Greens cheating on referendum - Ryall
Thu, 28 Feb 2013 8:43a.m.
By Dan Satherley
The Green Party has been accused of collecting signatures from foreigners and children to make up numbers in an attempt to force a referendum on asset sales.
The Maori Council yesterday failed in its bid to halt the partial sale of Mighty River Power, the Supreme Court ruling that selling shares in the power company wouldn't impair Maori interests in water.
The Opposition has backed an attempt to collect the 310,000 signatures required to force a nationwide referendum on the issue. Earlier this month they said they had nearly 400,000, collecting well beyond the target as it was likely a significant number would be ruled invalid.
Speaking on Firstline this morning, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall said it's not truly a citizens-initiated referendum, and the result wouldn't matter anyway.
"Let's be clear about this referendum – it's not a citizens-initiated referendum, it's a Parliamentary-initiated referendum," says Mr Ryall.
"It has citizens, it has overseas visitors, it has children. This was a Green Party-funded, taxpayer-funded signature collection process. The Green Party paid staff members to go out there and collect signatures.
"They've got to prove they've got the right number of signatures, there's up to a year before the referendum happens. The real referendum on this was the 2011 general election. We campaigned on it, we made it clear and we've got a mandate."
Maori Council lawyer Felix Geiringer said yesterday's court ruling was "very helpful", in spite of the loss.
"The decision not to grant an injunction to the asset sales was based on the Crown turning up to the court and making a series of undertakings that it would in fact be progressing these other issues, these other methods of protecting water rights."
Mr Geiringer says during the court battle, the Government abandoned the idea that water belongs to nobody, and now recognise Maori potentially have a legitimate claim.
"The Crown's position before the hearing was that nobody owns the water, there were no Maori interests that needed protecting, and that was the end of the story. And what we got out of the Crown in the court was the fact that this idea that nobody owns the water – they've abandoned that… They recognised that Maori did have interest to water, and they gave commitments to the court to do everything they could to recognise those, notwithstanding the added difficulties that were going to be there because of the sale. And it was that the Supreme Court took into account in deciding not to block the sale."
Mr Ryall disputes this view however, saying the Government hasn't changed its view that no one owns the water.
"The position hasn't changed – the Government's always been very clear that no one owns the water. But we do recognise that Maori do have interests with respect to water, and over the years we've been acknowledging that with some of the treaty settlements."
Mr Ryall also says it's a good time to sell, despite flat electricity demand and serious financial woes at Solid Energy.
"While we're on the downside with Solid Energy, what we do know is that the New Zealand share market has rallied about 20 percent in the last six months, so we're moving Mighty River Power into quite a higher share market than there was previously," says Mr Ryall.
"But the reason why this is all so important is it's part of the Government's wider economic plan to control debt, take these sales proceeds, put them in the future investment fund, earmarked for schools, roads, hospitals, important social infrastructure. It's part of the wider plan, and that's why it's so important we got this Supreme Court decision out of the way, and now we can get on with the business."
The Supreme Court may have left the door open for Maori claims on water – such as the Waikato River, an essential part of Mighty River Power's electricity generation network – but Mr Ryall says it won't affect the price the Government will be able to command when it floats the company, which could happen before the Budget in May.
"I think here in New Zealand we're very used to dealing with these issues about Maori claims and demands on certain environmental issues, and that'll be factored in," says Mr Ryall.
"Here in New Zealand we understand these issues. I think the market understands these issues and I don't think it's an impediment at all."
Cabinet will decide its next step on Monday, and Prime Minister John Key will make an announcement that afternoon.
"We're ready to go – we've been ready for quite some time," says Mr Ryall.
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12/03/2013 11:23:30 p.m.
We have always known that Mr. Lyall are ready to go leaving office means resigning from their posts and that will be the factored.
2/03/2013 10:26:50 a.m.
Ok kathy, I can handle 101 or 99 seats only. Lets just get back to 1st passed the post....more honest, and we would know who the candidates were.
2/03/2013 12:32:14 a.m.
@MIKE: Mike, your post is so out of order, so unfair and filled with so much of personal attacks, I am surprised it was even allowed to be published. Shame on you.
28/02/2013 11:16:52 p.m.
You can go back to your bottle of wine for answers Kathy, as you will get more sense from that than your posts.What we have, no news. Signatures being collected from people not entitled to vote, and being counted multiple times? These are standard tactics used around the world. Even take the movie 'Gangs of New York' and they were doing similar voting in that more than 100 years ago. NZ has some of the most free elections in the world and some of the least corruption. Just Take Helens pledge cards as examples of pushing to the limit, or Banks having donations of $25,000 to keep under the limit to name the donation, and have it done by staff so not have hands on the stuff. ALL parties push the limit of the law, and it is governments that make new laws and respond to people who pushed the limits. Helens pledge cards were illegal, but helped win an election. The following election the pledge cards were mailed like 10 days before the cutoff date to stick within the letter, but outside the spirit of the law, just like Banks donation reporting.Suprised Kathy not make up a conspiracy of National disallowing signatures of people who not entitled to vote. Hell, she made up conspiracies that business are evading taxes, as according to her, revenue=profit! Then there is her ALL BUSINESSES are evil and immoral, because, well, the buiness she is involved with is apparently those things and cheats on its taxes, she applies her business experience to all businesses! Busiensses (and money) is not good or evil, as the BNZ add say, its people that are those things.What kind of business is Kathy into that is EVIL, IMMORAL, and CHEATING ON TAXES? I've asked multiple times and no answer. I've made a few suggestions. But its hard to find something that ticks all the boxes. A drug pusher might. Drugs are evil and immoral, and not paying tax on that income is cheating on taxes. Have I found a winner? We wont know as Kathy wont come clean and tell us.
28/02/2013 10:22:01 p.m.
@Ian. Maori dont own water and it isnt maori selling it supermarkets. Pakeha own the water the reason you and I pay for it. Check your rates bill out. It will soon be owned by foreigners who will charge you the earth for it. Wakey wakey.
28/02/2013 8:59:59 p.m.
@GRAYSON: While that may be the case in a few instances, I think it ids more of a spin from Ryall to discredit the referendum. In any case, the parliamentary officers verify the details, authenticity and signatures before deciding if the petition has the required number for the referendum. Don't fall for the lies and propaganda of this dishonest government.
28/02/2013 6:49:34 p.m.
National won the election, they formed the Gov.T, they have the mandate to form policy and govern NZ. Get over it.
'Kathy' if Labour won the election with the same results as national did you would be happy with anything they passed as they 'won the election'. Stop being really stupid.
28/02/2013 6:28:43 p.m.
Ecclesiastes 3 wrote:
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
28/02/2013 5:39:14 p.m.
My, My, how some of you moronic lefties have convenient memory gaps
Let's recap shall we ?
In the 1980's Labour sacked elected area health boards and power board trustees, and paved the way for the privatisation of power boards. Dozens of state assets were sold including Petrocorp, Post Bank, Rural Bank, Air New Zealand, Telecom, State Insurance, Government Print, New Zealand Steel, Forestry Cutting Rights, Tourist Hotel Corporation, Development Finance Corp, Health Computing Service, Maui Gas and the Shipping Corporation.
Did they have a referendum after the election ? - no, they did not as the election was the referendum.
We are not talking partial 49% sales here with 51% remaining in Govt. control here either. They sold lock, stock and barrel. And now they whinge. Idiots.
28/02/2013 5:39:10 p.m.
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