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New Zealand For Sale?

Media Release


31 May 2002

New Zealand For Sale?

“New Zealand’s taxpayer shareholders of Air New Zealand must be reeling at news of negotiations to sell off a major part of our airline to our Australian competitors,” New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters said.

“When Labour first sold Air New Zealand for $660m it was part of a frenzied privatisation madness that New Zealanders were subjected to by both Labour and National Governments between 1984 and 1996 which was halted by New Zealand First.

“New Zealanders do not want foreigners to own our airline, nor do we want higher travel costs, and we certainly do not want to see the eventual demise of Air New Zealand. We never wanted that and we certainly don’t want it now that the taxpayer has spent so much buying back what was always ours,” Mr Peters said.

“The limit of 24.9 per cent foreign ownership still applies to Air New Zealand as it should apply to all of our strategic assets. New Zealand is NOT for sale!” said Mr Peters.

“The Government has no reason and no mandate to waive the limit on foreign ownership. There should be no such conversation, we are already convinced: Qantas should be told to put their cheque book away, and the Government should be firmly reminded that New Zealand IS NOT for sale.”

ENDS

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