24 August 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Government should halt asset sales plan
National’s plan to rush through asset sales is an utter shambles and it should put an immediate stop to the process,
says Labour Leader David Shearer.
“The decision today by the Waitangi Tribunal means that the Government’s asset sales plan has descended into a complete
fiasco. The situation is entirely of National’s making. It has ignored the overwhelming majority of New Zealanders who
are strongly opposed to asset sales and is now facing the consequences.
“The finding that Māori may have certain rights and interests in water needs to be worked through by the Government in a
way that results in a fair outcome. Whatever it does, it is likely to come at a significant cost to taxpayers.
“In similar situations in the past, governments have had to negotiate settlements. That is a complicated process and
takes a long time. But it has led to fair and enduring outcomes.
“That may not be the case in this situation because National’s self-imposed deadline for the asset sales gives it
limited options. The only sensible solution is to stop the asset sales,” said David Shearer.