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Peters' privatisation of KiwiBank dangerous

21 October 2008
Peters' privatisation of KiwiBank dangerous

The Green Party is rejecting calls by New Zealand First to privatise KiwiBank.

"Winston Peters seems to have lost his way in the middle of the economic crisis," Green Party Co-Leader Russel Norman says.

"In the midst of a financial meltdown, having a bank owned by the Government has provided much needed stability to the New Zealand banking system. The fact that KiwiBank only borrows within New Zealand and is Government-owned has made it one of New Zealand's most reliable financial institutions," Dr Norman says.

"Privatising KiwiBank will inevitably lead to its overseas ownership like all the other big banks. This will see the Bank's profits sent off to overseas owners in good times and, in bad times, New Zealand will be further exposed to financial crises which we might otherwise have been insulated from.

"Peters' suggestion is exposed as all the more absurd by his failure to make clear what he hopes to achieve by privatising Kiwi Bank. What would he do with the additional funds raised? However, it's very unlikely an initial public offering (IPO) could be successful in the current market. "John Key and the overseas-owned banks must be rubbing their hands with glee at the opportunity to get their hands on 'our bank'.

"The Green Party agrees with directing more Government banking business to KiwiBank but not if it is sold off to the highest bidder."


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