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Law change needed on airport pricing

Phil Twyford
Transport Spokesperson

Clayton Cosgrove
Commerce Spokesperson

8 February 2013

Law change needed on airport pricing

Labour says the Government should change the law in response to a damning report by the Commerce Commission into monopoly pricing by Wellington Airport.

Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says the report pings Wellington Airport for taking excessive profits.

“The Commerce Commission says Wellington Airport has been pumping up its land valuation to justify setting a higher rate of return.

“The report documents excessive profit taking which is a direct cost to the travelling public. This sort of practice is not on.

“Airports are a critical part of the country’s transport infrastructure. They need to be managed as efficiently as possible with long-run investment, but the Commerce Commission shows Wellington Airport has been going to the well a little too often.”

Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove said the Commission could similarly look at how Auckland and Christchurch airports were run and it was time the Government looked at changing the law so airport price-setting was more accountable and equitable.

“The current hands-off regime clearly has not worked. It would make sense to amend the Commerce Act to subject airport pricing to a negotiate-arbitrate mechanism that would take away airports’ power to impose prices at will, and require them to negotiate with customers like Air New Zealand with either party having the option to call in an independent arbitrator.

ENDS

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