Most oppose asset sales

John Key
John Key
Voters have given the Government's flagship asset sales policy an emphatic thumbs down, ratcheting up pressure for the sale of Genesis Energy - the remaining asset in the programme - to be shelved.

The citizens initiated referendum (CIR) on asset sales has closed and as expected, most of those who voted opposed the partial sale of state owned power companies and Air New Zealand.

In the preliminary result, released tonight, 67.2 per cent of those who voted said they did not support the Government selling up to 49 per cent of Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power, Genesis Power, Solid Energy and Air New Zealand.

A total of 32.5 per cent said they did support the policy. There were a total of 1,332,340 valid votes cast.

The asset sales CIR has come as the partial assets sales programme is almost over, with Genesis the only remaining company earmarked for partial sale yet to go on the block.

While the referendum is non-binding, Opposition parties hoped a vote against the Government on the issue would persuade it not to proceed with the Genesis sale, which is scheduled for the first few months of next year.

Prime Minister John Key has indicated his Government will take little notice of the result of the referendum, describing it as political stunt by Labour and the Greens which has cost the taxpayer $9 million.

Mr Key has said the result would be "interesting" if it showed voters opposed the asset sales programme totalled more than a million - the number of votes National got at the last election which was largely fought on the issue.

Mr Key and Mr English have said in recent weeks that the Genesis sale remains on track in spite of market chatter that the sale is now unlikely to go proceed as planned.


Asset Sale

Here is the big mandate John Key and Bill English...enjoy.

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