State-owned assets: No to confiscation, yes to collective control

February 20, 2012

Police Minister Judith Collins, broadcaster Paul Holmes, State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall, Prime Minister John Key and MP Peter Dunne

Ian Anderson

The National government has introduced plans to sell 49% shares in state-owned enterprises to private investors. Many on the left call for “New Zealand ownership,” but the real issue here is corporatisation of resources; whether by Kiwi or international investors.

National describes their plans as a “mixed ownership model,” claiming they’ll cap investment by any one company at 10%, and that 85-90% of shares will be held by Kiwi “mum and dad” investors. However investigation by the Ombudsman reveals that Treasury has no evidence for these claims. Only a small minority of investors will benefit from these sales. Read the rest of this entry »


Leaflet: No to asset sales

February 13, 2012

If assets are in private hands, whether foreign or New Zealand owned, they only care about three things – (1) profit, (2) profit and (3) profit.

-Hone Harawira

State-owned enterprises, originally introduced under Rogernomics, are a backdoor to privatisation. Run primarily for profit, they don’t care about:

  • Cost of living: cutting your power off if you can’t afford to pay.

    strike against Solid Energy contractor

  • Workers’ rights: contracting out employment to avoid accountability. 1000 mine workers went on strike in 2009 against sub-contractor HWE Mining.
  • Ecological destruction: Solid Energy is the largest coal mining company in New Zealand.
  • Tino rangatiratanga: they carry all this out on enclosed, confiscated land.

By selling controlling shares in State-Owned Enterprises, National plans to remove further barriers to smooth, unaccountable business operations.

Ombudsman investigation revealed no evidence for National’s claims of a 10% cap on shares held by any one company, or 85-90% control by ’mum and dad’ investors. With greater control by private business, social and ecological impacts will be externalised.

One million non-voters, the lowest turnout since women won the right to vote, is no mandate for this.

Yes to community control
In the short term we must organise to stop asset sales.

In the long term, we need workers’ and consumers’ control of public utilities.

If you agree, get involved.

pdf here


Auckland hui on asset sales: “One million non-voters is not a mandate”

February 11, 2012

Mike Kay

The Auckland Māori consultation hui on state asset sales took place yesterday at Tainui’s Airport Novotel under heavy police and Māori warden presence. The hui revealed universal dissatisfaction from Māori about the government’s plans, but also exposed important class divisions within Māoridom itself.

In his opening presentation, Minister for SOEs Tony Ryall stated that the controversial Section 9 will stay in the SOE Act, and that the government had “got the message on that.” Section 9 provides that “nothing in this Act shall permit the Crown to act in a manner that is inconsistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.” Whilst the audience made it clear that Section 9 should also apply to the new legislation enabling partial sell-offs of state assets, the debate that followed rapidly broke out of the bureaucratic parameters that the government had laid down for the hui.

A Mana Movement member asked Ryall what guarantees that, after these sell-offs, the government wouldn’t sell more. His response was that the government only had a mandate to sell a 49% stake in each of the power companies, and the rest of its stake in Air New Zealand. The questioner replied that they were already privatising further by selling off state housing in her neighbourhood of Glen Innes. Ryall reiterated that the general election had given them a mandate, whereupon a Workers Party member interjected that “one million non-voters is not a mandate!”

Read the rest of this entry »


Rally: For Public Assets

February 10, 2012

If assets are in private hands, whether foreign or New Zealand owned, they only care about three things – (1) profit, (2) profit and (3) profit.

-Hone Harawira

2pm Wednesday, February 15
Te Puni Kokiri - Ministry of Maori Development
Corner of Lambton Quay & Stout Street, Wellington

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 52 other followers