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

Dynamic New Zealand writers to feature at this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival

20 Jul 2017 Arts
Dynamic New Zealand writers making waves at home and abroad will present their work and participate in this year’s Edinburgh... more

$9.4m to support students with English as a second language

26 Jun 2017 Education
22 June 2017 Students learning English as a second language will benefit from a further $9.4 million being made available under... more

Business

Rocket launch a huge step for New Zealand’s space industry

25 May 2017 Business News
25 May 2017 Minister for Economic Development Simon Bridges has congratulated the team at Rocket Lab on the successful launch of... more

Increased investor confidence welcomed

29 May 2017 Business News
29 May 2017 Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean today welcomed the Financial Markets Authority annual survey results... more

Living

NZ's Sola Rosa heading "Back to You" in London - interview with Andrew Spraggon

6 Jul 2017 Entertainment By Charlotte Everett
Sola Rosa Soundsystem heads back to London with a show on 27 July – NZNewsUK London Editor Charlotte Everett caught up with... more

Spirit of “Mateship” prominent at London ANZAC commemorations

25 Apr 2017 ANZAC By Charlotte Everett
All photos copyright Peter Livingstone Photography. Lead image: HRH The Duke of York (far right), with the Hon Alexander Downer (far... more

Property

New Zealand Housing Affordability Measure released

10 May 2017 Property
10 May 2017 The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) new Housing Affordability Measure will allow the market... more

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

Migration

Suspension of decision making authority

25 Apr 2017 Migration
24 April 2017Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse is taking steps to improve Immigration New Zealand’s decision making... more

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

Travel

International visitors projected to spend $15 billion

12 May 2017 Travel & Tourism
12 May 2017 New Zealand’s tourism sector is forecast to grow significantly over the next seven years, with international... more

Tourism spending continues rise in 2017

10 May 2017 Travel & Tourism
27 April 2017 Tourism spending by both international and domestic visitors continues to grow strongly in 2017, Acting Tourism Minister... more

Sport

SPECIAL LIMITED OFFER: Barbarians v NZ, Twickenham 4 Nov - £55 tickets, All Blacks Supporters Bay

20 Jul 2017 Rugby
In 2009 the Barbarian team had a phenomenal line up of world class players; Matt Giteau, Victor Matfield, George Smith, Jamie Roberts,... 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

Law Commissioner appointed

29 May 2017 Appointments
29 May 2017 Former Secretary for Justice Belinda Clark has been appointed as Law Commissioner, Justice Minister Amy Adams announced... more

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

Recruitment

Online job ads continue growing strongly

26 Jun 2017 Recruitment
23 June 2017 Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith says the latest Jobs Online report shows strong growth... more

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

s