Your Southland/Otago analogy for trans-tasman relation is wearing a bit thin.
Some years ago I travelled in India where one sometimes sees abandoned cities and temples sunk in the sand as remnants of lost civilisations going back at least 5 thousand years(1). By contrast, a six-hundred year old Norman church which the locals in Europe described as "ancient" looked very recent to me.
In that context the fate of Air NZ is irrelevant, except to those with colonial delusions of grandeur. It is the logical consequence of economic decline and the rise of new economic powers to our north (2). It may be a shock to Anglophiles such as yourself, but this is but the continuation of a long-standing trend.
It has been common knowledge in the Australasian airline industry (3) that Air NZ has been cutting corners for some time, long before the CEO of Brierley unexpectedly rushed in to buy Ansett. Rod Eddington, then head of Ansett, exhaustively computer-modelled the economics of the merger, all coming to the same result: Air NZ could not make it work. He now runs BA.
Kia Ora !
Adam Bogacki, Sydney
(1) I'm not surprised that the descendants of the people who built them are now constructing a world-competitive software industry.
(2) Note, not the 'Far East'.
(3) Yes, flight crews do talk to each other. It's regarded as good resource management.