June 12, 2023
Airport share sale putting NZ last
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says any sale of Auckland Airport shares by Auckland Council will lead to a weaker, poorter city and country.
Auckland councillors are considering a compromise proposal from Mayor Wayne Brown to sell just under half the council’s 19 percent stake as a way to keep the rate rise below the rate of inflation.
Mr Peters, who was sacked as Treasurer by then-prime minister Jenny Shipley for his opposition to the sale of the crown shares in Wellington Airport, says the super city inherited the shares, so there is no interest cost on any borrowings.
He says politicians should have learned by now about the negative effect of selling strategic assets.
“If we sell this airport, it’s already substantially going to some other economy. The reason New Zealand is going nowhere fast is that so much so much of what we used to own is now in the hands of an international economy that gets most of the added value before we get our share,” Mr Peters says,
He sympathises with mayor Wayne Brown for the financial mess he inherited, but selling assets in not the answer.