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     (The following press release from the Associate Minister of Transport was  received by e-mail. The sender verified the statement.)  Hon Nathan Guy Associate Minister of Transport  14 July 2011  Green light for new and improved air services agreements  New Zealand is looking to negotiate new and improved air services agreements  with countries in East Asia and South America, Associate Transport Minister  Nathan Guy announced today.  "This is an important step in encouraging stronger tourism and business ties  with two of the fastest growing regions in the world," Mr Guy says.  "Inter-government air service agreements are the first step before airlines can  operate services to other countries. New Zealand already has around 48  relationships governed by similar agreements, and we want to see these improved  and the number increased.  "This will enable better trade links and higher passenger numbers, which will  be good for jobs and economic growth.  "Cabinet has given officials the mandate to start negotiations with China and  Brazil, and up to eight additional countries.  "We are looking to remove restrictions on current agreements, and begin  negotiations with other countries to create new agreements.  "These agreements will give airlines greater freedom and certainty for future  planning.  "In particular, Auckland has the potential to play a greater role as a stopover  between these two regions. Already Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong and LAN from  Chile are taking advantage of the opportunities available to code share,  swapping passengers travelling between South America and East Asia in Auckland."  The Minister also announced that New Zealand's air services arrangements with  the Netherlands have been enhanced, removing restrictions on code sharing.  "This will enable KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to code share, for example, on the  new China Southern operations between Guangzhou and Auckland," says Mr Guy.    
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