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Brown Advocates Full Astern On Port Deal

17 February 2006

Brown Advocates Full Astern On Port Deal

New Zealand First deputy leader and transport spokesperson Peter Brown has called for close scrutiny of Christchurch City’s ‘wheelings and dealings’ in the Lyttelton Port Company.

“New Zealanders have already seen its shipping services fall into overseas hands, along with most of our significant infrastructure assets,” said Mr Brown.

“The ‘takeover and sell’ deal being pursued by Christchurch City Council’s company has the potential to sidestep the Overseas Investment Act and to increase foreign shareholding in the port.

“The question needs to be asked, do we need overseas ownership of our ports? Ports are the lifeblood of our trade, 99% of which comes and goes by ship. Surely we can manage these ourselves?

“The Council should rethink its strategy and every means should be taken to avoid the transfer of ownership to overseas interests. We do not want to be in the position of having to buy back our ports like we’ve had to buy back our railways and our airline,” concluded Mr Brown.


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