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Govt must run referendum as soon as possible

2 September 2013

Govt must run referendum as soon as possible

The Government has no mandate for their programme of selling profitable state owned assets, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

The Keep Our Assets coalition, which includes the Green Party, were today informed by the Office of the Clerk that the petition against the sale of New Zealand’s state owned assets has the numbers to trigger a citizens-initiated referendum.

“Now that the Keep Our Assets coalition has reached the numbers needed to trigger a referendum on the asset sales programme, the Government needs to organise a referendum as soon as possible,” Dr Norman said.

“John Key considers he has a mandate for these sales.  Now is his chance to test it.

“The Government needs to suspend the sale of Meridian Energy until after this referendum.

“Shares from the Government’s sale of Mighty River Power hit an all-time low last week.  This sale was bad for both the alleged mum and dad kiwi investors and the Government.

“This referendum actually offers the Key Government a chance to pause and take breath before they do any further damage to our economy with their ideological programme of selling state owned assets regardless of market conditions.

“Mr Key needs to realise that he can’t dismiss the concerns of nearly 400,000 New Zealanders that have taken the time to sign the petition against his asset sales agenda.

“The Green Party alone collected over a quarter of a million of these signatures.

“In a democracy like New Zealand, it is the duty of his Government to now make certain that all New Zealanders get a professional, independent referendum.

“The thousands and thousands of New Zealanders that have worked to achieve this deserve nothing less,” Dr Norman said.

ENDS

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