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


Statement to the Australian media by Dr Cullen

14 September 2001

Statement to the Australian media by Dr Michael Cullen

There is some anti-New Zealand sentiment emerging in the aftermath of the Ansett failure. Air New Zealand will no doubt account for its actions. I want to make it clear that actions – or more specifically alleged inaction – by the New Zealand government in no way contributed to the demise of Ansett.

The facts are relatively clear. On 19 June, Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand entered into a memorandum of understanding that envisaged a share placement followed by a rights issue, designed to raise about $850 million of new equity.

As events have unfolded, it has become clear that that amount would not in the remotest sense have been sufficient to allow the group – with Ansett – to continue trading and to restructure along profitable lines.

That, though, is history. It is important to make two points.

Firstly, the April memorandum of understanding was not binding. The money would not have been put in without Directors agreeing and finalising a strategy and Singapore Airlines completing due diligence. It is now clear that process would have resulted in a radical review of Air New Zealand’s capital requirements.

Even if it had not, time was not on the side of a quick decision. Air New Zealand shareholders would have to have approved the new share issue. The Directors of the company would then have had to initiate an internal due diligence process, and issue a prospectus. Shareholders would then have been given time to decide on whether or not to take up their rights and subscribe to the extra shares.

The company, not the government, estimated that the earliest a rights issue could have been concluded was mid to late November.

The decisions taken this week have in fact speeded up, not delayed, a decision, and by a substantial two month margin.

The facts are that the problems go back a long way. They have been compounded by recent events, both in the wider economic environment and in the aviation industry. Activity on this side of the Tasman has not materially impacted on the viability of Ansett.

Dr Michael Cullen
New Zealand Finance Minister


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Our Military Roles In Iraq & Afghanistan

The politics of the deployment extension have degenerated into a slanging match about whether the previous National government was right or wrong to make the initial commitment to Iraq – and whether the extension is a responsible thing given our joint training role in Iraq with Australia, or is hypocritical in the light of prior statements made by a previous Labour leader etc. etc. etc.

As usual, the benefit – or otherwise – of our military presence to the people on the receiving end has barely had a look in. More>>


Commissioner To Be Appointed: Govt To Dismiss Board Of Whitireia And WelTec

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has made a preliminary decision to appoint a Commissioner to Whitireia and WelTec to address the two polytechnics’ financial woes. More>>


Open Government Action Plan: Government To Proactively Release Cabinet Papers

The Cabinet papers will be released no later than 30 business days after a Cabinet decision. This process will be in place for Cabinet papers lodged from 1 January 2019... More>>


NZ Initiative: Evidence Of "Huge" Government Waste

It is not so much that spending is being literally wasted. Rather the best performing countries are achieving much better outcomes relative to their spending. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Ardern Pep Talk

The intolerance being shown as the coalition process unfolds in New Zealand betrays our depressing appetite for a tidily totalitarian style of government where everyone is expected to march in lockstep. More>>


Last Two: All Charter Schools To Join State System

The decisions on Tūranga Tangata Rite in Gisborne and Waatea School in Auckland mean that all 12 charter schools that applied to become designated character or state integrated schools have now been approved. More>>





InfoPages News Channels