It appears the New Zealand Government can still rely on the "mainstream media" to deliver unchallenged PR puff pieces... today's was promoting the supposed brilliance of state-owned Kiwibank (an Anderton idea, backed by Labour).
The bank now has almost 650,000 customers "on its books", with loans and advances rising to $5.6 billion (including $700 million from the acquisition of the AMP home loan portfolio).
And while Kiwibank has managed to sell the customer numbers as an impressive figure in its free PR coverage, in actual fact the bank has a very small share of the New Zealand banking market... around just 3%.
Journalists faithfully reported that the SOE made an annual profit of $36.8 million this financial year, an increase of 19% on last year's result.
And the bank is a long way off "breaking even" for the New Zealand taxpayer, and Knowles admitted it's "still a year or two off" paying dividends to the Government.
Kiwibank cost around $80 million to start in 2002. Since then taxpayers have given the SOE another $200 million in funding, including $55 million in additional capital in the year to June '07, and a further $50 million to June this year.
* NZ Herald: NZ Post still shores up Kiwibank
* Stuff: Kiwibank makes $36.8m profit
Posted at 7:51 pm