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Stop Powerco Sale Minister – Says NZ First

Stop Powerco Sale Minister – Says New Zealand First

Rt Hon Winston Peters says the Minister of Finance has no choice but to block the sale of a majority shareholding in New Plymouth based Powerco to Prime Infrastructure Australia.

Mr Peters has already opposed the sale of yet another valuable New Zealand owned energy asset.

“It is hard to understand why the New Plymouth District Council is congratulating itself when an unfortunate deal is being allowed to go ahead,” said Mr Peters.

He says the debacle over payment for the shares in New Zealand was a predictable outcome given the sham of the sales process and the method of using junk bonds for part payment.

“The Finance Minister who is in charge of the Overseas Investment Commission should be viewing this takeover with the gravest concern. Not only has there been no mandate given for the sale of the shares but Taranaki vendors are going to end up with IOUs and payment on the never-never.

“The whole sorry process has shown to be against the interests of Taranaki ratepayers and power users and reflects very badly on Prime Infrastructure, the New Plymouth District Council and the Taranaki Electricity Trust.

“It is time the Government protected New Zealand’s assets rather than help flog them off overseas.

“If the Government is serious about ensuring that New Zealand’s treasured infrastructure remains in New Zealand ownership, it will radically abandon its policy on takeover bids and overseas shareholdings.

“It defies all logic that these people entering this bargain basement giveaway have learnt nothing from similar stupid decisions made over the last 20 years in New Zealand.

“There is a local body election on Saturday and the Taranaki locals have had over a month of warnings over this foolish deal. Before Saturday, they have a chance to do something about it,” said Mr Peters.

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