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Key puts up ‘for sale’ sign on strategic assets

Hon Dr Michael Cullen

Minister of Finance

11 April 2008 Media Statement

Key puts up ‘for sale’ sign on NZ strategic assets

Finance Minister Michael Cullen says he is disappointed but not surprised to hear of the National Party’s weak position on strategic national assets.

“Mr Key’s comments today mean that the National Party has not changed its spots from when it was last in government in the 1990s and decided to hock-off the Crown’s shareholding in Auckland International Airport for a bargain,” Dr Cullen said.

“National in government scaled-back New Zealand mum and dad bids for shares in favour of large overseas investors so its crocodile tears in 2008 for small shareholders is insincere at best.

The National Party leader, cheered on by the ACT Party, today attacked the decision by two Cabinet Ministers to reject the efforts of the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board to purchase a major stake in Auckland International Airport, our largest city’s monopoly commercial aviation gateway to the world.

At the same time, Mr Key has attempted to appear strong on asset protection, outlining a confused policy to hold 51 per cent of shares in strategic assets in New Zealand hands.

“Mr Key’s weeks of slipping and sliding on Auckland Airport has further undermined his credibility. He should seek a briefing from his Trade Negotiations Spokesperson on the implictions of National’s so-called 51 per cent rule on bilateral and multilateral agreements that New Zealand is committed to,” Dr Cullen said.


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