Does National have a mandate for partial asset sales?
Prime Minister John Key says he expects a fight on his hands in the new Parliament over National's plans to partially sell state assets.
National wants to sell up to 49 per cent of state-owned power companies Meridian, Genesis, Mighty River Power and Solid Energy.
It also plans to reduce the Government's shareholding in Air New Zealand.
Labour, the Greens and the Mana Party say National has no mandate for its proposal because New Zealanders are divided on the plan.
NZ First leader Winston Peters said National had no right to sell assets when polls showed up to 80 per cent of voters were against it.
"They don't have a mandate to sell assets now, anymore than they have a mandate to get rid of MMP."
NZ First would be "ready on that score", he said.
"This time (Key) is going to be in a real fight if he thinks he's going to get away with selling these assets."
Key this morning acknowledged there would "definitely be resistance".
However, asset sales were an "upfront and central" part of the election campaign.
"Labour argued strongly against it, we argued strongly for it," he told TVNZ's Breakfast programme.
"When you think we've delivered the biggest result in MMP history and the biggest result in our history since 1951, you've got to say we've got a mandate."
New Zealanders and political parties would have a chance to have their say on the plan as it would have to go through a select committee process to amend state-owned enterprises legislation.
"When we work through that programme it will be very popular with New Zealanders.
"I know that some New Zealanders don't think that now but there's a massive amount of capital that needs to be invested."
No parties had campaigned to buy back the 24 per cent of Air New Zealand shares not held by the government, Key said.
Mighty River or Genesis were likely to be the first companies "off the block", he told Radio New Zealand.
"My guess is not earlier than the later part of 2012 but we will need to be better advice on that."
National would keep its word, Key promised.
"Majority stakes held by the Government, mum and dads first."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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