National – self-censoring embarrassing statements?

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ministry of truth update

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There is  disturbing activity taking place on National’s website.  The Party is self-censoring itself and quietly, without fuss, removing certain embarrassing information from it’s website.

In the last few weeks, this blogger has been referencing quotes from Dear Leader Key on various issues.

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One such quote was from John Key, who admitted that Labour left the country in a positive economic state to weather the oncoming 2007/08 Global Financial crisis;

“The level of public debt in New Zealand was $8 billion when National came into office in 2008. It’s now $53 billion, and it’s forecast to rise to $72 billion in 2016. Without selling minority shares in five companies, it would rise to $78 billion. Our total investment liabilities, which cover both public and private liabilities, are $150 billion – one of the worst in the world because of the high levels of private debt in New Zealand.”

The original URL – http://www.national.org.nz/mixed-ownership.aspx – no longer links to the original page  on National’s website, and instead automatically refers the User to a general page on the website;

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website - our programme

 

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An alternative URL – http://old.national.org.nz/mixed-ownership.aspx – leads to a page on the National website that is mostly blank;

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website - government share offer

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An empty page signifying empty promises? Appropriate.

Whilst this blogger has no screen-shot captured from the original article, entitled “Mixed Ownership”, Google’s webcache has retained a copy of the deleted page;

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Selling shares in five companies so we can invest in areas of need.

Responsibly managing the Government’s finances is one of National’s four priorities for this term in office.

We plan to offer minority shares in four energy companies and Air New Zealand to New Zealander investors, while retaining at least 51 per cent Government ownership.  This will help ensure the Government can spend money in areas of need – such as upgrading our hospitals and schools – without loading more debt on to our economy.

What is the Government’s share offer?

We’re going to change the ownership structure of five companies over the next three to five years, by offering shares to Kiwi investors.

This ownership structure is called mixed ownership, and we’re going to apply it to:

– Mighty River Power
– Meridian Energy
– Genesis Energy
– Solid Energy
– Air New Zealand, which is already successfully operating under mixed ownership.

The Government will maintain majority control of each company – at least 51 per cent – and New Zealanders will be at the front of the queue for the remaining shares.  In fact, we’ve made it law that no shareholder other than the Government can own more than 10 per cent of each company.

We expect selling minority stakes in the five companies will return between $5 billion and $7 billion to the Government.  In addition, the Government will continue to receive dividends on at least 51 per cent of each company.

This will broaden the pool of investments for New Zealand savers and deepen capital markets, helping Kiwi companies access the funds they need to grow.

Listing on the stock exchange will also provide stronger commercial discipline, transparency, and greater external oversight for these companies.  And it will give each company access to an alternative pool of capital for growth, other than the Government.

Mixed ownership is a win-win for New Zealanders and for the companies involved.  Our decision not to pursue “shares plus” provides certainty to investors about the future of the share programme.

New Zealanders will be at the front of the queue
We’ve always said that Kiwis will be at the front of the queue for shares in each company.  The Government will make buying shares easier for New Zealanders, while encouraging long-term share ownership.

To find out more about how we will achieve this, visit: www.governmentshareoffers.govt.nz 

Why partial share sales are important

More assets
Government assets are forecast to grow over the next four years, from $244 billion to $258 billion.  By selling less than 3 per cent of the Government’s total assets, we can inject between $5 billion and $7 billion into priority assets like schools, hospitals and other critical infrastructure New Zealanders need.  And we’ll be able to do this without loading more debt on to our economy.

Selling shares in these companies is not about reducing assets, it’s about finding a solution to help pay for their growth in coming years, while getting on top of debt.

We’ve established the Future Investment Fund, which will allow us to invest every single dollar raised through partial asset sales, in new assets.

In Budget 2012, we allocated the first $558.8 million from the Future Investment Fund for:

• Modernising schools – $33.8 million (of $1 billion total)
• Health sector needs, including redeveloping hospitals – $88.1 million
• Helping KiwiRail become commercially viable – $250 million
• Creation of the Advanced Technology Institute, to help New Zealand’s high-tech firms grow • $76 million for capital costs.

Controlling debt
Getting on top of debt – by responsibly managing the Government’s finances – is one of our priorities for this term in office.  Our economy is growing, new jobs are being created, and our public finances are improving. 

