Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

PM’s Comments On Air New Zealand

Transcript of the comments Helen Clark made on Air New Zealand at her regular post cabinet press conference, 27 Aug.

The Cabinet today has been discussing Air New Zealand. Michael Cullen reported on the work that the government negotiator, Rob Cameron, has been doing on our behalf. Mr Cameron is in continual dialogue with Air New Zealand. The Cabinet is treating the matter as commercial in confidence so little more can be said about it at this time. We expect to have a final discussion on the matter at the cabinet next Monday.

The PM was asked if a loan from the government for Air New Zealand or other financial guarantee was among the options being considered?

She replied: What I can say is that the government has no desire to be involved in the commercial affairs of Air New Zealand. The kiwi share arrangement is as far as any government envisaged it would ever go when the airline was privatised more than a decade ago. It is not our wish to go near a shareholding. I'm not making any further comment, I'm making very clear the government's preference.

She was asked if the government would be able to meet Air New Zealand's wishes and have a decision before the airline produces its financial statement, scheduled for Tuesday, Aug 4.

She replied: We are, through the negotiator, in continuing contact with Air New Zealand. We should be able to enable them [Air New Zealand] to meet the requirements they have.

She was asked if any of the Cameron options were off the table.

She replied: Mr Cameron I think is doing as good a job as anyone could in advising the government but I'm not going to discuss what options he's put up to us. There has been much speculation in the media and I'm not about to confirm any of that either.

She was asked what she made of the speculation because the reports were often at odds with each other.

She replied: In my experience throughout this whole drama of Air New Zealand that there are so many different interests and so many different spin doctors that many stories find their way into the news media.

Were the spin doctors from the government?
No. I'm thinking of the commercial interests involved.

Was there a probability that the bidders may be asked to amend their initial bid?

She replied; The negotiator has a brief to get from whoever he needs to information to assist the government to make a decision.
Asked the same question again, she replied: I'm not commenting on the work of the negotiator.

What was the government's overriding consideration?

She replied: The overriding consideration is a viable New Zealand airline.

Will next Monday be the final decision?

She replied: I hope it will be.

Asked if she worried that the government would find itself in a lose/lose situation because it would be criticised whatever it did she replied: No, I can't accept that. Air New Zealand's financial issues are not of the government's making.

Obviously the issues raised by the purchase of Ansett give Air New Zealand a few things to work through and Ansett has to track its way back to profitability. But those are commercial issues.

Asked if there had been any inter-government discussions, she said she was unaware of any discussions with the Singapore government and that the only discussions with the Australian government that ministers had had was between Mr Anderson and Dr Cullen.

Was she able to say that there had been any narrowing of the options on the table: We are taking advice from the lead negotiator on the best way to secure a viable Air New Zealand.

What made her confident that was possible: Air New Zealand in the quite recent past has been a strong airline and our desire is to see it return to that status.

A journalist said the only way Air New Zealand could be made viable was by picking up either the SIA offer or the Qantas offer. She said: Ar New Zealand has two suitors and they have both been vocal for some time.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

The Pike River Mine Drift will be re-entered, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced today.

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little...

“The advice I have received indicates that it is likely to be around February before the re-entry proper gets underway, by breaching the 30m seal.” More>>

 

Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>

ALSO:

Rebuilding: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Obviously, it is good news that the coalition government has broadened the scope of its Royal Commission into the abuse of children, beyond its previous focus on children in state care. More>>

ALSO:

Cases Delayed: Court Staff Refuse To Handle Sentencing Papers

Dozens of court cases have reportedly been delayed, as court staff escalate industrial action at two Auckland courts by enforcing a ban on handling sentencing papers. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Primary Teachers Rolling Strikes

RNZ Report: More than 100,000 primary school students in Auckland will be home from school today as teachers and principals walk off the job for the second time this year. It's the start of a week of rolling one-day strikes around the country, after the collapse of contract negotiations last Thursday. More>>

ALSO:

"Process Was Sound": Inquiry Into Haumaha Appointment Released

The Inquiry’s purpose was to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment. It found the process was sound and no available relevant information was omitted. More>>

ALSO:

Govt Loses In Supreme Court: Call For Debate On Prisoners' Right To Vote

The court earlier this week upheld a High Court decision which found that a law restricting a prisoner's right to vote was inconsistent with the Bill of Rights. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels