Friday, 21 April 2006

Airport thoughts: What about Winston?

Passing through Auckland Aiport yesterday I meditated on a few things, a couple of which I'm going to share with you lot.

Every time I visit Auckland's privately-owned International Airport it's changed, and always for the better. Over a relatively short space of time the formerly drab, unattractive, government-owned and uninspiring airport has become in private hands an efficient, attractive and delightful gateway to the rest of the country and the rest of the world. And works will no doubt be continuing to keep the improvements continuing, the passengers flowing, and the share price rising. (Such a shame about the government-owned roads that regularly delay access to the airport.)

Things airport-wise in Auckland are in short going well. Very well. So what was the problem with selling the other airports?

Do you remember the fuss Winston Peters made when previously in coalition about selling off the Wellington airport? After having previously let the sale of Auckland Airport proceed unprotested -- in fact, as Treasurer he announced the sale of the Government's majority interest -- in a subsequent bid to bring down the Government and stage manage a point of difference for the forthcoming election, Winston if you recall staged a walk-out over the sale of Wellington airport.

What a plonker.

Now, you don't need to be an Army astrologer to predict that the headline-hunting plonker will walk again at some stange this Parliamentary term. But what do you think his next stage-managed walk-out will be over? And when? And how much will Helen crawl to try and keep him in line?

TAGS: Privatisation, Politics-NZ, Politics-Winston_First, Auckland


  1. Funny, when I first arrived in New Zealand, I blogged what a nice airport it was. Compared to all the concrete ugly looking US ones I've encountered.

    Are the US ones government owned?

    Since then I've also visited the airport in Malaysia (KLIA), and that one isn't bad either. AFAIK, KLIA is privately owned as well.

  2. US ones almost always are government owned in some form, KLIA may be private, but with enormous subsidies - Malaysia's private business tends to operate with much patronage. Wellington is the best contrast - publicly owned the terminal was crap (even though Air nz and Ansett invested in upgraded terminals themselves) then it was 75% privatised and voila!


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