Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Folly of asset sales exposed by Meridian windfall dividend

Folly of asset sales exposed by Meridian windfall dividend

The folly of the National Government's asset sales was exposed today when Meridian Energy announced a windfall dividend which the Government will now only get half of, the Green Party said.

“Meridian’s windfall dividend underlines that selling good assets to cut debt is plain bad economics,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

“These are dividends the Government should have.”
Meridian, now 49 percent owned by private interests, including substantial foreign interests, today announced a better than forecast profit for the year to June 30, including a 2 cents per share special dividend from the sale of excess land.

“The Crown will receive a windfall of $26.2 million but it would have been over $50 million had the Government not sold this superb asset,” Dr Norman said.

The better than forecast net profit of $229.8 million for the June year meant the power company would pay a final dividend of 6.82 cents per share, giving a total dividend of 11.0 cents, or $143.1 million for the Government.

“We are likely to see this story of foregone Crown dividends repeated many times, while the semi-privatised power companies will be under pressure to increase prices,” Dr Norman said.

“Over a million people voted against the assets sales in the referendum. Nearly everyone understood it was a bad idea. That National is not going into this election with an asset sales programme shows that even they understand it has been a failure.

“Meridian reported that electricity demand is flat, but households are still paying higher bills. The average power bill has risen 20 percent since National came to office.

“National’s solution has been to sell government power companies like Meridian - a lose-lose situation where companies will be pressured to return higher profits via higher prices, while the government will also lose the income stream from those companies.

“The Green-Labour NZ Power initiative will cut the average household’s bill by $300 and we will regulate the market to get people off the higher bill treadmill,” Dr Norman said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Labour: Little Announces New Shadow Cabinet

“Labour had an impressive intake of fresh faces after last year’s election and newest MPs have now had a year to show what they’re made of. This reshuffle rewards hard work and continues my drive to renew our Caucus line up." More>>

Whaling: NZ Deeply Disappointed By Japan's Decision

“New Zealand is strongly opposed to whaling in the Southern Ocean. We call on Japan to take heed of the 2014 International Court of Justice decision and international scientific advice concerning their whaling activities.” More>>


Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news