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Greens back NZ ownership of Air NZ

06 June 2001

The Green Party today said the Government should be strong in its support for a return of Brierley's Air NZ stake to New Zealand hands.

A report on National Radio this morning said the Government favours a New Zealand consortium buying out Brierley's 30 percent holding in Air NZ's restricted A shares, but a spokeswoman for Dr Cullen's office declined to comment further to NZPA.

Green Party co-leader Rod Donald said today that rules restricting foreign ownership of the A shares should be adhered to.

"The Overseas Investment Commission should never have allowed Brierley Investment to keep the shares in the first place once they moved off-shore, and the Government should tighten the rules to make sure that loophole is closed."

Mr Donald said that now Brierley's stake is for sale, it should be brought back into New Zealand hands not sold to another foreign company.

"Air NZ is more than a symbol of national identity, it is a strategic asset.

"Our burgeoning tourism industry depends on New Zealand having a national carrier with significant local ownership.

"A national carrier is the best way to ensure that regional airports get adequate service and New Zealand retains enough inbound flights from overseas."


ENDS

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