Labour’s conflicting priorities with Tiwai

National are in a difficult position on Tiwai balancing then interests of employment in Southland, the electricity market and asset share sales.

Labour are also in a difficult position as they need to find a position that satifies their anti asset sales campaigning, anti foreign multinational investment, and employment.

In Stuff Labour’s financial spokesperson David Parker is reported as saying:

“The optimal solution is to walk away (from the smelter) and let New Zealand have lower power prices,”

After Labour’s campaigns for Government intervention in saving jobs at KiwiRail and Telecom this is a remarkable statement – the Tiwai smelter supports a workforce of about 3,000, and unlike Telecom employees most of them would have real difficulty finding alternative employment in Southland or New Zealand.

Radio New Zealand has reported David Shearer as saying that  “the Government should have stepped in earlier” and been “more hands on”.

He wasn’t clear whether that meant more hands on to walk away from the smelter and the jobs, or more hands on to do a subsidised deal with Rio Tinto on power.

So this leaves Labour in a conflicted and vague position.

Is their anti asset sales campaign more important to them than the Tiwai smelter and thousands of jobs?

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5 Comments

  1. Darryl

     /  29th March 2013

    David Shearer really does show his lack of Leadership. He has his finance minister making one statement, and then you have Shearer saying something else. It just shows how ridiculous Labour are. The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.

    Reply
  2. The government can’t open the coffers enough to save the contract. Aluminium has gone tits up and the best they can hope is that the market changes over the next three years to make Tiwai profitable again. Best thing National could do is bring more generation on line and wait it out.

    Reply
  3. AngryTory

     /  29th March 2013

    Labour’s optimal solution would be to turn off the smelter, and turn off all non-renewable power stations, thus ensuring high power prices (and high profits as Labour would own all the power companies) along with an unreliable supply, and many more bludgers who would vote Labour.

    Reply
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