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Government selling us down the Mighty River

David Shearer
Labour Leader

Clayton Cosgrove
SOEs spokesperson

4 March 2013

Government selling us down the Mighty River

The asset sales programme will ultimately see millions of dollars go into the pockets of private and Australian investors while most New Zealanders lose out, say Labour Leader David Shearer and SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.

David Shearer says: “Currently our state assets are 100% Kiwi owned. This programme will mean New Zealanders lose their assets. Kiwis are being asked to purchase what they already own. John Key says he’s committing to keeping 85 per cent in New Zealand hands but to do that thousands of Kiwi families will have to spend at least $1,000.

“The assets will be listed on the Australian stock exchange and open to investment from overseas companies. John Key can’t explain how he is going to ensure that at least 70% of the shares go into the hands of New Zealanders, apart from spending $1 million on an advertising campaign. He still refuses to explain how his loyalty programme will work.

“Over 80 per cent of New Zealanders have consistently said they are against asset sales. There are 390,000 Kiwis who have signed the petition calling for a referendum. New Zealanders must have their say. The Government should hold the referendum this year and listen to the will of the people,” says David Shearer.

Clayton Cosgrove says: “Under John Key thousands of New Zealanders have lost their jobs and wages have stagnated. Most Kiwi families simply don’t have a spare $1,000 sitting around to buy assets that they already own.

“John Key’s plan will see the vast majority of New Zealanders lose their assets while wealthy private investors from overseas get to cash in.

“National is plowing ahead despite a great deal of uncertainty around this plan. Iwi may need compensation, there is concern around Tiwai Point hanging over the electricity sector, Solid Energy has collapsed and electricity demand is predicted to remain flat.

“No time is a good time for asset sales. But to sell our assets in a flat electricity market is simply reckless. And who will be the loser in the end? New Zealand families and taxpayers,” says Clayton Cosgrove.

ENDS

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