Lefties and greenies should look beyond asset sales to find the defining election issue

November 25, 2011

What happened to these privatised state assets? Oh, yes, they finished up in public ownership again.

Buckets of bollocks have been uttered about sales of state assets during the election campaign.

Labour’s Phil Goff – for example – has been banging on about them being gone for ever, once they have been sold.

So how come taxpayers are still pouring money into our state-owned rail company?

Alf was among the enthusiastic supporters of the Bolger government’s privatising New Zealand Rail Ltd back in 1993.

The bloody outfit went through a few name and ownership changes – Tranz Rail, Toll NZ – and continued to bleed money.

In May 2008 the Clark Government agreed to buy Toll NZ Ltd (less its trucking and distribution operations) for $665 million.

It has not been a nice little earner for taxpayers since then.

But it has shown that once an asset has been sold, it it is not necessarily gone for ever.

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