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Quarter of a million signatures to Keep Our Assets

Written By: - Date published: 9:26 am, September 3rd, 2012 - 41 comments
Categories: petition, privatisation, referendum - Tags:

The Keep Our Assets Coalition has now collected 250,000 signatures for the petition for a referendum on asset sales in just four months. You need to help with the big final push – the Spring Collection – to get the last 60,000 signatures and the 10% spares within the coming month.

You can download petition forms on the Green, Labour, and Keep Our Assets websites.

41 comments on “Quarter of a million signatures to Keep Our Assets ”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    Is it acceptable to print out a petition, sign it yourself and mail it in?

  2. fisiani 2

    I’ll take your 250,000 signatures and raise it by 1,058,636 votes.

    • Mark 2.1

      You are assuming that all of the 250k are even on the electoral role. Pretty easy to get students to sign up, but they don’t vote.

    • gobsmacked 2.2


      In that case National can be confident about winning the referendum, right? So they can sign the petition too. More the merrier.

    • Ianmac from Vietnam 2.3

      Are you saying that 1,058,636 are in favour fisiani? Sure?

      • mac1 2.3.1

        I’ve talked to local Nats here, Ianmac, and they sure as hell don’t want asset sales. So for Fisiani to suggest that all people who voted National voted for every plank including asset sales in their stated policy platform is wrong.

        I actually like to see Fisiani commenting. He is my touchstone, telling me when he joins in, by the simple fact he is joining in as the Blue team’s pinch hitter, what it is that’s hurting the Nats. Right now, it’s asset sales.

    • Lightly 2.4

      where’s your petition not to have a referendum?

      • Mark 2.4.1

        I think his point was that we’ve already had one. And yes, you lost.

        • Te Reo Putake

          Well, you’d both be wrong then wouldn’t you? National failed to get a mandate to sell the assets at the last election and, given that NZ is a democracy, what is your problem with testing out the electorate’s views on the specific question of selling them, Mark?

          • Mark

            Many, and varied TRP. Most of which have been well traversed by both sides, and minds are unlikely to be changed on this forum, rather, I suspect they will be entrenched. But I would offer three.

            First, to say that this is “citizens” initiated is a bit of a stretch. Its a political stunt by the Greens who are using taxpayer money to get signatures. The Greens need to own back environmental issues because they show no economic ability. Labour don’t seriously believe in this, they are just passengers.

            Second, the left have an appalling track record on changing things against the public will and without a “mandate”. Your interpretation of “mandate” flows with the tide.

            Third, private property rights are the cornerstone of freedom. The more that is centrally owned and controlled the less freedom we all have. Unfotunately most people don’t really want to be free, they want to be ruled, that’s what slows us down, people voting for more government, which is what you want. Voting for Government ownership is you giving up your freedom.

            Something to argue.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Third, private property rights are the cornerstone of freedom. The more that is centrally owned and controlled the less freedom we all have.

              Wrong. The increasing poverty we see is a direct result of privatisation of the commons and that means more and more people are losing the scant freedom that they had.

              Voting for Government ownership is you giving up your freedom.

              Wrong again, voting for more “government” is actually voting to have more say in the community and thus have more freedom.

              • Mark

                Yes, you will be truely free when the government owns and controls everything. Hows that worked out in North Korea?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Facile pointless and uneven comparison. A better comparison is Iceland or Norway.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  This is a democracy – the government is us. And that’s where all your assertions that the government is evil falls down. It’s also the proof that privatisation is actually dictatorship as the capitalists take control of everything and everyone’s life becomes dependent upon the goodwill of the owners.

                  It is capitalism that constrains freedom.

                • mike e

                  mark better in Singapore acshually

            • Bunji

              Labour are just passengers?

              Better tell all those Labour activists out spending all their weekends gathering 10s of 1000s of signatures. Guess they’re spending hundreds of hours just for a laugh.

              (And Grey Power whose name is on the referendum petition? and the Trade Unions? and Student Unions? and Greenpeace? All the rest are just passengers too?)

              And Draco’s already pointed out your weird idea of freedom. If you’re only free when you own something, just think of how much you’re reducing the freedom of the rest of us each time you buy something… And then feel the anger of the 99%.

            • Te Reo Putake

              Thanks for the reply, Mark. Looking at your 3 reasons, I’d say firstly, it doesn’t matter who initiates the referendum. It’s going to happen and NZ can then have its say.
              Secondly, I would dispute your assertion that the left (presumably you mean Labour, when in Gov’t.) have any kind of record of going against the public will, let alone an appalling one. I’ll need some cites for that! 
              Thirdly, private property has no relationship to freedom that I can see. Freedom is living well. That can’t be measured by the size of your house, car or TV set, but rather by the size of your heart, I would have thought.

