3 Feb 2014

PM criticised over Genesis sale

6:25 pm on 3 February 2014

The Labour Party has accused the Prime Minister of proceeding with the sale of shares in Genesis Energy for the sake of his political pride.

030214. Photo Genesis Energy. Genesis Energy Huntly Power Station is a thermal power station that can use coal, gas or both simultaneously as fuel.

Genesis Energy's Huntly Power Station. Photo: GENESIS ENERGY

John Key has confirmed the Government expects to sell up to 49 percent of the electricity company sooner rather than later.

The sale follows that of shares in Mighty River Power, Meridian Energy and Air New Zealand.

Mr Key is confident about the Genesis sale, saying the latest advice he saw from the Treasury indicated it could take place.

He said the Government's arguments for selling shares in the companies remain valid and the income will help the Government invest in other assets and the companies themselves will be run better.

Labour's State-owned Enterprises spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove said the Government won't abandon the sale because of Mr Key's political pride. Mr Cosgrove said voters will respond negatively if National does sell shares in Genesis.

He said the Government wants to get the sale out of the way early in the year for political reasons.

But Mr Key said he does not believe National will be punished by voters. He said the party is unlikely to campaign this year on selling more assets and the sale of shares in the electricity companies and Air New Zealand is a 2011 issue.