Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Mayor wrong on airport's importance - Greens

3 December 2008

Mayor wrong on airport's importance - Greens

Green Party MP Sue Kedgley says she is startled to learn that Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast does not believe the city's international airport is a strategic asset, and considers that there is little to lose if Wellington City Council sells all of its 34 percent shareholding.

"I am astonished that the Mayor does not consider a key piece of monopoly transport infrastructure, which is one of the gateways into Wellington, to be a strategic asset, or see any strategic reason for council retaining its 34 percent share in the airport," Ms Kedgley says.

"If our airport is not a strategic asset, then what is? One only has to contemplate what could happen if an overseas owner were to buy 100 percent of Wellington airport, and run it in a way that did not coincide with Wellington's tourism, transport, and economic interests."

Infrastructure investments like airports are considered gold plated investments, and investors are scouring the world looking to buy up such strategic assets, she says

"Wellington City has made a significant return on its investment in the airport since the 1990s, when Ms Prendergast and others tried to sell it. The Council's 34 percent investment was valued at $45 million in 1992, and is now valued at $173 million - an increase of 385 percent. Not only has the asset appreciated in capital value, it continues to return a strong dividend of around $5.6 million per annum.

"I understand that council is seeking to reduce its debt, but why sell a key piece of infrastructure that has increased in value and is producing a good return?

"Besides, now is a terrible time to be selling any significant capital asset. The council has completely missed the boat with its timing given the credit crisis. Any attempt at sale today would see a markedly reduced price for such a prime asset."

Ms Kedgley says she is concerned that Ms Prendergast was taking the same privatisation stance she took when she argued for the sale of Wellington's well run, efficient Capital Power company in the 1990s.

"Ms Prendergast argued then that our energy company was not a strategic asset and would be better off in private ownership. Since Capital Power was sold it has been flogged off to different owners five times, and is now owned by the richest man in Asia, yet Wellingtonians are far worse off. There has been no real investment in our energy infrastructure, under a succession of new owners, and power prices for consumers have skyrocketed by over 700 percent."


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election