Liam Dann pours scorn on opposition claims over the sell down of Air New Zealand.
The sale of the Government’s Air New Zealand shares shouldn’t be lumped in with the political scrap over the sale of state owned enterprises (SOEs) as it has been by opposition parties.
Air New Zealand is already a private company. It is publicly listed which means anyone can buy shares and the company must abide by NZX market regulations around disclosure.
Air New Zealand, in its current form, was never a state owned enterprise. The Government investment was a bailout which came about of necessity when the company went to the brink of collapse in 2001.
However much you feel the blame for that failure can be attributed to its private ownership structure at the time, that structure is not being copied here.
This is not, as the opposition says, history repeating.
And who created that structure? Labour of course.
Today we own a 73 per cent stake by the end of tomorrow we’ll own 53 per cent. So what? The numerical change doesn’t alter the control that Government has as majority shareholder.
Exactly. Labour would have us believe that 73% is a magical and optimal ownership stake that must not be diluted.
Claims that the airline may now charge higher prices and neglect regional routes are ludicrous. They are both insulting to the current management and likely to raise a wry smile from the regions – many of which already believe they are underserved and overcharged by Air New Zealand’s unashamedly commercial model.
We can safely assume that idiots like Russel Norman know about as much a room full of monkeys in running an airline.