Mondelez – The Good News And The Bad News

The good news is that Mondelez International (which owns, amongst many things, Cadbury in Dunedin) reported a first quarter 2017 operating profit of 39.4%. It is paying out a quarterly dividend of $0.19 (US) per share to shareholders.

This is wonderful for our New Zealand Superfund which has over $21 million worth of Mondelez shares, and the ACC investment fund and the Kiwisaver investment funds which have Mondelez shares in their investment portfolio.

The bad news is it has cost 350 Cadbury workers in Dunedin their jobs. Continue reading

Fair Trade Agreements Are The Way Of The Future

Many New Zealanders have spent the best part of the last two years fighting that misnamed “free trade” agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), with no end in sight. And now we have its spawn, TISA (Trades In Services Agreement) and PACER-Plus (a Pacific free trade and investment agreement covering 14 Pacific Island countries, plus Australia and New Zealand), to contend with. The Europeans have their equivalent in the TTIP, and they don’t like it any more than we do. Continue reading

The Corporate Con

Most of our elected officials want to do the right thing. They want everyone to have a reasonable standard of living. But they are being led astray. Corporate heads tell our politicians that they can help with this, and our politicians believe them.

These corporate heads have got national and local politicians of every stripe falling over themselves to assist their corporations to make money in New Zealand, in the mistaken belief that their corporations are going to make money for New Zealanders. Continue reading

Throw Away the TPPA; Let’s Talk About What A Decent Trade Deal Should Look Like

The New York Times reported after the recently failed round of talks that one of the TPP negotiators has privately admitted that it is now almost easier to say “no” to the TPP than “yes”. It’s time to admit the TPP is a crock, throw it away and start again.

Unfortunately, promoters of the TPP have framed the debate as those who are for trade (“trade” meaning the TPP) versus those who are against trade. This has meant that many groups who have nothing to gain and much to lose, such as small businesses, have supported the TPP. They want to trade and they have been led to believe there is no alternative to the TPP. Nothing could be further from the truth. Now that talks have stalled it is a great time to seize the initiative and reframe the debate. Continue reading

Hawaii: A Watershed For The TPP?

Despite the hype, trade negotiators walked away from the latest round of Trans Pacific Partnership talks. They put on a brave face. They were 98% in agreement, so they say. And each participating country was quick to point out it wasn’t their fault negotiations failed. They bargained in good faith.

But fail they did, and for that the people of New Zealand and all the other countries involved should be truly grateful. The TPP is not a deal that will benefit any of us unless we have shares in one of the massive multinational corporations that would call the shots if the deal went ahead. Continue reading

About Our New Zealand Flag…

It is ironic that New Zealanders are holding a discussion about our national flag, the symbol of our sovereignty, when our government is handing our country to multi national corporations, quite literally on a plate.

The recent push by crown entity Health Benefits Ltd to have all hospital and community food services such as Meals on Wheels provided by Compass Group nationwide is part of a concerted effort to open up public services to multi national corporations. Continue reading

Compass Group – Pointing Us In The Wrong Direction?

Why is Health Benefits Ltd hell bent on installing transnational corporation Compass Group as sole provider of food services nationwide for our health sector for the foreseeable future and beyond?

So far Health Benefits has, according to the Otago Daily Times 1 May, spent an eye-watering $4.1 million of district health boards funding on this proposal. Ironically, much of it on trying to persuade the cash strapped district health boards that outsourcing food services to Compass will save them money. Continue reading

GST Is Past Its Use By Date

GST was first introduced in 1986. Most workplaces used typewriters. Businesses were coming to grips with the fax machine. EFTPOS was still in its trial phase.

There was no internet in New Zealand. Share trading and currency speculation were not a significant feature of the economy. Personal overseas shopping had to be done in person, overseas.

Three decades on GST is no match for the global marketplace that is now accessible to everyone with a PC and an internet connection. No amount of tinkering will change that. Continue reading

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Charade

The Trans-Pacific is a corporate raid. It’s about stealing our sovereignty and killing democracy. Investor-state dispute settlement provisions mean that when big corporates tell us to jump, the only thing we will be able to do is ask “how high?”

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative have confirmed that negotiators from the 12 participating countries will meet in Hawaii from March 9 to 15 to try to wrap up the Trans-Pacific free trade agreement. We can’t let that happen.

Time to dust off the banners and take to the streets again on March 7th to try to get the message across to New Zealanders and the New Zealand government that this agreement is a crock and we should have no part of it. There will be marches in 22 towns and cities across New Zealand. Similar actions are happening in the other 11 participating countries. Continue reading