Libertarianz Abhors ARC Empire-Building

04 April 2005 11:13:00


“Leftwing local body empire-building” is how Libertarianz Deputy Leader and Auckland Central Candidate Stephen Berry described the attempt by Auckland Regional Holdings, an Auckland Regional Council (ARC) subsidiary, to take over full ownership of Ports of Auckland Ltd.

“The ARC should be getting out of owning the port instead of increasing its 80% ownership to 100%” said Berry. “How can the ARC justify taking rates from Aucklanders when it uses some of its cash reserves to take over a well-run company?”

“Ports are competitive businesses, with shipping companies choosing the best port to meet their needs in the context of road, rail and coastal shipping. There is no need at all for local or central government to have any shareholding in a port, and instead an urgent need for them not to. In any case, it is about time that Aucklanders were given the choice whether they wanted to own shares in the port or not – after all, it is Aucklanders who are paying for the ARC’s empire-building purchase.”

Libertarianz maintain that there should be a complete separation of state and business, and would require Auckland Regional Council to give away its shares in Ports of Auckland Ltd. to Auckland citizens, giving them a true public stake in the port. This would mean Aucklanders could choose whether they wanted to own a port, or to use the money for something else.

Stephen Berry
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More Freedom – Less Government