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John Key played public for fools on Air NZ

Clayton Cosgrove
SOEs Spokesperson

20 December 2013

John Key played public for fools on Air NZ

John Key has played the public for fools, denying that any decision had been made on the timing of the Air New Zealand sale on the very day his Finance Minister signed it off, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.

“The sale of Air New Zealand shares was the worst kept secret in New Zealand on 14 November. That day John Key brazenly claimed no decision had been made on the timing. He was misleading the public.

“Not only had Bill English given the final sign off for the timing that day, new Treasury documents show Cabinet had previously agreed to just two preferred periods for sale, the first of which had already passed. That meant the only possible period remaining was 15 – 19 November. The next day.

“John Key even claimed he had seen no advice that the sell down could not happen between December and March, but he received two Cabinet papers telling him that timeframe was not possible.

“John Key has treated New Zealanders like fools.

“As usual the timing of the release is extremely cynical. Despite Labour requesting the information six weeks ago these Cabinet papers were dumped by Treasury on the last Friday before Christmas.

“John Key should stop trying to bury bad news and be upfront with Kiwis. New Zealanders are getting tired of him playing cute games with the truth,” says Clayton Cosgrove.

News article where John key denies decision: here
Cabinet minute for timing decision: here
Treasury paper on timing advice: here

ENDS

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