Government Minister and MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has rejected a call for regional airlines to be subsidised to provide vital air services to the provinces.
Speaking to a rally of 200 people organised by Beach FM at Kapiti airport yesterday, Faafoi says Government subsidies are not the solution
He says the answer is to find a carrier that can make a long-term commitment to the region.
Faafoi says it is “frustrating that our national carrier was operating a service out of Kapiti and then at a drop of a hat could become uncommitted” to a region that is growing.
He says it was puzzling the way Air New Zealand handled the axing of the service and their lack of commitment, but Government subsidies is not the answer.
Faafoi told the rally: “I think what we want, is not messing around every 3 years, we want solid commitment."
Kapiti Coast Mayor K Gurunathan told the meeting that Air New Zealand had advised him that they would be prepared to underwrite some of the initial operating costs of a new carrier, that takes on the Kapiti to Auckland service.