NZ government pushes for partial sale of Mighty River Power in 2013

NZ government pushes for partial sale of Mighty River Power in 2013 Nga Awa Purua geothermal power plant by Mighty River Power, New Zealand (source: Mighty River Power)
Alexander Richter 29 Oct 2012

Despite continued debate on water rights of Maori groups, the government of New Zealand pushes for the partial privatization of energy company and geothermal powerhouse Mighty River Power in the country.

The Prime Minister of New Zealand has recently outlined his government’s planned next steps for the partial sale of energy company Mighty River Power.

The government will push for the partial sale of the company for the first half of 2013.  The plan to privatize parts of the company has seen some opposition by Maori groups that point to an old agreement that refer to Maori rights in the water and geothermal resources used by Mighty River Power, as well as other companies.

The government’s position is that it will not engage in further negotiations before the sale of shares in the energy companies in question.

The government sees the sale of Mighty River Power as not affecting the country’s ability to recognize Maori rights and interests in water, a key argument for the opposing side. The government is prepared to face legal action by Maori groups over its decision.

The government plans to see the sale go through during the second quarter of 2013 subject to market conditions.

Before the offer period commences, “New Zealanders will be able to register their interest in purchasing shares”, and while this doesn’t constitute a commitment to actual buy shares, it will – so the Prime Minster – “put (New Zealanders) at the front of the queue for shares”.