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MOM Bill Committee Stage Hits A Small Glitch

The Mixed Ownership Model Bill moved closer to passing into law on Wednesday night but failed to complete its committee stage.

The bill setting up the partial sale of shares in energy state owned enterprises was ferociously attacked by Opposition parties. However attempts to filibuster the bill were largely in vain because the legislation is relatively brief, just two parts and schedules, which limited the time debate could be dragged out for.

State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall was one of the few National Party speakers and he defended the bill arguing it was better to partially sell some assets than borrow the money to fund Government spending.

Labour’s Deputy Leader Grant Robertson argued the sale would result in shares falling into foreign ownership, higher power prices and said the bill did not enjoy a mandate.

Despite protestations from the Opposition, especially after Labour Leader David Shearer was denied a call, debate on the bill was ended.

However, due to time running out, the bill was only reported with progress made by 63 to 57, with National, Maori Party, ACT and United Future supporting.

The Maori Party voted with the Government on procedural motions, but against the substance of the bill.

The committee stage is set to continue tomorrow (Thursday) with a motion to split the bill the last part of the stage to be completed.

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