Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Former BNZ Chief Needs Funny Bone Transplant

Former BNZ Chief Needs Funny Bone Transplant

"This man needs a funny bone transplant," was the response of Kiwibank founder Jim Anderton to the recent description by former BNZ chairman Kerry McDonald of the Kiwibank 'join the resistance' advertising campaign as 'reprehensible' and 'outrageous'.

"The campaign is amusing and imaginative, drawing as it does on what an editorial in the Southland Times calls "the peace and serenity in a New Zealander at the thought of an aggrieved Aussie." Its use of the symbolism of plucky and successful French resistance to fascist occupation and the motif of the little green car are inspired and hit just the right note.

"It's hard to escape the impression that this is sour grapes," said Mr Anderton. "When I first mooted the idea of the bank there was a universal howl of derision in financial circles. They are eating their words now. The foreign owned banks had a cosy little set-up and didn't at all cotton to the idea of some real competition. Instead, they had shut down services wholesale. Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders had lost access to a local bank branch as the big banks closed down more than twelve hundred branches, and credit card and mortgage rates were sky high. But I had faith in what a bank which genuinely serves New Zealanders could do, drew up a business plan with the assistance of New Zealand Post in the face of the critics, and convinced my sceptical Cabinet colleagues. Five years down the track my faith and that of the many New Zealanders who supported the idea have been amply repaid.

"Not a single branch of the overseas banks has been closed since. On the contrary a number of the foreign banks have begun to re-open branches. But Kiwibank, with over three hundred banking outlets now has the largest network of financial transaction centres in the country. Credit card and mortgage interest rates have tumbled, and the bank came into profit literally years ahead of the projected business case forecast. It now serves over 650,000 customers. It's very odd that a leading member of the Business Round Table like Kerry McDonald should not support the salutary advantages of a little bit of competition.

"The success of the bank has not, of course, stopped the harping of critics like Mr McDonald, who should know better than to repeat the totally unfounded sneer that the Kiwibank has only succeeded because it is government subsidised. Mr McDonald of all people ought to know that the bank has not received a single dollar in government subsidy. The money advanced to Kiwibank by the Labour/Progressive government came from the $500million in dividends earned by New Zealand Post and has been more than recovered already. Kiwibank now has a capital value equivalent to the asset value of New Zealand Post itself - around $500million - and that after just six years in business. Not bad for 'a dog of an idea' as it was described by many commentators at the outset.

"It is now deeply embedded not only in the fabric of our financial system, but in the affections of the great majority of New Zealanders, who continue to join it at the rate of two thousand a week. Even the incoming National led government, which is no friend to successful state enterprises, knows better than to talk openly about disposing of it. Mr McDonald would be well advised to get 'on message' with his fellow New Zealanders and to leave the Kiwibank alone.

And talking about having cordial relations between New Zealand and Australia, has Mr McDonald ever heard about apples?"


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Geo-political Posturing Over China’s Cyber Hacks, Plus The Weekly Playlist

The timing was one of the weirder aspects of this week’s cyber condemnation of China by the West. Why was this piece of political theatre being staged now? China (and Russia’s) sponsoring and/or condoning of semi-state and criminal hacker groups has been known about for nigh on a decade. More particularly, Microsoft had been alerted to the flaws in its Microsoft Exchange... More>>




 
 


Government: Quarantine Free Travel With Australia Suspended

Quarantine Free Travel from all Australian states and territories to New Zealand is being suspended as the Covid situation there worsens, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced today... More>>

ALSO:


Government: New Zealand Condemns Malicious Cyber Activity By Chinese State-sponsored Actors

New Zealand has established links between Chinese state-sponsored actors known as Advanced Persistent Threat 40 (APT40) and malicious cyber activity in New Zealand. “The GCSB has worked through a robust technical attribution process in relation to this activity. New Zealand is today joining other countries in strongly condemning this malicious activity... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Commits $600,000 To Flood Recovery

The Government is contributing $600,000 to help residents affected by the weekend’s violent weather with recovery efforts. Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor have been in the Buller district this afternoon to assess flood damage and support the local response effort... More>>

ALSO:



NZUS Council: Welcomes Nomination Of Senator Tom Udall As US Ambassador To NZ

The NZUS Council welcomes the nomination of Senator Tom Udall to the role of US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, NZUS Council executive director Jordan Small said... More>>

BusinessNZ: Visa Extensions Welcomed
BusinessNZ has welcomed the extension of some critical skill visa durations and changes to immigration systems to speed processing. Chief Executive Kirk Hope says move acknowledges advocacy by the hospitality sector, the BusinessNZ Network and others, and comes not a moment too soon.... More>>



Social Development: Government Initiatives Contribute To Fall In Benefit Numbers

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the release of the June quarter Benefit Statistics which show a continuing fall in the number of people receiving a Main Benefit... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels