Kiwibank is a wholly owned subsidiary of the State-owned enterprise, the New Zealand Post Group. New Zealand Post Limited, including Kiwibank, is wholly owned by the Crown through its shareholding Ministers.
All decisions relating to the operation of a State-owned enterprise are the domain of the board of the State enterprise in accordance with the Companies Act 1993 and the enterprise’s statement of corporate intent. The shareholding Ministers have no authority to direct the State-owned enterprise concerning its operations, except in the limited and transparent ways set out in the State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986. This means that the board of New Zealand Post Limited could decide to sell all or part of Kiwibank. This Bill would ensure that any proposal to partly or wholly privatise Kiwibank would require the support of 75% of all members of the House of Representatives or, alternatively, from a majority of voters in a referendum, in order to lawfully proceed.