Call for assets to be protected through law
5th March 2008
Greens call for assets to be protected through legislation
The Green Party is calling for the regulatory amendment to the Overseas Investment Act to be validated in legislation, to prevent a possible National Party government from repealing the regulation.
Regulations can easily be repealed, without any debate in Parliament.
"Given John Key's admission yesterday that he opposed the regulatory change, it would be very easy for a future National government to quietly remove the new regulations," Green Party MP Sue Kedgley says.
The Green Party wants a clear list of strategic assets that the government does not believe should be sold, to be added in an appendix to the Overseas Investment Act.
"This would make it clear to investors what strategic assets are off limits, and which ones are still up for grabs. Australia has such a list, and protects most of its key telecommunications and other infrastructure, along with its banks.
"We also challenge the National Party to release a list of which assets it would allow to be sold to overseas investors, so that the public know which of our strategic assets might be up for grabs to the highest foreign bidder.
Ms Kedgley says New Zealanders should be extremely concerned at the National Party's refusal to support tightening the criteria in the Overseas Investment Act.
"It's clear from Mr Key's comments that the National Party still supports the sale of key strategic assets to foreign owners.
"The National Party has always been eager to sell off key infrastructure such as our railways and our banks, and clearly this is still its policy. Voters should be aware of this.
"The problem is that if we sell of one of our key strategic assets, which has been built up over many years, it's gone forever. They're almost impossible to get back.