them.

    By the way, how much has it cost implementing this stupid policy?

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  11. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Phil Goff said the 2011 election will be a referendum on asset sales. He was right.

    So, logically, when the votes are counted, there should be overwhelming support for asset sales. Which makes it difficult to understand all the bleating coming from the Right.

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  12. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    And you thought you were paying your taxes for hospitals and schools.

    Isn’t that why assets are being sold…to fund schools and hospitals?

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  13. James Stephenson (2,077 comments) says:

    So, logically, when the votes are counted, there should be overwhelming support for asset sales. Which makes it difficult to understand all the bleating coming from the Right

    Logically yes I’d expect a similar result to the General Election, a miniority of people with whom the policy is so unpopular that it will make them bother to tick a box to say so. $5 says “in favour” plus “can’t be arsed to vote” beats “against”.

    James Jnr was not in favour of eating his dinner last night but faced with the more complex decision of eating it or going to bed early, he decided it wasn’t that important after all…

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  14. emmess (1,387 comments) says:

    Are others of the opinion, it would it be better to not vote to keep the turnout down or to vote in favour of the partial privatizations?

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  15. YesWeDid (1,041 comments) says:

    Since the government is selling Meridian for $1.5 billion less than the last valuation then $9 million is nothing but small change.

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  16. Michael (898 comments) says:

    @Ross69 – The cost of the making asset sales is a lot less that the interest on the debt that Labour saddled us with. If Cullen and Co had run a sensible economic programme instead of inventing schemes to divert funds into the hands of the swing voters they needed to stay in power then National wouldn’t need to raise capital this way.

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  17. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    “…….Prime Minister John Key confirmed the referendum will cost about $9 million and is the cheapest option to hold the non-binding vote……”

    What?………weren’t National talking a few months back about online voteing at the next election?

    Why don’t they just set it up now…….they have to at some point!

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  18. Than (439 comments) says:

    Are others of the opinion, it would it be better to not vote to keep the turnout down or to vote in favour of the partial privatizations?

    I’m certainly not going to vote. Turnout will be more important than result in this referendum.

    My guesses, turnout of 30-50% with 60-70% opposing asset sales. That would translate to between half a million and a million votes against, and between 1.5 – 2 million people not caring enough to vote. That would be pretty strong proof that (despite the polls, despite all the Labour/Green rhetoric) people just don’t really care about asset sales.

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  19. Rick Rowling (823 comments) says:

    Ross69: Asset sales are an incredibly dumb idea.

    Why tie up billions of dollars to get 100% of the profits, when you can get all that money up front, and still get 30% of the profits for free through tax?

    Asset sales is only a dumb idea if you believe the BS coming from Greebour that completely disregards the cash in from the sale, the boosting of kiwi’s savings into productive assets, the benefit to consumers and taxpayers of the increased transparency required for publicly listed companies, the fact the the SOE power companies have historically had more expensive power prices than the private companies, the flexibility for raising funds for new / cleaner generation, competition leading to better meeting of consumer’s demands, competition punishing inefficiency meaning less waste…

    But hey, when your constituency doesn’t really do critical thought, a nice small slogan like “no asset sales”, “giving assets to Key’s rich mates” or “it’s a dumb idea” is a really effective strategy, so well done with that.

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  20. Cunningham (828 comments) says:

    ross69 (2,913) Says:

    “Asset sales are an incredibly dumb idea. No surprises then that a fair share of commenters here support them.”

    What according to you? Holy shit you should just change your name to Gareth Morgan seen as you are obviously the expert on everything!

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  21. flipper (3,766 comments) says:

    The only saving grace associated with this porridge is that tax-payer owned NZ Post will get a revenue (boost) transfer, courtesy of …wait for it …taxpayers.
    Presumably the printing will be done in the private sector, so that (less tax paid on profit) is the actual real cost ??????

    Still ity is our dollars that the F’ing liarbors and red melions are stealing.

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  22. bringbackdemocracy (412 comments) says:

    Things to consider

    1)It is only a waste of money if they ignore the result.

    2)They could have combined it with the local body elections and it would have only cost $4.5 million.

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  23. OneTrack (2,753 comments) says:

    “ross69 (2,913) Says:
    October 1st, 2013 at 10:35 am

    And you thought you were paying your taxes for hospitals and schools.

    Isn’t that why assets are being sold…to fund schools and hospitals?”

    Amongst other things. But when we have a left-wing hell-bent on flushing as much money down the drain as possible, the country needs all the revenue it can get.

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  24. Alan (1,073 comments) says:

    The purpose of this exercise is to provide the left with another stick to hit National with at the 2014 election. It allows them to paint Key as being out of touch and ignoring the public.

