Hey Minister Leave our assets alone

Letter Writing Campaign Kicks-Off

Keep Our Assets - Christchurch says that the arguments about the bargain bin level price of Meridian’s share, and about how much or how little the sale will raise, miss the point: that Meridian should not be sold at all. 

The dismal response to the share float, even at giveaway prices on a buy now, pay later basis, proves that “mum and dad” New Zealanders are not stupid. They know that they already own Meridian – that’s what public ownership is, after all - , so why should they pay to buy a tiny piece of what they already own in full. They recognise that the Government is trying to bribe them with their own money, and is trying to sell them back stolen property that already belongs to them.

The Meridian share float (and those of Mighty River Power and the other SOES on the block) is nothing to do with “paying off debt” and everything to do with pressing on blindly with the failed 1980s’ ideology of “public bad, private good”, and handing over more of the New Zealand people’s publicly-owned assets to transnational Big Business. How long before the long suffering taxpayer has to rescue one or more of these and buy them back, as happened with the railways and Air New Zealand?

And the argument over the size of the dividend that Meridian and the other electricity SOEs pays to the Government also misses the point – that What is needed instead is a political commitment that State-owned companies supplying an essential service actually be a public service rather than profit-obsessed corporations, ones which are publicly owned whilst exhibiting all the worst characteristics of privately owned Big Business corporations. That requires a political decision to change the business model of those State-Owned Enterprises from profit to service. That was the status quo in NZ until the 1980s. The country’s electricity system existed to ensure nationwide, coordinated, uninterrupted supply of an essential service, at cost. We did it before: let's do it again.

KOA is calling on all Meridian customers to write to SOEs Minister Tony Ryall to tell him: “Don’t sell our power company”. 

Get the template 

The Pledge Signing

Candidates for the Christchurch City Mayoralty, Council and Community Boards sign the  Public Ownership Pledge. September 16th 2013


A Ward-by-Ward, Community Board-by-Community Board list of candidates committed to Defending Our Assets can be found here 

Click to checkout your candidates 

Signing-on: the Public Asset Pledge

Local Body Candidates Invited To Publicly Sign Pledge To Keep Christchurch City Council Assets In Public Ownership

Monday September 16th
12.30 p.m.
Outside City Council Building
 (Worcester Boulevard entrance - if weather bad, inside foyer)

Keep Our Assets Christchurch (KOA) is a coalition of various organisations and political parties (see our Website, address below, for details) united by the common belief that the people of Christchurch should continue to own and control the extensive portfolio of publicly-owned assets held by the City Council and Christchurch City Holdings Ltd.
For a detailed definition of significant assets,
click here 

The cost of the quake rebuild is being used by both central Government and business as an excuse to try to pressure the Council into wholly or partly selling all or some of those assets. KOA believes that the need has never been greater than now for the people of Christchurch and our elected representatives to resist this pressure and continue to commit to public ownership of our assets.

We are asking as many candidates for the Mayoralty, City Council and community boards to publicly sign our Public Ownership Pledge. The wording is:
“I hereby pledge my support for keeping all significant public assets and services of the citizens of Christchurch in public ownership and control, accessible to public scrutiny, and having a primary purpose of serving the needs of our community and our economic, social and natural environment”.

We have already e-mailed all candidates inviting them to sign and have received a number of responses (yes, no, and non-committal). Of the two major Mayoral candidates, Paul Lonsdale has said “no” and we haven’t heard back from Lianne Dalziel (at the time of writing). 

The People’s Choice team has committed all its candidates to the Pledge and hopes to get as many as possible to the public signing.

Prior to voting papers being mailed out, we intend to make public a list of those who have said “yes” to signing the Public Ownership Pledge.

Defending Public Assets: the Public Ownership Pledge

Local Body Election Candidates Called Upon To Sign Pledge To Keep Christchurch’s Council Assets In Public Ownership

Keep Our Assets-Christchurch, a coalition of groups campaigning to retain public ownership of State-owned and Council-owned assets (both nationally and in Christchurch), is calling upon candidates for the Christchurch Mayoralty, City Council and community boards to sign a simple, unambiguous Public Ownership Pledge.

This will enable voters to make an informed choice based on which candidates do, and do not, support Christchurch retaining its Council-owned assets.

In light of the huge pressure being exerted by Government and its allies in Big Business, for some or all of our assets to be fully or partly privatised in the name of “paying for the rebuild”, this issue has never been more pressing or important. We congratulate the City Council for having steadfastly withstood this pressure thus far.

Keep Our Assets-Christchurch will be actively contacting as many candidates as possible, urging them to sign the pledge.

Join the Public Ownership Pledge on Facebook

Congratulations To City Council

For Promising Not To Sell Christchurch's Public Assets

Keep Our Assets Christchurch congratulates the City Council for promising not to sell Christchurch's public assets. This announcement shows that the Council is well in tune with Christchurch public opinion on the subject.

There are compelling economic reasons to keep those assets in public ownership. But KOA calls for the Council to go further and pledge that it will not sell, fully or partly, any of the council's equally vital portfolio of social assets, such as housing, parks and libraries, etc, etc.

These Councillors are only in office until the local body election in October. KOA calls on all candidates to pledge that, if elected to the City Council or Community Boards, they will not support selling publicly-owned Council assets.

And KOA tells the Government to respect this City Council decision and not to use it as an excuse to mount an undemocratic coup, as it did with ECan, and then install puppet commissioners to run the city and sell our assets in the process.
The people Christchurch have already seen plenty of evidence of the Government using the quakes' emergency as an excuse to impose "shock doctrine", whether in imposing decisions about the central city rebuild or "restructuring" the public school system. Don't try to get away with stealing the assets which belong to the people of Christchurch.

Speaking Truth to Power

Christchurch marches in support of its schools – 
February 19 

Find out more 

Rally against asset sales

Rally against asset sales held in Frank Kitts (Wellington) Park last Wednesday

Speakers included Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, Maanu Paul from the Maori Council, Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland, Dr Geoff Bertram from Victoria University of Wellington, BERL Chief Economist Ganesh Nana, Justin Duckworth the Bishop of Wellington, Peter Love from Te Atiawa, and his granddaughter Kaia Love, and representatives from Greenpeace and Grey Power NZ. Musical interludes were provided by Tribal Rizing, Lucky Ngauere and guests.

A wide variety of arguments against the government’s proposed assets sales were put forward by the speakers, addressing the issue in ethical, political, economic, ecological and social terms. Across the range of speeches, clear lines were drawn between partial privatisation and the economic problems facing ordinary New Zealanders; the range of knowledge and variety of approaches was a powerful counter to the government position.

Full Coverage (with audio) from Scoop click here

Rally to Support Our Targeted Schools

show solidarity with the Christchurch schools affected  by Governments Plans 



(19 February)

CBS arena

KOA Activists at the Back to Work Picnic

Activists from Keep Our Assets - Christchurch  were at the Back to Work Picnic held in Heathcote Domain today collecting signatures for the Keep Our Assets petition and distributing a flyer that addresses the possible sale of  Christchurch City assets – below some pictures from the event and links to both the flyer distributed at the event and to the latest newsletter.

One hundred and five years ago,  January the 27th 1908,  the Blackball mine manager stood over Pat Hickey with a stopwatch mine timing his lunch break - thus started the struggle to improve working conditions in the New Zealand mining industry - an event well worth marking.

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