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Anderton back to his business bashing self

Bill English National Finance Spokesman

25 April 2001

Anderton back to his business bashing self

Jim Anderton's call for the owners of Qantas New Zealand to cough up extra money to pay the airlines creditors and former employees smacks of hypocrisy, Opposition Finance spokesman Bill English said today.

"Where was Jim Anderton when the State Owned Enterprise 'Terralink' was put into receivership? Mr Anderton personally agreed to that receivership. His colleagues were quick to point out that there was no Government guarantee on money owed by Terralink to its creditors or former employees.

"Many of Terralink's former employees went for weeks without being paid, despite having preferential creditor status. It's hypocritical for Anderton to now turn around and criticise another company for going into receivership. If he was so concerned about the effects on staff he should have put more capital into Terralink.

"Mr Anderton's new argument basically centres on the fact the owners of Qantas New Zealand are successful business people. The owners of Terralink - the Government - also have a fair bit of money at their disposal, yet Mr Anderton said 'tough luck' to those owed money when Terralink went belly-up.

"The thin veneer of good relations between the Government and business, so carefully created by photo-opportunity forums with hand-picked guest lists, has now worn so thin you can see through it. Mr Anderton's back to his old business unfriendly self and is fully living the politics of envy.

"Mr Anderton should also be careful about questioning whether Tasman Pacific's directors knew the company was insolvent but allowed it to continue trading.

"He has made public statements that he knew the company was in financial strife and was himself talking to Qantas Airlines about this since before Easter, as reported on Independent Newspapers Stuff website on Monday," Bill English said.

Ends

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