Cunliffe pledges to stop Lochinver sale; Key says pre-judging OIO risks legal action; Labour eyes irrigation charges

Cunliffe pledges to stop Lochinver sale; Key says pre-judging OIO risks legal action; Labour eyes irrigation charges
Green Transport plan for Auckland

By Bernard Hickey

With just under six weeks to go until the September 20 election, here's my daily round-up of political news from in and around Wellington on Thursday August 7, including Labour Leader David Cunliffe upping the ante over the sale of Lochinver Station to Shanghai Pengxin by pledging to block it.

Also, Green Co-Leader Russel Norman annouced the party's transport policy, including a plan to spend NZ$10.4 billion on public transport, rail and regional highways over 10 years, which he said would cost less than the current Government's motorway-heavy investment plans.

The plan included NZ$2.2 billion of investment in seven public transport projects in Auckland, including NZ$1.3 billion in funds for an immediate start to the City Rail Link. A Green Government would increase cycling and walking infrastructure by 300% at a cost of NZ$1 billion over 10 years and increase funding for regional transport by NZ$423 million.

“National’s transport budget is focussed on expensive low value motorways, at the neglect of the smarter, greener transport projects New Zealanders want,” said Norman.

“National is wasting taxpayer’s money on poor value motorways that will actually increase traffic congestion, increase pollution, and make commuters vulnerable to rising oil prices," he said.

The policy included a rail extension to Mt Roskill in Auckland and a further rail extension to the Auckland Airport by 2025 and the North Shore by 2030. The railway from Papakura to Pukekohe would also be electrified and a new bus lane would be built on State Highway 16. The Northern Busway would be extended to Albany and Newmarket as part of busway and city bus improvements costing NZ$825 million.

However, the policy isn't completely public transport focused, with NZ$3 billion for upgrades to State Highways over 10 years.

McVicar for Conservative

In minor party news, Sensible Sentencing Trust founder Garth McVicar has announced he will stand for the Conservative Party at the election.

The party has not confirmed the news, but the Sensible Sentencing Trust issued a statement saying he would take a leave of absence.

"Garth has made a bold personal decision. He hopes to achieve more change through the political process," the Sensible Sentencing Trust said.

The Lochinver Block

Meanwhile, Labour's Cunliffe said a Labour Government would block the deal unless Shanghai Pengxin could prove the deal offered substantial extra value to New Zealand, over and above a sale to a New Zealander.

"We can't in this case think of what that (extra value) would be. That's why, in a nutshell, we're saying no sale," Cunliffe said on the election trail.

He added in a Radio New Zealand interview he had not seen the OIO application, but made the pledge on the facts already made public.

However, he was also unclear about whether Labour's policy applied to Australian buyers, saying he would be checking the CER agreement between Australia and New Zealand.

"That is one specific matter that I'm awaiting advice on," he said.

Prime Minister John Key said Cunliffe was pre-judging the decision and opening up any government to future legal action.

"Absolutely the Government would almost certainly be open to legal action if they pre-judge the decision made by the OIO without knowing facts," Key said.

More doctors and irrigation fees

Meanwhile, David Cunliffe announced a Labour Government would increase the number of people enrolled in the Very Low Cost Access scheme for doctors visits by 50% at a cost of NZ$40 million.

"The current funding formula will be relaxed to make it easier for practices to access VLCA, while existing practices will be able to cut fees further or enhance services," he said in releasing the policy.

Labour would also increase funding for maternity services and health NGOs by NZ$20 million.

Maryan Street delivered a speech in Wellington to the Institute of Public Administration announcing Labour's policy on the Public Service , including that it would set up a Royal Commission into the Public Sector.

It would also increase Government procurement from New Zealand manufacturers by NZ$200 million and from small businesses by NZ$300 million a year.

Meka Whaitiri released Labour's water policy, including a pledge to make all New Zealand's lakes and rivers swimmable, fishable and suitable for food gathering. It would also introduce resource rentals for irrigations schemes.

Irrigation New Zealand CEO Andrew Curtis described the resource rental as an irrigation tax that "will be impossible to implement and will cost a fortune to establish."

