Home > The Body Politic > You Have Mail…

You Have Mail…

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National, ACT, and Peter Dunne have passed legislation to enable the partial-privatisation of our property; Meridian, Genesis, Mighty Rive Power, Solid Energy, and Air New Zealand.

I will not take this lying down. Neither should you.

Every New Zealander who believes, hand on heart, that what National is doing is just plain wrong must take  whatever (non-violent) action they can to make their anger known to our elected representatives,

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To the editors…

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from:     Frank M <fmacskasy@yahoo.com>
to:     Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>
date:     Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 7:17 PM
subject:     Letters

The Editor
SUNDAY STAR TIMES

If ever there was a government that has deliberately ignored the will of the people, it is this John Key-led National Party, along with it’s one-man band supporters, John Banks and Peter Dunne.

By passing legislation to enable asset sales, they have thumbed their noses at the entire country. This government is now so far out of touch with the public, that they are blind to what New Zealanders want for the future of their country.

Mr Key can smile and dress-up the proposed asset sales in any way he wants – but the people will revile him for selling what we alreadsy own.

Shame on you, John Key, and on you, Peter Dunne. Shame of you for taking what belongs to us – and then trying to sell it back to us, and any carpetbagger that pops up from overseas.

If I have one word of advice to this wretched government, it is this: resign.

-Frank Macskasy
Blogger,
“Frankly Speaking”

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from:     Frank M <fmacskasy@yahoo.com>
to:     NZ Herald <letters@herald.co.nz>
date:     Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 7:08 PM
subject:     Letters

The Editor
NZ HERALD

One cannot help but be thoroughly disgusted at the actions of John Key and his wretched “government”, in passing asset-sale legislation.

The manner in which they have blatantly disregarded public opinion on this issue, is simply appalling.

This government has lost it’s legitamacy and should resign. Give the people a new election, and a fresh chance to determine the future of our country.

-Frank Macskasy
Blogger,
“Frankly Speaking”

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from:     Frank M <fmacskasy@yahoo.com>
to:     Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz>
date:     Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 6:58 PM
subject:     Letters

The Editor
DOMINION POST

Peter Dunne – you should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself.

-Frank Macskasy
Blogger,
“Frankly Speaking”

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from:     Frank M <fmacskasy@yahoo.com>
to:     Peter Dunne <peter.dunne@parliament.govt.nz>
cc:     Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz>,
 Morning Report <morningreport@radionz.co.nz>,
 Jim Mora <afternoons@radionz.co.nz>,
 Nine To Noon RNZ <ninetonoon@radionz.co.nz>
date:     Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 12:35 AM
subject:     State Assets

Peter Dunne
MP For Ohariu

Sir,

Congratulations for ignoring the will of the people, including those in your own electorate. Bravo!

The majority of New Zealanders wanted our state assets kept in public ownership – and you have steadfastly refused to  respect those wishes.

I wonder how you will be viewed by future historians? As a politician who stood against 3.8 million New Zealanders; that you were right and everyone else was wrong?

Or as another ‘Roger Douglas’ and ‘Max Bradford’ – politicians who also went against the will of the people, and are now scorned figures in our history?

Mr Dunne, you  could have stood against the tide of privatisation – seen as sheer theft by the rest of us – and gone down in history as the man who  made a difference. You could have been a stand-out figure in our history.

But you failed. You failed us, the people. And you failed yourself.

You have participated in an act of infamy and you will have to share a measure of the responsibility for your actions.

Right about now, a fair number of people throughout the country, and in your own electorate, want you gone from Parliament. But no doubt you will resist that demand as well, just as you resisted our calls not to sell our state assets.

The next two and a half years will not be happy for you, sir. And deservedly so.

Begone from Parliament.

-Frank Macskasy
Blogger,
“Frankly Speaking”

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To the politicians…

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from:     Frank M <fmacskasy@yahoo.com>
to:     John Key <john.key@parliament.govt.nz>
cc:     Dominion Post <editor@dompost.co.nz>,
 Jim Mora <afternoons@radionz.co.nz>,
 Morning Report <morningreport@radionz.co.nz>,
 NZ Herald <letters@herald.co.nz>
date:     Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 12:15 AM
subject:     Asset Sales

John Key
Prime Minister

Sir,

Congratulations. You must be feeling quite a sense of victory and accomplishment;

Victory: over 80% of the people who opposed asset sales. You have ignored the vast majority of New Zealanders who do not believe that our power companies; Solid Energy; nor Air New Zealand should be sold. These are people who understand that (a) they make good profits for the State, (b) would not help the country if they were sold, and (c) they belong to us and our children.

