Govt tables privatisation bill; mulls Air NZ options 5 Mar 2012
- MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain Business
- NZD retreats from presidential-debate highs Business
- Consensus on need for bigger environmental regime overhaul Business
- Intueri retains support of lender ANZ Business
- New NZX market manipulation guidance raised in trial Business
- $20 million Invested in Growing Northland’s Economy News
- Milford sells down stake in Wynyard as shares slump Business
- Seadragon's talks with new cornerstone investor collapse Business
- DOC, Hawke's Bay council developer take Ruataniwha appeal Business
- Hellaby board sees more value in company than Bapcor bid 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.
23 Sep 2016 Canterbury Earthquake
New Zealand Government Hon Gerry BrownleeMinister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration 23 September... more
23 Sep 2016 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk Friday 23 September 2016 12:47 PM RBNZ pushes for new quarterly disclosure regime By Paul McBeth Sept. 23 ... 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
3 Aug 2016 Property
Wednesday 03 August 2016 10:30 AM Auckland house prices are stabilising, may have plateaued, Barfoot says Aug. 3 (BusinessDesk) -... more
2 Aug 2016 Property
Article - BusinessDesk NZ home values rise at fastest quarterly pace in 12 years By Tina Morrison Aug. 2 (BusinessDesk) - New... 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
25 Aug 2016 Travel & Tourism
New Zealand Government Hon Wagner using the new eGates at Wellington Airport.... more
10 Aug 2016 Travel & Tourism
Article - BusinessDesk Wednesday 10 August 2016 12:19 PM Aug. 10 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand accommodation providers had their... more
23 Sep 2016 Netball
Netball NZ Stars to hit the court for FAST5 Ferns Friday 23 September, 2016The FAST5 Ferns will be eyeing off a fourth straight title... more
25 Aug 2016 Motor Sport
25 Aug 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell Gordon Campbell on the end game in Spain First published on Werewolf more
11 Aug 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell Gordon Campbell on the Impotence of the Reserve Bank First published on Werewolf more
29 Aug 2016 Appointments
New Zealand Government Hon Jo Goodhew Minister for Food Safety 29 August 2016 Jane Lancaster has been appointed to the Food ... more
12 Aug 2016 Appointments
New Zealand Government Hon Hekia ParataMinister of Education 12 August 2016 Appointments to New Zealand National Commission for... more
3 Aug 2016 Recruitment
New Zealand Government Hon Steven Joyce Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment 3 August 2016 Jobs growth continues... more
3 Aug 2016 State of the Market Report
Wednesday 03 August 2016 11:57 AM NZ private sector wage inflation misses expectations in June quarter Aug. 3 (BusinessDesk) - New... more