Mighty River sale delayed by court action
Tue, 23 Oct 2012 1:36p.m.
By Lloyd Burr
The Government’s asset sales plan has again hit turbulence with Cabinet delaying the removal of Mighty River Power from the State Owned Enterprises Act.
The High Court indicated this morning the Government should hold off on starting the sale process for the company so the issue can be fully debated in court.
The Government has heeded that advice.
The process to partially privatise the company was planned to officially begin today with Cabinet’s approval followed by an order-in-council by Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae.
However, in the High Court at Wellington today, Justice Ronald Young advised the Government to hold off and get the issue sorted in court beforehand.
“I can’t understand why it [the order in council] has to happen this week,” says Justice Young.
Justice Young is presiding over the Maori Council’s legal action against the Government.
He says the Cabinet meeting today to authorise the order-in-council would be a “self-imposed limitation”.
“Presumably, we all agree nothing should be done in the interim that would prejudice these proceedings,” says Justice Young.
This morning, Prime Minister John Key indicated the Government would follow the court's wishes.
The decision to hold off on the order-in-council means a month-long judicial review will be heard at the end of November.
If the Government forged ahead, further court action could have delayed the partial sale even further.
A ruling from the judicial review is expected in January.
The Government plans to float 49 percent of Mighty River Power in March.
Crown lawyer David Goddard QC wanted the hearing to be earlier but was shut down by Justice Young.
“A hearing within a month is pretty speedy, given the significance [of the issue]…You could have hardly expected it to be quicker,” he says.
Justice Young has proposed to have two judges preside over the review when it starts on November 26.
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25/10/2012 11:13:00 p.m.
Another brainfade by PM. Since when was an extra $500,000 bonus to the CEO of Mighty River Power added to his already massive salary and 'benefits' on top of the cost of this unethical float already, part of the mythical mandate Key still insists he was given on Assets Sales? Even the most delusional of equally hard to see Mum and Dad National voters should see that for what it is. How does this payout profit NZ consumers? Clue.It doesn't.It only benefits Hefferman.
23/10/2012 11:57:23 p.m.
How is i switching off democracy Erm when 80 percent of people surveyed are against the asset sales?.
Sounds a little like your brain is the switched off component here.
23/10/2012 8:10:34 p.m.
Today's "Switch off Democracy" protest was proudly brought to you by the Labour Party.
23/10/2012 6:02:26 p.m.
All the people of New Zealand do have the power to stop this sale from happening.
Mercury may currently provide the cheapest electricity pricing, however do you think that will remain the same once it is privatised? no, they will follow contacts example and institute heavy price rises.
Shareholders in Mercury will be able to take the government to court in order to force better returns.
If people in this country are serious about saving their assets then leaving Mercury energy for another provider is your best bet.
No one will want to buy a floundering power company thats running at a loss.
The people of New Zealand can over rule John Key and the National Party on this matter.
Take a stand, switch Mercury energy off.
23/10/2012 5:24:52 p.m.
Penny Bright wrote:
The protest today outside the offices of Mighty River Power, 23-29 Albert St Auckland, was organised by the SWITCH OFF MERCURY ENERGY community group.
Mercury Energy is 100% owned by Mighty River Power - the first of the electricity State Owned Enterprises up for 'partial privatisation' under the recently passed Mixed Ownership Model Act (for which this minority National Government - with only 59 out of 121 MPs - was dependent on the vote of John Banks - ACT MP for Epsom) and Peter Dunne - United Future MP for Ohariu).
We are calling on Maori and Pakeha - ALL New Zealanders, to UNITE and to STOP the sale of Mighty River Power by 'switching off Mercury Energy'!
There is precedent for this 'PEOPLE POWER' action.
Back in 2008, Contact Energy (already privatised) doubled Director's fees and raised prices 12%. In 6 months, over 40,000 customers 'switched' and Contact Energy's profits halved.
For more information on how to 'switch off Mercury Energy' - and where to 'switch'
A Media Spokesperson
SWITCH OFF MERCURY ENERGY
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