AIANZ and members at Parliament

It was a great evening in the Grand Hall at Parliament on Tuesday night where more than 100 of our members joined with Ministers, other MPs, and Government officials to talk all things aviation. Coinciding with our relaunch and renaming, it was the first time the industry had gathered at Parliament since before the pandemic.

In his speech, the Minister of Transport Hon Simeon Brown, showed his enthusiasm for our industry while expressing a clear willingness to engage with the Association, our members, and the wider sector – it was certainly encouraging to hear Minister Brown talk about his objective for a ‘customer-centric’ regulatory agency.

Throughout the evening, our members enjoyed the chance to network with other MPs who included the Minister of Tertiary Education and Environment, Hon Penny Simmonds, National MP Tim Costley from Ōtaki and ACT list MP, Cameron Luxton, a member of the Transport Select Committee.

Several senior Government officials also attended from the Ministry of Transport, CAA, the Tertiary Education Commission, MBIE and Education NZ, with our members taking the opportunity to raise industry matters with them.

In his speech, President of the AIANZ, Ashok Poduval provided a snapshot on the state of the aviation industry, outlining the difficult trading conditions the industry has been facing over the past few years, including reduced agricultural incomes, the border closure impacts and supply chain issues to name just a few.

Ashok then talked about the Association and the wider industry’s priorities, beginning with the Funding Model Review, which he emphasised must involve regular and meaningful consultation with the industry. Ashok noted the difficulties that exist with the current training regime, the challenges with local government where decisions were impacting commercial aviation, and the importance of airports as strategic resources for New Zealand.

In closing, Ashok said that aviation has been undervalued in New Zealand for too long, citing our $2.1 billion annual contribution to GDP, while stressing the vital role we play as an isolated island nation in facilitating the successful movement of people and goods.

There was a certainly a fantastic vibe in the Grand Hall on Tuesday night and the AIANZ will be engaging with Minister Brown as regularly as possible. We also hope to have him and/or his Associate Minister, Hon Matt Doocey, at the Conference in Christchurch in late August.

Simon Wallace
Chief Executive