Final asset sale referendum results

The final result shows only minor changes.

Citizens Initiated Referendum 2013

Final Result

17 December 2013
The Electoral Commission has released the final result for the Citizens Initiated Referendum on the question:
“Do you support the Government selling up to 49% of Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power,
Genesis Power, Solid Energy and Air New Zealand?”
Votes Number of Votes
Received
Percentage of Total
Valid Votes
Yes 442,985 32.4%
 No 920,188 67.3%
Informal 4,167 0.3%
Total Valid 1,367,340 100%
The number of invalid votes cast was 1,585.Voter turnout is 45.07%. Turnout is calculated by taking the total votes cast of 1,368,925 (being total
valid and invalid votes) as a percentage of the total number of voters enrolled as at 21 November 2013 (3,037,405).

Referendum Results by Electorate

Final Government response to referendum: 100 per cent don’t give a s**t

Labour and Greens pledge binding CIR

Labour leader David Cunliffe and Green co-leader Russel Norman have pledged to abide by any results of Citizen Initiated Referenda.  They said this is consistent with their stance on demanding that National abide by the will of the people expressed in the asset sale referendum.

When pointed out that this would align them with the Crazy Colin Craig Party and that it could make Parliament a farce they said the principle was too important to be concerned about that.

Cunliffe and Norman said that if any petition for a CIR opposed any bills put forward by a Labour-Green government they would put the bill on hold for 12 months pending the result of the petition and if a referendum was initiated they would wait for the outcome of that before putting the bill to debate and votes in Parliament.

 

Asset sales referendum ra-ra ho-hum

The assets sales referendum results is quite predictable, with about two thirds voting no. This is similar to opinion poll results.

Green and Labour party campaigners were targeting a No vote in excess of those who voted for National in 2011 but didn’t make that so their self congratulations have been ra-ra ho-hum.

David Cunliffe: The people have spoken – National must listen

The people of New Zealand have spoken and voted overwhelmingly against asset sales – it is now time for John Key to listen to them, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe.

“Kiwis have clamoured to have their voice heard on asset sales. More than 310,000 thousand backed the petition and now 1.3 million have voted. Over 67 per cent or almost 900,000 have said no to asset sales.

“The numbers are clear. Kiwis don’t want their assets sold. John Key must listen and call off the Genesis sale now. National’s claimed mandate to sell the assets has now disappeared.

Russel Norman:

The Opposition is calling it an overwhelming victory, while the Government says it’s nothing more than a costly stunt that’s ended in disappointment.

The cake was cut at the Green’s party well before result was announced – which came at about 8pm.

“This sends a very clear message to John Key to stop the asset sales madness,” says Green Party co-leader Russell Norman.

- Asset sales referendum results announced

Being non-binding it was always known to be a futile exercise beyond political point scoring and extended taxpayer funded campaiging.

Key numbers:

  • 2/3 voted No
  • 3/5 assets part sold
  • 1/5 assets unsaleable
  • 1/5 assets – sale subject to financial conditions

National have said they will go ahead with the Genesis float. I have always said that selling too much in one market sector in an election term time frame was flawed.

 

Citizens Initiated Referendum 2013

Preliminary Result

13 December 2013
The Electoral Commission has released the preliminary result for the Citizens Initiated Referendum on the question:
“Do you support the Government selling up to 49% of Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power,
Genesis Power, Solid Energy and Air New Zealand?”
The preliminary result is based on the number of votes counted as at 7pm, Friday 13 December 2013.
The final result will be available by 5pm, Tuesday 17 December 2013.
Votes Number of Votes
Received
Percentage of Total
Valid Votes
For the response Yes 432,950 32.50%
For the response No 895,322 67.20%
Informal Votes 4,068 0.31%
Total Valid Votes 1,332,340 100.00%
The number of invalid votes cast was 1,062.

Voter turnout is 43.9%. Turnout is calculated by taking the total votes cast of 1,333,402 (being total
valid and invalid votes) as a percentage of the total number of voters enrolled as at 21 November 2013 (3,037,405).

Preliminary Results by Electorate

Preliminary Results in Excel Format

Preliminary Results in PDF Format bb

Craig wants smacking change but would leave gay marriage

Colin Craig still wants to change the smacking bill due to a four year old referendum but is happy move on after opposing this year’s marriage bill.

Conservatives would seek repeal of anti-smacking law, says Craig

It was a response to a 2007 act which abolished the use of reasonable force by parents as justification for disciplining children, although police have the discretion not to prosecute in the use of force against a child when it is considered to be so inconsequential that there is no public interest in prosecuting.

