By: Larry Williams | Thursday, September 06, 2012
The job cuts announced yesterday at the Bluff smelter is a serious warning shot on the future of the smelter.
NZ Aluminium Smelters announced in August last year that it was reducing its workforce of around 750 by 100 positions over five-year period. That will now take just two months.
The reason is the depressed global aluminium prices.
At the same time the company is trying to re-negotiate its electricity contract with Meridian. You could say that that Rio Tinto is holding a gun to the countries head. Or is it ?
Here's the thing : the smelter is one of the older plants the company is seeking to sell. The smelter made losses in the last two years. 15% of the smelter is not in production. The position is not flash.
If Tiwai was to close not only would it be catastrophic for the Southland economy it would also have the potential to crash the electricity prices. There is a glut of electricity right now. That's why I keep saying that these energy companies may not be the great investment you think they are.
Labour, of course are blaming the government, but Tiwai Point would close down tomorrow if Labour was in government on the basis of their ETS policy.
You only have to go back and look at comments from the company on the ETS to realise this.
Another loopy idea comes from former Green co leader Jeannette Fitsimmons who thinks the government should buy Tiwai Point and make it into an SOE.
Memo to Ms Fitsimmons - the government is trying to flog SOE's not create more of the damn things.
The King Country iwi who are challenging the Court of Appeals ruling on the Crafar farms are surely wasting their time and the foolish benefactors money.
The mystery benefactor may be loaded but nobody likes throwing money down the drain. Its just seems like a very dumb move.
The court decision against the Fay consortium and in favour of Shanghai Pengxin looks pretty rock solid. Indeed it was a slam dunk for the Chinese and the Ministers.
Remarkably the iwi is challenging on the very same grounds that the Chinese don't have the business acumen. Patently absurd ands the judge said so.
All this does is create a bad image abroad for NZ as an investment. Not just a few farms but the bigger picture of direct foreign investment. Without DFI this country goes down the toilet.
Stand up and take a bow the Maori Trustee.
The Maori Trustee manages 200 trusts, companies and entities, 100,000 hectares of Maori-owned land and $80m in client funds.
The Maori Trust is looking to do business with guess who ?
Shanghai Pengxin !
They see investment opportunities through creating wealth throughout the value chain and they're going to Shanghai to do some business. Clearly the intention is to sell and invest in China.
The Maori Trustee is above all this other nonsense.
A few weeks back I noted what a nasty piece of work Hone Harawira was. A man filled with hatred. A deeply racist individual.
Further confirmation is his latest diatribe.
He has lashed out at Maori Party MPs for suggesting they won't attend the national water rights hui, calling them Prime Minister John Key's "little house niggers".
If he was in any other party other than his one man band racist Mana Party he would be gone.There is nothing to like about Harawira. He's a very sad case.
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