web analytics

To sell or not to sell

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 pm, April 12th, 2008 - 11 comments
Categories: assets, john key - Tags: ,

auck-airport.jpgAt the Labour Party congress today, Helen Clark predicted that asset sales would be a key election issue and says the Government was right to veto the Auckland Airport share bid.

“The National Party and ACT have made it plain where they stand – ‘sell it off’, they cry.

This is a defining issue. In Labour we support special scrutiny being applied to bids for foreign ownership of strategic infrastructure on sensitive land.”

Yesterday John Key, with the luxury of time to prepare after being put on the spot back in Marchcame out strongly saying the Government’s action shows it always intended to veto the offer and overseas investors won’t like it.

However, I suspect many people would agree with Michael Cullen when he pointed out that New Zealand has had bad experiences selling assets offshore – such as Telecom, the rail network and Air New Zealand. He says it was up to the Canadian company to prove the offer was in the national interests of New Zealand.

Given the Colmar Brunton poll last month found that 48% of people said assets should be kept and 45% backed a partial sale it will be interesting to see how the final decision is received over the next few weeks.

NB – for those interested in the full ins and outs of the arguments the associated papers are up on the web here.

11 comments on “To sell or not to sell ”

  1. Razorlight 1

    Labour will be desperate to make this an election issue as they feel ,politically at least, they are on the winning side of the argument.

    Natinal has to be careful the electorate is not fed half truths from Cullen & Co. The airport after all wasn’t part of the family jewels. It is already privatley owned and I feel this point is often forgotten.

    They have to come out early, like right now, draw a line in the sand and clearly explain where they stand. End the argument now before Cullen gets any traction.

    Bring the election back to the real issues like why the Health system is swallowing billions more of our tax dollars but delivering at best the same services. Or pull Labour up on some of their forgoten objectives like dragging New Zealand back into the top half of the OECD!!!

  2. ghostwhowalks 2

    The fact that the airport is ‘privately’ owned is irrelevant.
    ( BTW the shares were issued only to NZers to start with, so they got a special deal).

    All consideration of purchases under the OIC is of ‘privately owned land’. This applies to all of the applications. So the assertion that its not the governments is ridiculous.

  3. higherstandard 3

    Ghost

    So how would a bid by Emirates (at 40% rather than 60%) have stood up as they were offering the capital and the aviation experience to upgrade the airport and attract more business.

    I wonder if they came back whether the government would have an honest look at their proposal or just continue playing politics.

  4. Razorlight 4

    Why are private investors from New Zealand less dangerous to our still undefined startegic assets, than foreign Canadian investors.

    It is xenophobic rubbish to suggest they would run the things differently. I expect this scare mongering from New Zealand First but not Labour.

    Anything goes in election year though doesn’t it.

  5. gobsmacked 5

    Well, John Key has now come out and drawn that “line in the sand”. It may not be where Razorlight and the right would want it though.

    On Agenda this morning, Key made it clear: no sales whatsoever of publicly-owned assets – even partial, even minor.

    He gave no economic policy reason for this, begging many questions (Why a blanket ban? Are all state-owned assets the same? Are the current boundaries exactly right? Why? Should the state buy some instead? What about Rail?).

    Colin Espiner was sharp enough immediately to recognize this as “innoculation”. Key admitted it was, before backtracking.

    Two more questions: what is a state-owned asset? For example, does it include houses, which even Labour have been willing to sell for the right price? What other exceptions are there?

    And how long will the National caucus put up with this constant retreat from the right?

  6. Pascal's bookie 6

    And how long will the National caucus put up with this constant retreat from the right?

    Till those phone calls from the ‘anonymous donors’ are made. About 5 minutes after the polls close on election day.

  7. gobsmacked 7

    Heh. Roger Douglas pops up on One News with a good line (all spin, no spine).

    What an absurd policy it is, really. As though (for example) the state owning a bank is a Good Idea in 2010 but may be transformed into a Bad Idea in 2012. Why do they need three years to work that one out? What will happen to make Kiwibank different three years down the track?

    An economics undergraduate would get torn apart for such witless logic.

  8. higherstandard 8

    Gs

    Douglas was referring to both Labour and National – and he was right they are both as bland and mindless as each other with PR advisers coming out of every orifice demanding that everyone race towards the middle ground on each and every issue.

    I’d like more of the Phil Goff approach but out in the open – when somethings bullshit call it bullshit

    What chance any sensible discussion of the real issues facing NZ over the next decade and beyond during this election campaign zero I suspect.

  9. Razorlight 9

    I am starting to think a Goff lead Labour would be a good thing. Although the move may lose suppoort from the left fringe of Labour they would make it up from voters on the right becoming disillusioned with Key’s stance.

    Goff believe in free trade and the importance of foreign investment.
    He wouldn’t allow Xenophobic politics to stop this.

  10. sdm 10

    So Labour cost me a few thousands with this announcement. I’d like to sue…

  11. Billy 11

    This was just populist politics, and the losers are New Zealander shareholders. By the end the Canadians could have put forward a proposal to buy nothing more than a jam doghnut at the kiosk and Cullen would have said they’d failed to demonstrate it was in the country’s national interest.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Twenty highlights of 2020
    As we welcome in the new year, our focus is on continuing to keep New Zealanders safe and moving forward with our economic recovery. There’s a lot to get on with, but before we say a final goodbye to 2020, here’s a quick look back at some of the milestones ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from the UK and the US from 15 January
    Travellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights to New Zealand, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “The new PCR test requirement, foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM congratulates New Year Honour recipients
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has added her warm congratulations to the New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to their communities and the country in the New Year 2021 Honours List. “The past year has been one that few of us could have imagined. In spite of all the things that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • David Parker congratulates New Year 2021 Honours recipients
    Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment David Parker has congratulated two retired judges who have had their contributions to the country and their communities recognised in the New Year 2021 Honours list. The Hon Tony Randerson QC has been appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Year’s Honours highlights outstanding Pacific leadership through challenging year
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the New Year’s Honours List 2021 highlights again the outstanding contribution made by Pacific people across Aotearoa. “We are acknowledging the work of 13 Pacific leaders in the New Year’s Honours, representing a number of sectors including health, education, community, sports, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting seniors to embrace technology
    The Government’s investment in digital literacy training for seniors has led to more than 250 people participating so far, helping them stay connected. “COVID-19 has meant older New Zealanders are showing more interest in learning how to use technology like Zoom and Skype so they can to keep in touch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional COVID-19 tests for returnees from higher risk countries
    New virus variants and ongoing high rates of diseases in some countries prompt additional border protections Extra (day zero or day one) test to be in place this week New ways of reducing risk before people embark on travel being investigated, including pre-departure testing for people leaving the United Kingdom ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago