Govt warns Waitangi Tribunal any delay of water rights decision past first week of September will have "significant consequences" in terms of sales

There are likely to be "significant consequences" to the timing of the partial sale of Mighty River Power and three other state-owned energy companies if the government is forced to delay a decision on whether to commence the Mighty River sale past the first week of September, the government says.

On Thursday afternoon it requested the Waitangi Tribunal issue a report by August 24 on how the sales might affect Maori water rights and potential Treaty of Waitangi claims in the future.

The Tribunal this week urged the government to hold off commencing the partial sale of Mighty River until it had issued the first stage of its report on hearings heard during July, which it said would come during September.

Finance Minister Bill English and SOE Minister Tony Ryall said on Thursday afternoon that to proceed with a Mighty River share offer in 2012, ministers would need to make decisions by the first week of September. That meant they needed the Tribunal's report by August 24 to give it time to consider the Tribunal's views.

“We would [decide whether to proceed] on the basis of all the information available to us at that time, including the Waitangi Tribunal’s memorandum of 30 July," English and Ryall said.

“However, ministers would welcome the opportunity to consider the Tribunal’s detailed findings, its recommendations and its reasoning, which we do not have at this stage," they said.

“The Tribunal expressed a view that there would be minimal or no delay to the share offer if it reported on stage one of its inquiry by the end of September. However, there are a limited number of windows each year in which a share offer can take place," English and Ryall said.

“Delaying a decision beyond the first week of September and losing the 2012 window for the offer would have significant consequences, not only for the Mighty River Power offer, but also in delaying the rest of the share offer programme over the next two years," they said.

“We have said consistently that we would welcome timely recommendations from the Tribunal. With that in mind, we have asked the Tribunal whether it is able to provide its recommendations and supporting reasoning by 24 August, so ministers are able to consider them alongside all other relevant information.”

The Government had written to the Waitangi Tribunal seeking further information on the Tribunal’s findings, recommendations and supporting reasoning with respect to its inquiry into national fresh water and geothermal resources.

“The Government wants to consider the Tribunal’s recommendations and the reasons behind them as part of its decision on the Mighty River Power share offer this year,” English and Ryall said.

“As we have said, we want to act in good faith and carefully consider the Tribunal’s recommendations," they said.

“However, we appreciate the Tribunal’s interim direction on 30 July did not make substantive findings on any of the issues it identified. So we have today asked the Tribunal to provide its recommendations and reasoning by 24 August."

(Updates first two pars to clarify govt wants report by August 24, updates with video.)

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It is so exciting  isn't it. Bill must be beside himself. Bet he always really wanted to be a Banker in real life.  Buy-Sell, Buy-Sell. If we don't get this done this year - where will our bonuses come from. Without this float our capital markets will.....

It is also about taking care of friends and friendly interests....

The behaviour NZHTF of John Boy is of a man under pressure to produce a desireable result on an agenda in a given time frame.
 I don't get a lot of long term politics eminating from his stink, ...I get a man in a hurry to get a job done by steamroller if necessary....however  CONTROL is necessary pre and post his tenure.
 As to Billy, I just think he's flat out love sick with John Boy and subscribes to the N.Z. needs a kick up the ass Corporate attitude to show the bootscrapings who's boss.
If you ever study both their faces you'll see contempt clearly in John Boy's...a wannabe in Billy's tempered by's a requirement to qualify as an elitist you see...
 Billy Bob sadly isn't going to make it into the club.  

i think its a given that the sale of assets will not take place.
So i think its time for the labour party and the greens to tell us what their policies will be to help our ailing economy.
these 2 parties seem to be devoid of any policy apart from giving away the taxpayers money  which in reality is exactly like selling the assets.

So i think its time for the labour party and the greens to tell us what their policies will be to help our ailing economy.
Same as we endure now - without selling the profitable electricity generating dams to fund the for private use only farm irrigation ones.

NG - "to help our ailing economy".
Read "to keep our deckchairs dry, so we can rent them out tomorrow".
Wrong approach. Try working out what underwrote your artificial, temporary wee system, and then what type of system you need to replace it.
Slow going, round here......

24th of August?  I'd say nigh on impossible - unless of course the Tribunal members decide not to do a proper job of it.  Being an arm of the judiciary - I don't think they would be very happy with the suggestion which appears quite disingenuous - making the protestations of "good faith" look very hollow.
Very stange this IPO 'window' they refer to ... does that make any sense from a sharemarket/corporate governance point of view?

IMF  pressure - got to be seen to be doing the 'right thing' - all international agencies are well aware of our high level (worse than Greece?) of total per capita debt?
The send them back to the Stone Age mentality is apparently alive and well in Europe according to this article.
Rather, they have refused to end the crisis for a nefarious political reason: in order to force the weaker economies of Europe to accept a regressive political agenda – including cuts in minimum wages and pensions, weakening of labor laws and collective bargaining, and shrinking the state.

Well that indeed makes more sense of it. 
Sovereignty - how long has it been a popular myth in the West, eh?

I suspect the timing has more to do with issues concerning our credit rating.

A compromised,  politically correct call (giving the Tribunal a deadline to produce something). Still better would be to ignore their opinion altogether.

Maybe it's all just a grand show for the benefit of our non-resident political masters?
Claiming "tino rangatiratanga did it" might be the only way to decouple from the clutches of 'globalisation' while still looking part of the traditional 'West'.
We do live in interesting times.

he's worried about being called "downgrade Bill" again
....if a credit downgrade follows the delay of state-owned assets sales 

Its too late allready and the credit downgrade is a given - what investor would put their money into assets that may be impaired by tapu,taniwha and mythological  fantasies -  plus the risk of  the next  govt including that Aussie economic  genius Russel Norman...

agree, it's almost a certainty. Poor old bill.  

Poor old bill. 
And the rest.

So it is okay to (foolishly) point the bone at Maori mythology and mysticism but sit back and submit to the esteemed wisdom of modern economists and bankers? 
It pays to play with what ever cards you are holding.....

Bill is showing such contempt for the constitutional separation of powers, rather reminisant of the likes of Muldoon. 
Is the speed anything to do with getting this particualr episode of looting of our assets well underway before the referendum? 

Well done supporters of Nats (and Labour, no diff between the 2, they all sell assets at some point). Must be proud of the way you have voted. Country has been headed to the dogs for a long time now, not just current 4 years... Time for a spring clean of the beehive and some new blood with integrity...