13 Feb 2019

NZ-China relations worries tourism operators

From Morning Report, 7:47 am on 13 February 2019

An Air New Zealand plane being turned back from China and a u-turn on a joint tourism project has some wondering whether China and New Zealand really are still good friends. This week an airliner was forced to return to Auckland after Chinese authorities said it didn't have clearance to land. On Tuesday the launch of a joint New Zealand-China tourism initiative was postponed because of what China called scheduling problems. Also on Tuesday on Morning Report Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern denied the Air New Zealand incident was retaliatory action by China. It has tourism operaters worried. One industry leader says she hopes politics won't get in the way of the rapidly growing Chinese tourism market. RNZ tourism reporter Tess Brunton filed this report.