The Labour Party Leader David Shearer, who has agreed to write a regular column for the Kāpiti Independent, says he’s helping to get signatures on a petition against asset sales.
He says the ‘race is on’ to collect signatures for a referendum.
Important step taken in battle against salesBy David Shearer
A very important step in the battle against asset sales was taken this week.
A petition for a citizens initiated referendum was formally launched and the race is now on to collect hundreds of thousands of signatures from Kiwis opposed to National’s asset sales agenda.
I’ve been out on the streets getting people to sign up in the hope that we can force this Government to accept that the overwhelming majority of New Zealanders are against the sale of our power companies and Air New Zealand.
National isn’t listening. Labour is. We want your voice on this very important issue to be heard. These strategic assets are vital to our future. They return hundreds of millions of dollars in dividends to our communities. They belong to us and we must retain them for the benefit of future generations.
I’m often asked what Labour would do to unwind the asset sales plan.The answer is pretty simple. Once they’re gone, they’re gone for good. It simply won’t be feasible to buy them back.
That’s why we’re working with the community-led campaign, Keep Our Assets, along with Grey Power and political parties to try and stop National. We hope New Zealanders will get behind the campaign.
It’s just one front in the battle to stop this Government selling off our country.
We’re also seeing more of our farmland disappear into the hands of foreign buyers, including the recent sale of the 16 Crafar farms to Shanghai Pengxin.
Labour is strongly opposed to the sale because there’s no evidence that it will benefit New Zealand. We can’t understand why the Government has worked so hard behind the scenes to make sure that the deal went through, despite the High Court ruling against it.
Our bottom line is that foreign investment in New Zealand is welcome but it must always be in our best interests. Our profits shouldn’t be drifting offshore to benefit someone else.
That’s why I’ve drafted a member’s bill to tighten the rules around the purchase of rural land by foreign buyers. It means that any foreign investor applying to buy more than 5 hectares of rural land will have to prove they’ll bring substantial and significant benefits to New Zealand in terms of jobs, new products or innovation that would otherwise not occur.
We are standing up for New Zealanders and making sure that we keep our land and our future in Kiwi hands.