Central Leader 15 February 2012
Those keen to halt asset sales will be given a voice if Mt Roskill MP Phil Goff succeeds in petitioning for a citizens-initiated referendum on the issue. Mr Goff believes more than three-quarters of the people who live in his electorate are opposed to the government’s plans to partially sell off three big power generators, coal company Solid Energy and some shares in Air New Zealand. A pre-election survey by Massey University found that more than 75 percent of New Zealanders are against selling major assets and the former Labour leader says his constituents are constantly raising the topic with him. He says one of the negative results of selling power companies would be price rises. “One thing that is really worrying people is the cost of food and power. Power prices have already gone up and will go up even faster as the new foreign shareholders demand a better return on their investment.”
… The petition is almost ready to be released and Mr Goff will be getting out in his campaign van and hitting street corners to collect signatures. “Having a referendum is one way we can show Mr Key he doesn’t have a mandate to sell assets. “It’s the last chance for those who want to to do something about it,” he says. At least 10 percent of all enrolled voters will need to sign the petition for the referendum to go ahead. “I would like to see this happen across the country, I believe we can get these signatures,” he says.