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Kiwis warming to assets sales, but most against

Published: 6:26PM Monday April 02, 2012 Source: ONE News

Most New Zealanders are still opposed to the partial sale of state assets, but opinions appear to be slightly changing, according to a ONE News Colmar Brunton poll.

Shares in Mighty River Power will be up for grabs in about six months, with a sell off of up to 49% of Meridian Energy, Genesis Energy, Solid Energy and Air New Zealand to follow.

The latest ONE News Colmar Brunton poll shows the policy continues to fly in the face of public opinion, with only 30% of people saying they support the mixed-ownership model.

Double that number say they do not support it (61%), and the rest (9%) do not know.

But it appears voter support for asset sales has picked up slightly since ONE News last asked the question in a November poll.

Back then, just 26% of people supported the plan, while almost 70% opposed it.

Prime Minister John Key says people are starting to "think through the issue" and see "increasing merit" in mixed-ownership.

"I think its one of those things where it may well be the proof of the pudding's in the eating and that people feel more comfortable with it once the float has taken place," he said.

With the support of the lone MPs from Act and United Future, National has the one vote majority it needs to proceed with the partial sale of state assets.

ONE News wanted to talk to United Future leader Peter Dunne about the latest poll results, but he refused to be interviewed.