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ChCh Govt MPs Urged To Stop Lyttelton Port Sale

Chief Reporter


Keep Our Port Public (KOPP) is delighted that a number of Canterbury’s Labour and Progressive MPs have come out with such a strong statement opposing the Christchurch City Council’s proposed sale of half of the Lyttelton Port Company to Hutchison Port Holdings Ltd of Hong Kong. It is particularly significant as several of them are Ministers (and in the case of Jim Anderton, a very senior one at that). This increases the pressure on the increasingly isolated Council to step back from its newfound craze for privatisation.

But these MPs need to do more than express opposition. They are influential members of a Government that came to power promising no more privatisations of public assets. And, by and large, the Government has honoured that promise. What do Helen Clark and Michael Cullen have to say about this proposed sale offshore of a strategic national asset? More importantly, what is their Government going to do about it?

It’s not enough for these MPs and Ministers to stand on the sidelines wringing their hands while the ideologues in the Council, elected and unelected, rush headlong back into the good old days of the 90s. This is the Government that has renationalised both Air New Zealand and the national rail track network because that was in the national interest. If the Council won’t come to its senses, then KOPP urges the Government to bring it to its senses and stop in its tracks any moves to privatise and/or sell overseas Lyttelton or any other port company. If the Council is allowed to get away with this, it will set a dangerous precedent for other ports, and will restart the whole process of public asset privatisation that was stopped in the 90s.

So, thank you, MPs and Ministers for talking the talk. Now let’s see your Government walk the walk and take whatever steps are necessary to stop the privatisation and sale offshore of the Lyttelton Port Company, because it is not in the national interest.

Keep Our Port Public

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