Blueprint for Trans-Tasman travel lodged with Prime Ministers

ANZFL Media Release – Friday 5 June 2020

An alliance of Australasian experts has lodged a comprehensive blueprint for the resumption of ‘safe’ trans-Tasman travel with the New Zealand and Australian Prime Ministers, recommending multiple layers of protection to be embedded across the passenger journey. 

The detailed proposal, which was developed by the Trans-Tasman Safe Border Group made up of a team of 40 experts, provides a series of recommendations to the two governments on the creation of a safe air corridor between Australia and New Zealand.

Scott Tasker, co-chair of the Trans-Tasman Safe Border Group and Auckland Airport’s General Manager Aeronautical Commercial, said the proposal was aligned with official guidance released yesterday from the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

“This has been a significant piece of work involving experts from all parts of the system. We’ve worked solidly together over the past three weeks to develop a detailed and comprehensive framework to enable the safe and sustainable re-start of scheduled passenger services between Australia and New Zealand, and we’re delighted to have submitted our proposal to government,” said Scott Tasker.

“We believe our recommendations will effectively manage the risks but importantly they will also provide confidence to Australian and New Zealand travellers to visit each other’s countries to reconnect with family and friends, re-establish vital business links, and provide a lifeline of visitors to our respective tourism industries.”

Co-chair of the Trans-Tasman Safe Border Group and Chief Executive Officer of the Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) Margy Osmond said the protections would ensure passengers felt safe throughout their journey, from the point at which they were considering and booking a flight across the Tasman, to moving through airports, the flight itself and arriving at their destination.

“It is now for our respective governments to review and work through the detail of the proposal and we are looking forward to supporting them further in reestablishing travel between the two countries,” Ms Osmond said.

The Trans-Tasman Safe Border Group has recommended the establishment of a ‘Safe Travel Zone’ to be introduced in line with strong baseline health conditions in each country for the management of COVID-19. The recommendations include several layers of protections across the traveller journey, allowing for the sustainable re-start of ‘scheduled passenger services’ without the need for a 14-day passenger quarantine.

Initiated by Auckland Airport and supported by the Tourism and Transport Forum Australia (TTF), the Trans-Tasman Safe Border Group has been co-ordinated by the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum (ANZLF).

The members of the group are:

  • Ministry of Health (NZ)
  • Auckland District Health Board (NZ)
  • Waitemata District Health Board (NZ)
  • New Zealand Immigration
  • New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Australian Department of Health
  • Australian Trade and Investment Commission
  • Australian Border Force
  • Aviation Security Service (NZ)
  • Ministry for Primary Industries (NZ)
  • Ministry of Transport (NZ)
  • Te Tari Taiwhenua Internal Affairs (NZ)
  • New Zealand Customs
  • Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (NZ)
  • Auckland Airport
  • Sydney Airport
  • Wellington Airport
  • Melbourne Airport
  • Christchurch Airport
  • Brisbane Airport
  • Air New Zealand
  • Qantas
  • Australian New Zealand Leadership Forum
  • Tourism & Transport Forum (AU)
  • Tourism Industry Aotearoa
  • Board of Airline Representatives NZ
  • BusinessNZ

Australia and New Zealand are two of the most integrated economies in the world, with a Single Economic Market agenda in place to support a seamless trans-Tasman business environment. Each country is vital to the success of each other’s small and medium-sized businesses, and contributes strongly to each other’s tourism sectors, with estimated $3 billion in international visitor spend each way every year.

Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, New Zealand was the most popular outbound travel destination for Australians with 1.5 million visitors arriving from across the Tasman in 2019, accounting for 40% of all foreign visitors to New Zealand. Likewise, Australia was the most popular outbound travel destination for Kiwis. New Zealand is Australia’s second largest source market for visitors (behind China), with 1.4 million visitors in 2019, accounting for 15% of total visitors to Australia.

The ANZLF has a strong track record of collaboration, successfully working alongside government to support the development and implementation of initiatives such as e-Gate technology as part of the Single Economic Market border workstream.

Media Contact Details

Charlotte Jaques, ANZLF Director, Australia Charlotte.Jaques@bca.com.au +61 401 073 871

Fiona Cooper, ANZLF Director, New Zealand FionaCooper@outlook.co.nz +64 21 934 466

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