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Current as of 24/10/14 07:40PM NZST

Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Govt pushes ahead with Mighty River sale

File photo / supplied,
File photo / supplied,

The Government this afternoon confirmed it will not proceed with the Waitangi Tribunal's "shares plus'' concept to address Maori claims over water when it partially privatises Mighty River Power next year.

Prime Minister John Key said his Government would not engage in any further negotiations with Maori over the shares plus idea, under which the tribunal suggested Maori be given shares in the company and additional governance and decision making rights.

While the Government always said it saw little merit in the idea, it held a series of hui with iwi affected by its proposed partial privatisation of state owned power companies, but few Maori who attended expressed any enthusiasm for the concept either.

Mr Key also said this afternoon that Mighty River Power would officially cease being a state owned enterprise later this month when an Order in Council on October 23 removed it from coverage under the SOE Act and brought it under the coverage of the Public Finance Act.

The change is necessary to facillitate the partial sale of the company but may serve as a trigger for court action by the Maori Council and others to block the sale.

"That's a matter for them'', Mr Key said in a statement.

"From the Government's perspective that would not be unexpected.''

- NZ Herald

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