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Foreign buyers already dictating terms of SOE sales

David Shearer
Labour Leader

1 February 2012

Foreign buyers already dictating terms of SOE sales

National is already caving into the interests of potential foreign buyers of our power companies by removing Treaty of Waitangi and social responsibility clauses from legislation designed to protect Kiwis’ interests, says Labour Leader David Shearer.

“John Key is clearly worried that these clauses will put foreign buyers off so he’s ditching them to ensure the assets are more attractive and earn a higher price when they go on the block. If he really believed that Mum and Dad investors were going to snap up all the shares, he wouldn’t be taking steps to remove these clauses because Kiwis are familiar with the Treaty being recognised in legislation. National clearly knows its real market is offshore buyers.

“It will be a real concern to Kiwi consumers if National removes the social responsibility clause which ensures SOEs have to take into account community interests,” David Shearer said. “That is likely to see power prices hiked even further at a time when New Zealanders simply cannot afford to pay more. It will see profit put before people.

“The Government’s discussion paper on the sell-off of state assets shows that the so-called consultation with Kiwis is a sham.

“It is crystal clear that John Key doesn’t care that most New Zealanders are opposed to asset sales,” David Shearer said. “He is prepared to do whatever it takes to flog off assets built up and paid for by Kiwis over generations, including turning his back on his political allies, the Maori Party.”


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