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Anderton congratulates Nats on Kiwibank U-Turn

Anderton congratulates Nats on their 1st step on Kiwibank

Progressive leader Jim Anderton is welcoming the National Party for its u-turn on Kiwibank today, describing it as a "first, positive step".

"National appears to be on its way to fully acknowledging that Kiwibank is here to stay.

"National ridiculed the very idea of Kiwibank when I campaigned in the 1999 election to establish a New Zealand-owned, nation-wide bank.

"Today, National is showing that it is changing its mind, and there is no shame in that. The Opposition has clearly done its research.

"What it has found is that Kiwibank's existence is delivering lower banking fees across the entire banking system.

"Before Kiwibank came along, the foreign-owned banks were closing down their branches in provincial and suburban New Zealand.

"Now that Kiwibank is here, branches instead of closing are re-opening and that is to be celebrated," the Progressive leader said.

Jim Anderton today called on others that bitterly opposed Kiwibank when it was proposed, like Rod Donald from the Greens and the ACT Party, to also re-examine the evidence and follow National's honourable u-turn.

National finance spokesman John Key told a business breakfast audience at the Ellerslie Rotary Club today that if National leads a government in the future it would keep Jim Anderton's brainchild, Kiwibank in government-ownership at least in its first full term in office.

"Kiwibank is a truly peoples' bank, a New Zealand-owned bank that will have over half a million customers or more within three to four years.

"National is on its way to fully acknowledging that Kiwibank is here to stay because it is now part of the social framework of provincial and suburban New Zealand," Jim Anderton said.

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