Empty promises on asset sales unconvincing   24 Nov 2011

National’s latest empty promises on asset sales won’t convince voters, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Cunliffe.

“John Key’s assurance yesterday that he could enforce a 10 per cent cap on any one shareholder by law will not convince anyone, as it is transparently a last-minute fig leaf to try to dampen public opposition,” David Cunliffe said.

“Ownership caps cut across the legal rights of minority shareholders and do not in any event prevent the on-sale of shares to foreign buyers.

“Nor is there is any evidence to give credence to his assurance that 85 to 90 per cent of the assets will remain in Kiwi hands. He can’t convince Treasury and he can’t convince the rest of us,” David Cunliffe said.

“He is unable to say how he would ensure Kiwi ownership would be retained. The best he can do is say --- ‘I’ve spent my life studying investment banking’. That’s hardly reassuring.

“Kiwis have studied too, and they know the history of asset sales. Air New Zealand, rail, BNZ, Telecom, Contact --- all have ended up in foreign ownership and the consequences have been dire. In our last term in government, Labour had to repeatedly intervene to stop price-gouging and asset-stripping by foreign owners of what were once public assets.

“John Key says National would retain 51 per cent ownership in our assets --– until the next crisis at least --- but voters know that minority shareholders have significant power,” David Cunliffe said. “They could sue the Government if it refused to raise power prices to increase profits for private owners or groups of owners.

“We know from experience that privatisation of electricity companies means more expensive power. MED data shows that privately-owned Contact and Transpower have the most expensive electricity prices across 87 per cent of New Zealand.

“Is that the future we want --- a future where the electricity we use every day to power our industry and heat our homes is more expensive because foreign buyers want to squeeze all the profit they can out of our country? That’s what will happen if a National government is re-elected,” David Cunliffe said.

“Mr Key has made it abundantly clear that he will push ahead with asset sales despite the overwhelming case against the policy and overwhelming public opposition. Only a Labour-led government can prevent our future falling into foreign hands.”

(New Zealand Labour Party)

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share

News

Joyce to visit the Philippines and Viet Nam

31 Jul 2015 News
New Zealand Government Hon Steven Joyce Minister for Economic Development 31 July 2015   Joyce to visit the Philippines and Viet... more

Carrying Tasers a welcome move

31 Jul 2015 News
Police Minister Michael Woodhouse welcomes today’s announcement by Police Commissioner Mike Bush that all frontline first ... more

Business

MARKET CLOSE: NZ stocks rise; Meridian, MRP up on Tiwai

31 Jul 2015 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk   MARKET CLOSE: NZ stocks rise; Meridian, MRP up ahead of Tiwai Pt decision By Fiona Rotherham July 31 ... more

13 companies gain up to $24.5M in R&D grants

31 Jul 2015 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk   13 companies gain up to $24.5M in taxpayer-funded R&D grants By Fiona Rotherham July 31... more

Living

Appointments to the New Zealand Film Commission

31 Jul 2015 Entertainment
New Zealand Government Hon Maggie BarryMinister for Arts, Culture and Heritage 31 July 2015 Appointments to the New Zealand Film... more

DOC reminds whitebaiters to follow the rules

31 Jul 2015 Lifestyle
Department of Conservation Friday July 31, 2015 DOC reminds whitebaiters to follow the rules as season begins The Department of ... more

Property

Site purchased for Pt Chevalier Kindergarten

31 Jul 2015 Property
New Zealand Government   Hon Nikki Kaye Associate Minister of Education   31 July 2015   Site purchased for Pt... more

Opportunities for Maori in Manawatu-Whanganui

31 Jul 2015 Property
New Zealand Government Hon Te Ururoa Flavell Minister for Maori Development 31 July 2015   Opportunities for Maori in... more

Migration

NZ net migration reaches new annual record in June

21 Jul 2015 Migration By Paul McBeth
  NZ net migration reaches new annual record in June, swelled by Indian, Chinese students July 21 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand... more

NZ migration rises to new annual record in May

22 Jun 2015 Migration By Suze Metherell
  NZ migration rises to new annual record in May, closing in on Treasury's upside scenario June 22 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand... more

Travel

SmartGates to more than double

23 Jul 2015 Travel & Tourism
Over $6 million from the Future Investment Fund will go towards expanding and modernising SmartGate at our borders to help manage ... more

Minister welcomes Tourism Industry Association partnership

15 Jul 2015 NZ Tourism
Minister welcomes Tourism Industry Association partnership A new partnership between the Department of Conservation and New ... more

Sport

World Champs Next for Euro Kart Round Winner Armstrong

31 Jul 2015 Motor Sport
KartSport   World Champs Next for Euro Kart Round Winner Armstrong   New Zealand has another World Karting Championship... more

Anchor Milk Reignites 1935 All Blacks Partnership

31 Jul 2015 Rugby
Anchor Milk July 31 2015 Anchor Milk Reignites 1935 All Blacks Partnership   &nb... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on Tim Groser missing in action on the TPP

31 Jul 2015 Column
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on Tim Groser missing in action on the TPP While rapid change is always possible in... more

Gordon Campbell on the dogged reluctance to condemn Serco

23 Jul 2015 Opinion
The refusal by Minister Sam Lotu-Liga to hold Serco accountable for the company’s failings in prison management is bad... more

Kiwi Success

Winston Churchill Fellows honoured

31 Jul 2015 People
New Zealand Government Hon Jo Goodhew Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector 31 July 2015 Winston Churchill Fellows ... more

Appointment of Queen’s Counsel

24 Jul 2015 Appointments
New Zealand Government   Hon Christopher Finlayson Attorney-General 24 July 2015 Appointment of Queen’s Counsel Three... more

Recruitment

NZ must do more on exploited migrant labour: US State Dept

31 Jul 2015 Recruitment
By Suze Metherell July 31 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand needs to significantly boost its efforts to protect vulnerable migrant... more

Economic turmoil unlikely to see Greek workers fleeing to NZ

16 Jul 2015 Press Releases
Declan Clancy says economic turmoil unlikely to see Greek workers fleeing to NZ One World Resourcing’s Declan Clancy is not... more