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No change in Airline Investment Stance

20 November 2000 Media Statement

No change in Airline Investment Stance

New Zealand’s policy on foreign investment in Air New Zealand has not changed, Transport Minister Mark Gosche said today.

Mr Gosche was commenting on a media report that a new multilateral air agreement between New Zealand, the United States, Singapore, Brunei and Chile, agreed to this week, could lead to an easing of restrictions on the foreign ownership of Air Zealand.

Mr Gosche said the New Zealand government’s policy on this issue remained the same as it had been previously.

“That policy requires that designated New Zealand international airlines will continue to be required to be substantially owned and effectively controlled by New Zealand nationals.

New Zealand has 17 bilaterals in which there are no requirements for its airlines to be “substantially owned” by New Zealand nationals.

The new multilateral agreement saw the other parties to that agreement persuade the United States that it was not necessary to have such a restriction in an intergovernmental agreement.

The removal of this criterion removes a possiblility for another state (in this case the United States) to refuse to accept the designation of an airline of any of the other four countries on the grounds of the source of its equity.

“The Government’s policy on this issue is not up for negotiation,” Mr Gosche concluded.

ENDS

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