Key admits public ignorance of sales plan
Tue, 26 Jun 2012 2:02p.m.
With just hours to go until the Government's bill to sell state-owned assets passes, Prime Minister John Key admits the public does not know much about the plan - and Labour believes that is the Government's intention.
The Mixed-Ownership Model Bill will have its final reading in Parliament today, and is expected to pass by 61 votes to 60.
It enables the Government to sell up to 49 percent of four state-owned energy companies - starting with Mighty River Power within the next few months - and reduce its stake in Air New Zealand.
Mr Key maintains that the government has a mandate to sell the shares because of its election win - despite overwhelming public opposition to the sales in a range of polls.
However, he admits the public has a "very low level of understanding" of the plan.
"One survey that I saw, 81 percent of New Zealanders couldn't name that Mighty River Power is actually the first company that we'll be taking to the market, 90 percent of those New Zealanders hadn't owned shares before, a significant portion didn't really know what was going on ...
"So there's not necessarily a high level of understanding even though these debates have been well-rehearsed," he said.
Labour leader David Shearer says those polls results are unsurprising.
"I think they've intended to keep this as cloudy as possible," he said.
"The fact that (the public) don't know very much about these companies is not surprising - I would imagine the Government does not want to advertise the fact that these are our best-performing assets ... and they are likely to be snapped up by overseas buyers who are looking for a real bargain."
Labour and the Greens are working to gather enough signatures to force a citizens-initiated referendum on the issue, although Mr Shearer says it's unlikely a referendum would take place until late next year.
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26/06/2012 6:01:55 p.m.
Lucy Tom wrote:
Another win for the bankers, corporations and foreign investors. Another loss for NZ.
And here is what the Internet says about Graeme Wheeler the newly appointed Reserve Bank replacement for Alan Bollard - "He led the bank's engagement with the G20 and G7 economic powers and the International Monetary Fund, playing a pivotal role in the bank's response to the global financial crisis". Well that worked out well so let's hire him!
26/06/2012 5:51:42 p.m.
There isnt a high level of understanding because NOT EVERYBODY IN THE COUNTRY IS A BANKER LIKE YOU, Key. We don't all see things we own and immediately think "I wonder how much I could get for that?". Please step aside and allow a real leader to lead our country. You have CLEARLY failed - spectacularly, even.
26/06/2012 5:42:20 p.m.
"90 percent of those New Zealanders hadn't owned shares before" — Actually, mr Key, 100% of New Zealanders own shares of these state-owned enterprises. These assets are owned by *ALL* New Zealanders - and you're going to rob us by giving it to your rich buddies for a ridiculous price.
26/06/2012 3:59:17 p.m.
Scrap the Dole. Paying people money for doing nothing is crazy, and just wrong !
26/06/2012 2:51:56 p.m.
Public admits Key's arrogance of sales plan.
26/06/2012 2:21:40 p.m.
What we all need to do if we don't want the sales, is to change away from the companies to be sold off and boycott what they are doing. Can't sell something with all the customers moving away. They are selling us up the river and they know it. But they don't have to care cause they all have big bank balances. The CEO's have been told their salaries will double once the sale has gone through. Guess what folks so will what we pay. We will allhave to use candles and woodburners to be able to survive like in the olden days.
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