The NZ Herald and Dompost editorials put a few things into perspective regarding the government sell down of Air New Zealand.
First up the Herald editorial:
According to the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe, the timing of the Government’s selldown of shares in Air New Zealand is arrogant. Describing it as astute would have been far closer to the mark. Shares in the airline have been trading at a five-year high and investment advisers have voiced their enthusiasm for them. What better time could there be for the Government to reduce its holding in the national carrier from 73 per cent to 53 per cent?
The selldown has been criticised because it is being done just before a referendum on the part-sale of state assets. That complaint is misplaced. The focus of the Government’s mixed-ownership model strategy and, therefore, the referendum has always been the part-sale of the state’s three power companies, not an airline that the government acquired essentially by accident. Air New Zealand is very much an ancillary part of that strategy. After the disappointments of the Mighty River and Meridian part-floats, it may, however, produce the best result. The $350 million to $400 million that the Government will gain from Air New Zealand will go some way to alleviating the power companies’ shortfalls. Read more »