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Dunne: rule out Kiwibank, Radio NZ and water for asset sales

Hon Peter Dunne
MP for Ohariu
Leader of UnitedFuture

Monday, 10 October 2011

Dunne: rule out Kiwibank, Radio NZ and water for asset sales

Kiwibank, Radio New Zealand and the water supply should be ruled out of any future asset sales programmes, UnitedFuture Leader Peter Dunne said today.

Speaking to the Auckland Rotary Club, he said that given that National has a manifesto that includes asset sales, New Zealanders need to start a proper debate on the future limits of those sales.

“To this point there has not been a proper national debate beyond National saying yes and Labour saying no.

“We need a conversation that is more detailed and drills down into what New Zealanders really think are acceptable bottom lines,” he said.

“New Zealanders, I believe, are not definitively pro-asset sales, but under certain conditions, it is no longer the bogeyman issue that Labour would have you believe.”

Mr Dunne said UnitedFuture’s role as a support partner is not just to contribute its own policies, but to help keep a government to a reasonable, centrist path.

“UnitedFuture says let’s start with three no-go areas where there would be no asset sales, not now, not ever:

“They are Kiwibank, Radio New Zealand and the supply of water.

“Kiwibank is in every sense now a national institution, whether you bank with it or not. And in a market full of Australian-owned banks, and an increasingly fraught and troubled globe, it is both a symbolic and practical statement of our economic sovereignty.

“Collectively, it is ours pure and simple. It must stay that way.

“Secondly, Radio New Zealand exists in an increasingly commercial media marketplace, and it is more important than ever to have a voice that does not bend to the dollar, to ratings, to external forces.

“Every nation needs its own voice and we need to afford that voice our collective protection.

“Thirdly, and one that I feel particularly deeply about, is water. I do not intend to wait until it is on the asset sales agenda.

“I do not believe New Zealanders would ever – or should ever – accept a sell-off of the supply of the water, or any of the aspects around it.

“Let no one claim for any price what is ours as of right. There needs to be a blanket and clear undertaking that this will never be on the agenda,” Mr Dunne said.

ENDS

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