'Sugar daddy?'

Meanwhile, John Key speculated on the political relationship between Kim Dotcom and Laila Harre , and her call for a debate with Key at a Helensville electorate event.

"Harre wants to "grandstand on behalf of her sugar daddy Kim Dotcom," Key said in a Radio Live interview.

She later accused him of sexism and said the comment bordered on defamation.

'Do what the Fijians do'

Elsewhere, ACT Leader Jamie Whyte wrote an open letter to Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy (he called here a conciliator) to suggest she look at how other countries such as Fiji were removing race-based rules from their laws.

This follows her comments that his speech comparing Maori legal privilege to those enjoyed by French aristocrats was "grotesque."

Here's Whyte's comments to Devoy in the letter:

Closer to home, Fiji removed the concept of race and racial privilege from law in their new constitution in 2012. As a result, race-based electoral rolls and race-based seat quotas were eliminated. Under the new system, all Fiji citizens are now called “Fijians”, irrespective of their origin, and the use of race and ethnicity to define communalism and privilege, is no longer lawful.”

My question to you is do you consider it "grotesque" that these countries are taking steps to ensure that race has no place in their laws ?

Kim Dotcom and a crowd of students

This video of Internet-Mana's self-proclaimed visionary Kim Dotcom riling up a crowd of students in Christchurch on August 1 is getting some attention.


(Updated with Green Transport policy, Jamie Whyte calling for Fijian style race laws, Green Transport map for Auckland, Garth McVicar to stand for Conservative, Kim Dotcom riling up a student rally last week)

See all my previous election diaries here.

See the index for's special election policy comparison pages here.

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Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


The 'sugar daddy' comment says more about John Key than Laila Harre.
In 2008 John Key was cheerful, positive and even if you disagreed with his politics you probably considered him a nice guy.
In 2014 John Key is arrogant, nasty and sexist. To use language to describe an opposing female politician that in common usage means providing sexual favours for cash shows John Key has really embraced the negative side of himself.
Maybe kiwis should be asking themselves will thay be getting 2008 John Key as PM or 2014 John and do they still like 2014 John Key.
P.S Laila Harre is a distant cousin, I have only briefly met her many years ago and I don't agree with all her politics but I am proud of her.

I wouldnt think much of such mild comments, politics always has some back and forth.
In terms of "suger daddy" though isnt dot com substantially funding the Internet party though?
I certianly am not keen on legal threats being thrown about, if the kitchen is too hot,  stay out.
"2014", I'd suggest asking yoorself what would JK be like by 2017?    From my point of view both major parties are in utter denial on peak oil and the impact of expenive energy on our economy.  The only party that might well get but wont talk on it is busy selling its ass for votes, not sure if that is good,or bad.
NZF then claims its "common sense" to vote for them, bugger, I so dislike that.

I don't think 'sugar daddy' the way that Key uses it is a mild comment. He fully intended to use a word with negative sexual connotations. You don't have to go far on the internet to find Laila being labeled a 'wh...'. Is that now an acceptable label for our female politicians because of the role modeling shown by our elected leader?
It is clear that John Key has gone negative because the wheels on his 'status quo' bus are falling off. More and more people are questioning why the rewards of status quo are going to only a few. And more and more people are asking how will we keep the wolves from the door now that the two things supporting the economy -dairy and insurance payments are waning.
John Key does not want to have a sensible discussion on these matters so I am expecting more of these sort of 'mild comments'.
P.S all political parties have donors, there is nothing uniquely good or bad about I think it incenses John Key that the biggest political funder is not his.

If Key had used an equivalent non-sexist term such as "paymaster" or "puppet-master" it would have left the discussion open on who National are beholden to. Perhaps it is a discussion that Key doesn't want to have.

