Labour proposes new Sovereign Wealth Fund in 'NZ Inc' policy including KiwiShare for power SOEs; Key rejects 'henchman's' GCSB claim

Labour proposes new Sovereign Wealth Fund in 'NZ Inc' policy including KiwiShare for power SOEs; Key rejects 'henchman's' GCSB claim

By Bernard Hickey

With 6 days to go until the September 20 election, here's my daily round-up of political news on Sunday September 14, with Labour proposing to create a new Sovereign Wealth Fund and Prime Minister John Key rejecting claims by journalist Glenn Greenwald that the GCSB was involved in mass surveillance of New Zealanders.

Greenwald, who is in New Zealand for Monday's 'Big Reveal' on the Government with Kim Dotcom, told TV3's The Nation on Saturday that Key's assurances that the GCSB was not engaged in mass surveillance of meta-data was not true.

"What I can tell you is that the statement that the GCSB made to New Zealand citizens last year — 'We do not engage in mass surveillance of New Zealanders' — is one that is not truthful," Green said.

The Government engaged in "extraordinary amounts of analysis of metadata – meaning who's talking to whom for how long, where they are when they speak – on a massive, indiscriminate scale, not just internationally but of New Zealanders as well," he said, adding New Zealand was part the Five Eyes alliance and also had access to the NSA's XKeyScore system.

Key has previously said he would resign if it was ever proved that the GCSB engaged in mass surveillance.

Key told reporters the GCSB had looked at wider surveillance after cyber attacks on New Zealand companies in 2011 and 2012, but had decided against the business case because it was too invasive.

He said he would provide documentary proof that the Government decided against such wide surveillance.

"What ended up actually happening though was in about September of 2012, obviously there was the shake-up of GCSB, I brought in Rebecca Kitteridge, I started saying to the agency look, firstly your law needs to change, secondly your institution needs to strengthen, and thirdly I'm a little uncomfortable with where you're sorting to go," Key said on TVNZ's Q+A.

"I think you're actually arguing this far too broadly.  Even though a lot of New Zealanders might like it, because it's really a Norton anti-virus at a very high level,” he said.

“This is the point around the politics of all this.  He's had these documents for well over a year or so, so he's miraculously turning up 5 days before, 6 days before an election to try and bamboozle people, and try and make all of these claims which don’t stack up.  But he's only seen one bit you see, he's hacked in, he's seen all of this information, he said 'aha gotcha,' and of course what he doesn’t realise is none of that ever happened.  So I'll be able to produce the document that says here's rescinding the asking of the business case, here's the document that actually shows what's taken place," Key said.

Earlier, he told reporters Greenwald was a "henchman" of Kim Dotcom and being paid to appear in New Zealand. Greenwald denied being paid, saying he had donated his fee to charity.

"I'm probably not going to jump in front of what information he's got," Key told reporters on the campaign trail on Saturday.

"It's up to the henchman to go and deliver that information I suppose, but mark my words, he's wrong. I'm right and I'll prove I'm right."

Key went on to call Edward Snowden a hacker. Greenwald won a Pullitzer Prize this year for his reporting for the Guardian on the information disclosed by Snowden.

Labour's NZ Inc plan

Meanwhile on Sunday, Labour Leader David Cunliffe announced a Labour Government would implement a "New Zealand Inc" policy, including a new 'NZ Inc' Sovereign Wealth Fund to buy strategic assets in New Zealand's interests and introduce a 'KiwiShare' for all State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) to stop any further Government sell-downs.

The Sovereign Wealth Fund would be managed as a separate fund by the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and be funded through a contribution of NZ$100 million a year from dividends from SOEs. It would also receive any greater-than expected oil and gas royalties. Labour would look to increase oil and gas royalty levels to Australian levels, he said.

The first contribution would be in 2016/17 and follow a review of Crown Commercial Assets. Legislation would be passed in 2014/15 to introduce KiwiShares for all SOEs, Mixed Ownership Model (MOM) companies and Air New Zealand.

"NZ Inc has three aims: to drive sustainable growth, support the transition from fossil fuels to clean technology and enshrine New Zealand ownership of our strategic assets," Cunliffe said.

