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Dunne: Qantas/Air NZ fail to convince Govt

For immediate release

Wednesday, 18 December 2002

Dunne: Qantas/Air NZ fail to convince Govt

It is now plain that Qantas and Air New Zealand have failed in their desperate efforts to convince the Government that a Qantas takeover of New Zealand's national carrier is a good thing, according to United Future New Zealand leader Peter Dunne.

"The two airlines wanted an unequivocal commitment from the Government to their plan that Qantas take an almost-quarter share in Air New Zealand. Instead, the Government has kicked for touch by agreeing conditionally - and no-one knows what those conditions are - that Qantas can take only a 4.99% share before the proposal is examined by the Commerce Commission," said Mr Dunne.

"If the airlines can't even convince three Government Ministers that their proposal holds water, why should the public of New Zealand - who are the majority owners of Air New Zealand - have any more confidence in the deal?" he asked.

"I reiterate: this is a bad proposal for New Zealand, it is grossly anti-competitive, it should be thrown out by the Commerce Commission and the Government should get on with the hard task of running its own majority-owned airline for the benefit of New Zealand, not the boardroom of Qantas," said Mr Dunne.


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