The last point is especially pertinent; these are state assets that belong to each and every one of us.

At best you and your Parliamentary colleagues are guardians of these assets – not the owners.

But that hasn’t stopped you from passing legislation to part-sell these SOEs. That is our property you intend to sell.

Accomplishment: you took a slim electoral victory and have converted it into some kind of warped, over-hyped,  “mandate” to sell assets that you do not own and which the people do not want sold.

Right about now, you must be feeling a sense of relief that your Party has overseen this legislation passed. But I am guessing that you may also be sensing a fair measure of unease.

Well you should. You and 60 of your fellow Parliamentarians are facing three and a half million very pissed of New Zealanders. That’s quite a feat to have gone from being one of the most popular Prime Ministers – to someone who is now reviled up and down the country.

Sir, I suggest that these partial-asset sales is a mistake – probably the greatest mistake and miscalculation of your career.  If you think that New Zealanders will come to accept what you are doing, then you are wrong.
 
It is not too late. You can still post-pone any asset sale until after the referendum. If you truly believe that New Zealanders will come to support your plans, then you will give us a chance to express ourselves through the referendum ballot paper.

If you choose to ignore public opinion, then you have lost the support of a majority of New Zealanders. People are angry now. But wait until the first SOE is sold, and that anger will manifest itself in a myriad of ways.

You will have lost respect in the eyes of the country, and any legitamacy you have as our elected leader.

-Frank Macskasy
Blogger,
“Frankly Speaking”

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David Shearer
Leader of the Labour Party

Russel Norman & Metiria Turei
Co-leaders of the Green Party

Winston Peters
Leader of NZ First

Hone Harawira
Leader of the Mana Party

Kia Ora to you all,

I am writing to you as a New Zealand citizen – one of many – who is apalled and disgusted at the passing of legislation, making way from the part-privatisation of Genesis, Meridian, Mighty River Power, Solid Energy, and Air New Zealand.

Like 80% of other New Zealanders, I am utterly opposed to any partial sale of state assets – especially strategic state assets such as our energy companies.

As has been pointed out innumerable times, there is no sound commercial or social reason to sell-down any of these assets. As well as making sound returns for the State and us, the taxpayer, these are assets that belong to all New Zealanders – not just those who can afford 1,000 parcel-shares.

John Key and his colleagues have ignored public opinion; scorned public expressions of protest; and swept aside sound arguments against privatisation. They are resisting the will of some 70-80% of New Zealanders by proceeding with their actions.

Accordingly, I offer to you a proposal to undermine their ill-conconceived and undemocratic plans.

From a blog-post I made on this issue:

How to sabotage the asset sales…

Whilst all three parties are staunchly opposed to state asset sales, NZ First leader, Winston Peters went one step further,  promising that his Party would buy back the assets.

The Greens and Labour are luke-warm on the idea, quite rightly stating that there are simply too many variables involved in committing to a buy-back two and a half years out from the next election. There was simply no way of knowing what state National would leave the economy.

Considering National’s tragically incompetant economic mismanagement thus far, the outlook for New Zealand is not good. We can look forward to more of the usual,

  • More migration to Australia
  • More low growth
  • More high unemployment
  • More deficits
  • More skewed taxation/investment policies
  • Still more deficits
  • More cuts to state services
  • And did I mention more deficits?

By 2014, National will have frittered away most (if not all) of the proceeds from the sale of Meridian, Genesis, Mighty River Power, Solid Energy, and Air New Zealand.

In such an environment, it is difficult to sound plausible when promising to buy back multi-billion dollar corporations.

Not to be thwarted, Peters replied to a question by Rachel Smalley on Q+A, stating adamantly,

” The market needs to know that Winston Peters and a future government is going to take back  those assets. By that I mean pay no greater price than their first offering price. This is, if they transfer to seven or eight people, it doesn’t matter, we’ll pay the first price or less. “

Bold words.

