7 Feb 2012

Rally at Parliament against partial sale of SOEs

8:21 pm on 7 February 2012

A rally has been held at Parliament to protest against the partial privatisation of state-owned assets.

Speakers included New Zealand First leader, Winston Peters, who told the crowd of about 60 protesters the Government has no mandate to sell state-owned assets.

There was a confrontation between Mr Peters and the protest organiser, Jonathan Elliot, after Mr Peters initially refused to speak despite his party issuing a release saying he would.

The New Zealand First Leader did, however, address the crowd, telling them it was his party's job to ensure those in power respond to the public, the majority of whom are against the sales.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman also addressed the rally and said the Government's plans on asset sales are incredibly shortsighted.

He says, according to the Treasury ,these assets currently get a return on investment to the Government of between 15% and 22%, and that represents a very high return on investment.

"They are flogging off assets that are incredibly valuable to ordinary New Zealanders and handing them over to a small number," he told the crowd.