17 Jul 2012

Labour urges Govt to delay Mighty River sale

8:01 pm on 17 July 2012

The Labour Party is urging the Government to delay the sale of shares in Mighty River Power until Maori claims over water are settled.

But Prime Minister John Key has dismissed the Maori Council's water rights claim at the Waitangi Tribunal as opportunistic and expects the sale to go ahead as planned.

Labour's state-owned enterprises spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says Mr Key is hellbent on selling state assets despite the threat of legal action.

Mr Cosgrove says proceeding with the sale of shares in Mighty River Power under those circumstances will only result in a lower share price.

But State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall rejects suggestions potential Maori claims over water rights will have any impact on the share price for Mighty River Power.

And Mr Key says despite the likelihood of a legal challenge, he expects the sale will proceed on time.