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. They are responsible to the Minister of State Owned Enterprises.

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 (see article for list) 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:

Name Date created Formerly Government ownership Notes
Air New Zealand 1 April 1965 Tasman Empire Airways Limited, National Airways Corporation 51.95%[1] Largely privatised in 1989, government subsequently bought a 73% stake in 2001, and sold down to 53% in November 2013.
Genesis Energy Limited 1999 Part of Electricity Corporation of New Zealand 52.4%[2] Floated on the sharemarket April 2014.
New Zealand Post 1 April 1987 New Zealand Post Office 100% Telecom New Zealand, PostBank split off 1987.
Kiwibank 2002 100% Subsidiary of New Zealand Post
Meteorological Service of New Zealand Limited July 1992 Part of the Ministry of Transport 100% Known as MetService
Airways New Zealand 1 April 1987 Part of the Ministry of Transport 100% Air traffic control and air navigation providers
Transpower New Zealand 1994 Subsidiary of Electricity Corporation of New Zealand 100% National grid operator
Kordia 1 July 1989 Subsidiary of Television New Zealand 100% Formerly Broadcast Communications Limited or BCL, renamed 2006.
Landcorp 1 April 1987 Commercial arm of Department of Survey and Land Information 100%
Meridian Energy 1999 Part of Electricity Corporation of New Zealand 51.02%[3] Floated on the sharemarket in October 2013.
Mighty River Power 1999 Part of Electricity Corporation of New Zealand 51.76%[4] Floated on the sharemarket in May 2013.
Solid Energy 1 April 1987 State Coal Mines Department 100% Formerly Coal Corporation (or Coalcorp), renamed 1997. In Voluntary Administration
KiwiRail 1 July 2008 Toll NZ (rolling stock and inter-island ferries) ONTRACK (track and infrastructure) 100% Formerly New Zealand Rail (1990—1995), Tranz Rail (1995—2002), Toll Rail (2002—2008)

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:[5]

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]