Kapiti mayor K Gurunathan has waded into the heated debate around Air New Zealand's regional domestic network.

Air New Zealand has announced slashing regional air fares in a move expected to see Auckland–Tauranga flights, as one example, from as little as $39.

The national carrier was poised this afternoon to reveal cheaper fares on 41 domestic routes in what was tipped to be the biggest shake-up of prices in more than a decade.

New Zealand First MP Shane Jones welcomed news of lowered prices, but warned it may not make a difference to those who were very angry over "excessively" high fares for too long.

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An Air Chathams Saab 340 at Kapiti Coast Airport. Photo / File
An Air Chathams Saab 340 at Kapiti Coast Airport. Photo / File

"There's no point having a very cheap fare at 11.30am or 13.30pm in the middle of the day and the fares continue to be horrendously large when most enterprises and people need to travel," Jones said.

Meanwhile in Kapiti, Gurunathan said he personally wouldn't even want Air New Zealand back after the airline abandoned flights in and out of his region.

He said there were deep seated-feelings of resentment after Air New Zealand quit the route only a week after being involved in the Kapiti Coast Airport open day.

"There are deep-seated feelings toward them after they turned up at the open day and then within a week they were out of here."

He said Air Chathams, a family-run business, has been welcomed by the Kapiti community and that he hoped it would expand services if the market called for it.

"I wish Air NZ well but we have a very good airline operating here so why would we want them coming back?"