When further questioned by Rachel Smalley, Peters offered specific  ideas how a buy-back might be funded,

” Why can’t we borrow from the super fund, for example? And pay that back over time?  And why can’t we borrow from Kiwisaver  for example, and pay that back over time…”

The answer is that governments are sovereign and can make whatever laws they deem fit. That includes buying back assets at market value; at original sale price; or simple expropriation without  compensation. (The latter would probably be unacceptable to 99% of New Zealanders and would play havoc with our economy.)

Peters is correct; funding per se is not an issue. In fact, money could be borrowed from any number of sources, including overseas lenders. The gains from all five SOEs – especially the power companies – would outweigh the cost of any borrowings.

The question is, can an incoming Labour-Green-NZ First-Mana government accomplish such a plan?

A plausible scenario would have the leadership of Labour, NZ First, the Greens, and Mana, meeting  for a high-level,  cross-party strategy conference.

At the conclusion of said conference, the Leaders emerge, with an “understanding”, of recognising each others’ differing policies,

  1. Winston Peters presents a plan to the public, promoting NZF policy to buy-back  the five SOEs. As per his  original proposals, all shares will be repurchased at original offer-price.
  2. The  Mana Party  buy-in  to NZ First’s plan and pledge their support.
  3. Labour and the Greens release the joint-Party declaration stating that  whilst they do not pledge support to NZ First/Mana’s proposal – neither do they discount it. At this point, say Labour and the Greens, all options are on the table.

That scenario creates considerable  uncertainty and anxiety  in the minds of potential share-purchasers. Whilst they know that they will be recompensed in any buy-back scheme – they are effectively stymied in on-selling the shares for gain. Because no new investor  in their right mind would want to buy  shares that (a) probably no one else will want to buy and (b) once the buy-back begins, they would lose out.

The certainty in any such grand strategy is that the asset sale would be effectively sabotaged. No individual or corporate buyer would want to become involved in this kind of uncertainty.

Of less certainty is how the public would perceive  a situation (even if Labour and the Greens remained staunchly adamant that they were not committed to any buy-back plan) of political Parties engaging in such a deliberate  scheme of de-stabilisation of a current government’s policies.

The asset sales programme would most likely fail, for sure.

* * *

These are desperate times, calling for desperate measures. Bold measures.

If all four opposition parties can create a plan that will undermine National’s asset-sales programme, then that may be the only way to preserve what rightly belongs to us all.

I, and others, encourage and support you to work together on this critical matter. Without firm leadership from the four Opposition Parties, the public have little hope of stopping National.

-Frank Macskasy
Blogger,
“Frankly Speaking”

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And their responses…

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from:     David Shearer david.shearer@parliament.govt.nz
to:     Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@yahoo.com>
date:     Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 8:06 AM
subject:     RE: Stopping Asset Sales – A proposal
mailed-by:     parliament.govt.nz

Thank you for your email.

 I will pass it to David Shearer.

 Yours sincerely

Dinah Okeby
Office of David Shearer
labour.org.nz

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from:     Winston Peters Winston.Peters@parliament.govt.nz
to:     Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@yahoo.com>
date:     Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 9:18 AM
subject:     RE: Stopping Asset Sales – A proposal
mailed-by:     parliament.govt.nz

Good morning
 
Thank you for your email.  I will pass your message on to Mr Peters for his attention.
 
Kind regards

  Anne Moore
Executive Assistant
New Zealand First

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from:     Isabelle Lomax Isabelle.Lomax@parliament.govt.nz
to:     Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@yahoo.com>
date:     Sat, Jun 30, 2012 at 4:25 PM
subject:     RE: Stopping Asset Sales – A proposal
mailed-by:     parliament.govt.nz

Kia ora Frank,

 Thank you for your email to Russel and Metiria. They have asked me to reply on their behalves. We appreciate you taking the time to send your idea through to us. You have obviously put a great deal of thought into this and seem to have a very thorough understanding of the issues involved. It’s an interesting idea. I have forwarded it to our advisors on the asset sales issue, and we will have a think about it!

 Thanks again for taking the time to write, and for your passion about this important issue.

