22 Nov 2011

National has no mandate for asset sales - Goff

9:10 pm on 22 November 2011

Labour Party leader Phil Goff says the National Party has tried to sugar-coat its asset sales plan, but New Zealanders don't want a bar of it.


Mr Goff has made opposing National's plan for partial asset sales the main focus of the last week of the election campaign and on Tuesday was at the Brooklyn wind turbine owned by Meridian Energy in Wellington to make his point.

If re-elected, National says it will proceed with the partial privatisation of up to 49% of state-owned energy companies Genesis Energy, Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power and Solid Energy and reduce the Crown's shareholding in Air New Zealand.

Mr Goff says voters will not give National a mandate to sell the country's assets - but that won't stop the party from doing it.

"They ideologically are against New Zealand and community ownership of those assets. This 49 percent idea is simply the sugar-coating on the bitter pill that they know New Zealanders don't want to swallow."

Mr Goff says if the energy companies are sold, the corporate and foreign investors who buy them will demand a bigger return, and power prices will rise.

Leader rejects claim debate panel stacked

Phil Goff says claims that a panel of undecided voters used in TV 3's Leaders Debate on Monday night was stacked against National are "sour grapes".

National Party-aligned blogger David Farrar has claimed that several committed Labour supporters made it onto the panel on Monday night that controlled 'the worm'.

'The worm' is an unscientific measure of viewer response to a debate, which is displayed on screen as a form of instant feedback.

Phil Goff says he doesn't have a clue who was on the panel, which was selected by polling company Roy Morgan.