“New Zealand is to be a world leader in clean technology and this will help power the economy of the future," he said.

“The NZ Inc Sovereign Wealth Fund will look to invest in strategic assets and may choose to buy back shares in already privatised assets if and when that makes commercial sense," he said.

“Labour will review oil and gas revenues to bring them up to a fair level that doesn’t exceed Australia’s. This will mean New Zealanders get a fair share from their resources and provides more funds for NZ Inc Sovereign Wealth Fund.

Here is the Questions and Answer document for the policy. The fund would be able to buy equity investments inside and outside of New Zealand "where it has impact on New Zealand's value chains."

“New Zealanders want to ensure Kiwi assets are kept in Kiwi hands and new assets are generated to drive wealth for the future. The next Labour Government will use NZ Inc to make that happen.”
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Meanwhile on Sunday, Labour Leader David Cunliffe announced a Labour Government would implement a "New Zealand Inc" policy, including a new 'NZ Inc' Sovereign Wealth Fund to buy stratetic assets in New Zealand's interests and introduce a 'KiwiShare' for all State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) to stop any further Government sell-down.
Voters supporting the sovereign wealth fund mandate need to investigate the consequences of what they wish for.
Another conspiracy "theory" becomes conspiracy "fact" as The FT reports "a cluster of central banking investors has become major players on world equity markets." The report, to be published this week by the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF), confirms $29.1tn in market investments, held by 400 public sector institutions in 162 countries, which "could potentially contribute to overheated asset prices Read more

"Voters supporting the sovereign wealth fund mandate need to investigate the consequences of what they wish for."
Yes, see how it has absolutely ruined Norway......not.  And NZ's oil/mineral royalty rate is shockingly low, but appreciated by NZ's wealtiest family, I'm sure.

Are the people in NZ as socially and culturally ethically orientated as Norway?

Yes, see how it has absolutely ruined Norway......not.
Bailed out numerous times by central bank QE. Read more

... we already have a Sovereign Wealth Fund .... have they forgotten , already ?
They should remember it , as it was Cunnie's boss Sir Micky Cullen who set it up ... the NZ Super Fund , in common vernacular the Cullen Fund ...
... another fund besides that ???? .... more highly paid bureaucrats to administer it ... more taxpayers' monies socked off overseas ... taken from us before we get to splurge it on that proverbial half block of cheese ...

Gummy, From memory the NZ Super Fund has done very well in investing over the last few years (I'm a bit jealous, as theyv'e beaten my numbers by some margin). Your point on avoiding adding a lot of extra bureaucracy is a reasonable one. That team being very capable, they should be more than useful in investing the extra money that might be used to help balance the current account, and keep the exchange rate at a level that works on achieving that balance.
Maybe the definition of whgat the xtra fund is used for might need a bit of work, but the process of investing should be the same. Yes potentially we might add a few hundred million or even a few billion over time to the 29 trillion Stephen H reports is already invested. But if we don't play the game, and others are, NZ Inc are the clear losers over time.

Yesterday Key was saying (as reported by TV3) "Mr Key has promised to declassify and release top-secret documents proving this, either tomorrow or the next day, getting in ahead of Dotcom and Mr Greenwald."
But I see that has changed today, to I will declassify documents afterwards (with possible issues around Key selectively declassifying documents)
My guess is that Key will assert that monitoring every New Zealander's telephone call, to whom they called, when they called, and for how long they spoke, does not count as spying because the GCSB didn't listen to the actual words (that was left to the Americans).
I imagine the government actually has a response ready for this one, as this is what people though the Hager book was going to be about.

And since he has kindly offering to resign if it is revealed he lied to New Zealand, let's bookmark that on 14 Aug 2013 Key said GCSB does not use the NSA to spy on kiwis.

And dh, if what Key releases proves that Greenwald is operating on old and incomplete data and is completely wrong (is there a middle answer), it's says a hell of a lot about the credibility of some of what else has been released by hackers and publicised over the past few weeks. The credibility  of Dotcom and Greenwald will be totally shot (Dotcom, who actually thought otherwise, but will say a lot about a Pulirzer prize journalist) -  a "key" moment for all

As above, I suspect there may bea distinction between what Key describes as spying and what Greenwald describes as spying. To Key, monitoring all citizens phone conversations may not be spying (this is the definition that the U.S. Government has gone with). Personally, I think it is spying, what do you think?
We will know what Greenwald has tomorrow.

yes "spying" is when other people do it to us.  "prudent security measures" is when we do it to you.

