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Where's The Hope For New Zealand?

ACT Commerce Spokesman Stephen Franks says it's deplorable New Zealanders are being led to believe there are only three choices for "bailing out" Air New Zealand - yet the most simple and obvious option, involving this country standing up for itself, is not included.

"It appears that the public as well as the Government are buying the lines being fed by foreign airline spin merchants and Brierley Investments (BIL) ' currently Air NZ's largest shareholder. I saw a newspaper poll this morning [The Dominion] in which readers were offered choices of the airline being bailed out by a) Qantas, b) Singapore Airlines, and c) the taxpayer.

"Yet there is no mention of the first and most simple and obvious choice - existing Air New Zealand shareholders. There is no reason why a deeply discounted renounceable rights issue to existing shareholders would not raise the necessary capital. That is the first option of one of Air New Zealand's most successful former chief executives.

"It is also the view of senior brokers to whom I have spoken, but who won't speak out because they would be in the running to work with a Singapore-controlled Air New Zealand in the future

"The financial establishment sits watching as an inexperienced government is suckered by foreign airline spin merchants, but most of all Asian-controlled BIL, into "rescuing" not Air New Zealand, but BIL.

"An Air NZ board that presided over one of the most catastrophic foreign excursions of recent years has diverted attention away from its responsibility for the Ansett purchase by now saying there is (and it seems was) no alternative to ultimately giving Singapore Airlines control.

"No independent commentator appears willing to risk challenging the new orthodox view that says it is better to sell control of Air NZ to Singapore Airlines, and have key resources moved off shore - than to force the board to sell all or part of Ansett and retain at least the prospect of Air NZ being more than just a regional feeder airline. Singapore capital will eventually shut Air NZ out of routes any new "partner" wanted to keep to itself.

"It's time the Government told BIL they've done enough damage, stopped turning a blind eye to BIL's foreign control, and used the powers New Zealander's thought they had given with the Kiwi Share. It's time Air NZ staff, and New Zealanders were told there is no benign foreign Father Christmas. The solution lies within. The Government should say it will not bail out BIL. The company can and should live within the rules the shareholders all bought in under," Stephen Franks.

Ends


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