It seems however we've missed one out. David "Happy Feet" Farrar blogs on the decision by Labour to sell a stake in Air New Zealand to Qantas; not in the 1980's, but in December 2002. Here's the media statement from Finance Minister Michael Cullen:
The government today agreed to Qantas taking a 4.99 per cent stake in Air New Zealand and gave conditional support to a strategic alliance between the two airlines. It has reserved final approval until the completion of inquiries by competition authorities on both sides of the Tasman.
Under the proposal the two airlines enter a Joint Airline Operation to be managed by Air New Zealand including all Air New Zealand’s flights and all Qantas’ flying operations into, out of and within New Zealand. Qantas would end up with a 22.5 per cent shareholding in Air New Zealand. The government would retain a majority 64 per cent shareholding.
In taking this decision, the government has acted to secure Air New Zealand’s long term viability as an international airline. The substantial investment by Qantas of over $500 million will give it a powerful reason to ensure that Air New Zealand is a successful airline.
The 4.99 per cent stake is a first instalment and will cost Qantas $98 million. Air New Zealand will retain that money even if the rest of the deal fails to achieve the necessary consents.
And helpfully, Dr Cullen's presser helpfully includes this tasty morsel of information:
Present:Rt Hon Helen Clark (Chair) Hon Dr Michael CullenHon Jim AndertonHon Phil GoffHon Annette KingHon Trevor MallardHon Pete HodgsonHon Margaret WilsonHon Parekura HoromiaHon Lianne Dalziel (part of item)Hon Mark BurtonHon Paul SwainHon Marian HobbsOfficials Present:Office of the Prime Minister Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Oh dear; it's not just Phil Goff who is implicated in this; four other senior Labour members, all of whom are seeking re-election voted to sell a percentage of shares in Air New Zealand to a foreign buyer.
Yet these five senior Labour members are pushing a campaign of "stop asset sales" when they have, under the convention of collective Cabinet responsibility done EXACTLY what they are vilifying John Key for proposing; selling a minority stake in a strategic New Zealand state-owned asset to an overseas buyer.
Doubtless excuses will be made and Goff, King, Mallard, Horomia and Dalziel will try to justify the sale of 22.5% of Air New Zealand by saying that it is not 49%, but that's just playing with numbers. Isn't there a word (the use of which is banned in Parliament) for when you say one thing and do another?