On 13 November 2009 the NZ Herald reported that Andrew Parker from Emirates Airline had met with the New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, and senior government officials in Wellington. The Prime Minister also holds the Tourism portfolio.
Note that the 850,000 passenger statistic quoted would seem to have been calculated on a full uplift discharge basis rather than using the true origin destination method. Thus sixth freedom transit passengers travelling between New Zealand and Europe through Dubai would seem to be included in this total.
The Air New Zealand criticism referred to was made by its Chief Executive Rob Fyfe in the speech in Hong Kong in which he did not refer to Emirates by name (see previous post).
Emirates Airline is owned by Dubai holding company Investment Corporation of Dubai.