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Peters' record speaks louder than his words

Wednesday, 7 September 2005

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

Peters' record speaks louder than his words

NZ First's actual record in coalition government on asset sales and political stability is what counts, not its latest rhetoric, says Progressive MP Matt Robson.

"NZ First and its leader Mr Peters campaigned in 1996 to put an end to the strategic asset sales programme of previous National-United and Labour governments of the 1980s and 1990s.

"But after people had voted, NZ First joined National in government and the new Treasurer, Mr. Peters, wasted little time to get up in Parliament and announce that his government would sell its shares in Auckland International Airport, which it subsequently did, to new, mainly foreign, owners.

"If our largest city's monopoly aviation gateway to the world isn't a strategic national asset, what is?

"I guess Mr. Peters would argue that his government's plans to chop up and sell-off Solid Energy Ltd. in pieces wasn't in breach of his party's alleged principles because at the time Solid Energy was a loss-making company.

"These days Solid Energy is one of our top export companies and highly profitable but it is only thanks to the laziness of the last National-NZ First government that it never actually got around to selling the company before the 1999 election intervened and the current coalition government was elected which of course refused to sell Solid Energy and has retained it, and its profits, in New Zealand.

The NZ First Party, which for the last three years has attacked the Labour-Progressive government's support partner for being a confidence and support party, today said it wanted to be a confidence and support partner in the next Parliament and that one of its principles is its opposition to asset sales!

Treasurer Winston Peters' May 14 1998 Budget Speech: "Key initiatives announced in the 1998 budget include decisions to negotiate with local government shareholders to divest the Crown's ownership interest in Auckland International Airport . . . The government has also started the process of divesting the Crown's ownership interests in the coal mining State Owned Enterprise, Solid Energy."

ENDS

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