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

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election