No open cheque book for Rio: Labour

KATE CHAPMAN
Last updated 12:29 03/04/2013

Related Links

Thousands of jobs at stake at Tiwai

Relevant offers

Politics

Maori Party waver on health and safety bill Government puts microscope on 'horrific' domestic violence problem Treasury objected to $4m payment for food security partnership with Saudis Law professor wants refusal to release TPP documents overturned Palmerston rallies against TPPA Kiwi cash boost for ageing Rarotonga school Reports of NZ First’s death are (still) exaggerated No evidence of legal advice Government faced $30m lawsuit over Saudi sheep deal Auditor-General had doubts Saudi sheep deal was legal More aid for Cook Islands - John Key

Labour won't say whether it would step in to save the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter if successful at the next election.

Rio Tinto, the smelter's Australian owner, walked away from talks with the Government during the weekend and rejected an offer for a "reasonable" short-term taxpayer-funded subsidy.

Prime Minister John Key said the offer was meant to bridge the gap between Rio Tinto and Meridian Energy, who are in negotiations over the future electricity price for the smelter.

Key said the Government would not offer long-term support, as was on offer in Australia, but agreed to look at short-term assistance because of the thousands of jobs at stake, and to facilitate a smoother transition should the smelter close.

Today, Labour leader David Shearer said he did not have the details of how much was needed to save the plant.

"I haven't seen the numbers, until we see the numbers we can't comment. 

"We would be looking at the negotiations to see what we could do, but I can't give a guarantee and I certainly wouldn't be saying we would give Rio Tinto an open cheque book."

Key needed to be more transparent about how much had been offered to Rio Tinto and what was needed to bridge the gap long-term, he said.

"What we don't want to see is a Sky City or a Solid Energy type of activity going on here."

The Government should put off the sale of Mighty River Power when there was so much uncertainty around electricity prices, he said.

But Key has said the partial float will go ahead, with more details expected to be released on Friday.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content