Green Party co-leader James Shaw said the move opened the door to partial privatisation.
“This deal makes it harder for the Government to use Kiwibank to drive competition in the banking sector, as the Green Party announced we’d do, because the Government can’t direct the Super and ACC funds in the way it could have directed Kiwibank,” he said.
The Greens announced last week they would inject $100m of capital into the bank, and allow it to keep more of its profits to foster a faster expansion.
“The fact is the Government forced Kiwibank’s hand and today’s announcement will make it easier than it was before to move Kiwibank into private ownership.”
But Cullen said Shaw’s argument, that the Government was able to direct Kiwibank, was “completely incorrect”
“Kiwibank is a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of New Zealand Post but in terms of the Companies Act and Reserve Bank requirements it must act independently in terms of its activities.
“The Government cannot direct New Zealand Post, nor through New Zealand Post can it direct Kiwibank.”
It is a worry that James Shaw doesn’t even know this basic fact of company law.
It is also a worry that Shaw is complaining that politicians like himself won’t be able to make banking decisions.