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Sell Air NZ Shares to Highest Bidder, Prebble Says

Government Should Sell Air NZ Shares to Highest Bidder, Prebble Says

Friday 14 Dec 2001 Richard Prebble Press Releases -- Transport

Any sale of the government's shareholding in Air New Zealand should be by open, competitive tender, says ACT leader and former Civil Aviation Minister Richard Prebble.

"A private sale of shares to Qantas, as rumoured, can't be justified," Mr Prebble said.

"First, the government would have no way of knowing whether another airline or shareholders would bid more for Air New Zealand, and second any ownership by Qantas raises monopoly concerns.

"If Qantas was to control Air New Zealand it would enable the airline to increase fares both in New Zealand and across the Tasman.

"The fact that the government is looking at selling shares, shows the folly of buying them in the first place. The government knows nothing about running airlines and it should be looking at quitting its shareholding - not just 25 percent but the whole 80 percent - to the highest bidder," Mr Prebble said.

ENDS

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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