There some assets that should be sacrosanct---they must never be sold.
In my list I include, power generation, water, national airlines and rail services.
In a country with a small population and typography like New Zealand’s it is always going to be problematic trying to run a rail service at a profit. The only way a privatised railway could make short term profits is to asset-strip the organization, much like has happened in NZ and the UK, then the Government has to pick up the tab when revitalization is needed. If the UK can’t do it, then we have even less chance of running a private rail system for a profit.
Watching the rail service been cut on the Main Trunk fills me with sadness as small (and not so small) communities are cut from the stops. Some of these towns rely on that daily service. What happened to good old fashioned social responsibility?
My argument against private ownership of water and its distribution cuts to the very core of a nation’s psyche. No company should be able to won something that is God-given. The very idea of a foreign power owning even part of NZ’s water makes me cringe. It is for us and us alone to control the water and its distribution. Hell--- will they then make tank water we try to collect free ourselves open to a ‘takeover--- just kidding --- I hope.
Take Air New Zealand--- it is our national flag carrier and a service that must continue to be owned by us--- not some private organization that at a moment’s non- consultative moment can cut some of our regional services. If it doesn’t make money, then goodbye, if we follow the ‘sell it off cult.’ Once again, the same argument--- why would we trust private enterprise to have any sort of social conscience?
At a time when energy is going to be the new gold in the coming years, isn’t it economically stupid apart from the other argument to let the control power generation slip through our finger? The dividends are going to increase and it is us the tax payer who should receive the benefits of the profits and the knowledge that we have a guaranteed supply.
These are just some of the reasons we need to get behind the day of action this Saturday--- Britomart--- 2.30, 30th July.