How strong is asset sale opposition?

There’s little doubt there’s a lot of opposition to the proposed asset sales (Mixed Ownership Model). How strong is the opposition?

A recent 3 News Reid Research poll shows New Zealanders remain opposed to the Government’s planned asset sales.

The poll asked 1000 voters whether they agreed with the partial privatisations.

  • 62% disagreed
  • 35% agreed
  • 3.5% unsure

What is not apparent is how strong that opposition is. Obviously it wasn’t strong enough to reduce National’s vote at the last election (numbers increased slightly, the % was the highest recorded under MMP).

Labour used anti asset sales as it’s main election plank, and that wasn’t successful for them.

The Green Party has been against them too (they are anti a lot of things) but had then sense to concentrate their election campaign on more positive things, more jobs, reducing poverty and cleaning up water.

The Mana Party are strongly against, they were  involved in organising the recent hikoi against asset sales – but this was only modestly supported and lacked focus with many other things being included in the protest.

Long time commentator for the left Chris Trotter thought that the hikoi was not only unsuccessful, but it could be counter-productive:

A “Pessimistic Reformist” Considers The “Aotearoa Is Not For Sale” Demonstration.

Unfortunately, my own cold, hard analysis of the facts of last Saturday’s Aotearoa Is Not For Sale demonstration has led me to the very upsetting (and no doubt highly unpopular) conclusion that, if it was intended to demonstrate to the Government that its “partial” privatisation plans have generated the same level of public opposition as its earlier proposals to permit mining on New Zealand’s conservation estate, then it failed.

Many of the people I spoke to on the anti-privatisation march realised that there were “not enough” people to give the National-led Government pause, but added cheerily “still, it’s better than nothing”. Not necessarily. I would argue that Saturday’s march was, in fact, worse than nothing. By providing the Government with a vivid glimpse of its most vociferous opponents, and revealing just how few of them there really are (even in the country’s most populous city) the organisers of the anti-privatisation march have told the Government that it can now proceed without serious political risk.

It’s easy to see where the parties stand on MOM, but what do the wider public really think? Outside political forums there doesn’t seem to be a lot of protest, does that mean most of the opposition is quite mild?

Facebook is hardly brimming with opposition:

Someone has tried an online petition without much success:

Here’s another one:

I found these when trying to find the main petition, maybe it’s a bit too soon to find that easily. The wording has just been approved by the clerk of the house:

The agreed wording isDo you support the Government selling up to 49 per cent of Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power, Genesis Power, Solid Energy and Air New Zealand?

I guess we’ll hear more about this, but I think they have made a serious mistake with the wording, if you sign that you are agreeing with asset sales?

I’ve talked to someone who has always voted left and has always been against asset sales generally, but who just said:

But we’ve got to do something to get the country out of the shit!

They would poll against asset sales but with reservations.

So how strong is MOM opposition outside the political parties?

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