“I do think there is a mandate from the people to change that and I do think that is something we could reasonably ask for a change.”

There is no current mandate to change it. The referendum was four years ago, in 2009. Labour don’t still have a mandate to govern from 2008.

Mr Craig said the smacking law was clearly not working because child abuse rates had not gone down.

I haven’t seen any evidence that it “was clearly not working”. It’s possible publicity over the bill and referendum may have lead to less abuse but more reporting of the abuse that still occurs.

It’s interesting that Craig is fixated on the smacking bill, still.

On the questions of same-sex marriage, he said it would be “rather naive to think you are going to change the redefinition of marriage” given the overwhelming vote in the House on it in April, with 77 votes in favour and 44 against.

He is already dropping opposition to the marriage bill which passed with a far smaller majority than the smacking bill. This is inconsistent.

Asset sale referendum – Yeah, Nah

The asset sale referendum will run from 22 November to 13 December. I’m going to Yeah/Nah it and vote both yes and no. This will be recorded as a spoiled vote, which I think is appropriate for a futile and expensive exercise in opposition party political posturing.

X   Yes        X  No

I supported National’s right to implement their flagship policy so two years ago I could have voted Yes to this.

Like just about everyone I don’t support selling Solid Energy so I could vote No now. But that vote would be distorted by opposition parties who are claiming it would mean I oppose the asset sales and think they should be stopped. It’s too late to stop most of them.

The referendum asks a question about whether someone supports asset sales or not, not whether they want the programme stopped. So the result of the referendum is irrelevant to the asset sales programme.

I also strongly oppose the principle aim of the referendum – from the start over eighteen months ago it has been used as an extended campaign tool by Greens and Labour. They knew it would be futile in stopping any asset sales. They are using it to sustain a taxpayer funded inter-election political campaign. It’s cynical abuse of the purpose of Citizen Initiated Referenda.

Government legislation has a parliamentary process, this cannot be dictated to by a petition and referendum that takes up to two years to take place. If a CIR was able to halt and overturn Government policies and programmes it would make our Parliament a farce.

The asset sale referendum is a foolish futile farce.

So I will vote Yeah/Nah to register my protest at this misuse and abuse of our democracy.

Referendum irrelevant to Air New Zealand sell-down

The announced sell-down of 20% of Air New Zealand shares has been slammed by opposition party leaders, criticisng the timing with the asset sale referendum about to be held.

David Cunliffe:

“This is an arrogant, out-of-touch Government desperate to get the sale done before the public has its say.”

Russel Norman:

“It’s a deeply cynical and desperate measure but a Government that knows there’s a referendum about to happen.”

I don’t know how sensible the timing is from a business and share-market point of view is except that Air New Zealand shares are at a record high which sounds like a good time to sell.

I don’t know if the Government has timed the sell-down to deliberately coincide with the referendum, if that was a primary factor in the timing it would be cynical and stupid.

But the referendum shouldn’t be an issue. It is irrelevant to the asset sale programme, it shouldn’t and won’t make any difference to whether the MOM sales programme continues or not. Like all Citizen Initiated Referenda everyone always knew it could and would be ignored. Cunliffe and Norman knew this.

Cunliffe and Norman know that Government will not pause or halt sales because of the referendum.

They are using the referendum as a political campaign weapon. That’s all it has ever been.

Their posturing is desperate and cynical politics.

Government programmes and parliamentary legislation can’t be scheduled by and dictated by the eighteen month timeframe of a Citizen Initiated Referendum.

Asset referendum question an ass

The question we will be asked in the asset sale referendum:

“Do you support the Government selling up to 49 per cent of Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power, Genesis Power, Solid Energy and Air New Zealand?”

No, I don’t. I doubt that anyone would support selling Solid Energy in it’s current state. Government have indicated it won’t be sold at this stage.

I do support the right of Government to have sold Mighty River Power shares, they campaigned on it, they were elected, and they got support to get their legislation through Parliament.

But I would honestly say No to the referendum question.

And then the Opposition would claim that supports their “no asset sales” campaign. Which would be false.

This illustrates the absurdity of our Citizen Initiated referenda system.

A single question has to be designed to attract petition signatures, and then cover all possibilities in a referendum question eighteen months later.

Time has passed by the original premise of the question.

And a single question is unable to address more complex possibilities and preferences.

The infamous smacking referendum question was just as flawed. It was designed to get a particular negative response, regardless of the actual arguments for and against.

