Can't stop asset shares being sold overseas - John Key
Tue, 26 Jun 2012 7:00p.m.
By 3 News online staff
Prime Minister John Key says there is no way to stop New Zealanders who buy shares in the partially privatised state power companies from later selling them overseas.
“You can’t and wouldn’t want to stop them – but the question you have to ask yourself is why would they go and do that?” he says.
“The question comes down to, why would a foreigner find an investment in Mighty River Power to be far more attractive on the long run than a retail investor sitting in Karori? And there’s no logic that they would,” says Mr Key
Mr Key talked to Campbell Live following the passing by Parliament of legislation allowing the partial sale of state assets today.
The legislation passed with 61 votes to 60. National, ACT and United Future supported the bill. Labour, the Greens, NZ First, Mana and the Maori Party opposed it.
Mr Key says he is not surprised that many New Zealanders do not understand asset sales.
“For a lot of New Zealanders, they’ve never owned a share – only about 10 percent of New Zealanders have, they’re not directly involved in this in their lives.”
He says the asset sales of 20 years ago were very different to what is happening now, but would not be drawn on why there have been high levels of public opposition to the partial privatisation plans.
Mr Key argues that Air New Zealand is a good example of how the Mixed Ownership Model can work.
“They have Government control, but they also are on the market, they have continuous disclosure, they are at arm’s length from the Government, they make commercial decisions, they try and maximise their returns”, he says.
“The same can apply to Mighty River Power, Genesis, Meridian, Solid Energy.”
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11/12/2012 9:36:47 a.m.
John Key in 1999 he was appointed a member of the Foreign Exchange Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York until leaving in 2001. He has done his job well now he can sell New Zealand to Foreign interests. Just like the US the American dollar is worth $0.00. Well done John Key Voters.
24/07/2012 8:07:47 a.m.
John Key was once adamant that shares in sold NZ assets would be held by New Zealanders and not sold overseas. Now he is admiting that he was wrong and that the 49% holding not retained in Govt hands could end up substantially in overseas ownership.
23/07/2012 5:39:45 p.m.
Yeah there is, Make it Illegal to sell them to anyone but current living in NZ, newzealanders. SIMPLE, EASY!
23/07/2012 2:50:31 p.m.
well Mr key i just cant stop my self voting you out in 2014 .
23/07/2012 7:23:48 a.m.
this man is a nightmare, he has punished the middle class and the poor kiwis, every time. wheres the pay rise? where are the jobs? show us the money yer muppet' n.z down the toilet, with this loser...where is a leader, kiwis deserve better. roll on the election!.
21/07/2012 6:46:09 p.m.
No even if I could afford shares I wouldn't buy them. I think maybe it would be better to buy shares in gas or gas bottles as more and more gas will be used as power co's hike the prices, (yet again)to cover the greedy 10% pushing up power prices to get the max returns on their shares. Oh yeh bet we can guess who will be some of those buying shares too.
20/07/2012 2:35:27 p.m.
Yes you are right Prime Minister! They will make good return for the power generation. But poor kiwi have to pay and pay just to keep warm in winter & cook to feed the family. The 10% of kiwi who have money to invest are laughing all the way to the bank.
16/07/2012 7:12:44 p.m.
Come on sell sell sell,so we offshore investors can have a piece of the pie,then we can take all the profit away from you...you don't need it,but we do
16/07/2012 4:23:59 p.m.
It's hard to believe that this can go forward with only a one vote margin. It just doesn't seem right to push forward with something irreversible when there in not a clear mandate for action. Who is that one vote. Who actually is responsible for this asset sale madness proceeding. Don't we deserve to know who to congratulate or blame? We need more discussion and more consensus. Please do what you can to hold this back till we have time to figure out if this is really the best use of such an important shared resource. Canada learned the hard way what happens when you sell off your electricity to the highest bidder and the mandate becomes profit as it must with any corporation. That is how that legal entity is designed. Luckily, some provinces still have Crown Companies running things, prices are about 1/3 of what we pay here. Let's explore some of the hundreds of alternative options that benefit more people than the small percentage that "own shares". I find it insulting to be dismissed simply because I'm not someone who has already had a chance to buy shares. From the article: “For a lot of New Zealanders, they’ve never owned a share – only about 10 percent of New Zealanders have, they’re not directly involved in this in their lives.” The power should belong to the people, I know that's cliche. Every effort should be put towards warm, comfortable and affordable living spaces. The health improvement alone makes this a no brainer. The cost of electricity now is almost 75% of our weekly rent. Yes, we live in the cold part, but still this is madness. Oops ranting- I'll get off my soapbox now.
16/07/2012 12:05:40 p.m.
As long as the NZ public gets the first right to buy, nobody can blame the government that our profits go overseas. Buyers will need to look passed the short-term gain and perhaps use it as a nest egg. My main concern is that government will spend the money on 'assets' that will not reduce our debt and will not generate profits. In my opinion there should be investment in innovative industries that have high hopes of earning export dollars, or reduce our reliance on importing oil. Several options come to mind. Composite helicopters to speed up overseas sales while keeping the company in NZ hands, the one-arm Windmill developer that needed some investment to finish his design, the tidal power generators and so on.
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