On Wednesday morning Richard Prosser, NZ First’s state-owned enterprises spokesman, told an audience in Wellington that the party planned to bring all the major electricity generating asset under a single “state-owned, state-controlled” company.
“So if you’ve got shares in Contact, get rid of them now,” Prosser said in prepared comments.
Asked by a staff member of Mercury, one of the partially privatised electricity companies how the party would fund the policy, Prosser announced the holders would not get the market value.
“They will be purchased back at whatever they were sold for, and no more.”
This is known as confiscation, as practised in Venezuela. Where the Government takes your property off you and doesn’t pay you market price for it. Let this be a warning for anyone thinking NZ First is an economically rational party.
Peters initially said the policy was long established, but later stressed that NZ First would only take back ownership by buying shares in the market.
This is obfuscation. If the Government announces it wants to buy back every share in a former SOE, then the price of those shares would skyrocket. The only way you can really do it is as Prosser outlined – confiscation.
He had spoken to Prosser directly about the comments.
“We don’t believe in nationalisation,” Peters said.
“On that aspect he [Prosser] is just not accurate and I made it very clear to him.”
No one would be required to sell their shares at a price they were not happy with. NZ First would wait until the share price fell, Peters said.
Which will mean the share price won’t fall.