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National exhumes asset sales ghost

4 March 2005

National exhumes asset sales ghost

National has jumped backwards to the failed asset sales policies of the 1990s, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Swain said today.

"National's weasel words can't hide their plans. They are back to flogging off the family silver – a policy New Zealanders have completely rejected," Mr Swain said.

"John Key is trying to be sneaky by talking about National's first term plans but if they were serious about no asset sales they would rule them out completely.

"By not doing so, means that everything - from power companies to New Zealand Post and Kiwibank – is up for sale. The public will not stand for this.

"This government has already had to reverse two failed asset sales – Air New Zealand and the rail network."

Mr Swain said Labour's policy of no asset sales had brought stability to SOEs for the past five years. This had improved their performance and increased their value and returns to the taxpayer. "National's policy does not make sense. Iconic land owned by the taxpayer through Landcorp will go into foreign hands if National gets their way.

"National also wants to flog off Solid Energy. It is an award-winning company, performing very well and is vital to an integrated energy sector. Selling this is plain nuts," Paul Swain said.

"National has ignored the public's rejection of asset sales. Their weasel words and double talk show they haven't got the courage to say exactly what they mean and they are trying to double-cross the public.

"New Zealanders will see the National Party policy for it is – asset sales, plain and simple. This policy makes National unelectable."

ENDS

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