It’s been a bad year for the public owners of Mighty River. We’ve lost ownership, we’ve lost dividends, we’ve paid more for power, and we’ve had to pay for National to sell our shares against our will,” said Dr Norman
The Green Party has released a ‘public owners’ report on Mighty River Power on the date of its first shareholders’ meeting since privatisation, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.
The report takes the view of the majority owner of Mighty River Power, which remains the New Zealand public with a 51% share in the company. The report finds that the last year has been a costly one for the public owners of Mighty River Power: they have lost 49% of the company, $49 million in dividends so far, and paid $66 million for the privatisation as part of National’s asset sales programme, which has so far cost around quarter of a billion dollars.
The report also highlights the fact that the majority owners of Mighty River Power are also electricity consumers, and the prices they pay are rising. The report includes a foreword by an everyday mother describing how growing power bills affect her family, and outlines the Greens’ plan to reduce power prices for families.
“It’s been a bad year for the public owners of Mighty River. We’ve lost ownership, we’ve lost dividends, we’ve paid more for power, and we’ve had to pay for National to sell our shares against our will,” said Dr Norman.
“The sale of Mighty River shares cost the public $66 million, and only 2% of the population bought shares.
“The net profit loss – foregone profits minus avoided interest costs – from the Mighty River privatisation is running at $2.3 million a week, including $49 million lost in the first dividend since the shares were sold.
“To add insult to injury, power prices have continued to rise at three times the rate of inflation, even as electricity demand has fallen.
“Looking back on the year, the public owners of Mighty River can see that National’s asset sales have failed and that the electricity market is failing to deliver fair prices to Kiwi families and businesses.
“Soon, the public will have their chance to tell National to stop its failed asset sales in the referendum. A Greens-Labour Government will introduce NZ Power, which will end out of control electricity price rises and save families $300 a year on power,” said Dr Norman.
Note: Mighty River Power’s 2013 Annual Shareholders’ Meeting will be held at 2.00 pm on Thursday, 07 November 2013 at the Ellerslie Event Centre, Auckland.