Tuesday, October 23, 2012

On hold

The government has decided not to issue an Order-in-Council removing Mighty River Power from the State-Owned Enterprises Act until legal action is resolved. Good. At the same time its worth noting that this is really just a recognition of the inevitable. Given the threat such a transfer posed to the interests of the claimants, they would have had no difficulty gaining an interim injunction preventing it for the duration of the case. So doing it voluntarily is just a spin tactic, to prevent headlines today suggesting an initial legal defeat for the government.

As for the substance of the case, it looks like that will be dealt with at the end of next month. The government apparently wants the process to go faster - I guess those donors want their payoff before the wheels really fall off - but that is entirely up to the courts. Trying to hurry them along, as the government did to the Waitangi Tribunal, is a breach of judicial independence.