20 Aug 2011

Iwi prepare for consortium ahead of SOE sales

6:05 am on 20 August 2011

Fifty iwi have agreed to plan setting up a pan-tribal share-buying consortium in anticipation of state-owned asset sales.

If re-elected, National is promising to partially privatise Meridian Energy, Genesis Energy, Mighty River Power and Solid Energy, as well as selling part of the Government's shareholding in Air New Zealand.

At the Iwi Chairs Forum in Hopuhopu near Ngaruawahia on Thursday, the tribes agreed they should create an economic alliance, after an address about asset sales by Finance Minister Bill English.

Waikato-Tainui executive chairperson Tukoroirangi Morgan says in the face of the proposed SOE sell-down, iwi are now preparing and organising themselves.

Mr Morgan says dairy co-operative Fonterra is a perfect example of an effective collective and there are lessons to be learnt from its model.

He says the Iwi Chairs Forum will talk more about forming a consortium at their next meeting in three months time.

Mr Morgan told Morning Report that details such as whether the door would be open to those iwi who haven't settled still have to be answered.

"When we go in, we'll be there for a long, long time," he said.