AMI Buyout Banana Republic Style - Peters
Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader
1 March 2012
The approved sale of the “good bits” of failed insurer AMI is just another case of the “banana republic” economic policies followed by the National coalition government, says Rt Hon Winston Peters.
The Commerce Commission has cleared Australian insurer IAG to obtain 40 per cent in the general insurance market in New Zealand through purchases of the good assets. AMI’s Canterbury earthquake liabilities will be taken up by the government.
“This is classic banana republic economics. Big business reaps the profits while things are good and when things turn sour the taxpayers are forced to pick up the bill.
“The sorry case of AMI shows how insurance companies in New Zealand are simply after a quick buck. In this case, when a catastrophic earthquake happened, the company did not have the resources to deal with it.”
Mr Peters says the insurance industry is now increasing premiums to cover costs when more funds should have been held in reserve.
“New Zealand taxpayers used to own their own insurance company – State – but that is now owned overseas.
“We are gradually losing control of our own destiny,” says Mr Peters.