'Pragmatic' Ngati Porou oppose asset sales - but want a slice

BUSINESSDESK: Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, the country’s second-biggest iwi, opposes the government’s plan to sell 49% of state-owned energy companies but wants a slice of the action if the proposal goes ahead.

The iwi isn’t keen on the plan to sell stakes in MightyRiverPower, Genesis Energy, Meridian Energy and Solid Energy, but “we’re just being pragmatic,” chairman Apirana Mahuika told Parliament’s finance and expenditure committee.

“If it does go ahead, we need to protect ourselves.”

The committee heard oral submissions from 45 opponents to the Mixed Ownership Model Bill today, with more than 1400 submissions received in total.

No oral submitters supported the partial privatisation plan.

However, if the bill is passed, Ngati Porou wants the 10% ownership threshold removed so consortia of iwi can build up a stake.

Lawyer Matanuku Mahuika said the threshold was arbitrary, and if the government is serious about getting Maori investment it should let those consortia buy bigger stakes than what is on the table.

Any decision on whether to participate will depend on the price and return, he said.

Ngati Porou also wants the government to retain board representation to “exert some level of influence through the people it appoints”, Mr Mahuika said.

That may have an impact on the valuation of the shares when they are sold, but that is the kind of trade-off that has to be made, he said.

Earlier in the day, Geoff Bertram from the Victoria University Institute of Policy Studies said regulatory arrangements for the electricity system were failing and needed to be fixed before contemplating privatisation.

Describing the last 20 years of electricity reforms as a “circular process of price-gouging”, he said there were opportunities to implement progressive power pricing to alleviate energy poverty.

“Privatisation is a normal thing,” he told the committee, but not if it was pursued without good regulation.

Several submitters said they feared the partial privatisations would freeze in place the current market-oriented regulatory model for electricity.

Energy campaigner and spokesperson for the Domestic Energy Users Network, Molly Melhuish, provided analysis showing private sector power companies charged higher prices than most of their state-owned counterparts.

Privately owned TrustPower had the highest charge of 29.02 cents per kilowatt hour, while the lowest private tariffs were charged by Todd Energy’s Nova, at 24.76 cents.

State-owned MightyRiverPower – the first generator-retailer in the queue for partial sale, later this year – charged 25.77 cents per Kwh under its Mercury brand, according to the February 2012 MED quarterly survey of electricity prices.

Two MRP subsidiaries also charged rates above 26 cents per Kwh.

The lowest price retailer in the MED survey was Genesis Energy subsidiary, Energy Online, at an average 23.63 cents per Kwh.

Public Service Association national secretary Richard Wagstaff also opposed the bill, but if it proceeds urged the committee to reinstall employer obligations of the partially-owned companies to appoint people based on merit.

“Many businesses operating in the private sector recruit staff from relations and friends and don’t go through the same level of transparency as the New Zealand public service,” he said.

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Yep, they want it as a gift, and anybody betting they don't get it?

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Ngati Porou wish to promote a policy of seperatism with their call for iwi to be given the opportunity to buy a stake larger than the (proposed?) 10% threshold. It is not stated, but presumably legislation would be needed to allow this to occur if, for example, initial demand sees a scaleback of the number of shares allotted and/or they are unable to reach their desired total buying on the open market.
Why should the government favour such a move simply to show it is serious about Maori investment? And why do Aparana Mahuika and lawyer Matanuku Mahuika feel such a move is part of a need to protect iwi? Perhaps they are referring to Ngati Tama's disastrous investment strategies which included the loss of 12.5 million invested in an AUSTRALIAN-BASED computer software company.
Should the government consider the appointment of a Minister for Maori Encouragement to handle future investment opportunities?
Ngati Porou's concept is dangerous, outdated and abhorrent.

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What else would you expect from parasitic scum?

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You only have to look at the stitch up deal that the Ngati Whatua who aren't even a real tribe have done over Devonport and the stench of secret back room deals concocted by so many names not least of all Finlayson to know how corruption is inherent in the treaty gravy train. The young half castes are as cunning as their 'indian giving' ancestors and publicly boast about the future commercialisation of what they are demanding while choosing to ignore the tribes who still get nought. Using taxpayer money the tribes are fighting with no less vigour and the losers die strangled by poverty. Seeing as so much money is involved its about time dna testing and an audit of their claimed whakapapa was at least made public before a single cent more of taxpayer money was given.

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IWI = i want it

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..and we all wonder why NZrs are leaving in droves!! Having just arrived back from a week in Melbourne not 12 hours ago, the positive vibe and 'look to the future' approach to life that is in the Aussie mindset has already been erased..back to daily doses of Maori ' I Want It' B...S..t. I and my generation (baby boomers) do not owe Ngati Porou, or any other Tribe anything..We didn't buy the land or confiscate the land, or upset the feelings of any tribe...so why do we continue to pay?.... Maori, Get a life and stop playing the 'victim' card, because until such time as you break that mentality you will be victims..then again being a victim in this country does pay dividends. To John Key and the Nats...For goodness sake grow some 'balls' and start managing the country without racial prejudice and being intimidated by your Maori Party 'bed buddies'.Kiwis are naive to think that the 'world' looks on in amazement at our race relations....In fact, we are laughed at for being an 'easy touch' when it comes to race relations.. The fact that every situation; Mercer State Hwy 1 Taniwha $$$; Tokerau Beach/ Kauri Penninsula Threats of violence to my family if we were to proceed to the beach; Mount Tarawera $$$$ to take the family to the top; a farm dam in Northland $1,000 before IWI would give consent..this on a private farm!!; Foreshore & Seabed targeting beaches where there will be a commercial gain (90 mile beach); Kaipara Harbour being made waihi tapu... Oh what do you mean there is consent to generate electricity using under water Turbines...There are $$$$$ to be had. Should I go on.
How dum are we NZrs to put up with all this greed and contempt that the militant Maori lay on us...and it is only a minority of Maori.
My first thoughts on return to NZ...why do I live in a place where I am a second class citizen..I don't have the privileges and help Maori has..I cannot put in a claim for the South Island Beech forrest my Grandfather lost...it has whanau significance and is far more valuable now than in 1931...why can't I claim, just as Maori do, and receive a Waitangi tribunal payout ??? When do I become a Kiwi, because currently as a fourth generation White NZr I am not actually a citizen simply because there are other NZrs who receive privileged treatment...where does all this stop?? I would suggest it won't stop..until we have a leader with balls and guts to say enough is enough!! If the population as a whole got off their backsides and took some active interest in these matters we will bring the 'gravy train' to a holt. To put things in perspective. How much has the multi Billion dollar pay outs (from early 1900s until today) cost each and every tax payer? We are absolute mugs!!

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and I bet your not racist either hey, and don't tell me, probably some of your mates are maori too.

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