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

Maori Battalion’s legacy to be preserved

2 Sep 2014 News
New Zealand Government Hekia Parata 2 SEPTEMBER, 2014 Maori Battalion’s legacy to be preserved The history of the legendary... more

Funding for Northland, Auckland, Waikato freshwater project

2 Sep 2014 News
New Zealand Government Amy Adams 2 SEPTEMBER, 2014 Govt funding for Northland, Auckland, Waikato freshwater project Environment ... more

Business

SFO charges MightyRiverPower engineer with $2 mln fraud

2 Sep 2014 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk   SFO charges MightyRiverPower engineer with $2 mln fraud By Paul McBeth Sept. 2 (BusinessDesk) - The ... more

NZ terms of trade sets new 40-year high in 2nd quarter

1 Sep 2014 Business News By Suze Metherell
Article - BusinessDesk   NZ terms of trade sets new 40-year high as cheaper imports offset falling exports Sept. 1... more

Living

Crowdfunding sought for Lee Tamahori to make second NZ film

2 Sep 2014 Lifestyle
The Patriarch PRESS RELEASE: Crowdfunding sought for Lee Tamahori to return home and make second New Zealand film 2 SEPTEMBER... more

‘Best trumpet player in the galaxy’ returns

1 Sep 2014 Lifestyle
NZ Symphony Orchestra 1 September 2014 - NZSO Media Release for immediate release The ‘best trumpet player in the ... more

Property

House sales down as winter cools market - REINZ

14 Aug 2014 Property
New Zealand house sales fell in July as winter cooled the appetite of house hunters while a drop in properties selling for $400,000... more

NZ property values rise at slowest annual pace in 13 months

7 Aug 2014 Property By Paul McBeth
Aug. 7 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand property values rose at the slowest annual pace in 13 months in July as rising interest rates,... more

Migration

Who's living next door to you?

20 Aug 2014 Migration
Statistics NZ puts out detailed data on different ethnic groups, down to the 108 people from the Isle of Man. Did you know there are... more

NZ population growth speeds up

14 Aug 2014 Migration
New Zealand's climb to 4.5 million people has been faster in the past year than it has in any other year in the past decade,... more

Travel

Jetstar loses ground in NZ as Qantas plunges to A$2.84B loss

28 Aug 2014 Travel & Tourism By Paul McBeth
Aug. 28 (BusinessDesk) - Jetstar, the discount unit of Australian airline Qantas Airways, lost ground in New Zealand, while claiming... more

Auckland 10th most liveable city - again

19 Aug 2014 Travel & Tourism
Auckland has again been ranked the tenth most liveable city in the world. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released its... more

Sport

Vaulting and Showjumping take Centre Stage at WEG

2 Sep 2014 Sport
Equestrian Sports New Zealand Vaulting and Showjumping take Centre Stage at WEG New Zealand representatives in vaulting and... more

Haier Pulse to Begin 2015 With Toughest Trip of All

2 Sep 2014 Netball
The Haier Pulse will once again face the reigning champions in the first round of the ANZ Championship, with a trip to Melbourne to... more

Columns

Martin Doyle cartoon: Wrong arm of the law

2 Sep 2014 Opinion
Opinion - Martin Doyle   Martin Doyle cartoon: Wrong arm of the law   more

Gordon Campbell on John Key’s ‘blame it on Judith’ strategy

1 Sep 2014 Opinion By Gordon Campbell
  Gordon Campbell on John Key’s ‘blame it on Judith’ strategy Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent... more

Kiwi Success

The duo behind NZ's hottest new label

20 Aug 2014 People
We're expecting big things from Harman Grubisa, the new label from Auckland-based friends Madeleine Harman (right) and Jessica... more

Victoria announces new strategic appointments

11 Aug 2014 Appointments
Victoria University of Wellington has announced the appointment of New Zealand’s first Provost, Professor Neil... more

Recruitment

High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue

22 Aug 2014 Recruitment
The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale... more

On track to surplus, more jobs, higher incomes

19 Aug 2014 Recruitment
New Zealand is on track to Budget surplus this year, backed by good growth, more jobs and higher incomes under the ... more