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Assets mustn’t be sold before referendum

27 February 2013

Assets mustn’t be sold before referendum

The Supreme Court’s decision that asset sales wouldn’t materially impair water claims under the Treaty of Waitangi doesn’t change the facts that asset sales are economically reckless and are opposed by the vast majority of New Zealand, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

“Even if it has the legal power to sell our assets, National has no moral right to do so before Kiwis have their say in a referendum,” said Dr Norman.

“Over 390,000 New Zealanders have now signed the Keep Our Assets petition to force a referendum on asset sales. In two weeks, the coalition will present the petition to Parliament.

“No asset sales should go ahead before the referendum takes place; Kiwis want to have their say on privatisation, and the Government must listen.

“The New Zealand public doesn’t want National to sell our assets, and the economic case for asset sales keeps crumbling by the day.

“Already, the Government has wasted $26 million on the sales process, and is expecting to spending hundreds of millions more. If the sales happen, the loss of dividends will carve a $100 million a year hole in the Government books, which will have to be filled by cutting spending, more borrowing, or tax hikes. All so that our profitable, strategic assets can pay dividends to foreign buyers.

“With Solid Energy in a tail-spin, National can’t even tell us how much they expect to earn from asset sales, yet they seem determined to push ahead.

“New Zealanders don’t want our assets sold. We want our profitable, strategic assets to remain in public hands. We want the National Government to stop wasting time and money on privatisation, and instead focus on real issues like the jobs and housing crises confronting our families,” said Dr Norman.


ENDS

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