Govt tables privatisation bill; mulls Air NZ options 5 Mar 2012
- NZ consumers grow more upbeat, may resume spending Business
- Minister launches SmartGate in Wellington Travel
- Brownlee Leads Aviation Mission To Shanghai News
- Trams to make a comeback on Auckland’s streets News
- Knowles quits as CEO of KiwiBank Business
- NZ migration bolstered by British invasion Migration
- Sludge Report #192: The Naked Budget Columns
- Budget 2010 – Building the Recovery News
- NZ manufacturing activity reaches highest since 04 Business
- NZ dollar hits 22-month high vs euro 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.
8 Feb 2017 Financial
7 Feb 2017 The Government's 2017 Budget will be delivered on Thursday 25 May, and will be centred on providing opportunities for all... more
8 Feb 2017 Business News
8 Feb 2017 A full cost-benefit analysis on Debt-to-Income (DTI) limits and public consultation will be conducted by the Reserve Bank... more
21 Nov 2016 Lifestyle
Emirates Team New Zealand EMIRATES TEAM NEW ZEALAND CLOSES IN 3rd POSITION THE LOUIS VUITTON AMERICA’S CUP WORLD SERIES
14 Nov 2016 Property
Article - BusinessDesk Monday 14 November 2016 10:28 AM NZ house prices gain 11% in October, driven by sales of higher value homes By... more
11 Nov 2016 Property
Article - BusinessDesk Thursday 10 November 2016 04:04 PM RBNZ sees pressures building in Auckland construction sector By Paul ... more
8 Feb 2017 Migration
7 Feb 2017 Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse welcomes a report showing the vast majority of employers who take on seasonal... more
6 Feb 2017 NZ Tourism
8 Feb 2017 Does New Zealand celebrate halloween? Is Auckland a dangerous town- these are some of the subjects visitors Google... more
6 Feb 2017 Netball
6 Feb 2017 The Silver Ferns finished runners-up in the Netball Quad Series after completing a well-crafted 70-39 win over the SPAR... more
3 Feb 2017 Netball
The Silver Ferns completed a dominant outing to post a 61-37 win against the England Roses in their second match of the 2017 Netball... more
11 Nov 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell Gordon Campbell on the Gareth Morgan crusade First published on Werewolf more
10 Nov 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell Gordon Campbell on the US election outcome more
8 Feb 2017 Appointments
7 Feb 2017 Finance Minister Steven Joyce will appoint current Deputy Reserve Bank Governor Grant Spencer as the Acting Governor of... more
1 Feb 2017 Appointments
30 January 2017 Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has today appointed temporary Chairs to the boards of Canterbury and South... more
1 Feb 2017 Recruitment
1 Feb 2017 Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith has welcomed the record number of New Zealanders now in... more
8 Dec 2016 Recruitment
Hon. Paula Bennett, Hon. Michael Woodhouse, Hon. Louise Upston 24 November, 2016 The Government will update the Equa... more