 Nāku noa, nā
Isabelle

Isabelle Lomax
Executive Assistant
Office of Dr Russel Norman MP
Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand
14.14 Bowen House
T (04) 817 6712

Authorised by Russel Norman, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

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Related Blogposts

Is John Key showing desperation on asset sales?

How to sabotage the asset sales…

Campaign: Flood the Beehive!

Other Blogs

Aotearoa – a wider perspective: Asset sales and Nationalisation, Argentina leads the way!

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= fs =

  1. XYZ
    27 June 2012 at 2:10 am

    I klike the idea you sent to Shearer and the others. That could actually work I think. Let’s hope the email lands on tgheir desks.

  2. Matthew
    27 June 2012 at 7:22 am

    Ohariau electors must be some of the most pissed off people now, because they look really stupid putting that silver haired goose in for him to sell us out. Clayton Cosgrove said, “Peter Dunne will go down in history as the man who gave the National Government the one vote they needed to sell New Zealanders out,”

    All those gooses, for instance in Churton Park, won’t be able to afford any shares as they’ll have their giant mortgages to pay off first. They’re part of the middle. They’re not the thieving upper class.

    At least Dunne has signed his own dismissal form come 2014. But I’m all for a snap 2012 election too. We need to get rid of these monsters thieving from us.

  3. The Trickster
    27 June 2012 at 8:56 am

    Long time reader, first time commenter.

    Nice work – also, I’d suggest you watch the Campbell Live interview between Campbell and Key – don’t think I’ve ever seen Key be so smarmy in my life.

    Absolute scumbag!

  4. 27 June 2012 at 9:31 am

    The Trickster :

    Long time reader, first time commenter.

    Nice work – also, I’d suggest you watch the Campbell Live interview between Campbell and Key – don’t think I’ve ever seen Key be so smarmy in my life.

    Absolute scumbag!

    Welcome, Trickster, and thanks for that heads-up. Will look at it today…

  5. 27 June 2012 at 9:34 am

    Matthew :

    Ohariau electors must be some of the most pissed off people now, because they look really stupid putting that silver haired goose in for him to sell us out. Clayton Cosgrove said, “Peter Dunne will go down in history as the man who gave the National Government the one vote they needed to sell New Zealanders out,”

    All those gooses, for instance in Churton Park, won’t be able to afford any shares as they’ll have their giant mortgages to pay off first. They’re part of the middle. They’re not the thieving upper class.

    At least Dunne has signed his own dismissal form come 2014. But I’m all for a snap 2012 election too. We need to get rid of these monsters thieving from us.

    You’ve expressed my feelings very well, Matthew.

    Those Ohariu voters who oppose asset sales and voted for Dunne must be feeling disgusted now.

    And I like you description of Dunne “signing his own dismissal form”. Very apt.

  6. 27 June 2012 at 9:40 am

    XYZ :

    I klike the idea you sent to Shearer and the others. That could actually work I think. Let’s hope the email lands on tgheir desks.

    XYZ – I’ve received confirmations from Shearer’s and Peter’s offices,

    from: David Shearer david.shearer@parliament.govt.nz
    to: Frank M
    date: Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 8:06 AM
    subject: RE: Stopping Asset Sales – A proposal
    mailed-by: parliament.govt.nz

    Thank you for your email.

    I will pass it to David Shearer.

    Yours sincerely

    Dinah Okeby
    Office of David Shearer

    from: Winston Peters Winston.Peters@parliament.govt.nz
    to: Frank M
    date: Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 9:18 AM
    subject: RE: Stopping Asset Sales – A proposal
    mailed-by: parliament.govt.nz

    Good morning

    Thank you for your email. I will pass your message on to Mr Peters for his attention.

    Kind regards

    Anne Moore
    Executive Assistant
    New Zealand First

  7. john
    27 June 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Hi Frank

    Effective opposition at this time appears to be NZ first and the Greens.
    Labour is just not in the mix to any great degree.
    They will if not careful be eclipsed by the Greens.

    As a labour supporter I find this an extremely disturbing truth to wright.

    Nationals leadership has little back bone, no credible policy, and an increasingly bad record.
    No problem for a strong emerging labour party to overturn come election time.
    Problem is currently we don’t have one yet anyway, time is running out.

