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Ministers: Reject Airport Sale

14 March 2008

Ministers: Reject Airport Sale

It is disappointing but understandable that shareholders have backed an attempt by a Canadian group to acquire a 40 percent stake in Auckland International Airport, and it is now up to the Government to reject the sale, says New Zealand First economic development spokesperson Doug Woolerton.

“While we are disappointed that a small minority of shareholders voted in favour of the sale, it was not unexpected given the board’s ‘bob each way’ position on the deal.

“As nice as the Canadians are as investors, the fundamental question remains – why would we want to send the profits of a New Zealand business or asset to anyone offshore? As a country, we cannot prosper if the fruits of our labour and assets are skimmed off by foreigners.

“Clearly, the sale is not in the interests of the country. Despite moving recently to tighten rules on selling strategic assets, now is the time for the Government to send a strong signal that New Zealand assets are not for sale any more.

“The final decision now comes down to Ministers Cosgrove and Parker and I strongly urge them to reject the sale,” said Mr Woolerton.


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