I am 100% in favour of Rob Cameron’s proposal to allow minority non-voting equity into SOEs. The disciplines of being listed on the stock exchange would improve SOE performance significantly I am sure. It would also give the stock exchange a new lease of life.
Of course I would also be 100% in favour of selling most SOEs outright, but I accept there is little political will for that. It’s a pity as I believe ownership by the Government actually interferes with the legitimate regulatory role of the Government.
As an example I doubt the Government would have passed the telecommunications regulation it did, if it actually owned Telecom. It would have tried to deal with it by backdoor suggestions to Directors etc.
One just has to look at electricity as an example. The Government owned Transpower so when Transpower got into a fight with the regulator, the Government sacked the regulator. That wouldn’t have happened if Transpower was privately owned.