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Poll shows strong Maori oppositon to asset sales

Published: 3:25PM Tuesday February 14, 2012 Source: ONE News

  • A hydro power station (Source: Breakfast)
    A hydro power station - Source: Breakfast

A new poll shows strong opposition among Maori voters to the Government's proposed sale of state owned assets.

The proposal to sell 49% of the Government's shares in utilities including Mighty River Power, Genesis, Meridian and Solid Energy has faced strong opposition from political opponents.

The Government has also moved to ease fears over the removal of a treaty clause, which makes it compulsory to consult Maori over the sell-off, with a nationwide round of hui.

However, a poll for TV ONE's Te Karere of 1000 Maori voters released this afternoon reveals the depth of feeling against the sales.

It found 88% of respondents were opposed to the move with just 8% supporting it. Only 4% had no opinion on the issue.

It also revealed a lack of support for Prime Minister John Key's handling of Maori issues.

Only 17% thought he provided good leadership, while 70% said he didn't.

Key faced protests at Waitangi Day celebrations, and left the Te Tii Marae early as he complained he wasn't being heard over the chants of activists.

Finance Minister Bill English has also faced protests at the series of hui he has been attending to canvas opinion on the asset sales, particularly over the possible removal of the treaty clause from any new SOE legislation.

He said there are three options on the table - keep the clause, which iwi leaders overwhelmingly support, modify it or remove it.

English said the Government is listening to objections and keeping an open mind.

He was expected to face protests again today as he visited the Murihiku marae in Invercargill.

Poll results:

- The Government has announced it is going ahead with plans to sell state owned assets. Do you support this?
Yes 8%
No 88%
Don't know 4%

- Do you think John Key provides good leadership on Maori issues?
Yes 17%
No 70%
Don't know 13%

- Do you think David Shearer provides good leadership on Maori issues?
Yes 28%
No 16%
Don't know 56%

Poll Dates: 6th Jan - 27 Jan 2012. Sample size: 1000 Maori voters. Margin of error: /- 3.1%.

* Te Karere is on TV ONE on weekdays at 4pm.