GUEST BLOG: Chris Leitch – Govt should buy Westpac


The potential sale of Westpac’s New Zealand banking operations provides a unique opportunity to return a significant slice of the country’s banking business to Kiwi ownership.

The government should commence negotiations with Westpac’s Australian owners to purchase the Bank’s New Zealand arm with a view to integrating it into Kiwibank.

That would make the merged entity a major player in the banking sector, second only to ANZ.

Westpac should not be sold to another overseas owner, nor be floated on the share market.
Further speculative activity, whether from local or foreign based sources, rather than investment in productive enterprise, should be discouraged.

The Government’s transactional banking services, credit and debit card services, and payment services are already done through Westpac, so a purchase by the Government would relieve taxpayers of the millions in taxpayer funded fees currently going into the pockets of Westpac’s overseas owners.

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The Government could easily fund the purchase by directing the Reserve Bank to cancel its $28 billion Funding for Lending programme, which has hardly been touched by the commercial banks, and advance it the necessary funds to complete the purchase.

The country could then own Westpac at no cost to taxpayers, interest free and debt free, and the $1 billion annual profit could be spent by the government on things like providing more staffing and other resources for our overstretched hospital emergency departments.

It would also mean that the annual outflow of profits would no longer be a burden on overseas funds earned by our productive export sector.

That profit would stay in New Zealand, providing ongoing benefit to our economy instead of somebody else’s.

Chris Leitch is the Leader of Social Credit


  1. So – we can’t afford to build new infrastructure such as schools and hospitals yet we have enough cash in the kitty to buy a retail bank. Righto. The real shock of course will be when you realise that without the Australian parent’s capital all our banks are junk rated. Which kind of limits any floating on the stock exchange. We’ve tried government ownership as well before with Kiwibank, the performance of has been underwhelming to be kind.

    Everyone here is going to get kittens when one of the big Chinese banks purchases Westpac NZ. And the Blairite and Grunter will likely to be too chickenshit to oppose the geopolitical pressure that will start in earnest soon. My initial thoughts are this will start a domino effect as well with probably NAB and ANZ selling their interests as well. Hate Australian owned banks – how do Chinese and Indian owned banks sit with you all.

    Oh and if Westpac is Chinese owned how much Chinese money do you think will flow into the NZ property market unchecked. You ain’t seen anything yet.

    • They should buy Westpac, but in addition introduce legislation to the effect that only government owned banks can create money. This would deter foreign money, including renminbi, from coming into the country.

      • Everyone talks as if most people are good at investing. Most people are shit at investing. That’s part of the point. Thats why they end up chasing their tails in property. Because they have failed to grow wealth elsewhere and are desperate. Then they lose.

        The biggest problems commercial banks face (and there are many more) is that they don’t know the difference between Trading & Investing. They either mix the extremes together or do one or the other. They have no idea what’s in between.

  2. There’s a reason it’s being sold. Can you guess?

    If you guess correctly, that’s your answer as to why the government should buy it

  3. Hmmm…. the right wing TDBers seem to hate the concept Chris. You must be on to something!

    Hard to see the Neolabour govt doing this. The great opportunity of turning a profit gouging monster into an instrument for the people is not in their traitorous DNA — more sure than Neve needs a nappy change.

    • We could easily do that. The government should have access to some of the $100 billion its bank (the Reserve Bank) is already creating, instead of borrowing from the private sector and building a mountain of debt that taxpayers need to pay off.

  4. Absolutely agree with Chris Leitch, and go further – The wider population of AO/ NZ will never forgive them if they are so slow as to miss this opportunity.

  5. Westpac handles the government accounts.
    God help us if a Chinese bank buys Westpac – and retains the government accounts!
    Owned, lock, stock and barrel by the CCP.

    • Nothing should be owned by China in NZ anymore. They have forfeited the right for obvious reasons. That is how Australia is going now. The National Scurity threats are becoming increasingly bleak.

    • The fact that it is even on the table as an option, says that something is seriously, very very wrong with our psyche as a nation. Who are we? Who have we become? Does anyone even want autonomy for AO/NZ? (The public silence on this matter is deeply disturbing.)

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