Good on John Key for saying it exactly as he sees it . You may not like it , but he calls it as he sees it , and thats called HONESTY .
Hone Harawira called us white Mother F&&*%rs not that long ago , and I did not like it , but thats how he sees it , and thats okay , at least we know what he thinks of us and where we stand .
People must get over the BS around this PC nonsense , we Kiwis use sexist and racist  terms and connotations in everyday colloquial language , and it wont change anytime soon .
Hell , even TVNZ programs such as  POLICE 10 -7 have racist undertones when you watch it , they only ever look for two types of people , mostly of fat build with tattoos,  often with gang associations .
John Key is open , relaxed , and honest and thats how he sees it, and......... I agree  with him on this one  .

Remember when Deputy PM Duncan McIntyre (also a Nat) publically told the joke about what a good idea it is to beat women?
I am pleased to say that the general standard of public discourse has changed markedly for the better in my lifetime. Long may it continue.

Boatman I strongly disagree with you and I am sure you would think differently if John Key in public had used a word closely related to 'wh.....' to describe one of your female relatives.
As Kumbel said he could have used terms like paymaster or puppetmaster to make his point. But he chose to use a more offensive word and now John needs to take responsibility for that.

Since when is the term Sugar daddy offensive ?

I know - hard to keep up, isn't it?

Sugar daddy is a slang term for a man who offers to support a typically younger woman or man after establishing a relationship that is usually sexual. Wiki definition. Seems offensive to me.

Ahhhh hahahahaaaa!
John Key is a lot of things, one thing he is NOT is honest...

Key went on to explain his comment to mean Dotcom is paying Laila to win him a seat in parliament so he can avoid extradition and a US prison, in my opinion, spot on.  Even Labour won’t (supposedly) get into bed with the Internet party anymore and Hone’s seat might not be such a sure thing anymore.  He is becoming political suicide. 


John Key has said all those things before and no doubt will continue to do so. Maybe Kim is political poison to all those who go near him. But as Kumbel says it is weird that only others are inappropriately influenced by doners not John Key. This is another example of arrogance within the National party. Maybe it is Key's role modeling that has exacerbated this party trait.
What is new is the 'sugar daddy' reference to Laila and Kim which we all know has sexual connotations. John Key when he went on to explain what he said refused to admit or apologise for using offensive language despite repeated questions/opportunities to do so. 

There are some people who hate everything that Key says, including the sugar daddy reference.  There are others who don't really care that he said it and think that it fits. 
This... everything the National Party does/says is arrogant... is a reletively new spin from the left, will be interesting to see if they can make it stick.

Another intrepretation of Kim's motives is he realises that extradition will depend on the courts and the Minister of Justice who will not be Laila or Hone but that he is so 'p...d off' with his treatment by this government that he wants 'utu'. A concept that the Maori Mana party probably understands. Laila in this interpretation is then using a rich 'dissaffected' German to fund a traditional left wing party combined  with a young persons internet party. Neither of which is original to Kim Dotcom.

And there are alot more than just KDC who feel disaffected by this government;

LOL and maybe that sort of thing is getting to John Key. Now that he doesn't feel the 'love' he has gone feral....

Well sugar daddy might well be a sexist comment but Laila's target demographic (the non-voting, uni/digital generation) couldn't have cared less. They aren't into politically correct .. that's likely why they haven't bothered voting in the past. Revolution - they can relate to - and revolutions are never PC :-).

Kate agreed young voters will not care about such language especially when they can use worse. But that doesn't mean it is acceptable for our Prime Minister to deliberately use abusive/sexist language.
Also by John Key using this type of language he is 'framing' the public discussion in how to think about the MIP in the way most favourable to him.
I think it is right that the 'disaffected' are finally questioning 'teflon John' and some of the questions are sticking.....

Do you really think it more offensive to suggest that a woman is being paid to prostitute her body, than that she is being paid to prostitute her mind?  Because that's sexist ...

It'sonly sexist if you have different standards for men.

So you think that, for both men and women, what they do with their bodies is more important, and says more about them as a person, than what they do with their minds?

Exactly right MdM. I have always detested Harre's politics.  But had admiration for her commitment.
But no admiration now.  She went for the money.  What was  she thinking ?

And with Labour refusing to work with Internet Mana that means that any votes going to Internet Mana will be wasted because they won't be part of either a left or right wing govn.  It's highly unlikely that right wing or swing voters will vote for Internet Mana which means they'll only be taking votes off the left. 
So they're a pain in everyone's ar$e. 

