5 Mar 2012

SOE bill makes clear Treaty clause applies to Crown

9:41 pm on 5 March 2012

Legislation paving the way for the partial sale of the Government's four energy companies makes it clear a Treaty of Waitangi clause only applies to the Crown.

The legislation also omits the social responsibility clause which is included in the State-owned Enterprises Act.


The Mixed Ownership Model Bill was introduced to Parliament on Monday and includes the Treaty clause (Section 9) from the SOE Act which requires the Crown to act in a manner consistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

However, it adds that for the avoidance of doubt, the legislation does not apply to persons other than the Crown, ie private shareholders.

State-owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall says he understands that the Maori Party is satisfied with the wording.

The minister also defended the omission of any social responsibility clause in the bill, saying it would be up to the partially privatised companies whether they bothered to have a statement of corporate social responsibility.

He confirmed that shares in Mighty River Power would be the first put up for sale in the three months to the end of September this year.

Mr Ryall says the legislation, which will require the Crown to retain at least 51% of the shareholding in each of the energy companies, will receive its first reading in Parliament on Thursday.