11 Nov 2011

Partial asset sales could start next year

10:45 am on 11 November 2011

If the National Party is re-elected, shares in the first State-owned energy company to be offered for sale, could be sold before the end of next year.

National intends selling up to 49% stakes in Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power, Genesis Energy and Solid Energy, as well as part of its shareholding in Air New Zealand.

Finance spokesperson Bill English says the first tranche of shares could be ready for sale within six to nine months.

Labour Party leader Phil Goff has pledged to stop work on asset sales on his first day as Prime Minister if Labour leads the next Government after the election on 26 November.

In contrast, Mr English says it is possible the sales process could start quite soon next year.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says he cannot understand National's rush to sell the assets.