Thus hacking party emails and blogs is bad.  Monitoring phones and private citizens as measure of course is just good practice.

It all just depends whose side you're whose side are you on?

Why, I am always a loyal citizen of Oceania and wouldn't even contemplate a thoughtcrime.
While my personal sympathies tend towards the openness & transparency/ rule of law axis when it comes to the exercise of power (by the state, corporate, or whoever), I think discussions like "what do people consider unconcionable spying on New Zealand citizens" are useful to have before the evidence comes out, in the vain hope people might consider the evidence against thier own standards rather than judging it on who supplied it. But then I am also very biased in favour of evidence based decisions.

Im on my side, I think privacy is a fundimental right until proven otherwise (on an individual basis).    This also means there should be elected watchers and judiciary watching the watchers and that function should not be invested in one person and especially not the PM, that is way too much personal power that could be abused. 

Since you openly declare that you are not open of our side (and thus willing open your privacy to us without constraint) then you must be "category: other" (otherwise known as "them").  As a member of the second group your actvities are considered suspicious and must be monitored for your safetys' sake.    Objection to this reasonable protection measure is clear proof of a desire to harm or prevent protection of NZ citizens and such criminal acts cannot by tolerate by good citizens ("category: our side", otherwise known as "us").

Too true.  Clearly deserves a rat-cage to the face.
But seriously, even if a substantial number of people are able to convince themselves that JK can be trusted not to abuse powers allowing mass data surveillance on NZ citizens, and that there's nothing to worry about if you've 'nothing to hide', do they trust the next PM not to abuse it?  Or whoever's elected in 2017, 2020 or 2023?  Once this genie's out of the bottle, we'll never get those rights back, and they'll be there for PM's we haven't even heard of yet to abuse, for reasons we haven't even imagined.  Who'll be deciding what constitutes 'something to hide' in 2026?

Well, since they absolutely swore and declared that the GSCB would never ever under any situation ever be allowed to monitor New Zealand citizens* and that it would never under any circumstance ever have the law changed to make this possible in the future, we guarantee, cross our hearts....

so whats the chance of abuse?  considering they _clearly_ broke the law previously, not once but many times and not just against one person (>70)... the chance of abuse if it was marginally legal?  100.0000%

*  as it would interfere with SIS and police jurisdicition for a start... 

True Kakapo, even if somehow some people can still find it in themselves to trust Key, how do we know this information won't end up in the hands of people that clearly can't be trusted like Slater?
Also now that there is a non disputed stong relationsip between Slater and many members of the current government, and a history of Slater being given information by them.
They have actually themselves proven why they shouldn't be allowed to do it.

It completely staggers me that there are so many one-eyed partisans who are apparently happy to support and/or rationalise any level of corruption and skulduggery, so long as it's perpetrated by their 'side'.  Do they not realise that their 'side' won't be on top for ever, and that by turning a blind eye, just so they can gloat moronically over some petty victory, they're dropping dangerous precedent in the laps of future governments (both domestic and foreign) that we know nothing about?

It not just "their side"  but the favours from less savory people they deal with - to whit, the absolute insistance the GCSB will NEVER be used for private interest, let alone foreign private or government interests... and Dotcom for all his faults, got raided from GCSB backed parties at the insistance of the US RIAA  (a private group of US recording companies)  is anyone disputing it happened?  or that RIAA is a US private group with NO connections to terrorism prevention?

What's blows me away is the gape-faced ignorance that lets such events  occur and then vanish if they never happened, then when it happens again the same sheep just gape again...

I would be very interested to hear from National voters who think this is all okay how they would feel about Hone Hawera having access to their meta data if Mana/Internet are part of the government of the day.

That is the interesting thing. As long as its "them" getting spied on and dumped on its all OK. When the shoe is on the ther foot, oh boy you go deaf from the whinning.
Second, it seems the right/libertarians "worry" about big Government taking over / controlling their lives but dont sem to be saying much about this going on.  Thta's OK its others lives being controlled for everyones "good".

