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NZCTA Southern Update - February


By Michelle MacWilliam

Christchurch celebrated the start of the Chinese New Year Year of the Horse – in grand style. With the year of the wooden horse meant to bring health and prosperity it is said to be an excellent time to travel, as the next 12 months will bring good luck. You are advised to mingle with the locals, savour authentic cuisine and discover somewhere you have never been before.

Therefore, it is appropriate to ask Mathew Findlay, General Manager Aeronautical Business Development for Christchurch International Airport Ltd, to share with us the outcomes for the South Island with the inaugural charter flight by China Southern Airlines that landed in Christchurch at the beginning of the month.

South Island Tourism Industry Celebrates China Southern's Day of Firsts

Over 190 representatives from various industry sectors from around the South Island gathered at Christchurch’s Air Force Museum on Monday 3rd February to celebrate the arrival of the first China Southern Airlines charter service to the city – the first commercial operation of a 787 Dreamliner to Christchurch Airport.

Guests included a wide range of tourism industry and business leaders from across the region, as well as representatives of the Government and local councils.

Speakers at the event included People’s Republic of China Consul General to Christchurch, Ms Tan Xiutian, New Zealand Consul-General Guangzhou, Rebecca Needham, and the Mayor of Christchurch, Lianne Dalziel, who all praised the work of Christchurch Airport and China Southern in organising the charter, and expressed their hopes for a more regular service between Guangzhou and Christchurch.

The opportunity for China Southern, the world’s fifth largest airline, to establish a direct link between China and the South Island was reinforced by China Southern Airlines General Manager New Zealand, Mike Ma. Speaking by video at the event, Mr Ma said the airline hoped the charter, which was almost fully subscribed, would mark the start of more charter services, or even regular air services, to Christchurch.

Christchurch Airport CEO Malcolm Johns, who hosted the event, says regular services from China Southern Airlines would pay enormous dividends for both the tourism, visitor economy and export industries.

“As New Zealand's second largest city, and gateway airport for the South Island, the cornerstone of Christchurch Airport's strategy is to connect Christchurch and China with a direct air service in the next 12 months,” said Mr Johns.

“A direct air service will create a broad variety of opportunities across the visitor sector, as well as stimulating greater direct links between South Island-based businesses and what is now the country's largest trading partner.”

The first meeting of NZCTA in Christchurch, will be held on Monday10th March. To celebrate, we have decided to have network presentation followed by banquet for those who wish to stay on afterwards and build deeper relationships with the membership.

The guest speaker for our March event will be Dr Jian Yang, National Party MP. Dr Yang works closely with a number of cabinet ministers providing a Chinese overview to them in matters such as trade, tourism and education. In his presentation, he will share insights with respect to key China –New Zealand relationships in areas of interest to NZCTA Southern membership.

Event Details 


5.15pm until 7.15pm networking and guest speaker presentation - $25 per head for NZCTA Members/ $ 30 per head for non – members include complimentary drink on arrival and nibbles.


Payable online

7.30 pm onwards - set banquet $30 per head. Liquid refreshments are additional.

Payable on the night but please book in advance.

The Venue

Lin’s Tomoei, The Seafood Place - Shop 11 West Link Mall

8-10 Brake Street Upper Riccarton Christchurch

For further information contact Michelle MacWilliam