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Owner's Expectations Manual

2.2 SOE accountability

  • The Crown is the sole owner of each SOE and acts to protect its investment on behalf of the people of New Zealand. Each SOE has two shareholding Ministers, the responsible Minister (in most cases the Minister for SOEs) and the Minister of Finance, each of whom holds 50% of the company's shares. The same principle applies for the other entities owned by the Crown[4]. However, in certain situations either Minister may delegate their responsibilities to another Minister.
  • Shareholding Ministers appoint a board of directors to oversee the management of the business and affairs of each SOE. Directors of SOEs are subject to a number of duties under the Companies Act, including the duty to act in the best interest of the company. The board generally delegates a number of its powers to the company's chief executive officer (CEO) to enable him or her to carry out the tasks of managing the company.
  • COMU monitors SOEs on behalf of, and provides advice to, shareholding Ministers. The respective role of shareholding Ministers, boards and management is shown in the figure below. Refer to Chapter 5 and Chapter 9 for details on the scrutiny role.
SOE Accountability Framework
SOE Accountability Framework.


  • [4]The exceptions are the airport companies. The Crown has 50% or less interest in the airport companies. The remaining interest is owned by the respective local councils.
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