Labour and the Green Party are still wasting their time gathering signatures for their petition opposing the partial sale of a few state assets.
They need to explain if they are going to present the petition and, if it has sufficient signatures, force the expense of their politicians’ initiated referendum on us when it will be too late to achieve anything.
Mighty River Power, is expected to be floated by mid-May, long before a referendum could take place, so why are they bothering to collect more signatures?
Truth points out in its editorial Labour and the Greens need to come clean on asset sales:
. . . We know what the government thinks. We can all read the prospectus when it comes out for Mighty River Power, but what investors don’t know is what Labour intends as its policy towards these sales.
We know they oppose them, but what is their policy moving forward.
Investors and voters need to know if Labour intends opposing the sales in actions and not just words.
Will Labour commit to forced buy-back of the shares, essentially a re-nationalisation of the asset. Before readers poo-pooh that suggestion remember Air New Zealand.
Helen Clark even flirted with securities laws by advising on national television for Mum and Dad investors to keep their shares in Air New Zealand…that everything would be alright. As we know everything wan;t alright and some weeks later the government forcibly acquired as many shares as it could and left about 25% of shareholder mired without any sort of say in the company.
Would Labour do this again with the listed power companies…and if so how much would they pay for the shares…The listing price? The market price (unlikely)?
Labour and their hangers-on who oppose asset sales need to clarify before even a single share is sold what their intentions are.
I suspect that their policy will be as bankrupt as their position so far has been. Words not Deeds. . .
Winston Peters, a likely coalition partner in a Labour/Green government wants to buy the shares back:
. . . New Zealand First will use its influence on the next coalition Government to buy back our state-owned power companies which are being flogged off by National and we are committed to buying back the shares at no greater price than paid by the first purchaser.
Labour and the Green Party haven’t let us know their plans yet.
If they go ahead with the petition without making a commitment to buy the shares back they are adding yet more proof to the contention they’re after publicity for themselves not a change in policy.
If, however, they plan to buy back the shares they will sabotage any efforts they make to pretend they have any interest in the careful management of public finances and any concern for investors.