If assets are in private hands, whether foreign or New Zealand owned, they only care about three things – (1) profit, (2) profit and (3) profit.
State-owned enterprises, originally introduced under Rogernomics, are a backdoor to privatisation. Run primarily for profit, they don’t care about:
- Cost of living: cutting your power off if you can’t afford to pay.
- Workers’ rights: contracting out employment to avoid accountability. 1000 mine workers went on strike in 2009 against sub-contractor HWE Mining.
- Ecological destruction: Solid Energy is the largest coal mining company in New Zealand.
- Tino rangatiratanga: they carry all this out on enclosed, confiscated land.
By selling controlling shares in State-Owned Enterprises, National plans to remove further barriers to smooth, unaccountable business operations.
Ombudsman investigation revealed no evidence for National’s claims of a 10% cap on shares held by any one company, or 85-90% control by ’mum and dad’ investors. With greater control by private business, social and ecological impacts will be externalised.
One million non-voters, the lowest turnout since women won the right to vote, is no mandate for this.
Yes to community control
In the short term we must organise to stop asset sales.
In the long term, we need workers’ and consumers’ control of public utilities.
If you agree, get involved.