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Greens oppose Air NZ sell-out

Greens oppose Air NZ sell-out

New Zealand stands to effectively lose control of yet another key asset with the announcement that Qantas will be offered a strategic stake in Air New Zealand, Green Party Co-leader Rod Donald said today.

"The kangaroo has pocketed another kiwi," said Rod Donald. "The last time Qantas had a major shareholding in Air New Zealand [19.9 percent from 1989 to 1996] we were, in the words of Air New Zealand's managing director Jim Scott, 'dorked.'

"We call on the Government to reject a deal that is so obviously not in our national interests.

"The Government rescued Air New Zealand for all the right reasons, so why would it now want to handover what amounts to a controlling interest, including seats on the board, to an airline that has historically been Air New Zealand's most bitter rival.

"Qantas is a huge, predatory, profit-driven business. Why on earth should we expect them to even consider the best interests of New Zealand travellers, exporters and tour operators, when boardroom decisions are being made?

"Air New Zealand is much more than just an airline, it is a crucial strategic asset and an internationally recognised symbol of our national identity," said Mr Donald.

"It is vital that decisions regarding the airline are made in the best interests of New Zealand and the only way to ensure this is to guarantee that it stays in New Zealand ownership.

"The Government should look beyond the short term benefits of this deal and accept that the long term consequences mean the end of our national carrier."

ENDS

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