The Government’s partial share offers will free up between $5 billion and $7 billion that we can reinvest in taxpayers’ large and growing asset base, while reducing our need to take on extra debt to provide the important services New Zealanders need.

The level of public debt in New Zealand was $8 billion when National came into office in 2008.  It’s now $53 billion, and it’s forecast to rise to $72 billion in 2016.  Without selling minority shares in five companies, it would rise to $78 billion.  Our total investment liabilities, which cover both public and private liabilities, are $150 billion – one of the worst in the world because of the high levels of private debt in New Zealand.

Like every household in New Zealand, we know how important it is to live within our means by budgeting carefully and deciding on our priorities.

Our programme of minority share offers means more assets with less debt.

More information

What effect will this have on power prices?
In the nine years Labour was in government, power prices went up 72 per cent – or an average of 8 per cent a year – and the Government owned 100 per cent of the assets. 

We believe it’s not who owns the energy companies that influences prices, but the regulatory environment, which the National-led Government changed to increase competition.

In our last term of government, we reformed electricity industry regulation, removed inefficiencies and brought rising generation costs under control.  Prices only increased by 14 per cent in National’s first term.

In addition, the very effective “What’s my number” campaign by the Electricity Authority has made it easier for Kiwis to understand the choices they have, and the savings they can make by shopping around for electricity. 

As a result, in the 12 months from May 2011 to April 2012, 422,256 customers changed electricity retailers (or an average of 35,188 each month).

We’re helping keep pressure on the companies to retain customers by offering competitive pricing.

Labour would load our economy with more debt
The opposition has resisted this policy at every stage, yet when they were last in office, Labour applied a mixed ownership model to Air New Zealand.

In addition, between 1984 and 1990 they sold off 100 per cent of $9 billion worth of state assets, including Telecom and the Post Office Bank.

By opposing the partial sale of shares in these companies, Labour is opposing investment in much-needed infrastructure and assets.  Their plans would see the Government borrowing $5 billion to $7 billion more from overseas lenders at a time when the world is awash with debt and consequent risk.  This is just another example of their irresponsible big-spending ways.

New Zealanders let them know what they thought of this at the last election.  Support for National, which campaigned on selling minority shares in five companies, increased at the 2011 election, while Labour received the worst party vote in its history.

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Was the “Mixed Ownership” article removed from National’s website because it contained an embarrassing, inconvenient truth? Namely, that Key had acknowledged Labour’s capable stewardship of the country’s economy when he said,

“The level of public debt in New Zealand was $8 billion when National came into office in 2008.  It’s now $53 billion, and it’s forecast to rise to $72 billion in 2016.  Without selling minority shares in five companies, it would rise to $78 billion…” 

Which was probably not helped when Key basically shafted his own government’s track record in debt when he added;

“Like every household in New Zealand, we know how important it is to live within our means by budgeting carefully and deciding on our priorities…”

No wonder the page was removed from National’s website. It had inadvertently  become a de facto election advertisement for the Labour Party.

The statement regarding “the level of public debt in New Zealand was $8 billion when National came into office in 2008″ was already ‘making the rounds’ on the internet, as blogger after blogger was picking up on the statement and republishing it, as this Google search showed;

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google - The level of public debt in New Zealand was $8 billion when National came into office in 2008.  It’s now $53 billion, and it’s forecast to rise to $72 billion in 2016

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So whoever decided to removed the page is too late. The cyber horse has well and truly ‘bolted’ and John Key’s comments will remain for a very long time. And very useful comments they are, to disprove the misleading, deceitful rubbish that certain fanatic National/ACT supporters bandy about.

Other items have also been removed from National’s website.

The URL – https://www.national.org.nz/files/2008/ECONOMY/Kiwisaver_Policy_Paper.pdf – leads to;

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Kiwisaver_Policy_Paper

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The URL – https://www.national.org.nz/files/2008/ECONOMY/Tax_Policy_Paper.pdf – leads to;

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tax_Policy_Paper

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Curiously though, Key’s 2006 speech to the  Shore National Party luncheon was seemingly so historically worthy of preservation, that it remains intact on the National Party website;

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Speech to North Shore National Party luncheon screencap

 

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Finally (?) the URL – http://www.national.org.nz/OOF/flyer.pdf – is  also a dead link;

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national org flyer 170000 new jobs

 

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It was an election flyer  bearing the promise that “National’s Brighter Future Plan will help businesses create 170,000 new jobs over the next four years“.

