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Partial asset sale law passed by 1 vote

Legislation allowing the partial sale of four state owned energy companies has passed Parliament by a single vote.

The passing of the controversial legislation mandates a sell-down to 51 percent Government ownership of Mighty River Power, expected by the end of September.

The Government again came in for a final sustained attack from opposition MPs over the bill, but it was the absent UnitedFuture MP Peter Dunne who was reserved for particular criticism.

Dunne's vote, combined with that of Act MP John Banks and the 59 of National overcame the 60 dissenting votes of Labour, the Green Party, New Zealand First, the Maori Party and Mana's Hone Harawira.

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