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Govt ready to help with new airline

22 April 2001 Media Statement

Govt ready to help with new airline

The Economic Development Minister says the Government is working to help establish a new airline, following the collapse of Qantas New Zealand.

"I was briefed as Acting Prime Minister before Easter and the Government has already been in contact with potential alternatives," Jim Anderton said today.

"For example, we have told Qantas Australia that we will do everything we can on a level-playing field basis to help to bring its replacement aircraft to New Zealand.

"The development of the New Zealand economy, and particularly the tourism sector, make it vital that a second airline operates here."

Jim Anderton is scathing of National Party calls for assistance to help a new airline get off the ground.

"The National Party's calls for the Government to assist are the height of hypocrisy. National has vigorously opposed every economic development and industry assistance measure of the Labour-Alliance Coalition Government.

"To now call on the Government to take initiatives that we are already taking, and which National opposes, shows that National is as politically bankrupt as Qantas New Zealand is financially ruined," Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

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