Home > Social Issues, The Body Politic > 18 August – Aotearoa Not For Sale, Cuba Mall Gig

18 August – Aotearoa Not For Sale, Cuba Mall Gig

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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.

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Aotearoa Not For Sale

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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.

ANFS says,

As New Zealanders we already own these assets, so why should we be forced to buy them back?”

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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,

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First up; “Brass Razoo” entertained the crowd with music of a ‘resistance nature’,

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Even ANFSs John Maynard pitched in, on the trumpet,

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Jan Logie continued collecting signatures, as the band played on,

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Ex-Alliance members and activists, Larry and Kevin. For them, this is no doubt a re-run of the late 1980s and 1990s,

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Members of the public listening to the music,

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Long-time campaigner, and expert, on sustainable energy and the  state electricity system, Molly Melhuish addressed the crowd.

See: Sustainable Energy Forum

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,

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Whilst speakers addressed the public and signature gathering continued unabated through the afternoon, others handed out leaflets to passers-by,

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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,

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Richard, holding up one of many signs,

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Journalist, Vicky, covering the days’ events,

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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.

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Ms Free was followed by entertainer, Billy Naylor, on the banjo,

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Ariana and Richard, collecting signatures,

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Well known, public figure and social justice-campaigner, Mike Smith, collecting signatures,

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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.”

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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.”

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The final act was a fantastic ensemble with Marama Te Kira, Matiu Te Huki (guitar), and rapper, Matt,

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And pretty soon, the crowd was grooving to the tunes…

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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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Copyright (c)  Notice

All images are freely available to be used, with following provisos,

  • Use must be for non-commercial purposes.
  • For non-commercial use, images may be used only in context, and not to denigrate individuals.
  • Acknowledgement of source is requested.

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= fs =

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  1. Mad Hatter
    19 August 2012 at 8:35 am

    you going to the one in porirua at 9am sept 1st? under canopies

  2. Allan Nigh
    19 August 2012 at 8:51 am

    well done Wellington!

  3. 19 August 2012 at 9:38 am

    Yup, we’ll be there, ‘Hatter!

  4. 19 August 2012 at 9:39 am

    That’s terrific!

  5. Mick
    19 August 2012 at 10:35 am

    I attended your first gathering in Cuba Street but didn’t know this one was happening …do you announce your protest times anywhere ?

  6. 19 August 2012 at 10:58 am

    Could be because there are two groups, Mick – ANFS and ANFS Wellington?

  7. Ralph
    19 August 2012 at 11:34 am

    Great work in Wellington…inspiring efforts!

  8. 19 August 2012 at 5:19 pm

    GREAT WORK WELLINGTON FOLK!
    ___________________________________________________________________

    UPDATE! FROM NEW AUCKLAND GROUP ‘SWITCH OFF MERCURY ENERGY’!

    WANTED! 100,000 customers to SWITCH OFF MERCURY ENERGY! Went on Radio Live last night and gave campaign a HUGE plug. Host agreed it was a good idea.

    This morning – whipped up a quick ‘graffiti’ banner – black on yellow:

    “WANTED! 100,000 folk to
    SWITCH OFF MERCURY ENERGY!
    STOP the SALE of Mighty River Power!
    It’s PEOPLE POWER time!”

    Took banner to Grey Lynn Farmers’ Market this morning (Sunday 19 August 2012) and displayed it nearby.

    VERY positive response to our BOLD campaign call!

    Discussed issue with a number of the public and stall holders, and encouraged folks to SWITCH OFF MERCURY ENERGY, tell their families, friends, workmates to SWITCH OFF MERCURY ENERGY – and to come to meetings.

    Got offers from stall holders to have SWITCH OFF MERCURY ENERGY leaflets at their stalls and to take to other markets.

    (Trust me – this campaign is going to build like an anti-privatisation tsunami – once we get out leaflets and posters out to the public!)

    Caught up with Green MP Denise Roche in passing at at the market – and she confirmed that in Wellington – they’d already heard about our campaign!

    WOOHOO!

    Remember!

    To get 100,000 customers to SWITCH OFF MERCURY ENERGY is ABSOLUTELY DOABLE!

    Mercury Energy has 400,000 customers – 70% being in the Auckland region – so getting 100,000 customers out of 300,000 Auckland customers to SWITCH – is a BOLD but achievable target!

    By the time all those people, groups and organisations who have signed the referendum against asset sales, and marched down the street against asset sales get fully behind this campaign to SWITCH OFF MERCURY ENERGY! we can STOP this National/ACT Government’s asset sale agenda! IN IT’S TRACKS!

    (The precedent is in 2008 when (already privatised) Contact Energy doubled their directors fees and raised their prices 12%, Over 6 months, 40,000 customers left Contact Energy and their profits were halved,)

    Come on folks!

    Help to SHARE this information!

    Cheers!

    Penny Bright

  9. Maria van der Meel
    19 August 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Say NO to NOVA Energy you already own it, ask Sarah Free!

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