Crown liabilities removed from Mighty River

JASON KRUPP
Last updated 12:35 26/03/2013

Relevant offers

Politics

No regrets from Peters Today in politics: Saturday, October 24 Homeowner sees progress after confronting PM Live chat review: Labour leadership candidate Andrew Little Beehive Live: Friday 24 October Today in politics: Friday, October 24 Guinea pig for drink-drive tech NZ Parliament closes doors after Canadian shooting NZ well-prepared against Ebola: Coleman Heed provinces, Labour leader candidates told

The Government today stripped two clawback indemnities from Mighty River Power ahead of its partial float on the New Zealand share market in May.

The indemnities, which have been in place since 1999 but never used, held the Crown liable for any additional duties, taxes or charges on water or geothermal energy, and any shortfall on any Treaty of Waitangi land settlements.

In a statement released today, the Government said the move was a prudent one ahead of the partial sell-down, and mirrored a simpler process when Contact Energy was privatised 13 years ago.

"We are taking this move to ensure a level playing field for the electricity companies after the Mighty River Power partial float," minister for state owned enterprises Tony Ryall said.

"Leaving the indemnities in place could risk transferring taxpayer capital to private investors with no benefit to the Crown."

MRP chairwoman Joan Withers said the company was getting towards the "end of the tidying up" phase ahead of the release of the investment statement and prospectus, which should be distributed to would-be shareholders shortly.

More than 440,000 investors pre-registered for shares, with the government guaranteeing that mum-and-dad investors a $2000 stake, and a possible bonus further down the track for holding on to the shares for an as-yet-unspecified period.

The Government said it would probably remove similar indemnities that apply to Meridian Energy and Genesis Energy ahead of their partial floats, which have been pencilled in before the end of the year.

The indemnities were established in the 1988 under the ECNZ Crown Sale Deed which was transferred to Mighty River Power when ECNZ was split in 1999.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should MPs be able to swear to uphold the principles of the Treaty?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: Oath wording strikes MP discord

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content