Rodney Hide writes about the Mixed Ownership Model in his Herald on Sunday column. And despite what the Labour and Green parties may want us to think, the origins of the Mixed Ownership Model predate John Key's time as Prime Minister; check this out:
The state-owned enterprise Mixed Ownership Model that's causing such a fuss was pioneered by Helen Clark and Michael Cullen over a decade ago.John Key and Bill English are simply extending it. The fuss over privatisation is a fuss about nothing much.In 2001, the Labour Government spent $885 million bailing out Air New Zealand. Instead of taking over the company lock, stock and barrel, the Government took an 82 per cent stake and left the remaining share in private hands trading on the share market.Hence was born the Mixed Ownership Model.Mixed Ownership proved itself with Air New Zealand. The trading of the company's shares on the share market means its performance is continually and publicly assessed. That continual public feedback on performance is lacking with state-owned enterprises. Mixed Ownership provides a desperately needed market discipline on SOE directors and executives. That's a good thing.Labour pioneered the model and fully expected to be selling down shares as National is doing.
That's interesting enough on its own account, but what follows is even moreso:
Sir Michael Cullen told Cabinet, in setting up the model, that, "It may, however, be desirable to divest some or all of our shares at a future date." The Labour Government readily accepted that a future sell-down may well prove desirable. And not just some shares, but all of them.
So let's just see if we have this right; Labour not only brought back a majority shareholding in Air New Zealand leaving some shares in private ownership; they were prepared to sell more shares later in the piece.