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Government dithers while shareholders hurt

Roger Sowry National Member of Parliament

25 September 2001

Government dithers while shareholders hurt

The Government's refusal to tackle the Air New Zealand situation is leaving thousands of kiwi mum and dad investors exposed to significant financial losses, National's Roger Sowry said today.

"In the past three months the value of Air New Zealand has fallen from $1.4 billion to $108 million, and it could fall to zero if the Government doesn't wake up from its current sleepwalk," Mr Sowry said today.

"That is dire news for shareholders, many of them ordinary New Zealanders with kids and mortgages. Singapore Airlines and Brierleys will survive, no matter what happens, but the impact of the Government's dithering on those smaller individual shareholders could be devastating.

"In the face of this major financial crisis the Government is continuing to trot out meaningless rhetoric. Instead of providing leadership they are sitting on the fence, arguing one minute that the due diligence process should continue, then the next minute in favour of statutory management.

"Surely even they can't be so naïve as to actually believe the sort of drivel they are spouting. The initial rescue package is now wildly out of touch with reality, with share prices having dropped to one third of what they were when that bailout was announced.

"The Government is confused, and is confusing the public over this whole sorry saga.

"Pressure either makes diamonds, or makes you crumble. Labour is crumbling under the pressure around Air New Zealand, and the sooner there's a change of Government the better" Roger Sowry said.

Ends

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