5 Dec 2011

No assurances given on buy-backs

7:56 am on 5 December 2011

The two contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party are refusing to give an assurance they will try to buy back partly-privatised state assets if elected to Government in 2014.

National won the election on a policy of partial privatisation. Shares in five state-owned companies are to be offered for sale.

One contender, David Cunliffe, told Q+A on TVNZ on Sunday he would look very hard at buying them back if Labour wins the next poll, but he did not say he would definitely go ahead.

David Shearer, the other contender, declined to give any assurance, saying it was wrong to make policy on the hoof.

But he said Labour would do whatever it could to stop the sales happening under National, including organising demonstrations in the street to try to block them.