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Kiwi Bank A 'Defining Moment' For NZ

The kiwi bank is a defining moment for New Zealand, Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton told a public meeting in Levin tonight.

"This bank is a defining moment because it is about the approach we are taking to our whole economy. We are builders, not destroyers. If New Zealand wants a country where we try to do things, where we give things a go, then New Zealand needs to get behind this bank," Jim Anderton said.

"Opponents of the bank want to go back to the New Zealand of the eighties where we sit on our hands and hope that things will come right if everything is sold."

And he challenged National and Act to state how they would sell the bank without also selling NZ Post. The bank will be set up as a wholly-owned subsidiary of NZ Post, with its own Board.

"I have a question for Mrs Shipley. If she is going to sell the bank, how could she do that without selling NZ Post? How could the Government order NZ Post to sell its banking arm?"

Jim Anderton said there is a simple reason why National and Act are so enraged about the bank.

"This is about the kind of New Zealand we are going to live in. For National and Act, it was a New Zealand where everything was sold. The Government had no role. They told New Zealanders that we weren't capable of doing things for ourselves.

"In the past, governments focused on cutting costs. They wouldn't take any part in building New Zealand's future. The kiwi bank symbolises the future.

"Why shouldn't New Zealanders own a bank and run it? Are Jenny Shipley and Richard Prebble really saying that they have left this country in such a mess that we're not even capable of running a bank?

"They should get real. New Zealanders can do anything we want to do. This bank is about New Zealanders owning New Zealand assets," Jim Anderton said.

Ends

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