Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Copeland issues clarion call on Air NZ shares

Copeland issues clarion call on Air NZ shareholding

United Future New Zealand’s finance spokesman, Gordon Copeland, in a speech during general debate in Parliament, today called on the Government to explore all other options before considering the sale of a 25% shareholding in Air New Zealand to Qantas.

“The Government, for and on behalf of the people of New Zealand, holds a 74 percent controlling shareholding in Air NZ,” he said.

“Accordingly, the Government, in its capacity as a controlling shareholder, could here and now rule out – at least for the short to medium term – a shareholding sale to Qantas. It is after all our airline.

“Air NZ is now a viable airline with a bright future. Investors whether domiciled in New Zealand or overseas would, I believe, willingly come up with both equity and interest-bearing capital to enable our airline, unassisted by Qantas, to make that bright future a reality.

“In my view, it makes no sense to proceed on the assumption that Qantas is the best or indeed the only option.

“A 25 percent shareholding sale, here and now, to Qantas will give that company immediate and detailed information concerning all aspects of Air New Zealand’s operations: and this to an airline which has for some 60 years been a vociferous hard ball competitor of Air NZ.

“So much so that the only analogy that I can draw would be the one recently featured in Tom Scott’s pithy cartoon, namely that it is akin to the NZRFU selling a 25 percent stake in the All Blacks to the Australian Rugby Union.

“Qantas will use the information it gains through a significant stake in Air NZ to advance its own ends and the interests of Australia, and to the detriment of Air NZ and the people of this country.

“Leopards do not change their spots.

“It will be our tourism, our exports and our economic future that will likely suffer. It will be New Zealand travellers who will pay the higher air fares – perhaps not right away, but certainly in the fullness of time – to enable Qantas to recoup the up to $100 million it is right now prepared to lose in matching Air NZ’s new domestic fares as part of its hard ball strategy to gain the glittering Air NZ prize which it has coveted for so long.

“Are we prepared to concede that the nation which holds the America’s Cup and beat the Australian basketball team to go to the World Championships lacks the will and the courage to build our own koru-branded airline back to be one of the best and most successful in the world?

“Let’s not forget too that a New Zealander and ex-Air NZ executive Ray Webster has grown Easy Jet 80 percent in the last year to make it a formidable force within the European aviation market. Ray has stated publicly that he wants to make himself available to Air NZ and its shareholders so that success can be replicated in this country.

“Let’s grasp the opportunity which this moment in history provides and make our airline a symbol to the world that New Zealand has found a new confidence and is no longer prepared to be anybody’s whipping boy,” Mr Copeland concluded.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case...

Obviously, sick people shouldn’t be being treated by doctors and nurses who are themselves sick and potentially infectious. Similarly, Police emergency calls also need to be fielded by people who’re feeling alert, and on top of their game. More>>


MPs' Computers To Be Searched: Inquiry Into Leak On Simon Bridges' Expenses

An inquiry has been launched to find out who leaked the National Party's expenses to the media... Parliament's speaker, Trevor Mallard, said a Queen's Counsel would lead the inquiry with the help of an employment lawyer and also someone with forensic IT skills. More>>


Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: City Council Ends Its Support For Jackson’s Movie Museum

The Wellington City Council and the Movie Museum Limited have today announced a mutually-agreed parting of the ways for a joint project between the Council’s Convention Centre and TMML’s Movie Museum... Both parties remain optimistic for the future of their respective projects. More>>

Pay Equity: Historic Settlement For Education Support Workers

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and the Ministry of Education today signed Terms of Settlement to address a pay equity claim for 329 support workers who work with very young children in early childhood and primary schools. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Stereotypes About Jacinda Ardern

Routinely, female politicians get depicted as either show ponies or battle axes, with little room for anything else in between. .. More>>

Weekend Interviews: "Discriminatory And Racist" Aussie Deportations

The former president of Australia’s Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs says deportations have risen dramatically in Australia since 2014 when ministers and ministerial delegates were given the power to cancel visas - and half of those being deported are New Zealanders. "These are massive numbers, actually escalating dramatically."... More>>


Legal Challenge: Prisoner Has 9 Boxes Of Documents Seized

Human rights organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa says a prisoner they advocate for has had 9 boxes of legal documents seized from him just days before his case against the Department of Corrections was to be heard. More>>

Single-Use Plastic Bags: Govt To Phase Them Out

Single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. More>>





Featured InfoPages