COMMENT: Pakeha government, in negotiating with Waitangi Treaty claimants, has constantly pleaded poverty. Yet, as shown below, it has no problem enriching its Pakeha capitalist class and funding a huge overseas debt for the benefit of its (mainly) Pakeha constituency.

See also: Racism in Aotearoa-NZ for more examples.

Oct.'99:  we now know Who Owns New Zealand!
Analysis: Filling foreigners' pockets
NZ Herald  02/10/99 - By Brian Gaynor  [Abridged]
New Zealand has had a comprehensive privatisation programme since 1987. Over the past 12 years 40 state-owned commercial assets have been sold, realising $19.1 billion. As at August 31, 1999 these assets had an estimated value of $35.7 billion, $16.6 billion above their original sale price. The sale process is almost complete because the Government's remaining commercial assets have a book value of only $4.6 billion.
The privatisation programme has been a huge windfall for overseas investors. Just over 79 per cent, or $13.1 billion, of the increase in value has gone to offshore interests. A list of the biggest winners shows that foreign interests fill the top four spots. At the top is a combined group of overseas institutions with a net gain of $3.8 billion...
New Zealand investors, including institutions and individuals, are in fifth spot...
The outcome of these share sales has been a net gain to domestic investors of $1.9 billion. This is insignificant compared with the gains made by overseas interests...
Sir Michael Fay and David Richwhite have realised a total gain of $410 million. This is made up of Telecom ($274 million), Bank of New Zealand ($41 million) and Tranz Rail ($95 million). Alan Gibbs and Trevor Farmer have realised a larger profit from their Telecom investment because they sold their shares at a higher price than the Fay-Richwhite interests...
The main objective of the privatisation programme is to repay Government debt, particularly overseas borrowings. On the surface this has been reasonably successful. Since the asset sales began in March 1987 the total debt has declined from $42.5 billion to $36.0 billion and the public sector's overseas debt has fallen from a high of $26.3 billion in March 1994 to $17.4 billion. But behind these figures is another story. The sale of assets to offshore interests has led to a huge increase in dividend payments to overseas shareholders. This has a negative impact on the country's current account or balance of payments.
In the final analysis many of our best and biggest companies have been sold to offshore interests, yet New Zealand's total overseas debt, both private and Government, has risen from $46 billion to $102 billion since the end of 1989.

The privatisation programme... has had major flaws and wasted opportunities.
Nearly 80 per cent, or $13.1 billion, of the $16.7 billion increase in value of the privatised companies has gone to overseas investors. This massive transfer of wealth to foreigners, which has had a negative impact on the New Zealand economy, has been facilitated by the Government's sale procedure policy. (This was covered in last Saturday's column.)
• Nearly $8 billion of the $12.9 billion invested by foreign interests has come from companies with long-term investment horizons. This indicates a strong potential to attract direct investment - investment that builds new factories and creates jobs - yet the Government has made little attempt to encourage this sort of foreign investment.
• A number of countries have used, or are planning to use, the proceeds from Government asset sales to promote investment in new, sunrise industries. If carefully organised, this can have a far more positive impact on an economy than a reduction in Government debt.
• Other countries are also putting the proceeds of asset sales into dedicated investment funds which will be used to finance future pension or superannuation liabilities. This has a two-fold benefit: it reduces the drain on the exchequer and stimulates investment markets, particularly the sharemarket.
On a scale of one to 10, New Zealand's privatisation policies score no better than three. No country can expect to generate widespread domestic wealth if it has a deliberate policy of selling its best assets to foreign investors.


Heavy debt leaves NZ vulnerable
NZ Herald Saturday January 26, 2002 [Abridged]
New Zealand households' ravenous appetite for debt has left them, and the country, vulnerable, Reserve Bank Governor Don Brash said yesterday... Household savings rates are now negative - collectively we spend more than our disposable income - and the lowest in the OECD. But unlike the US, where savings rates have also fallen, this does not reflect burgeoning wealth. Real household wealth has been falling for several years and is the lowest of the developed countries...  All up, New Zealand uses some $170 billion of foreign capital, of which about $120 billion is debt. Even when offset by New Zealand investment overseas the net figure is $88 billion, or 80 per cent of gross domestic product - compared with 20 to 30 per cent in other developed countries.

Another year, another $8.2b in debt
NZ Herald  22.12.04
The gap between what New Zealand earns internationally and what it spends has widened to a chasm... The deficit is equivalent to 5.8 per cent of gross domestic product, or in other words, three weeks’ worth of all the goods and services produced in the economy. That is high by international and historical standards... Its net debts total $118 billion, or $29,000 for every man, woman and child. If it were not for the cost of servicing that debt, the current account would be roughly in balance... In dollar terms, the deficit is the largest it has been since at least 1987 [...]

Brash warns NZ vulnerable 
nzoom Jan 23, 2004
National Party Don Brash leader has raised concerns over this country's high level of household debt. Brash says New Zealanders have been borrowing heavily for decades but do not have the savings to fund their borrowing. He says New Zealanders owe about $100 billion net - making this one of the most heavily indebted countries to foreign creditors in the world. Brash says that leaves New Zealanders vulnerable to rising interest rates or shocks resulting in a loss of confidence from foreigners.

Rich Kiwis funnel cash offshore
STUFF Tuesday, 20 January 2004 
Rich New Zealanders are funnelling a river of cash offshore, taking advantage of what they see as an over-valued New Zealand dollar. ABN Amro Craigs, one of the country's biggest retail brokers, said yesterday that orders to buy US assets had doubled in the past six months... However, occasionally orders are reaching $1 million. The broker is also seeing strong increases in demand for Australian and British assets. [...]
COMMENT:  Who are these "Rich Kiwis" - Pakeha or Maori?

Shoppers splurge $1.9b on credit
NZ Herald  Monday January 26, 2004
Big-spending New Zealanders plunged into a credit card debt of almost $4 billion over the Christmas holidays
Over $1.9 billion was "slapped on the plastic" in December, according to Reserve Bank figures. As many people receive their dreaded bill this week, the figures reveal that spending is up 10 per cent on the same time last year...
The Consumers' Institute said the figures showed a worrying change to a pattern of behaviour whereby people accepted a lifetime of debt. "There are not the same concerns that generations before us had, and people seem comfortable to remain perpetually in debt," said insitute chief executive David Russell.[...]

$150b consumer debt sparks warning to unscrupulous creditors
Sunday Star Times | Sunday, 8 April 2007
Budget advisers are calling for more protection for vulnerable borrowers as Kiwi consumer debt tops $150 billion for the first time. Although mortgages make up the bulk of the figure, consumer debt alone is $12b - almost $3000 for every New Zealander. Financial experts say Kiwis are managing credit card debt well, but budget advisers say the biggest problem is creditors lending to people already struggling with debt.
COMMENT: If Kiwi consumers can accumulate a debt of $150 billion, why does Pakeha govt claim that it can only afford to pay $1billion to compensate Maori for the theft of more than 60 million acres, genocide and the destruction of their way of life and belief | value systems?