The Green Party says the costs of National's asset sales policy just keep on rising, with co-leader Russel Norman slamming Mighty River Power for squandering $3.8 million on preparing for its sell-off.
According to Mighty River Power's annual report, the company spent $3.8 million "relating to the preparation for a potential listing" and saw a nearly 50 percent fall in profit for the year.
Mighty River Power reported a $68 million profit after tax, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation and other charges up 4 percent to $461.5 million.
"The $3.8 million spent so far by Mighty River has to be paid for by New Zealanders either via their taxes or through higher power prices," Norman said in a statement.
"That's on top of $1.3 million spent by the other companies that National wants to sell, nearly a million dollars so far spent on the Waitangi water rights hearings, and $10.5 million on public relations and policy advisors. A total of over $16 million has been spent before sales have even begun. And that's just the tip of the iceberg: the Government has a further $96 million budgeted to spend on the sales and there are huge unbudgeted costs such as hundreds of millions for the share giveaway.
"The total bill for National's asset sales now stands at over $16 million and will rise into the hundreds of millions if the policy continues."