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


Wild West Goes Mickey Mouse

Wild West Goes Mickey Mouse

Wednesday, September 26 2001 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Commerce

The Prime Minister's 'don't sell' advice on Air New Zealand last night takes the Government's handling of Air New Zealand beyond disgrace into farce, ACT Commerce Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"While appearing as a 'don't sell', it was really advice that the shares were worth more than the market was expecting.

"Her tip on national television may have squeezed through a little-known loophole of insider trading law. None of the offences cover using inside information to tip people not to buy or sell.

"Unavoidably, the Government is an insider through what they have been told in confidence. But whether getting through the loophole was good luck, or on the advice of a cunning lawyer, the Mickey Mouse effect is the same. Insider trading regimes regard an insider who gives a 'hold tip' as unethical, even though enforcement problems mean that it is not punishable here.

"Commerce Minister Swain came to power on an election promise to toughen up insider trading law. He and Ms Clark have delighted in reviving the false claim that New Zealand is a wild west securities market. Now the Great Helmswoman has made it really a Mickey Mouse country.

"In the midst of delicate negotiations, while possessing price sensitive information the Prime Minister went and tipped the whole market.

"Among the effects:

If it was in effect thinly disguised 'buy' advice (which is how an information-starved market naturally saw it), the Prime Minister may yet be made culpable under insider trading law. She will remain exposed until all the price sensitive information the Government has given has been released publicly.

Under disclosure rules, the directors must stop any further supply of confidential information to the Government. Due diligence is already a clear breach of insider trading law. The regime the Exchange developed to regulate it turns a blind eye to the breaches, provided the directors can be sure the information will be kept confidential, and those getting the benefit of due diligence do not trade or tip. The directors have now lost that defence.

BIL's bargaining position is strengthened enormously. They can now calculate that the Government can't pull out - because the Prime Minister has stacked both political credibility, and maybe even personal liability exposure (for negligent advice), on the rescue succeeding. "And still they have not done the obvious, lawful thing - assuring ticket buyers that the services will keep operating, and that tickets will be honoured. Instead, they are rescuing BIL and Singapore Airlines," Stephen Franks said.

For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

© 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


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election