So she's gone from the lefties pin up girl (apparantly at one stage) to....
No its not accepatble under any circumstances, unfortunately there will always be nut jobs on both sides of the spectrum.  In some ways its quite brave of her standing up and taking such stuff.  Im sure if I can get threatened with violence she must have to put up with far worse and more frequently, terribly sad for democracy.
John key and sensible discusions?
Any time ive seen a "discusion" not going his way the smile seems to become fixed and transparent, his body language says a lot. Sadly our journalists and presenters dont seem to press things very well.
Not so sure on the wheels coming off, the poll trend is favouring National. Mainly because I think at least 2 if not 3 have fallen off labour's wagon already. Wish I could understand why, they dont seem significantly worse than "normal". Maybe its ppls fear of the left baggage that would get dragged in if Labour wins.

By wheels falling off I meant the good news economic story that National hoped to go into the election with. Politically National are still going strong and they will probably win the election. If Labour had been more unified it would have been much closer. Maybe Labour will surprise us over the coming weeks. I think the Greens have done well with its Transport plans today.

FYI Updated with the Green Party's NZ$10.4 billion transport plan, which would replace National's big RONS programme with rail, bus, cycleway and regional highway spending.

The city rail link is a $500 tax on every man, woman and child in NZ so the unwashed can be delivered to work and the bosses can arrive at their leisure in their Maseratis and Ferraris without unpleasent congestion

Versus all roading projects, which means both bosses and the unwashed can get all stuck together in upleasant congestion - except on a wider version of the same road?

Neven the Greens are proposing to spend the same amount of taxpayers money, so cost is not the issue. A proper analysis of which policy provides the most mobility for the buck might be more relevant.

I thought My Minto's free public transport in Auckland warrants some serious number crunching.  Sounds whacky at first, but stand back a moment and think about it.  The need for new Auckland motorways would dry up overnight.   The buses would of course not be free, they would be funded by users as ratepayers or taxpayers somehow or other (how being the key).  The importation of oil would reduce hugely, as would cars and associated products.  Has anyone actually done some serious analsyis on this?  If not it seems seriously negligent by transport planners.

Rastus , are you smoking that terrible green stuff again !
Busses dont come for free mate  ,someone somewhere has to pay for free stuff, always  .
Busses have to be bought , fueled , run , oiled , maintianed , cleaned , serviced , repaired , driven , licenced ,COF'ed , RUC'd ,  and stored at expensive premises  when not in use .
Who is going to pay for this ?
Auckland council debt is already costing $1,000,000.00 a day .... to put into perspective ...thats the price of  3 low cost houses a day!
My rates are already too high.
And using the bus for me is not suited to my work .
John Minto is a clown and cannot be taken seriusoly by anyone away with the personal slags and take another read.
I am suggesting some number crunching.  Until that is done we do not know if this may be cheaper than the current suggestions. Open your eyes to the possibility that doing things the same old way is why your rates and travel costs are becoming what they are.

Apologies , I was being flippant , and it was not necessary

And I hope you get my point.  I am not advocatng the said free buses per se.  What I am advocating is a decent look at it. It may or may not stack up, but it would be interesting to see the costings - huge savings on roading - both new and maintenance, absence of inner city congestion, no need for new bridge/tunnel/rail loop, big decrease in oil/car imports.  And speed...this could be done within months, not 10 or 20 years.   
Now,  where's me lighter got to?

Yes there has always been a huge unacknowledged subsidy  of road transport. 

That's quite an assumption, that nobody would want to use their cars any more if public transport were free. I suspect that what most people would like about public transport would be for other people to use it so that they themselves can continue to use their car with even greater convenience and comfort.  Doesn't work if everybody thinks the same, though

Public transport is ok for people in routine, clerical jobs, based in city centres.
It will never be very good for people working in 'new' creative, connected jobs, nor anyone working in manufacturing, or based out of a city centre.
It is certainly not for anyone who needs to get anywhere in a hurry. It needs riders who have time on their hands, prepared to relegate their own schedules for those of the convenience of the bus and rail companies - and occasionally the unions. It's for people who don't value their time.
And then there is the never-ending frustration of timetables that can't be relied on. I try to use a bus route that is supposed to have a 10 minute schedule. "They're dreaming." At least I get to walk more; walking eases the frustration when you wait for a bus that doesn't come.
"Better public transport" is something you push on others, something you thought was pretty cool when you lived in a big city on your OE, something you want someone else to pay for. Something whose time has passed. We now need "Better personal transport options" - without the straight-jackets.

