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Labour to sell 'non-core' assets

Gerry Brownlee MP National Party State Owned Enterprises Spokesman

7 August 2008

Labour to sell 'non-core' assets

National Party State Owned Enterprises spokesman Gerry Brownlee says Labour has confirmed it plans to float 'non-core' state-owned assets on the Stock Exchange for 'mum and dad' investors.

"An hysterical Labour has railed against National's clear plan for no asset sales in the first term of a National-led Government. But it turns out, Labour's policy is far more sinister."

Mr Brownlee says Trevor Mallard confirmed in Parliament today that partially selling non-core SOEs is Labour's policy, although it is not listed as a Labour Party policy on its web page.

"Where's the transparency around Labour's asset sales policy?"

Mr Mallard told TVNZ's Agenda programme on June 17 2006 that: 'Something that we could do and something that I'm quite keen on is that as the SOEs develop the new businesses especially those that are done in partnership with people in the private sector, we could well have floats of the subsidiaries so that they could be listed on the Stock Exchange, that could help give a bit of depth to our capital markets and get some transparency around those companies, and I think that would help.' HOST: So mum and dad New Zealanders might get a chance to have shares in subsidiary companies that spring off this idea? MALLARD: I hope that they can although you've gotta realise that mum and dads might get them first but if they're listed on the stock exchange of course then there's no way of keeping them in New Zealand. Later in the same interview... MALLARD: Well I think it's part of our job to give them some exciting examples and to work with the stock exchange and work with individual companies to try and rebuild interest in capital markets in New Zealand.

Then on Agenda, on July 14 2008 Mr Mallard reconfirmed that policy: 'I'm happy for things which are not part of the core to be partially floated, at the moment there's none of those that are big enough to be interesting'.

Mr Brownlee says Labour needs to explain which 'non core' assets it is looking to sell.


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