Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party
Hocking off shares in state-owned assets while giving no assurance that those shares will remain in local hands would be considered treachery in any other country, yet it is exactly what John Key is doing here, says West Coast-based Labour MP Damien …Solid Energy sale another disaster for West Coast
Hocking off shares in state-owned assets while giving no assurance that those shares will remain in local hands would be considered treachery in any other country, yet it is exactly what John Key is doing here, says West Coast-based Labour MP Damien O’Connor.
“Yesterday John Key confirmed the sale of Solid Energy shares, while at the same time giving no guarantee that those shares will remain in the hands of New Zealanders.
“New Zealanders already own Solid Energy. Why would we want to flog off one of the West Coast’s biggest employers?
“Solid Energy executives and the Government are now focused on a sale process and potential new shareholders. This is not about doing something for the good of the country. It is about handing over a strong performing company to a few wealthy New Zealanders who will inevitably sell it on to foreign owners for a handsome profit,” Damien O’Connor said.
“Today we hear Shanxi Coal, a large Chinese company, is a joint bidder for Pike River Company assets. That’s a clear indication of the very real interest overseas investors have in our valuable coal assets.
“The fact that this successful and growing Chinese company is state owned should tell us why Kiwis should continue to own Solid Energy.
“Mines opened and developed by Solid Energy with strong support from the last Labour Government, have brought huge benefits to the West Coast.
“Now John Key and his National party colleagues want to sell those assets to a few wealthy people who will be able to sell them on to the highest bidder.
“Every West Coaster should understand what this will mean. In any other country it would generate a huge public backlash; it would be considered treachery.
“Labour is totally committed to keeping New Zealand assets in New Zealand hands, which is what Kiwis also want,” Damien O’Connor said.
Authorised by Damien O’Connor, MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington