There is never a good time to waste public money but if ever there was a worse time, it’s now.
Our economy is growing, but slowly, and many or our trading partners are still struggling with the impact of the Global Financial Crisis.
We’ve got the added cost of the Christchurch rebuild, the need to cut back because of the extravagances and mismanagement of the previous Labour-led government and almost all of the country is facing drought.
There is no fat in the system.
National has been focussed on getting more for less from public services which requires very careful management and fiscal rigour.
The opposition has shown it hasn’t got the seriousness of the problem by opposing every move the government has made to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
It’s supposed to be a Citizen’s Initiated Referendum but this is a politician’s initiated one.
It was never anything more than a political stunt and carrying on with it now that the sales process for the sale of up to 49% of shares in Mighty River Power has begun reinforces that.
If there are enough valid signatures to force a referendum it will be too late. MRP will be under mixed ownership and at least one of the other companies could be too before it’s held.
Regardless of the timing of the referendum and the partial sales this is an expensive exercise in futility.
National campaigned on its Mixed Ownership Model and won. The Labour and Green Parties and their potential coalition partners New Zealand First and Mana campaigned against it and lost.
The partial sales are a fundamental part of National’s financial plan and the referendum will do nothing but provide an opportunity for grandstanding by the opposition.
It’s time for them to realise they’ve lost and accept the importance of not wasting public money.
Keeping Stock shows it’s not just money being wasted.