I read this article in the NZ Herald today Mana, Maori divided on asset sales, which was a summary of some of the comments made by political leaders on Q and A this morning.
The Maori Party 2011 policy on sale of State Owned Assets is as follows:
We do not support asset sales. If privatisation of state owned assets occurs it must be managed in a manner that is consistent with Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The Māori Party will support iwi who wish to invest into state owned assets as a means of retaining New Zealand ownership.
This policy, in my view, is quite reasonable. The real issue that underlies the sale of State Owned Assets (and partial state owned assets) is the argument around capitalist interests driving the cost of our basic necessities of life. Obviously the assumption is that publicly owned assets will keep the costs down and therefore more affordable to the average New Zealander.
We agree - that we must keep the costs balanced in line with a reasonable cost of living. It is of course about our rights as people to a decent quality of life.
The second part of our policy, however, I think is misunderstood. It is not about propping up corporate Maori or Iwi interests (as suggested in the NZ Herald article) - it is about rangatiratanga, and also understanding that Iwi are not just businesses in the capitalist or western view of business - they are accountable to beneficiaries, and are accountable not just in terms of profits, but also social, cultural and environmental outcomes - they are values based organisations, driven out of our own Maori communities. If...and I mean only if....assets are to be sold off - wouldnʻt you rather see them in the hands of Iwi and New Zealanders?
✓ Maori Candidate
✓ Maori Party