Push for asset sale referendum

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 13:48 31/08/2012
Greens co-leader Russel Norman at the Greens' gathering on Karangahape Road in Auckland last night.
LAWRENCE SMITH/Fairfax NZ
Greens co-leader Russel Norman.
David Shearer
MARION VAN DIJK/ FAIRFAX NZ
Labour leader David Shearer.

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Labour and the Green Party have launched what they call a "spring offensive" in a bid to force a referendum on the Government's asset sale plans.

The group aims to get 310,000 signatures on a petition to force a referendum. With the arrival of spring tomorrow, Labour leader David Shearer and Green Party co-leader Russell Norman unveiled multi-coloured "Stop Asset Sales" tee-shirts.

"This is an important step to getting the referendum," Shearer said.

He said they already had about 240,000 signatures and he was confident they would get enough to force a referendum early next year.

"We want this before more of the assets have been sold."

Shearer said the Government's sale plan were already in a "bad situation", with multiple problems ahead of a possible share float.

Norman, who tagged the campaign a spring offensive, said he wanted a referendum even before the first of the assets, Mighty River Power, went on sale.

"The people of New Zealand do not want to sell the goose that is laying the golden eggs," he told the function in Auckland.

With spring and 400 organising posts around the country Shearer and Norman were confident of getting enough signatures to force the non-binding referendum.

"Everywhere we go, we get a fantastic response to the petition," Norman said.

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