Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Chief Justice floats 25% limitation on partial privatisation

Chief Justice floats 25% limitation on partial privatisations

By Pattrick Smellie

Jan. 31 (BusinessDesk) - Chief Justice Sian Elias has floated the prospect of the Supreme Court restraining the government to selling no more than 25 percent of state-owned power companies while it sorts out a long term solution to Maori claims to freshwater rights under the Treaty of Waitangi.

Her comments came at the end of the first morning of two days' scheduled hearings on the New Zealand Maori Council's challenge to the government's partial assets sales policy.

It followed lengthy questioning of the council's lawyer, Colin Carruthers QC, about the responsibility for finding a means of redress for Maori grievances lies with the government rather than Maori claimants.

"A protective mechanism could be that the Crown will only divest 25 percent until there's some resolution," said Elias.

While comments in the course of a hearing cannot be claimed as evidence of the court's eventual decision, such an outcome would put a serious dent in the government's plans to raise as much as $4.85 billion from the sale of up to 49 percent of MightyRiverPower and Meridian Energy, valued at $3.3 billion and $6.5 billion respectively, before the end of this year.

For a sale of just 25 percent of the two, the government might reap only around $2.4 billion. It intends committing capital raised by the sales to public infrastructure and facilities instead of increasing government borrowing.

Carruthers had argued earlier that even with majority control of 51 percent, the government would be weakened in its ability to force Treaty settlement terms on partially privatised companies, leaving Maori capacity to seek redress "significantly impaired."

The Maori Council is appealing a High Court decision not to allow the Cabinet's decision to proceed with asset sales to be judicially reviewed.

Carruthers expects to complete his submissions early this afternoon, with David Goddard QC to open the Crown's submissions before the end of the day. The hearing is set down for two days.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Cosmetics & Pollution: Proposal To Ban Microbeads

Cosmetic products containing microbeads will be banned under a proposal announced by the Minister for the Environment today. Marine scientists have been advocating for a ban on the microplastics, which have been found to quickly enter waterways and harm marine life. More>>

ALSO:

NIWA: 2016 New Zealand’s Warmest Year On Record

Annual temperatures were above average (0.51°C to 1.20°C above the annual average) throughout the country, with very few locations observing near average temperatures (within 0.5°C of the annual average) or lower. The year 2016 was the warmest on record for New Zealand, based on NIWA’s seven-station series which begins in 1909. More>>

ALSO:

Farewell 2016: NZ Economy Flies Through 2016's Political Curveballs

Dec. 23 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy batted away some curly political curveballs of 2016 to end the year on a high note, with its twin planks of a booming construction sector and rampant tourism soon to be joined by a resurgent dairy industry. More>>

ALSO:


NZ Economy: More Growth Than Expected In 3rd Qtr

Dec. 22 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the September quarter as a booming construction sector continued to underpin activity, spilling over into related building services, and was bolstered by tourism and transport ... More>>

  • NZ Govt - Solid growth for NZ despite fragile world economy
  • NZ Council of Trade Unions - Government needs to ensure economy raises living standards
  • KiwiRail Goes Deisel: Cans electric trains on partially electrified North Island trunkline

    Dec. 21 (BusinessDesk) – KiwiRail, the state-owned rail and freight operator, said a small fleet of electric trains on New Zealand’s North Island would be phased out over the next two years and replaced with diesel locomotives. More>>

  • KiwiRail - KiwiRail announces fleet decision on North Island line
  • Greens - Ditching electric trains massive step backwards
  • Labour - Bill English turns ‘Think Big’ into ‘Think Backwards’
  • First Union - Train drivers condemn KiwiRail’s return to “dirty diesel”
  • NZ First - KiwiRail Going Backwards for Xmas
  • NIWA: The Year's Top Science Findings

    Since 1972 NIWA has operated a Clean Air Monitoring Station at Baring Head, near Wellington... In June, Baring Head’s carbon dioxide readings officially passed 400 parts per million (ppm), a level last reached more than three million years ago. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Business
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news