“Even as a frequent critic of this Labour Government, I never thought Grant Robertson would try appointing a teacher union rep to run an airline,” says ACT Leader David Seymour

“In April, Grant Robertson wrote to the Air New Zealand Board, rather menacingly, ‘I would like to be involved in the renewal of the board.’

That letter was a huge departure from Mr Robertson’s 2018 letter of expectations to the airline and other companies the Government is majority shareholder of. It endorsed previous letters stating that ‘shareholding Ministers will not, in normal circumstances, put forward candidates for election as directors’ and would ‘support the board’s candidates for election and re-election as directors.’

“We knew there would be some hackery to come, but Robertson the megalomaniac is wasting no time using his powers to doll out jobs for the (union) boys.

“The best that the Chair can say in defence of the appointment is ‘Air New Zealand works closely with unions.’ It’s like a chicken farmer saying they work closely with foxes. I challenge Grant Robertson to tell the people of New Zealand that:

  • He did not in any way promote the appointment of this teacher union rep onto the Board of a commercial airline, as earlier letters of expectation to Mixed Ownership Model Companies such as Air New Zealand promised
  • He believes the appointment of Paul Goulter is on merit, and say why without referring to Labour’s union connections

“We need to be clear that Grant Robertson is playing a dangerous game. A previous Labour finance minister, Walter Nash, is credited with raising the standards of probity in New Zealand Government, Robertson surely doesn’t want to be the one who torpedoes them.”