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Parties should let voters know their intentions

Parties should let voters know their intentions

Parties should say before the election what they intend to do after it, Progressive Party leader Jim Anderton told a Grey Power audience in Christchurch today.

He said voters can get surprised if they don't know before the election what a party might do with their vote after it, giving the example of the government formed after the 1996 election.

"I found the Treasurer at the time saying Auckland Airport could be sold because it wasn't a strategic asset. That Treasurer way back then said: "Where no strategic assets are concerned, New Zealanders must make a choice. … We have low returning funds locked up in businesses like airports and coal mines which demand future investment from the taxpayer that would be better spent on schools and hospitals."

"Well guess who said that? Guess who was the Treasurer? The same person who, having made the decision to sell the airport, then put out a press release on the first of July 1998 headlined: "Peters pleased with demand for airport prospectus."

"Well at least it wasn't sold overseas. Oops. Here's the Evening Post at the time: "Of the 216.7 million shares shares (or 51.6 percent) sold by the government - about forty percent went to overseas institutions….Local institutions got less than half that of their overseas counterparts."

"I look at Winston Peters praising the government's decision on Auckland airport. So he should. But I can't help thinking the airport should not have been sold overseas in the first place.

"Now this is not to scrape over old coals - all this was on the public record at the time, of course. But the point is to show you the surprises you can get if you don't know before the election what a party might do with your vote after it.

"The Progressives will not sell assets like Kiwibank or Air New Zealand or the railway tracks, or the roads. We will be a coalition partner for Labour. And we will work patiently and cooperatively in that coalition for a New Zealand that has the strength to care."


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