Posts Tagged ‘mums and dads investors’

What’s the guvmint got against the United States?!

National’s website outlining it’s partial privation of Genesis, Meridian, Mighty River Power, Solid Energy, and Air New Zealand, has gone live,


New zealand government share offers



This blogger notes that the government is demanding that anyone entering the website provides confirmation that “you are not in the United States nor are you acting for the account or benefit of any person in the United States“.

Say whut???

What does National have against the United States and it’s citizens?

Why specifically exclude the United States whilst not mentioning  individuals or organisations from other countries such as the Eurozone, UK, Asia, Australia, et al???

And how will our American cuzzies view being specifically excluded?!


Interestingly, the part-privatisation of these SOEs will also mean that ownership of the following will be transferred into private ownership,

Genesis Energy

  • Thermal power generators at Huntly.
  • Hydro stations at Tongariro, Lake Waikaremoana and Lake Tekapo.
  • Wind farm in the Wairarapa.
  • Retails electricity and gas.
  • Owns 31% of the Kupe oil and gas field.


  • The Meridian Group includes the parent company Meridian Energy Limited, subsidiary businesses in Australia and the US and other innovative New Zealand investments that complement its core activities as an electricity generator and retailer.
  • Meridian Energy Limited is New Zealand’s largest electricity generator supplying approximately 30 per cent of New Zealand’s total electricity demand. It generates electricity from renewable energy sources, hydro and wind.
  • Meridian Energy Limited owns and operates six hydro stations on the Waitaki river in the South Island and Manapouri hydro station, located in a World Heritage Park in Southland.
  • The Meridian Group owns and operates four wind farms in New Zealand, one in Australia and built and operates the world’s southernmost wind farm in Antarctica.
  • The Meridian Group retails electricity nationwide through Meridian Energy Limited and its subsidiary Powershop. Meridian Energy Limited also supplies electricity to the largest consumer in New Zealand, the New Zealand Aluminium Smelter at Tiwai Point in Bluff.
  • The Meridian Group has offshore investments in wind farms in Australia and a solar facility in the USA. It is constructing the southern hemisphere’s largest wind farm in Australia with joint venture partner AGL Energy.

Mighty River Power

  • Integrated generator and retailer, with sales accounting for about 18% of New Zealand’s total electricity consumption.
  • More than 90% renewable generation, with substantial geothermal share, supported by multi-unit gas-fired plant in Auckland.
  • All generation assets located in the upper North Island, close to major industry and residential demand.
  • National retail brand Mercury Energy; niche brands GLO-BUG (pre-pay), Bosco Connect (inner-city apartments) and Tiny Mighty Power (provincial towns).
  • 82MW Ngatamariki geothermal station due for completion in 2013.
  • Leveraging geothermal expertise globally, with investments through GeoGlobal Energy in US, Chile and Germany.

Solid Energy

  • New Zealand’s largest natural resources company and energy producer.
  • Exports coal and wood pellets to countries around the world.
  • Supplies more than 75% of its coal to leading steel makers and most of the balance to New Zealand industry.
  • Develops and commercialises technologies: coal seam gas, underground coal gasification and lignite conversion.
  • Produces renewable energy – biomass and biofuels – for New Zealand markets, sells solar water heating.

Air New Zealand

  • More than 100 aircraft flying to 28 international and 27 domestic destinations.

See:  The companies

That’s a massive amount of wealth that National intrends on transferring into the hands of private investors. Not the mythical “mum and dad” investors – that demographic has all but lost it’s money after losing billions in investments after the collapse of 40+ finance companies.

The private investors will be wealthy individuals, most likely from the top 150 Rich Listers, and investment companies.

New Zealanders have every reason to oppose state asset sales. We lose. The rich gain. It’s as simple as that.





= fs =

Don – stop smoking that ‘Kronic’!!

21 August 2011 1 comment
Don Brash, Leader of ACT Party

Don Brash, on Q+A today (21 August),

“Nobody seriously believes that Governments run commercial business better than private owners do. There is no logic at all for Governments to continue to own them.”

Really, Don?

Let’s do a Fact Check on your claim that “nobody seriously believes that Governments run commercial business better than private owners do”.

Case # 1: Air New Zealand.

In April 1989 the airline was privatised by Roger Douglas with a sale to a consortium consisting of;  Brierley Investments Ltd(65%), Qantas (19.9%), Japan Air Lines Ltd (7.5%), and American Airlines Ltd (7.5%) .

The owners were a fairly high-powered, supposedly commercially-saavy, group of corporations.


Treasury 1

Treasury 2

The sale went through, earning the State $660 million.

In 2000, Air New Zealand entered into a commercial deal to buy 100% Ansett Airlines, for  $A680 million, from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation Ltd. This deal went sour and Ansett Australia was placed into liquidation by September 2000.  Air New Zealand subsequently announced a $NZ1.425 billion operating loss .

By  October 2001, Air New Zealand was itself in imminent danger of collapsing and  was re-nationalised by the then Clark-led Labour government under a  NZ$885 million bail-out. The government ended up with a 76.5% stake.

So much for private ownership.

Case #2: NZ Rail

In September 1993, NZ Rail was privatised and sold for $400 million (less debt)  to a consortium consisting of Wisconsin Central (40%), Berkshire Partners III L.P. (20%), and Fay & Richwhite (40%). NZ rail then had a succession of owners, culminating in heavy losses, with a $346 million loss for the half-year ended December 2003.

In May 2008 the Labour Government agreed to buy Toll NZ Ltd (less its trucking and distribution operations) for $665 million.

This experiment in privatisation was also a spectacular failure. No private owner could make a profit, even with the government agreeing in  2003 to spend $200 million over the following five years, upgrading the track via the new SOE, Ontrack.

The rail network had been badly run down through lack of investment in new rolling stock and lack of basic maintenance. And one of it’s first private owners, David Richwhite were investigated late 2004, by the NZ Securities Commission, regarding alleged insider trading. In June 2007 Richwhite  agreed to pay NZ$20 million, but did not admit liability.

Another “Tui time” for private ownership of state assets.

Case #3: Finance Companies.

It might be worthwhile reminding Don that the recent chain of collapse of finance companies in this country cost investors  $6 – $8 billion dollars in losses . Many of these  are the real “Mums and Dads” investors that National speaks  lovingly when mooting asset sales.

So Don, spare us the rhetoric that “nobody seriously believes that Governments run commercial business better than private owners do”. Because as many will confirm – that’s bullshit.

The question I ask myself is; Don, do you really believe that fantasy or not. If you do, you are deluded. If you don’t, you are  deliberately mis-representing the truth.

Either way – not a good look, mate.