Mighty River Power

Labour and Greens keeping power policy details secret

Labour and the Greens want you to trust them to run the country.

They want you to believe the brochures, the tweets, the Facebook messages and policy headlines but they don’t want you to know the precise details of their doomed to fail power policy.

Investors wanting more certainty around Labour-Greens policy for overhauling the electricity sector before the election appear to be out of luck.

The parties released plans for radically restructuring the industry shortly before the float of Mighty River Power in May last year and their policy has hung over the partial privatisation programme since.

At an energy industry conference yesterday the architects of the policy, Labour finance spokesman David Parker and Greens co-leader Russel Norman, restated the broad principles of the NZ Power plans.

“We don’t plan to release much further detail before the election,” said Norman after a panel discussion at the Downstream conference in Auckland.

“We’ve released a lot more detail than the National Party did before the Bradford reforms.”

In government the parties would be in a much better position to develop policy using the bureaucracy at their disposal, Norman said.  Read more »

Editorials on Air New Zealand sell down

The NZ Herald and Dompost editorials put a few things into perspective regarding the government sell down of Air New Zealand.

First up the Herald editorial:

According to the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe, the timing of the Government’s selldown of shares in Air New Zealand is arrogant. Describing it as astute would have been far closer to the mark. Shares in the airline have been trading at a five-year high and investment advisers have voiced their enthusiasm for them. What better time could there be for the Government to reduce its holding in the national carrier from 73 per cent to 53 per cent?

The selldown has been criticised because it is being done just before a referendum on the part-sale of state assets. That complaint is misplaced. The focus of the Government’s mixed-ownership model strategy and, therefore, the referendum has always been the part-sale of the state’s three power companies, not an airline that the government acquired essentially by accident. Air New Zealand is very much an ancillary part of that strategy. After the disappointments of the Mighty River and Meridian part-floats, it may, however, produce the best result. The $350 million to $400 million that the Government will gain from Air New Zealand will go some way to alleviating the power companies’ shortfalls.  Read more »

Why I think I will vote No in the referendum

With the looming asset sales referendum I have thought long and hard about it.

Which way should I vote?

The question is:

“Do you support the Government selling up to 49% of Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power, Genesis Power, Solid Energy and Air New Zealand?”

Should I vote No? These would be my reasons for voting against the referendum:

  1. The government should be in the market owning as much as possible and these companies are a good start.
  2. Anything the Greens or Labour says is gospel.
  3. It sends a message to the government even though they won the election campaigning on asset sales and Labour campaigned against.

Or should I vote Yes?

The reason for voting yes would be:

  1. The Greens and Labour are attempting to re-litigate the general election.
  2. Anything the Greens support is loony.
  3. It is a pointless waste of time as the referendum isn’t binding and nor should they ever be.
  4. I agree with the question.

Now those are the two positions…which one to vote for?  Read more »

Liam Dann on Cunliffe’s cunning plans

Liam Dann calls out Labour for their crazy policy announcement but notes that this is all part of Cunliffe’s cunning plan to hoodwink business.

The Labour Party under David Cunliffe already looks sharper than the David Shearer version when it comes to picking up on business and economic issues and turning them into ammunition for political attack.

A lot of these issues are complex and Labour seems happy to grab headlines with half-baked ideas that don’t bear serious scrutiny.

But that doesn’t really matter in the rough and tumble world of political point-scoring. Shearer’s more considered and generally more intelligent approach was getting the party nowhere. It is a shame that one Shearer’s biggest flaws was his tendency to think before he spoke.

Why waste time thinking – all that ever did was give the Greens a chance to get in first with a snappy soundbite? Cunliffe’s Labour Party certainly doesn’t.

While the strategy has seen them fall into line with the Bankers Association, the real estate industry and assorted fund managers, it does seem to be boosting their poll ratings.

So fair play to them – in modern politics it is smarter to play dumb.  Read more »

Waste of bloody money

The referendum your tax dollars bought and paid for has passed the threshold for signatures.

A referendum will be held on asset sales after confirmation that a petition under the Citizens Initiated Referenda Act gained the support of 10 per cent of eligible electors.

