4 Sep 2012

Water rights claimant thankful asset sale delayed

6:35 am on 4 September 2012

A water rights claimant is thanking the Government for its decision to delay share sales in Mighty River Power until next year.

The Government intends to sell up to 49% of shares in the state-owned companies but on Monday announced this would now take place between March and June 2013 instead of this year.

Prime Minister John Key said ministers have decided to undertake a short period of consultation with iwi on the 'shares plus' concept raised in the Waitangi Tribunal's interim report on water rights.

Shares plus would involve iwi receiving not just shares, but other shareholder agreements and revamped company constitutions that could give Maori enhanced power in the companies.

A Ngati Rangi descendant who gave evidence at the recent Waitanti Tribunal inquiry is thanking the Crown for its decision.

Toni Waho says it is not a time for Maori to gloat, but provides an opportunity for Maori and the Government to talk about proprietary rights.

Maori Council co-chairperson Rahui Katene is pleased with the Government's move, saying it is a mark of good faith.