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Rotten Politics and Commercial Skulduggery

Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader

29 November 2013

Rotten Politics and Commercial Skulduggery

New Zealand First has challenged the Government to come clean on whether it will liquidate Learning Media Limited (LML), which will put mum and dad investors seriously out of pocket by more than a million dollars, or give honest creditors an assurance that the Government will now act in good faith.

Rt Hon Winston Peters says the Government must confirm that it will not put pressure on Learning Media Limited, a State Owned Enterprise, to liquidate the company knowing full well that the liquidator, because of the Government’s past actions and now inactions, won’t have the money to settle with creditors.

“This is despite the Government arranging extra capital to pay out Westpac, a foreign owned bank, in full.

“The pathetic excuse from the Ministers of Finance and Education that Learning Media Ltd ‘is operationally independent from shareholding Ministers’ doesn’t stand scrutiny when:
• These two Ministers appointed the Media Learning Ltd Board.
• These two Ministers changed the contract rules under which Learning Media were operating to the SOEs serious detriment.
• These two Ministers then, in a sordid debt paying arrangement, agreed to raise the capital of LML so that one foreign owned creditor would be paid out in full.
• These two Ministers arrogantly refuse to explain this preference for one creditor over others.
• These two Ministers know the LML offer to settle a fraction of the debt to Anaro Investments screams cronyism when compared to Westpac.

“The Minister of Finance has written to Anaro Investments Limited, saying that ‘he is unable to assist’.

“This is a total cop out. He was able to assist Westpac to get their debt paid, so why is Anaro Investments, the landlord of LML different? Why is Westpac so influential on the Minister of Finance?

“Ministers English and Parata are 50% shareholders in Learning Media Limited. If they aren’t responsible then who is?

“Kiwi mum and dads deserve honest answers from this Government and they are not getting them.

“This is rotten politics and commercial skulduggery all in the same Ministerial package and should be exposed for being just that”, says Mr Peters.

ENDS

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