Govt tables privatisation bill; mulls Air NZ options 5 Mar 2012
- NZ govt to look at monopoly power rules next month Business
- Former SPGI director Turnock pleads guilty on FMA charges Business
- NZ spending on debit, credit cards increases in September Business
- Opponent lays out alternative for Silver Fern Farms sale Business
- AFT Pharmaceuticals confirms dual-listing plans Business
- A2 Milk raises $40 mln at 5.5% discount in placement Business
- Cunningham takes positives from Wairarapa Sport
- NZ dollar gains as dovish Fed lifts commodity, asset prices Business
- Manuka honey producers in NZ seek name protection Business
- Media rivals set up platform to pool ad inventory 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.
6 Oct 2015 News
New Zealand Government Hon Steven Joyce Minister for Economic Development Hon Nathan Guy Minister for Primary Industries more
6 Oct 2015 Business News
Business lobbies, wine growers, meat sector welcome TPP Oct. 6 (BusinessDesk) - Business lobbies, wine growers and the country's... more
6 Oct 2015 Business News
NZ business confidence drops to four-year low as economic outlook worries firms Oct. 6 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand business ... more
28 Sep 2015 Lifestyle
New Zealand Automobile Association Media Release: 28 September 2015 Popularity of new guide fuelled by pedal power New Zealanders... more
6 Oct 2015 Property
Auckland house prices rise to record in September as regulations loom, Barfoot says Oct. 6 (BusinessDesk) - Auckland house prices ... more
28 Sep 2015 Property
Chinese property investors are rapidly disappearing from the auction room, says the boss of Auckland's biggest real estate... more
21 Sep 2015 Migration
NZ's annual net migration reaches record 60,300 in August on Indian, Chinese students By Jonathan Underhill Sept. 21... more
28 Sep 2015 Travel & Tourism
An increase in overseas visitors seeking a winter break resulted in an additional 10,000 holiday arrivals to New Zealand in August, as... more
8 Sep 2015 Travel & Tourism
Article - BusinessDesk Smartpay forecasts second year of earnings decline By Tina Morrison Sept. 8 (BusinessDesk) - Smartpay... more
6 Oct 2015 Rugby
RWC 2015 Set to Welcome European Qualifiers Georgia and Romania can confirm their attendance this weekend Final placings likely to go... more
6 Oct 2015 Opinion
Gordon Campbell on the TPP deal reached in Atlanta If the TPP was the Rugby World Cup, the New Zealand team probably wouldn’t ... more
5 Oct 2015 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell Gordon Campbell on the TPP countdown, and Mary Margaret O’Hara While Australia and the US have... more
6 Oct 2015 Appointments
Article - BusinessDesk Sanford appoints Rob McLeod to board, seeks tie-up with Maori fisheries By Paul McBeth Oct. 6 ... more
23 Sep 2015 Appointments
Fonterra director Ian Farrelly replaces Ralph Norris on shareholders' fund board Sept. 23 (BusinessDesk) - Fonterra Cooperative... more
2 Oct 2015 Recruitment
'Close to zero' chance of another bum hire, says FMA's Everett Oct. 2 (BusinessDesk) - Financial Markets Authority chief... more