Chch mum organises asset sale protest

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 08:00 04/07/2012

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A Christchurch mother is organising a march against asset sales in Christchurch next weekend as part of a nationally-co-ordinated protest.

Sharna Butcher is heading the Christchurch section of "Stop the Theft", which is planning protests throughout the country on Saturday, July 14, at 2pm.

Butcher said she had already garnered the support of local unions, marae and Green, Mana and Labour MPs. By yesterday, 228 people had registered their attendance on the Christchurch group's Facebook page.

The protest will be preceded by a speech and a haka at the corner of Deans Ave and Riccarton Rd, then the group will march down Riccarton Rd.

Butcher, a mother of two, said it was a chance for Cantabrians to unite against National's asset sales policy.

The Government's controversial plan to partially sell shares in four state-owned energy companies - Mighty River, Genesis Energy, Meridian and Solid Energy - passed by a single vote in Parliament last month.

Labour, the Green Party, Grey Power and the Council of Trade Unions are collecting signatures for a citizens-initiated referendum over the issue.

Flyers would be handed out and a petition available for signing.

''I don't think it's good to sell New Zealand companies for profits to go out of New Zealand. It's not best for New Zealand as a whole.

''Our ancestors have fought for what we have, and National just wants to sell it.''

Butcher said she had a group of 500 confirmed already but would have a better idea how many people to expect later this week.

She hoped it would be ''a huge event''.

Police and the city council had been notified, she said.

Anyone wanting more information or to get involved in planning could email nznotforsaleinchristchurch@live.com or vist the Facebook page.

There was likely to be a low-key police presence, for traffic management and public safety purposes, a police spokesman said.

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