Vector not strategic?

The Dom Post reports that the Government is not likely to block the sale of Wellington’s electricity network to a foreign party.

So the Government hysterically whips up opposition to a Canadian pension fund having a 25% voting stake in Auckland Airport, but has no problems with a Chinese, Hong Kong or Australian company buying 100% of Wellington’s power network.

Confused? Surely this is a Government of principle, and having proclaimed strategic asset sales to foreigners is bad, will not allow an asset as strategic as a power network to be sold?

I mean an airport is surely less strategic. Not all Aucklanders use Auckland Airport, there are substitutes to air travel, and competing airports can be built – as Waitakere Council wish to do.

But the power network in Wellington is used by 100% of Wellingtonians. No one goes without electricity. There is no way that someone could come along and put in a whole new set of power lines to every home. And there is no real alternative to electricity, as there is to air travel.

So why is the Government so inconsistent? I thought asset sales were the defining issue for this year? Why is the Government allowing this strategic asset to be flogged off?

Personally I would not be stopping private owners of either asset from selling them to other private owners. But as the Government has made asset sales a defining issue, their response is awaited.

Comments (34)

Login to comment or vote

Add a Comment