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Posts Tagged ‘ANFS’

A delay to asset sales – thank gods for Te Tiriti!

3 September 2012 2 comments

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John Key has said that “no one owns water”.  The inference being that water is collectively the property of all New Zealanders.

That’s a very socialist principle.

In which case, we should be asking  him; does the same apply to state owned enterprises? Maori certainly want to know the answer to this question.

The Waitangi Tribunal’s interim recommendation to National was to delay asset sales until the issue of water rights, share allocations, etc,  could be addressed, and good-faith negotiations undertaken.

Today was D-Day for National and it’s planned asset sales agenda,

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Full Story

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Basically, it had three options available to it;

  1. Ignore the Waitangi Tribunal’s recommendations to delay asset sales,  and Maori would head straight to Court for litigation. A High Court would most likely injunct National from proceeding with the sale.
  2. Voluntarily postpone asset sales and engage in good-faith negotiation with Maori,
  3. Legislate away any potential Maori water-rights – and the consequence would be a political upheaval similar to what Labour experienced over the Foreshore & Seabeds issue.

Option # 1 would mean little difference to Option #2; both would result in an inevitable delay.

At least Option #2 allowed a measure of good-faith bargaining and maintaining a reasonably relationship with the Maori Party.

Issue #3 was unthinkable. Aside from resulting in mass angry protest from Maori and losing it’s  Maori Party coalition partner,  the resultant social  instability would make the next two and half years a political nightmare for any government.

When Maori Council Co-chair, Maanu Paul, said,

This issue is such a big issue for Maoridom that we had to go all the way in terms of seeking redress and if that means going to the Supreme Court, that’s where we’ll end up.”

… he wasn’t making idle chit-chat. Maori are playing hard-ball on this issue and are not about to fold their hand. They have too many aces, and have little hesitation in playing them.

As it was, National blinked first,

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Full Story

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We now have breathing space until June next year.

In that time, opposition to asset sales will harden even further and come up with new strategies to fight National’s agenda.

National will have found that, bereft of allies, it’s privatisation agenda will not have become any easier. In fact, it may well face new challenges and barriers to it’s very unpopular policy.

One such  challenge is that it still has only a one-seat majority in the House.

John Key must be praying every night before going to bed that he wakes up the next day with the same number of MPs that he had the previous day.

All it would take is  a scandal; a resignation; and a by-election…

Or a heart attack…

Or a road crash…

A lot can happen in nine months.

Addendum 1

AOTEAROA IS NOT FOR SALE CELEBRATES DELAY IN ASSET SALES

– Monday 3  September

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Aotearoa Is Not For Sale is delighted that the Waitangi Tribunal has been successful in its recommendation to the Government that the sale of Mighty River power shares be delayed until iwi claims over water rights and guardianship are negotiated.

This delay is a victory for all those who have worked tirelessly in the campaign against the Government’s policies to sell our state-owned assets under the mixed ownership model, and ANFS will continue to support Tangata Whenua in their struggle to have their rights and responsibilities as kaitiaki recognized and upheld. Respect for te Tiriti o Waitangi is a reminder of the need for the government to protect the rights of Maori and all other New Zealanders, who built these assets together, and who together assert that the government cannot sell them.“When Maori and the agreement they entered into with the Crown in 1840 is undermined, all New Zealanders are undermined. The decision today can therefore be celebrated by everyone,” says Miriam Pierard, ANFS spokesperson. “The Government is clearly reluctant to back down completely on its very unpopular policy, so although we can take heart today, we must remember that we still have a battle ahead of us.”Aotearoa Is Not For Sale will continue to build a national, direct action movement against asset sales, while supporting Maori in their principled negotiation for recognition of water rights as an issue in it’s own right. We will also continue to boycott Mercury Energy as a subsidiary of Mighty River Power and promote the Keep Our Assets petition for a public referendum on the issue.

Aotearoa Is Not For Sale stands for the retention of all SOEs by all New Zealanders. No special deals. No special shares. No special payments. No asset sales means no asset sales at all, to anyone.

We will not be divided like our assets. We will be united, we will not be silenced, we will resist this together.

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ANFS Spokesperson
Miriam Pierard
aotearoaisnotforsale@gmail.com
http://aotearoaisnotforsale.com/

Addendum 2

Winston Peters was “on form” today (3 September) on Radio New Zealand’s “Morning Report“, when he make the pertinent observation that,

“...I think this has now beome a bloody minded push for an ideological outcome, that  has got a number of people behind the National Party arguing for it, against the national interest.”

Listen: Radio NZ – Morning Report interview with Winston Peters

Peters is correct. This has indeed become little more than an exercise in bloody-mindedness.  With public opposition; conflict with Maori; questions as to how much a share float will raise; a loss in revenue for the State; and other questionable aspects to National’s agenda, there seems very little benefit to the country for asset sales.

Even the majority of business-people oppose asset sales on the basis that it would have been cheaper to borrow money from offshore, rather than losing revenue  from fully-owned SOEs.

