22 Jul 2012

Key speech will 'better inform' NZers on asset sales

7:01 am on 22 July 2012

The Prime Minister John Key is likely to unveil on Sunday how the Government will try to encourage New Zealanders to buy shares in some energy companies when they are partially sold.

Mr Key will give his speech to the National Party's annual conference in Auckland on Sunday.

The first share offer will be in Mighty River Power, which is expected to start in the current quarter of the year, which ends on the final day of September.

John Key has maintained that the shares will be affordable for the average New Zealander.

But some decisions have been outstanding like whether bonus shares could be offered to some investors.

Mr Key says his speech to the conference on Sunday will largely be economic in focus.

"I guess what you will see a little bit tomorrow is us firming up on some of the elements of the mixed-ownership model. New Zealanders will be a bit better informed about that programme," he said.

John Key hinted that he will provide more detail about what kinds of incentives could be provided for New Zealanders to invest in and hold on to the shares in energy companies like Mighty River Power.

President's warning

Party president Peter Goodfellow told the conference the party came out of last year's election well.

But he told the conference there were still some disappointments.

"Our caucus has only increased by one and of the nine new faces only one is a woman. Of our red seat (Labour-held electorates) candidates fought hard and tough battles but our tally of list MPs was reduced as the wasted vote under MMP reduced by a half."

McCully's Fiji visit nothing to do with Auckland raids - Key

Meanwhile, Mr Key says the Foreign Minister's forthcoming visit to Fiji has nothing to do with security authorities last week raiding some Auckland homes over an alleged plot to kill Fiji's military leader Frank Bainimarama.

He says Mr McCully is in Fiji for a Ministerial Contact Group meeting later in the week, and it is unlikely that the raids will be discussed at any of the meetings.

US shooting a tragedy - Key

Opening the conference, Prime Minister John Key acknowledged the loss of life in a mass shooting in the United States on Friday, describing it as an event of unspeakable horror.

A gunman opened fire on moviegoers in the city of Denver, killing 12 people ."Our thoughts go to those that have lost loved ones as a result of that terrible tragedy," Mr Key said.

During the weekend conference, delegates were expected to focus most on the economy, education and the Government's contentious welfare changes.

The conference finishes on Sunday at midday after Mr Key gives his main address.