Voting begins today in a citizens-initiated referendum on whether the Government should sell part of its stake in power companies and Air New Zealand.

The non-binding referendum asks the question: "Do you support the Government selling up to 49 per cent of Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power, Genesis Power, Solid Energy and Air New Zealand?"

The postal vote closes on December 13.

Voters should post their papers back no later than December 12 for them to arrive on time, said chief electoral officer Robert Peden.


"This is a postal vote, so once people have ticked the answer they want, they can simply return their paper by post in the envelope provided.

"Everyone's voting papers should arrive by November 29," Mr Peden said.

"If you are on the electoral roll and don't get a voting pack, you can request a replacement voting paper at"

Despite the referendum, the Government has already sold part of its stake in the Mighty River Power and Meridian Energy and Air New Zealand.

The referendum is required under law after the Labour and Greens-led Keep Our Assets coalition secured 327,224 signatures in a petition this year.

People can check their enrolment details at or phone 0800 36 76 56.