18 August – Aotearoa Not For Sale, Cuba Mall Gig
Downtown Wellington was today (18 August) the scene of another anti-asset sales event; the ‘Cuba Mall Gig’, organised by Aotearoa is Not For Sale – Wellington.
Just after mid-day – on a fine, sunny, wintry Saturday - the gig was opened by Richard, co-ordinator from Aoteara is Not for Sale (ANFS),who welcomed everyone. He explained the reason for today’s event; opposition to National’s plans to part-privatise or state owned enterprises will not be going away.
ANFS’s position is;
- State asset sales currently belong to all New Zealanders
- Assets are sold only to a mere 6% who can afford to buy shares, while the other 94% look forward to less say in policies; hiked power prices, and less people power
- Power prices are expected to rise when State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) are sold, as shareholders will demand increased profits.
“As New Zealanders we already own these assets, so why should we be forced to buy them back?”
As well as music and speakers, a petition calling for a nationwide referendum was being circulated for the public to sign. Green MP, Jan Logie (left), was one of many collecting signatures,
First up; “Brass Razoo” entertained the crowd with music of a ‘resistance nature’,
Even ANFS‘s John Maynard pitched in, on the trumpet,
Jan Logie continued collecting signatures, as the band played on,
Ex-Alliance members and activists, Larry and Kevin. For them, this is no doubt a re-run of the late 1980s and 1990s,
Members of the public listening to the music,
Long-time campaigner, and expert, on sustainable energy and the state electricity system, Molly Melhuish addressed the crowd.
Ms Melhuish has a fearsome knowledge of New Zealand’s energy sector and her research dispels much of the so-called “information” that National has given to the public,
Whilst speakers addressed the public and signature gathering continued unabated through the afternoon, others handed out leaflets to passers-by,
Frances collected donations to help pay for costs of the event.
By the end of the event, the container in her hand held a decent amount of cash,
Richard, holding up one of many signs,
Journalist, Vicky, covering the days’ events,
Sarah Freeman, from the Domestic Energy Users Network said that many people “can’t afford power prices – we don’t see this as a good thing to sell these [power company] assets“.
” We want publicly owned assets, and we have to keep telling the government this,” she said.
Ms Free was followed by entertainer, Billy Naylor, on the banjo,
Ariana and Richard, collecting signatures,
Well known, public figure and social justice-campaigner, Mike Smith, collecting signatures,
Ariana, addressing public onlookers, stated the Mana Party’s position on asset sales, and how they would hurt low and middle income families. She derided the term “mum and dad” investors,
“It won’t be mums and dads buying these assets. It’s a National government scam and the proceeds will only hold off our debt for about six months. This deal is only for the rich in the world and that means most real mums and dads will end up paying for power companies’ privatisation through higher electricity bills.”
She encouraged the public,
“Get your friends and family to download the petition. We are concerned about the sale of assets and the transfer of wealth to the rich and powerful.”
Following Ariana, the next speaker was Dean Baigent, from ‘Forest & Bird Northland‘.
Dean warned the public that National had used $2 million of our money to survey the North and had invited mineral companies to mine the land,
“In the realm of asset sales, this is a transfer of wealth. It’s a ‘revolution’ – but not one that will benefit us. Phil Heatly is keen to transfer mining wealth from Northland to corporate hands. He wants us to be [corporate] shareholders, rather than sharing the wealth and caring about each other and the environment.”
He added, ominously,
“Under the TPPA [Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement], once these contracts are signed, we cannot undo them.”
The final act was a fantastic ensemble with Marama Te Kira, Matiu Te Huki (guitar), and rapper, Matt,
And pretty soon, the crowd was grooving to the tunes…
The afternoon was a pleasant, relaxed way to keep the highly contentious issue of asset sales live, and to let the public know that the campaign, to protect what is ours, is not over.
ANFS says that more campaigns are in the offing.
Aotearoa? Not for sale!
Continued @ 18 August – Cuba Mall – other things going on!
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