Bridges comments on airport

Simon Bridges. Photo: RNZ
Simon Bridges. Photo: RNZ
The National Party, if it becomes the government at next year's election, appears unlikely to stand in the way of the Queenstown Airport Corporation's dual Queenstown-Wanaka airport proposal.

Party leader, and former transport minister, Simon Bridges was in Wanaka on Thursday and was asked if he thought the South needed another major airport at Wanaka, in addition to Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill and Queenstown.

Mr Bridges said he was "somewhat sympathetic" to the case being made for the development of Wanaka Airport.

However, he did not rule out central government involvement.

"Never say never in terms of government getting involved in these sort of issues. Sometimes there's a case for a bit of pulling power, if you like, from the government saying you know you may be getting this wrong.

"I think what does work best ... is for local communities and the airports making decisions in their own best interests.

"We've got a [Resource Management Act] and other planning laws that protect locals and give them rights, but I think ultimately you've got a really good airport in Queenstown."

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