Privatisation and asset sales analysed by Australasian experts at upcoming conference

13 October 2011

A University of Auckland event later this month offering what is believed to be the only pre-election analysis of what privatisation and asset sales could mean for New Zealand will include expert commentary from here and across the Tasman.

The Business School conference on October 28, hosted by the New Zealand Governance Centre, will feature experts from Australia’s Monash University, Bond University and Queensland Treasury, as well as an academic line-up from The University of Auckland.

Topics to be discussed at the event, "Revisiting the State and the market", include New Zealand’s past experience of asset sales, corporatisation, regulatory governance, merits of privatisation and the global financial crisis.

And organisers are saying the one-day conference will be a crucial debate, with asset sales tipped to be a major election issue in the lead-up to the late November vote.

Deputy Director of the Business School’s New Zealand Governance Centre Professor Susan Watson says the relationship between the State and the market will once again be in the spotlight and the subject must be understood by the general population before they vote.

“Particular issues surrounding the proposals around partial privatisation and public/private partnerships will be examined in detail at the conference by international and local speakers drawn from a range of disciplines,” Professor Watson says.

“This topic is one of the election’s hot issues and we are urging anyone wanting a comprehensive understanding of the different options and how they have worked in Australia, to register with us and grab a chance to hear from eminent experts in this field."

Speakers include Australians Professor Graeme Hodge from Monash and Professor Michael Regan from Bond, as well as Adrian Noon from the Office of Government Owned Corporations at Queensland Treasury.

Other speakers include Adjunct Professor with the Department of Commercial Law Mai Chen, co directors of the Governance Centre Professor John Farrar and finance expert Professor David Mayes, and law expert Professor Jane Kelsey.

Further information on the conference is available from:

Pam Kam
Phone: +64 9 923 1286


Graeme Hodge
Graeme Hodge is a professor at the Monash Law School and Director of the Monash Centre for Regulatory Studies. His paper provides observations of privatisation, partnerships, politics and performance.

Michael Regan
Michael Regan is a professor at Bond University and Head of the Department of Infrastructure and Project Management Institute of Sustainable Development. His paper discusses the global financial crisis in the context of the sustainability of the public/private partnership (PPP) model.

John Farrar
John Farrar is Emeritus Professor of Law at Bond University, Professor of Corporate Governance at The University of Auckland Business School, and Director of The New Zealand Governance Centre. His paper re-examines the changing role of the State.

Adrian Noon
Adrian Noon is Executive Director of the Office of Government Owned Corporations within Queensland Treasury. His presentation covers the historical context for Queensland’s corporatisation policy and provides an overview of the model in Queensland, including the legislative and policy framework, ownership and management structures, and the pros and cons of the model.

Mai Chen
Mai Chen is Adjunct Professor of Commercial and Public Law at The University of Auckland Business School. Her paper examines New Zealand’s experience with asset sales, and investigates how the proposed part-privatisation of State-Owned Enterprises will impact on the present model and its operation. She will also examine the likely form these new entities will take, and the impact their new structural arrangements will have on the applicability of key public law tools.

David Mayes
David Mayes is Professor of Finance at The University of Auckland Business School, Director of the New Zealand Governance Centre and Director of the Europe Institute. His paper considers the problems that have arisen in attempting to get efficient operation of Government Owned Enterprises through different routes.

Jane Kelsey
Jane Kelsey is Associate Dean (Research) and Professor of Law at The University of Auckland School of Law. Her paper asks why neoliberalism appears to be so effectively embedded that it can survive the contradictions of such a massive crisis in the global financial system, and whether there are particular conditions that prevail in Australia and New Zealand that make TINA an enduring mantra for the future.

Susan Watson
Susan Watson is Professor of Commercial Law at The University of Auckland Business School, and Deputy Director of the New Zealand Governance Centre. Her paper – in conjunction with Chye-Ching Huang, a senior lecturer of commercial law – critically examines the Treasury rationales for partial privatisation.