First flight from Taranaki to Napier

Stratford Press - - News - By ILONA HANNE

When New Ply­mouth mayor Neil Holdom flew to Napier on Fri­day, he took some gin, some meat and some dough­nuts with him.

The food and al­co­hol wasn’t to keep hunger at bay on the flight, but to be pre­sented as gifts to the may­ors of Napier and Hast­ings, Bill Dal­ton and San­dra Ha­zle­hurst.

Neil, along with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from lo­cal me­dia, Ven­ture Taranaki and other or­gan­i­sa­tions, flew to Napier on the first Orig­i­nair New Ply­mouth to Napier flight.

Leav­ing New Ply­mouth on Fri­day af­ter­noon, the plane touched down in Napier un­der 40 min­utes later, a huge im­prove­ment on around five hours of driv­ing, said Neil.

Be­fore take off from New Ply­mouth, a cer­e­mo­nial cake was cut and shared out.

The pas­sen­gers were wel­comed to Napier with a po¯ whiri, after which Neil pre­sented the gifts to his may­oral coun­ter­parts, telling them “we come in peace”.

He told them he had se­lected some of the finest items avail­able in Taranaki, with a fo­cus on lo­cal busi­nesses.

The gin was from Taranaki’s Juno Gin, the dough­nuts were from The Pub­lic Cater­ing Com­pany in New Ply­mouth, while he also brought smoked meat, but­ter and cheese from In­gle­wood based Texas BBQ Foods.

“We have dough­nuts for your chil­dren, gin for the adults, and hav­ing watched some bul­ly­ing on par­lia­ment tele­vi­sion re­cently, some pork belly for your politi­cians.”

In re­turn, he was given some wine, which mayor Bill Dal­ton in­formed he was “good wine. You won’t know much about that, com­ing from the west!”

Neil said the new route was “per­fect”.

“You can knock off work early on a Fri­day and en­joy a great week­end away.”

Hast­ings mayor San­dra Ha­zle­hurst said she was re­ally pleased Orig­i­nair had in­tro­duced the new route.

“In the re­gions we can be iso­lated from each other.

“We both have beau­ti­ful places and to be able to head to Taranaki for a rugby match or con­cert, or for Taranakians to be able to come and en­joy some sun­shine and hos­pi­tal­ity is great.”

Her Napier col­league Bill agreed, adding that as his wife’s fam­ily is from Taranaki, it is a trip they are likely to make of­ten.

“When you live in the prov­inces con­nec­tiv­ity is ev­ery­thing. To get to New Ply­mouth be­fore this we had to drive or go through Auck­land. It’s re­ally good to now have the abil­ity to get across fre­quently and eco­nom­i­cally.”

MAY­ORS Neil Holdom, San­dra Ha­zle­hurst and Bill Dal­ton.

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