Govt tables privatisation bill; mulls Air NZ options 5 Mar 2012
- OceanaGold 3Q profit soars Business
- AWF Madison lifts 1H profit Business
- Fonterra assesses impact of big drop in milk production Business
- Intueri puts dive school up for sale Business
- Summerset expects annual earnings to rise as much as 46% Business
- NZ dollar drops as rising US bond yields help lift greenback Business
- New fund lets savers avoid arms, tobacco, nuclear investment Business
- Chorus chair challenges telcos on slow VDSL uptake Business
- Bank margins to remain under pressure BNZ's Healy says Business
- NZ dollar falls vs. yuan on concern over Chinese devaluation 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 Oct 2016 News
New Zealand Government Hon Simon Bridges Minister of Energy and Resources 23 October 2016 Media Statement Bridges to attend... more
12 Oct 2016 News
New Zealand Government Hon Anne TolleyMinister for Social Development 12 October 2016 $4.2 million Community Finance boost to... more
18 Oct 2016 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk Tuesday 18 October 2016 11:00 AM NZ inflation slows to 0.2% pace in third quarter, beating estimates, as... more
18 Oct 2016 Lifestyle
818 Entertainment KIWIS GET FIRST PEEK AT THE ALL NEW BLONDINI GANG WITH RELEASE OF OFFICIAL PORK PIE TRAILER more
12 Oct 2016 Lifestyle
NZSO 12 October 2016 - NZSO media release for immediate release NZSO welcomes Dutch piano virtuoso Ronald Brautigam to NZ The NZSO... more
12 Oct 2016 Property
Article - BusinessDesk Wednesday 12 October 2016 08:19 AM Auckland development blowouts reminiscent of run up to GFC: KPMG's ... 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
21 Oct 2016 Migration
Article - BusinessDesk Friday 21 October 2016 11:23 AM NZ migration, tourism hits new highs in September, driven by record... more
11 Oct 2016 Migration
Article - BusinessDesk Tuesday 11 October 2016 03:13 PM UPDATE: Immigration policy tweaks capture senior executive migrants (Recasts ... more
12 Oct 2016 Travel & Tourism
Article - BusinessDesk Wednesday 12 October 2016 05:25 PM Air NZ sells remaining stake in Virgin Australia Oct. 12 (BusinessDesk) -... more
12 Oct 2016 NZ Tourism
12 October 2016 International visitor guest nights have risen by more than 13 per cent, and eleven of our twelve... more
24 Oct 2016 Rugby
The Black Ferns have continued their trans-Tasman superiority, crushing the Wallaroos 67-3 at Eden Park. In a dominant display the... more
24 Oct 2016 Rugby
New Zealand’s rugby community is mourning the loss of former All Black Wally Argus, who passed away this week in... more
18 Oct 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell Gordon Campbell on plastic bag activism, and street harassment
11 Oct 2016 Opinion
Gordon Campbell on how the political centre is a mirage First published on Werewolf more
21 Oct 2016 Appointments
New Zealand GovernmentHon Steven Joyce Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment 21 October 2016 Appointments to... more
19 Oct 2016 Recruitment
Article - BusinessDesk Wednesday 19 October 2016 09:09 AM AWF Madison buys Absolute IT for $15.3mn, expanding further into white... more