25 Oct 2012

Govt share offer to Maori has merit and risk - consultant

10:40 am on 25 October 2012

An economic consultant says the Government's share offer to iwi which are yet to settle Treaty claims has some merit, but some risk as well.

The Crown is making it easy for tribes to buy stakes in state-owned assets that are due to be partially privatised, including hydro power generators, coal mining firm Solid Energy, and Air New Zealand.

The shares would be part of their final Treaty package, but tribes would be able to get their hands on the shares before they settle.

A partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers Hamiora Bowkett says the offer could be attractive to some iwi.

He says he likes the idea of on-account payment, because if an iwi's settlement process isn't complete the tribe won't miss out on getting involved in the share float.

But Mr Bowkett says like any investment, Maori have to be able to tolerate the risks of shares going up and down - and ensure any investment fits in with their strategy.