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Greens welcome Cullen borrowing ideas on airport

4th March 2008

Greens welcome Cullen borrowing ideas on airport

The Green Party is welcoming the Government's decision to tighten the Overseas Investment Act, which will have the effect of blocking the sale of Auckland International Airport, and hopes that the new criteria will block the sale of other key strategic assets as well.

"This is a victory for the Green Party which has been calling for the Act to be tightened for years," Green Party Aviation Spokesperson, Sue Kedgley said today.

"I am delighted that the Government has finally recognised what Green Party has been saying and decided to tighten the rules and protect key strategic assets such as Auckland International Airport."

Ms Kedgley said that if the National and United Future parties hadn't blocked the introduction of her Private Members Bill, Overseas Investment (Restriction of Foreign Ownership), the legislation could have been tightened last year, creating better certainty for investors.

Ms Kedgley pointed out that at the time of the passage of the Overseas Investment Bill in 2005 the late Rod Donald moved twenty-three amendments seeking to tighten the Bill, with nearly all of his amendments opposed by all parties in the House.

"Once again, this shows how the Green Party is out in front. If other parties had listened to the Green Party then, the shenanigans at Auckland airport over the past few years could have been avoided.

"Auckland airport is a key strategic asset and New Zealand could not afford the economic, environmental, biosecurity or security risks of allowing control of our main aviation gateway to pass into foreign hands.

"New Zealand had one of the most permissive regimes in the world and was one of the few countries in the developed world without strict rules on the foreign ownership of key strategic assets."


ENDS

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