Plaudits being heaped on Air New Zealand by the Prime Minister suggest he is either suffering from sunstroke or that his tongue is stuck firmly in cheek, Labour MP Chris Hipkins says.
“News that our much-lauded national carrier has taken out the prestigious Airline of the Year award for the second time in three years has prompted frenzied congratulations from John Key.
“Yet this is the very same man who can’t wait to flog Air New Zealand off.
“Here’s a local company, 73 per cent owned by taxpayers, that has proved itself the best in the world, with the ATW judges describing it as an industry trendsetter in several areas, including fiscal management, product innovation, and customer service,” Chris Hipkins said.
“And our Minister of Tourism wants to sell it. The irony won’t be lost on those Kiwis opposed to National’s asset sales plans.
“Commentators say the Government –actually the taxpayers who already own it - will be lucky to get $250million from the sell down, and that it will most likely be an institutional investor that buys the shares, not ‘ordinary’ New Zealanders as Mr Key would like us to believe.
“Air New Zealand is a treasured, national asset that all New Zealanders can be proud of. The last thing we should be doing is hocking it off,” Chris Hipkins said.