Ansett Authors Reject Dr Jim Farmer’s Claims
For immediate release
Thursday 8 August 2002
Authors Of ‘Ansett: The Collapse’ Reject Dr Jim Farmer’s Claims Of Lack Of Credibility
The Australian authors of the newly-released book on the collapse of Ansett Airlines have rejected claims by Air New Zealand’s former deputy Chairman, Dr Jim Farmer, that it lacks credibility.
According to the authors, Geoff Easdown and Peter Wilms, the book accurately reflects what they were told by Dr Farmer in separate phone interviews and from a sworn affidavit to the Australian Federal Court following the collapse of the airline in September, 2001.
“ Dr Farmer’s reported criticism of our book ‘Ansett - The Collapse’ in the Christchurch Press is ill informed and appears to have been based on some out-of-context newspaper accounts of the work and not on any personal examination of the contents of the book” Mr Easdown said.
“ Our research involved not only contact with Dr Farmer himself but also with many existing and former staff of Air New Zealand; three of whom, contrary to Dr Farmer’s comments, held positions of authority with the carrier.
“ One was Air New Zealand and Ansett’s chief of air operations and inflight services for both carriers, Captain Trevor Jensen, and the other two, whose identities are confidential, held very senior positions.
“ Surely Dr Farmer is not suggesting that these senior people from the ranks of the New Zealand carrier lack credibility!”
Mr Easdown said he had two telephone conversations with Dr Farmer, the first of which took place late one afternoon last September when he spoke directly with Dr Farmer at his Air New Zealand office about aspects of the anti-New Zealand feeling that arose in Australia after the collapse of Ansett Airways.
“ The second occasion, which is recorded in our book on page 146, was during a telephone press conference involving Dr Farmer, Air New Zealand’s then chief executive, Gary Toomey, and chief financial officer, Adam Maroney, on 13 September 2001 “ Mr Easdown said. “ A complete transcript exists of that encounter.”
In writing the book, the authors claimed their research drew heavily on the sworn affidavits of Dr Farmer and other Air New Zealand officials to the Australian Federal Court on 9 October 2001.
Questions arising from that evidence had been raised with Air New Zealand’s chief of Corporate Relations, David Beatson, who agreed to contact Dr Farmer and provide responses. Answers to the questions had subsequently been provided by Mr Beatson.
The authors said that if Dr Farmer was questioning what he has already said, they would be happy to include any suggestions he has for change in the soon-to-be-published second edition of ‘Ansett - The Collapse.’