Mayor welcomes airport money: "At last... a Minister who accepts the government's obligations" - 20/12/2006Mayor Michael Laws today welcomed a double dollop of government funding for Wanganui Airport, commenting that "at last, we have a Minister of Transport who accepts the government's obligations".
Mr Laws said that his council had taken legal action against the Crown for monies owed by successive governments in respect of their 50/50 ownership of the facility.
"Today, I have been personally informed that the Minister has instructed officials to release $805,000 cash to the council. That is in addition to the $526,460 (plus GST) pledged today for the airport runway re-sealing. That is over $1.3 million coming our way.
"This is a red letter day for Wanganui Airport, and one that is long overdue."
Mr Laws said that additional monies were still outstanding from the interest owed to the Wanganui District Council in "carrying the airport's losses this past decade".
"Annette King has informed me that an offer will be made to council to settle that matter. I think a combination of a stronger council voice, and a clear-thinking minister, has led to this dramatic turn in events.
"With the planned refurbishment of the airport terminal in May 2007, it would be fair to say that Wanganui is finally going to be getting the airport and terminal it properly deserves."