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

Q + A: Winston Peters Interviewed by Corin Dann

1 Mar 2015 News
TVNZ Q + A 2015 Episode 1 WINSTON PETERS Interviewed by CORIN DANN CORIN Mr Peters joins me now. Good morning to you.<... more

PM saddened at passing of Dame Thea Muldoon

25 Feb 2015 News
PM saddened at passing of Dame Thea Muldoon Prime Minister John Key today expressed his sadness at the passing of Dame Thea ... more

Business

MARKET CLOSE: NZX 50 rises to record, led by Xero

25 Feb 2015 Business News
By Suze Metherell Feb. 25 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares rose to a record, led by Xero after it raised $147 million from two... more

Tourism Holdings beats 1H guidance on reduced fleet

25 Feb 2015 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk   Tourism Holdings beats 1H guidance on reduced fleet, wider margins By Suze Metherell Feb. 25 ... more

Living

Lady Penelope, Parker And Brains Pictures Are Revealed

27 Feb 2015 Entertainment
Creator Sylvia Anderson to Feature in Special Thunderbirds Are Go Episode And Lady Penelope, Parker And Brains Pictures Are... more

A little drive goes a long way

25 Feb 2015 Lifestyle
Dunedin businesses have given their full support to the Otago Polytechnic Education Open 2015. The event will be taking place at... more

Property

NZ building consents fall for a second month in January

27 Feb 2015 Property By Paul McBeth
  NZ building consents fall for a second month in January, housing permits drop Feb. 27 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand... more

Auckland inner-city height restrictions weighing on supply

25 Feb 2015 Property By Paul McBeth
Auckland inner-city height restrictions weighing on supply, RBNZ's Wheeler says Feb. 25 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's government... more

Migration

NZ migration rose to record in 2014

30 Jan 2015 Migration By Tina Morrison
  NZ migration surged to record in 2014, helped by robust economy Jan. 30 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand migration surged to a... more

Free new Kiwi workshops return for fresh season

23 Jan 2015 Migration
Newcomer settlement support agency Auckland Regional Migrant Services (ARMS) is kick-starting the New Year with the return of its ... more

Travel

Air NZ sees fare discounts; yield pressure looms

25 Feb 2015 Travel & Tourism
By Fiona Rotherham Feb. 25 (BusinessDesk) - The only cloud on Air New Zealand’s horizon in coming months will be yield ... more

Air NZ posts higher normalised earnings

25 Feb 2015 Travel & Tourism
Article - BusinessDesk   Air NZ posts higher normalised earnings By Fiona Rotherham Feb. 25 (BusinessDesk) - Air New Zealand... more

Sport

STEPHEN FLEMING: Nervy in the end but New Zealand will take the positives

1 Mar 2015 Cricket
STEPHEN FLEMING: Nervy in the end but New Zealand will take the positives Win shows why Brendon McCullum’s men can be considered... more

New Zealand Cricket salutes Martin Crowe

1 Mar 2015 Cricket
New Zealand Cricket has saluted Martin Crowe ahead of his induction into the International Cricket Council’s Hall of... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on the wage hike for MPs, and Paul Robeson

27 Feb 2015 Opinion
  Gordon Campbell on the wage hike for MPs, and Paul Robeson Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on... more

Gordon Campbell: Are NZ troops the least of IS’s problems?

25 Feb 2015 Opinion By Gordon Campbell
Gordon Campbell on whether New Zealand troops are the least of Islamic State’s problems   Given that it has been ... more

Kiwi Success

New Consul-General to Sydney

20 Feb 2015 Appointments
Foreign Minister Murray McCully has named diplomat Billie Moore as New Zealand’s new Consul-General in Sydney. "Ms Moore will... more

New Ambassador to Ethiopia and the AU

20 Feb 2015 Appointments
New Zealand Government New Ambassador to Ethiopia and the AU Foreign Minister Murray McCully has named diplomat Bruce Shepherd as ... more

Recruitment

Workforce skills target lifted

19 Feb 2015 Recruitment
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce says better-than-expected Better Public Services results mean the ... more

Strong job growth and record labour market participation

4 Feb 2015 Recruitment
The latest labour market data shows continuing strong employment growth with 80,000 more jobs added to the New Zealand economy in ... more