Green reaction to MRP

After the Mighty River Power share price and buyer statistics were announced last night the Greens were active.

The official word from Russel Norman:

Mighty River con revealed

The Mighty River sale has been shown to be a con on New Zealanders with less than 3 percent of Kiwis buying in and most of the shares going to corporates, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

“The charade is over: ‘mum and dad’ New Zealanders haven’t bought the shares; the big finance institutions and foreign corporates have,” said Dr Norman.

“John Key’s talk of ‘mum and dad’ investors was a con – less than 3 percent of Kiwis have bought shares in Mighty River Power.

“The fact that Kiwi retail investors are having their allotments scaled back so National can sell shares to foreign corporates shows what a farce this has been.

“The multi-million dollar ad campaign has failed to con Kiwis into buying Mighty River, they want lower power prices instead.

“The supposed 440,000 pre-registered investors turned out to be a figment of John Key’s imagination. The number of retail investors is only half the number who bought into Contact and less than half of what Treasury forecast.

“Over two and a half times as many Kiwis have signed the petition calling for a referendum on asset sales as bought Mighty River shares – that tells you what Kiwis think of John Key’s asset sales.

“John Key has wasted as much as $100m on the sale of Mighty River. That’s nearly $1,000 per retail investor. It’s been a disaster. He should cancel the rest of the asset sales and focus on creating jobs for Kiwis, not payouts for financiers,” said Dr Norman.

Comparing the number of share buyers with the number of petition signers is ridiculous. Signing a piece of paper costs nothing and often spur of the moment, purchasing shares is a significant financial decision.

Greens were active on Twitter:

@patrickgowernz and so 300,000 ‘fake’ registrations Will you report the MRP disaster like that too? Hmm?

@metiria nope

@patrickgowernz really? What a surprise.

It’s not a surprise, there is no indication there were anywhere near that many ‘fake’ registrations – many people who registered simply decided not to buy (like me) –  although there were obviously some:

I was registered fraudulently at least twice, another MP 5 times. I complained to treasury & they wouldn’t fix the system

And ditto on fake claims of the scale of fake registrations from Russel Norman:

So only 113000 retail investors in MRP. So by Key’s logic there were 330,000 fake MRP registrations. Key the conartist

So by your logic, Key had 75% fake registrations @patrickgowernz? Will you run that line?


no surprise there Paddy.


Nats have spent $1000 of taxpayer money per retail investor in MRP. 100000 investors for $100m. Nats waste public money yet again.

More pertinent is querying whether the cost of promoting the share float would have been returned in increased sales interest and value of the sales. That can’t easily be measured – but it would be relevant to compare the cost of promoting this with the cost of promoting other share floats.

The party line:


Key’s ‘mum & dad investors’ line revealed as a con. Less than 3% of Kiwis bought Mighty River shares … stop the sales

@PeteDGeorge@ClintVSmith If that’s why people rejected MRP, it’s only a recognition that NZ Power will bring down prices to fair level

Fair time to announce a policy affecting power prices & excessive profits was before the sale. Not like Key’s secret GST rise

Mighty River sale cost up to $100m: brokers ~$50m, bonus shares ~$40m + ads, fees, etc. What a waste. Stop the asset sales.

No. Key has wasted $100 on a sale that makes no sense & Kiwis oppose. He should be working on jobs, poverty, & sustainability

Plus every single poll has shown a large majority oppose sales.

And the troops – Gareth Hughes:


First asset sale is a total con. Despite spending millions on ads: less than 3% of Kiwis buying in & most of the shares going to corporates!

@Matt_Green sure, but excessive profits in the past should never be guaranteed into the future.

@Matt_Green yeah, I think many did that too. The Govt did sweeten the deal with taxpayer money.

Have a listen to my short speech on #NZPower today. … Greens coming up with solutions while Govt focused on spying laws

@Matt_Green yeah, fair point. I dont think we ever had. We designed #NZPower if assets kept in Kiwis hands or flogged off.

MRP Share price $2.50. Asset sale costs $120m. Free share bribe $400m. Keeping assets Kiwi & delivering cheaper, cleaner power. Priceless.


Andrew Campbell:


@patrickgowernz disaster for govt. way fewer than valid signatures on asset sales petition. Where are all the mums and dads buying?

@johnkeypm should apologise for the rort. How many fake registrations for MRP shares?

@CactusKate2 it was less than Govt said it would get and less than Treasury predicted. Worse than Contact original offer #epicfail

And Hey Clint doesn’t seem happy about it…

@stevenljoyce onyl 113,000? that’s a disaster. So much for ‘mum and dad’ investors

Only 113,000 ‘mum and dad’ investors in Mighty River. What a disaster. that’s half what Contact got. only a quarter of pre-registrations

@felixmarwick @katieabradford It’s the largest now because 2/3rds of Contact shareholders have sold. 113,000 is half Contact’s float number

@k8chap except that less than 3% of Kiwis have bought shares

@patrickgowernz guess the other 330,000 pre-registrations were fakes and false #Keycons Less than 3% of Kiwis have bought shares. Disaster

@VernonSmall Did the other 330,000 even exist? There were dozens fake Russel Normans. Less than 3% of NZers buy MRP, so much for ‘mum & dad’

@patrickgowernz what % of ownership is ‘mum and dad’? Sounds like most is institutional

@VernonSmall so they’re scaling Kiwis while selling shares to overseas corporates?

