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Monday, September 02, 2013

Asset sales referendum is go!

327,224 people have a reason to be happy today - John Key isn't one of them.

NZ Herald:
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The petition, organised by the Keep Our Assets coalition and led by Grey Power president Roy Reid, asked: "Do you support the Government selling up to 49 per cent of Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power, Genesis Power, Solid Energy and Air New Zealand?"
Shares in Mighty River Power were first floated on May 10 this year.
The Clerk of the House of Representatives, Mary Harris, today said she was satisfied the petition had more than the 308,753 signatories required on March 12, the day it was delivered.
[...]
The Government will then have a month to set a date for holding the referendum or specify that it is to be a postal referendum.[...]Dr Norman defended the cost of holding the referendum separately from a general election, which was estimated to be around $9 million.
"Let's put it in perspective - the Government has spent over $100 million already on an asset sale programme which is extremely unpopular."
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The opposition parties are calling for the asset sales programme to be halted until the referendum is voted.  No chance, of course.  The Nats are hell-bent on hocking off the maximum 49% of Meridian that they can before any voters get a say. And it should be noted that the proceeds will be going to a slew of farmer/corporate subsidies rather than to pay off debt, so the scheme is doubly dodgy. I signed the petition, but my concern still remains about the wording:
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Do you support the Government selling up to 49% of Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power, Genisis Power, Solid Energy and Air New Zealand?
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Two major issues: Firstly, the question should be posed as a positive, rather than asking your supporters to cast a no vote. Secondly, the question is too complicated with percentages and names of companies. The question is a dog's breakfast, it really is. Whoever designed the question must have been a Tory. Asking people if they want to retain full public ownership of state assets would have been a better way to approach it.

4 Comments:

At 3/9/13 8:40 am, Anonymous Rach said...

"The question is a dog's breakfast, it really is. Whoever designed the question must have been a Tory. Asking people if they want to retain full public ownership of state assets would have been a better way to approach it."

That wouldn't work for Air New Zealand - the NZ Government doesn't hold full ownership. It already operates a "Mixed Ownership Model" (to borrow the Government's phrase).

 
At 10/9/13 7:42 pm, Blogger Phil said...

Prof Geddes was out of order to immediately dis the referendum as a waste of money, or words to that effect. I was disappointed by this comment as I thought democracy has a price tag. Apparently we are wasting money on this opinion poll. It's part of the democratic process Prof.

 
At 21/9/13 11:20 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is really using the taxpayers' money to humiliate them with. The referendum is NON BINDING!!!!!!

That means, as we have found out to our cost previously, that it will be "an indication of public opinion" NOTHING MORE! It is already clear what public opinion is on this matter.

The wording is irrelevant. The entire process is a waste of time and money. John Key doesn't care at all - IT IS NOT HIS MONEY!

 
At 27/9/13 10:05 pm, Blogger charles kinbote said...

Yes thats right Tim, your madman friend Bradbury told us all that an 80% of New Zealanders were idiots at the last referendum.
Govt refused us.
The difference between you and Bradbury, Tim is that you are sane,
you have a brilliant intellect Bradbury is mad as a snake in the grass, and despised.

 

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