Iwi eye 20% share in power company float

PM says Genesis, Mighty River Power first off the block.

An alliance of Maori tribes has expressed interest in buying around 20% of any state owned power companies put up for partial sale by the National government.

Ngai Tahu chair and Iwi Chairs Forum member Mark Solomon told Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon that iwi are interested in buying shares and have been interested for a few years now.

John Key told the station’s Morning Report that his most accurate prediction was that sales could proceed from late 2012, with Mighty River Power or Genesis Energy most likely to be first in line.

However, Mr Solomon said that decisions to purchase these shares depend on the sale process and would be subject to full due diligence of the assets.

He also said that a partnership between iwi and government would prove to be profitable as iwi will never leave the country and that earnings will remain in New Zealand to be re-invested.

Mr Key has told media a lot of work has been put into making these sales possible, including changes to the State Owned Enterprise Act.

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