Key says the odds of a delay in the sale of Mighty River are like the “chance a meteorite will hit the Earth this afternoon”. It turns out, that’s a near certainty. So, Key was accidentally, telling the truth – the odds of a delay in the asset sales are growing daily.
No investor is going to buy into a company when the rights to its primary input, water, are up in the air. Not for a good price. If the government is getting its money’s worth from all those expensive sales advisors, they will be telling it that now would be a disastrous time to sell (of course, they won’t be telling it that, they want to make more money as middlemen, which means pushing ahead with the sales come hell or high water). The price finding exercise will surely show that the government would get an awful price if it pushes ahead with a sale now.
And it gets worse for National. When this heads to court, the judge is likely to injunct any sale because shares in Mighty River would be an obvious redress for iwi and it would be much less certain that the Crown could provide that redress if it has already sold all or most of the shares it is legally allowed to sell.
It’s really in Key’s hands. Does he call a halt himself and commit to selling the water rights issue first, or does he force himself to dragged kicking and screaming into a delay?
Based on past experience, Key will keep on playing the race card and hope that something pops up to save the asset sales.
Keep chasing that star, John.