New Zealand Government proposing changes to air transport policy including foreign ownership rules
New Zealand Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee stated (21-May-2012) the Government is proposing changes to the nation’s international air transport policy which could include changes to foreign ownership rules. Foreign ownership of New Zealand carriers is currently set at 25% by any one foreign airline, or 35% by foreign airlines in total. Changes to this rule would not affect ownership of Air New Zealand in which the Government plans to keep a 51% stake. Mr Brownlee said the new policy would allow for New Zealand to continue to pursue open skies agreements which “will help develop the economy and increase business and travel opportunities for New Zealanders”. Negotiations with Japan and China were successfully completed earlier in 2012 while negotiations with Brazil and French Polynesia are currently underway. Mr Brownlee highlighted future new air services agreements will focus on East Asia and South America.