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Q+A: Sir John Key interviewed by Corin Dann

ANZ Bank Chair Sir John Key defends criticism of the ANZ’s $2 Billion dollar profit.

CORIN: Are the Aussie banks and ANZ – the bank that you chair - fleecing New Zealand?

SIR JOHN: In a word – No. I think what is worth remembering about someone like ANZ is we are a very very large bank, a very large company so we have a financial relationship with one in two New Zealanders…

We earned last year 13.8 percent ROE (return on equity), less for instance that Air New Zealand, less than Spark, less than quite a lot of other companies.

Speaking as an Air New Zealand Director on the looming pre-Christmas strike by Air New Zealand engineers, Sir John Key said if the strike goes ahead the airline will need to cancel thousands of flights.

‘I would be concerned by that. I really hope it is resolved for both parties. Firstly, these are well-paid Air New Zealanders ..this is not the part of the workforce for instance that is less well-paid, these are well-paid New Zealanders, Air New Zealanders. They get lots of benefits now they’re going to mediation tomorrow and I really hope that we can get a resolution to this because the reality for Air New Zealand is that if the engineers go on strike then we will have to cancel literally thousands flights and if you think about Christmas it is the one time when a lot of New Zealand families get the one chance to reunite with other members of their families with friends to take some well-earned time out and for us as the National carrier to disrupt their Christmas holidays through arguably no fault of our own I think would be a real tragedy. Look it’s incumbent on both sides to get around the table and try and find a solution.’

On criticism from politicians of the corporate world, Sir John Key told Corin Dann, ‘it needs to be justified and it needs to be warranted.’

CORIN: Was Shane Jones warranted?

SIR JOHN: Well I don’t think so on things like regional flights. If you look at what Air New Zealand has been doing, we have been increasing capacity and reducing costs for New Zealanders in terms of flying. We have cancelled some of the routes we have had..

He had a go at our Chairman Tony Carter and I thought that was very unwarranted. I don’t think in New Zealand it’s our way that we really have personal attacks so that is something I would tone down if I was him.

Sir John Key also defended his government’s position on China when he was Prime Minister. He said it is critical for New Zealand to have a strong relationship with both the US and China.

He told Corin Dann he supports Simon Bridges as leader of the National Party, ‘ I went to the National Party Conference to support Simon.’

He also said, Judith Collins is doing a good job in Opposition and was an effective Minister in his government.

Please find the full interview here.

Q+A, 9:30pm Sundays on TVNZ 1 and one hour later on TVNZ 1 + 1.

Streamed live at www.tvnz.co.nz

Thanks to the support from NZ On Air.

Q+A is also on Facebook + Twitter + YouTube


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