State Assets

Just to prove I have not yet succumbed to the borg and become a mindless clone (N a t i o n a l i s a l l k n o w i n g – r e s i s t a n c e i s f u t i l e) I thought I would take a mild whack at one of ’s policies – their SOEs one.

The policy pledges to:

* Retain Kiwibank for at least the first term in government
* Retain the rail track network
* Retain TVNZ
* Retain the state-owned electricity companies
* Retain national grid company Transpower

Now let’s just go check that again, It does say retain, not sell – damn it.

Now I understand entirely the political necessity for the policy. Most of the public react to the word privatisation with the same enthusiasm Grey Power show for visits by Jack Kevorkian. The number who fall into the “If it moves sell it” camp like me are very very small. And there is no point spending 21 years in opposition just so one can sell TVNZ one day. For the same reason there is a zero percent chance of National breaking its word not retaining any of these assets during its first term.

But here’s what my SOE policy would be:

Agriquality New Zealand Limited – sell
Airways Corporation of New Zealand Limited – hold
Asure New Zealand Limited – not even sure what this one does, so sell and see if anyone misses it
Genesis Power Limited – sell – it is silly owning private commercial companies competing with the private sector
Landcorp Farming Limited – sell most farms
Meridian Energy Limited – sell sell sell
Meteorological Service of New Zealand Limited – sell
Mighty River Power Limited – sell
New Zealand Post Limited – fully deregulate and sell
Solid Energy New Zealand Limited – sell
Television New Zealand Limited – either sell TV2 only or sell whiole company
Timberlands West Coast Limited – sell
Transmission Holdings Ltd – possibly keep
Transpower New Zealand Limited – keep
Air New Zealand Limited – sell before we lose money on it
Accident Compensation Corporation – reintroduce competition then sell
Crown research institutes – keep
District health boards – keep assets
Earthquake Commission – keep
Housing New Zealand Corporation – sell houses to long term tenants
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa – better not privatise I suppose 🙂
New Zealand Fire Service Commission – keep as long as the union stops demonising volunteer firefighters
Public Trust – probably sell – is mainly just another financial services company
School boards of trustees – keep but maybe allow to devolve to community trust ownership
Tertiary education commission – no-one would buy it!
Tertiary education institutions – keep all but Waikato which gets sent to Tasmania
Transit New Zealand – keep

That should fetch a good $20 billion or so which equates to $10,000 per household. The trick is not to sell them to one large owner, but to allow mom and pop shareholders to invest in them. The Contact Energy float was hugely popular when done that way.

Oh well I can keep hoping.

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