The Queensland state government is currently in talks with Air New Zealand to resume international flights, months before NSW and Victoria are expected to reintroduce overseas travel.
The aim is to connect New Zealand with Brisbane, Cairns, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, the Courier Mail reported.
“The performance of Queensland, the NT and, dare I say it, Tasmania, has been superior to New Zealand’s in many ways, even though we’ve done surprisingly good,” New Zealand’s Deputy PM Winston Peters told Sunrise on Wednesday.
Back home, he made similar comments on the Magic Talk radio station: “Rather than being confined or constrained by the states that are not succeeding with COVID-19, why don’t we just deal with Tasmania for example and Queensland, and start there?”
A draft timeline from the Australian Chamber Of Commerce’s Tourism Restart Taskforce previously pinned July 1 as the date to restart flights across the ditch, which may well prove to be right if the Queensland government pushes ahead.
This may also see Queensland reopen its international borders before it reopens its border with NSW, something which the two states’ premiers have been beefing quite publicly about for a while now.
Kiwi Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern implied on New Zealand’s AM show it would be up to the premiers to sort their shit out.
“It is fair to say that there are some states in Australia that are in a not too dissimilar position to New Zealand right now,” she said.
“It’s Australia’s call whether they open up state by state rather than wait for the whole country.”
Earlier this week, New Zealand recorded zero active COVID-19 cases for the first time. Because of this, is has ended all lockdown restrictions, with the one exception being reopening the border.