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Nats Hysterical Haste To Sell Out Flag-Carrier

National's Hysterical Haste To Sell Out Flag-Carrier

Opposition leader Jenny Shipley is being accused of hysterical haste to sell out New Zealand's flag carrier.

Alliance leader and Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton says the Opposition is demanding removal of the kiwi share whether it would be in New Zealand's best interests or not.

"Mrs Shipley has committed her party to the removal of the kiwi share without the faintest idea of what is being asked for or what the options are.

"She has jumped to the conclusion that the Singapore Airlines bid should be automatically supported because it is the preferred option of the board of Air New Zealand. The board represents the shareholders, so she is assuming that what is in the interests of Air New Zealand's shareholders is automatically in the interests of New Zealand overall.

"It might have escaped Mrs Shipley's notice that the best interests of Brierleys have not always been the best interests of New Zealand."

Jim Anderton said the Alliance would carefully study the facts before making a decision.

"Mrs Shipley is making hysterical statements about the Alliance position on Air New Zealand, when we have not yet made a decision. We will not make a decision until we have all the facts, and we will be measured and calm.

"One thing I won't be doing is adopting Mrs Shipley's ideological position that New Zealand ownership is unacceptable. My knowledge of New Zealanders' attitudes to owning New Zealand's strategic assets is that New Zealand people -- by a large majority -- prefer New Zealand ownership."

Ends

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