Wellington Scoop

John Milford agrees on economic benefits from longer runway

Press Release – Wellington Chamber Of Commerce
The Wellington Chamber of Commerce welcomes the economic impact report on extending the airport runway which shows great benefits for the city, the region and for New Zealand.

Chief Executive John Milford says the report backs up what the Chamber and many others have said for some time – that there are great economic benefits from the initiative.

“The numbers in this report speak for themselves: for every $1 spent on the extension project there will be a net benefit of $7. That is a very good cost-benefit ratio.

“The net benefit to New Zealand is huge: $2.1 billion brought about in large part by the 125,000 new visitors a year that bigger aircraft will bring in from more destinations that will be in reach of the airport.

“You can see how that will happen. The business case forecasts that new generation aircraft, such as the Boeing Dreamliner or the Airbus A350, will be able to fly directly to cities in South East Asia, south China, and the west coast of the United States. That will really put Wellington on the international map.

“The report also estimates that the Wellington region might expect to receive almost a third of the net benefits of the additional visitor expenditure – equating to between $500 million and $1.5 billion.

Mr Milford said the report, by Sapere Research Group, one of the biggest expert services firms in Australasia, was as thorough.

“This is great progress and it’s very exciting.

“As far back as 1960 the Chamber was advocating for an extension for international jet services, which delivered vital and ever-growing links with Australia, and most of our members still see direct long-haul connections as vital to the region. This report says that’s the case.

“We’ve said to date that the business case must stack up, and that there’s got to be a commitment from an airline to fly an international route into Wellington.

He said he was confident that Wellington International Airport Ltd had covered a number of key aspects ahead of the consultation and encouraged Wellingtonians to participate in the upcoming public consultation.

“They’ve talked to their neighbours, recreational groups and iwi, and they have looked at issues such as marine ecology and coastal processes, landscape and urban design, the effects on Lyall Bay and its users, cultural issues, and issues throughout the construction period, including traffic, noise.

“It’s now vital that the public have their say. It’s particularly important for Wellingtonians to have a good look at what is being proposed and give the company their feedback before the application is finalised. I urge people to take advantage of the public open days where they can meet one-on-one with the experts who undertook the assessments.”

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  1. Esjay, 26. November 2015, 18:01

    Mr Milford the report as I understand was a cost/benefit analysis and not to be confused with the Business case which Treasury insists upon prior to considering any funding.

  2. CC, 26. November 2015, 22:33

    Don’t worry Esjay, the most consoling thought about Mr. Milford’s interest is that it comes from one who manages to head the diminution or demise of all that he touches. Kirkcaldie and Stains, the Chamber of Commerce, the living wage for people who provide services for the Council and …… the runway extension??? Also isn’t it a little disingenuous for an advocate of free enterprise to expect ratepayers and taxpayers to carry the can for a risky venture?

  3. southcoaster, 28. November 2015, 17:25

    It’s quite funny that the Chamber of Commerce is pushing this so much, seeing it is meant to be almost entirely funded by the public – which means that his members will be hit 3-fold, by commercial rates, residential rates and taxes! It is also concerning that a businessman such as himself obviously hasn’t read the cost-benefit analysis otherwise he wouldn’t be so happily repeating the “$7 for every $1 spent” line. There is ZERO mention of climate change impacts, no environmental or social costs are included and the whole thing is based on overblown market catchment numbers (by a factor of 5 according to the Council’s own peer review) and thus complete fantasy. Seeing economic models couldn’t forecast the GFC 6 months before it stopped the financial world, I just love how this report is meant to see 45 years into the future!

  4. CC, 29. November 2015, 7:13

    southcoaster – you have got it wrong. The Chamber of Commerce are pushing the airport extension BECAUSE it doesn’t cost business a cent. Every time one buys a product or uses a business or service, the taxes and rates are included in the price. The higher the rates and taxes, the more that is charged. Not only that, a profit margin is no doubt included as a component of the price.
    So – why does the Chamber, with its diminishing membership and noisy mouthpiece, want the airport extended? A good start would be to follow the money. Obviously it is intended that the costs and risks will be borne by the majority of ratepayers who will use an international flight once in years, decades or even a lifetime and not be too concerned about the mild inconvenience of using a national or international hub.
    As a suggestion, check the Board of the Chamber of Commerce (https://www.wecc.org.nz/about-wecc/wecc-board). If its composition reflects the general membership, the organisation looks a bit short on actual businessmen and women and long on fodder for those of a cynical bent.