Iwi could still hold up asset sales
Tue, 26 Jun 2012 6:01p.m.
By Duncan Garner
The legislation allowing five partial asset sales to go ahead has been passed with 61 votes to 60 .
But the Prime Minister is warning the sell-off could still be delayed if negotiations with iwi break down and the Government is taken to court.
A small group of protestors shouted the house down from the outside today, and inside the house that's all the Opposition had - a voice, but not the numbers.
“The fight is not finished, it is out of here and onto the streets,” said Labour leader David Shearer.
Mr Shearer was backed up by fellow Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove.
“This is a day of shame for this house and a day of infamy for New Zealand,” he said.
Protestors called for no asset sales, but that’s unlikely.Prime Minister John Key says the only thing that might delay the first sale later in the year, of Mighty River Power, is court action from iwi who oppose the sales.
“There is a litigation risk – obviously the Maori Council has threatened action and that is always a possibility – it could slow things up,” said Mr Key
Central North Island iwi Tuwharetoa has threatened legal action and is negotating with the Government over its concerns. And Whanganui iwi also have concerns over the future sale of Genesis, while they await a claim over the river.
But neither group has so far sought an injunction.
“We can’t control someone going to the court,” said Mr Key.
“A legal challenge is possible at any time by anyone among Maori,” said Finance Minister Bill English.
Any out-of-court solution could see shares set aside for iwi as part of any future settlement – but they'd be fully priced, not discounted.
“There has been ongoing discussion about how they can bid for shares,” said Mr English.
Now that the energy companies are going up for sale, expect a massive and expensive marketing campaign. All the Government's research shows voters are confused about what's on offer and how it works.
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27/06/2012 8:28:56 a.m.
Hi Duncan, has John Key already done a deal with Maori? The Maori party supported the sale of these assets, which makes me think they know something we don't.It would be quite easy to take a large holding as a group when individuals can pick up 10% each.
26/06/2012 8:44:40 p.m.
All for partial privatisation wrote:
Jeez Duncan, bloody lucky if there was 10 protesters all up plus your camera crew plus a few bystanders who couldn't quite believe how loud that demented woman could screech - you know the one your camera man focused in on to make sure it looked like a much larger crowd on your news report.
How about a bit of objective reporting for change?
26/06/2012 8:30:05 p.m.
So the majority of voters can decide something, but the Iwi can stop it. Blatant racism, worthy of South Africa.
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