            • Carol

              Third, private property rights are the cornerstone of freedom.

              And that’s worked so well in the US.



        • Colonial Viper

          I think his point was that we’ve already had one. And yes, you lost.

          Tip for the wise: its not over till the fat lady sings.

        • Lightly

          but the majority of people voted for parties that opposed National’s asset sales. The pro-parties only got 48.55% of the vote.

          • Mark

            Idiotic semantics. MOST people voted against Helen Clarke on that measure.

            If you really want to confuse general elections with referendums; then since we have had MMP, only two issues have had anywhere near that support. The referendums on compulsory saving and child discipline. Perhaps you could explain how they went?

            • Nick

              I don’t know much about the compulsory savings referendum, not sure where I was at the time but I didn’t vote. A quick investigate online shows that it was part of the deal between National and New Zealand First at NZF’s insistence and National was hardly supportive of it. In some ways though its like having a referendum on whether you like paying taxes.

              The child discipline referendum had a stupid loaded question that didn’t even correlate to the actual bill it was opposing. John Key decided that it made the result meaningless and this is one of the few instances where I agree with him. If the question had been ‘Should children have the same legal protection from assault as adults or animals?’ the outcome would’ve been totally different.

              The current petition will result in a referendum that asks:

              “Do you support the Government selling up to 49% of Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power, Genesis Power, Solid Energy and Air New Zealand?”

              Its not loaded, has no value judgement attached to it and is clear what a ‘Yes’ and a ‘No’ vote would indicate. Actually there is no reason for those in favour of asset sales not to sign this petition as well unless they are scared of where public opinion really lies on this issue.

              • fatty

                “The child discipline referendum had a stupid loaded question that didn’t even correlate to the actual bill it was opposing.”

                True…the whole argument around smacking was highjacked by those dodgy rednecks at Family First. They perverted the concept of freedom. Some others have some warped concepts of freedom as well…

                Quarter of a million signatures to Keep Our Assets

            • mike e

              well mark section 59 has been repealed and we are moving closer to compulsory super.

    • Georgecom 2.5

      Whatever mate. The signatures will be gathered, the referendum will take place and people will vote. You’ll be able to vote as well. Sure you’ll enjoy the experience.

      Want to throw in any more only vaguely related numbers?

  3. georgecom 3

    Just to please all the Nat supporters, I’m helping plan 4 days of signature gathering in my city in Sept. Looking forward to 1-2 thousand more signatures being added to the effort. Get ready to vote in the referendum Nat supporters.

  4. Balanced View 4

    I’ve been trying to think this through (insert witty comment here).

    I have been opposed to the referendum – feeling that it is a waste of money and time. I would definitely have felt differently had National and Labour not campaigned on it.

    However – what seems blatantly clear when talking to those with less than a passing interest in politics (I would guess this includes the vast majority of NZs), is that there is little understanding as to what is involved and the reasons for and against asset sales. Most peoples opinions are built on a gut feeling or defined by the party they always vote for. There has been so much fighting/protesting over the issue that the reasoned arguments have been largely lost to the general public.

    So perhaps a referendum would be a good idea – for no other reason other than to give both sides the opportunity to express the virtues of there preferred position.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      However – what seems blatantly clear when talking to those with less than a passing interest in politics (I would guess this includes the vast majority of NZs), is that there is little understanding as to what is involved and the reasons for and against asset sales.

      What were the reasons for asset sales?

      Oh yeah, the wealthy don’t want to pay an extra $1B in taxes a year over the next 8 years. So they want to sell our country off instead. That and they are too unimaginative and risk averse to invest their extensive wealth in new businesses in NZ. They prefer the zero risk of buying monopoly assets that the tax payer has already proven works.

      • Balanced View 4.1.1

        Thanks Viper – precisely my point. So busy attacking those with a differing opinion that the arguments for your preferred position are lost (or not even presented)

        • Colonial Viper

          $1B a year in extra taxes from the wealthiest in the country, and there would be no need for asset sales.

          It’s as simple as it comes.

          • Mark

            So what hapopens when the wealthiest go to Australia as well? Good riddance?

            • Te Reo Putake

              Yep, if they’re too stupid to realise that they’d pay more tax in Oz, then good riddance to them. Frankly, I’m sick of subsidising the bludgers anyway.

  5. mike e 5

    an increase in booze gambling tobacco and fast food tax, also why should we borrow to subsidize these expensive luxuries that cost us in other areas of the economy.

  6. Balanced View 6

    Just out of interest, if the signatures are gained and a referendum is conducted, if 40% of those that vote chose to support asset sales – are they then granting permission for the govt to sell their share?

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