Tena koutou katoa.
Greetings to you all.
The New Zealand government is proposing to sell shares in five State Owned Enterprises (Air New Zealand and four energy companies, Mighty River Power, Meridian Energy, Genesis and Solid Energy) to repay overseas debt.
That proposal is opposed by an overwhelming majority of New Zealanders who believe that:
* Assets built up through the hard work of generations of New Zealanders should not be sold to investors whose primary objective is not the public good, but private profit;
* Privatisation will remove any 'social responsibility' from companies who until now have been responsible to government ministers;
* Electricity assets in particular, should be held by the government on behalf of all New Zealanders, for the benefit of all New Zealanders, at a price we can afford;
* The government should hold and manage those assets for the benefit of all citizens of this country.
As the indigenous people of Aotearoa, Maori have been even stronger in their opposition. The Maori view is that no asset sales should proceed until Maori interests in those assets have been properly addressed.
Maori have already made application to the Waitangi Tribunal to block the legislation. A separate case is before the High Court. Steps are being taken to take the case to the United Nations (under the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) and Maori groups have pledged to take action against sales to overseas interests which impact on our sovereignty.
In a related case, following months of public protest, the High Court has called on the NZ government to reconsider a decision to approve the sale of farm land to overseas interests.
So today I think it only proper to send a warning to overseas investors - steer clear of any share offer in the above SOE's. The purchase of these shares is likely to see you caught up in legal battles and direct action from citizens determined to protect their own interests, both of which will be lengthy and costly and have an adverse impact on the value of your investment.
As the leader of the MANA Movement and Member of the New Zealand House of Representatives, I wish to advise that MANA is opposed to the privatisation of state assets and will strongly argue for any shares sold to overseas investors to be returned to New Zealand hands.
You have been warned...
Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and New Zealand Member of Parliament for Te Tai Tokerau