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

Customs makes record drug seizures

1 Mar 2017 News
28 Feb 2017 Customs Minister Nicky Wagner is today congratulating Customs on a record number of drug seizures in 2016. “Customs... more

Victoria Square restoration underway

1 Mar 2017 Canterbury Earthquake
28 February 2017 The restoration of earthquake-damaged Victoria Square is now underway, Associate Minister supporting Greater... more

Business

Positive step forward for pay equity

1 Mar 2017 Business News
28 Feb 2017 State Services Minister Paula Bennett has welcomed an agreement with unions which will see the Government’s new pay... more

New Zealand companies impress at Dubai tradeshow

1 Mar 2017 Business News
1 March 2017 Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has attended the world’s largest food tradeshow in Dubai today, as... more

Living

3rd Position, Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series

21 Nov 2016 Lifestyle
Emirates Team New Zealand EMIRATES TEAM NEW ZEALAND CLOSES IN 3rd POSITION THE LOUIS VUITTON AMERICA’S CUP WORLD SERIES more

Arts Foundation Award recipients for 2016

14 Nov 2016 Lifestyle
The Arts Foundation Next generation of internationally acclaimed talent among the Arts Foundation Award recipients for 2016Under ... more

Property

NZ house prices gain 11% in October

14 Nov 2016 Property
Article - BusinessDesk Monday 14 November 2016 10:28 AM NZ house prices gain 11% in October, driven by sales of higher value homes By... more

RBNZ sees pressures building in Auckland construction sector

11 Nov 2016 Property By Paul McBeth
Article - BusinessDesk Thursday 10 November 2016 04:04 PM RBNZ sees pressures building in Auckland construction sector By Paul ... more

Migration

Recognised Seasonal Employers employ more Kiwis

8 Feb 2017 Migration
7 Feb 2017 Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse welcomes a report showing the vast majority of employers who take on seasonal... more

Good progress on investment attraction strategy

8 Dec 2016 Migration
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has welcomed news that New Zealand is attracting a higher level of quality international... more

Travel

Weirdest things visitors Google before coming

6 Feb 2017 NZ Tourism
8 Feb 2017 Does New Zealand celebrate halloween?  Is Auckland a dangerous town- these are some of the subjects visitors Google... more

New campaign to get more Aussies to Northland

30 Jan 2017 Travel & Tourism
30 January 2017 A new marketing campaign starting this week to attract Australians to Northland is an excellent approach to... more

Sport

VALE: Tania Dalton 1971-2017

1 Mar 2017 Netball
VALE: Tania Dalton 1971-2017 March 1, 2017   The Netball community is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Silver Fern... more

Silver Ferns wrap up Quad Series with big win

6 Feb 2017 Netball
6 Feb 2017 The Silver Ferns finished runners-up in the Netball Quad Series after completing a well-crafted 70-39 win over the SPAR... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on the Gareth Morgan crusade

11 Nov 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on the Gareth Morgan crusade First published on Werewolf more

Gordon Campbell on the US election outcome

10 Nov 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on the US election outcome more

Kiwi Success

Spencer to be Acting Governor of Reserve Bank

8 Feb 2017 Appointments
7 Feb 2017 Finance Minister Steven Joyce will appoint current Deputy Reserve Bank Governor Grant Spencer as the Acting Governor of... more

Temporary Chairs appointed to Canterbury and South Canterbury DHB

1 Feb 2017 Appointments
30 January 2017 Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has today appointed temporary Chairs to the boards of Canterbury and South... more

Recruitment

New employment resource for young people

1 Mar 2017 Recruitment
28 Feb 2017 Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith and Associate Education Minister Louise Upston have... more

Record number of people in employment

1 Feb 2017 Recruitment
1 Feb 2017 Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith has welcomed the record number of New Zealanders now in... more

s