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Air New Zealand and the Chinese cabin crew

19/03/2008

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There have been several items recently on this issue including the Herald here, here , where Air NZ rebuts the claim that allowances paid to Chinese staff was very small compared to NZ staff, and here where Audrey Young blogs on the issue and the somewhat equivocal stance of the Prime Minister.

Predictably some have called for complete nationalisation of the airline, claiming that a scandal has been exposed. There is no scandal, but a commercial arrangement has been made public and because of the unnecessary ownership of the airline by the state, management is being forced to defend the situation.

Nationalisation of the airline would be a disaster. Airlines with few exceptions are not good investments.

Now provided that the Air New Zealand rebuttal is factually correct and that Chinese crew receive allowances that are similar to NZ crew and are paid at a rate that is in line with Chinese market conditions I do not have a problem.

For that matter, I believe Quantas has NZ based aircrew who do not have pay parity with Australia.

Adam suspects this issue is manufactured at this time by those seeking to stoke the fires against China, especially the FTA, and those who resent free markets and economic success.

Whilst, Adam has concerns and many over the Tibetan situation, at the same time we need to have regard to the fact that China is essentially the dominant power in this region and we have to trade with the country. The FTA should proceed.

Indeed, positive engagement is the only way that China will eventually be influenced.

This whole issue is a storm in an aircraft cabin and not a real issue at all, but it allows unions and others to posture and bluster.

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