    As it stands the Nats are in with a chance for a third term.

    The Greens and NZ first may well take your ideas on as they certainly appear to be heading the charge at this point.

    Would be interested in your view on Labours direction

    Its good to see your writing, have missed your letters to the ODT of several years ago

    Cheers Frank

    John Cameron

    Dunedin

    • 28 June 2012 at 7:33 pm

      Hi John,

      It’s great to hear from you again!! And yes, I remember your name and letters that you used to have in the ODT and “The Star” (the latter looks great, after it’s re-formatting!).

      I’ve written a few times to the ODT. Last time in response to a vitriolic letter written by a right-winger (Greg Glendining, on 2 June) – but the good folk at the ODT declined to publish it.

      Re, your comments,

      “Effective opposition at this time appears to be NZ first and the Greens.
      Labour is just not in the mix to any great degree.
      They will if not careful be eclipsed by the Greens.”

      I think Labour, The Greens, and NZF are “playing” to respective audiences; the Labour to centrist and centre-left voters; the Greens to leftwing and environmental activists; and NZ First to grumpy National voters. Plenty for all.

      Hopefully none of them will descend into partisan attacks on each other – the Nats and ACT would revel in that kind of infighting.

      “Nationals leadership has little back bone, no credible policy, and an increasingly bad record.”

      Indeed. The big mystery is why polls aren’t reflecting an even faster drop in public support?! That’s got me beat.

      Note to any Middle Class National supporters: What the hell’s up with you people???

      So far, all that the Nats have is (a) asset sales and (b) a convention centre that will be paid for via 500 pokies; more problem gamblers; and… ultimately by the taxpayer.

      “Would be interested in your view on Labours direction “

      I think they’re playing a “Softly, Softly” strategy. As the old saying goes; Oppositions don’t win elections – Governments lose them. So if I’m reading the situation correctly, Labour are exercising caution and avoiding anything that’ll frighten the (middle class) punters away. They’re probably hoping to attract back swing-voters; some of National’s support; and perhaps those people who didn’t vote at all last year.

      Now that National is down in the polls – and the high poll ratings last year were badly flawed anyway – many non-voters are probably encouraged to

      make the trip to the ballot box in 2014 (if not earlier).

      “As it stands the Nats are in with a chance for a third term.”

      Hmmm, I doubt that. One way or another, my money is on a change of government (unless we get another major earthquake; a major global economic collapse, a-la 1929; or Labour does something incredibly stupid) and it just depends on how much damage National can do in the meantime.

      “Its good to see your writing, have missed your letters to the ODT of several years ago”

      I’ve written a few times to the ODT. Last time in response to a vitriolic letter written by a right-winger (Greg Glendining, on 2 June) – but the good folk at the ODT declined to publish it. Not sure why.

      Those were good times back then. Even the “enemy” was the same; a right-wing National Government, led by Jenny Shipley, Bill English, Tony

      Ryall, Maurice Williamson… the same old names we’re seeing now, with our current right-wing government.

      So much for New Zealanders voting for National in 2008 because they wanted “new faces”… Yeah, right.

  8. samwise
    28 June 2012 at 10:13 am

    I’ve been a swinging voter all my life but I think this National government and John Keys grinning face has put me off them for life. I wrote Key and Dunne and let them know in no uncertain terms what I thought of them.

    Bring on 2014!

  9. Curious George
    29 June 2012 at 2:17 pm

    So what policies of the right attract you usually samwise if you are a swing vote?

  10. samwise
    29 June 2012 at 4:45 pm

    George, lower taxes, less regulation mainly. I think the tax cuts have been a con and I don’t feel any better off. In fact my business turnover has gone down since National has been in. I made more money during Labour, make of that what you will. As for regulations, I went down to WINZ to help my neighbour sign up and the system just blew me away. It was a total runaround. Things are just worse all around.

  11. Priss
    30 June 2012 at 12:00 am

    Cutting taxes isn’t everything Sam. Cut taxes, cut services. Which is what John Key has been doing these last few years.

  12. Rocket Girl
    3 July 2012 at 10:57 am

    Now the question is, will they do anything about it?

  13. Possum
    5 July 2012 at 10:04 am

    good 2 see maori and mana finally went the better way

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