20 Jun 2011

Labour wants higher bar in place over asset sales

10:19 pm on 20 June 2011

The Labour Party is calling for a higher bar set in place before the partial or full sale of key state assets can go ahead.

The party is drawing up a member's bill as part of its continuing campaign against asset sales.

It would require any future proposal to partly or wholly privatise a state-owned enterprise or Crown entity to gain the support of either 75% of the Parliament or a majority of voters in a referendum.

Enterprises covered by the bill would include state-owned energy companies.

Labour leader Phil Goff says the assets belong to New Zealanders and the National-led Government does not have the right to sell them without widespread support.

However, the bill is unlikely to come before Parliament before the general election on 26 November.

ACT MP Heather Roy says that is because Labour has been filibustering to avoid further debate in Parliament on her member's bill making membership of student associations voluntary.

Mrs Roy says Labour's bill has no chance of reaching the House unless the party stops using those delaying tactics.