12 Dec 2011

Asset sales can go ahead without Maori Party - Key

8:27 am on 12 December 2011

The Prime Minister says being unable to rely on the Maori Party's support for planned partial asset sales should not affect the National Party's ability to implement the policy.

The Maori Party has agreed to support the National Party on confidence and supply votes but is free to oppose it on all other matters, including partial asset sales.

The deal signed on Sunday means Mr Key has locked in agreements with the same three parties - ACT, United Future and the Maori Party - that supported National over the last three years.

It gives his Government 64 votes on confidence and supply, a comfortable majority in the 121 seat Parliament.

However, with the Maori Party not automatically agreeing to back National's election promises, National has just 61 votes for its partial asset sales programme and other policies.

Prime Minister John Key told Morning Report changes will need to be made to the State Owned Enterprise legislation for the asset sales to go ahead.

He says the Maori Party's refusal to back those changes will not make any difference to the passage of the legislation because the 61 votes it has without the party's support is still a majority.

Mr Key says none of the Government's plans will be pushed back as a result of the numbers it has.

The new Government's new look Cabinet is due to be unveiled on Monday and it is expected to include several new faces following the retirement of three ministers at the election.