The Press reports:
They’re saying they want hard working taxpayers in Oamaru and Hamilton to hand over money to the Christchurch Council. Taxpayers have been very generous with Christchurch, and have poured billions in. But an agreement is an agreement. The Christchurch Council has to live within its means.
The Rail and Maritime Transport Union told the council it was vehemently opposed to the proposed asset sales and viewed it as matter of life and death.
“In our experience the privatisation of publicly owned assets that are operated as businesses leads to a deterioration of health and safety standards and increased risk of serious harm and death. This was our experience during the privatisation of the rail industry in New Zealand,” spokesman John Kerr said.
Lyttelton Port had an unhappy recent history of deaths and serious harm injuries on the waterfront and its inland port. The union did not wish the situation to be made worse by a sell-off of the port and would fight to stop any sale.
Their ideology blinds them. Council owned ports such as Lyttelton have far far worse safety records than privately owned ports such as Tauranga.
This graph is from the Bay of Plenty Times. The most unsafe ports are Timaru, Wellington, Dunedin and Lyttelton. Wellington’s port is 100% Council owned. Port Otago is 100% Council owned.
The Port with the largest private shareholding (45%) is Tauranga. Bluff has 34% private. Timaru has 28% private.
There is no evidence at all that having some private share-holding makes you unsafe.