Bill Ralston has raised that hoary old chestnut of privatisation.
National is in a bit of a bind over this as it sadly promised no sales of state assets in its first term. If Bill English is looking at fobbing off a few shares it may take a year or so to arrange it so National can then put it on the agenda in 2011. As I've said before, they should sell shares in SOE's to the Maoris.
What does this achieve?
First, it gets Maori investing in key assets. Second, the profits stay in NZ. Third, selling shares is not selling an asset. Finally, the best thing it does is it gets a chunk of the treaty money back into government coffers so reduces the overall amount paid in treaty settlements!
On all four counts it's perfect politics and perfect sense. The Gnats can let Maori own some key assets (like here ) and thereby assist in Maori self-determination and win some Maori votes; Labour can't wail about the profits going offshore; they also can't wail about selling off state assets (selling shares is not selling the asset); and the rednecks get some of their money back.
Bill, no charge for this advice. You now owe me one. I'll hold you to it.
2 hours ago