The petition, organised by the Keep Our Assets coalition and led by Grey Power president Roy Reid, asked: “Do you support the Government selling up to 49 per cent of Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power, Genesis Power, Solid Energy and Air New Zealand?”

Shares in Mighty River Power were first floated on May 10 this year.

The Clerk of the House of Representatives, Mary Harris, today said she was satisfied the petition had more than the 308,753 signatories required on March 12, the day it was delivered.  Read more »

More Green party deceit

The Green taliban just can’t help themselves when it comes to telling fibs. Of course they are aided and abetted by the left-wing slant of the NZ Herald who give them prominent headlines featuring their lies.

The Green Party says that shares sold in the recent float of Mighty River Power went to only a small group of investors – and claims of widespread ‘mum and dad’ ownership are false.

They say half of the shares in Mighty River Power sold by the Government went to just 13,000 people, with 10 per cent going to just 400 individuals, trusts and organisations.  Read more »

Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink.

Here is a very interesting dilemma for Auckland Council and Len. The growth of Auckland requires infrastructure to service it. Only they have not enough potable water so it means they want more from the Waikato River. But they can’t get more unless other permits are given up and Mighty River Power is fighting for priority over water rights.

Whereas Contact and Mighty River’s interests lie in the upper stretches of the Waikato, Watercare is a bottom-end user. Its appeal against the RPS reflects the reality that its thirst for future water comes a long way down the list, even though municipal water suppliers are accorded priority status.

New applicants have been lined up for some time ahead of Watercare for a share in available Waikato flow, meaning Auckland’s water company will get an assured supply only if a permit holder gives up its consented take, more water becomes available or if the regional council decides not to renew consents when they expire at the usual term of 10 years.  Read more »

Labour and consistency. Never the twain shall meet

via mediaspanonline.com

via mediaspanonline.com

Katie Bradford-Crozier writes at ZB

International interest in the Mighty River Power float was high, so 13.5 per cent of the company will now be owned by overseas investors.

The Finance Minister revealed details of the share allocation and pricing of the energy company last night.

113,000 Kiwis have bought shares, at $2.50 a pop.

Bill English says offshore institutions have been allocated $472 million worth of shares – but those were limited to ensure 86.5 per cent of the company was kept in New Zealand hands.

No wonder the share price hasn’t crashed to the $2.00 – $2.20 level that the Green Taliban and Labour were crowing about.  There is genuine interest in the Mighty River Power float.

Read more »

Trotter on the failed petition

Chris Trotter discusses the failed Green/Labour petition to re-write an election result.

The attempt to use the Citizens Initiated Referendum process to halt the Government’s partial privatisation programme was always a risky strategy. Political parties, in particular, take a huge risk in associating their names with operations in which so many things, over which they have no control, can go wrong. And now, of course, they have gone wrong – badly wrong – and at the worst possible moment.

It’s the perception that the “Keep Our Assets” petition has failed, on the very eve of the Government learning how much Mighty River Power’s shares are worth, that’s done the damage.

Political insiders may know that CIRs almost always fall short on the first official count. That someone has only to shift flats, and write their new address on the petition form, for the Clerk of the House to disallow that person’s signature. Unfortunately, 90 percent of the voters don’t know. If John Key tells them that one-in-four of the petition’s signatures are “fake” – they’re quite likely to believe him.  Read more »

Mighty River Power share price set at $2.50, Greens/Labour give discount to investors

The Green/Labour attempted sabotage of the Mighty River Power float was only partially successful. Sensible investors stayed the course and have now received a healthy discount for their shares...meaning they can buy more for the money invested.

Investors in Mighty River Power will pay $2.50 per share, the government said this evening.

Of the shares issued, 86.5 per cent will be New Zealand owned (spread over 110,000 shareholders):  26.9 per cent by New Zealand retail investors, 8.6 per cent by New Zealand institutions and with the Crown retaining a majority 51 per cent shareholding.  That leaves 13.5 per cent for overseas institutions.

The share price will raise $1.7 billion for government coffers.   Read more »