Cosgrove’s asset bill clobbered

Overshadowed by the marriage bill, Clayton Cosgrove’s supposed asset protection bill was voted down yesterday afternoon.

As usual The Standard tries to make a scandal out of nothing:

Right votes for future asset sales

National, Banks, and Dunne voted to keep the door open for more asset sales yesterday. Clayton Cosgrove’s Bill would have required a super-majority in Parliament or a referendum to move more companies out of the SOE Act – a necessary step in the privatisation process. Dunne in particular has promised not to support further asset sales, yet given a chance to stop them, he refused.

This was a poor bill that was poorly promoted by Cosgrove, it always appeared to be unrealalistic legislation that was little more than an excuse to try and score some cheap points. And that’s what ‘Eddie’ is trying to do. And also ‘felix’, true to poor form:


So Dunne turns out to be a two-faced liar, eh? Who’d have thunk it? He always seemed so genuinely principled and not like a weasel-wording snake-oil selling politician at all.

Shock I am.

Shock I’m not, that’s standard ‘felix’ nonsense, weasel-wording snake-oil selling blog commenter and all. The old liar accusation again, when he’s the one promoting political lies and smears. Again.

As a principled politician Dunne did the right thing by refusing to buy into this claptrap.

The bill was barely mentioned leading up to it’s introduction, it was that ridiculous the media virtually ignored it. It only took until the second comment for the obvious to be pointed out:


Cosgrove’s Bill was unreasonable, and in fact antidemocratic. It cannot be right that a government elected with say a 70% majority and an explicit committment for asset sales would be thwarted by a minority of 30%. Supermajorities should be reserved from the most fundamental of democratic rights, usually associated with the electoral system.

Cosgrove tried a follow up press release that hasn’t been taken any more seriously:

National’s rejection of a Labour bill to raise the barriers to selling state assets shows the Government still has the likes of KiwiBank, KiwiRail and TVNZ lined up on the block for sale, says the bill’s author, Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.

“My bill had a simple proposition. Ensure that no state asset can be sold without a national referendum or support of three-quarters of Parliament. That protects our assets for the future and ensures the voice of the people is heard.

“The Protecting Strategic Assets Bill lost by just one vote. National and its support partners have rejected this bill, ensuring that KiwiBank, TVNZ, New Zealand Post and many others remain seriously at risk. There can only be one reason for opposing the bill – they want to sell more assets.

This bill was an over the top solution to a problem that didn’t exist. I don’t recall seeing anyone else in Labour even bothering to pay more than lip service to the bill.

Except ‘Eddie’ and ‘felix’, but it’s hard to take these blog hacks seriously if this is the best they can come up with.

It would have been a major embarrassment to Labour if this bill had passed it’s first reading, but that would have been a waste of Member’s time.

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