Govt tables privatisation bill; mulls Air NZ options 5 Mar 2012
- NZ stocks drop, A2 Milk falls ahead of legal challenge Business
- New direction for transport research News
- 10,000 Kiwis in construction apprenticeships News
- Silver Fern Farms opposition shareholders set out vision Business
- Air services agreement signed with Mauritius News
- Goodman Property Trust wants to increase business park Business
- Independent panel’s report welcomed News
- UPDATE: Trustpower 'very disappointed' with judgement Business
- Bigger, denser, less rule-bound Auckland recommended Business
- NZ farmers least pessimistic in 2 years Business
Draft legislation to allow the partial privatisation of four state-owned energy companies has been tabled today, with its First Reading in Parliament due on Thursday.
As expected, the Bill will transfer existing clauses in the State-Owned Enterprises Act relating to Crown obligations to Maori under the Treaty of Waitangi and to “memorialised” land for settlement of Treaty claims.
However, the companies will no longer be subject to corporate responsibility obligations or to the Official Information Act. Only ministerial decisions relating to the government’s investment in the four companies will be subject to requests for public disclosure, whereas the businesses’ commercial decisions will be shielded from the OIA.
It will also include clauses requiring that the government remain the majority shareholder of the companies, defined as a 51 percent or greater shareholder, and that no other shareholder be allowed to own more than a 10 percent stake in the companies.
SOE Minister Tony Ryall confirmed the first SOE up for partial privatisation will be MightyRiverPower, owner of the Mercury retail electricity brand, “around the third quarter” of this year.
The other energy companies slated for partial sale are electricity generator-retailers Meridian Energy and Genesis Energy, and coal company Solid Energy. Further shares in Air New Zealand, which is already partially privatised, are also to be offered but it is not dealt with under the new legislation.
The government was taking separate legal advice on a further selldown of Air NZ shares, with some 27 percent of the NZX-listed company in public hands “because of the greater complexity around Air NZ’s existing shareholding," Ryall said.
The inclusion of the contentious Section 9 of the SOE Act in the new bill follows consultation with Maori interests following an outcry at suggestions that reference to the Crown’s Treaty obligations be left out of the bill for fear it would deter private investors.
Instead, the bill will include the clause, while making explicit that it applies only to those shares owned by the government.
Also to be replicated will be Section 27A-D to protect Maori interests in memorialised land owned by the partially privatised companies.
SOE Act requirements relating to social and environmental responsibilities will not carry over into the new bill.
“Like most large commercial entities, the mixed ownership companies will continue to build stakeholder trust and public support for their activities in a number of ways, including through their corporate social responsibility polices,” Ryall said.
Continuous disclosure requirements that come with stock exchange listing would require commercial transparency from the partially privatised companies.
“The rationale for selling minority stakes in the SOEs was that New Zealand “must not get into the kind of debt trap the UK and Europe are in," Ryall said.
"The $5 billion to $7 billion we expect to free up by these partial share floats will go into the Future Investment Fund to build priority assets like schools, hospitals and infrastructure.”
The assets for sale comprised less than 3 per cent of the government's total assets.
25 Jul 2016 Environment
New Zealand Government Hon Steven Joyce Minister of Science and Innovation Hon Nathan Guy Minister for Primary Industries Hon Ma... more
25 Jul 2016 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk Monday 25 July 2016 05:13 PM PM censures Trade Minister for 'head of a pin' answers on China trade ... more
25 Jul 2016 Business News
New Zealand Government Hon Paul Goldsmith Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs 25 July 2016 Consultation for FMA... more
18 Jul 2016 Lifestyle
The Outlook for Someday Young New Zealanders Making Films For Good What does sustainability mean to you? Since 2007 The Outlook for... more
25 Jul 2016 Property
Article - BusinessDesk Monday 25 July 2016 House prices to peak next year on new supply, lower migration: Infometrics July 25... more
30 Mar 2016 Migration
British High Commissioner Jonathan Sinclair is defending changes to skilled migrant rules for Britain but suggests they won't affect... more
12 Jul 2016 Travel & Tourism
Article - BusinessDesk NZ guest nights fell in May, snapping 25 consecutive monthly gains July 12 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand guest... more
25 Jul 2016 Rugby
The core of this year’s All Blacks Sevens squad headed by veterans DJ Forbes and Tim Mikkelson will anchor the side through the... more
25 Jul 2016 Sailing
Southern Spars today announced it has been appointed to build Emirates Team New Zealand’s boat for the 35th America’s... more
7 Jul 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell Gordon Campbell on Tony Blair and the Chilcot Report | werewolf more
14 Jun 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell Gordon Campbell on our paltry refugee response and a brazen US rewrite of the TPP First published at... more
13 Jul 2016 Appointments
New Zealand Government Hon Christopher FinlaysonAttorney-General 13 July 2016 New Supreme Court and Court of Appeal ... more
7 Jul 2016 Recruitment
Article - BusinessDesk Fletcher chases 100 ex-pat Brits as construction sector faces capacity constraints July 7 (BusinessDesk) -... more