Supreme Court to ignore government deadline
Supreme Court to ignore government deadline on water rights decision
By Pattrick Smellie
Feb 14 (BusinessDesk) - Government hopes of a decision from the Supreme Court by next Monday on the New Zealand Maori Council's appeal to halt partial privatisation of MightyRiverPower will not be met, the Maori Council says.
Citing a Minute from the Supreme Court issued this afternoon, one of the council's legal counsel, Donna Hall, said the judgment "will not be delivered by 18 February and that the court anticipates being able to deliver judgment by the end of February."
To keep to its sale timetable, the government fought to have the appeal by-pass the Court of Appeal and has told the five judge panel it wanted a decision by Feb 18. Last year's High Court hearing and decision were also expedited.
The High Court emphatically rejected the Maori Council's application for judicial review of the Cabinet decision to sell MRP before government policy on Maori claims to freshwater rights were settled.
Hall said she trusted the government "will not be moved to any precipitous action for the sake of another 10 days or so, and looks forward to the decision in due course."
Under the government's ideal timing, an MRP float would go to the book-building, or price-setting stage in early May, for a June listing on the NZX.