A small but determined group of protesters gathered on the steps of Parliament in Wellington this afternoon ahead of the expected passing of legislation that will allow the partial sell-off of state assets.

Protest organiser Frances Kuo said the Government was actively transferring public wealth into the private sector's hands and widening the gap between the rich and poor while trying to rip off a lot of people."

"I realised how badly this Government is trying to screw the public," she said.

Protesters said the deal did not make any economic sense.


The bill will have its final reading in Parliament today.

The controversial Mixed Ownership Model Bill removes power companies Mighty River, Genesis and Meridian, and coal miner Solid Energy from the constraints of the State Owned Enterprises Act, allowing the Government to sell up to 49 per cent of them on the sharemarket.