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Equity stake the right solution for Air NZ

Equity stake the right solution for Air NZ
04 October 2001

Green Party co-leader Rod Donald said today he was pleased at the Government's decision to rescue Air New Zealand by taking around an 80 percent stake in the airline.

"The Greens have always seen the Government taking an equity stake as the obvious solution, and that's what we've been saying from the very beginning.

"Of course we didn't want to see the situation deteriorate to the point where it has, but this is a much better outcome than selling even more of our national carrier to foreign owners or letting it go bust," he said.

Mr Donald said there was a certain ironic justice in the fact that a Labour Government sold Air New Zealand in 1988, and that now a Labour Government is buying it back.

"What really makes me angry about the whole situation is that its ordinary people who have taken a double whammy on Air New Zealand.

"It was the taxpayer who lost out when the airline was sold to Brierley's and other international airlines at a bargain basement price, and now they're the ones who have to pay to bail the corporates out from their own mess.

Mr Donald said the disastrous effects of privatisation should be obvious to everyone now.

"Two of our key transport systems - air and rail - are in crisis because they were sold to private owners.

"The Government has stepped in to save our national airline. It is imperative that they do the same for our rail system before it dies."

ENDS


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