27 Aug 2012

Mighty River float decision likely on Monday - PM

10:42 pm on 27 August 2012

Prime Minister John Key says Cabinet is likely to make a decision next Monday about how the Government will proceed with the partial float of Mighty River Power.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples and MP Te Ururoa Flavell met with Mr Key and other senior government ministers on Monday morning to discuss a Waitangi Tribunal interim report released last Friday.

The report says Maori do have proprietary rights in water and partial asset sales of power generators should be delayed until the Government has reached an agreement with Maori.

The Maori Party is urging the Government to take heed of the report before selling up to 49% of the shares in Mighty River Power.

Mr Key says the preferred option is still to float this year.

He says while it is a complex issue, if the Government is to go ahead with the partial sale this year it needs to give itself as much time as possible to prepare for the float.

"The reason for wanting to get to a timetable of next week in part is because if we're to give ourselves any chance of achieving that in 2012, recognising that there could or is likely to be some legal action taken against the Government if we did proceed, is to give ourselves that timeframe."

Dr Sharples says the Maori Party had not received an indication from the Government that it will take heed of the report and delay the sales process.

He says the party will hold a series of hui with Maori and brief Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson on the responses.

It will also meet with the Maori Council over the next two weeks.

Dr Sharples says he expects to meet the Prime Minister again before the Government makes its final decision.