Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bolger recants

Having led a privatising National government during the 1990's, former Prime Minister Jim Bolger seems to be backing away from privatisation:

The sale of Telecom in 1990 was a mistake and New Zealand Governments have generally proved themselves inept at privatisation, says former Prime Minister and departing NZ Post chairman Jim Bolger.

Telecom was split off from the NZ Post Office in 1987 and sold by the Labour Government for $4.25 billion shortly before Bolger's Government was elected in 1990.


Looking back, he said "some of our privatisations were done for a song".

"Sir Roger Douglas was worse than hopeless at privatising, to be honest."

While he defends his government's unconscionable sale of New Zealand Rail (which led to it being strip-mined and run into ground by a consortium of greedy foreign investors), his overall thrust is clear: the privatisation of the 80's and 90's was a mistake. If only he'd said that at the time, rather than waiting 20 years...