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Govt Inconsistency Over Air NZ

14 August 2001

It's time the Government showed some consistency in its influence over commercial decisions, National's Transport spokesperson Belinda Vernon said today.

"Dr Cullen has gone out of his way to challenge the Air NZ board's decision to support Singapore Airlines' bid to acquire a larger shareholding in Air New Zealand.

"Meanwhile the Government pays lip service to the importance of foreign investment for New Zealand, but stands in the way of foreign investment in Air New Zealand which would see it better positioned to promote New Zealanders' interests nationally and internationally.

"Today Gary Toomey spelt out his vision for Air New Zealand as a top 20 world airline, built on the promotion of New Zealand internationally, provision of competitive domestic and trans-Tasman services and protecting New Zealand access to international markets.

"It's time Dr Cullen spelt out his vision for Air New Zealand because it appears he sees it as a small player to serve the domestic market, in a so-called 'partnership' that will diminish competition in New Zealand and put New Zealanders last.

"Dr Cullen, through the Kiwi Share, is responsible for protecting New Zealanders' interest in Air New Zealand. He needs to start doing so, instead of undermining the direction and future of the company through the Government's continual procrastination on the issue," Belinda Vernon said. Ends

Ends

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