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Government Must Recognise Risks Of Bank

Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley is warning the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance and the directors of New Zealand Post that they must not risk taxpayers money for the sake of political expediency.

"History is littered with banking ventures which went wrong, and it seems the independent report on the People's Bank by Cameron and Associates raises genuine concerns," Mrs Shipley said.

"The Government is indicating the bank might now be delayed until 2002.

"When National came to power in 1990 one of the first issues we had to confront was the BNZ crisis. At our first Cabinet meeting we discovered the true degree of that problem, which the outgoing Labour Government had known for several weeks but had kept quiet during the election campaign.

"We do not want a repeat of that scenario over the People's Bank for the incoming Government in 2002.

"Dr Cullen needs to carefully weigh the risks associated with the Alliance's proposal. He must not allow political pressure from Labour's junior coalition partner to push the Government into a decision which might prove detrimental to all New Zealanders.

"New Zealand already has a high level of competition in the banking sector, and the Government must only allow the People's Bank proposal to proceed if it is sure it will be an asset, not a liability,' Mrs Shipley said.

Ends


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