Red and Starry Eyed | Issue 10

On Asset Sales

Have you noticed John Key looking more tired by the minute? How about the recent National scandals: From ACC to paid parental leave? About time, though his party hasnít dropped in recent polls. It is about time to brush the dust off the covers of one of the first scandals in this governmentís second term: Asset Sales.

Last week a hikoi against asset sales started in Auckland, filling the streets of the CBD filled with placards, before they march their way down to parliament. By the time you read this, it should have arrived in Wellington. The majority of parties in parliament are against the sales and, according to recent polls, so are 70% of Kiwis. The National government disregard your opinion though, it does not matter if 100% of public submissions were against the sale. The National Party wrongly believe they have a mandate to sell our assets. They say they want Kiwi mum and dad investors Ė whatever that means Ė to buy the shares they are selling, so the assets will stay in New Zealand hands. Mum and dad investor donít have money to put in shares. In fact mum and dad donít even want to buy them; they donít even want them sold in the first place.

The government cannot sell stakes in our energy companies and Air New Zealand if it has any idea of what this has meant in the past (look up Kiwirail), and if they care for democracy at all. Democracy isnít a vote every four years, it takes place every day. Those who have submitted or are marching down the street deserve to be heard.

Key says the sale will slash billions of government debt. Heís wrong. First off, the government doesnít know how much they will reap. Itís like a badly-organised garage sale, where nobody knows the prices. At the beginning of the year Key said weíd earn $10b, then Bill English said $7b, or possibly $5b, and then admitted it was all guesswork.

The government is trying to deceive us again, in our interest of course. For National thinks we are too stupid to know what is good for the country, in fact they probably think we vote too often already. They would rather we kept our heads in the sand. Well, New Zealand wants to keep those assets, Mr Key. We also want to keep our democracy. We vote, you listen. You lie and weíll kick you out.

Maybe we should sell the ninth floor of the Beehive.

ĖRed and Starry Eyed
This article first appeared in Issue 10, 2012.
Posted 12:51am Monday 7th May 2012 by Red and Starry Eyed.