8 Nov 2011

Air NZ chairman says part asset sales have benefits

5:25 pm on 8 November 2011

The chairman of two state-owned companies says the benefits of partial privatisation include the ability for the Crown to invest in growth while sharing any risk.

National Party policy is to sell up to 49% of state-owned energy companies Meridian, Mighty River Power, Solid Energy and Genesis and to reduce the Government's majority shareholding in Air New Zealand.

The chairman of Air New Zealand and Solid Energy, John Palmer, told Nine to Noon that a government can still have control of these assets with a 51% stake.

He said that having the stability of a cornerstone shareholding by the Crown alongside participation from other sources of equity is a valuable combination for New Zealand.

"The reality is that for every million dollars that the Crown puts into the growth of these companies is a million dollars it can't spend elsewhere."