Asset Sales: all down?
Continued from: Asset Sales: two down, three to go!
As predicted, the Waitangi Tribunal has issued a report endorsing a delay to asset sales until the issue of water rights can be resolved,
Specifically, the report recommends,
- Maori have long established property rights over water bodies
- Ownership precedents date back to 1929 when Nga Puhi was granted ownership of Lake Omapere
- Maori culture and rights should not be relegated and ignored.
- The claim is not opportunistic
- Offering shares in the companies to Maori is not a remedy
- Shares in conjunction with enhanced power on the boards of these companies could provide meaningful recognition
- It is impossible for the Tribunal to recognise all Maori water rights across the whole country
- It is possible to devise an appropriate scheme for Maori affected by the sale of the assets but more time is needed
If, as Dear Leader John Key stated on 10 July, that National could decide to ignore the Tribunal’s findings (because they are non-binding), then the matter will head to the High Court.
Either way, the asset sale process has been stalled.
The Tribunal’s decision is yet another nail in the coffin of this wretched privatisation agenda.
As pointed out in a previous blogpiece ( Asset Sales: two down, three to go! ), the process has been hampered by corporate interests; low shares prices (Air New Zealand); poor international commodity prices (Solid Energy’s coal); and lower than anticipated revenue from certain electricity companies.
This blogger sez; thank god for the Treaty of Waitangi. We may yet save our state assets from being stolen from us, the people.
Who would have thought that the Treaty – designed in 1840 to protect Maori assets from ruthless activity by colonials – would 172 years later protect the assets owned by ALL New Zealanders.
National and it’s redneck supporters may object with shrill hysteria.
These assets belong to all of us. Not just those with the money to buy them.
And it’s a bit rich for National politicians and their sycophantic supporters and fellow travellers to now be insisting that “no one owns the water”.
Especially since the concept of private ownership for land, trees, fishing quota, airwaves, etc, etc, etc, was inytroduced by Pakeha to New Zealand.
Now the architects of the capitalist notion of private ownership are screaming for collective ownership over water?
Get real, you rednecks.
Vocal right wingers and anonymous commentators on various internet fora are simply livid that Maori are exercising the same rights that Pakeha themselves have used for their own benefit and wealth-accumulation for the last two hundred years.
National may well begin to comprehend that it is on a hiding to nowhere on this issue. It is time for John Key to comprehend,
- The majority of New Zealanders do not want state assets privatised
- Maori have a legitimate intrerest in water rights if states assets are privatised
- Privatisation is opening a can of worms with corporate vultures circling overhead, looking for cheaper power deals
- The State will not earn anything near the $5 to $7 billion that Bill Enlish has been anticipating
John Key, it is time to knock asset sales on the head.
= fs =