As a complete rip-off of a recent Andrew Geddis post (respect!), here's another attempt by Pundit to reveal the ridiculous
State Owned Enterprises Minister, Tony Ryall, today accepted partial responsibility for Solid Energy's failings and said that the failings of his govenment are the strongest argument yet for the government's mixed ownership plan.
Last month government owned Solid Energy revealed it was talking to its banks and Treasury as it struggled to handle debt that had reached $389 million.
After days of pressure from Opposition parties laying the blame for Solid Energy's woes at the feet of shareholding ministers, Mr Ryall today conceeded.
"So, we messed up. Fair cop. We should never have urged them to take on more debt; we should never have been that close to operational matters. We're not a government that buys into New Zealand's 'socialist streak'."
But Mr Ryall added that it was exactly because politicians like him can't be trusted that National was selling up to 49 percent of the state-owned power companies, such as Mighty River and Meridian.
"Our woeful handling of Solid Energy is the perfect example of why we want to sell it and other companies like it. If Tories can't even keep their hands off and can't keep from stuffing things up, well, what hope is there when the other lot are in charge?"
"The market offers the best disciplines and ensures politicians -- er, like me and Bill -- resist the temptation to meddle. And that's why we're so determined to forge ahead with our partial sale of state assets.
"Partial is what we're all about. So we accept partial responsibility for Solid Energy. And we're going to ensure that we can't take any more than partial blame for any other future cock-ups by SOEs by making sure that we only have partial ownership."
Mr Ryall said he would be unavailable for futher comment as he would be in meetings with the boards of Air New Zealand and Kiwibank.