21 Jun 2012

State-owned assets bill heads passes Committee Stages

6:45 pm on 21 June 2012

The legislation to allow the Government to partially sell state-owned assets passed its Committee Stages in Parliament on Thursday evening and will have its final reading next week.

The Maori Party voted against the bill in the Committee Stages, which is the clause-by-clause stage of the bill, but voted to send it to its third and final reading.

A spokesperson for the Maori Party says it did that because it is part of the party's agreement with National to support procedural motions, but it is still against the legislation.

The Mixed Ownership Model Bill will allow the Government to sell up to 49% of shares in Mighty River Power, Meridian, Genesis and Solid Energy.

The Bill is expected to have its third and final reading next week and get a one seat majority with support from the National Party, the Act Party and United Future.

Opposition claims delaying success

Opposition parties have claimed some success in delaying the passage of legislation.

Opposition parties say they've managed to delay the bill, despite the Speaker ruling out a significant number of amendments because they weren't serious enough.

The Bill includes a clause to protect the principals of the Treaty of Waitangi but states that does not apply to private shareholders.

Labour MP Parekura Horomia told Parliament the legislation undermines the rights of the Treaty and is one of the worst days for Maoridom.

But State-Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall told Parliament the asset sales programme is about creating investment opportunities for all New Zealanders.