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Prime Minister Still Learning On The Job

Media Release

26 September 2001

Prime Minister Still Learning On The Job

The Prime Minister has shown both naivity and inexperience by recommending that investors hold onto their shares.

“There can be no doubt that the Prime Minister has compromised both herself and Air New Zealand. She has been in Cabinet meetings when the very future of Air New Zealand and privileged financial information has been presented and discussed. For her to then turn around on national television and recommend that investors keep their shares is a grave matter indeed,” said Mr Peters.

“This is a mistake which is inexcusable, and the Prime Minister must be culpable. It is as if she is learning as she goes.

“There have been bucket loads of spin today from the Prime Minister’s office trying to blur the issue. The facts are these:

When asked what her recommendation to shareholders was she said: “I’d recommend they hang on to them”. This is a direct recommendation coming from a position of legal privilege.

Last week she said that she thought: “somebody had long since reported the statutory management option”. Anyone would know statutory management would have an immediate effect on share-price and capitalisation. Again this refers to privileged information and she said it again on national television.”

“She explicitly compromised herself twice.

“I am also interested in whether George Hawkins, who has enough Brierley’s shares to list them in the official records excused himself from Cabinet meetings when Air New Zealand and Ansett were discussed,” concluded Mr Peters.


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