Some on the left have been pushing a message that United Future did not say they will back asset sales before the election, so hence there is no electoral mandate for them. This is, to be frank, absolute crap. I doubt a single voter in Ohariu voted for Peter Dunne thinking he might stop National’s asset sales. If Ohariu voters wanted to stop asset sales, they could have voted for Charles Chauvel. Instead Chauvel lost for the third election in a row.
In this video, Peter Dunne explicitly refers to asset sales and say they are on National’s path but UF will make sure three key assets are never sold – Kiwibank, Radio NZ and “our water”. The reference to our water is to water supply, as made clear on their website here.
UnitedFuture does not intend to wait until it is on the asset sales agenda. New Zealanders would never – or should never – accept a sell-off of the supply of the water, or any of the aspects around it.
A few people have tried to say that as power companies own dams, and dams use water, then somehow the reference to water is actually saying they are against the power companies being sold. Well that is like saying you’re against Coke being sold, as that also uses water.
Further their website stated:
with regard to Asset Sales, UnitedFuture will insist that:
– The New Zealand Government retains majority control (51%)
– Shareholding by private investors be capped at 15%
– New Zealand household investors are given preferential purchase right at time of issue.
This is clear that they will support National’s proposed (part) sales so long as they remain majority owned, a 15% cap and preferential treatment for NZ investors.
Further Peter Dunne attended a dozen or more public meetings in Ohariu, and he was asked about asset sales at basically every meeting. His response was the same at each meeting – they will support the five partial sales proposed so long as 51% Govt owned, 15% cap and preference for NZ investors, and they will not support RNZ, Kiwibank or water supply companies being sold.
No one thought a vote for Peter Dunne was a vote to stop National’s asset sales. I doubt 57% of National party voters would have voted for Peter if they thought that voting for him would be voting against a core National party promise.
It is a lie invented by the left to try and get around the inconvenient fact they actually lost the election. Peter Dunne’s position before the election on asset sales is exactly the same as it is now.