OIA request on airport declined

The Queenstown Airport Corporation has declined to release the report its board received before it decided to ''model'' a dual Queenstown-Wanaka ''airport system''.

In response to an Official Information Act request seeking information about the decision, made at a board meeting on December 11, 2018, corporate and community affairs general manager Sara Irvine said there was one report relevant to the request.

However, it was withheld on the basis that it was ''subject to an obligation of confidence'', under section 9 (2) (ba) of the Act.

The section protects information which ''would be likely to prejudice the supply of similar information ...'' and ''would be likely otherwise to damage the public interest''.

Ms Irvine provided partly redacted minutes of the meeting showing the board discussed sustainable levels of growth in the Southern Lakes region and noted historical growth rates and regional forecasts.

The board agreed with the proposed strategic direction of the dual airport system, and to options being modelled on passenger annual growth rates of 3%, 4%, 5% and 6%.

It also discussed the capability of Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill airports and their role in diversifying growth.

''As part of our social licence to operate, the inclusion of these airports in any planning is important,'' the minutes read.

Board chairwoman Prue Flacks said recently, once the draft master plan for the airport was completed, the public would be invited to provide feedback.

She did not say when the plan would be completed.

It was originally due to be completed this month.

mark.price@odt.co.nz

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