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Foreign owners have no commitment to New Zealand

Hon Jim Anderton

Member of Parliament for Wigram
Progressive Leader

07 April 2011 Media Statement

Foreign owners have no commitment to New Zealand

The closure of NZPA is the result of a corporate bean counter’s decision made in Australia, and serves as a warning about what happens when our assets are owned overseas, Progressive Wigram MP Jim Anderton says.

“If John Key sells our other assets, the same calamity will result. Foreign owners have no commitment to New Zealand.”

Jim Anderton says the loss of NZPA will hit regional New Zealand hardest because regional newspapers rely on the service for their national news service.

“Fairfax appointed an Australian chief executive to run the operation in New Zealand in March last year over the top of New Zealand executives who were expected to run the company. The cynical Australians who run half of New Zealand’s papers are putting in place a strategy that is bad for New Zealand, and only good for an Australian company.

“NZPA provided a unique service. It is one of the only gallery offices at parliament that routinely covers select committees and debates in the Chamber.

“It is a service that New Zealand’s news services outside the main centres rely on. Even the Christchurch’s press gallery office has been closed. This will remove services from remaining regional centres of New Zealand. NZPA also has a reputation forged over decades for writing straight news reports - leaving opinion and beat up scandals to others.

“This is what happens when our services end up overseas owned. Just as the Australians closed bank branches when they bought up our banking industry, and overseas owned oil companies spent years closing petrol stations in regional New Zealand, the newspaper company has a similar lack of commitment

“Exactly the same outcome is predictable if John Key goes ahead with his plan to sell down our power companies. Foreign owners will buy them up over time, and services will begin to disappear. I would love to hear the advocates of foreign ownership tell us why closing NZPA is a great advertisement for overseas ownership.”


ENDS

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