The opinions of an opinionated Southlander
It's been a while since I wrote to the Editor of the Southland Times...Had Solid Energy had been the first of our assets in line for sale, the million dollar advertising campaign that we are now subject to would have trumpeted Don Elder's coal mining giant as a great investment opportunity for New Zealand mums and dads. Instead, we are being excitedly presented with Mighty River Power as a safe bet, but how will New Zealanders know that "Mighty" won't go down the river the same way "Solid" did?National's advertising is designed to make us excited and confident about the assets they want to sell, but we'd be wise to be cautious about buying into a set of companies that has so recently experienced the unexpected and total collapse of one of its brightest stars, Solid Energy.
russel should know that we're in for higher power prices as we have a government controlled system - not a real market for electricity prices. Has he confided in you that he will ensure power prices increase if he ever gets near the treasury benches?Solid Energy is a prime example of why government shouldn't be involved in running businesses. SOE's have a history of making riskier decisions than privately owned companies as they know they have the might of government behind them to mop up if need be. This malaise is spread throughout the organisations. From the big decisions like investing in bio deisel to the small ones like cutting off the power to the lady in Mangere who ate herself to death.
Hi Paranormal, thanks for your comments and thanks also for not writing Red Russel, or Wed Wussel. I appreciate your manners.You say Solid Energy is a prime example of why government shouldn't be involved in running businesses. It's true that both national and Labour while in Government, mismanaged Solid Energy. (It makes me wonder why New Zealanders would want to buy shares in the remaining SOEs also). That said, I believe a prudent government could manage a business to the advantage of the people - they have access to excellent advice. It's just their intent that was/is wrong. They behaved badly, as they do on so many levels, with their business interests. A good government, and by that I mean one that has Green and other influences strong enough to negate the pressures that brought Solid Energy to its knees, could run a successful and ethical business. That's my position. I look at private industry and see collapses galore and don't see why you have such faith in those people. They are not magical, you know
I think you've missed my point. The flavour of the government is almost immaterial. It's the boards and staff at the SOE's that make the poor decisions. Their decision making process is not the same as private companies as they do not have the same checks and balances as a private company. In my career I have sat in rooms as an adviser and been gobsmacked at really serious decisions made on the fly by CEO's of government entities (SOE's and departments) that fly in the face of government policy AND prudent management. This was simply because the individuals knew they had the might of the government to call on if it all turned pear shape.You're fooling yourself to think a Green government will have any different outcomes. Unless of course they have a revolution.
Didn't the Government(s) recruit these marvelous CEO' from the private sector? Don't the MP's in this Government in particular claim to be special because they have real-world business acumen?I believe they are something other than just bumblers and the idea that SE was just badly run doesn't wash with me. There's experience and intent in there.
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