Protests and deal sweeteners over asset sales
Thu, 14 Jun 2012 6:04p.m.
By political editor Duncan Garner
Parliament has just taken a crucial step in the privatisation of five state-owned assets.
It has voted 61 - 60 to send the asset sales legislation to its final reading.
But to sweeten the contentious deal, Prime Minister John Key is now hinting strongly at special bonuses for kiwis who buy the shares.
Outside Parliament protestors tried to stop the asset sales.
There were cries of “it's absolutely treachery and we all know it”, and “no passing of this bill until there is a referendum”.
The asset sales were labelled as “basically theft”.
They even had a Peter Dunne puppet because his one vote will help the asset sales go through.
And inside Parliament the opposition made similar noise.
“This is a dark day,” Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove said. “This is rushed shonky legislation.”
But they didn't have the numbers to stop the bill passing.
Four power companies and Air New Zealand are going on the block.
And one of the ways the Government may make these controversial asset sales more popular is to offer a loyalty share - bonus free shares to Kiwis if they hold them for a certain period.
They did it in Australia in Queensland, one share for every 15 held, if investors held Queensland Rail stock for more than two years.
Mr Key is positive about the idea.
“I quite like that component and when the Minister of Finance has brought that up with me I've been encouraging of the murmurings he's been making in that regard," he says.
“I think it makes sense to give some encouragement for New Zealand retails investors to hold onto their shares.”
Greens co-leader Russel Norman said loyalty shares cost big money so we should just hold onto the assets.
“To offer a loyalty share will cost about $370 million, what's the point, just hang onto the assets.”
Mr Key said he has to check any official advice on a loyalty share bonus scheme for Kiwis but his comments are more than just strong hints.
The polls show these asset sales are unpopular and it's clear Key wants the first float to be successful and loyalty schemes will help that.
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16/06/2012 11:01:30 a.m.
Key said, on television: "I want to give the family man a chance to share in these assets."
ALL New Zealanders already own shares in these assets NOW. What Key would be doing is to take away the shares from the family man, who can't afford to buy them, and give them to the rich who can. And then the hardworking family man would pay even higher power prices so the rich can make even more money. This is a short term government profit with longterm pain for workers and families.
15/06/2012 9:38:04 p.m.
and to add to that JOHNMILLAN, @GEORGE (Nats supporters) National got no more than 40 percent of the votes from the entire voting public. That is not a majority win!
15/06/2012 3:14:55 p.m.
Bruce how true you could be>The Nat supporters keep saying the the Nats won the Majority on election night?yet without the Maori party the Actress party and the loan ranger party,they would not have the numbers too push through asset sales,etc in the house.
15/06/2012 1:26:59 p.m.
The neoliberal agenda of transferring the public wealth into the hands of the private few continues unabated.
The already wealthy that benefited hugely from the unaffordable tax cuts that were gifted to the rich will use that windfall to fleece their fellow New Zealanders of our communally-owned income-generating strategic assets. Then, those of us that object to this sale and refuse to steal from our fellow citizens - and the many of us that simply can't afford to - will be forced to pay out extra, on top of inflated power prices, to reward those rapacious thieves that held on to their plundered shares in our stolen assets. And then, once rewarded, they will no doubt proceed to flog those shares off overseas anyway, for even greater profit. Unconscionable.
15/06/2012 12:20:34 p.m.
@George, So, you are proposing a type of democracy that is only applicable at election time? or the type of democracy that suits the government? true democracy does not work that way. I believe most NZers do no longer trust this government. They have backtracked on most election promises and introduced legislation and changes that they did not mention at election time or budget time. A referendum is democratic. You also mention the minority trying to overturn the majority. Where is this "majority" to mention? The only "majority" I can see are the majority against asset sales. The election is history. the election is no longer relevant.
15/06/2012 10:56:16 a.m.
I'm sorry but isn't this democracy in action. The election was held last year and ntional won with a majority. They campaigned on asset sales. The people of NZ spoke. If they didn't want this to occur they could have voted national out. What the people who have posted here is undemocratic. The minority are seeking to overturn the majority.
15/06/2012 2:02:31 a.m.
The Key to nothing, please New Zealand don't let this happen.PLEASE
14/06/2012 9:04:47 p.m.
Gerrit Notrodt wrote:
Why don't we New Zealanders say now to this prime minister (if he is worth having that name) to pack up and go.
It's our money and we all want to keep the few assets we still have. John Key won't sell his mansion on the hill in Hawaii.
New Zealanders stick together, get rid of John Key, he is the biggest "PEST" for New Zealand.
Lets protest every day till the day they keep our assets.
Let us block the roads, take over parliament buildings, don't pay taxes etc. till we get what we want: NO ASSET SALES.
Normally we are all brave hardworking citizens but this what Key now wants goes too far.
We should use his name Key to lock him out from ever coming back in the beehive.
The people have spoken John Key, you are TOTALLY WRONG.
A good New Zealander.
14/06/2012 9:04:09 p.m.
JK government is working actively on transferring public wealth into the private few...it's stealing from all of us. I can't be more disgusted
14/06/2012 7:15:04 p.m.
Why should kiwis buy shares when they already own these assets. Key youre a thief
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