Asset sales bill passes committee stage
Thu, 21 Jun 2012 4:27p.m.
The Government's asset sales legislation has passed its committee stage in Parliament after a debate that lasted nearly three days.
Opposition MPs fought every clause of the bill that allows the Government to sell 49 percent of the shares in four state-owned energy companies.
Labour and the Greens put up dozens of amendments - all of them were defeated - and used time-wasting tactics to hold up the bill.
They lost the battle this afternoon and the Mixed Ownership Model Bill now has one stage remaining - its third reading - before it becomes law.
All the opposition parties are voting against it and the Government has a majority of one vote to get it through.
Opinion polls have shown more than 70 percent of voters oppose asset sales. But the Government is going ahead anyway with share floats for Mighty River Power, Genesis Energy, Meridian Energy and Solid Energy.
Ministers say the Government's 51 percent shareholding will ensure the companies aren't controlled by foreign interests when the shares are sold.
It expects New Zealanders will buy nearly all the shares and is considering a loyalty bonus scheme which will offer extra shares if buyers don't sell before a specified time.
The bill is expected to pass its third reading on Tuesday.
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21/06/2012 4:52:48 p.m.
This bill against 70 percent of voters shall be evaporated and reflected in the next election...another unwise decision of the National Party.
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