First flight from Taranaki to Napier
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.