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Govt Must End Air New Zealand Uncertainty Now

Govt Must End Air New Zealand Uncertainty Now

Friday, September 28 2001 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Commerce


ACT Commerce Spokesman Stephen Franks says the Government must immediately reduce the crippling uncertainty surrounding Air New Zealand.

"The Government must let the market know at least whether a rescue package is now certain ' even if the fine print has not been settled.

"The earlier this information is out the earlier the Government's legal exposure ends.

"Brierley Investments, when talking the share price up, clearly used the Prime Minister's statements for leverage against the Government. They benefit in terms of the price the Government will pay for any shares in the airline.

"BIL Chief Executive Greg Terry's comments, which could be interpreted as boosting or 'ramping' the share price, show a contempt for good practice and the conditions which should govern due diligence.

"The Securities Commission or the Stock Exchange might ordinarily look into legal proceedings against him or BIL. They may now back off for fear of a political response. How can they chase Greg Terry without also chasing the Prime Minister?

"The Exchange won't want to tackle the Prime Minister while their Bill sits in Parliament. They want it passed. She could vindictively increase the Government control of the Exchange the Bill now contains, even though they have just proved what unfit market regulators they are.

"The Government plans to become a more active direct market regulator. They are drafting 'continuous disclosure' rules now ' yet they can't even comply with the rules we've got. The last month has blown any shred of credibility Commerce Minister Paul Swain might have wanted for his Aussie rules campaign.

"It is the Government, not the Stock Exchange that has made us a laughing stock now in our capital market ' as well as in defence and foreign relations," Stephen Franks said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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