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Greens Launch Keep It Kiwi Campaign With Lamingtons

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman today launched the Keep it Kiwi campaign, handing out lamingtons in front of a Kiwibank branch in Wellington to celebrate New Zealand ownership at a time when John Key's Government plans to make asset sales an election issue in 2011.

"State owned assets such as Kiwibank are our success stories and they are strategic parts of our economy," said Dr Norman.

"The Green Party opposes any form of privatisation.

"We're starting a petition to send John Key's Government a clear message to keep it Kiwi, and not consider starting a fire sale of our state assets after the next election.

"Privatisation of state assets inevitably leads to foreign ownership. This means less accountability and more profits going offshore. And, once they are sold, they are damn hard to get back."

Last year, Crown Entities and SOEs were valued at $132 billion and employed 257,000 people. They paid dividends to the Government of $382 million in 2009, down from a pre-recession high in 2006 of $1.2 billion.

"Figures out today show that New Zealand still has a chronic current account deficit. It has improved in the short term because the flow of profits from foreign-owned companies to their offshore owners has dropped off as their profits have reduced. As soon as growth picks up again, the Reserve Bank is forecasting the current account deficit to quickly widen to unsustainable levels as the profit flow overseas resumes," said Dr Norman.

"We can not let foreign companies take increasing ownership of our productive assets and control the dividend streams that result from them. Further privatisation of our state assets, many of them natural monopolies, will simply exacerbate this trend.

"We are losing our economic sovereignty one asset sale at a time. We can turn this trend around, however, by retaining ownership of our most strategic assets.

"We have to keep it Kiwi," Dr Norman said. Link to the Keep it Kiwi website:

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