Responding to today’s Budget, which includes plans to sell off New Zealand-owned Meridian Energy, Nathan Argent, Greenpeace’s chief policy advisor, said: “The half-baked decision to sell clean energy gem Meridian could lose the economy billions of dollars."

“The cash generated by selling this company will look like peanuts compared to the huge rewards on offer if the Government actually backed our clean energy expertise, rather than flogging it.

“The global clean energy market is booming. But New Zealand’s chance to use the innovation and expertise that is fostered in Meridian, and pocket the billions of dollars on offer in this worldwide industry, has just been kicked into touch.

“This is not a budget for New Zealanders. This is not a Budget backing our Kiwi innovation and expertise. And it’s not a Budget for our long-term prosperity.”

To read the Greenpeace-published report, The Future is Here: New Jobs, New Prosperity and a New Clean Economy, go here: http://www.greenpeace.org/new-zealand/en/reports/The-Future-is-Here-report/