Wednesday, March 13, 2013
NZ Government's first full privatisation of the 21st century, unopposed
For all of the hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth of the National-led Government's minority sale of a bunch of companies that have private competitors, you'd think that Labour, the Greens and NZ First would actually be holding the stop sign against the government selling ANY businesses at all.
Given the referendum, the claims that part-privatisation is anti-democratic and other hyperboles about the programme, you'd think if you believe in the state ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange like any socialist, you would want to stop the shrinkage of the state by all means. The people (through the state) ought to own more and more enterprises according to any socialist, and the mere fact there is an undercurrent of "should we promise to buy them back" tells you how reactionary Marxist the NZ left has become. So you might think.
However, I think they don't really give a damn, it's all about publicity and xenophobia. For what is about to happen is no different, indeed this will be the first full privatisation by a New Zealand Government since the 1990s.
This little piece of news has received no comment from the Opposition at all, presumably because it is a government owned company that is doing the privatisation. Kordia, which was once BCL, which was once a subsidiary of TVNZ and owns most of the TV and FM radio broadcast transmission sites in the country, is selling the ISP Orcon.
Orcon is in a vigorously competitive market, like Mighty River Power. It sells services to end users, like the power companies.
However, as Kordia is selling it, it isn't up to Ministers, so there is little political capital to be gained from opposing it, unless the Opposition wants to abolish the SOE model - which would mean it could never argue it wants to own businesses to make money for taxpayers, but rather go back to the politically directed approach of the age of Muldoon. Yet I think there isn't even remotely that kind of coherence in the Opposition to partial privatisation.