Questions have become simplistic political tools, campaign tools. They do not accurately capture complexities of public opinion, they are not designed to do that. They can’t do that anyway, so they are used to try and score political points.

The asset sale question is an ass, as is the system of citizen democracy that has been taken over by political campaigners.

This petition is a waste of time and taxpayer money. It is simply a means of parties extending their campaigning between elections. And we pay for it.

Asset sale referendum is flawed politics

After eighteen months of organising a petition and gathering signatures it has been confirmed that we will have a referendum on asset sales.

This has been driven by political parties with political agendas, not by citizens. The legislation has already become law, the first asset has been part sold and another is likely to happen before the referendum.

NZ Herald reports.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said the referendum should take place as soon as possible, and the partial sale of power companies should be suspended until the vote was held.

Labour’s state-owned enterprises spokesman Clayton Cosgrove said Mr Key should respect the democratic process, and the asset sales programme – including the Meridian float – should be halted until after the referendum

Greens and Labour have been calling for a suspension of sales for some time.

If legislation was put on hold pending a petition and potential referendum then so-called Citizen Initiated Referenda would become common political party obstruction to the government of the day.

If Greens were in Government and proposed legislation to give Working For Families tax credits to beneficiaries and an opposing petition was started would they wait for the outcome of that and a possible referendum?

Would Labour wait for a petition and referendum before introducing a Capital Gains Tax?

Would Labour-Greens wait for opposition delaying tactics to run out of options before implementing their NZ Power scheme?

They are abusing so-called citizen democracy to re-litigate what their failed election support and their failure to stop it in the normal parliamentary process.

They have used parliamentary funds to promote a political agenda. And the referendum will cost millions of dollars – so they can continue their political agenda.

Politicking is all they can achieve, because we know from past experience that Citizen Initiated Referenda are ignored by Parliament, including by Labour and Greens when it suits them.

The whole petition and referendum system has become severely flawed.

Key suggests flag change referendum

In 2010 John Key said he favoured a silver fern flag but had no plans to change the current flag.

Flag debate: John Key favours silver fern

Prime Minister John Key says he favours a silver fern for New Zealand’s flag.

“I actually think it looks magnificent on a flag pole … The simplicity works well for branding New Zealand, like the maple leaf for Canada and Japan’s rising sun,” he said.

The silver fern, already used by sports teams and recognised worldwide, would bring the country together, he said.

But the Government had no plans to change the flag at this time, he said.

Times seen to have changed, as have plans. Reported from the National party conference:

John Keys says referendum on changing the NZ flag could run alongside next year’s election

It’s about time someone showed some leadership on replacing our outdated and out-used official flag. The old flag that gets confused with Australia’s is still used for official buildings and events but the silver fern flag is much more widely used when people can choose.

 

Time to end asset petition farce

As a supposed Citizen Initiated Referendum the asset sales petition was always a politicised farce. It was known from the start that if a referendum was held it would be ignored by Government, as past Governments have done with past referenda.

But the Greens poured considerable resources into using the referendum as a between elections campaign tool. And as seems to be common practice these days Labour followed along.

As far as political PR stunts go Greens and Labour have been majorly embarrassed by failing to get the required number of signatures.

They are initially putting on brave faces, albeit considerably egg covered. Russel Norman and David Shearer are vowing to get back to gathering signatures again to get the additional signatures required.

I wonder how many of the Green and Labour troops are groaning with trepidation. A year long signature gathering campaign was a major slog. Now they are being asked to psych themselves again for another burst of pleading to the public.

For what?

If they get the signatures a referendum will be held, perhaps later this year – well after Mighty River Power shares go on NZX (this Friday), and quite possibly after Meridian as well some time in the next few months. Too toothless, too late.

A referendum would be a multi million dollar exercise in futility.

Greens thought they were onto a winning strategy where they could use taxpayer money to fund a long running party campaign leading in to the next election.

They have now lost face, big time.

And if they continue on with the petition they stand to gain little if anything more, and could lose more egg covered face.

If Greens and Labour can’t organise a successful petition together, how would the look organising a government coalition?

A referendum will have zero effect on the asset share sale programme. It will keep reminding voters of the ongoing CIR farce.

If Greens and Labour had any sense they would cut their losses and move on to something more positive.

But by the sound of Russel Norman’s response to the news yesterday the Green petition machine is likely to continue.

And Labour sound like they will continue – Anti-asset sales campaign not over yet – Labour

Talk about flogging long dead horses. I think it’s time to end the farce.
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