Despite complications caused by the ongoing Rio Tinto debacle, the National government is pushing ahead today with its state asset sales strategy, announcing plans to expand the program to include the partial privatization of United Future Leader and Revenue Minister of eight years Peter Dunne.
The announcement that Dunne would be sold into private ownership was made this morning by Minister of State Owned Enterprises Tony Ryall, who said that shares in the Ohariu MP could be available for purchase as early as next year.
“As I’m sure you’ll appreciate, this sale presents an exciting opportunity for both investors and the government” said Ryall. “Average kiwi investors will get first bite of the pie, and the revenue we raise can be put toward improved schools, hospitals and roads.”
Ryall assured the country that, like with the sale of other state assets, Dunne would be managed under a mixed ownership model. This would mean that, while Dunne would be partially privatized, the government would still retain a majority shareholding of 51% in the minister.
Peter Dunne has been Minister of Revenue since 2005, has served under two successive governments, and has not once during that time expressed interest in a different portfolio. The government hopes that his new ownership model will encourage him to expand and invest in other sectors.
Meanwhile, Labour has come out swinging against the plans, suggesting that the government cannot legally sell Peter Dunne as he is not an asset.