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In just seven days more than 4800 people have signed my petition for some flight services to return Queenstown, Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker says.

“Queenstown, Southland and Central Otago are isolated and need some flight services to return to Queenstown to connect us to the rest of the country, Mr Walker says.

“The Government needs to stop turning a blind eye to the south, and deliver services which are needed.”

“The closest airport is Dunedin which is three and a half hours drive away or Christchurch which is five and a half hours drive away.”

“Queenstown was the fourth busiest airport before the lockdown, and now at alert level three, seven airports have a flight service but not Queenstown.”

“The Government says there is not enough demand to justify the flights, but Air New Zealand says otherwise.”

“There is no flight schedule for the next few weeks for Queenstown, so how can they determine if there is the demand or not.”

“Air New Zealand has said there is enough demand for flight services.”

“We have thousands of migrants in our community who are out of work and trying to get home but cannot do so with no flights.”

“People in the community are reliant on being able to travel to other parts of New Zealand for work, for medical appointments, visiting family and with the upcoming ski season we need to support businesses in preparing, which requires domestic travel.”

“Interregional travel needs to be allowed at Alert Level 2, which will allow our tourism industry to restart in the south.”

“The Government needs to enable this to happen, to support our people in getting through.”

“Twenty-five per cent of the ski tourism market comes from North Island and if flights are back up and running it will be a boost for our community”.

“The Government needs to work with Air New Zealand to help deliver a flight service for Queenstown, as opposed to ignoring the needs of our region.”

Mr Walker’s petition can be viewed at https://www.change.org/p/nz-government-bring-back-some-flight-services-to-queenstown

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