Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Rotorua: International Air Service Begins

Rotorua celebrates start to international air services

14 December 2009:

Rotorua has the world's newest international airport. On Saturday (December 12) the city hosted the inaugural flight of Air New Zealand's new twice-weekly direct A320 service between Sydney and Rotorua and Mayor Kevin Winters was on board. Mayor Winters described the first trans-Tasman flight as a very proud moment and a boost for the Rotorua economy.

"I can never think of any city in the world where I’d rather be mayor. But this week I am especially proud to be mayor of Rotorua.

The arrival of Air New Zealand flight NZ978 from Sydney on Saturday was a truly historic occasion. I was delighted to be on board along with Mayor Greg Piper from our Australian sister city of Lake Macquarie, former mayor Grahame Hall, Deputy Mayor Trevor Maxwell, RDC chief executive Peter Guerin and many other excited travellers from both sides of the Tasman.

What a wonderful moment in time for our community to celebrate; history in the making and the start of something very special and immensely important for Rotorua’s future.

When Charles Kingsford-Smith flew his 'Southern Cross' Fokker Trimotor into Rotorua on 17 January 1933, having already become the first person to fly across the Tasman, he could hardly have imagined that a direct transtasman commercial airline service would be operating into Rotorua 77 years later from Sydney’s Kingsford-Smith International Airport.

Nor could Jean Batten, another of the world’s great aviators, have ever imagined that her home town of Rotorua would see a direct airline service from Sydney starting exactly 100 years after she was born.

The three hours flying time for today’s A320 flights between Rotorua and Sydney are of relative brief duration compared to the long and arduous planning journey we have been on before reaching our destination on Saturday. It has taken many, many years.

It needed bold vision and steely determination by council leaders to make the original decision to go for transtasman flights. Fortunately successive councils and their management teams have stayed right on track with that vision ever since. I extend my congratulations and thanks to them all, and to our airport company and Air New Zealand.

The huge job of extending our airport terminal complex and runway has not been without its challenges. A long drawn out consent process, some active opposition and protracted Environment Court action meant completion took many more years than we had originally hoped for. But the big day has come and it is the start of something with huge potential for Rotorua.

Ten years ago Queenstown also welcomed its first twice-weekly transtasman flights. Today they enjoy up to 27 flights a week from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, and their local economy has skyrocketed as a result.

We in Rotorua also have the opportunity to benefit from even more transtasman flights, if we make these services a big success. Many jobs will be created here and our economy will get a real boost. Like Queenstown we have a focus on tourism. But here in the Bay of Plenty and neighbouring areas we also have a more diversified economy with many other business and industry sectors ready to take advantage of our newfound status as the city with the world’s newest international airport.

It’s not just our region's motels and hotels, tour operators, restaurants and rental car businesses that will benefit. The economic impact will be felt right throughout our communities, trickling down into all corners of our local economies.

We can all benefit – so long as we grab the opportunities, we do it now, and we do it well."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Madrid Climate Talks: Decade Ending 2019 Likely To Be Hottest On Record

Exceptional global heat driven by greenhouse gas emissions mean this decade will most likely go down as the warmest on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization...

The agency also finds that 2019 is on track to be the second or third warmest year in history, with the global average temperature during January through October, roughly 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial era.

“If we do not take urgent climate action now, then we are heading for a temperature increase of more than 3°C by the end of the century, with ever more harmful impacts on human wellbeing.” More>>

 

NZ First Conflicts Of Interest: New Details Around Timeline

New information has emerged showing it was the New Zealand First chief of staff who identified potential conflicts of interest between a forestry company and two senior government ministers, sparking a series of declarations. More>>

Earlier:

Donations:

Five New Cancer Meds In Six Months: Pharmac Funds More Cancer Medicines, Faster Assessment

PHARMAC has confirmed that two new medicines – olaparib for ovarian cancer and fulvestrant for breast cancer – have been approved for funding... Rituximab and bortezomib, which are already funded, have also been approved for widened access following successful commercial proposals from new suppliers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Stoking Fears About Cannabis Law Reform

It was always going to be hard to have a rational debate on cannabis reform. Far easier for politicians to win votes by stoking alarm... More>>

ALSO:

Tūhoronuku Mandate Recognition Ends: "New Opportunity" For Ngāpuhi Treaty Negotiations

The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims... More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Next Phase Of Recovery Underway

“Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and safety regulator WorkSafe." More>>

ALSO:

Peters Stoic: Russia On Afghan Firing Range Deaths

The foreign minister won't be calling in the Russian ambassador concerning comments made about New Zealand soldiers in Afghanistan. In a media briefing late last month, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said New Zealand must investigate crimes against civilians. More>>

ALSO:

Christchurch Call: Online Crisis Response Workshop In Wellington

Governments and tech companies are holding a two-day workshop, hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels