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Mayor corrects misinformation re: airport sale

4 December 2008

Mayor corrects misinformation re: proposed airport share sale

Mayor Kerry Prendergast has moved to correct misinformation that she is proposing Wellington City Council sell its entire stake in Wellington Airport.

“I am proposing no such thing – and never would. What I have suggested is that the Council investigate reducing its shareholding by eight percent from 34 percent to 26 percent.

“We don’t receive a high return on our investment and reducing the shareholding by eight percent could potentially net the Council about $40 million, which we could certainly use as we try to keep rates rises at an affordable level at the same time as making sure Wellington remains internationally competitive.

“A 26 percent shareholding would still ensure that Infratil could not make any significant decisions contrary to our wishes. And at this stage, it is just a suggestion – amongst dozens of others – that Council staff are looking into as a way of keeping rates rises to a minimum.

“Like all other Councils around the country, we are facing an even tougher task than usual balancing our books with community demands as we go into our Long Term Council Community Plan deliberations. And this year, we need to look beyond our usual belt-tightening and prioritising.

“So it’s rather disappointing and unhelpful for people like Green Party MP Sue Kedgley to misconstrue and misrepresent my statements and my intentions.

“No decisions on these sorts of things are ever made without careful investigation, consideration and consultation. All we have done is agree to investigate it further.”


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