Labour is committed to stopping National’s asset sales programme and reserves the right to buy back assets where that makes sense, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.
“An overwhelming 67 per cent of New Zealanders voted against the Government’s fire sale in the citizens’ initiated referendum, a margin of two to one.
“That is a resounding thumbs down.
“Labour commits to stopping this crazy programme in its tracks. There will ne no privatisation under a Labour-led Government.
“We reserve the right to buy back our hard-earned assets just as the last Labour Government bought back KiwiRail and most of Air New Zealand after privatisation had all but ruined both companies.
“The next Labour Government will govern in New Zealanders interests, not the interests of merchant bankers who have pocketed a cool $150 million in sale fees so far.
“Coming on the heels of the decisive win in the Christchurch East by-election it is more evidence Kiwis are sick of a government that has stopped listening.
“The total tum out of 1.33 million is almost double that of 1995’s firefighter referendum and at 44 per cent of eligible voters casting a vote similar in turn out to last month’s hotly contested by-election and higher than the number who voted in the local body elections.
“It is a decisive mandate against National’s asset sales programme. There is no way the Government can hide from that fact.
“In Maori electorates over 90 per cent voted against the sell off. That bodes badly for National’s sway over Maori seats in next year’s general election.
”National tried every trick in the book to suppress and marginalise the vote with its timing on the eve of Christmas holidays and telling New Zealanders in advance they would ignore the result.
“None the less National has been warned that if they ignore this they won’t be able to ignore defeat in 2014,” David Cunliffe said.