No to Asset Sales - Hone Harawira   10 Feb 2012

In respect of proposals to sell shares in assets held by the government on behalf of all NZers, MANA opposes plans to get rid of Treaty protections (Section 9 of the State Owned Enterprises Act), or to draft new legislation that will either leave Section 9 out altogether, or introduce new clauses that reduce the authority of the Treaty.

Section 9, which says that “Nothing in this Act shall permit the Crown to act in a manner inconsistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi”, is the ONLY clause that gives our Treaty rights over state owned assets, any protection at all.

Removing Section 9, or drafting new legislation that reduces its protections, is therefore unacceptable.

The government consultation presentation poses three questions which are multilayered gobbledygook, with twists and turns and references back to the point of pointlessness, and in a language that is deliberately hard to understand.

172 years after the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Crown is still using a foreign language to try to bamboozle Maori.

I choose instead to focus on the basic issues at stake here:

1. Proposals to sell assets that include lands, waters and other resources yet to be settled through the Treaty claims process should not proceed until such claims have been properly concluded.

2. Assets owned by the state on behalf of all New Zealanders should not be sold to pay off a debt that was created not by NZ citizens, but by bad governance and a devotion to economic values which lead to “the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer”.

3. Assets whose value has been created through the hard work of generations of NZers, many of whom were Maori, should not be put up for sale where their value can be stolen away from us by cash-rich overseas investors whose primary objective is not the public good.

4. Electricity assets should be held by the government in trust on behalf of all NZers, for the benefit of all NZers, at a price we can afford, and with 100% reliability.

Those values have already been seriously undermined by turning them into semi-commercial enterprises. They will be lost to us forever if the shares are offered on the open marketplace. NZ interests, through the 51% shareholding held by the govt will be reduced to being just a majority shareholder in a commercial enterprise geared to maximising profit.

5. Those profits will flow from a reduction in costs through staff cuts or wage cuts, and an increase in prices. Electricity prices will eventually go up and up and up and up … and we will have no way of halting the rise.

6. Treasury advice that “the main ‘harm’ from keeping the Treaty of Waitangi clause for electricity privatisation is that foreign investors would not understand it, which would ‘create uncertainty and have a negative effect on investment in the companies’ ” confirms what most Maori already know - wiping out the Treaty clause is to make the share offer more acceptable to overseas investors.

7. And to clarify the issue of iwi involvement in the buying of shares, let me point out that iwi corporates buying shares is not the same thing as Maori benefitting from them. In fact, the reverse is the case.

Iwi corporate investors buy shares for the same reason as other corporate investors – to make profit. And when that profit comes from price rises, the people who will be hurt the most will be those who are suffering ever-greater levels of poverty, be they Pakeha, Pacifica, or Maori.

Section 9, the Treaty clause, was specifically included in the State Owned Enterprises Act to ensure Maori rights under Te Tiriti o Waitangi would have ongoing protection in regards to any development of SOE assets. In this instance, it also provides cover for all other NZers with an interest in ensuring state owned assets remain in the hands of the state, and not in the hands of foreign investors.

I stand alongside the people of Tai Tokerau and the majority of NZers in opposing government plans to privatise state owned assets, and I urge the Maori Party to join in that opposition by walking out on a government that continues to deny Maori aspirations and destroy Treaty dreams.

(Mana Party)

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share

News

15,000 fewer people dependent on benefits

17 Apr 2014 News
New Zealand Government 15,000 fewer people dependent on benefits Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says the latest benefit ... more

Govt to establish Food Safety Science & Research Centre

16 Apr 2014 News
  Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye today announced that expressions of interest... more

Business

Air NZ says claims withdrawn as other airlines settle in Oz

17 Apr 2014 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk   Air New Zealand says claims withdrawn as other airlines settle over cargo cartel, seeks costs April 17 ... more

Genesis Energy soars on debut, other gen-taliers rise

17 Apr 2014 Business News By Suze Metherell
  Genesis Energy soars on debut, leading fellow energy companies higher April 17 (BusinessDesk) – Shares in the partially... more

Living

The Taite Music Prize: IMNZ announces this years winner

17 Apr 2014 Entertainment
The winner of the fourth annual Taite Music Prize 2013 is Lorde for her album ‘Pure Heroine’ released on Universal Music... more

3 Mile Limit Movie Continues to Win Awards in the U.S

15 Apr 2014 Lifestyle
New Zealand movie ‘3 Mile Limit’ has won Best Feature Film at both the North Hollywood and Charleston International Film... more

Property

NZ house values rise at slowest annual pace in 6 months in March, QV says

7 Apr 2014 Property
April 7 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand property values increased at the slowest annual pace in six months in March as lower... more

Auckland landlords lead in capital gains

28 Mar 2014 Property
Three-bedroom houses in Glen Innes giving an annual capital gain of 18.9%, followed by New Windsor. Auckland landlords are making... more

Migration

New working holiday agreement between New Zealand and Croatia launched

28 Mar 2014 Migration
Citizens of Croatia aged between 18 and 30 will soon be eligible to apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa, giving them the... more

New Zealand immigration hits ten year high

28 Mar 2014 Migration
New statistics have shown net migration to New Zealand to be at a 10 year high, with China becoming the largest source of new... more

Travel

Chinese company to build $200M hotel on Auckland waterfront

16 Apr 2014 Travel & Tourism By Suze Metherell
  Company linked to one of China’s richest women to spend $200 mln on Auckland hotel April 16 (BusinessDesk) – Fu... more

SmartGate opens to arriving UK & US travellers

3 Apr 2014 Travel & Tourism
Customs Minister Maurice Williamson today announced SmartGate is now open to United Kingdom and American travellers on arrival. The... more

Sport

Dan Carter: All Blacks's goal is back-to-back World Cups

17 Apr 2014 Rugby By Oliver Brown
New Zealand No 10 is loving his sabbatical, including a trip to the Masters, however his only motive is to return fit and fresh for... more

Seeds March to Quarters at Skycity NZ Badminton Open

17 Apr 2014 Sport
TOP SEEDS CONTINUE MARCH TO QUARTER FINALS AT SKYCITY NZ BADMINTON OPEN Top seeds dominated in this morning’s 3rd round... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell: drone strikes & Judith Collins‘ last stand

17 Apr 2014 Opinion
Reportedly, US drone operators refer to their kills as "bug splat” - mainly because when the carnage is viewed on their... more

Gordon Campbell on the life & ACC work of Sir Owen Woodhouse

16 Apr 2014 Opinion
With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the... more

Kiwi Success

BNZ names Anthony Healy as new CEO, replacing Thorburn

17 Apr 2014 Appointments
April 17 (BusinessDesk) – Bank of New Zealand, the local unit of Australia’s third-biggest mortgage lender, named the... more

Kiwi alpinist is finalist for prestigious award

26 Mar 2014 People
NZ Alpine Club Kiwi alpinist is finalist for prestigious mountaineering award New Zealand Alpine Club President John Cocks has today... more

Recruitment

Growth seen further lifting average wage by $7,500

15 Apr 2014 Recruitment
  The average annual wage is expected to increase by $7,500 to around $62,200 a year by 2018 if New Zealand achieves its ... more

NZ employment confidence lifts in 1st-qtr

31 Mar 2014 Recruitment
Article - BusinessDesk   NZ employment confidence lifts in 1st-qtr, current job opportunities seen less negative March 31 ... more