Bill English: Government to shed more relics

Following his announcement Thursday that the Government sees no future in maintaining a controlling interest in railways, broadcasting or even posties on pushbikes, father of 12 and Minister of Finance Bill English has revealed he has identified other state assets as relics with limited potential.

“It’s long been National party policy that the Government has no business running businesses,” he told WWNews in an exclusive interview. “Ever since we pinched it from Richard Prebble’s two – or three – previous parties’ manifestos. Rather than run them into the ground, it makes sense to sell them to someone in the private sector who can do it much more efficiently. That will put money into the government coffers and let us get on doing what we do best – feathering our own nests and making heartfelt denials of privilege.”

Mr English said while NZ Post, KiwiRail and TVNZ were the most obvious examples of former state assets well past their prime there were other “relics” of limited use proving to be a drain on the public purse that the Government would be looking to shift “sooner rather than later”.

“McCully, Brownlee, Finlayson and Groser spring to mind,” Mr English said. “And Nick Smith, although it might be cheaper to just put him on medical leave again rather than a quick tarting up to make him more palatable to the marketplace.”

Mr English denied that the announcement was timed to deflect attention from beleaguered Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga. “No, it’s to deflect attention from Hekia and the charter schools cock-up,” he smirked.

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