21 Feb 2012

Final hui on asset sale plan held

9:41 am on 21 February 2012

Finance Minister Bill English says there has been general acceptance at consultation hui that the Government will proceed with the partial sale of four state-owned enterprises, but will protect Maori interests.

The Government plans to sell up to 49% of state-owned energy companies Genesis Energy, Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power and Solid Energy and reduce the Crown's shareholding in Air New Zealand.

Mr English has attended ten hui from Whangarei to Invercargill, with the last of them being held in Napier on Monday.

He says the biggest single issue raised at all the hui has been concern about future claims on water.

Mr English says that in some cases processes around water have been going on for two to three years, which quite a few attending the hui did not know.

Frustration at Napier hui

When the original list of consultation hui was published late last month, Ngati Kahungunu - the third largest iwi in New Zealand - was left off the list.

A hui was hastily organised at Pukemokimoki Marae in Napier on Monday night.

Haana Wilcox of Ngati Kiri hapu in Central Hawke's Bay was one of more than 100 who attended.

She says it was impossible, given the short timeframe, to prepare a considered submission to put to Mr English.