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Meridian’s tough sell, Tex speaks and earthquake unit makeover

The biggest threat to Meridian's partial privatisation is not its size or Mighty River Power's post-float performance.

NBR Online staff
Fri, 05 Jul 2013

The Greens-Labour power policy looms as the biggest threat to Meridian’s float later this year, market sources say.

While Mighty River Power’s post-float performance and the sheer size of Meridian, one of New Zealand’s largest companies, throws up particular issues, several sources agree the state-owned power generator and retailer is more sensitive to the NZ Power policy than MRP.

In today’s newspaper, NBR also runs the rule over the markets and several key New Zealand companies to see how Mighty River Power is tracking.

In Technology, Chris Keall reports 2degrees founder Tex Edwards has been stirred from two years of relative silence by a draft government proposal for its 4G spectrum auction.

Meanwhile, the wheels are coming off the Canterbury earthquake rebuild.

A little-publicised restructure of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, described as “mass executions by firing squad”, comes on top of this week’s Christchurch City Council consenting fiasco.

Business editor Duncan Bridgeman reports on ANZ  Bank’s pursuit of elusive property investor Danny Chung and former Burger King owner Mark Backhaus’s $600,000 loss to an alleged scam.

Washington DC insider Ernie Bower outlines why the White House wants to wrap up the Trans Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement, and when.

In AdMedia, Victoria Young details the latest turn in an escalating battle between supermarket giants Progressive, Foodstuffs and recently-listed The Mad Butcher over price comparison advertising.

Editor-in-Chief Nevil Gibson, writing in Margin Call, argues NZX-listed lines company Vector should be pulled from the grip of the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust and a wider spread of shareholders brought in.

In Heartland, University of Waikato agribusiness professor Jacqueline Rowarth says New Zealand needs more high earners paying taxes, and what is missing is a clear statement about what New Zealand needs in its workforce to create a productive economy.

Meanwhile, during these cold and troubled times, David Cohen asks 25 burning questions in Media Watch.

Also in today's print edition:

  • Shoeshine reads between the lines in the Financial Markets Authority’s latest report, which glosses over unresolved investigations into failed finance companies.
  • In Initiative Matters, Oliver Hartwich says Kevin Rudd’s return to Australia’s top job is his chance to help Labor fix the problems he created in the first place.
  • Nathan Smith, writing in Foreign Affairs, ponders China’s commercial expansion in the South Pacific and what it means for the balance of power.
NBR Online staff
Fri, 05 Jul 2013
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Meridian’s tough sell, Tex speaks and earthquake unit makeover