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Part sale of SOEs would help NZ economy

Gordon Copeland Press Release
For Immediate Release
Friday, 10th October 2008

Part sale of SOEs would help NZ economy

Kiwi Party finance spokesperson, Gordon Copeland MP, today renewed his call for a 20% sale of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in the light of National’s admission that current economic conditions have forced them to scale back on their intended investment in the nation’s infrastructure.

“The problem is that National’s intended investment in infrastructure is critical to the growth of the New Zealand economy,” said Mr Copeland.

“We are still in catch-up mode when it comes to roading, rail and broadband. We desperately need to lift our productivity to put the nation back on to an economic growth path. That investment also means an increase in jobs at the very time that Treasury’s forecasts indicate a growth in unemployment.”

“Faced with those realities, we need to utilise all of the financing options provided by the relative strength of the Crown’s balance sheet.”

“Kiwi Party’s policy is that the 20% sell down of shares will go to New Zealand resident shareholders only. I need to very clear that our policy is to maintain 100% New Zealand ownership and control of the SOEs and a 20% sell-down to NZ only investors is consistent with that goal.”

“I estimate that the 20% stake in the SOEs would have a market value of around $5 billion which, interestingly enough, is about the same figure that National had originally planned to borrow for infrastructure.”

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“It is important in these troubled economic times that we continue with this vitally important investment and obviously a $5 billion cash injection can make a significant contribution.”

“It also needs to be remembered that the fast growing pool of KiwiSaver funds, the NZ Super Fund, and the billions of dollars invested by the ACC and the Earthquake and Water Damages Commission, are actively seeking avenues for greater investment in NZ.”

“To my mind, the sale of the shares from the present single share holder to a wider kiwi ownership is a win-win for all New Zealanders.”

ENDS

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