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NZ Post's Malta Excursion Causes Concern

Tuesday 5 Feb 2002

New Zealand Post's equity and management deal with Malta Post must be of concern to the Government and taxpayers, ACT Finance Spokesman Rodney Hide said today.

"The deal comes hard on the heels of the state-owned enterprise's disastrous excursion into South Africa. NZ Post had promised the South African post offices would break even in three years. They failed, with negative repercussions for the South African Government, the New Zealand Government and our country's international reputation.

"The Price Waterhouse Cooper report into Transend operations in Europe was far from glowing.

"They haven't learned any lessons, choosing instead to repeat their mistakes in a different country.

"NZ Post has got enough trouble here at home. It's in an obvious mess with the roll-out of its bank. This is the time for the SOE to focus on its own backyard, not preach to others.

"NZ Post is owned by the Government, so it isn't subject to normal commercial accountability. It has also managed to escape proper parliamentary accountability.

"I am surprised that shareholders Michael Cullen and Mark Burton have allowed the Board of NZ Post to enter into an equity deal with Malta Post given the experience in South Africa," Mr Hide said.


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