Selling Air New Zealand

Labour’s position on Air New Zealand is that having the state own 76% of it is exactly the right number and how it will be a disaster to reduce the Government shareholding to 51%. They have never explained why, if the mixed ownership model is so bad, they are not buying up 100% of Air New Zealand.

But that is not the point of my post. It is to remind people of the hypocrisy of their stance on Air New Zealand. For Phil Goff was part of a Cabinet that voted to sell 20% of Air New Zealand.

No, not the Cabinet of the 1980s, but the Cabinet of 2002. In 2002 Labour voted to sell 22.5% of Air New Zealand to Qantas. Phil Goff was in that Cabinet that voted for that.

Thankfully competition authorities intervened and stopped the alliance, which would have destroyed competition and pushed up prices massively.

But here is the difference. Phil Goff and Labour in 2002 voted to sell 22.5% of Air NZ to its biggest competitor Qantas – into foreign hands.

National in 2011 is seeking public support (unlike Labour) to sell 25% of Air New Zealand to (mainly) New Zealand investors – something which Labour is now saying they are totally against.

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