State asset sales 'cultural treason' - Iwi leader

Bill English speaks with the media after consulting with Iwi over the sale of SOE assets. Photo / Andrew Warner.
Bill English speaks with the media after consulting with Iwi over the sale of SOE assets. Photo / Andrew Warner.

A Northland iwi leader has described the Government's plans to partially sell off the four state owned energy companies as "cultural treason".

Deputy Prime Minister Bill English faced a fiery crowd in Whangarei where more than 100 people gathered to hear from the Finance Minister, with the majority loudly opposing any removal of a Treaty clause from the SOE Act.

Ngapuhi runanga chair Sonny Tau, iwi leaders and Mana MP Hone Harawira addressed the Mr English, and are united against asset sales.

Mr English has come under fire over the consultation process and has endured personal insults and heckling from a passionate crowd.

One woman had to be forcibly removed from the meeting by iwi liaison officers.

The Prime Minister says Kiwis need to think logically about where they want to invest and take up those opportunities.

"To make the case that a mixed ownership company is somehow treasonous is ridiculous, that's exactly the proposition we have with Air New Zealand where the Crown owns most of the shares but not all of them."

The meeting now moves to Auckland where police and Maori wardens are on hand as well as a number of protestors

They're outside the hotel near Auckland Airport where the meeting is taking place, with Mana Party flags and signs reading 'New Zealand is not for sale'.

Hone Harawira is also in attendance at the Auckland meeting.

- Newstalk ZB

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