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

Scot finds love in New Zealand thanks to poster - UK-Kiwi love story

4 Mar 2015 News
They had a sleepover - but was it because of a hangover? Picton's star-crossed lovers, Kiwi William Scott Chalmers and Scottish... more

Consultation on proposed gambling fee changes

4 Mar 2015 News
New Zealand Government Consultation on proposed gambling fee changes The gambling sector and the public are being consulted on... more

Business

NZ dollar little changed after Australian GDP data

4 Mar 2015 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk   NZ dollar little changed as Australian GDP shows healthy household consumption By Paul McBeth March 4 ... more

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall; Meridian, MRP, DNZ drop

4 Mar 2015 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk   MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall; Meridian, MRP, DNZ drop on weakening yield demand By Suze Metherell March... more

Living

Supports Announced for Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks’

4 Mar 2015 Lifestyle
The Maple Supports Announced for Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks’ New Zealand Tour New Zealand are lucky to play host to ... more

National Release of Award-Winning Film, Pulp

4 Mar 2015 Lifestyle
Nga Taonga Sound and Vision   Florian Habicht (left) and Jarvis Cocker promoting Pulp: A Film... more

Property

Auckland houses prices fall in Feb as volume, listings rise

4 Mar 2015 Property
Article - BusinessDesk   Auckland houses prices fall in February as volume, listings pick up By Suze Metherell March 4 ... more

NZ residential building activity rises 4.3% in 4th-qtr

4 Mar 2015 Property
Article - BusinessDesk   NZ residential building activity rises 4.3% in 4th-qtr, driven by Canterbury March 4 (BusinessDesk) -... more

Migration

PM plays down claim war criminals are living in NZ

2 Mar 2015 Migration
Prime Minister John Key says he is not aware of any suspected war criminals from the former Yugoslavia in New Zealand. The claim that... more

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

Travel

Air New Zealand promises cheaper deals

2 Mar 2015 Travel & Tourism
Air New Zealand is promising more discounted fares as it adds hundreds of thousands of extra seats to its network where travel agents... more

Oz holiday boom as kiwi dollar surges

2 Mar 2015 Travel & Tourism
Travel across the Tasman is forecast to increase this year as the Australian dollar continues its recent trend towards parity with the... more

Sport

Golden Shears set to start in Masterton

4 Mar 2015 Sport
Shearing Sports New Zealand Golden Shears set to start in Masterton Hundreds of competitors are descending on Masterton for the 55th ... more

NZ’s Original Mtn Bike Race Celebrates Three Decades!

4 Mar 2015 Sport
Karapoti Classic NZ’s Original Mtn Bike Race Celebrates Three Decades! Thirty years ago mountain biking was a new fringe... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on the Privy Council’s Teina Pora decision

4 Mar 2015 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on the Privy Council’s Teina Pora decision and Iron & Wine The quashing of... more

Gordon Campbell on the recent smackdown over Greece

2 Mar 2015 Opinion
There had been a fortnight of fevered buildup. Yet here we are in the aftermath of the February 28 showdown between the new Syriza... 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

Luring talent to job expos a win-win

2 Mar 2015 Recruitment
Bringing employers face-to-face with future workforce creates positive labour market outcomes, writes Mark Gillard, director of the... more

Living wage estimate rises to $19.25/hour

2 Mar 2015 Recruitment
Campaigners for a "living wage" say it now costs $19.25 an hour for a mother, father and two children to "live with dignity" in New... more