    That’s all.

    It’s got nothing really to do with asset sales. It’s fairly effective politics it has to be said.

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  25. scrubone (3,074 comments) says:

    1)It is only a waste of money if they ignore the result.

    So it is a waste of money, since the election result is being ignored.

    2)They could have combined it with the local body elections and it would have only cost $4.5 million.

    I’ve already got my voting papers, and this has just been announced. It might have been possible, but I have my severe doubts.

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  26. chris (584 comments) says:

    Why tie up billions of dollars to get 100% of the profits, when you can get all that money up front, and still get 30% of the profits for free through tax?

    And remember, they still own 51% of the company, so continue to get 51% of the dividends, as well as the 28% of the profit through tax.

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  27. Nigel Kearney (904 comments) says:

    The whole CIR process is a waste of money, but National introduced them and is not planning to abolish them. If there is any value in them at all, it can only come from exerting political and moral pressure on the government, which is exactly what is being attempted here. And it’s very likely a CIR issue will also be an election issue, since any disagreement can be an election issue. So I don’t really understand the criticism in this case.

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  28. bc (1,344 comments) says:

    Than @ 11:17 gave his predictions for the result (with some pretty wide margins though).
    So what do other people think? Percentage turnout and percentage result.
    I’ll go for 50% turnout and 75% voting against asset sales.

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  29. Changeiscoming (154 comments) says:

    I am sorry I signed the jolly petition now. I told the Labour supporter that hit me up at the local flea market that it was a waste of time as the govt would just ignore it, she said they couldn’t. She had no answer when I replied you guys ignored the antismacking one.

    At the time I didn’t realise how long it was going to take and the fact that they would be sold before we even voted. Referenda are a waste of time and money if they aren’t binding. I will certainly not sign another till they are binding.

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  30. Alan (1,073 comments) says:

    Turnout will be less than 30%, result 90%+ against.

    Those who support asset sales will boycott the process to strip it of legitimacy.

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  31. itstricky (1,682 comments) says:

    As far as the Greens and Labour are concerned, it is only taxpayers money and it’s for the cause ( ie “get Key”).
    And you thought you were paying your taxes for hospitals and schools. Hah.

    Correct use of funds or not is debatable. Either way, Key is on record as not denying he would do the same thing if he was in opposition. I look forward to your humble pie. Or backing of it because “the dirty left” did it first. Or, whatever you want at the time.

    In the meantime debating the issue sounds good and looks like a turnout against has got the odds.

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  32. timmydevo (42 comments) says:

    Just another referendum to be ignored by another government. Can anyone inform me what it would take for a referendum of any sort to become binding?

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  33. RightNow (6,794 comments) says:

    I’d go with turnout of around 40%, result less than 75% against asset sales.

    I’m hoping iPredict launch some stocks on this.

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  34. itstricky (1,682 comments) says:

    Can anyone inform me what it would take for a referendum of any sort to become binding?

    Less contentious, principled matters. Like a binding referendum to choose whether to change a voting system…

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  35. gravedodger (1,527 comments) says:

    @Timmydevo, they are called general elections for everyone but the Melons and their fellow travelers, duh.

    Particularly when the policy is spelt out months in advance by the government and made an election issue by the leader of the opposition.

    Happy to assist.

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  36. Changeiscoming (154 comments) says:

    Timydevo – The answer to your question is simple – Vote for the Conservative Party. Then we will have Binding referenda

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  37. Jeff83 (771 comments) says:

    I would be interested to know the percentage of people here who think this is a waste of taxpayers money, but thought the smacking referendum wasn’t.

    Reason being will be exactly the same result, heavily in favour of not selling assets vs in favour of repealing smacking law with exactly the same outcome, nothing.

    The problem in NZ is we do not have a large enough pension industry because Muldoon ensured we have a stupid public pays all, not a first-rate situation at all. Further we are doing naff all to fix this long term (see 4% net pension put away per kiwisaver vs. 10%+ in Aus / UK) because our tax code on this is too pure. The net result is low private savings mean the majority of capital will come from overseas (not a problem when used to invest, but a bit of problem when used for short term consumerism). Net outcome the state needs to fund these pensions and if we are going to pretend to be able to do that (we can’t) we should at least hold assets which can pay dividends to do so (we are selling before the baby boomers even retire to fund those who never fully paid into it….i.e. those who voted bloody Muldoon). The fact that government owned assets are not set to maximise profits and thus returns is a flaw in the public pension model, not trying to hold assets to at least fund it. You need to fix the former before you can fix the later.

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