20 Nov 2011

Preferential deal for iwi and asset sales ruled out

2:52 pm on 20 November 2011

National Party leader John Key has ruled out any deal under which Maori would get preferential access to shares sold under the proposed asset sales programme.

If re-elected on 26 November, National says it will proceed with the partial privatisation of state-owned energy companies Genesis Energy, Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power and Solid Energy and reduce the Crown's shareholding in Air New Zealand.


National says the $5 billion to $7 billion it expects from the sales will go to an infrastructure fund.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says his party is opposed to the plan to partially sell the energy companies, but could support the policy if iwi would be able to have priority access to the shares.

During campaigning in Auckland on Sunday, Mr Key was asked if he would rule out a sales programme which gave iwi preferential access, and replied that New Zealanders have to be treated equally and fairly.

Mr Key says iwi leaders want access to buy some shares, but so do many others such as KiwiSaver schemes.

"They're all New Zealanders that would be holding those assets, hopefully, for a very long period of time. But everyone's got to be treated equally and fairly."