See: Selling state assets: it’s a crappy commercial decision – The Voice of Business

Key’s final argument for asset sales is that his Party won a mandate at last year’s election.

Once the petition is submitted to the Clerk of the House and a Referendum is held, even that proposition will vanish.

What will Key do when a referendum delivers an over-whelming “No” vote?

What can he do?

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Additional

Sale of Mighty River Power delayed

Government delays SOE sale

Mighty River sale on hold

Government delays Mighty River Power share float

Mighty River sale to be delayed

RNZ:  Listen to Donna Hall on Morning Report

Scoop/Q+A: Q+A – Shane Taurima Interviews Tony Ryall

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1 September: Aotearoa Not for Sale takes it to Porirua (part tahi)

1 September 2012 7 comments

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Aotearoa is Not For Sale-Wellington (ANFS) took the fight to save our state assets to Porirua, where a marquee was set up at the Cobham Court market, under The Canopies…

ANFS organisor/activist, Ariana opened the gig and welcomed onlookers to the event. She stated that the fight against asset sales was by no means a “dunne deal” and New Zealanders up and down the country continued to oppose National’s disastrous agenda.

Ariana pointed out ANFS activists, moving through the crowd, armed  with clip-boards and  circulating the “Keep Our Assets” petition calling for a referendum on the issue,

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A “fly-in-the-ointment” – a bar behind our stand began belting out Irish tunes at an atrocious decibel-level. The loud music nearly drowned out speakers and musicians, even with our speakers on full.

The owner was approached and politely asked to turn his volume down. Despite his bar not even open to the public (at 9am?!), he declined our request, citing some disagreement with the local Council,

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MP for Mana, Kris Faafoi (l), sitting with Te Taku Parai and Kuni Shepherd (r), and  discussing various matters with Ariana,

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Porirua mayor, Nick Leggett  (l); Green MP, Jan Logie, and friend with companion-animal,

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Kuni Shepherd, Kaumatua for Te Korowai-Whāriki. and a member of the Mental Health Kaunihera, opened the event with a brief karakia,

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Ariana, thanked the previous speaker and introduced the next speaker, Porirua Mayor, Nick Leggett. Before she handed the microphone to  Mayor Leggett, Ariana remarked that there was no excuse for child poverty in this country, and,

Every chilod in this country should have enough to eat.”

Kia ora to that, Ariana…

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Nick Leggett, stated his personal opposition to state asset sales. He spoke of Council investment  in local facilities which benefitted the community as a whole, not just those who had money to buy services. Mayor Leggett described asset sales as a massive transfer of wealth – the largest in a generation.

He spoke of asset sales as not being a good form of investment for the country, as only a minority benefitted.

Mayor Leggett said that whilst he did not represent the Council, as it had no formal position on this issue, that  as an individual he stood in solidarity with public opposition to asset sales. He added that he welcomed the Aotearoa Not For Sale” movement to the city,

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MP for Mana, Kris Faafoi, then took ‘the stage’ at the microphone.

Mr Faafoi said,

There’s still a whole lot more we can do. We need 60,000 more signatures!”

He said that if asset sales – particularly electricity companies – went  ahead, it would be guaranteed that prices would go up. One power company had already recently raised their retail prices for their customers.

Kris Faafoi  paid tribute to ‘People Power Ohariu’, congratulating their efforts to lobby  MP, Peter Dunne, to review his support for National’s asset sales  agenda. He said,

We can still make Peter Dunne change his mind! Email him at Parliament! peter.dunne@parliament.govt.nz.”

This blogger witnessed several people hurriedly scribbling Dunne’s email address on scraps of paper or notebooks.

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Te Taku Parai, Iwi representative for Ngati Toa, said that he never thought he would grow up to live in a country where homelessness would be so bad. He said that asset sales would not help the poorest people in our society, nor give opportunities for children living in poverty,

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‘John Key’ made an “impromptu visit”.

It must be a tough life, wheeling his  ‘millions’ around, from one shady deal to another,

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Following the speakers, some fantastic entertainment from Joshua Faletutulu, and his sister, Grace (photo to follow). The crowd enjoyed Joshua’s talent with the guitar and singing,

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Green MP, Jan Logie, addressing the crowd.

Ms Logie was emphatic in her denunciation of National’s asset-sale agenda, saying that it would achieve nothing except worsen the already wide income gap.  She was particularly scathing of people who were dismissive of the petition and stating their intention to buy into a share float,

People who ignore the petition and want to buy shares are saying, ‘Nah, screw you, I have money and want to make more money.”

She said that people who can’t afford shares will pay in another way, as their power prices rise,

That is not the New Zealand way.”

Ms Logie said we are here to look after each other, not just ourselves and our own enrichment,

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ANFS activist, Shane, and two Porirua locals eager to sign the petition,

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More speakers and musicians followed, along with a surprising resolution to loud music from the   “The Dog Box” and what the owner did next…

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Find out what the owner of   “The Dog Box” did next and click on:  1 September: Aotearoa Not for Sale takes it to Porirua (part rua)

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