State-owned enterprises of New Zealand

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State-owned enterprises (SOEs) in New Zealand are registered companies listed under Schedules 1 and 2 of the State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986. Most SOEs are former government departments or agencies that were corporatised.

Many other government-owned companies and statutory trading organisations are referred to informally as "state-owned enterprises" although they are not SOEs in the strictest sense. These are also listed here.


The function of SOEs is to operate successfully as a business, as profitable as those not owned by the Crown. The section of the Act defining this is usually interpreted as meaning that SOEs are expected to ready themselves for privatisation, though this is not always the case.

Two Ministers of the Crown act as the shareholding ministers in the company. In the case of SOEs these are usually the Minister of State-Owned Enterprises and the Minister responsible for the particular company.

The Crown is assisted in the running of SOEs and other Crown-owned companies by the Treasury's Commercial Operations group (formerly the Crown Ownership Monitoring Unit).

List of current state-owned enterprises[edit]

Current state-owned enterprises include:

Partially floated state-owned enterprises[edit]

State-owned enterprises the government owns a majority (50%+) of shares in:

Former state-owned enterprises[edit]

Former state-owned enterprises come in three forms - those removed from the Schedules of the Act and made Crown entities, those removed and not privatised, and those removed and privatised. Well-known SOEs that became Crown entity companies include broadcasting companies Television New Zealand (TVNZ) and Radio New Zealand (RNZ).

Privatised state-owned enterprises[edit]

Privatised state-owned enterprises include:[1]

Shell state-owned enterprises[edit]

Some SOEs, such as ECNZ, are effectively small SOEs or shell companies. Companies that are still SOEs but are now shell companies, having had most of their assets privatised, include:

Former, non-SOE state-owned corporations[edit]

  • State Insurance Corporation
  • Tourist Hotel Corporation
  • Government Life Insurance Corporation - later renamed Tower Insurance
  • National Airways Corporation - merged with Air New Zealand in 1980

Other Crown-owned companies[edit]

Other, non-SOE Crown-owned companies are the Crown entity companies. These are the Crown Research Institutes (CRIs), the broadcasting companies Television New Zealand Limited (TVNZ) and Radio New Zealand Limited (RNZ), and the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund Limited.

See also[edit]


External links and sources[edit]