Now why would the Nats delete that page, I wonder?

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References

Google cache: Mixed Ownership

Google Search: The level of public debt in New Zealand was $8 billion when National came into office in 2008. It’s now $53 billion, and it’s forecast to rise to $72 billion in 2016

National Party: Kiwisaver Policy Paper

National Party: Tax Policy Paper

National Party: Speech to North Shore National Party luncheon

National Party: 170,000 New Jobs flyer

 


 

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Kirk

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

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= fs =

23 COMMENTS

    • Thanks, Bob. Good point about the waybackmachine.org – I’d forgotten about that tool. Nice to know that this material is still available, albeit in slightly circuitous fashion!

  1. Well put.

    Yes they are a very skullduggerous bunch this National Party!
    I wonder what sleazy ‘undermining our country’ trick they will come up with next.

    And why is Paula Rebstock suddenly speaking publicly for ACC, when it has always in the past been J Collins? (ref the motor vehicle levies)

    Opinion.

  2. The National Library regularly harvests NZ sites and there are 23 iterations of the National Party’s site archived here.

    I found them unstable in Firefox, but they did seem to work okay in Internet Explorer. I haven’t tried on Chrome.

  3. Gee but National are so straight up, say it isn’t so?

    Damn those Google upstarts, damn their eyes, I thought they were on the payroll?…. Stephen… talk to me, what’s going on???

    Seriously though, a brilliant bit of research!

  4. Shocking, an organisation moved to a new website with an entirely new document hierarchy and URL syntax and now some links to parts of the old website don’t work other than for specific articles that the webmaster has manually set up 301s for.

    Is there no depth to which this National Party will not sink?

    • XRAY said:

      Seriously though, a brilliant bit of research!

      It isn’t “a brilliant bit of research”, it’s “being ignorant of how the Internet works”.

    • Are you being sarcastic SHG? Because whatever happened to redirecting URLs which I’m told is very easy to do.

  5. Well researched Frank. Keep up the good work and thank you for exposing National’s dubious activities on its own website to save face.

    Getting dirtier as the election gets closer!

  6. The first secretive Brethren support, Crosby Textor, now manipulation and more propaganda that would have made a Mr Goebbles blush.

    Thanks Frank, for all the screen shots, that can turn out to be so valuable, the National Party “Ministry of Truth” is the Babylonian Tower of Lies! Who out there has any printouts, or screen shots saved, that show what was on the website until now? Bring them forward, please, pass them to Frank and others, please.

    Wait until the Tower of Lies will collapse, I hope that the hard working campaign organisers from Labour, Greens, Mana and others in opposition, take note and work overtime, to list all the lies and manipulations this government is responsible for!

    Put them into leaflets and put them into every letter box all over this country, please.

  7. It’s a fascinating pathology – the dissociative amnesia that accompanies Key’s lies is now spreading to the whole party. All these moments being lost in time like tears in rain.

  8. Lordy I love you guy’s….always digging up the truth that shows National and co are crooks and liars and it’s all there in Black and White (so to speak).
    Thanks for giving me some more ammo against the bloody Nact trolls that take over the MSM News Threads. xxxx keep up the good work.

  9. The internet archive (AKA the WayBackWhenMachine) also caches websites – here’s that same page. But this way you can also look at how it changed over time. It was different, for example, this link

    https://web.archive.org/web/20120316220236/http://www.national.org.nz/mixed-ownership.aspx

    is different from the latest cache they had of it

    https://web.archive.org/web/20140214084822/http://www.national.org.nz/mixed-ownership.aspx

    http://web.archive.org is the link for any back-search of a website.

  10. You seriously want to open this can of worms Frank?
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1405/S00162/low-tax-take-high-spending-leaves-books-in-the-red.htm
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1405/S00165/lower-tax-take-leaves-govt-revenue-829m-down.htm
    These are the two press releases from David Parker. In the first he said “For the fifth month in a row, the Government’s accounts have undershot expectations with expenses $423 million higher than forecast and tax revenue $829 million below forecast.”
    The reference to the $423m was redacted from the second release because Labour’s shadow money man MISREAD THE DATA. Expenses were actually $423m BELOW forecast, an error of $846m!

    • *pffft!*

      Deflecting much, Anonymous ACT Supporter Intrinsicvalue?

      Why not address the issues I’ve raised? Because you can’t, without trying to deflect elsewhere.

Comments are closed.