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Supreme Court hears asset sales appeal

Thursday 31 Jan 2013 5:56 a.m.

Controversy has raged since the Government announced it planned to partially sell off a number of state-owned assets (Photo: James Fyfe)

Controversy has raged since the Government announced it planned to partially sell off a number of state-owned assets (Photo: James Fyfe)

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The Maori Council's bid to stop the partial sale of Mighty River Power goes to the Supreme Court today.

It is appealing the High Court ruling, handed down in December, that the Government's decision to sell 49 percent of the shares in the hydro station can't be reviewed because Parliament has passed legislation allowing it to happen.

Justice Ronald Young said no review of Parliament by the courts was permitted in law, the Government's decision wasn't inconsistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and adequate consultation had taken place.

The Maori Council had argued that Maori interests in the water used by Mighty River Power should be settled before any shares were sold.

The Supreme Court will decide whether the High Court was right to dismiss the council's application for a judicial review.

The Government had been confident it would win the case and is going ahead with plans to launch the share float in the first half of this year.

It also plans to partially privatise Genesis Energy, Meridian Energy and coal miner Solid Energy.

Prime Minister John Key said on Monday the Government wanted to sell shares in a second state-owned power company before the end of the year.

The Supreme Court has set down Thursday and Friday to hear the appeal.

NZN

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