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Port of Lyttelton plan a warning on China Deal

Alliance Party
media release for immediate release
30 March 2006

Alliance Party says Port of Lyttelton plan a warning on China Free Trade deal

The Alliance Party says the news that the Hong Kong-based multinational Hutchison has pulled out of a deal to buy up part of the Port of Lyttelton gives the public a breathing space – but is just a temporary tactic by privatizers.

Alliance Party co-leader Paul Piesse says the buyback of shares by the Christchurch City Council was looking like a holding measure until they can have another crack at privatization.

He says the issue has obvious connections with the free trade negotiations New Zealand is involved in with countries like China.

"The public of Christchurch and New Zealand should be aware that the Lyttelton situation signals the start of a new round of privatizations as New Zealand is steered deeper into the swamp of free trade agreements."

He says the resounding silence of the Labour led Government on the issue was the equivalent of a ten foot tall flashing neon warning sign.

"The Government are neck deep in free trade negotiations and are desperate to keep the topic out of public discussion and debate."

Mr Piesse says this Government are managers, not representative leaders, with the shameful handling of the Air New Zealand issue and now their silence on the port issue being both an indictment and a warning.

"There is strong smell of undiluted Rogernomics hanging over the Government on this issue."

He says he hopes the silence of Helen Clark on the port issue is not simply for the benefit of the forthcoming visit of the Chinese premier.


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