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Government Defers Decision On Met Service

Rt Hon Sir William Birch
Minister of Finance
Hon Tony Ryall
Minister for State-Owned Enterprises
16 July 1999

For Immediate Release

GOVERNMENT DEFERS DECISION ON METSERVICE

Finance Minister Sir William Birch and State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall announced today that a decision on the sale of the MetService would be deferred until early next year.

The announcement follows the completion of an independent scoping study carried out by KPMG.

"The scoping study concluded that there are no good public policy reasons for retaining ownership of MetService, as all key services will continue to be purchased by the Ministry of Transport, regardless of who owns MetService," the Ministers said.

"However, the Government wants to make sure that all potential bidders have the necessary time to assess MetService and make high quality bids in order to get the best result for the taxpayer. The Government considers the current time frame for selling MetService is too short to guarantee this. By comparison, the sales process for VTNZ is well underway and expected to be completed in September.

"The Government has therefore decided it is in the best interests of the taxpayer to defer a decision on whether to proceed with a sale of MetService until early next year. By doing so, this will allow more time for bidders than is currently available."

Ends


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