What you want, and what you are going to get, are going to be two entirely different things, as you will find out in due course.

David Chaston defines very perceptively and he helps me think through the public transport issue.  There is a need for it, but will only suit a percentage of the population. 

John Key was being polite , Kim Dot Com , seems to have a cult following similar to that of another Kim who lives north of South Korea , and is wanted for some serious offences such as human rights abuses .

Not to be outdone, and in keeping with our need for status on the world stage , we here in Kiwi-land have our own Kim.

Our Kim , in good Kiwi style, is not as violent , but is wanted for charges such as fraud , money laundering , Internet piracy , and a whole raft of other charges .... is a fugitive from justice and why we even let him land here eludes me .

If John Key had said that rather than making sexist inuendo I might have agreed with him.

FYI I've updated with Jamie Whyte's comments to Susan Devoy that New Zealand should follow Fiji's approach on reforming its race-based laws.

Cherry Picking
Jamie Whyte refers to Fiji's approach to reforming race-based laws
What he doesn't mention is the pre-cursor - the policies under both Field Marshall Sitiveni Rambuka and Commodore Frank Bainemarama's regimes of what amounted to ethnic cleansing
Are there non-Fijian ethnics left in Fiji? Changing the rules after they have all left is too easy 

Just heard an interview with Key on the farming show.  Even some farmers are getting heated on this issue.  Jamie Mckay read out a letter from a farmer saying he and others would not be voting for Key for the first time ever if National does not look at this issue.  Keys response was Labour sold more land than we did.  Key isn't stupid but he really seems to be missing the nations pulse on this one.  

True , even I cannot support John Key on the sale huge chunks  of New Zealand to non-resident foreigners .
This cozying up to China is dumb , look at the copper mines in Zambia, Zambians cannot even get work opening the gates  to the facilities, all of which are now Chinese owned , staffed and managed .
JK needs to understsand  China does not have mates or 'allies' it only has interests  , and those come first
And , for the avoidance of doubt I am not being racist , but  you go and try and buy a farm in China and see how far you get

New Zealand doesn't have the same laws as Zambia does, so Chinese investors will not be able to behave in the same way in New Zealand as they can in Zambia. 
Of course China has its own interests and puts them first.  Perhaps you can name a few other countries that voluntarily put New Zealand's interests ahead of their own?
You suggest that Chinese investors should only be able to invest in New Zealand on the same terms as New Zealanders can invest in China.  Do you also think that American investors should only be able to invest in New Zealand on the same terms as New Zealanders can invest in the US, and similarly for other nations? In other words, that the Overseas Investment Office should have a working and up-to-date knowledge of the land purchase laws of every other country in the world, and be able to administer it?
Or is it only China that this should be applied to, despite the fact that you're not racist?  If so, what other aspects of Chinese policy do you also think we should follow in New Zealand?

You raise some interesting points , Zambia , formerly  Northern Rhodesia has a legal system remarkably similar to ours ,as a former colony it follows British law , has a Westminster type parliament , and the Queen appears on their coinage , although she is no longer head of state  
 I worked for Standard Chartered Bank in Central Africa years ago , and spent time in Lusaka . Zambia is a wild and beautiful place of massive  wide opne spaces and really easy-going people .
The Chinese have run circles  around  the easy-going  Zambians and they are mightily pissed off .
Can you see the first similarity ?
As to Chinese investment here , thats fine , but land ownership purchases by the government of  a country that can simply print money and use it to but real assets here is not on .
We dont want Chinese laws here , but we do want fairness and reciprocity to our open honest culture of goodwill to all men

We dont want Chinese laws here , but we do want fairness and reciprocity to our open honest culture of goodwill to all men
Kate on another thread questioned the goodwill behind  this local outrage.