Just look at the likes of our present ex-minister happy to release information to ppl like Slater who it seems would have no second thought on releasing it to harm ppl standing in "their" way on political grounds.
If it was Labour who did this every right winger would be screaming in here, instead pretty close to silence, or a few claims its a fraud, didnt happen or illegally got so doesnt count.

Comment on the month for me Kakapo, cuts right to the heart of the issue.

OK and you are over with the "us" then?  (kidding).
That is the delusion of course, lots of "us's" think they are on the "us" side until something happens and they find they are not and they wont be able to do a damn thing about it.

Me?  heck no, no-one will have me - I'm just over here baying at the moon (as usual)

I don't think Key will be consider monitoring personal phone calls without a warrant as not  spying, and he's says they haven't been so we shall see - I suspect it will be fairly black and white for the unbias when it all comes out in the next few days but my money's on a known quanity until proven otherwise, rather than a convicted fraudster and the people he's hired.

But we get into the issue of what is monitoring- I call the recording of the time, date, duration, and who called who monitoring. And I call letting the NSA or Palantir collect that information then sharing it with the GCSB as functionally equivalent to the GCSB collecting it.

Considering such actions were done as a teenager or early 20s and its now 20 years+ later I think we can close the case on such labeling.

also considering it's been through courts and he's served his penalty, such accusations can be considered legally libellous...

He wasn't convicted Cowboy, he was innocent ?

then that's even closer to libelous.  
If it's guilty "he was charged with..."
If not charged "he was suspected of..."

But if charged and innocent, it's a bit scary but that gives an offical stamp of Tabula Rasa , which is what is so troubling about technicality innocence.

19 actually Steven, and I know that because he keeps proudly repeating it. If he'd actually have learnt anything from it, I'd understand your comment, but I don't. 

Well I guess your views on his words differ to my viewing.  I mean some of his "hacks" were more political than anything else. On top of that it was what 25 years ago? and since then he has done nothing along these lines.  I guess some ppl such as yourself see others as permantely guilty. I wonder how you would feel still being labeled a crim decades alter for something you did in your youth?
be very happy about it, I bet.

Key's position has changed today. From the Herald:
"Mr Key has said the GCSB was working on a business study for a form of “mass cyber protection” following cyber attacks on several large New Zealand companies. Mr Key had told them it was too broad a net. However, this morning he indicated it had gone ahead on a limited capacity."

The irony of it all
Not so very long ago, back in the days of David Hargreaves, pushing the "absence of data" boat on who was buying property, where they are domiciled, who is holding, is the money clean, where does it come from, etc etc etc
And, the push back from Key and English was always
Too hard
Too expensive
Cant be done

good point.

One word that I haven't noticed mentioned so far in this election campaign is 'integrity'. I wonder if it is a word too close to home for the current generation of pollies to touch.

If you listen to the Green's on the GCSB etc its pretty clear they want some seperation and limits on what is allowed.    JK clearly thinks there is a lot more scope on what is moral and what is not. Not sure about DC I have not listened to him on the subject, he's toast so no point IMHO.

The most defining act after the supposed halting of the business case for mass suverillance is legislation to increase the powers and enable such. Recall someone used his personal goodwill to push that one through. Actions always speak louder than words and documents.  

And the Herald have gotten hold of the centrepiece email from Dotcom's announcement this evening. As I predicted last week, it is an email dating from the Hobbit negotiations from one Hollywood executive to another outlining how the executive had had good discussions with John Key (by name) to have Dotcom given residency in order to have him extradited to the United States.
Yes, Dotcom is a horrible person, but this in no way makes up for Key lying to the country.

Not so sure on the horrible I mean just how many NZers have the sun shining out of their asses? Even if not, does that make them criminals? deserving a police raid in the early hours of the morning with automatic weapons?
fraid not.
What worries me is I dont see much sign from any party except the Greens that this looks woefully wrong.

