Confirmation that a petition for a citizens initiated referendum is to be launched by a coalition led by Grey Power, the Greens and Labour.
The word is it has been very complex getting wording agreed by all the groups. There’s still going to be a bit of a delay while the wording goes through an official process before they’ll begin collecting signatures.
They’ve got to get 307,000 signatures to force a referendum. I reckon that’ll be pretty straightforward . It’s only a fraction of the combined membership of Grey Power, the unions, and the parties. And, together, they can bring a hell of a lot of activists on to the streets. The key will be getting as many signatures as possible as quickly as possible.
If it was me, once the petition has jumped through the official hoops, I would kick off with getting every activist in Wellington to do blanket coverage of Ohariu. And again when Mighty River goes on the block.
This is going to be a massive thorn in the government’s side. While Key is trying to explain why he is selling these assets against the people’s will, Green and Labour MPs (who should have a target of personally collecting 1,000 signatures each) along with thousands of activists will be knocking on doors and giving people an avenue to express their opposition.
And then there’s the referendum itself. Under the law, it must be conducted with 12 months of the petition being completed and presented. So, some time late 2013 – a year out from an election – the Nats are going to get hammered in a referendum.
If I was Key, I would almost be praying Dunne decides to go against the legislation. It’ll save him a whole lot of pain in the long run.