Queenstown RSA calls for further Shotover Jet apology over 'incorrect statement'

by Peter Newport - Apr 27, 2024

In the wake of an apology from Shotover Jet for disrupting an ANZAC service taking place on the Edith Cavell bridge on ANZAC day the Queenstown RSA is demanding a further apology for what they say is an incorrect statement.

Part of the complaint made by residents this week was not only the noise of the Shotover Jet but the fact that the company ignored a request from the Queenstown RSA to place a poppy collection box at the Shotover Jet base.

Shotover Jet's owners, Ngāi Tahu Tourism, issued a statement to Crux on ANZAC day attributed to Donald Boyer, the Shotover Jet Business Manager: “I can confirm our staff were approached about a collection box and said we were happy to have one on our premises.”

Chris Blackford, a board member of the Queenstown RSA and the man who organised this year's poppy collection has contacted Crux and says that claim is not correct. He detailed today the sequence of his request to Shotover Jet and what appears to be their failure to respond.

Mr Blackford says he called Shotover Jet on April 11 to ask if a collection box could be placed at their base. This call was followed up by an email from a Shotover Jet staff member called Amia to a manager named Donald, copied to Mr Blackford.

This is the content of the email - sent at 10.32 am on April 11.

"To Donald: hope you've been well. We just have a call from Chris Blackford who is asking if we're interested in having a poppy donation box here at Shot Over Base. Are we happy for this to happen? Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Kind regards, Amia."

Not only did Mr Blackford not get a reply to the email but he says a few days later he met with another Shotover Jet staff member at the Queenstown Citizens Advice Bureau, where he is a volunteer, and asked them to follow up the email request. 

Mr Blackford says he then heard nothing from either the person he met at the Citizens Advice Bureau or anybody else at Shotover Jet in reply to the initial phone call and email follow up. He now wants an apology.

"I don't think there's any misunderstanding. I've spoken to the other RSA board members. None of them have been contacted by Shotover Jet about a donation box."

"I think that what they have said is not correct and they should issue an apology for making what I see to be an incorrect statement."

Crux has approached Ngāi Tahu Tourism, the owners of Shotover Jet, for further comment.

Read our initial coverage here.

Apology from Shotover Jet for ANZAC service disruption

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