26 Mar 2013

Govt removes compensation provisions from Mighty River

12:00 pm on 26 March 2013

The Government has removed historical guarantees of compensation from Mighty River Power as it prepares the state-owned power company for partial sale.

It means the company, for example, will no longer have taxpayer protection if its use of water or geothermal energy is taxed in the future.

State-Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall said the indemnities that have been in place for more than 20 years have never been used.

He said the first provided for compensation if the company's use of water or geothermal energy became subject to a tax, royality, levy or impost.

The other indemnity related to any extra costs arising from the return of land under Treaty of Waitangi legislation.

Mr Ryall said leaving them in place would run the risk of taxpayers' picking up the tab for private investors in the event they were called upon.

The removal of the indemnities will be reflected in the Mighty River Power offer documents and statements to the stock exchange, the NZX, on Tuesday.