Kiwibank Privatization Proposed

October 21, 2008 New Zealand Finance  No comments

Leader of NZ First Winston Peters has put forward the proposition that the Government owned Kiwibank be privatized.

In a speech given in Tauranga on the 20th of October Winston Peters, proposed that the Kiwibank be used as stand-alone commercial bank, separate from the Government. Further to his plan, the bank would handle of the Government’s business, which he valued at $55 billion, and the shares in the bank could only be held by New Zealanders. Winston Peters claimed that this would help profits from this activity stay in New Zealand and force interest rates to lower.

It would seem that this plan has been forming for at least a week, as Winston Peters hinted at revolutionary measures to reduce interest rates while at a speaking engagement at Waikato University a week earlier.

Naturally the proposal came under quick fire from opposing parties. Green Party co-leader Russell Norman claimed that the measure will lead to overseas ownership of Kiwibank. While the leader of the Progressive Party, Jim Anderton, claimed that Winston Peters was a serial asset-seller. At the time of writing, neither National nor the Labour Party had made comment on the proposal.