Home > Dollars & Sense, The Body Politic > Dear Leader Key blames everyone else for Solid Energy’s financial crisis

Dear Leader Key blames everyone else for Solid Energy’s financial crisis


Continued from: That was Then, This is Now #18 (Solid Energy)

A bit of  very recent history,


Solid Energy starts work at Mataura Briquette Plant

Friday, 9 September 2011, 2:57 pm
Press Release: Solid Energy NZ

9 September 2011

Solid Energy marks the start of work at its Mataura Briquette Plant

The Hon Bill English, MP for Clutha-Southland and Minister of Finance, today marked the official start of work at Solid Energy’s Mataura Briquette Plant, by “turning the first sod” at a small event on site with neighbours, local authorities, and other guests.

The $25 million Mataura briquette plant is planned to start production by June 2012. It will produce up to 90,000 tonnes a year of low-moisture and higher-energy briquettes from about 150,000 tonnes of lignite mined from Solid Energy’s New Vale Opencast Mine and trucked to the Craig Road site. The plant will use technology developed in the USA by GTL Energy.



Eighteen months later, on 19 February, the SOE Shareholders Bill English and Tony Ryall,  made this shock announcement to the public (see:  Statement on Solid Energy).

The media were quick to report the crisis,


Solid Energy in debt crisis talks



National’s response?

Default to Deflection #1 (see previous blogpost: National under attack – defaults to Deflection #2 )

As described in my previous blogpost (see:  Taking responsibility, National-style), National does not do Taking Responsibility very well. Their automatic instinct is to blame someone else – anyone – for problems of their making,


National and John Key blames...


And true-to-form, National and Dear Leader are once again playing the Blame Game over Solid Energy’s woes,


Prime Minister criticises Solid Energy



Govt, Labour squabble over Solid Energy



“They can’t wash their hands of the fact that from 2003 on, they were intimately involved with the plans that that company had,” sez Key?!

Really? 2003 ???

Why stop at 2003?

Personally, if I was John Key, I’d be asking serious questions on Labour’s role in the sinking of the Titanic. The Cuban Missile Crisis. And don’t forget the 2007/08 Global Financial Meltdown – that has Labour’s fingerprints all over it, surely???

Getting serious again…

National is supposedly Very Big on responsibility issues. Their website is constantly referring to responsibility,

The National Party is built on age-tested principles that reflect what is best about New Zealand. We are a party of enterprise; a party of personal freedom and individual responsibility; a party of family; an inclusive party; a party of ambition.” – John Key, 27 May 2007

We also need to remember the enduring principles on which the National Party is based – individual responsibility, support for families and communities, and a belief that the State can’t and shouldn’t do everything.” – John Key, 30 January 2007

It seems that their constant refusals to accept responsibility is also one of those things that “the State can’t and shouldn’t do”, according to Dear Leader.

A few questions spring to mind,

  1. How far back will Key go to blame others for his failures?
  2. How many terms in office will National have to win, before blaming Labour or Uncle Tom Cobbly is no longer tenable?
  3. If John Key and his cronies are unable to ‘man-up’ and take a hit for any one of their balls-ups, and constantly feel the need to sheet responsibility back to Labour – then why is National in government? Why not just resign and put Labour back in office? After all, what would be the difference?

We wouldn’t accept finger-pointing and blame-gaming from our children (or, at least I hope we wouldn’t). So why is the public and media letting Key get away with it?

I look forward to National’s next major cock-up.

Who will they blame next? Australia?

Meanwhile,  back to 9 September 2011…

Doesn’t Bill seem a happy chappy in this photo-op?


Solid Energy chief executive, Don Elder and Hon Bill English at Mataura  - 9 sept 2011



Bill English, poses with ex-Solid Energy CEO, Don Elder, as the ‘first sod is turned’ at a new  Briquette Plant in Mataura, Southland.

The same plant that was “Labour’s fault”.



= fs =

  1. 28 February 2013 at 1:27 am

    Coal, briquettes and wood pellets are all pretty bad industries to be in.
    There were 800,000 worldwide deaths in 2000 from air pollution, and 3.2 million in 2012.

    The pollution issues around burning solid fuels means they do need to be phased out. The last thing you really want is a neighbour putting in an outdoor wood burner because there goes your quality of life. The same with coal being burnt in the town you live in. And even bbq briquettes can be horrible to live next door to. Coal powered powerstations are more expensive to build than wind or solar now too. Burn gas, or use electricity and leave wood, the wood pellets, coal and briquettes, unmined, unmanufactured and un-chopped down.

    Clean air is priceless and the best way to sequester carbon is to leave the coal in the ground.

    Solid Energy does not have a bright future.

    Invest in wind, solar, tidal, small-scale hydro, geothermal, insulation, and energy miserliness. Invest in electric bikes (and to a lesser extent electric cars). Electrify more of the railways. Invest in cycling infrastructure.

  2. cirianz
    28 February 2013 at 2:20 am

    And National goes on about how bad beneficiaries are at budgeting! So… we deserve to be punished for our own (or indeed our ex-bosses) financial mismanagement, but the government, who are similarly living at the taxpayers expense, are not accountable. And if it’s a company or ‘big-business’ that’s asking for a handout? Well that’s not the same thing at all. ‘Benny bashing’ is such a popular sport in our country these days… so why are they not going after these, the ultimate ‘dole bludgers’?

  3. Denny Weisz
    28 February 2013 at 8:25 am

    It’s the Popes fault and that’s why he’s leaving! That meteor that exploded in Russia 2 weeks ago made the GSCB nervous ….. which made me nervous and I had to say that ….. PinoKeyo is real and lives in NZ!

  4. 28 February 2013 at 9:28 am

    Blame, blame, blame…it’s all getting rather old, isn’t it?

  5. 28 February 2013 at 10:59 am

    KIt is the only think pinko national and act know how to do at tehy expect us to take it.


    With the state assets now almost certainly to be sold before 2014 we need to “”””””” ACT NOW “””””””

    • 9 March 2013 at 4:25 pm

      Geoff… I’m still working on it.

      All I can say in the meantime is do what you’re doing now – but more of it.

      And come election day, find someone who didn’t vote in 2011, and encourage him or her to vote to the Ballot box with you.

      If we can each take one extra person with us who didn’t vote last time, we’d be effectively doubling the vote for Opposition Parties.

  1. 28 February 2013 at 4:51 pm
  2. 9 March 2013 at 11:35 pm
  3. 14 March 2013 at 1:06 am
  4. 18 April 2013 at 9:15 am
  5. 29 May 2013 at 8:45 pm
  6. 21 August 2014 at 8:01 am
  7. 28 March 2017 at 5:58 pm

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