Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party
The Maori Party has caved into National on asset sales and will have a lot of explaining to do to New Zealanders once legislation is introduced this week, says Labour’s Maori Affairs spokesperson Parekura Horomia.Parekura
Spokesperson for Māori Affairs
6 March 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Maori Party gives green light to asset sales
The Maori Party has caved into National on asset sales and will have a lot of explaining to do to New Zealanders once legislation is introduced this week, says Labour’s Maori Affairs spokesperson Parekura Horomia.
“Labour is strongly opposed to the Government’s plan to sell off 49% of our power companies. It is a short-sighted measure that will not address our economic problems or help reduce the growing gap between the rich and poor in New Zealand.
“There is no provision in the legislation guaranteeing that Kiwi ‘mums and dads’ or iwi will be at the front of the queue when it comes to buying shares in these assets. In fact, National seems more worried about looking after the interests of overseas investors.
“In terms of Section 9 of the SOEs Act, the Government is planning to transfer this clause to the Public Finance Act where the obligation will only apply to the 51% of shares owned by the Crown. There is no guarantee that the Government will give priority to its Treaty obligations within the expectations of the Public Finance Act.
“I find it astonishing that the Minister of Maori Affairs justifies his party’s position on that basis that iwi got what they were asking for, yet iwi leaders from his own area do not support that view.
“It’s time for the Maori Party to wake up and oppose asset sales because they will not deliver any great gain to Māori. Holding onto our energy companies makes much more sense because the dividends they pay can be re-invested into areas like health, education, housing and stimulating economic development where every New Zealander benefits,” said Parekura Horomia.