Auckland airport should never have been sold
National & NZ First shouldn’t have sold Auckland airport in the first place
There would be no drama over Auckland airport if the valuable strategic asset had not been given away by National and NZ First in the first place, Progressive leader Jim Anderton said today.
Speaking in his capacity as a party leader - he played no part in the decision to decline the Canadian bid for 40% of Auckland airport - Jim Anderton said there are no intricate decisions about overseas ownership when assets are kiwi-owned.
“The current concerns about who can own the airport are the direct result of disastrous decisions to sell our strategic assets in the first place.
“Nearly everyone who sold Auckland airport is still in parliament. They are on National’s front bench licking their lips at the thought of giving away more of our strategic assets to National party funders and overseas plunderers.
“When National and NZ First sold Auckland airport, National front benchers like Tony Ryall and Bill English claimed it was going to be bought by Mum and Dad kiwi investors. What did they think the two or three Mums and Dads who bought shares would do with them? Predictably, they sold them overseas when they were offered more than the purchase price.
“National’s tv ads for airport shares said the airport had to be sold because Bill Clinton was bringing 1200 staff with him for APEC. That was ten years ago and Mr Clinton’s visit is part of history, but we are still cleaning up the mess from the unwise sale.
“No one is worried about foreign ownership of Kiwibank. No one is worried about foreign ownership of Air New Zealand. No one is worried about foreign ownership of our railway tracks. Noone is worried because these strategic assets are owned by the Government on behalf of the people of New Zealand.
“National would sell the lot. They won’t say ‘no we won’t sell any part of any of them.’
“National will admit it might sell some, but not all of the assets. The Auckland airport episode has been about selling 40% of the asset. How would that be different to National’s admission it could sell some of TVNZ, or some of Kiwibank?”