It says heaps about our society we judge someone as horrible, the character assanination of this guy is insane.  seems to me he may have a civil case against him yet he has the full weight of the US and our government against him. In my mind that is appauling.

looking through the documents that John Key declassified (and putting aside the issues around that) it seems to me they have nothing to do with the specific accusations Glen Greenwald made. it looks to me like GG went you did Thing A and JK has gone no see we were not doing Thing B.

that just seems like electioneering spin to me. We reading the same docs ?

well, I'm reading the declassified documents about the Cortex project linked to from here
Which does seem unrelated to me the way Greenwald has described the speargun project and xkeyscore as operating.
Does anyone else who works in data analysis or networking want to make a professional opinion?

Even putting aside a professional judgement of what the projects are doing, there is the budget timelines not matching. Cortex was killed and the budget was reallocated before any work was done on it, according to the documents. But According to the NSA phase one of Project Speargun (tapping the Southern Cross cable) was successfully completed in 2012.

Yes that's bizarre: Cortex vs Speargun. So Spreargun was intelligence gathering, whereas Cortex was cyber protection?  Hopefully, someone will ask Key tomorrow whether Speargun is still operating.  Certainly seems for it to become operational it required the GCSB law change.
This is where he went wrong - releasing his declassified docs beforehand. Very odd he did that - as initially he said he'd wait for GG to release his info.

Cortex seems to have been a plan to have an anti-malware active defence system that companies and organisations attached to the New Zealand internet could have opted in to use.
Like I said, I don't think these two things seem in any way similar.

That aside, much is revealed by those documents about who is involved in making these decisions, various competencies, and government's approach to security. The information revealed will not improve confidence.

Russel Norman picks up on the discrepancy between what Key released and what was alternatively revealed by Greenwald/Snowden here;–-x-k...
It's an easy question - yes or no to X-Keyscore use on NZers.

Norman questions Key's integrity. I think that is what is really under question. The issue of integrity though goes far wider than just Key. From there it may move on to how information obtained has been used - bringing us back to dirty politics and possible corruption.

Yes however will the media pick up and drive it. On last nights reporting it appears not.

likewise where did much of the wikileaks info come if there was no surveillance going on?

The other half of the puzzle in legal terms, is once they have the information/access, the government and police-powers (not just cops) consider to themselves that they can't just turn a blind eye to "suspicious" things.

 Since the search is hugely invasive, and that fundamentals behind the law say they are not supposed to be _more_ invasive, then any information they've anything connected or connected to "suspicious" material or people (or usually just to be sure, 1 or 2 people and their material beyond the original suspicious person/event) fair game for anything they want.
 It's all archived (as releases have proven) so searches can be retrograde for all information storage the government has funds for.

They rely on the majority of most people not to understand the laws (ie invasive searches, not being permitted to ignore suspicions) and to be to scared of their own security.  The latter is what incredibly peeves me off about gangs and burglaries (and minor drug crimes) etc... they serve as an excuse for police and secrets authorities to grab extra powers.  It it the criminals that empower legalised thuggery and invasion of privacy!

On top of that who decides what is malware?  If its from "China" its malware, if its from the good ol' USA who controls the system its a "feature" so the system wont block it and let it straight into the system.
oh boy...

which would have been nice if their was any sign of such things being use to stop or track malware, virus use, or even botnet activity.   Even online scams like GlobalSounds that have been been active for years, with numerous official complaints have nothing done about them, so any claim of protection is just BS.

Since the CEO of the Southern Cross Cable was confident that the cable couldn't be tapped without disrupting it (I am less confident but it is not my technical area), I should note the Southern Cross Cable had a big unexpected outage in 2012.

Um well, the US doesnt have to do anything so hard.  The cables comes ashore on US soil,  (West coast or Guam for instance) hence all the US has to do is add another port into the fibre switch and collect every single packet. 
PS I think fibre cables have been tappable since the 1980s. 
Also who makes the cables? every so often I think there is what is known as a repeater inside the cable. I wouldnt think it would be that hard to make such a few such repeaters along the length exploitable/accessible.

So would Key swear in a court of law this stuff isnt' true?
No, we know that he wouldn't, why is that??? it's pretty obvious really.
It would be nice to see one of our so called journalists ask him that.
You won't get any of the puppets working for TVNZ asking him anything other than about how nice his day was, TVNZ in a short space of time has become a tax payer funded advertisement for the National party.