Cullen = Muldoon

Cullen brings back memories of Muldoon – New Zealand’s source for business, stock market & currency news on

I guess from this photo that Stuff is now “fomenting happy mischief”.

The crudely political nature of the government’s late-night move to block the Canadian bid for 40 per cent of Auckland International Airport is highlighted by a barely cold, two-year review of the Overseas Investment Act.

That review, enacted into law in August 2005, was supported by a government “committed to maintaining a liberal investment regime”.

The legislation’s sponsor, Finance Minister Michael Cullen, said at the time that New Zealand needed foreign capital to develop the economy.

No surprise, then, at the collective gasp which greeted the same minister’s announcement late on Monday that the same act would be amended to send the Canadians packing, once and for all.

Political commentator Chris Trotter said the use of an order-in-council to rewrite the law harked back to the 1980s. “It would have been just another day under Rob Muldoon,” he said, “but using the governor-general and most of the cabinet to rewrite the rules is not something we are used to any more.”