Air Chathams Loan from KCDC
This is an interesting and for many an emotional topic, and one that I have been asked my view on a number of times over the last couple of weeks.
First it we need to separate it from the Kapiti Airport, these are two seperate things, and the loan to Air Chathams has little bearing on Kapiti Airport continuing to operate or not, if the loan had not been made to Air Chathams, today Kapiti Airport would still be operating.
In answering the loan question, we need to consider what were exceptional/unknown times, and of course, many airlines, including Air New Zealand, were receiving support from their governments. With Air Chathams being the only airline serving the Chatham islands, I feel that the central government should have provided support to Air Chathams as they did for Air New Zealand and not have left it to the regionals.
During those times (COVID), I am not unhappy that Air Chathams received support; but I do feel that the support/loan came from the wrong place.
I am unhappy about how KCDC went about granting the loan, and displeased with the terms of the loan. I'm afraid I have to disagree with such decisions made by KCDC behind closed doors - That is unacceptable. I also struggle with the lack of loan interest charged and the unsecured nature of the loan. Never of these make good business sense and only create unnecessary risk for our ratepayers.
But, it is a done deal, and we cannot now change it. We need to focus on stopping KCDC from using closed-door meetings and that when loans are made to any organisation, our ratepayers agree, are protected and that the terms of loans (to any organisation) make business sense.
This is another case that highlights my message that we need transparency and genuine public engagement at all levels of Kapiti local government, which I stand to fight for if I have the privilege of representing our community on the Paraparaumu Community Board.
Our Community, Our Voice, Lets Make it Heard!
This Message is approved by Glen Olsen