New Zealand: Market Surveillance Panel Releases Report

18th Feb 2002

The Market Surveillance Panel of the New Zealand Stock Exchange has today released its report on the Company`s compliance with disclosure requirements of the Stock Exchange Listing Rules.

In the course of its review, the Panel has conducted a thorough investigation of a substantial amount of information in considering the Company`s disclosures during a period when as the Panel has acknowledged, the Company was facing “major and complex difficulties”. Those circumstances gave rise to “issues regarding the disclosure requirements of the Listing Rules of greater depth and complexity than any other in the Panel`s experience”.

Air New Zealand welcomes the Panel`s finding that “Air New Zealand was conscious of and substantially complied with the requirements of the disclosure rules” and its conclusion that there were no breaches by Air New Zealand of the Listing Rules.

Commenting on the Report, Air New Zealand`s General Counsel and Company Secretary Mr John Blair said : “The report provides valuable guidance for all listed companies in relation to the frequently difficult judgements which must be made about disclosure and the Company welcomes the Panel`s recognition of those difficulties.

“A number of difficulties arise from the fact that some practical situations are not addressed in the Listing Rules. During the volatile period in question, the Company and its directors were besieged by the media, subjected to highly speculative media comment. Many companies find themselves in such circumstances from time to time. This creates difficulty or impossibility in complying with a requirement to first release relevant information through the Stock Exchange. Much of the media activity is outside normal business hours and includes spontaneous interview situations.


“The Panel in its report has provided excellent guidance around good practice which will assist all listed entities in achieving a balance of compliance with the Listing Rules while simultaneously dealing with confidential information in a manner which protects the Company`s and its shareholders` legitimate commercial interests. The Panel has itself recommended a review of Listing Rule 10. The Company supports this in the hope that some of the practical problems can be addressed in that review.
“The release of the Panel`s report at this time is particularly important as companies such as Air New Zealand which currently enjoy a second listing on the Australian Stock Exchange with a `Foreign Exempt` status, confront differing disclosure regimes as they must later this year decide between de-listing in Australia or a full listing on the Australian Stock Exchange. This too will be an important factor for the NZSE in any review of L.R.10,” Mr Blair said.

Although the Board of Air New Zealand has not yet determined whether to seek a full ASX listing, the Company will now actively consider implementation of a more formalised compliance management system based on market experience in Australia and having regard to the good practice guidelines issued in the Panels report.



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