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Airport shares intervention hits free society

Media statement Saturday, April 12, 2008

Airport shares intervention hits at heart of free society

The Government veto of the sale of shares in Auckland's airport removes the rights of shareholders to sell private property, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

"Preventing people selling their shares hits at the heart of a free society," said EMA chief executive Alasdair Thompson.

"Its an outrageous decision and certain to have long term repercussions.

"The message being heard by investors is the government does not want them to risk money by growing their companies. What does that do for our international business reputation?

"The government doesn't seem to know what it believes so it does the two step shuffle on overseas investment.

"First we have one step forward with the bold, welcome decision to encourage investment by signing the free trade agreement with China, then we have the back step with interventions on private property rights.

"We urgently need to know what is on the government's list of strategic assets, and what isn't, or investors will stay away in droves, and that means our standards of living will be sliding backwards a long time."


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