Why on earth would they do this?

If you had an uneconomic business to sell and knew that the government which was most likely to buy it was also the one least likely to be there after an impending election, how keen would you be do do a deal with it?


And being very keen, would you be hard to deal with?


Would you even be prepared to compromise on what you were prepared to accept rather than risk having no deal at all if the government changed?

Almost certainly.

Why then did Labour, spend so much more on what has become AlbatrossRail than it was worth when Toll Holdings would have been very, very willing sellers?

And given that, why on earth would anyone consider appointing Michael Cullen to the board of an SOE when he has demonstrated his lack of business acumen not just with this purchase and the ACC blow out but nine years of wasted opportunities?

I’ve just got back from Wellington and have come across the story late in the day so am not surprised so many other blogs have covered it and are united in their condemnation of the idea:

Keeping Stock says No John No

Kiwblog has problems with this  and comes up with more appointments for the government to consider.

No Minister says No, no, no  and asks is NZ now a Fools Paradise?

Roarprawn is aghast.

Cactus Kate calls it a National disgrace.

NZ Conservative suggests another job with a lot less pay.

Oswald Bastable also suggests another job.

Anti-Dismal sees politics where there should be commerce.

Barnsley Bill hopes it’s a joke.

Inquiring Mind says Absolutely bloody outrageous.

PM of NZ isn’t being tribal.

Whaleoil says No way.

UPDATE: Monkeywithtypewriter thinks this is all a personal PR campaign for Cullen.

12 Responses to Why on earth would they do this?

  1. Indeed, as i said in my earlier post, if Cullen has any talents he should use them elsewhere.
    Jenny Shipley and Ruth Richardson have used their abilities in business.
    And so should Cullen.


  2. HP: National’s spin on KiwiRail is outright dishonest. It ignores the real reason KiwiRail was bought. Pretends it never existed.

    Buying KiwiRail was never about buying a profitable business today, tomorrow, next, month or year.

    Buying KiwiRail was about asserting a strategic vision of future transport infrastructure in an era when fossil fuel supplies may be expensive or unreliable. In order to ensure there was an alternative to roads and trucks and cars and buses, someone needed to make the investment now that would see that infrastructure exist when it is needed.

    National has never, ever understood the F-word: FUTURE. It’s one of the reasons they are more or less the only party I can never consider voting for. Blinded by yesterday, oblivous to today, National stumbles – full of unfounded faith and willful ignroance – into the future……blind as a proverbial bat.

    Worse….all the reasons for buying rail have been explained to them many times.

    But National won’t listen and can’t be told. That single characteristic is National’s primary defining feature. It’s one shared by many Kiwis…..typically those people who know very little about a great deal and instead place blind faith in arrogant, ignorant people like Tony Ryall, Judith Collins, Gerry Brownlee and Murray McCully. That list of “talent” should be more than enough to ensure this government is a one-term government.


  3. Sally says:

    Just doesn’t make sense and certainly doesn’t bear to think about. What a let down for all who thought that our country was going to get positive change from the corrupt practices of the labour government.

    It is becoming more and more evident that National is as much left as Labour is!


  4. As for Cullen, he left the NZ government’s books in the best state they have been in for a generation. Only at the last minute was he ambushed by the idiotic baying for “tax cuts” we were never going to be able to afford.

    Cullen resisted tax cut pressure for several years – saying *explicitly* a “rainy day” was bound to come. He referred to debt problems overseas and possible trouble arrising form that. This was 3 years before the eventual crash.

    National? Oblivious to it all…..Couldn’t see it coming.

    …and you lot bag Cullen?

    Those of us who know how this world really works dont’ deserve to suffer the stupidity that National and it’s supporters will insist on inflicting on us. But the most galling part is the arrogant IGNORANCE of the braying fools as they do it.


  5. Steven Withers has a future being Cullen’s brush


  6. homepaddock says:

    Steve – you’ve missed the point: Cullen paid far more than was necessary because there was a very willing – possibly desperate – seller who would’ve been expecting a change to a government less willing to buy. Anyone who pays anything more than something’s worth to someone who’s very willing to sell it doesn’t know much about business.


  7. Lou Taylor says:

    Absolutely HP.
    Toll may have paid us to take it back this year.
    When you are driven by ideology like Cullen and Clark were, timing,the most important thing in business, goes out the door.


  8. Colin Lucas says:

    Toll would have given the government the railways without compensation if they had to. Cullen couldn’t see that so bought it.
    As others rightly say he needs some business experience. As I suggested elsewhere dog pound cleaner in Waipukurau might be a good start.


  9. […] See also: Homepaddock for a round-up on this issue […]


  10. J.R.M. says:

    Cullen was determined to leave the cupboard bare.paid an excessive amount for Rail ,Ignored impending blow out of ACC.so I suppose you could say he Clark and Parker are the most shonky polititions we have had in NewZealand.No more cushy jobs for them not even a boot Camp


  11. ZenTiger says:

    As for Cullen, he left the NZ government’s books in the best state they have been in for a generation.

    I think Fantasy Land is just out of LA or Florida.

    The Labour Government had 9 years to prepare for a rainy day, and they did it by increasing the tax coffers at the expense of our ability to produce.

    And yet months before the 08 election, when they knew the books were red and they had nothing to show for this rainy day, they spent up big on Kiwi Rail and other items.

    Are generations measured in abortion cycles now?


  12. […] the idea of Cullen chairing an SOE was  first mooted, blue tinted bloggers were united in their opposition . If the first to react are any idnication they haven’t changed their […]


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