John Key - Theme Song

Dave Edmunds - original - 1970

Keith Urban - cover - 2003

A homegrown version :-)
Seriously good graphics - nice slide guitar as well.

Powerful - Planet Key
BTW Keith Urban is kiwi
Reminded me of this - follow the words across the top

Can I see the similarity?  No, I can't.  I really can't.  Zambia places around the 30th - 40th percentile internationally for governance factors such as control of corruption, rule of law, effectiveness of government, regulatory quality.  That's actually not bad for an African country, but it is not in the same ballpark as New Zealand, which  is around the 98th. 

The fact remains , if you look at foreigners taking control of your assets whether its using money , blankets or guns , the outcome is bound to piss the locals off

But they're not "in control".  They're subject to New Zealand law, exactly the same as are New Zealanders.

I think the chinese component of the discussion is not useful.
My view is that NZ land should be owned by citizens only. And I don't care who you grandaddy is.

The reason the Chinese element is in this whole discussion is because of the involvement of their still communist government who still have stakes in these huge corporations, so selling the land to them is to some degree, selling NZ land to a foreign govt. It is also about the amount of land that they are able to and intend to buy, Shanghai Pengxin, is has been suggested, are in the market for up to 1500 farms. Then there is the whole vertical integration thing, which has been stated by them is an aim. Then there are BVIs which can only be there for one thing, tax avoidance and that will be tax avoidance here. It is that the Chinese are on a march around the world buying up stuff and it is to secure food supply and again, backed by their govt, they will not be reselling anytime soon.
Their whole approach is completely different from that of other foreigners, although I too, agree with your sentiment.
The Chinese govt is easing up on restrictions on money leaving the country and for those who chant that they are not strong in the market, it won't be long before they will be. 
Most of the unease with China springs from a nervousness about their govt involvement in everything. Mind you I nearly fell off my chair the other day when Jamie Whyte at the minor parties debate said that us putting any restrictions on land sales was communistic yet he seemed totally happy to sell to a communist govt. I think right there he clearly demonstrated the utter selfishness of ACT.
And as for racism anyway, Chinese is not a race, it is no more a race than is Irish or Australian

My prediction, Greens the will be the major centre left party at the 2017 election with Labour fading into oblivion.  These types of public transport initiatives have broad appeal for road users and public transport users.  I would have preferred the Greens pledge to stop Auckland’s exponential growth but I guess this is the next best thing.   

FYI updated with Garth McVicar standing for the Conservatives...

FYI updated with a link to this Internet-Mana video of Kim Dotcom riling up a crowd of students in Christchurch.

Labour's water policy is interesting.  It states  – with some of our most polluted water bodies being in urban areas. Well done Labour in acknowledging that the non farming part of our communities have to really step up to the mark.  
Well done also in also including lakes.  It will be good to see that Queenstown will not able to continue to pollute Lake Wakatipu to the point it issues 'No Swim' orders, and get away with it without any sort of consequence.
They also support new irrigation schemes - with some provisos.
Just a pity they want all rivers and lakes swimmable. They mention community decision making, but then effectively take that away by setting what every community has to acheive (all rivers and lakes swimmable) whether or not it is achieveable or what the community wants.  

Bernard as part of the election-policy pages have you considered a running total on the new policies, outright bribes and other electoral inducements on offer in these mad few last weeks of the campaign?
F'rinstance the Greens have:

  • swimmable water bodies (unidentified and undefined)_ - rough-order cost over a decade say $5 billion cost PLUS the foregone revenue e.g. if Horizons One type nutrient budgets are mandated centrally - kiss goodbye to perhaps the same amount of dairy income so net $10 billion
  • 'free' off-peak PT for the Youf Vote:  ten-year cost unilikely to be much less than $0.5 billion
  • reinstate the Four Wellbeings:  give the economically clueless Councils a license to spend OPM again on whatever their staff fancy, and I doubt we'd come out under $10 billion for a decade of it all

So there's north of $20 billion in one little corner of one party's promises.
HL Mencken yet again:

“The state — or, to make matters more concrete, the government — consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can’t get, and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time it is made good by looting ‘A’ to satisfy ‘B’. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advanced auction on stolen goods.”

