Referendum Kiwis’ chance to say ‘no’ to wasteful asset sales
5 October 2103
Referendum Kiwis’ chance to say ‘no’ to Key’s wasteful asset sales
The Green Party is calling on Kiwis to vote ‘no’ to asset sales in the coming referendum as new figures show the sale of Meridian will cost $1.6 million ever week in lost net dividends, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.
The Electoral Commission has today launched its advertising campaign informing New Zealanders on the coming asset sales referendum. The Green Party will be campaigning to encourage people to vote ‘no’ to asset sales.
“This referendum is our chance to say ‘no’ to John Key’s wasteful asset sales,” said Mrs Turei.
“We know that the overwhelming majority of Kiwis oppose the current Government’s asset sales. Now, we will all have our chance to vote ‘no’ and send the Government a message that its sales have to stop.
“Mr Key has arrogantly refused to suspend the sales until the referendum is held and claims that he will ignore the voice of Kiwis on this issue. It would be naïve, however, to think that National can afford to ignore the public. With his poll ratings already falling, Mr Key can’t afford to dismiss the views of so many New Zealanders less than a year out from an election.
“It’s critical that New Zealanders vote in this referendum and send John Key a strong message: we don’t want our assets sold,” said Mrs Turei.
New analysis of the Meridian Offer Document shows that the Crown will lose $1. 6 million a week just in net foregone profits from the Meridian sale. Projected dividends for the next 18 months, according to the Offer Document, are $386.4 million of which 49%, $189.3 million, will be foregone by the Crown due to the share sale. The Crown’s capital cost on the $1.26 billion to be raised in the first instalment of payments for those shares will be $67.8 million over 18 months, according to the Treasury Fiscal Strategy Model. That’s a net loss of $121.5 million, or $1.6 million per week, to the Crown.
“John Key has already wasted $124 million on asset sales and the Meridian sale will cost another $100 million. On top of that mammoth cost, we must now add over a million and a half dollars every week in lost profits from Meridian,” said Mrs Turei.
“Mr Key has some gall complaining about the cost of Kiwis having their democratic say in this referendum when his asset sales are burning through taxpayer money like there’s no tomorrow. Just in the six weeks between Meridian’s expected float date and the close of the referendum, the net lost dividends will be $10 million, more than the cost of the referendum.
“If the Government is to give up some of the income stream from these assets it should be as a result of lowering electricity prices for Kiwi families and businesses through NZ Power, not because the assets have been flogged off.
“Investing in democracy is worth the price so that Kiwis can have their say on this important issue. Can anyone honestly say that National’s asset sales are worth the cost?” said Mrs Turei.