26 Nov 2013

Labour won't fall into asset sales trap

8:59 am on 26 November 2013

Labour leader David Cunliffe says he is not going to fall into the trap of making cast iron commitments about buying back shares in state-owned assets, despite goading from the prime minister.

John Key says despite the opposition forcing a referendum on asset sales, it won't put its money where its mouth is and promise to renationalise those companies.

Mr Cunliffe says if he did that, he would automatically be labelled a profligate communist.

Both Labour and the Greens say they will make a decision about a buy-back once they have seen the state of the Government's books, if elected to power.

So far, shares in Mighty River Power and Meridian have been sold, and the sale of shares in Genesis is scheduled for next year. The Government has also sold some of its holdings in Air New Zealand.