Against the wishes of a majority of New Zealanders, the Government has already got its asset sales programme underway. Yet, we believe that we still deserve to have our voices heard. They are assets that we, as taxpayers, have built over the years and should be allowed to have our say if state owned power companies like Meridian Energy should be sold. After all, we do own them.
Clean energy companies like Meridian are a financial lifeline for our country and should be the bedrock of a cleaner, smarter economy for New Zealand. They are the incubators of Kiwi renewable energy expertise and are developing the cutting edge technologies the world needs. Yet selling them will short circuit our ability to decide the type of energy future that we need.
There is a global clean energy race underway. And we have spent a generation perfecting a racing car. Why would we then go and sell the engine? Let's keep our assets.
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Send completed petitions to: Roy Reid, PO Box 27110, Wellington, 6141.
Is this a Greenpeace campaign?
No this is not a Greenpeace campaign, but Greenpeace is part of a broad group of community organisations including the Green Party, Grey Power, Council of Trade Unions (CTU), Labour Party, New Zealand Union of Students Associations (NZUSA), the Nurses Union and many more.
What is Greenpeace calling for?
We have joined the 290,000 Kiwis who have already signed up calling for a referendum on assets sales. It's the best chance we've got to stop the government selling our clean power companies for a quick buck.
Greenpeace is an environmental organisation, so why are we getting involved in a political campaign?
Greenpeace is non-party political and campaign to protect the environment and the people who depend upon it both at home and abroad. To this end we are advocating that economic growth is delivered alongside environmental protection.
There are a number of reasons that Greenpeace supports the campaign to Keep Our Assets which include:
- The Government is selling our best opportunity to become large-scale exporters of renewable energy technology. There is a global clean energy race underway. And we have spent a generation perfecting a racing car. Why would we then go and sell the engine?
- This sell-off could damage New Zealand's ability to build a more sustainable, prosperous future. At this crucial time in New Zealand's energy history, we need a road map towards a cleaner, smarter way of doing business that uses our world class renewable energy expertise. To achieve this New Zealand needs to keep control over the way we power our country and the decisions made regarding the technology pathways we choose.
- The economic case made by the Government for partially privatisation is wrong. The Government claimed that we needed to sell off 49% of our assets to help return the Treasury's books to surplus by 2014. This case has now been shown to be flawed and the partial privatisation of our assets will leave the economy worse off, not better. These are the well considered views of the country's leading economists, including Treasury.
- Selling off our publicly owned companies would mean more foreign ownership and less accountability to what's best for New Zealanders. When an asset is even partially privatized, then the rights of the private investors to make profit become paramount - the need to be a good corporate citizen casually dropped as these profits flow out of our economy.
- If they are privatised the power companies' individual assets - such as prized energy assets Manapouri power station - can be sold into private ownership. Our own national, renewable resources - the bedrock of our energy network - would no longer be in Kiwi hands.
What does Greenpeace want to happen instead?
With the right vision and political will, we can keep our renewable energy know-how and innovation in New Zealand, realising the potential to create thousands of green, highly paid jobs; insulate our economy from the volatile fossil fuel markets; and build a more sustainable future for our country.
But to do this we need to have control over our energy companies.
It is for these reasons Greenpeace New Zealand is asking our supporters to sign the petition.