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Peters' plan for Kiwi Bank is merely privatisation

Peters' plan for Kiwi Bank is merely privatisation

Alliance Party Media Release

21 October 2008

Alliance list candidate Quentin Findlay said that Winston Peter's plans to float Kiwibank were nothing less than the privatisation of a key New Zealand financial asset at a time when New Zealand governments should be actively intervening in the market place.

"Mr Peters' float idea is all about privatising Kiwi Bank. He is stating that he wishes to split it off from New Zealand Post and then offer its shares to private investors."

Rather than having a bold new plan for the bank, Mr Peter's ideas were simply a rehash of those that National and Labour had implemented in the 1980s and 1990.

The Alliance, as the party which had created Kiwi Bank, was opposed to moves that would take the bank out of public ownership and place it in private ownership, regardless of whether the private owners were New Zealand capitalists or foreign capitalists.

Presently, the New Zealand public do own the bank through the public ownership of New Zealand Post, Mr Findlay said.

The concept behind Kiwi Bank was to have a publicly owned bank which the New Zealand public and communities could access anywhere in the country and which offered low rates and high service for all, rich or poor.

If Mr Peters had bothered to read the papers and listen to the news, then he would be aware that in Europe, governments were actively promoting public ownership in the banking sector as a means of shoring up financial markets and ensuring the stability of their economies, Mr Findlay said.

The Alliance supported public ownership of Kiwi Bank. However, it was of the opinion that in the light of the present financial crisis it might be important to extend that ownership to other institutions such as the BNZ.

The BNZ would be better suited for Mr Peter's plans in the economy. Having two major banks under government control would allow it to more actively participate in the New Zealand economy. Public ownership would also automatically mean that they were New Zealand owned, Mr Findlay said.


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