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Port Unions Seek public ownership for Lyttelton

Joint media release Maritime Union of New Zealand and Rail and Maritime Transport Union
For immediate release Wednesday 29 March 2006

Port Unions urge Port of Lyttelton to be returned to full public ownership

New Zealand's two major port unions say they are pleased that the Port of Lyttelton will be purchased in full by the Christchurch City Council - but they are warning the public to remain vigilant.

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) and the Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ) say the port should remain in community ownership.

Christchurch City Council today dumped its plan to sell a stake in the port to Hong Kong-based multinational port operator Hutchison Port Holdings.

Rail and Maritime Union National Secretary Wayne Butson says the immediate reaction of the Unions is positive, as the immediate danger of part privatization and overseas control is over.

"We see this as an excellent time for the City Council to make a commitment to hold this important asset for the public good."

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the future plans of the Christchurch City Council for the port must come under examination.

"We need to make sure that this is not just a tactical short-term move, and the people of Christchurch must give their Council the message they want their port held in public ownership."

Both Unions have been backing the local campaign Keep Our Port Public in Christchurch.

ENDS


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