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Air NZ Loss Not Credible, Just Incredible

"Air New Zealand's half year loss of $376.5 million is further proof of the complex financial difficulty the company was in last year when it approached the Government to lift the cap on foreign shareholding," says National Finance spokesman David Carter.

"However, its incompetent dithering over this issue, which led to Singapore Airlines walking away from further investing in the company and leaving taxpayers to foot the $1 billion bail out, has now seen taxpayers take another big financial hit."

Mr Carter wants to know where the company's credible plan to return to financial health is, which was supposed to be part of the Government's conditions for injecting a $1 billion of taxpayer funds into the company.

"Government has made taxpayers of New Zealand the forced-majority shareholders in this airline, but so far there is scant evidence of any credible financial plan.

"All I have seen so far is Air New Zealand cutting freight services out of Christchurch much to the chagrin of South Island exporters - and there's nothing credible about that."

David Carter says while Dr Cullen may be comfortable with Air New Zealand's $376.5 million half-year loss he certainly isn't.

"Taxpayers have already invested a $1 billion in Air New Zealand and unless the company turns around it performance - and soon - this risky investment is in danger of requiring more taxpayer money," Mr Carter concluded.

Ends

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