Make it Auckland **Domestic** Airport, say Beagle Boys
Two ministers with nary a clue to rub between them have just declared victory on behalf of every xenophobe in the country who wants a say in other people's business: like a pair of malignant Beagle Boys, Commissar Cosgrove and El Presidente Parker gave voice to every ignorant fear that Canada Pensions plans to ship Auckland Airport off to Manitoba or Montreal, and refused permission for owners of their airport shares to do what they wish with their own property.
To pinch Leighton Smith's line, the place is no longer Auckland International Airport.
For a country almost completely reliant on international trade and international investment, and a people seemingly in love with international travel, New Zealanders (on whose behalf the two Commissars made this decision) are remarkably wary of foreigners, and remarkably interested in having a say in things that are none of their bloody business.
This was a deal worth 1.725 billion dollars. A deal between owners and buyers. It was nobody else's business. Got that? It was definitely not a decision for a lawyer known worldwide for lacking even the basic ability to file proper documents (that's the smug git on the right), and a sawdust caesar who has achieved no distinction outside the bullying of car drivers, builders and real estate agents (that's Comrade Cosgrove complete with punch 'n' grow hair hat on the left). Take a good look at the two self-important swine who set themselves up as judge and jury of other people's business, and ask yourself what gives them the right to do so.
But these two ignorant pricks unable to see past their own noses "see no benefit" in the deal for New Zealand-- neither of them with a brain able to see past a hoped-for benefit to their own electoral hopes this year: "No benefit" in the sum of $1.75 billion being invested in New Zealand -- "no benefit" in the right of airport shareholders to choose themselves what they do with their own property -- "no benefit" in letting investors overseas know New Zealand is open for business -- no, "no benefit" at all, say the blind and blinkered Beagle Boys.
The airport is a "strategic asset" whose ownership the "people of New Zealand" need to retain, declared the two numb nuts. What the hell is a "strategic asset," and how the hell would Canadian ownership (not control, which Canada Pensions had already ruled out, just partial ownership) interfere with whatever bullshit definition of "strategic assets" these two clowns could dream up. What the hell sort of decision is it that dramatically lowers the value of the very asset they deem worthy of their protection? And just finally, let me point out that the only "people of New Zealand" whose decision on the deal matters are those New Zealanders who agreed to sell their shares. It's not your decision, nor that of these two wankers; it's the owners' and the owners alone.
This decision is a disgrace. Said investment analyst Simon Botherway last month, the grounds for this decision are not rational, they are wholly political. The two are obviously mutually exclusive. The decision is wholly irrational, utterly xenophobic, and sends a clear three-word message to overseas investors interested in taking an interest in this place: "Don't bloody bother."
NB: Don't you love this delightfully circuitous definition of "strategic asset" from the Local Bloody Government Act, 2002, s.90(2):
Strategic Asset, in relation to the assets held by a local authority, means an asset or group of assets that the local authority needs to retain if the local authority is to maintain the local authority’s capacity to achieve or promote any outcome that the local authority determines to be important ...
In other words, a "strategic asset" is anything we say it is. Beautiful, huh? Such is the quality of lawmaking we've come to expect from our lawmakers.
UPDATE: REUTERS: Shares in NZ's Auckland Airport fall 10 pct on open. Good news, huh? The share price for NZ's Auckland Airport over the last year tells a story familiar to Telecom shareholders subsequent to the government's nationalisation of their copper network, and to Air New Zealand shareholders subsequent to their refusal to let Singapore Airlines invest, and to ... well, you can draw up a bloody list, can't you. These are just the higher profile, more easily shown examples of what government meddling does to local businesses.