Minister Jones: “Better to consult lotto saleswoman than Transport Ministry over transport funding”

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones took swipe at the Ministry of Transport on its business case methodology.

During a tour of a new $27 million terminal at New Plymouth Airport, which is under construction, Jones, who is also Associate Transport Minister, told the audience he would have been better off consulting the Lotto saleswoman in Kerikeri than his own ministry when it came to funding the regional project.

"An area which has proved a challenge for our Government is working out which of the airports, which of the runways, and what infrastructure could be supported by the Government," he said.

"I made an error, and acquiesced with a call to get Ministry of Transport officials to distil a report and come out with some recommendations. I would have been better off consulting the Lotto saleswoman in Kerikeri”.

The Minister was in New Plymouth on Wednesday to announce a $56,000 PGF grant to New Plymouth District Council to look at upgrading the New Plymouth Airport runway. He said money for New Plymouth Airport would help it study the next steps to manage growing passenger numbers.

"New Plymouth Airport's runway is the shortest in New Zealand. The results of the PGF-funded study will help determine next steps for improving connectivity and journey time reliability for those travelling to and from the region,” the Minister added.

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