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Locals should be offered Auckland Airport shares

Copeland: Auckland Airport shares should be offered to locals first

United Future Finance spokesperson, Gordon Copeland, has written to Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel asking that she intervene, and if necessary change the law, to ensure that any sale by the Auckland City Council of its shares in Auckland Airport will see New Zealand residents get first preference before overseas investors.

“The media reported this week that the failure of the Auckland City Council to get the required 20 signatures on the prospectus to allow the shares to be sold to the public – 5 leftwing councillors refused to sign – blocks a sale to locals, but allows the sale to overseas interests to proceed,” said Mr Copeland.

“Such an outcome would be scandalous. If that is the result of the present law then it is a complete ass and the Minister needs to ensure that it is changed forthwith. Meantime any sale of the Auckland City Council’s stake in Auckland Airport should be held over.

“We Kiwis have just got to become street smart when these kinds of situations arise. Mark Weldon, the new Chief Executive of the Stock Exchange, has set out to revitalise New Zealand investment markets, and, in that objective, he has my wholehearted support.

“It is disgraceful that in too many instances over the last ten years or so we have sold the majority of the shares in New Zealand companies to overseas investors leaving Kiwi investors at the end of the queue.

“Frequently, disadvantaged Kiwi investors then end up having to buy shares in our own companies back from overseas shareholders at an inflated price and we wonder why we continue to languish in the international growth statistics,” said Mr Copeland.

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