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Kiwi Shareholder consents to Singapore Airlines

Media Statement

17 April 2000

Air New Zealand

Kiwi Shareholder consents to Singapore Airlines Limited becoming a 25% shareholder in Air New Zealand Limited

“Following an application made by Singapore Airlines, the Kiwi shareholder has today consented to Singapore Airlines acquiring not more than 25% of the share capital of Air New Zealand Limited in the form of “B” shares,” Mark Gosche announced tonight.

On 10 April the Kiwi shareholder consented to Singapore Airlines acquiring not more than 8.3% of the share capital of Air New Zealand Limited. This consent supersedes that earlier one.

“If Singapore Airlines takes up this opportunity, the Government looks forward to the airline making a positive contribution to the growth of Air New Zealand and to New Zealand’s international air links,” Mr Gosche said.

The level approved in this decision was that sought by the applicant.

An important issue for the Government is the preservation of Air New Zealand’s access to our international air traffic rights. The Government, through the powers of the Kiwi shareholder contained in the company’s Constitution, will continue to ensure that Air New Zealand remains controlled by New Zealand nationals.

“A condition included in the consent requires that Singapore Airlines abstain from voting on the election of at least one “B” director,” the Minister noted. This is to ensure that the interests of other “B” shareholders will be represented at the Air New Zealand Board table.

Under existing New Zealand government policy no foreign airline or airline interest may own more than 25% of a New Zealand international airline and foreign airlines or airline interests may not own in total more than 35% of the share capital.

“The Government’s concern in this matter has largely been one of whether or not New Zealand control of Air New Zealand would be put at risk, ” the Minister said. “The consent does not represent a judgement by the Government as to whether Singapore Airlines is the best partner for Air New Zealand. That is a matter for the commercial parties involved.”

The consent does not exclude the possibility of another airline being given consent to hold “B” shares in Air New Zealand. Singapore Airlines will have the normal obligations to comply with the Commerce Act and the Overseas Investment Regulations.

This release has been timed to take place after the close for the day of the Singapore stock exchange.

ENDS

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