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Air NZ Govt Assurance Welcome - But More Needed

Air NZ Govt Assurance Welcome - But More Needed

Monday 18 Mar 2002 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Commerce

ACT Commerce Spokesman Stephen Franks today welcomed Dr Michael Cullen's assurances that the Government would abide by Securities law with regard to its investment in Air New Zealand.

"But really there should never have been any question of the Government accepting this.

"I just wonder if the Government will now consider drastic changes to its ill-considered Securities Markets and Institutions Bill.

"The Government only rushed this legislation into Parliament as a smokescreen. It was introduced prematurely to distract from Helen Clark's market-manipulative statements about Air New Zealand. The real reason for low confidence in our sharemarket is the failure of our justice system to ensure that existing law is enforced. That does not take new law, it just takes commitment to ethical conduct.

"The bill is all about the Government saying things it might do, by giving itself new powers - when it has shown already that it is not willing to uphold existing law. The Australians, if they take at face value the Government's own accusations about the NZ regime are right to wait and see whether key things will happen and whether powers available are used.

"We also need to know why the Government is not either setting a timetable for getting the taxpayer out of Air NZ - or putting it under the SOE regime which is designed to reduced risks of political misuse of power as a shareholder," 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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