Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says.
“It has emerged big business groups are meeting in private this afternoon to try to pressure the Government to introduce legislation to nationalise the shares that are currently owned by the people of Auckland through the AECT.
"This would cost every family in the region $335 Christmas dividend they get from the trust each and every year to help them prepare for Christmas.
"Worse, according to Employers and Manufacturers Association Kim Campbell, the plan is then to give the shares to the Auckland Council and force Mayor Len Brown to sell them, which could see them go offshore.
"A campaign in favour of the proposal is being organised by two former National Party presidents, Michelle Boag and John Collinge.
"What Michelle Boag, John Collinge, Kim Campbell and their big business mates are talking about this afternoon is nothing less than theft of $2.1 billion of someone else’s assets.
"Simon Bridges, as usual, has ducked for cover when asked whether or not National would support the nationalisation and privatisation plans, saying the government is 'neutral'.
"How can a former public prosecutor and a member of a party that used to support property rights say his Government is 'neutral' between property owners and a burglar that's at the door?
“Simon Bridges needs to stop hiding from Aucklanders and clarify if National will support legislation to confiscate and nationalise $2.1 billion of shares to see them flicked off to foreign buyers."