So much for ‘mum and dad’ investors. Nats are scaling back their investment to sell shares to overseas corporates

@hardsell @patrickgowernz because that would be a taxpayer subsidy, NZ Power gets rid of electric companies’ superprofits creates fair price

massive fail, 97% of Kiwis don’t buy MRP shares. Mr FixIt, Mr ForgetsIt, and Double Dipton f*ck up again @stevenljoyce

@CactusKate2 less than half what Treasury expected, half what Contact got 14yrs ago. So much for ‘mums and dads’ Most shares to institutions

@CactusKate2 what % of Kiwisaver savings are in MRP? What % of MRP do Kiwisaver funds own?

@patrickgowernz @metiria @GuyonEspiner so people who sign petition then move = fake. but 2 dozen Russel Normans pre-registered = real?

@thekiwicanary ‘mum and dad investors’ is Key’s term to make the asset sales more palatable. Hence my inverted commas. Take it up with him.

@sthnjeff would you have preferred the Greens kept their plan to lower power prices secret until in govt? Like Key did with GST?

@CactusKate2 That’s why I thought I’d ask you. #330000short

@patrickgowernz @RusselNorman mate, $100m spent on MRP sale, 113,000 retail investors that’s failure. Asset sales referendum is gonna happen

Hey, where was Key at the Mighty River sale announcement? This is his one economic policy. Such a disaster he wouldn’t front up. $100m waste

@thekiwicanary john key’s twitter account is @johnkeypm if you want to abuse him for calling you a ‘mum and dad’ investor #patronising

@kht27 @patrickgowernz that’s key lies. nz power means only fossil fuel plants affected by ets. Under nats ets, hydro owners get a windfall

@Garner_Live @liamdann @patrickgowernz treasury thought 250,000 would buy. We never imagined it would be this low. Thought at least 200,000

@duckky007 @kht27 @patrickgowernz why? NZ Power eliminates economic rents to hydrodam owners, they’re making those regardless of yr discount

@thekiwicanary @stevenljoyce shld they have kept their lower power price plan secret past election asJoyce & Key did w their sneak GST rise?


Leave a comment


  1. Darryl

     /  9th May 2013

    Russel Norman, Metiria Turei, David Shearer, have shown there true colours. What a disgusting, destructive lot they are. They do not care about the people of NZ, all they care about is getting into power at any cost. They should hang there heads in shame. I hope this come’s back and destroys them for good.

  2. Goldie

     /  9th May 2013

    The hostility and partisanship is a change from what the Greens used to be. Under Rod Donald (a lovely man) and Jeanette Fitzsimmons the Greens were always very careful to be respectful and ‘non partisan’. I remember how effective Nandor Tanzcos was behind the scenes because of his generally careful and respectful tone – I respected how Nandor understood that lasting change can only be achieved by reaching a consensus and changing the ‘other sides’ thinking. I also recall how shocked I was when I met Russel Norman (who was then a researcher in parliament) because he was so obviously hard-left (the other Greens were environmentalists rather than marxists) and the real bile he had towards John Key (I think Russel Norman personally despises John Key). I was surprised when he became MP and leader in 2008, because his tone/attitude was so very different from the other Greens.

    So it has proven – the Greens have swung very sharply away from being an environmental party that tried to reach consensus under MMP into a hard-left party in a winner-takes all political system. An example is asset sales – no Green MP has tried to assess the policy for its impact on the environment – they have instead taken a knee-jerk hard-left ideological position. Political stunts and hyper-partisanship may make for good short-term politics, but it completely alienates liberal National supporters and independents.

    • Yes, that comment is worth it’s own post.

      I have been a semi supporter of the Greens in the past, they have been a bit wacky but well meaning environmentalists with integrity. Coincidentally I have just been watching Norman in the house (on demand) and he is totally different, and so is Turei in her own way.

      Greens now seem to be power at any cost socialism seekers.

      The media used to be quite easy on the Greens but since their power announcement I’ve seen a noticeable change, there are journalists waking up to what a green dominated government might be like. And it’s scary.

      Last night both Norman and Turei were on Twitter arguing with journalists who weren’t buying their bull.

      I’m not sure whether Green anti asset campaigning is deliberately dishonest or they are ignorant about what they are talking about.

      It seems like they have convinced themselves so much of the good of their crusade that any means justifies enabling them to implement their policies.

      They’ve sucked Labour in, but I think they will find it very difficult to make further progress.


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