New Zealand PM defends state asset sales amid public disapproval (2)

12:52, May 30, 2011      

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A nationwide survey of 1,154 people by polling firm HorizonPoll the day after the Budget was delivered found 51.9 percent of respondents would not give a mandate to go ahead with the energy company sales and 18.2 percent were still undecided, while 46.8 percent would not give a mandate to plans to reduce the government 's majority stake in Air New Zealand, and 23.1 percent were still undecided.

Key said Monday that surveys that showed people were opposed to asset sales depended on people's understanding of what the government was trying to do.

"If you go back to the 1980s where Labour sold off a lot of assets, and then we did in the early '90s, it was a very different deal. They were trade sales, so we picked up that asset, we sold it as a chunk often to a foreigner overseas," he told the Breakfast program.

"That's not what we're proposing ... We're saying that the shares would be offered to Kiwi mums and dads first, we're saying that that money will be used to buy other assets to build up the assets that New Zealand needs, and we say we think that's a better investment alternative than a failed finance company. So it's a different proposition."

The asset sales look set to go ahead if the polling figures for party support hold till election day on Nov. 26.
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Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
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