By Alex Tarrant
The fight to stop the government's asset sales programme is heading to the Supreme Court.
The highest court in the land today granted approval for the Maori Council to appeal a High Court decision a week ago that the government's decisions regarding moves to partially privatise four state-owned energy companies were not reviewable in court.
The Supreme Court also granted leave for the appeal to be heard by the Supreme Court, meaning the next decision could be the final act in the Maori Council's bid to prove the sales would be unlawful.
The approved ground of appeal was whether the High Court was right to dismiss the application for review.
The Supreme Court said it would hear the appeal on January 31 and February 1 next year.
A decision in favour of the government will allow it to move forward with its plans to sell up to 49% of Mighty River Power in the second quarter next year. Mighty River is set to be followed by partial privatisations of Genesis Energy, Meridian Energy and Solid Energy.
The government is also looking to sell down its three-quarter stake in Air New Zealand to no less than 51%, in its bid to raise NZ$5-7 billion from the 'mixed-ownership model' programme.