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Ideology In The Way Of Common Sense Over Air NZ

Government Lets Ideology Get In The Way Of Common Sense Over Air New Zealand

United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne, has attacked the Government's handling of the Air New Zealand crisis, saying its blinkered approach has sold New Zealand interests short, and reduced Air New Zealand to its weakest state since the company was formed in 1940.

"This Government's slavish adherence to ideology is directly responsible for its failure to accept the Singapore Airlines request for an increased shareholding earlier, which would have averted the current crisis."

"The fact that a rescue package which will leave Air New Zealand severely weakened now has to be developed is a direct consequence of the Government's failure to act prudently earlier."

"There has been a long history throughout Air New Zealand's life of its being screwed by other players in the aviation, going right back to the competition between TEAL and QANTAS in the 1950s for a share of the new aviation routes emerging from the post-war expansion of commercial aviation, through to the Keating Government's arrogant cancellation of the Australasian single aviation market in the mid 1990s."

"The difference this time, however, is that Air New Zealand has been let down by its own Government, whose narrow minded approach to foreign investment has brought the airline virtually to its knees," Mr Dunne says.

Mr Dunne says the Government's attitude has made a mockery of its so-called business friendly approach, and has left Air New Zealand as a very small regional carrier, with limited international influence and opportunity.

"That will have implications for inbound tourism and also for New Zealanders wishing to travel abroad at competitive prices, and eventually for the domestic aviation market. "

"This Government's handling of this issue would be amongst the most irresponsible actions of any New Zealand Government of recent years," Mr Dunne says.


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