Monday, August 3, 2015


Southland will be breathing a BIG sigh of relief tonight with the news that the Tiwai Point Aluminum Smelter will continue in operation until at least 2018.   Good news for the 800 full-time workers and contractors and the estimated 3,000 people who depend on the smelter for their livelihood.   Good news too for Southland where the smelter's operation makes up 10% of the regions GDP.  

It was only two years ago that the government stepped in with a $30m 'bailout' designed to avert the smelter's closure.   It is heartening that in the intervening period the company has managed to turn itself around and, while you can never say never against a backdrop of fluctuation  in world commodity prices, it seems unlikely that they will require further government support in the foreseeable future.

It is a matter of public record that Labour and others railed against the bailout calling it corporate welfare.   Leading the charge was List MP Clayton Cosgrove, self styled caucus 'hard-man' who makes mafia enforcers appear christ-like.    Southlanders will never forget that Labour was prepared to abandon them to the dung heap and my advice is that Cosgrove is about as welcome south of the Waitaki as a pork chop is in a synagogue.   About the only good thing to come out of this Labour Party policy debacle was that Cosgrove was demoted from Labour's shadow ministerial team and now languishes in the nether regions of Labour's pecking order.

Well done Rio Tinto and the Sumitomo Chemical Company.   Congratulations Southland.


Anonymous said...

It was disheartening to hear that those kind folks from National refused to hear the petition signed by 44,000 of the good citizens from Otago to try and save 44 jobs from the closure of part of the Kiwirail workshops. The thing I can't workout is was it 44 jobs in a labour constituency or was it that KIwi rail was not listed on the sharemarket that swung the select committees predetermined decision and why did not the workshops have time to "turn themselves around"?

Quite a following our Jeremy has don't you think.


The Veteran said...

Anon ... haven't you worked out that Kiwirail is a dog. Despite repeated injections of capital it continues to trade at a loss and maybe, just maybe, people might realize one day that geography and commercial imperatives combine to ensure that Kiwirail is always going to struggle. Comparing Tiwai Point to the Hillside Workshops is just a tad overdoing it even by your standards.

Jeremy who?

Spot on with your last para.

Noel said...

Can anyone tell me if NZAS has a cogenerating plant? Argument always appears on to be one only avaiable supplier and transmission costs.

The Veteran said...

Noel ... interesting question and clearly not. I wonder what the cost savings might have been (if any) if NZAS had built their own generating facility instead of buying power in from another provider.
Hardly a novel idea if you have the bucks to do it and RT had the bucks.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...


I doubt there would have been any cost savings otherwise they would have done so. Of course that option might have been used to squeeze a generous price for electricity from Meridian.

Anonymous said...

There we go, colours nailed to the mast, easy wasn't it? A far from balanced view of the political world where it is acceptable to reveal the political perfidy of all parties except the one where you have hung your hat and possibly wallet.

What is not acceptable is the idea that we are all dim political novices who believe in your one party state vision. Jeremy Corben was the guy you said had no credibility with the UK electorate in a previous post and asked me to authenticate my opposite view.

I did, remember?

Anonymous said...

The Veteran said...

Anon 1.00 am et seq ... nah, visions of a one party state are entirely the preserve and want of your motley lot ... North Korea, China, Vietnam, Russia (effectively) etc, etc. As for the so called 'authentication' ... predicated entirely I suspect on the premise that the electorate is as dumb as a sackful of hammers.

Just to set your mind at rest ... I fervently hope for Corbyn's success and all power to the Tory voters who have rushing to sign up as Labour Party supporters in order to have a say ... if Labour is so dumb as to embrace an electoral system capable of manipulation then they deserve to reap what they sow.

It must be great to be a true believer in the inevitably of a socialist paradise. I'm not.