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Labour committed to KiwiBank in public ownership

“KiwiBank must remain in public ownership - the bottom line for New Zealanders who don’t want to see KiwiBank end up in the hands of overseas owners like the other major trading banks, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson David Parker.

“National has ignored the need for KiwiBank to access more capital it needs to expand and compete and constrain the dominant Australian banks.

“Michael Cullen should be congratulated for securing a route to expand KiwiBank and keep it in public ownership, given the refusal of National to provide more capital for NZ Post or KiwiBank.

“Michael Cullen’s solution only works to ensure the bank will remain in public ownership if National promises that if ACC or the Super Fund sells its shares, then the government of the day would exercise its first right of refusal and buy them back

“Labour would do that. National must also publically commit to that today. If they do not, then this could be a step towards privatisation of KiwiBank in the future.

“National should also guarantee that if KiwiBank issues more shares to raise more capital to expand, the Government will take up its share to preserve NZ Post’s 55% ownership.

“It is also important that parts of the new funds going to NZ Post are directed to ensuring NZ Post employees who lose their jobs are given the training and opportunities they need to enter new careers or jobs rather than just filling the Government’s coffers,” says David Parker.