100,000 Shareholders In People's Capitalism

  • Tony Ryall
State Owned Enterprises

Whereas Labour sold $10 billion worth of state assets to around 40 large companies, the first two sharefloats carried out by National have attracted 100,000 kiwi shareholders - 60,000 of them first-time investors in the sharemarket, State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall said today in Gore.

"National has found a third way to sell government businesses, it's called people's capitalism. And the public likes it," Mr Ryall said.

"Sharebrokers reported strong interest in the floats of Auckland International Airport and Capital Property's from investors in Southland. In fact, more shares in the airport were sold in Southland than any other region outside Auckland. I dear say there is a sense of satisfaction when you think about people in Invercargill owning a part of those Aucklanders' airport.

"Over 700 people showed up recently for the inaugural annual meeting of shareholders in Auckland International Airport. One shareholder, I am told, left Kaitaia at 4.30am to make the meeting. The same shareholder checks the paper every morning for news of the latest share price.

"New Zealand investors are sticking with their shares. When Auckland International Airport was floated, there were 68,000 kiwi investors, today there are still over 65,000. They are locking there scrip away for the long-term. "This Government has demonstrated that we want to include the public in a shareholder democracy.

"Helen Clark and Michael Cullen, on the other hand, want to cut ordinary New Zealanders out of the picture all together. Mr Cullen said last week that he would bring people's capitalism to an end and deny New Zealanders the opportunity to have a share in government businesses.

"That's the same thing that Labour said in their 1984 manifesto: 'Labour has no plans to sell off any publicly-owned concerns'. Then they went ahead and sold $10 billion worth of state assets, not to ordinary New Zealanders, but to around 40 large companies. Labour never gave the public a look in."