On the other hadn, 6 years of National have een us rake up a government debt of over 70 billion (up from 10bn in 2008), flogged off 49% of a few nice assets, drilling rights granted, logging rights in reserves granted - and what have we got to show for it?
I'm definitely not better off - on the contrary.

  • one of best-managed responses to the GFC of any country in the world:  we borrowed exactly and precisely (in Bill E's own words, heard personally) to 'take the sharp edges off the impact'
  • Christchurch rebuild - $10+billion and counting

....we borrowed exactly and precisely (in Bill E's own words, heard personally) to 'take the sharp edges off the impact'
How sharp is sharp?
Government debt issuance under National
RBNZ total debt outstanding as of 31 July 2014

@waymad , just remember there is nothing provided for FREE , and if we give  FREE  public transport  to anyone , it will not be free, some poor sod  is going to have to pay for it  .
All the busses in Auckland are privately owned and :-

  • The banks want their interest
  • The drivers want thier wages
  • The proivders of capital want their yield
  • The shareholders  want their dividends
  • Auckland Transport wants its fees
  • The Government wants the RUC

IT can never be free , and someone will have to pay for it .

Kind of like free public health to those that could do better with their diet and general health, yet choose not to and become a burden on our health system? A public health funded system that I hardly touch, yet pay for? I'll moan about that and you can moan about free buses.

Is David Cunliffe going to use the limp excuse that Sir Micky Cullen trotted out to block foreigners from purchasing assets off their owners : It's a strategic asset !
.. .. is Lochinver Station a strategic asset ?
If not , why should it's legal owners be blocked from selling to whomever gives them the price they're happy with ?..  ... would DC have been so incensed if the buyers were Australians , instead of Chinese ???
... meebee Cunny's wife's house in Herne Bay is a property of national importance , and should only be sold to New Zealand citizens when the Cunliffes decide to move on ... even if a Chinese couple offer them much more ..

Or maybe, just maybe, we should all be wary of Chinese COMMUNIST govt backed corporations buying vast amounts of land and numbers of farms, setting up their own processing plants to compete with us and more on our own soil.
Free marketeers supporting communist regimes buying into their country seems a bit oxymoronic to me, or just plain moronic

... no need to be abusive , if you don't agree with a fellow blogger's viewpoint ..

In this case most definitely as I do not believe you and your ilk think past the "it's mine I can sell it to whoever I want" mantra

... then you won't be too concerned if I call you a racist !

Feel free though I am not sure how being concerned about a totalitarian govt of another country involving itself with land purchases here make me a racist though. I think you lot completely miss the point, there are other sales that bother me as well where multiple properties are concerned, the ones in the Waikato and the Germans in Southland and I was particularly concerned at the sale of Turners and Growers to foreign Germans as I was with Wrightson to Chinese.
What about you, are you happy with the Chinese totalitarian govt involvement? Are you really?
And ideally, I would like to not see foreigners buying up our farms altogether and our houses then renting them back to us, but as from a couple of days ago, I have become extremely concerned at what the end game might be here, where the Chinese (as defined by their system not their colour or the shape of their eyes) 
There is a bigger picture here and I think trying to use the old racist/xenophobic schtick is becoming a bit desperate. We would not be the first country to become concerned at what could happen if we do not put NZ interests above those of another country

Oh and I think it was the ACTION that I have called moronic, not a person

He will find it hard, if as we understand once purchased, Peng are thinking of spending an additional $US 58milion [local spend?] to put 12k cows on a 6,000ha block. That again would probably see it pass the OIO eco benefit case and get past the supply chain (closed loop) features that weigh it.

I'd have thought all any new government need do is write another Ministerial Directive.

Which is why I think we need firm laws regarding accumulating of land and the whole closed loop thing with the processing.
That would apply to any and every foreigner looking to buy land here, it seems like a very good place to start for me