State asset sales have been cruel to the New Zealand economy. Short term gain has been followed by long term pain. In the 1980s and 90s Labour and National sold assets such as Telecom, Bank of New Zealand, New Zealand Rail, State Insurance, Government Print for $19.1 billion.
None of these assets was sold at its true commercial value. Telecom was sold to overseas interests for $4.25 billion in 1990. Since then it has made distributions to shareholders in the form of dividends and capital repayments of about $15 billion!
The National led coalition government is repeating the mistake of selling assets and this time the electricity generation system is going on the block. There are grave fears that our power stations, our hydro lakes, rivers and waterways will end up in foreign control.
- New Zealand First has campaigned against state asset sales for many years and will continue to do so.
- We have made all parties aware of the folly of selling state assets.
- We have increased public awareness of the issue.
- New Zealand First wants the government to abandon its asset sales programme.
- We want public pressure on the government during every step it takes towards these sales.